Neo’s First Day In School

By N Mark Castro

So I’m taking my son, Neo, to his first day of school.

He is excited.

He is scared.

So am I.


“You’re gonna love school so much, Neo, and make lots of friends,” I said.

It was a lie.

Read the rest of this entry

Is ASEAN Useless, Useful, Meaningful?

By N Mark Castro

47 years ago today, 5 Southeast Asian countries banded together to form the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or what is now called ASEAN. It has since expanded to include other member states such as Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma), and Vietnam.

When it was formed everyone in the Western world either thought they would go left or they would go right … no one ever thought they’d go to sleep.

Because aside from regular ministerial meetings, occasional heads-of-state meetings, no one really knew what they were up to.

It’s as if a bunch of bullies got together and said to each other: “Hey, don’t mess around in my turf, OK?” And went on to pat themselves on their backs.

I mean, really, who among the citizens of the ASEAN member states really knew?

Or know. Read the rest of this entry

Happy Birthday, My Son

By N Mark Castro


Dear Spidey,

Up until today I’m still trying to figure out why God — in His Infinite Wisdom — has decided to entrust your life upon me.What was He thinking?Since the day you were born I have no clue whether or not what I’m doing is right. You didn’t come with an instruction manual although I suspect there must be some batteries inside with your endless energy. And your smile and laughter that is as powerful as your whines.
Your presence in my life makes me wonder aboutmy own journey in life and I can guarantee you that nothing I have ever done has given me more joy and rewards than being a father to you!The day you were born was the happiest and scariest moment of my life. And I think you came out laughing instead of crying.


For a very long time in my life I cared for nothing else but myself. It wasn’t that I was irresponsible. It’s that I had no responsibilities. Actually, I could spot responsibilities a mile away and could easily stand aside to escape it.

And because I had been single for the most part of my life, some people thought I had a lot of issues. Believe me, son, I enjoyed each and every one of those issues. But that’s another story when you’re older.

So I had pretty much a good run of fun.

Until your mother came.

There went the ballgame. Read the rest of this entry

How This Baby Reacts Is Priceless

The Paolo Bediones Sex Video Scandal

By N Mark Castro


Prominent media personality Paolo Bediones is currently in the news because of the alleged leaked sex video scandal. It has captured the nation’s imagination and threatens to crash so many servers looking for the link.

Sadly, he is not the first to become a victim of such voyeuristic campaign nor would he be the last.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with a private home made video such as the stills captured below.
Read the rest of this entry

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Prabowo?

By N Mark Castro


We all know that the country is currently divided pending resolution on Prabowo’s expected legal challenge on the announcement of KPU declaring Jokowi as the 7th president of the Republic of Indonesia.

That said, what’s next for Prabowo? Read the rest of this entry

The Irony of Philippine Politics: Marcos Family vs Binay Family

By N Mark Castro


Philippine Politics: The hypocrisy, the downfall, and the Marcos vs Aquino saga

By N Mark Castro


The only storytelling you need to tell is the truth.

And there’s no sugar-coating or spinning something that we’ve all lived through. Even to this day. Which is why Oscar Tan’s piece on Alienating the Youth from EDSA and Conrad de Quiros’ reaction piece, saying that Oscar’s piece lacked perspective.

The problem is we’ve spent years glorifying a failed past instead of confronting the ugly truth about Philippine politics since EDSA I. Read the rest of this entry

Case Study: The Problem with Jakarta International School’s (JIS) Saga

By N Mark Castro


Every crime has a narrative: guilty, not guilty, stupid, logical … it all comes with a story.

And now the two teachers — Neil Bantleman and Ferdinan Michael Tjong — from Canada and Indonesia, respectively — are in custody of the Jakarta Police.

The problem with this story is how everyone bungled up the entire incident. Read the rest of this entry

Prabowo Clarifies Commitment to Democracy

By N Mark Castro

Prabowo-PresidenkuIndonesian Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto responds to inquiries regarding his perceived anti-democratic statements made earlier. In this post, Prabowo said:

“I think sometimes or many times my comments have been taken out of context, or not in the complete version. I was asked in that session; that was a session concerning culture. I was asked by the delegation, a senior cultural figure in Indonesian society. He asked me what my opinion was, because in our national ideology – Pancasila – the wording of the clause to describe our version of democracy, we call it kerakyatan[meaning government by the people, for the people] – in the version kerakyatan is guided by what we call hikmah melalui permusyaratan perwakilan [short hand interpretation for a reference for the Fourth Principle of Pancasiila], consultative discussions by representation.

Read the rest of this entry

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