Shadow

Opinion

THE Debate

THE Debate

Opinion
Much has been said about the mayoral and gubernatorial debates that happened over the weekend. It would have been interesting if Mayor Bing Leonardia was there so we can hear his agenda and plans to resolve the many problems that has not been addressed by his administration. As predicted, he was a no-show but his followers were en masse! It makes you wonder why they were there when they were probably informed that their leader backed out of the agreement. And yes, there was an expressed agreement as mentioned by a lawyer who said that Bing’s team even participated in the tech run the week before the said event and no questions were raised nor was there an indication that they wanted a face-to-face debate. That’s all water under the bridge. Only his supporters believe his reasons...
The power of a child

The power of a child

Opinion
The devotion to the Santo Niño is one of the oldest and most popular devotions in the Philippines. Observed all over the country, the feast of the Santo Niño is colorfully celebrated in varied ways, expressive of the particular love and affection of different regions. The immense popularity of the Santo Niño can easily be understood, even from the human point of view. A child is naturally attractive. His innocence and simplicity can totally disarm us and bring out the best in us. In his presence, the animal in us is tamed, and his smile can tenderize the hardest of hearts. Such is the power of a child. We know however that the Santo Niño is no ordinary child. He is a Holy Child, the Son of God. Thus, we cannot imagine how infinitely more powerful the Santo Niño must be. Allow...
To debate or not to….

To debate or not to….

Opinion
With three more days to go before the much awaited debate between Bacolod mayoralty candidates - incumbent Mayor Bing Leonardia and former Cong. Albee Benitez - there seems to be hitches that may (not so surprising) lead to the cancellation of the event. The debate is being organized by the UP Law Alumni Association-Negros Occidental Chapter at the USLS campus in partnership with the Philippine Daily Inquirer. However, with the rising cases of COVID-19 in our midst, the organizers deemed it prudent to conduct the debate online, via Zoom. This is responsible enough for the group who knew they could get some flak if they push through with their initial plan because this might become a COVID-spreader event, knowing that each camp will probably bring their own supporters to cheer th...
Relocation and forest restoration (last of two parts)

Relocation and forest restoration (last of two parts)

Opinion
No doubt that forest restoration, both terrestrial and coastal, is badly needed if we want to prevent or even just to mitigate the impacts of strong typhoons and other natural hazards and risks. With the changing climatic conditions and given that the Philippines has been identified as among the vulnerable countries in the world when it comes to the impacts of climate change, then it is only necessary to aggressively and vigorously pursue forest restoration in various parts of the country. A large part of the classified forestland, roughly more than 50 percent is already devoid of forest cover. The reforestation program has long been initiated since after EDSA Revolution in 1986. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the term of the late President Corazon...
God’s beloved

God’s beloved

Opinion
Today, the Church formally closes the Season of Christmas and starts the Ordinary of the Year with the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. The baptism of Jesus in the Jordan marks the beginning of his public life. Although our successive commemoration of the birth of the Child Christ and ministry of the Adult Christ may seem too abrupt, the baptism of Jesus can actually be understood as an extension of Christmas and a fuller unfolding of the Christmas mystery (of incarnation). In Bethlehem, Jesus shares our humanity and becomes one of us, a man. In Jordan, Jesus joins a repentant people seeking baptism and identifies himself as one of us, a sinner. This he did so that we, in turn, can become like him, God’s beloved children. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that i...
The year that was

The year that was

Opinion
When COVID-19 set foot in our country in early 2020, we got paralyzed not knowing how to deal with it. We learned to live with lockdowns and we had to keep up with all the terminologies they created, along with all kinds of QR codes and pass cards. We survived and tried to go along with whatever government rammed down our throats. 2021 came and our year didn’t start as good as we hoped for, as it brought torrential rain that flooded northern Negros. Then midway, the COVID-19 Delta variant came into the picture and Negros Occidental and Bacolod became topnotchers in deaths and cases. I found myself locked down in our home after half of the household got infected. We lost a brother and we experienced burying a loved one with just a handful of us present. By the last quarter ...
Relocation and forest restoration (first of two parts)

Relocation and forest restoration (first of two parts)

Opinion
While many are still recovering from the impacts of typhoon Odette that devastated several islands in the Philippines mid-December last year, there are again discussions on the need for massive reforestation and relocation of those who occupy hazardous and disaster-prone sites. The typhoon made several landfalls and most affected areas are smaller islands in Mindanao and Visayas, including Negros Island, and Palawan. Typhoon Odette unleashed strong winds and heavy flooding resulting to enormous damages to properties, agriculture, and public utilities and infrastructures, and worst, several deaths. There are still areas now where power, communication, and water services are not yet fully restored. While relief and recovery operations are still ongoing, there are families that bad...
The star within

The star within

Opinion
The story of the Magi is among the best loved stories of all time. We commonly refer to them as the Three Kings who came from the East to pay homage to the newborn Messiah in Bethlehem. It is not certain however if they were actually three, or even kings at all. The idea came about because Matthew tells us in his gospel that they offered the Child three gifts, befitting a king: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Through the years, many stories have been written, which draw inspiration from the inexhaustible richness of the original Christmas story. One such story is the legend of Artaban, which I always loved listening to as a boy. The story goes that Artaban was supposed to be the fourth wise man to travel with the other three to Jerusalem in search of “the newborn King of the Je...
Deforestation and flooding

Deforestation and flooding

Opinion
It is quite unfortunate and sad that we commemorated this year's Christmas with several deaths, massive destructions, and unwanted sufferings brought by the recent typhoon Odette. The devastating typhoon made a number of landfalls in parts of Mindanao, Visayas to Palawan on December 16 and 17. Negros Occidental was badly hit with 45 persons dead and 117 injured, while 10 others are still missing, as reported by the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division. Sipalay City accounted for the most deaths at 17 persons followed by Kabankalan City with 13 casualties. The typhoon brought heavy rains and strong winds, destroying an estimated 56,674 houses and another 200,157 houses were damaged in the entire province. Ilog and Kabankalan have the highest number of destroyed houses ...
God became man

God became man

Opinion
One of my favorite Christmas stories (many of you may have heard this already) is about a man who did not believe in Christmas. For him, the idea of God becoming man was simply absurd. And so, one Christmas Eve, when his wife and children invited him to join them for the midnight Mass, he politely begged off, giving lame excuses. He was left alone in the house that night. Soon he noticed some birds tapping on his window pane. They were trying to get in to avoid the freezing temperature outside. He went out of the house, opened wide his barn and drove the birds to the direction of the barn so they could be saved from the bitter cold. The birds only scampered and flew away. He returned to the house, brought out some bread crumbs, and scattered them on the snow in trails leading to...
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