Dear Rappler reader,
It's the day of love – and peace. Three ex-seminarians reportedly want to broker a dialogue between the priest-allergic President Duterte and the bishops of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. Former First Lady Imelda Marcos wins hands down as the most toothache-inducing congresswoman with her red teddy bears, while Adele rocks with love for the departed George Michael. Filipinos in Germany send the most money home.
Then there's the opposite of love. Judges in a prestigious photo contest are forced to give the top award to an image that reflects the "hatred of our times" while US President Donald Trump and his Canadian counterpart Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grapple with their differences over migration. And word search is a pretty good indicator of the attitude towards romance.
Below are the big stories we think you shouldn't miss.
Bishops: 3 ex-seminarians in Duterte cabinet can 'bridge' a dialogue
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) formed a group of bishops to remain open for dialogue with the Duterte administration. Sources told Rappler that one of the bishops with contacts in government is Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. CBCP president Archbishop Socrates Villegas reiterated the need for "critical collaboration" adding that there are 3 ex-seminarians in the cabinet, Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr, a former priest, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia and Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno. The 3 had expressed willingness to serve as a bridge towards a dialogue with the administration. President Rodrigo Duterte had frequently attacked priests for hiprocrisy in his speeches.
From Imelda Marcos with love
On Monday, a smiling Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu approached the podium and asked, "I just want to know who put the "I love you" on all our tables so we can thank him or her, Madam Speaker." She was told the red teddy bears had come from the widow of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Imelda, now a congresswoman. The token comes the same day as the grandson of Primitivo Mijares, the late author of the book "Conjugal Dictatorship" told Rappler he was compelled to fight the "whitewashing of the Marcoses of our history." The book will be relaunched February 21, right before the anniversary of the 1986 People Power.
Filipinos in Germany send the most money home
You would think Filipinos in the United States or the United Arab Emirates would top this list, right? Turns out, Filipinos living in Germany are the most generous long distance lovers among overseas Filipinos, sending the highest remittances during Valentine's Day. Pinoys may love Valentine's day, but the most searched words on this day are "discourage, nuisance and shallow", giving us a hint of the level of frustration that comes with the whole concept of love and romance.
'Hatred of our times' picture bags award
The image of a man brandishing a gun, his face contorted with rage, won the prestigious World Press Photo Award. The photo was that of an off-duty Turkish policeman right after he assassinated the Russian envoy to Turkey. One of the judges said, "We felt that the picture of the year was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times." The competition was directly affected by US President Donald Trump's travel ban, when a Palestinian jury member had to cancel her trip to Amsterdam for the judging. The issue took center stage as US President Donald Trump welcomed Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The two failed to paper over differences on the treatment of refugees during a joint public appearance Monday, but appeared to tone down harsh trade rhetoric.
Adele rocks tribute to George Michael after starting over
Adele received a standing ovation for her 2017 Grammys tribute to George Michael, but not before she asked for a do-over. The singer, who bagged the Album of the Year award for her album "25" was in the middle of her performance when she stopped and asked to start over. "Can we please start it again? I'm sorry, I can't mess this up for him," she said. The awards night brought other delights, including a pregnant Beyonce as husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy watched from the audience. See the full list of winners. Tony award-winning Filipino producer Jhett Tolentino was among the night's winners.