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In the Philippines, there are many signs Christmas is approaching. You begin to hear Christmas songs on the radio as early as October.

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Work and the future

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My recent visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco and what is emerging to be the next Silicon Valley in the US, Seattle in Washington state opened my eyes to the enormous possibilities of the future. It reminded me that change happens very fast and consequently we, as individuals and as a society, need to understand how these new technologies might transform the way we work and the way we live our lives.

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Coffee and the future

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The word “future” in the title of this article should come with a caveat because many of the things I wanted to talk about are actually happening – in various stages of gestation – in the present. Changes in technology and communications are so fast the future seems to be just around the corner.

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I wrote in my column last week on the importance of hosting the 31st ASEAN Summit amidst our transition from a foreign policy of fear to one which is assertive of our interest as a sovereign nation and an equal partner to the world. For this reason, the theme chosen for this year’s ASEAN is very appropriate, “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

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The Philippines is set to host next week the 31st ASEAN Summit, a semi-annual meeting of the leaders of the 10 countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Our country is the chair for this year, the 50th anniversary of the regional association founded in 1967.

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Last October 17, President Rodrigo Duterte declared the liberation of Marawi City from “terrorist influence.” It was a welcome end to the bloody siege which broke out on May 23. The official proclamation followed the news that the Armed Forces has neutralized the top two leaders of the Maute Group – a local terror band which pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.

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