HOW TO FIX THE PHILIP­PINES: RAD­I­CAL SUG­GES­TIONS FOR THE NEXT PRES­I­DENT

Esquire (Philippines) - - GROOMING - ART BY IS­ABEL SAN­TOS SARGE LACUESTA

We trust that many of our read­ers are also read­ers of other fine pub­li­ca­tions, and that many of you will re­mem­ber that a broad­sheet called To­day once graced the coun­try’s news­stands, at a time when news­stands still mat­tered in the flow of main­stream in­for­ma­tion. From the early ‘90s to the mid-oughts, the news­pa­per de­liv­ered more than its life­time could carry in wit and style, thanks to an eru­dite pub­lisher and ed­i­tor, and a bustling bullpen of opin­ion­mak­ers and colum­nists. To­day also car­ried more cut­ting satire than the Filipino could per­haps bear, or bear to understand; many have said that we, af­ter all, of­ten pre­fer to rely on hu­mor and in­di­rect­ness on one end of our na­tional tem­per­a­ment, and on knee-jerk protes­ta­tions and tantrums on the other. But if there is one thing news­pa­pers and pe­ri­od­i­cals (this mag­a­zine in­cluded) have al­ways cap­tured and ap­pealed to, it is that fleet­ing road­side-va­ri­ety at­ten­tion that Filipinos possess. Per­haps this is what good, solid opin­ion writ­ing—rad­i­cal sug­ges­tions and out­ra­geous propo­si­tions in­cluded—is sup­posed to do: to hold the reader’s imag­i­na­tion and har­den their emo­tion long enough, as well as defy the most ephemeral at­tach­ment to the lin­ger­ing prob­lems and is­sues of our day. —

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