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…

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms. But…

Mula sa Buwan’s #HulingLipad: Wounds Cut Anew

Raw, vivid and emotionally haunting—that was how I felt when I first saw Pat Valera and William Manzano’s Mula sa Buwan two years ago. This majestic Filipino Zarsuela was an adaptation of Edmund’s Rostand’s timeless piece, Cyrano de Bergerac but instead of 17th century France as its setting, the play brought us to Manila during the 1940s…

The Reason For Frat-Related Violence Could Be You

By all means, rage against the corrupt, elitist, mysoginistic, padrino system-loving culture of fraternities — but please do not forget to check on the company you keep. This culture of toxic masculinity is alive and well because it feeds off from our own inaction, our being complicit, if only because we refrain or refuse to…

Peeking into ‘The Dressing Room’

Staging re-runs is equally challenging than staging original theatre productions. One works with the same material but newer elements have to be added to make it more powerful and visually stunning. Hence, a re-run isn’t just a re-play but a whole reimagination of the same story. Dulaang UP’s The Dressing Room might be a re-run, but…

Manila’s Downtown Cinemas: Flicks and Memories

What was once a beacon of vibrant, colorful, and glamorous entertainment is now a forgotten, struggling and lonely place. Downtown Manila has been known as a center of educational and commercial activities. Movie houses were very prominent as early as 1930s with the screening of local films. First-run theaters such as Times, Dilson, Roben, Vista…

Wheel of Fate: A Short Film About Police Torture

At a secret detention facility, a criminal suspect learns that some games should never be played. #HumanRights #PoliceTorture [Entry 266, The SubSelfie Blog] About the Filmmaker: By day, Emannuel Escalona Jr. is a humble wedding videographer for Pixelfish Concept, taking accounts on conceptualizations, shoots and editing wedding videos. By night, he takes the cape of…

Still Waters: A Docu Film on Depression

More than three million Filipinos are affected with depression, according to the Department of Health. But in countries like the Philippines, mental health is rarely discussed, let alone acknowledged. Oftentimes, a high profile case is required to trigger conversations regarding the matter. “Still Waters” is a documentary about the journey of a girl who struggles…

25

At 8 years old, it was easier to be 25. For career day, your teacher asked you to dress up like your hero. You grabbed a white coat and put it over your little shoulders, and just like that, you were a doctor. But being 8 was hard when you were 8. You didn’t know it…

Crossing Borders

“We meet people for a purpose, and it is up to us to define that purpose.”

Balik-tanaw sa Bukas

Lahat naman tayo, darating dito. Pero mapagdesisyon ang ilan. Sunud-sunod ang patayan. Hilaan pababa. Mas clingy pa tayo sa mga alimasag. Hitik rito ang ating lipunan. Ngunit ang ating kasaysayan ba’y may saysay? Lahat nga ba ng nasusulat sa aklat, katotohanan o may naipuslit na kasinungalingan? Marami ang palasimba, pero ang ugali, kay sagwa. Kung…

Hagdan: A Docu Film on Drug Rehabilitation

The “war on drugs” forms a huge part of Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s government platform when he was elected as President in 2016. For the past two years, at least 4,814 deaths have already been recorded in police anti-drug operations—or an average of about six people killed every day. Human rights groups claim way 300% more,…

The Filipino Language in the Time of Fake News

No less than the President himself admitted—the night after his second State of the Nation Address last month—that his camp hired keyboard warriors to defend him against social media critics and to help him win the presidency. Responding to a reporter’s question on the recent Oxford study which showed that the President’s camp spent a…