Test yourself: Are you qualified to be buried in Libingan Ng Mga Bayani?

Sun, 12/10/2017 - 15:22

by Alan Robles

Contrary to what critics say, the Duterte administration didn't arbitrarily decide to bury Ferdinand Marcos in the Heroes' Cemetery, Libingan ng Mga Bayani. No, it consulted expert scholars to see if the former dictator's corpse was worthy of interment in the LMB.

The experts used a test specially designed by members of The Official Gazette, called the Test for Interring The Marcos Officer (TITIMO). You can take it yourself and see if YOU qualify to be buried in the heroes cemetery.

Understanding the airport bullet scam

Tue, 11/17/2015 - 17:13
Noting the keen public interest in bullet planting issue, we have decided to exploit it by putting together this package of more or less dubious questions and answers.
1. I've heard that when I check-in at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport there's a chance somebody will set me up by planting a bullet in my bag and then accost me and demand a bribe so I won't be arrested
The good news is that it doesn't happen to everyone. There are exemptions.

About Alan

Mon, 08/31/2015 - 20:53

A print journalist for 35 years now, I've worked for publications such as Business Day, Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, Link magazine and Asiaweek. What do these papers all have in common? They’re all dead. But I had nothing to do with it, officer, I swear.

I’ve written for Time magazine, USA Today, Reader’s Digest and Asian Wall Street Journal, which all seem to have actually survived the experience.

What is China up to in the West Philippine Sea?

Mon, 08/10/2015 - 18:26

by Alan Robles

China has been busily engaged in mysterious activities in the West Philippine Sea, aka South China Sea. Dredging and filling, it's apparently turning slivers of coral barely protruding above the water into full-fledged large islands.

What could all this island bodybuilding and buffing be for? It can't possibly be to build military bases bristling with guns, missiles, planes, and hostile-type installations intended to harass air and maritime traffic - right? After all China itself assures its intentions are purely peaceful and it OF COURSE is not encroaching on other countries' territories and stealing islands. It's probably prepared to swear this on the sainted relics of Mao, assuming it can locate them.

Onli in da Pilipins

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 09:36
(originally published in SCMP Nov 24 2005)
Any morning that a daily newspaper splashes a story about crime, corruption or government ineptitide, you can bet that across the land citizens will be shaking their heads over coffee and muttering, onli in da Pilipins - "only in the Philippines." The expression, which is increasingly common, seems to show Filipinos believe sins and misdemeanours have a national brand.

Fare play

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 09:29
(originally published in SCMP, 2006)
It has happened at least several times in the past year: somebody takes a taxi ride and leaves their valuables behind. The driver discovers the item and promptly goes out of his way to return it to the owner, refusing any payment.
Could this truly be happening in Manila?


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