Author: Roderick Toledo (Roderick Toledo)

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Are we related to Donald Trump?

The human genome is very close to those of other creatures like the rat or the dog even if they look very different from us. We humans also belong to different races although we all sprang from one source (Africa). Learning these, you appreciate and feel more deeply the connectedness among all the earth’s peoples...


War between wars

My parents were shaped by World War II (my father became a young guerrilla and my mother had to flee with her family to their mountain farm), followed soon after by the Korean War (which has not officially ended), and then the Vietnam War, in all of which the Philippines was directly involved. We so-called...


Christmas food and agricultural productivity

What do Filipino households spend most on during Christmas? You guessed it: food.  The Philippines is also the country that proportionately spends the most on Christmas food, according to a 2023 worldwide survey of 23 countries by WorldRemit. The survey classified Christmas spending according to three categories: food, decorations and gifts. A Filipino household on...


Sinistral in a dextral world

Are you left-handed or right-handed? Neither? Only recently I learned that there is a term for my handedness: mixed-handed. I write and brush my teeth left-handed and use scissors and play golf right-handed. But I think that using my right is more of an adaptation to right-handed tools. I looked it up and I read...


The greatest source of economic and social inequality

Holding title to property is the greatest source of economic and social inequality. Holding no title of any kind, whether to property or to social or academic standing, is a sure indication of being on the fringes, a ticket to poverty. Being king or emperor, or general or president, or doctor or attorney or engineer—titles...


A meditation on technology and humanity

There is much talk these days about how artificial intelligence or AI could threaten human existence. AI is feared to achieve such a high degree of self-learning that it will surpass human intelligence and may consider us a threat and turn upon us. Really now?  Certainly, the importance of AI in our lives is impossible...


The Mechanic (a real one)

Al Evasco has been working as an automotive mechanic for 23 years. He has always wanted to be one, he says, as he likes “magbutingting,” or taking things apart and fixing them. He excelled as a Tesda trainee, and was awarded as outstanding student when he took its automotive mechanic course after graduating high school....


Edca and our center of gravity

Uncle Sam is literally back. Through our Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca), the United States has access to a number of our military bases.  Unlike before, when the former US bases on Philippine soil were exclusively America’s, now America has the run of some of our military facilities in Cagayan, Isabela and Palawan. Also, while...


My understanding of economics

High prices often confront us. Government is trying to control inflation, which is increasing beyond its desired levels—an ideal of about 2% annually but currently is about 9%. Why do prices increase and why do they drop? Why do things appreciate and increase in value over time? Why do they depreciate?  Market forces, we are...