Saturday, September 16, 2017

Miracles Never Stop


Jerusalem Angela Mercado was not so sure if she was prepared to take the 2016 Medical Board Examinations in Manila, Philippines after her classes in a review center in Manila ended in January 2015.
When her father, Norberto, asked her if she would take the physician’s examination the following month, she couldn’t readily reply to the former’s query. She was, in fact, speechless.
“How did you fare in your review class?” her father asked her. It was breakfast time in their house.
She squirmed. “Very bad, Papa. Some of the lectures were poorly given, and the lecturers were sometimes absent. I don’t think I’m prepared to take the exam this coming month. If I do, I may flunk it,” Jerusalem said.
“That’s bad. If you fail in your first try of the medical board, it will be a poor record on your medical career, even if you land in the top ten on your second try,” her father said.
Jerusalem was silent. She realized that what her father said really counted.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Seeds In San Manuel


“Good morning, Maestro,” a mother who wanted to enroll her ten-year old son in grade five in San Manuel Elementary School greeted the teacher, Aurelio Mercado.
It was enrollment day in the largest public school in the town of San Manuel, the northernmost town of Tarlac bordering the barrio of Carmen in the town of Rosales, in the province of Pangasinan.
Maestro is the title given to a teacher...

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

A Lady From Saint Lucia


Nadine Joseph, a lady from Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, was one of the more than 200 students and speakers of English as a second language who were listening to the speaker in the conference in Baguio City. It was held in a big hotel in the summer capital of the Philippines.
Nadine used to work in the United States before she came to the Philippines to study in a school in Silang, Cavite. She was tall, had beautiful eyes, a well-proportioned nose, and a dark tanned complexion. She was intelligent and witty.

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Towns I Love So Well


There is an adage which states most aptly that home is where the heart is. This is true for me.
An American president also once said, “I love them more whom I loved first.”
I say this is true, even for places. San Manuel and Moncada are towns I loved first because these are the towns where I grew up.
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Friday, August 25, 2017

Destroy The Bandits


Andrea Gonzales has been a newscaster and program host in DWRD Radio Davao for five years.
The first news item she was to read that day in August 2016 stirred her emotions, for it was about the beheading of a local teenage boy by the Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic bandit group in the island province of Sulu.
The Islamic bandit group had kidnapped both foreign nationals and locals for ransom. They had built a reputation for terror by beheading their victims whose families would not pay the ransom demanded by the bandit group.
It had never been the policy of the Philippine government to pay ransom for kidnap victims. The Philippine government states that paying the ransom money demanded by kidnap-for-ransom groups will only encourage more kidnappings, giving more headache and shame to the President and his cabinet, as well as to
the Armed Forces of the Philippines or AFP and the Philippine National Police or PNP.

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Sink Altalena!


The French government wanted to have influence in the British-controlled Palestine after the United Nations’ 1947 partition of the ancient land to the Jews and the Palestinian Arabs. The French government of Charles de Gaulle donated 5,000 rifles, 250 Bren guns, 5 million bullets, 50 bazookas, and 10 Bren carriers. These arms and ammunitions were carried by the ship Altalena when it left the seaport of Marseille, France on June 11, 1948 and sailed to the port of Tel Aviv, Israel.
The first Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion, wanted the Irgun to relinquish ownership of all the arms and ammunitions in the ship to the Israel Defense Forces. The Irgun, however, wanted the weapons and the ammos to be of their safekeeping and use. Two negotiations on the ownership and disposal of the weapons were held between the Israel Defense Forces and the Irgun, but the negotiations failed because the Irgun insisted that the weapons and ammunitions which the French donated to them should be at their disposal and ownership.
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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Catherine's Homecoming


“I have always longed to come back to the Philippines. It is my home. Everything in my life started in my country,” Catherine told her seatmate, Laura Khristenson, in the plane on a long flight from Denmark to Manila.
Laura was surprised.
Her seatmate, a Caucasian from Denmark, was visiting the Philippines for the first time. She was with five other tourists from Denmark. They would visit the
Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, before heading to Sydney, Australia.
“How long have you been away from home?” her seatmate asked her.
Catherine smiled and briefly looked through the window of the commercial plane.
“More than a decade,” Catherine said...

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