News Hugot 2: Irreconcilable Differences

Throwback to 2016, Vice President Leni Robredo had a short-lived stint as a member of the cabinet. That didn’t last long. The term “irreconcilable differences” was the keyword from Malacanang why it didn’t work out. So for News Hugot 2, here are terms from that time in 2016 that can also be applied in daily…

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…

The Butterfly Effect of the Surprise Marcos Burial

Co-written with Lian Buan Ten days after the Supreme Court voted to allow the interment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the hero’s burial proceeded a little after twelve noon Friday with full rites assisted by the police and the military, catching the entire nation by surprise. Malacañang…

Remembering Yolanda

If you are given a second life, what will you do? That is the question that always pops up in my mind after my experience with Super Typhoon Yolanda. It was the 8th of November in 2013 when super typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan brought tremendous destruction in the Philippines. Leyte, particularly Tacloban was one of the many…

USA-PHL: Love and Hate

Let me try to make sense for my millennial counterparts another weeklong rollercoaster ride for the foreign relations of the Philippines courtesy of no less than our unorthodox President Rodrigo Duterte. Super Typhoon Lawin wrought havoc in Northern Luzon, but this was the most surprising news of the week: Duterte announced in a highly anticipated…

Memories of Miriam

When I visited the home of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in 2012, I was wearing an Iron Man shirt. I only just realized today that it described her well. She was the Iron Lady of Asia, after all. Yet after decades of public service, she had no need for nicknames. Her name was enough to sow fear in her…

“I Will Not Interfere”

“Kayo lang po ang pag-asa ko (You are my only hope),” an emotional Mary Jane Veloso pleads to newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte. Under the Noynoy Aquino administration, Veloso received a temporary reprieve from execution last April 29, 2015 — the only one to be spared among drug convicts that included leaders of the Bali Nine, an infamous group…

Presstitutes?

It’s easy to ditch the media, if you think the institution is biased, corrupt and useless. Regardless of whatever pushes you to make such sweeping generalizations, you can just stop watching, reading, and consuming right now. But you won’t. Because whether you like it or not, the media is just as important as you are…

“Bias”

Kababasa ko lang sa isang Facebook thread — gago raw ang media. Biased daw. Paano? We feed you quality shows, and then what? Wala masyadong nanonood. The ratings, likes and shares show. Mas gusto niyong pagpiyestahan ang mga teleserye tungkol sa mga kabit at teenybopper, mga personal na buhay ng mga celebrity at opisyal ng gobyerno, at mga…

Tiempo Muerto: Why Are Sugar Farmers Protesting?

Negros Occidental is the sugar bowl of the Philippines but why are sugar farm workers in the streets protesting? We are in what they call the “Tiempo Muerto” or the dead season, and sugar farm workers have no other means of livelihood meanwhile. They don’t own the lands they toil and because it’s the dead season,…

Nanlaban

Ang dali. Ang daling sabihin: “Eh kung ‘di naman kasi sila tamad, kung nagpursige ba sila sa pag-aaral. Kung ‘di sila nag-anak ng apat, anim, siyam. Kung ‘di na lang sila umalis sa probinsya para maghanap ng trabaho sa Maynila. Kung tumanggi sila. Kung ‘di sila adik. Kung ‘di sila tulak.” Ang daling sabihin kasi…

Chexit: The West Philippine Sea Is Ours but Now What?

China calls it a “farce.” The Philippine government filed the case before an international arbitral tribunal back in January 2013, seeking to quash the validity of China’s historic claims — an imaginary nine-dash line that impedes on our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and effectively declares most of our seas as theirs. Their reason? Because they…

The Ill-Gotten Health of the Philippines

As the backbone of the health care system of the Philippines, how can we continue caring for our fellow Filipinos when we are not even taken care of? Heart for Healthcare I fight for this advocacy as a non-practicing Nursing graduate who quit medical school in my first year back in 2012. I left because I couldn’t…

From Duterte to Brexit

I stepped out of our house in Hertfordshire at 8 o’clock in the evening to buy a bottle of softdrinks. It was still very bright out and usually a walk in any part of Hertfordshire is a welcome break. Except that there were around ten rowdy teenagers spread on both sides of the alley and I had…

“Bury Caesar”

Editor’s Note: This is a direct reply to a recently published article of SubSelfie.com entitled A Hero’s Burial? Dear Alaysa, I read your article detailing the events of how your family ‘suffered’ under Martial Law. It would be preposterous if I say ‘I feel your pain’ and that whatever ‘injustice’ was done is too trivial. I…

A Hero’s Burial?

The incoming president, Rodrigo Duterte, tells us that for those who suffered abuses during Martial Law: “It’s just a matter of distributing the award. So anong problema? Patay na ‘yung tao.” (So what’s the problem? The person is dead.) Well you see, Mr. President-elect, my late granduncle Dr. Johnny Escandor died under the dictatorship — his…

Ethics and Biases: A Post-Mortem of Philippine Media During the 2016 Elections

The votes have been cast. The mudslinging has ended. And while Filipinos are anticipating the dawn of Duterte’s presidency, this may be a good time to reflect on how the media fulfilled their roles in covering the 2016 presidential elections. Journalists who covered the elections and communication professionals who observed from the sidelines took time to step…