This Victory Matters

The news was broken to us around 7:30 pm last night, Thursday, June 25. My head writer at State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, and one of the officers of Talents Association of GMA, Edma Remillano, whispered to me while we were writing our scripts: “Nanalo tayo sa NLRC (We won at NLRC).” We were told that our…

I’m Quitting Tinder

“The New York Times makes a big deal out of Tinder,” reads my own Tinder profile. After much egging from my friends, it was the New York Times that convinced me to download the app. It published Op-Eds, Modern Love columns, and Feature articles on the increasingly popular dating app, offering perspectives that ranged from…

Bantayan Island Will Never Be Paradise Lost

On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made its fourth landfall on Bantayan Island, the northernmost tip of Cebu. For days, the remote island had no communication to the world beyond the sea. The storm destroyed 90% of houses, including resorts and other establishments that sustained tourism in the island. In the days that…

We Are the Yayas of the World

It’s 1991 in the modest town of Moncada, Tarlac. Her husband just died. Her father followed shortly after. She’s 30 years old, a mother of two — the youngest just 6 months old. And up until that moment, she has not worked a day in her life. She could take over the family business —…

Indochina: Four Tales of Heartbreak

Love has a quota. That’s according to Ricky Lee in his masterpiece “Para kay B.” Only one in every five people who fall in love will have a happy ending. The others might love someone who will not love them back. Or love without learning. Or love hopelessly. And some might not love at all….

VFA and the Murder of Jennifer Laude

Co-written with Lian Buan One year after the death of transgender woman Jeffrey Jennifer Laude, SubSelfie.com provides an update to the case filed against the suspect L/Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton. Guilty Verdict December 1, 2015 — The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 of the Philippines ruled that US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is “guilty…

A Nation of Broken Hearts

I think I have a broken heart, literally. I’m back at the University of Santo Tomas, my Alma Mater — not at the plaza or my old building or even the walkways I spent endless hours in college just burning time, but at the hospital. I’ve never been inside the UST Hospital before. I never…

Caught in Conflict: Golan Heights and Trapped Filipino Soldiers

Co-written with Lian Buan While Gilas Pilipinas is bravely representing the Philippines in the ongoing FIBA World Cup, we also have a different team of Filipinos who should make you feel proud. They are the 75 Filipino soldiers carrying the banner of the United Nations in the middle of a heated conflict in Golan Heights. Heightened Tension Golan Heights…

Kristel’s Battles

Dear Kristel, I have no right to write about you. Most of us never had a chance to know you. We have no idea what you went through; there is no way we can ever understand why you decided to take your own life. But I remember that day. It was a Friday, March 15th, 2013;…

Why Manila Is Better than London

My editor asked this question right after I went back to work: “Bakit umuwi ka pa? (Why would you want to return?)” The Executive Producer of a morning newscast asked me the same, with additional input: “Something is very wrong with you.” This was not the first time I heard these remarks. I have just returned from a two-week vacation…

Where Shakespeare Lived, Loved and Died

Editor’s Note: Last June 21, 2014, Lian Buan visited Stratford-upon-Avon in England. This town is the birthplace of William Shakespeare, the celebrated bard and wordsmith. His grave is also here. Today is the longest day of 2014, the start of summer. It is the midsummer day and I luckily experienced it here in England, where the…

Love Letter to England

I lived in England for a year in 2003, went to school here and have been coming back every two years since. This is now my fifth visit after leaving and deciding no other place could replace the Philippines as home. But that’s not to say I don’t like it here. I love England and the…

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Kingdom of Wonder

There is something about Siem Reap, Cambodia. When dusk falls, a warm, salty air hits your face; wind that probably comes from the stream that stretches in the middle of the road. The yellow light from lamp posts bounces off the water so as you ride a tuktuk, the flicker skips from the corner of…