Showing posts from September, 2007

Do you know where Democracy is?

Look For Aung San Suu KyiBy Frank A HilarioManila – Do you wish peace for Burma? I don’t. Peace is an impossible dream.What I wish for the Burmese people is non-violence. I wish for us Filipinos the same. Now, today, September 30, I realize that non-violence has two beautiful & deadly senses. The historical one, that it is a means to an end. The original one, the one I just invented, that it is the end in itself. Non-violence is a device to demand or effect change; it is now also the change itself.Not peace. AJ Muste said, ‘There is no way to peace; peace is the way.’ Quite personally, I used to believe in that. Today, reading quite a few of the hundreds of Internet materials on Burma / Myanmar, about her people’s struggles under the British, Japanese, Burmese themselves; saddened by much of her history since the beginning of the 20th century, and unhappily thinking of my own country, the Philippines of today, I realize that peace is a pipe dream.We Filipinos ourselves have never …

The handwriting on the post.

Was I Born Again, And Again?By Frank A HilarioIt’s 0520 hours 2007 September 17 in Manila and I can hear rain pattering on the roof, but who’s complaining? I bought a new Intel Core 2 Duo PC system 2 months ago, complete with a 5-in-1 Epson CX2900 color printer – I sold the old one and got 2 times less than I paid for the new one, but who’s complaining? My wife bought a new 21-inch TruFlat TLC television set 2 days ago – our old 29-inch JVC flattened out 2 weeks ago. My son-in-law and daughter Toto & Teresa Hilario-Ilowa, daughters Jinny & Daphne bought me a Canon PowerShot A540 for my birthday – Maria Sharapova’s favorite camera, Maria’s Choice, is PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH, but who’s complaining?It’s my birthday, and I’m here to celebrate it! I thank the Lord for that. At 0608 Manila time, the Maria Sharapova Fan Community sends me a Happy Birthday email (; Maria’s fans are faithful; they have been greeting me for 3 years, by email. Maria hasn’t been wi…

The De Sotto Lesson.

Bernardo’s PowerPoint History of UP Los BañosCopyright 2007 September 15 by Frank A HilarioHe reminds Filipinos – me first – that the Americans came to the Philippines with their colonial curriculum. He deserves a University of the Philippines Los Baños Alumni Association (UPLBAA) Presidential Award for teaching us history. Fernando A Bernardo is The Gray Historian of UP Los Baños, having succeeded in capturing between 4 covers the UP Los Baños Story from the early 20th century to the early 21st while tackling areas as gray as his head, writing in long hand. There had been previous attempts to write such history, but only he has turned dream to reality. Here come the UPLB Alumni Fellowship Night (October 9), UPLB Loyalty Day (October 10). Twin books, twin celebrations – no I don’t drink, yes I’ll drink to that!I say ‘FA Bernardo’ to (artfully) separate him from wife (Emiliana) ‘EN Bernardo’ who is (almost) equally known, who helped him tremendously in this gargantuan labor of love – s…

The Policarpio Letters.

Being On Theory & Practice In Desktop PublishingBy Frank A HilarioClaudia Lopes tells me it was Jose Marti, Cuban national hero, who said, ‘There are three things that a man must do before he dies: Plant a tree, write a book, (sire) a son’ ( I’m 67; I’ve done all those but I’m not stopping at writing a book – I want it published. But how? My good friend Mike asks me in an email which software should he use to publish his book-full of photographs, and this is my 1000-word reply.I’ve been in the publication world for the last 32 years at least, beginning institutional writing in 1975 and eventually becoming Chief Information Officer of the Forest Research Institute (FORI). At the Institute, I founded and edited the monthly newsletter Canopy, the quarterly color magazine Habitat(which I patterned after National Geographic and proclaimed so), and the quarterly technical journal Sylvatrop, the Philippine Journal of Forestry. I never missed a deadline, and those were …

Cut me if you can!

An open letter to a friend, surgeon

By Frank A HilarioMy friend, you told me the father was generous and abrasive. You’re wrong. The father was nice, the son was abrasive. I, who have been writing for 32 years at least on many a subject technical and popular, got a lecture on popular writing this noon, 2007 August 31, at the Blue Danube at Blues Street in Blue Hills, Queasy City (all names changed). In so many words, the son (The Lawyer) was telling me he was a damn good writer. He told me he felt he would be the best person to do those things, meaning interview his father (The Surgeon) and write his book, his father’s autobiography. He volunteered that he was trying to cut cost. He was getting his points across; I was getting red in the face across the table.You can say this story started with the book Cutting Remarks (Insights And Recollections Of A Surgeon) by Sidney M Schwab (2006, North Atlantic Books, 227 pages). The Surgeon, American. The Surgeon, Filipino, that is, the father j…