‘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…

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…

Defense Against #FakeNews: Three Simple Rules to Follow

In any information we encounter, it is important to exercise media literacy. It is a tool of analysis we need in order to protect our online space and in order to preserve our freedom of speech and of expression. Media literacy protects us from questionable and fake media content. It allows us to not be…

‘Fake News Hinders Free Speech’

Between this article’s time of writing and publication—which is only a couple of days, to be honest—I am sure there has already been a new viral video, another “pasikatin na ‘yan” post, and a widely shared status update analyzing President Duterte’s latest soundbite. To say that social media has become a huge part of our…

Fake News May Shorten Life Expectancy

Dahil sa confirmation bias, lumalaganap ang fake news. Ano nga ba ito? Basta pabor sa atin ang isang bagay, iisipin na natin na totoo ‘yon. Sources be damned. Ito ang paghahanap at pag-alala sa mga impormasyong sang-ayon sa mga pinaniniwalaan natin. Kaya minsan kahit peke talaga ang balita, pero sumasang-ayon tayo rito, malaki ang posibilidad na maniwala…

My Last Day at PTV

I was just writing my script for PTV’s 9pm newscast when my news desk approached me that the department head, Mr. Edgar Reyes, wanted to talk to me. Little did I know, he would tell me to no longer report to work. That was the night before the end of my contract as a News…

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…

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,…

“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…

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…