Ruben Cruz Jr.

100 posts
Ruben Cruz Jr. (Jun Cruz) has been BusinessMirror's Online Editor and one of the paper's editorial writers since 2006. He graduated from De La Salle University (Political Science / Organizational Communication).

Finding inspiration

When do sports figures become heroes? The word “hero” is sometimes used far too freely nowadays. Many athletes have been called heroes, even if they make all sorts of fumbles in their personal lives, often failing to match the heroic feats they show in their respective sports.  

Help private schools stay open

Before the pandemic, many Filipino families did not rule out a private school education for their children because of the cost. But as the pandemic raged on, many parents increasingly sought out public schools, unable to afford the price tag of private schools.

Taiwan is a country

John Cena, an American actor and entertainment wrestler who stars in the latest Fast and the Furious sequel, was recently seen on social media delivering an apology that sounded quite contrite but was also rather rambling and vague.

High cost of city living

The families of workers receiving fixed wages would not be surprised at all with the findings of a recent study, which showed Manila as the third most expensive city among six cities in Southeast Asia despite having the lowest average salary.

The heat is on

One doesn’t need to see the weather bureau’s records of average everyday temperatures to know that this summer is scorching.

PHL is not just NCR Plus

Daily virus cases in Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal have reportedly been declining after they were placed under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11, and then under modified ECQ from April 12, which will last until May 14.

Cutting red tape

Are we the only ones who find it ironic that the Duterte administration would seek to cut red tape in government by adding another government office that seeks to cut red tape in government?

Not communist, just Christian

The late Brazilian Roman Catholic Archbishop Helder Camara, one of the most prominent liberation theologians of Latin America, who was also called the ‘Bishop of the slums’, once famously said:  “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist.”

The Taiwan bubble

An article in the New York Times last March 13, titled “Covid? What Covid? Taiwan Thrives as a Bubble of Normality”, is instructive of what life is like in a country that has so far been relatively successful in its battle against the Covid-19.

500 years ago

Our identity as a country and people goes beyond the words that are stamped on our passports. There are surely a lot of things that divide us, but many things can unite us as well.

Finding a way back

Adapting to distance learning has posed tremendous challenges for schools, teachers, students and their families. This is true for all levels of education, as well as all socioeconomic levels.

The nighttime economy

The lockdowns that were imposed across the country starting March 2020 or one year ago to contain the Covid-19 pandemic completely disrupted the country’s economy.

Be brave against China

A vigorous national defense cannot exist without strong, security alliances with other nations. It is nice to have the assurance that those foolish enough to threaten our country would be confronted not only by our own military but those of other nations who are our allies.

The neighborhood bully

At a time when countries all over the world should be working together to contain a virus that originated from China, which has already infected over 100 million people and impoverished millions more, here comes the Chinese government passing a law that will surely cause distrust and division.

Planting trees

Joyce Kilmer’s poem, Trees, goes: “I think that I shall never see /A poem lovely as a tree”… and many of the older generations can recite the rest of it by heart, perhaps because it is one of the first poems they learned in school or from their parents at home.

Saving lives

Flight attendant Christine Dacera’s untimely death bears painful evidence of the country’s lack of emergency medical services and the need to improve our capacity to deal with health emergencies.

Wrong priority

The House committee on constitutional amendments is set to reopen charter change hearings this week, with congressmen promising to focus only on amending the economic provisions of the Constitution, in particular those that prevent foreign ownership of land and certain businesses in the country.

Who will police the police?

WE have dedicated, intelligent, honest and hardworking policemen in the Philippine National Police. But there are many corrupt cops whose criminal activities have been destroying the image of the PNP. Their rogue and often violent behavior erodes the people’s trust in those mandated to protect them.

Christmas of survivors

WE have heard it said that a crisis is like a magnifying glass. It enlarges our understanding of our helplessness and helps us see clearly our need for God.

Congressional absurdity

There is no better argument in favor of a smaller, less costly and more accountable government than the absurdity of the House of Representatives having 32 deputy speakers.

Still pork

You would be lucky to find a Filipino who still believes Congress no longer has any pork barrel just because the Supreme Court in 2013 declared the legislators’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) unconstitutional.

The legal-illegal logging false dichotomy

In a joint statement released recently, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced that they will work together to fight illegal logging and quarrying to protect the country’s remaining forest covers and habitats.

When will we ever learn?

Climate change is a convenient culprit and excuse for certain tragedies but we fail to remember that climate change is caused by human activity and it can also be mitigated by responsible action.

Voting better

The record turnout of voters in the recent U.S. presidential election is a lesson in civic participation that all Filipinos could learn from.

Curtain call for coal

The Department of Energy’s recent decision to stop endorsing new coal power plants should be lauded and welcomed. Indeed, it took a long time coming.

Children of God

Pope Francis has often rattled the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, with his fresh and at times controversial messages. His recent statement on same-sex civil unions, which appear in the documentary “Francesco”, was bound to perk up people’s ears regardless of which side of the issue they stand on.

Editorial: On resignations

It is quite difficult to make an elected official give up an office, especially in this country, but sometimes it does happen. On August 3, 2011, Senator Miguel Zubiri resigned as senator, after his victory in the 2007 midterm elections was questioned before the Senate Electoral Tribunal.

Editorial: 2022

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) that there are still about 4 million potential voters who need to get registered. They are the young people who have recently become eligible to register to vote for the May 2022 elections.

Curfew clarity

The recent easing of quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila came with a “uniform” 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew that was announced by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque without much-needed clarity and guidance.

Help people first

The Covid-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented negative impact on the country’s tourism industry, which accounted for 12.7 percent of the country’s gross domestic product and 13.5 percent of national employment in 2019.

All but one

Doing the right thing can never be the right thing for all workers all the time in the labor sector but certainly, if you are a party-list group in Congress that professedly represents the welfare of workers, it would be somewhat expected of you to go against a measure that would render a lot of workers jobless, especially during this pandemic when joblessness is at an all-time high.


More than a few companies have continued to let their staff work-from-home (WFH) even after quarantine measures have been relaxed in Metro Manila and other areas. Some businesses are even thinking of adopting this arrangement for good or at least for some time, a commendable policy as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to surge in the country.

Let’s take care of our nurses

After years of waiting, nurses working in government hospitals finally get their promised pay hike after the Department of Budget and Management issued a circular that implements Section 32 of Republic Act 9173, or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002, which mandates a minimum monthly base pay of P32,053 to P34,801.

Slain on the table

IN parliamentary language, tabling a bill does not automatically mean killing it. Under the rules of parliamentary procedure, it can mean setting a bill aside or putting it on hold until such time when the debate on it can be resumed.

PHL gaming sector more than POGOs

One of the rare changes in the country’s constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership was made in 2010 when gambling casinos were opened to majority foreign equity in the Foreign Investment Negative List (FINL).


IT took a pandemic for the government to seriously promote bicycle riding for everyday transport and consider ways to ensure the safety and convenience of bicycle riders. Better late than never.


The war against global terrorism should never curtail democratic rights and civil liberties enshrined in our Constitution and the laws of our land.

VIPs amid the pandemic

A senator who tested positive for Covid-19 visits a hospital and goes grocery shopping despite strict home quarantine protocols, recklessly exposing healthcare workers and other frontliners to the virus.

Some government officials and their families were able to easily get tested for Covid-19–and they quickly got results–even when there were not enough test kits and the Department of Health was prioritizing the testing of those exhibiting symptoms. Meanwhile, many OFWs remain in prolonged quarantine, still waiting for their delayed test results.

A police chief has a birthday party at their police camp despite the ban on mass gatherings while Metro Manila was on lockdown, even as many others, including protesting jeepney drivers and students, have been dragged into jail.

A Metro Manila mayor and his entourage are able to drive all the way to Baguio to visit a posh country club, barging through strict border checkpoints and disregarding quarantine protocols and rules for non-essential travel, even as hundreds of people remain stranded and cannot return to their hometowns.

These are just some sorry examples showing this so-called VIP syndrome is alive and well, especially amid the pandemic.

Reviving an economy crippled by lockdown

Easing Metro Manila into general community quarantine (GCQ), a softer version of the government’s strict quarantine measures, involves a delicate balance of trying to restart our battered economy without fueling a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Back to the countryside

Trending photos of crowded malls and congested roads in Metro Manila under modified enhanced community quarantine have elicited negative comments on social media against some people who ignore social distancing protocols.

Making ABS-CBN even more popular

One wonders why people think banning something is the only way to stop it. Take the liquor ban, implemented by a number cities when lockdown measures were imposed. The liquor ban did not stop the availability of contraband liquor in these areas. It only encouraged citizens to violate quarantine by going out to other cities, like Makati, where liquor is being sold legally.

Nobody does it better

As of 26 April 2020, Taiwan, which has a population of close to 24 million (the 17th most densely populated country in the world) only has 429 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 281 recoveries and 6 deaths.

Taiwan’s relatively successful containment of the virus—despite its close proximity to China and the frequency of travel between China and Taiwan, and despite it being shut out of the World Health Organization—deserves to be emulated.

No need for liquor ban

One of the highly contentious issues since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) throughout Luzon took effect is the ban on the sale and consumption of liquor, which is being enforced by several LGUs in Metro Manila as well as by other cities and provinces outside of Luzon.

China crisis

President Duterte has already thanked China twice in two public addresses on the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, the government has received more than 100,000 test kits from China. The Chinese government has also sent a team of 12 medical experts to share their knowledge in handling Covid-19 cases with Filipino medical professionals. They brought with them 5,000 PPEs, 300,000 surgical masks, 30,000 medical N95 masks, 5,000 medical protective face shields, and 30 noninvasive ventilators from the Chinese government.

Distance learning

Many students of both private and public schools, universities and colleges saw their facilities close due to the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that President Duterte enforced from March 13 until April 15 to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thank you

WHEN do people become heroes? Definitely the word “hero” is used far too freely nowadays. All sorts of people, including athletes, celebrities and politicians are called heroes when, at times, they shouldn’t be. There have been many so-called heroes who have faltered in real life, even while they were hailed and adored publicly. Too often, we also put our heroes on a pedestal, and then wait for them to self-destruct and fall. 

Farming can be profitable

Farming is where the money is. This may be hard to believe in a country where farmers are mostly old and poor. Based on a 2017 survey of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the average age of farmers in the Philippines is 60 years old. And their average income is around P100,000 a year, according to the latest Family Income and Expenditure Survey, or just over P8,000 a month, which is well below the poverty line.

OK to be ‘OA’

It’s a good thing that—as of this writing—both the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared there is no confirmed 2019-nCoV case in the Philippines.

The best kind of thanks

As of this writing, the bumper harvest of gold medals of Team Philippines in the 30th Southeast Asian Games already assures our country of the overall championship.

Read this

IN last Tuesday’s editorial, we made a case for the necessity of newspapers in a world where more and more people are increasingly getting their news from various sources on the Internet.

Home advantage

The last time the Southeast Asian Games (SEAG or SEA Games) was held in the Philippines, our country won its first-ever overall title. That was in 2005, our third time to host the regional multisport event.

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Poor execution and bad timing

One could not help but ask—yet again—why so many road and street projects and diggings in Metro Manila and other provinces are undertaken during the start of classes and the onset of the rainy season?

Best defenders against poachers

Despite intensifying global efforts, our government agencies are having a hard time tackling the growing poaching crisis that threatens to wipe out our critical wildlife species, like the Philippine pangolin and marine turtles.

Ride in the right

According to its chairman, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, the priorities of the Senate Committee on Energy in the 18th Congress would include the creation of “a national policy and framework to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles [EV] in the public and private sectors.”


Deals and quid pro quos are nothing new in Philippine politics. Nevertheless, members of the House of Representatives are taking horse-trading to a new level.

Cool change

Millennials might not believe this but there was a time in Metro Manila when those who went to Simbang Gabi had to wear coats, not just for porma (to look good) but to really keep warm from the cold that could fog up the breaths of massgoers. Indeed, there was a time one need not go all the way to Tagaytay or Baguio to see morning fog creeping up the streets, because Manila had it during the holidays, even as early as ‘BER’ months.

A saint for our times

Archbishop Oscar Romero in his Christmas Eve homily in 1978 said, “No one can celebrate a genuine Christmas without being truly poor. The self-sufficient, the proud, those who, because they have everything, look down on others, those who have no need of God—for them there will be no Christmas. Only the poor, the hungry, those who need someone to come on their behalf, will have that someone. That someone is God, Emmanuel, God-with-us. Without poverty of spirit, there can be no abundance of God.”

Our fair share

Recent statements from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have again brought crucial public attention to the urgent need for transparency and accountability in the management of our country’s natural resources.

Parliament of the people?

Take a good look at the leadership struggles that occur in pursuit of the Speakership of the House and the Senate Presidency. It could give one a good glimpse of what might be in store for us under a parliamentary-federal form of government, and it doesn’t look pretty.

Churchgoers and art patrons unite for Magallanes Church’s Garden Way of the Cross restoration

The Catholic parish church of St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, also known as the Magallanes Church, is soliciting support for the restoration of its Garden Way of the Cross, a project organized by the Ministry of the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion with the support of Msgr. Claro Matt Garcia, Parochial Vicar. Fr. Lorenzo Ruggiero, Barangay Magallanes Chairman Armand Padilla and Magallanes residents and churchgoers.

A little help from friends

President Duterte met face to face with United States President Donald J. Trump for the first time last Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, CNN Philippines reported.

Trail of destruction

There is no doubt the mining sector can be a huge boost to economic growth if managed properly. Because of our country’s huge reserves of natural resources, sustainable mining could be one of the top recipients of foreign investment and a main job generator.

Manny versus the many

Despite losing his welterweight championship to Australian Jeff Horn, a loss the World Boxing Organization said was legitimate after reviewing the fight, Manny Pacquiao says he still wants to keep fighting until his passion for boxing is gone.

Teach them how to fish

WE support Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship Jose Concepcion’s proposal for the gradual phaseout of the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program, an idea that is backed by many in the business sector and, supposedly, by some members of the Cabinet, including the head of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).

Pursuit of happiness

A day of happiness is not an elusive concept for a country like the Philippines. We, Filipinos, are generally a happy people, with an amazing ability to generate laughter even during the direst circumstances. It doesn’t get much easier for millions of Filipinos eking out a living, but day-to-day they manage to find time and every reason imaginable to be happy.

Logged out

In 1991 massive flooding and landslides brought on by a strong typhoon resulted in the deaths of nearly 8,000 people in Ormoc City, Leyte. The Ormoc tragedy, as it became known, was largely blamed on logging and deforestation. Calls for a total logging ban rang loud in the halls of Congress and Malacañang then.

Paris Agreement is no panacea

Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III said last week he sees the Senate ratifying the Paris Agreement within six months, to concur with President Duterte’s commitment to sign the pact that seeks to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, mainly by burning less gas, coal and oil.

Graphic design for good causes

Unlike previous generations of overseas Filipino workers, today’s new breed of Filipinos expatriates end up in more white-collar jobs, with titles like software engineers, computer analysts, advertising executives, human resources managers and occupational therapists.