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.

The perils in leaving Libya

The perils in leaving Libya

Around 12,000 Filipinos remain trapped in Libya, working for an economy in shambles with looming power and water shortages as bombs fall and looting continue. News about the beheading of a construction worker and rape of a Filipino nurse drove home the message: Leave Libya now. For the Philippine government,...
Life!

Life!

Been there, done that. Have you heard that line before? It signifies an experience whether funny, sad, outrageous or tame. It implies lessons learned, to the extent of being jaded over things that happened in the past. Dead people, whom we optimistically presume to be in heaven, probably utter the...
Bending rules for human trafficking

Bending rules for human trafficking

How was it possible for a 16-year-old girl to have passed through stringent government rules and procedures in the Philippines to end up as a maltreated domestic worker in the Middle East? This is a puzzle especially for those in government when news came about a 13-year-old Filipino domestic worker...
Latest entries

Saudization

When news reports regarding the crackdown on illegal or overstaying foreign workers by Saudi authorities came out last week, I did my best as an OFW advocate to verify what was going on and its implications on the hundreds of thousands of Filipino workers based in the Kingdom. Online chatter on Facebook was immediate and...

Ople Center’s press release on Saudi King’s intervention re crackdown

NGO welcomes Saudi King’s intervention to suspend crackdown; calls on PH gov’t to augment embassy personnel and resources for Saudi Arabia The Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization that assists distressed overseas Filipino workers, lauded the decision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to order...

Political Fun

In his popular blog, a humor writer that goes by the pseudonym, “Professional Heckler”, prominently features this quote: “The problem with election jokes is they get elected.” Heckler’s blog can be found at www.professionalheckler.wordpress.com and he has been roasting Filipino politicians and celebrities diligently and without an iota of fear for quite a few years...

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...