The Siege of Zamboanga’s Youngsters by Makoi Popioco

A little boy cowered behind an overturned wooden chair, avoiding gunfire. The other boy breathed heavily, he dashed his small feet forward and with his frail hands, he fired. The boy hiding behind the chair got shot, fell down, and played dead. I raised my hand, pointed my index finger, pulled the invisible trigger in my thumb,…

From the Frontlines of Marawi

The siege was already on its ninth day when my cameraman and I flew to Marawi. It was an assignment I was anticipating since the day firefight broke out in the city. Our defense reporter rode a C130 on the second day, and I was asked by the desk to replace her after a week….

The Gambling Dead: Understanding the Addiction

A SubSelfie.com Exclusive Jessie Javier Carlos, 43, made his ultimate gamble at Resorts World Manila casino around one o’clock in the morning of June 02. It was clear that he was playing against the casino, just like what he used to do before he had been banned. He fired at the interior of the casino…

Surviving the Siege: A Maranao’s Perspective on Marawi Evacuees

Peacebuilding in Time of Conflict From the Eyes of a Manila-based Moro Peace Worker We went to an evacuation center to conduct a psychosocial peacebuilding activity for the survivors of the Marawi Siege. We went straight to the gymnasium, where the evacuees are, upon arriving at the venue. What welcomed us is a typical scene…

The Modern Slaves of Hong Kong

A SubSelfie.com Exclusive Habang abala ang marami sa pag-ungkat sa buhay ni Lola Eudocia at kung paano siya inalipin nang ilang dekada ng kapwa Pilipino, libu-libong kasambahay naman ang kasalukuyang nakararanas ng hindi patas at hindi makataong pagtrato sa Hong Kong. Marami sa mga tinaguriang domestic helpers (DH) na mga Pilipino at iba pang migranteng domestic…

Kung Paano Hinaharap ng Babae ang Hirap

Mga Kwento ng Pagtitiis at Pagpupunyagi ng Kababaihang Maralita Unang Bahagi Alas-tres ng umaga, gising na si Aling Irma.* Sa totoo lang, aniya, parang wala na siyang tulog. “Minsan, pag yung humihiga na ako, alas-diyes, ganun, tinatawag pa ako dun sa kabila. May iniuutos pa, ganun. Sa kagustuhan ko naman na ako ay may kita,…

No Monkey Business: Banana Farmers to Corporate Giant Lapanday

Like food for the gods, the Cavendish bananas of Tagum City, Davao Del Norte are spotless. Sealed with stickers to mark their perfection, they are being shipped to countries in the Asia Pacific contributing billions to the domestic economy. But what many don’t know, these bananas were grown on a soil soaked with sweat and…

“It Would Be Unfair to the Kids”

It was late afternoon on a summer day about seven years ago and I was fake-sleeping inside my mom’s hospital room because it was my turn to guard her. She was admitted because of a mild stroke and she was talking to her attending physician about what happened to her. “Will I still be able…

Of Weaning and Losing

*This is an ode to every mother left by their prodigal daughters.  They say I am the next in line, heiress to the throne, the princess to her Queendom. The pampered daughter. The spoiled kid. Ask and I shall receive. Ask, I did. I said, ‘Freedom, that’s what I need.’ She introduced me to people…

Three Days in Benham Rise

May 5, 2017—It was a dry and humid day in Infanta, Quezon. I wandered around the fish port, quietly observing the locals. I would occasionally glance on my phone, snap a shot, and try to post it on Facebook. But the entire town is practically a dead spot, making it extremely hard for us to…

The Transgender Couple

Our pseudo-conservative society will judge them and the mysoginists will bash them. But for Pau and Aiju, both 25, they simply made a decision to choose, and that is to choose love––no matter how cliché it may sound. These lovers met only days after Valentine’s Day in 2015. The last two years was not smooth sailing…

Understanding the Angry Christ

I am no theatre critic, but I’ve seen every single production of Dulaang UP since its 33rd season—that’s more or less 30 plays. There were hits and misses, but hands down, Angry Christ easily ranks as one of the most enigmatic and beautiful. I would admit, for each Dulaang UP season, it is Sir Dexter…

The Filipino Laborer

Every May 1, the country celebrates Filipino laborers, recognizing their struggles and hardwork. Filipinos, especially the poor laborers, are NOT lazy. Through photos, we shall attempt to tell you their stories. May they inspire you, millennials, to keep a lookout for them in your travels or daily lives. Know that outside of the increasingly toxic…