Starbucks Planners and Handwriting

Nothing marks November like Christmas songs and hype for planners. Anticipating the new set of months, the market is ripe for consumers looking for that perfect paper partner in an attempt at organizing the foreseeable future. A few years back, the Papemelroti pocket planner was the young counterpart of the daddy organizers: small and artsy…

100 Days without Facebook

“Who are you avoiding?” “Are you okay?” “How are we going to contact you now?” If you’re going to quit Facebook, expect these questions on Day 3 — or the day your friends will realize you’re not on Messenger and can’t be tagged on 9gag memes anymore. Your profile picture is reduced to a blue…

Bagong Cristo

In a conservative country like the Philippines, tinkering with the image of Jesus Christ is usually taboo. We are all familiar with the divine narrative – the begotten son of God was sent to Earth to save the world from sin, the man spends his three decades on Earth teaching, and is later persecuted and…

Musoleo: Araw-araw Kasama ng mga Patay

Umaalingasaw ang usok ng mga nakatirik na dilaw na kandila. Humahalik sa ilong ang halimuyak ng mga tindang kalachuchi at lila. Nakapapaso ang init ng mga sementadong puntod. Tangan ng iba ang kanilang mga payong habang taimtim na inaalala ang kanilang mga yumaong kamag-anak. Umaalingawngaw ang sintunadong boses ng mga kumakanta sa videoke. Mayroon ding…

One Light’s Out

It’s been more than three months since his light was put out. That one light that lit up one dim moment of my life. When I was in grade school, I barely had true friends. Most of my so-called friends then are just people I had to be with because of same advanced classes and…

Birdshot: More than a Parable on Innocence

WARNING: This analysis has a few spoilers. Filipinos face too much brutality that it feels as if we have already been desensitized by our society’s ills. But Birdshot reminds us of our true nature—one of innocence and idealism. Like the endangered Philippine eagle, this film is a rare breed of cinema that entertains yet opines,…

‘Allah Valley’ at mga Lumad

Wala pa ring katulad. Ang langit, isang karagatan ng asul. Nakakalat ang malabulak na mga ulap na minsa’y naghuhugis ayon sa lawak ng imahinasyon. Ilang dipa na lang ang layo nito sa lupa, halos abot kamay na ng mga tao. Pinapagitnaan ng bulubundukin sa kanluran at silangan ang mga sakahan ng palay at mga tirahan….

From the Sidelines of the War on Illegal Drugs

“’Yang mga drug adik na yan, dapat lang patayin ‘yang mga ‘yan, mga salot sa lipunan.” “Bagay lang sa kanila ‘yan, patayin na ‘yang mga adik na ‘yan.” “Mga pusher at adik, salot sa lipunan!” These are just some of the remarks that have circulated on social media since the Duterte administration announced its war…

The Disappearance of Carl Angelo Arnaiz and Kulot de Guzman

The mysterious turn of events started in this particular place in West Bank, Cainta, Rizal on August 18, 2017. At around past 12 o’clock midnight, 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz was in his home tending to his sari-sari store by this window. Three of his neighbors were idly spending time here. Gelo, as his family would…

Fathers and Sons: A Dulaang UP Masterpiece of Two National Artists

What do you get when a Nick Joaquin classic gets translated by Virgilio Almario and Jose Lacaba, directed by Tony Mabesa, and brought to life by veteran thespians like Leo Rialp and Rody Vera? For the opening salvo of its 42nd season, Dulaang UP stages Fathers and Sons – a powerful work of not just…

No, Mr. President, I Do Not Feel Safe

I live in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City, adjacent to the Camanava district in Northern Metro Manila. Early morning, Friday, August 18, the Northern Police District was wrapping up their overnight drug sweep of Camanava that yielded 24 deaths, and 36 arrests. That same Friday, at around 1:30 am, I went home later than usual…

Bite-Sized Reviews of Cinemalaya 2017 (Full Length Features)

Let’s be honest: many of us just watch movies to satisfy our visual and emotional appetite. Sadly, this affects the quality of the films we enjoy and choose to watch. Very few are trained to look beyond a film’s narrative and appreciate the figurative and the technique. As a result, many are unable to have…