A big but very gentle footprint

Today, 16 September 2014, together with five other remarkable individuals with extraordinary contributions to our national life, the Ateneo de Manila University confers posthumously on Reverend Delbert Rice the 2014 Parangal Lingkod Sambayanan. The university award is in recognition of Pastor Rice’s pioneering efforts in sustainable upland development, agro-forestry, land rights protection, education for indigenous …

Servants, leaders

“Servant-leaders” is a phrase coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, first published in 1970. In that essay, he said: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead.” This past week, two …

From hell to Galilee

Every year, on Black Saturday, while preparing for an all night Easter Vigil of the Neocatechumenal Way that my wife and I have been attending for more than 25 years now, I always meditate on the “harrowing of hell”, described by one reference as “the triumphant descent of Christ into Hell between the time of …

Beacon of ethical wisdom

Ramon Castillo Reyes, Doc Reyes to generations of Ateneo philosophy students and Filipino philosophy teachers nationwide, passed into eternal life last Friday, January 17, 2014. He went as he lived his good life, quietly and with dignity. But to those of us who were taught and mentored by this philosopher and teacher, knowing we will …

Fasting for climate justice

Seventeen years ago, in June 1996, I met a young man named Naderev Saño in a first year law classroom in the University of the Philippine College of Law. I remember  the day I met Yeb in my Kasaysayan ng Batas (Legal History) class. After all, how many Filipinos are named after the “NAtional DEmocratic …

Raw feelings from Yolanda

When I first saw the initial reports about Tacloban and Leyte on Saturday morning, I found myself crying and I could not stop for more than 30 minutes. I am not a scientist but I have seen many of these disasters all over the world, either in person or academically. And it was clear from …

Thoughts on Easter

Christian faith teaches that Christ suffered, was crucified, died and on the third day he rose again from the dead. The resurrection of Christ is an intrinsic tenet and the foundation of the Catholic Faith. However His conquest of sin and death may be seen in different ways. First, by his resurrection, Christ conquered death …

Choosing a Pope

The day Pope Benedict XVI resigned a lightning struck St. Peter’s Basilica. On the day the Cardinal-Electors were inside the Sistine Chapel to elect his successor, a seagull was seen perched atop the six-foot chimney of the chapel as if awaiting the smoke that would announce the election. What are the odds that on the …

A Promise to EDSA

Some might choose to comment on what they believe is the unfulfilled promise of EDSA, whose anniversary we celebrated yesterday. Seventeen years of post-Marcos democracy has seen fluctuating fortunes, small gains in democratic governance, little improvement in the equitable distribution of wealth and political power. One criticism of People Power is that it simply restored …

Teaching in a grand manner

In the entrance lobby of the College of Law of the University of the Philippines (UP Law) there is a wonderful quotation from United States Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes: “The business of a law school is not sufficiently described when you merely say that it is to teach law, or to make lawyers. …