Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"heartbeat: Manila Hilton" edited by Marla Yotoko-Chorengel and Letty Jacinto Lopez

From the summary on the back cover:

The skyscraper of dreams - that was the Manila Hilton, at 22 storeys, the tallest building in the Philippines in the sixties and its first 5-star international hotel. It was here where foreign expatriate executives and locals worked together to create a unique multi-racial mix. It was a period when the Philippines enjoyed an energized campaign courtesy of the Hilton International chain's worldwide network, and the country's shores were graced by an influx of  overseas tourists.

Decades ago, the Manila Hilton vanished from the Manila horizon. But, during its lifespan, the hotel touched our lives like  prism that colored our working days within the hotel. The Manila Hilton lingers in the landscape of our memories and still lends its hues and intensities in our present, perhaps our future, too.

Rekindling the past, the spirit of our hearts is palpable. We offer no apologies for the unabashed exuberance of our personal reflections. Rather, we invite our friends of the Manila Hilton era to journey with us now to our shared yesteryears, and, who knows, to unleash some of their own endearing yesterdays. Together, we can wonder where all that magic came from, why the explosion of sentiments... imagine this!

Friday, November 11, 2011

"Unyonista: The Chronicles of a Social Justice Crusader" by Edmundo F. Nolasco

      Edmundo "Ka Ed" F. Nolasco was born in1921 in Dapitan, Zamboanga. He went to high school at the Ateneo de Cagayan (now Xavier University), and to college at the Ateneo de Manila, where he earned his AB degree and graduated class valedictorian in 1949.

     The social encyclicals, especially Pope Leo XIII's Rerum Novarum, and his Jesuit mentors, notably Fr. Joseph Mulry, S.J., and Fr. Walter Hogan, S.J., inspired him to take the road less travelled, a road the led to his lifetime work in the Filipino labor movement.

     "Unyonista: The Chronicles of a Social Justice Crusader" is a story of his journey through the changing historical circumstances of the Philippines in the 20th century and the the different ways he expressed his steadfast commitment to social justice—from fighting in the trenches of Bataan as an Ateneo ROTC volunteer during the Pacific War, to organizing workers to fight for their rights, helping build the nationwide movement against the Marcos dictatorship and today, working to address the plight of the forgotten war veterans and their families.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Political Vengeance & Societal Perdition by Atty. John R. Castriciones

From the back cover:

“In this book, Atty. John Castriciones examines his experience of public service, Catholic and Christian teachings, law and history. From this background, he reflects on the importance of governance or leadership: it can continue the prevailing culture and politics of vengeance or be accountable to the common good beyond family and clan interests. People in power can exert tremendous influence on issues of education, health, land, international trade and justice; or just miss the opportunity to make a difference in the life of the poor and the nation. John is inviting us to reflect not just on what leaders say but what they witness with their lives. John deserves to be heard and read especially on contemporary issues in the Philippine setting.”

– Fr. Teodulo P. Gonzales, SJ
Center for Family Ministries
Ateneo de Manila University

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Country Imperiled by Cecilio T. Arillo, Ph.D

The book presents a bold and factual perspective on the presidency of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos, his wife Imelda Romualdez Marcos, the martial law period, the EDSA Revolt, the regime of President Cory Aquino and the subsequent administrations until until that of Cory's son, who is now President Benigno “Noynoy” Cojuangco Aquino.

A Country Imperiled follows Arillo's tradition of factual narrations of history as it seeks to primarily demystify the Aquino couple, former Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. who is hailed as a martyr and Cory Aquino as an icon of democracy.
It also dissected the several allegations leveled at the Marcos couple through a fair recounting of their actions most of which were culled from declassified government documents.

The book primarily seeks to set the record straight for the new generation of Filipinos who may have to rely on historical accounts to appreciate the characters of the nation's previous leaders.

[Taken from the book's Facebook fanpage]

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ideas, Principles and Lost Opportunities by Homobono A. Adaza

Excerpts from the Introduction of the book:

“This is a personal story – of moments which, in my view, could have influenced the drift of contemporary Philippine history, if I had made the right decisions. This conclusion could dangerously lead many to uncontrollable laughter, if they do not know me. Worse, a parade of detractors will continue charging me of desperately trying to lift my chair, if they still do not know me. But I am not new to these charges. They have dogged me all the days of my life. And I enjoyed every moment of it, and still do, thus this book.”

“This book is an attempt to educate the young on the power of ideas, the value of principles, and the need to grab opportunities that present themselves to an individual, who has to make a definitive choice between principles on the one hand and the interest if the people and the country on the other. Many Filipinos view efforts to change the existing systems — political, social and economic — as quixotic, considering the embedded cycle and culture of corruption in the country. This idea of being quixotic runs against the grain of historical developments.”

Monday, October 24, 2011

That She May Dance Again by Sister Nila V. Bermisa, MM

Sister Nila unlocks the web of sexual violence in the Church and allows women-in-pain to become women subjects of their lives and destiny. She narrates the psycho-social and spiritual impact of abuse committed by the clergy and how traditional theology, ecclesiology, and spirituality legitimate the past and current behavior of Church authorities. The only way out is to allow women to name their experiences and become part of the on-going rethinking of the Church’s teachings on women and men. “That She May Dance Again” is an attempt to see women’s experiences and wisdom as integral parts of total renewal in the Church. Without their voices, we shall remain impoverished in living the subversive memory of Jesus who calls us to be friends and disciples and never as lording over others.

- Fr. Percy Bacani, MJ

The voices of those who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of priests and other church officials is set at the heart of this book. Faithfulness to their experience and a passion to contribute to the empowerment of these women and to the transformation of the Church is what guides the author of this book. Sister Nila Bermisa combines a phenomenological approach with insightful understandings of the connections between abuse of women in the Church, patriarchy in church and society, and colonization. Aiming to contribute to an understanding of the “fullness of life,” what in religious-theological language is called salvation, Sister Nila calls the institutional Church to unequivocally sustain the victims of sexual abuse and facilitate their healing. From this study arises fresh understanding of soteriology, ecclesiology, and pastoral ministry.

- Dr. Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz, Professor, Drew University, USA

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Enemy Within by Glenda M. Gloria, Aries Rufo & Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza (NEWSBREAK)

Excerpts from the book:
Conflicts fed a war economy. After Marcos, the military was given the chance to rid itself of corruption, but faced with battles and the whims of civilian leaders it never got around to doing it. The situation gave rise to a long-running motivation to perpetuate the status quo. A retired commander said, “A bad system will always kill itself.” – Glenda M. Gloria, “In the Name of War” 

The real estate properties and bank deposits that ex-military comptroller Carlos Garcia supposedly surrendered in the plea bargain deal were already garnished since these were the subject of two forfeiture cases in another division in the Sandiganbayan. Indeed, the general knew how to bargain hard — and got away with it. – Aries Rufo, “How the Big Fish Got Away" 

Corruption persisted in the military because its internal systems and needs had escaped in-depth examination. Civilian leaders and institutions failed. Said a budget and management official: “We taught them to lie to us and to fool us. It would have been for the benefit of all if there was full disclosure. – Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza, “Epic Failure” 

Instead of UN reimbursements passing through the Philippines’ permanent mission to the UN in New York, the AFP asked that the money be wired directly to a bank account in Makati. The government allowed the military to take full control of the UN fund without civilian oversight. – Aries Rufo, “Making Money, Making Peace”

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Seven Deadly Deals by NEWSBREAK

I n The Seven Deadly Deals, NEWSBREAK tells the stories behind seven of the costly and crooked contracts and projects undertaken by the admin¬istration of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that help explain the overall dismal state of infrastructures and government services:

• The delayed and costly North Luzon Railways (Northrail).
• The muddle over the full opening of Terminal 3 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
• Cost-overruns in the construction of the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
• The huge government subsidies going into the private sector-built Metro Rail Transport 3.
• The collapse of the Quedan and Rural Guaran¬tee Corp, (Quedancor),
• The divisive tender for joint development rights for Mt. Diwalwal, the country's biggest gold-rush area.
• The chaotic procurement of essential defense equipment.
      In the chapters on each of the seven messy and contentious deals, we tell the full story of what went wrong and why, who were responsible, what steps were taken to remedy the problems, and how the administration of President Benigno Aquino III is trying to clean up the mess.
     Whether Aquino likes it or not, it is now his responsibility to solve the problems and clean up the messy projects left behind by Arroyo. This book is as much about the challenges facing the new administration as it is about the failures of the past government.