Via Manolo Quezon, I learned that Prof. Felipe Miranda has left the opinion pages of the Philippine Star. Yesterday's column was the last. What makes me feel pretty sore is that I missed reading it and that the Philstar website has already pulled it down. I wonder what could be the reason behind the leave-taking.
Manuy people, I know, will miss Prof. Miranda's judicious column. What was so endearing about it was its unique unhurried quality (not to mention its avuncular wisdom), in sharp contrast with the sometimes corybantic discussion in the other Philstar columns steep in the vicissitudes of the present.
News of Prof. Miranda's leaving the Philippine Star has got me thinking about some of my other must-read columnists:
1) Conrado de Quiros
Sometimes in random discussion with friends, one of us would end up referring to a column written by De Quiros a week or even months ago. He has become almost a shared experience for us; no matter how far apart we may be, we all get the same rub.
2) Joaquin Bernas
I had a classmate before who was so enamored by Today's editorial page and Bernas's column in particular that he actually files them. Leave it to the Dean to show the way when all legal lights fail.
3) Alex Magno
He gets in the nerves of some people, I know: the smug smile, the rabid capitalism, the name-calling of some Lefties.... He is a Filipino neoconservative, if ever there was one. From the Left he moved to the Right and there now he is ensconced: a perfect case of a liberal who got mugged by reality. I remember one guy from a labor union speaking about Magno as if the columnist were some evil spawn. In certain circles, it is extremely fashionable to dis Magno. But minus all the distractions, Magno is a compelling read especially on public policy and political economy. His column is a model of clarity and presentation, very well-cropped, a veritable antidote to the confusion of a Saguisag column, where so many names are dropped you begin to think it is Tim Yap you are reading.
4) Manolo Quezon
Through Quezon's column, we find it comforting to see how the past can serve as a guide, however tenuous, to the confusion of the present. Also I liked the way he began his earlier columns with epigrams from books. And he has a blog to boot.
What can I say but that Michael Tan's column is beloved. His observations of the quirks of our daily lives are sometimes exquisitely endearing. During one occasion, some friends gifted me with a cutout column of Tan. I still have it today. One high school classmate was a student of his at UP (for the sex anthropology class, I think) and judging from the stories I heard from my classmate the class was, er, satisfying--to say the very least.
6) Luis Teodoro
Dean Teodoro is at his best discussing things pertaining to journalism. Sometimes his column takes on the quality of an editorial arbiter, like a professional showing the amatuers the straight and narrow path. He is also one of the only two Filipino columnists ( the other is De Quiros ) who have fan sites on the web.
More next time I feel like it. ..