#Jaime Laya

That’s the way we were

Governor General Luis Pérez Dasmariñas’ manuscript survived and it is now in the US. Known as the Boxer Codex, it is a treasured possession of Indiana University’s Lilly Library.

Where there’s smoke there’s scent

It would be nice if we could develop our sweet-smelling assets into a profitable industry.

Planting rice (the old way) is never fun

With climate change and international uncertainties, something could happen that could cut off our rice supply. It’s only natural for Thailand or Vietnam, for example, to cut exports if their harvests are just enough for their own needs. Where then can we get and how much would we have to pay to import what we need?

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away

In three days, the 17th President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr., is taking his oath of office on the front steps of the National Gallery of Art, a place that has seen joy, prosperity, misery, and dissent.

The Morning After the Night Before

Election 2022: When strangers insulted strangers, friends unfriended friends, siblings disowned siblings.

Promises, victory, and then the hard part

Choose wisely. The new administration is inheriting a weak economy, high public debt, a depreciating peso, and prospects for more of the same.

Where’s the book?

A prized collection of book, including early pearls of Philippine literature, such as the 1864 first edition of Pagsusulatan ni Urbana at Felisa na ucol sa pagharap sa capoua tauo by Imus priest Fr. Modesto de Castro.

Oh no, not again

No one under 50 years old knows how similar our present situation is, only worse, to the 1960s before Martial Law and the 1980s when events were building up to EDSA.

Where there’s a Will, there’s a Way (Part 2)

The Civil Code is rather precise about who should get what of whatever is not buried or cremated with the dearly departed.

It’s more fun in the Philippines (travel tales)

Highlights of my life's travels, from Batanes in the north to Tawi-Tawi in the south.

Sampaguita blossoms for a young fraile

A story of love between a tall, strapping Spanish priest and his greatest temptation, Soledad of Puncán

Galleon Trade and Intramuros confidential

Some gems from the 1920s writings of American in Manila Percy H. Hill about Intramuros, the Galleon Trade, the Spanish friars, and more.

A teenage Yankee in Bulacan

The breathtaking adventures of fictional 17-year-old American Dick Carson as a captive of Emilio Aguinaldo's soldiers.

No Suki Card needed

A directory of herbal remedies you can pick off the garden or the backyard for common ailments like colds, flu, high blood sugar, high cholesterols, maybe even COVID

Daniel and Kathryn: Waiting for Godot

Daniel and Kathryn are waiting for something to happen, maybe in May, maybe sooner, maybe later, maybe never.

Be it ever so humble (or grand) … (Part V)

Via a tour of these heritage homes, try to visualize more clearly the Philippine Revolution and the Filipino-American War.

Be it ever so humble (or grand)… (Part VI)

These fabulous ancestral houses in Bulacan and Cavite provide a glimpse of life when caught between the imperial powers of Spain and the US, Filipino revolutionary forces fought for Philippine independence

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and the DBM Procurement Service

All government agencies need bond paper and the idea was, why not buy in bulk and save? That was how the DBF Procurement Service started in 1976. From bond paper, it has now graduated to everything from face masks/shields to helicopters. And senators are looking into the mystery.

Forgotten heroes: Datus who first struck for independence

Pitong Gatang was among the 24 chiefs of present-day Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacán, and Pampanga who in 1587-88 plotted the first uprising against Spain and certainly suffered more grievously than the nonentities who seek to perpetuate themselves by renaming wider and longer streets.