Less Is More: The True Value of Vote-Poor Places Like Batanes

[Entry 122, The SubSelfie Blog] In a faraway province in the northernmost parts of the Philippines, Ryan Cardona is excited for the month of May. The clear blue skies, pristine waters of the Pacific, and the warm winds from the ocean during this month are all good signs for his business. Ryan works as a…

The Death of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Co-written with Ephraim Aguilar [Entry 121, The SubSelfie Blog] Just like that, the proposed legislation that promises peace in the South is dead. The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) died in a war — not of guns, bombs and barbaric grounds — but a war within the hallowed, civilized halls of Congress. The very same fruit of two…

The Italian Job

[Entry 120, The SubSelfie Blog] “Mama, Italyano ba si Papa?” (Mom, is dad Italian?) my six year-old self shouted to my mom who was in the kitchen, which was actually only about a meter away from the supposed living room where I was doing my homework. She emerged teary-eyed from laughing uncontrollably, a ladle in…

Inside the Barracks of the PNP Special Action Force

[Entry 119 and 97, The SubSelfie Blog] Heroes are not born; they emerge because of certain circumstances, often through hard work and sheer courage. Fate may have chosen the brave 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force when they offered their lives for the country last year. But their training inside Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna…

The Risks I Took to Be a Reporter

[Entry 118, The SubSelfie Blog] My hands were shaking as I handed my resignation letter to my bosses. My thoughts were all incoherent as I explained why I was leaving GMA News. The only rational thing I remember telling them: I was a millennial seeking to explore the bigger world outside the newsroom. My bosses…

The Treasures of Turkey

[Entry 117 and 100, The SubSelfie Blog] Days ago, a suicide bomb blast killed 10 people at the heart of Istanbul. The attack targeted Sultahnamet Square, an old district flocked by thousands of tourists everyday. It was the latest in a series of bombings that rocked Turkey in recent months. I stayed in Turkey for 15 days last…

Let’s Fall in Love and Build a Nation

#MayForever Part 2 [Entry 91, The SubSelfie Blog] Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of #MayForever. We are open to contributions of any love story that you think gives hope that true love still exists, and that forever is possible.  The road snaking through the heart of the town of Jagna was decorated with colorful banderitas that…

Go Places, Fall In Love

#MayForever Part 1 [Entry 87, The SubSelfie Blog] Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of the #MayForever series of SubSelfie.com. We believe in true love, and we believe there are stories out there that would dispel cynicisms. This is our attempt to make you believe, too. On May 25, 2012, Che Gurrobat, the blogger behind…

Drug Lords: The Curse of My Clan

[Entry 116, The SubSelfie Blog] There are four stages in a fight. First, the trigger. I was in fifth grade when one of my bullies asked me in a tone that’s intended to mock: “Are the infamous drug lords in our city related to you?” Her query was not without substance. I bear the same last…

Trial by Fire

[Entry 115, The SubSelfie Blog] We don’t even have to wait for March to talk about fire prevention. We can have this discussion during the first day of every New Year. Instead of enjoying Media Noche with their families, our firefighters are busy babysitting reckless people who are literally playing with fire through firecrackers. Some say it’s our…

Paris Agreement: What We Need to Know

[Entry 113 and 109, The SubSelfie Blog] With updates from Bam Alegre Finally after weeks of discussion in Paris and decades of international disagreements, representatives from 195 nations have created the Paris Agreement at the United Nations climate change talks in France. This agreement is historic because it is universal — all developed and developing…