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

Saudi on my mind

Who among us have yet to encounter a Filipino without relatives, friends, and co-workers in Saudi Arabia? Our office driver, Loloy, has a brother working in Saudi Arabia. I have friends with close relatives in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is home to the biggest number of expatriate Filipino workers and this has been so since...

Kristel

A lot of tears have been shed, and stories written about sixteen-year old, Kristel Tejada, a freshman college student who took her own life after failing to pay her tuition. Many have questioned and criticized the administration of University of the Philippines Manila for their alleged callous handling of Kristel’s request to be able to...

My Almond

My dog, Almond, is white and light brown, like a parfait of graham crackers and vanilla ice cream. He is short and stout and long, with a tail that thumps when in wag mode. He sleeps in my bed and drinks coffee with me in the morning. I talk about him all the time –...

Ople Center seeks ILO’s help in ensuring fair and humane treatment of OFWs in Sab

News Release Blas F. Ople Policy Center March 10, 2013 NGO seeks ILO’s help in ensuring fair and humane treatment of Filipino workers in Sabah A non-government organization that specializes on labor and migration issues urged the International Labor Organization to closely monitor and help verify reports of abuses in the handling of Filipino migrant...

Boy’s Life

By Susan V. Ople This is my ode to the Philippine Ambassador to Iraq Reynaldo “Boy” Parungao who recently died of cancer and its myriad complications. He was known in labor circles as a true-blue, original Ople boy: good-natured, jolly, and loyal to his boss, then labor secretary Blas Ople. I was still a kid...

Grumpy on a Saturday afternoon

  I was in the process of picking up a Daniel Pink book from a display stand inside the National Bookstore when a fashionable young woman spoke to me, and asked if I was into self-help books. It took me several minutes to answer back. I muttered that I like different kinds of books. Or...

Hostaged!

This is the story of 31-year old seafarer, Gerald Gonzales, from Iloilo City. He holds the record for being the longest held Filipino hostage in Somalia. Gerald boarded Iceberg 1, a cargo ship, way back in 2009 for a 9-months stint as an oiler (all-around shipmate) with a salary of US$350. His contract was to...

Labor Matters

By Susan V. Ople Labor attaches and welfare attaches from all over the world gathered for a year-end assessment and planning conference last December at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City. Former dean of the Asian Institute of Management and labor secretary Nieves Confesor and Professor Ponch Macaranas served as facilitators of the two-day...

Job Principles

By Susan V. Ople Your first job shapes you. You come in, timid and careful, soaking the environment in while wanting to blend with the wall. Days and weeks after, you passed the first hurdle, a simple task, and made contact with your first-to-be friend and confidante. Life proceeds from there, and your first job...

Be content

By Susan V. Ople As you read this on a glorious Sunday, note that the world has not ended contrary to the doomsday interpretation of the Mayan calendar. Imagine that to be the worse scenario for 2012: that you and I no longer exist, and there are no Sundays to speak of. It didn’t happen....

Better Days

Sometimes, the sun comes up and begins a day so muddled up and messy, that time seems immobilized, paralyzed, by the sheer weight of unfortunate events. Whenever that happens, we look heavenward in search of divine guidance and inward for much needed emotional and mental strength. Real friends matter most during days when phone calls...

Paalam, Kuya Jesse.

Nauna ka na naman. Hanggan ba naman sa kamatayan ay nagmamadali ka? Di pa uso ang katagang “daang matuwid”, itinuwid mo na ang daan ng Naga. Wala pang maiinit na debate tungkol dyan sa Freedom of Information Act, matagal ng naka-post na sa website ng inyong lungsod ang kaperahan ng pamahalaang lokal. Naka-ilang imbestigasyon na...