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…

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…

False Balance in Journalism

Can a journalist really create a false sense of balance in one’s work? This was one of the points of discussion during a journalism training I attended in Cambodia this month. UNESCO sponsored the workshop and selected fourteen journalists from the ASEAN region. The issue is interesting, relevant and somewhat controversial, as balance is a…

Magnetic Hill: The Bus Tragedy of Tanay, Rizal

For millennials, a selfie is not special anymore. Every waking moment usually has a corresponding picture. Most uploaded images in Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook even disappear after 24 hours. But here is a particular selfie that will not be forgotten anytime soon. For some of them, it was their last. Aftermath of the Accident The students…

Maxine Medina: More than the Terno

“Maria Mika Maxine Medina, Philippines!” Confident and laced with strong words of conviction, Maxine Medina stunned the hometown crowd with her performance during the pageant preliminaries. She is no longer just a woman with the elegance of a beauty queen. She now has the tenacity of a beast too — dominating, ruthless and savage with a will to become more…

Q & A: The Psychology of Beauty Queen Blunders

The question and answer portion is a much-anticipated part in beauty contests. It is an opportunity for a contestant to convince the judges that she deserves the title. But this moment can be frazzling for candidates. More so, if they are expected to eloquently answer in a foreign language. I, too, had experienced the pressure…

News Hugot 2: Irreconcilable Differences

Sometimes, life is better than the best telenovelas. And such is the case with what’s happening in the news. After our first News Hugot dealt with extra-judicial feelings, here is a new set of wisdom from our newsmakers that ordinary people can relate to. Terms that we usually hear in divorces and annulment proceedings are now part…

Escaping Syria: The Journey of Death

“We can call it the journey of death,” 35-year-old Mohammad Alzen said. He has come from Syria to seek asylum in England, and he has plenty of stories to tell. Even with all his hardships, he’s quite fortunate — his other countrymen did not survive to tell their own stories. Alzen was a tailor in a…

Duterte’s Balancing Act of Two Superpowers: US and China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is treading a dangerous path trying to balance two superpowers in his hands: China and the United States. In a recent turn of events, Duterte has decided to retain the military alliance between the US and the Philippines after rashly announcing a “separation from the US” on independent foreign policy during…