An Uncomplicated Mind


A weakling’s response

By Joe Rivera It was an apology that wasn’t an apology. Worse yet, a weakling’s show of remorse after wilting to pressure from a foreign government that has no diplomatic relations with the Philippines. The Taiwan government rejected as insincere the apology issued by Philippine President Benigno Aquino III for the shooting death of a 

Posted 6 years ago by


Country of crabs

By Joe Rivera The city of Baltimore is world-famous for its crab houses, not to be mistaken for pubic lice or “crabs,” a common form of STD. Freshly-steamed blue crabs has been very much a part of Baltimore tradition. But in the Philippines, the kind of crustacean that is the most well known is the 

Posted 6 years ago by

Explosions At 117th Boston Marathon

Abusing terrorism

By Joe Rivera   Today’s concept of terrorism seems to be largely influenced by the identity of the perpetrators or the nature of the cause, rather than the nature of the act. Take for example the recent bombing at the Boston Marathon last April 15. The suspects, the brothers Tsarnaev, are of Chechen descent and 

Posted 6 years ago by


Debasing our democracy

By Joe Rivera   No matter all the previous misgivings about her appointment, Philippine Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno has got it right, at least this time. Chief Justice Sereno dissented with the majority decision of the high court that the party-list system need not represent marginalized and underrepresented sectors. Recall that under 

Posted 6 years ago by


Home-grown terrorism

By Joe Rivera   While the smoke hasn’t cleared yet, many Americans were quick to blame Muslim terrorists for the bombing of the Boston Marathon last April 15. Arab extremists were also the first among the usual suspects in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, until 

Posted 6 years ago by


Work like any other, work like no other

By Joe Rivera   In July 2005, the European Court of Human Rights in Siliadin v. France ruled that France violated Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights that prohibits slavery, servitude, forced and compulsory labour. This groundbreaking case raised worldwide awareness about the plight of domestic workers and gave impetus for change 

Posted 7 years ago by


Southern discomfort

Last October 15, 2012, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak were all smiles as they posed for posterity with members of the peace panels for the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) who had just signed their framework agreement for peace. Hopes were high that finally peace 

Posted 7 years ago by


Engage in politics, not frivolities

By Joe Rivera our months from now, the Filipino community in Toronto will be abuzz again with festivals commemorating Philippine Independence Day. Filipinos will come out in droves to join the parades of beauties and beasts, the latter being roasted pigs or lechons. In addition to parades, there will also be singing and dancing contests, 

Posted 7 years ago by

A community struggles for civility

By Joe Rivera The Filipino community in Toronto is being torn apart by a nasty spat between a long-standing and established community newspaper, on one hand, and a group of so-called concerned members of the community, on the other. It is sharply dividing the community and the growing rift does not reflect well on the 

Posted 7 years ago by

PH political dynasties: Then and now

By Joe Rivera In an earlier blog, I made a reference to a quote attributed to Philippine Senator Miriam Santiago that majority of Filipinos are “not educated for voting.” Senator Santiago gave the example of movie stars getting elected in Congress because of the “ignorance of the Filipino electorate.” She probably spoke the truth. With 

Posted 7 years ago by