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Showing posts from February, 2014

The Ilocos Times Feb. 24-march 2, 2014

Lessons of ‘86

TWENTY- eight years ago, a handful of personalities decided that enough was enough. Armed with courage and conviction, they faced off with hopelessness and certain defeat and probable destruction. But when they sounded the clarion call, multitude of people responded—surrounding the two main military camps of the country to stymie the rampaging tanks and soldiers from either capturing them or destroying them. With a bit of luck, the dictator stayed his hand—and even in the face of his advisers urging him to bomb the two camps to kingdom come, he uncharacteristically stood his ground. Soon enough, the uprising spread and in a matter of days, a 20-year reign came to a crashing end. And so we now have the present. We can now say what we want to say without fear of being picked up in the dead of the night by military operatives and thrown into solitary confinement. But it is quite regretful that so many of us today do not seem to understand that the very freedom they

Are we prepared for the ‘Big One’?

Is Ilocos Norte prepared for a black swan event? If yes, how prepared are we? If not, to borrow the words of Ivana Milojevic, a professor at the University of Sunshine Coast Australia, should we be alarmed or should we be very alarmed?   Last month, I tried to make sense of Naseem Nicholas Talem black swan theory and tried to situate the province to anticipate some outlier events. I gave some examples but a few or perhaps more ideas of extreme outliers could emerge if it will crowdsource or brainswarm the notion of expecting the unexpected.   As of late, there has been a surge of interest from insurance and risk management companies, banks and local governments in the US, Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia on black swan events. The Asia Development Dialogue had a two-day conference last year to explore “emerging issues” in natural disasters. In fact, a number of white papers were published and most of them reported a rising occurrence of the highly improbable events.  

Forgive and be forgiven

WE are all familiar with the Lord’s Prayer or the “Our Father.” It’s the prayer Christ told his apostles when they asked him to teach them how to pray. Since it contains all the basic elements and purposes of prayer, it is considered the model prayer. Our personal prayers should reflect at least some aspects of this paradigmatic prayer. A part of it is most relevant in guiding us in our relationship with one another. It’s when Christ said, “Forgive us our sins (trespasses) as we forgive those who sin (trespass) against us.” As if to underscore the importance of this point, Christ reiterated: “For if you will forgive men their offences, your heavenly Father will forgive you also your offences. But if you will not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive you your offences.” (Mt 6,14-15) It’s clear therefore that we can only be forgiven if we also forgive others. We have to be clear that his injunction is meant for everyone, and not only for a few wh