About

Susan “Toots” Ople is the youngest daughter of the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople. She has a Sunday column in Manila Bulletin’s Panorama Magazine and Tempo and two public service radio programs, “Bantay OFW” at DZXL RMN 558 every Monday to Friday, 12.30-2 pm and “Global Pinoy” at DWIZ 882 every Saturday from 5.30-6.30 pm.
A salute to all mothers in the world

A salute to all mothers in the world

Last Sunday, we joined Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Pakistan, the United States and other countries in celebrating Mother’s Day. Our day of celebration comes much later than the traditional Mother’s Day in the Gulf region that falls on March 21 of every year. A male friend of mine described Mother’s...
Inclusive growth

Inclusive growth

Do you feel the effects of a stronger, more progressive economy? If yes, then you are among the few lucky ones. Economic growth that is unaccompanied by an explosion of new jobs and better incomes would be intangible to ordinary folks, many of who find it hard to keep financially...
Fighting age discrimination in the Philippines

Fighting age discrimination in the Philippines

On Labor Day, the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization that I head, launched an online petition urging Congress to pass a law against age discrimination in the workplace. As I write this column, more than 200 petitioners have signed up in a span of two and a...
Latest entries
Fighting MERS-CoV

Fighting MERS-CoV

The Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs have issued a joint bulletin to raise public awareness over the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Though not yet of epidemic proportions, the number of casualties arising from this virus continues to rise, especially in the Middle East. The World Health Organization reported...
POTUS comes to Manila!

POTUS comes to Manila!

The whole stretch of Roxas Boulevard, the main thoroughfare from the international airport to Malacanang Palace was cleared of traffic. A no-fly zone was imposed and some international and local flights had to be delayed. Left-wing militant groups with their effigies and usual chants were confined to a freedom park, too far away to be...
Generosity personified

Generosity personified

My father, the late Foreign Affairs Secretary Blas F. Ople, spoke highly of his boss and dear friend, Don Emilio Yap. From time to time, my father would go over to see the chairman of Manila Bulletin Corporation at his office in the PPL Building in Manila, partaking of the latter’s healthy lunch. A chain-smoker,...
America pivots back to Asia

America pivots back to Asia

The Philippines and the United States are embarking on an “Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation” (AEDC) that would increase the presence of US military troops in the Philippines on a “rotational” basis. US President Barack Obama is expected to witness the signing of said agreement when he visits Manila on April 28. No one has...
My advice to graduates

My advice to graduates

Enjoy your youth! Before you know it, you’ll have a strand of white hair peeking through, and this will be followed by another, and another. Pulling it out means you have yet to cross the bridge to 40. Beyond that bridge lies the doorway of your favorite salon. Take a moment to bask in the...
Filipino graduates face tough economy

Filipino graduates face tough economy

It is graduation season in the Philippines, and one can’t help but wax nostalgic about youthful indulgences and daydreams about making it to the top. Unlike Saudi nationals whose own government has made it a mission to “nationalize” the workplace, in the Philippines, the jobless compete not only with each other but also with those...
After the hoopla, the hard work begins

After the hoopla, the hard work begins

There is absolutely no doubt that the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was a historic milestone, not just for the Philippines, but also for Southeast Asia, if not the world. It took 17 years of on-again and off-again talks for a...
Human helplessness exposed

Human helplessness exposed

It seems something straight out of a mystery movie. A Malaysian airplane bearing 239 passengers that was bound for China never got there, and has yet to be found, more than a week after it disappeared. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak recently called for a press conference where he announced that new information has led...
Art of ‘errorism’

Art of ‘errorism’

A world-class performer cannot help but wince when someone sings out of tune. Athletes frown at an extra slice of pizza and a chocolate bar that mere mortals devour unburdened by the thought of calorie count and body fat. Writers have their own pet peeves — the dreaded typo errors, letters missing or added, that...
Life in Basilan

Life in Basilan

I read a news story about South Sudan. Warring political factions have resorted to excessive violence, sparing no one even those in the intensive critical unit of a hospital. They shot hospital patients dead and even razed an entire hospital to the ground. It was brutal, the doctors who were on duty, said. Stories such...
Mindanao peace harbinger of new era

Mindanao peace harbinger of new era

I read a news story about South Sudan. Warring political factions have resorted to excessive violence, sparing no one, not even patients in critical condition. They shot hospital patients dead and even razed an entire hospital to the ground. It was brutal, the doctors who were on duty, said. Of course, tensions in Ukraine and...
On why Internet freedom is important

On why Internet freedom is important

When my father was 17, he left our hometown in the coast of Hagonoy, Bulacan to fight as a guerrilla against the Japanese army. During WWII, the Japanese army chose the brightest male students in villages to groom as their assets and successors. My father was among those chosen, but he managed to escape and...