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Eenie, minnie, minie, moe…

OKAY, enough with playing around. The polls next Monday may be “just” midterm elections, but they do deserve our serious attention (and a great amount of our patience). After all, the results could help cut short the term of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who could face yet another round of impeachment proceedings if her opponents muster enough numbers in Congress. If the results go the other way, the administration could either delude itself into thinking it has been performing well or thank the people for those votes of confidence by truly performing well.

Same old, same old

And so we have come full circle. If you remember, we started the local governments series in January by focusing on good local governance. This month, we go back to best practices, although this time around we do so only in part, and we focus on some local officials who have been touted as “faces of change.”

Still a family affair

LET’S say it one more time: Yes, the 1987 Constitution has a provision that says the State shall prohibit political dynasties. But that will happen only when Congress finally crafts and passes the implementing law that will also define what a political dynasty is. Hold your breath over that one and you may just end up in the emergency ward.

Mob mentality

MOB as in the Mafia, that is. And from the looks of it, that is what’s prevailing in several cities and towns across our archipelago. In this issue Mob mentality Equal-opportunity violence The blood politics of Abra Platoons of goons? Luck and the governor The barako bared Dead and buried The ‘kingmaker’ anoints his queen […]

The good, the bad, and the ugly

WE VOTE for them every three years to guard our interests, be our representatives, and run our towns, cities, and provinces. This May, we are about to do that again. Yet for many of us, local politicians remain strangers, despite the annoying billboards and streamers most of them set up to greet us during the Christmas season or to trumpet some of their supposed achievements (using our money). Perhaps the only time we pay real — if still fleeting — attention to our local politicos is when they get involved in some scandal or become targets of assassins.

(Not quite) a great leap forward

‘TIS THE season for year-enders, but it’s also the season to be merry. So we thought we should refrain from getting anyone too depressed (your family can do that for you). Instead of having predictions for 2007, which seem to be already sending some people over the edge, we are going fast forward to 2010. It’s a nice, even number, although it’s also the year when we are supposed to choose our next president. Which is why the predictions we asked people to make for the December issue of i-report focus on politics and how these will have an impact on our lives.

In excess

SOME MAY be more benign than others, but as Carl Jung once observed, “every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.” Someone else noted as well that too much of even a good thing could have dire results, so chocoholics should stop kidding themselves. Those delicious, lovely morsels may put you in heaven now, but lord only knows what they can cost you in the end. Hippo hips and a very emaciated wallet (if you take a liking for the imported variety) at the very least. All that sugar in your system certainly wouldn’t put you in the pink of health either.

Somebody’s watching me

The above is part of the title of a popular ‘80s tune, but it may well be the anthem for this age. Back then, the notion that someone was out there observing us had malevolent undertones, and the proper reaction was wariness, if not outright fear. Nowadays, however, a great many of us seem to welcome being watched — and we’re not talking only of those who join shows like “Pinoy Big Brother” or “Pinoy Dream Academy.” As our opening piece in this month’s series on voyeurs and exhibitionists points out, the Internet and the proliferation of nifty cybertools like MySpace and YouTube have made it possible for practically anyone to take to the stage and perform whatever tricks he has mastered in the hope of catching some attention. In other words, we are now ourselves in constant search of an audience.

We’re back!

BUT not quite with the look that we wanted just yet, and it may take a few more weeks before this nth transformation of i Report is completed. We couldn’t wait, however, because while we may not be married to any format, we are certainly committed to our readers and to what we do. For richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.

The lost boys of Sagada

M—’S EYES are closed, but the rest of his bronzed, chiseled features are tight and tense. His heavy, muscular frame, sprawled on a rough-hewn bench of thick pine slabs, seems suspended on his big-boned hands that are desperately grasping a little homemade bong. His thick lips suck furiously on a small bamboo pipe stuck into a disposable plastic water bottle filled to a fourth with water, now swiftly turning green.

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