'The Road Never Ends' will be launched Nov. 26.
Santa Banana, my book is done, at long last!
My memoirs, ‘The Road Never Ends,’ will be launched Nov. 26 at 6 in the evening. It will be held at the Manila Golf and Country Club, Forbes Park, Makati. House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez is my publisher.
I will be sending out invitations at the end of the month or the first week of November. There will be at least three past presidents who will be there. All three—Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo—wrote forewords or blurbs for my magnum opus.
My wife and I agonized on whether to come out with the book at all. Publishing it would entail a lot of money—something we don’t have. Fortunately, through Romualdez and Manila Standard publisher Rollie Estabillo, that is now possible. I would also like to thank opinion editor Adelle Chua and Palanca Award-winning writer Jenny Ortuoste for their help.
I thank my wife Trinidad Capistrano Jurado, who inspired me to write and many times helped me recall persons and events, and my children who put in the effort to have this book published.
My book is in itself a story worth telling. It was supposed to have been published last year, but I was not content with its draft. It used the word “periodista,” which I think is demeaning to journalists. Journalism is more than a profession. It is a calling.
With my book, I hope to inspire the next generation of journalists. Ours is a noble profession. I pass on the baton to the younger set, knowing that press freedom is as precious as the air we breathe. With all the risks we take, we often get sued or even kidnapped. All these experiences of mine are in my book.
The sad part of it is that when we grow old, we cannot expect to get retirement pay or a comfortable pension.
I have no regrets, though. I have been in this job for almost seven decades and I can proudly say I have fought and have finished the race.
* * *
Last Tuesday, I lamented the fact that while I paid the fee for the registration of my car as required by law, I still have not gotten my license plate. For the past several years, I have been feeling as though my government has been swindling me.
Right now, we see motor vehicles sporting labels like “Registered,” or their conduction stickers, and white plates that are look-alikes of the real ones. Some have no plates at all. And yet traffic enforcers do not do anything about them.
* * *
I have been wondering what has happened to Ateneo over the years. In my day, it was held in high regard.
Now its standard is far below that of the University of the Philippines and the University of Santo Tomas in the world ranking of universities. Santa Banana, it is even below De La Salle University, its main rival. It seems that the only thing Ateneo excels in is basketball.
I have met some Ateneo graduates who cannot even speak straight English when Ateneans used to be known for their “Areneo” accent. I myself am a proud alumnus, graduating in 1950. I also taught English, literature and history there from 1953-1955.
I feel saddened by what is happening to Ateneo now, beset by allegations of sexual harassment. And yet, the university Marketing and Communications Office says it cannot reveal the identities of the parties and the outcome of the probes due to confidentiality restrictions.
The office says measures are in place to protect students and employees.
What bothers me is the secrecy involved. What happened to the transparency and integrity of Jesuits?
I expect the Ateneo would do the right thing. It has to.
* * *
Just how sick is President Duterte?
The President cut short his trip to Japan because of “unbearable pain” in his spinal cord near the pelvic bone.
Upon arriving here he underwent an MRI and was given medicine. He was advised to rest over the weekend.
At age 74, the President is an old man. While spokesman Salvador Panelo and Senator Bong Go insist he is fine, we need to hear it straight from the doctors.
The President is already suffering from a slipped disc, and Buerger’s disease. Lately, he admitted he also has myasthenia gravis.
But the Constitution says the people must be informed of the President’s condition. We cannot have a sick, incapacitated president for the next three years!