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Living Large

For years, beginning in the late 1980s, Carmen Nuguit routinely carried three foreign currencies -- US dollars, Saudi riyals and Japanese yen  - to exchange at often-shadowy dealers in the Malate distr...
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Fresh Surprise

Like many visitors, I don’t associate the Philippines with fine local cuisine, a fact that makes it seem out of step with its neighbors. Thais stir up miraculous delicacies conjured from chilies, lemo...
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Philippines: Off its sick bed?

Could the country perennially described as the sick man of Asia be reviving? Its economic vital signs are unexpectedly better than thought possible, with growth in gross domestic product that could hit 6 percent in 2007. On the other hand, the Asian D...
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Face Off

One of the Philippines’ top opposition politicians, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, barricaded himself in his office on Tuesday hours after the government issued an order suspending him and his entir...
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A Bad (Constitutional) Joke in the Philippines

I have been in favor of a parliamentary system of government for the Philippines since the time of President Corazon Aquino, but I am against the current drive to change the constitution and make the shift ...
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Ferdie’s Looking Good, Considering

It could be hard to get face-time with Ferdinand Marcos during the 22 years he ruled the Philippines, 14 of them as a dictator. That’s no challenge anymore. Just travel to the northern Philippine town of Batac. There, beneath the mansion of the Governor...
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Mimi’s Dream Race

When Filipina-American Melody “Mimi Miyagi” Damayo used the fame she gained as a porn star to launch a bid for the Republican nomination for governor of the US state of Nevada, she could hardly ...
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Beyond Campiness

Not me. I’d rather be in Manila’s Malate district, at The Library bar, which brings together all the best the Philippines can offer: music, comedy of the highest order, and, for those who like suc...
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Where has the hope gone?

It is hard to recall the hope sometimes because the Philippines is such a mess. Birth rates are among the highest in the world, a third of the workforce is either unemployed or underemployed. The country is kept afloat financially by remittances from i...
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A Dirty Job

Tony Kwok has more than a touch of the evangelist about him. On his favorite topic, the trim and soft-spoken former operations chief of Hong Kong's legendary graft- busting agency is fervent about the nee...