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…

Bata, Balota, Meron Bang Magagawa?

Nawa’y gamitin nating gabay sa ating pagboto ang mga aral na natutunan natin mula sa mga nakaraang halalan at mula sa mga taong walang takot na nagbuwis ng buhay para lamang patuloy na ipaglaban ang ating karapatan bilang mga mamamayan.

Sa Ulo ng Nagbabagang Balita

Waring nagbibiro lamang ang tadhana nang magkakasunod na pagkilala ang inilabas ng korte at mga ahensya sa mga karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa media. Ngunit di gaya ng bungang-kahoy na pinahinog ng tubig at araw, kinailangan pang ikalburo ng ilang manggagawa sa media ang mga pagkakataon nang sa gayo’y mahinog ito nang tuluyan. Sa madaling…

Agriculture: What Do the Presidentiables Have to Say?

If you ate today, thank a farmer. Food is crucial for survival, and yet, the agriculture sector remains the second poorest sector in the Philippines, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. We are dubbed as an agricultural country, blessed with water teeming with fish, thick forest for vegetation, and hectares of land that extend from…

Who Run the Farm? Girls!

In the hottest place in the north of the Philippines, farms are drying up and animals are dying. Men are getting old, or sick, or too weak to till the land. Their able children, in the meantime, have no interest in farming, and instead want a better chance at life outside the province. But life…

The Policies of the Presidentiables

Here is a summary of the major policy points mentioned by the candidates during the second and third legs of the Presidential Debates held in Cebu and Pangasinan respectively. The candidates are listed below according to the alphabetical order of their surnames. Because Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was absent during the Cebu Debate, we included her positions…

Less Is More: The True Value of Vote-Poor Places Like Batanes

In a faraway province in the northernmost parts of the Philippines, Ryan Cardona is excited for the month of May. The clear blue skies, pristine waters of the Pacific, and the warm winds from the ocean during this month are all good signs for his business. Ryan works as a tourism officer in Batanes, ushering…

The Death of the Bangsamoro Basic Law

Co-written with Ephraim Aguilar Just like that, the proposed legislation that promises peace in the South is dead. The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) died in a war — not of guns, bombs and barbaric grounds — but a war within the hallowed, civilized halls of Congress. The very same fruit of two decades of grueling negotiations is…

Inside the Barracks of the PNP Special Action Force

Heroes are not born; they emerge because of certain circumstances, often through hard work and sheer courage. Fate may have chosen the brave 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force when they offered their lives for the country last year. But their training inside Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna has already prepared them for the worst….

Trial by Fire

We don’t even have to wait for March to talk about fire prevention. We can have this discussion during the first day of every New Year. Instead of enjoying Media Noche with their families, our firefighters are busy babysitting reckless people who are literally playing with fire through firecrackers. Some say it’s our custom. Some say it’s tradition….

AlDub and the APEC Summit

Forget YouTube for a while if you’re tired of watching AlDub replays. Chances are, you can watch Eat Bulaga at home for a few days. Thank the long weekend courtesy of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. But if the APEC Summit seems like an alien concept to you or if it may sound…

Separation of Decency and Cyberbullying

I woke up to my Facebook timeline with all sorts of opinions, arguments and analysis about the gathering of Iglesia ni Cristo members in EDSA. In social media, everything has something to say. If I’m reading it right, many have become overnight experts as well. This should be a healthy indication of democracy, right? But…

Post-Yolanda, What Have We Built Back?

Nestor pointed at a 15-foot coconut tree standing by the sea shore. Its leaves have fallen off and the trunk shows chipping and cuts from children trying to reach for a fruit. “Mas mataas pa dyan ‘yung alon” (The waves are higher than that tree), he recalled. The tree reminded him of November 8, 2013…

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…

What’s Next for Mary Jane Veloso?

Editor’s Note: We will continuously provide updates about the case of Mary Jane Veloso so that even though she fades away from the limelight of mainstream media, her quiet fight for justice will continue. She has been spared from execution. But she is still behind bars, far away from her family. The death sentence will still…

The Aftermath of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake

April 25, 2015, Saturday. It was almost noon and my friend Tilak Pathak and I were working at the Center for Media Research Office at Shantinagar, Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. Suddenly, a strong earthquake struck. The jolt was so powerful that it was difficult to stand. Both of us rushed outdoors for safe shelter…

The Siege of Zamboanga’s Youngsters by Makoi Popioco

A little boy cowered behind an overturned wooden chair, avoiding gunfire. The other boy breathed heavily, he dashed his small feet forward and with his frail hands, he fired. The boy hiding behind the chair got shot, fell down, and played dead. I raised my hand, pointed my index finger, pulled the invisible trigger in my thumb,…

The PNP’s Chance at Redemption by Howie Severino

At no other time in recent memory has any group of policemen elicited as much public sympathy as the Fallen 44 SAF Commandos. In the midst of the horrific nightmare that triggered this outpouring of emotion is an opportunity. At any other time, many of us would regard the police as the least heroic, most…