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.
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...
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...
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...
Latest entries

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...

Yes to Internet Freedom!

What does the Philippines have in common with countries such as China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, Cuba and Yemen? All of these countries issued a joint statement with China delineating all the evils of Internet use while underscoring the need to strengthen Internet regulation by various governments. This statement was read during the panel discussions...

“Call Me, Maybe”, UAAP Style

It ain’t over yet! Here’s another version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s monster hit, “Call Me, Maybe” done the wacky way by players belonging to different college teams. Uploaded on www.rappler.com’s site, the video was said to be a promotional teaser for the upcoming 75th season of the Universities Athletics Association of the Philippines produced by...

True Colors (On Sen. Koko Pimentel’s Decision to Quit UNA)

Senator Koko Pimentel declined UNA’s offer to include him in its coalition senatorial slate alongside another candidate (Migs Zubiri). He said he wanted to campaign in 2013 with a “happy heart”, something that he can’t do under UNA because he would have to watch every word that comes out of his mouth, lest he hurts...

Ople Center’s appeal: “Save euro-zone, but save Consulate in Spain too!”

News Release Blas F. Ople Policy Center June 28, 2012 NGO’s appeal: “Save euro-zone, but save Consulate in Spain as well” The Blas F. Ople Policy Center, a non-government organization that assists distressed migrant workers, appealed to the Philippine government to save the Philippine Consulate in Barcelona, Spain from closure next month as it strives...

In trying to save the euro-zone, can’t we also save the Philippine Consulate in Barcelona from closing down?

I am not a numbers person but when those numbers add up to US$1-billion coming from our country’s international reserves, then I have no other recourse but try to at least understand what that is all about. My interest was piqued because in explaining the US$1-Billion loan to the IMF, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda had...

Thank you, Rep. Theresa Bonoan-David for withdrawing HB 6195!

I was heading home and listening to TV Patrol on DZMM when Henry Omaga Diaz’s familiar voice reported a piece of good news: Manila 4th District Representative Maria Theresa Bonoan-David had conveyed to the media her intention to withdraw her own bill. Based on the said news report, the congresswoman said that her only intention...

An Open Letter to Rep. Maria Theresa Bonoan-David

Dear Congresswoman Bonoan-David, Greetings from the Blas F. Ople Center! The Ople Center is a non-profit organization that has been assisting distressed Filipino workers since its inception in 2004. One of our roles as a policy center is to speak up whenever an individual such as yourself comes up with a proposal that may be...

“Call Me Maybe” gets a viral boost from Harvard’s Baseball Team

I love it when an amateur video becomes viral! It can launch a face, a song, a performance, or just make you laugh aloud. Below is one of my favorite viral videos c/o Harvard’s Baseball Team which got an amazing 12-million hits on YouTube and still counting! This video spawned a lot of other parodies...