Babae

Anak, ina, babae—iyan si Ligaya, biktima ng sex trafficking at ng mapapait na karanasan ng buhay. Bakit nga ba maraming babae ang nagiging biktima nito? Bakit ba ganito ang trato ng ilang lalaki sa mga babae na parang isang tuyong sanga na pwedeng baliin? Limang taong gulang pa lamang noon si Ligaya nang pagsamantalahan siya ng…

Musoleo: Araw-araw Kasama ng mga Patay

Umaalingasaw ang usok ng mga nakatirik na dilaw na kandila. Humahalik sa ilong ang halimuyak ng mga tindang kalachuchi at lila. Nakapapaso ang init ng mga sementadong puntod. Tangan ng iba ang kanilang mga payong habang taimtim na inaalala ang kanilang mga yumaong kamag-anak. Umaalingawngaw ang sintunadong boses ng mga kumakanta sa videoke. Mayroon ding…

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,…

No Monkey Business: Banana Farmers to Corporate Giant Lapanday

Like food for the gods, the Cavendish bananas of Tagum City, Davao Del Norte are spotless. Sealed with stickers to mark their perfection, they are being shipped to countries in the Asia Pacific contributing billions to the domestic economy. But what many don’t know, these bananas were grown on a soil soaked with sweat and…

The Filipino Laborer

Every May 1, the country celebrates Filipino laborers, recognizing their struggles and hardwork. Filipinos, especially the poor laborers, are NOT lazy. Through photos, we shall attempt to tell you their stories. May they inspire you, millennials, to keep a lookout for them in your travels or daily lives. Know that outside of the increasingly toxic…

The Disappearing Farmers of Cambodia

KAMPONG CHAM, CAMBODIA — Hun Heang and his six siblings were born and raised into farming. They inherited the half-hectare land of their parents in Kang Meas district, Kampong Cham province, Cambodia. He was seven years old when he learned how to plant rice. Life was easy then, according to Hun. But as years went by, farming…

Sulu: A Lost Paradise

Berwina Timbang, a grade six student in Sultan Jamalul Kiram Elementary School in Maimbung, Sulu, was diligently listening to her English teacher when I first saw her. I was in Sulu then for a one-day news coverage. Occasionally, she would glance outside the window, her eyes innocent and her face hopeful. In a class of…

Creating Waves in Siargao

You see, I have never been a public school teacher. I was once behind the lens, doing the interviews, listening for inspiring sound bites that I may share to the viewing public. I met these teachers in the mountains, on remote islands and across far-flung barangays, each of them willing to traverse dangerous seas and…

Cybersex and Congress: A Tale of Two Queens

The mountains of Matnog, Sorsogon looked weary — its coconut trees totally felled or crownless. A tinge of gloom painted the town as it reeled from nature’s wrath. Call it a perfect disaster: a natural calamity hitting a vulnerable community. It had already been months since a powerful storm struck the third class municipality, but recovery…

From Disasters to Shelters

Two years ago, super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made its third of six landfalls over the town of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu. That time, Felisa Amistoso and her family were still living in Sitio Samar in Barangay Agujo among fish pens and a creek, in a small, dilapidated shanty on a plot of land that was…

The Wonder Vendors: Mudjur Clemente and Gladys dela Cruz

Thankfully, we now have Facebook to remind us of days like our birthdays. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between people who really remembered your birthday or those who just saw a notification. But hey, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a good feeling to have most of your family, friends and acquaintances fill your timeline…

Lumads of Davao del Sur: Students without a School

“Tak tak tak.” It’s the sound of a bolo hitting the chopping block, reducing rotten and rejected bananas from the plantation into small, circular pieces. The chopping would go on all afternoon until the sun turned golden and the shadows of the banana trees envelop the little town of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. Three boys would…