In the Loop

#IWD2019 coincides with Dulaang UP’s ‘Nana Rosa,’ the first Filipina comfort woman to come forward

This Women’s Month, UP Playwrights’ Theatre is staging Rody Vera’s Nana Rosa, the first Filipino comfort woman to come forward with her story in public.

The play under the direction of José Estrella, marks as well the 80th year of World War II and the 70th year of UP Diliman’s transfer from Padre Faura in Manila to Quezon City.

Nana Rosa recounts the life of Maria Rosa Henson, from her early life, to her capture and eventually her becoming a comfort woman, to her liberation, and finally deciding to tell her story nearly fifty years later.

The show advocates remembering the seemingly forgotten historical narrative about the comfort woman. To date, no one has been held accountable and liable regarding the pains and sufferings endured by these unwilling victims.

The Japanese government, on the other hand, continues to ignore all legal and other demands of the victims. Together with human rights activist groups, the few surviving comfort women in the Philippines are still crying for justice.

Nana Rosa calls everyone to bear witness and remember the bravery of one woman, along with a small group of women who stood by her side.

The play is running until the second and third weekends of March at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater in UP Diliman.

Nana Rosa features Upeng Galang Fernandez and Peewee O’hara and the Dulaang UP Ensemble.

Joining Vera and Estrella are Ina Azarcon-Bolivar (Dramaturgy), Issa Manalo Lopez (Assistant Direction), Charles Yee (Assistant Direction/Set Design), Barbie Tan- Tiongco (Technical Direction and Lighting Design), Carlo Pagunaling (Costume Design), Jon Lazam (Sound Design), Joyce Garcia (Video Design) and Tristan Ramirez (Graphics Design).

Regular tickets are priced at P500, while discounts are available for bulk purchases, UP students, UP Staff, and senior citizens. For other information, please contact Nico at 09175198879 or at (Press Release) partners with you to spread the word about your advocacies, passion projects and creative endeavors. Contact us through our Facebook page so we can help get your message across.

Veteran journos dismayed by’s ‘caving in’ to Tito Sotto

(Statement) Today, July 4, 2018, readers trying to access articles of the on the rape of actress Pepsi Paloma will be redirected to a statement of the management of the online news organization.

It says: “The articles on the Pepsi Paloma case are currently under review and are unavailable at the moment.”

We are saddened that today will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days in the annals of Philippine journalism.

It is the day when the online arm of the newspaper long regarded as one of the beacons of press freedom in the country caved in to the demands of Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

It is the day when disowned its own editorial policies and standards – and its writers – by willingly taking down stories it had posted as far as four years ago that harp on Sotto’s alleged role in the cover up of the rape of Pepsi Paloma.

It is the day the online news portal, one of the pioneers of the digital age of Philippine journalism, proved it was not equal to the vision of the founders of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, who, together with other freedom-loving journalists, defied the Marcos dictatorship to fulfill their profession’s creed – to serve the people’s right to know without fear or favor.

The news outfit’s attempt at explanation makes no sense. Why take down, even temporarily, articles the outfit itself vetted and uploaded four years ago?

Moreso, it had already earlier announced that the articles were to be reviewed and even declared it would hold off posting materials from the author, Rodel Rodis.

At a time when freedom of the press and of expression has come under the worst attacks since the Marcos regime, this humiliating self-censorship betrays not only the spirit in which the Inquirer was founded, it betrays a profession whose practitioners have fended and continue to fight off all attempts to muzzle it even if it has cost our ranks 184 lives since 1986.

This is a day of mourning, yes.

And yet, it is also a day of affirmation. Let us, the community of independent and freedom-loving Filipino journalists, resolve to strengthen our ranks even more and resist all attempts to prevent us from fulfilling our duty to serve the people’s right to know and be their watchdog against government’s abuses.

NUJP National Directorate
Hotline No. 09175155991

Student group: No to Mandatory ROTC for Grades 11, 12

(Press Release) The National Union of Students of the Philippines (NUSP) condemns the Duterte administration for restoring mandatory Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) this Academic Year 2018-2019 via Senior High School.

By requiring all Senior High School students to take ROTC for the sake of “promoting discipline and nationalism,” the Duterte regime merely wants to produce students who will not be critical and brave enough to question his policies and assert for the democratic rights of the youth and the Filipino people.

This railroaded move is part of Duterte’s attempts to pacify the youth sector, which has been active in opposing his anti-people policies and demanding concrete steps to address poverty, landlessness, contractualization, and access to education.

This regime is deceptively bringing back mandatory ROTC under different names, such as Advanced Citizenship Program in Cordillera, or the Service Training Program for Grade 12 students of PUP, yet the Duterte government cannot erase the bloody history of this program.

Worse, the restoration of mandatory ROTC is a reversal of the victory of the youth movement in making ROTC an optional program. In 2001, thousands of students united for the campaign to abolish the program after the unfortunate death of UST ROTC member Mark Welson Chua, who was found dead after exposing the corruption inside the ROTC program.

NUSP calls on all student councils and formations to resist the reinstatement of mandatory ROTC. In these times of heightening repression of students and the people, we must collectively oppose schemes that aggravate the fascist nature of our educational system, and struggle towards a nationalist, scientific and mass-oriented education. partners with you to spread the word about your advocacies, passion projects and creative endeavors. Contact us through our Facebook page so we can help get your message across.

#YolandaPH survivors tell story of Tacloban rehab through photo exhibit

Four years after the Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name “Haiyan”) made landfall in Samar and Leyte, some of the survivors are bringing their stories to life in “Yolanda Retold,” a photo exhibit.

It was launched on November 9, 2017 at the 3rd floor of TriNoma Mall (in front of Powerbooks) in Quezon City.

The photographers are residents of Barangay 69 in Anibong, Tacloban City, one of the hardest-hit areas during Yolanda’s onslaught. At least eight ships were blown ashore and slammed into this coastal community, killing at least 100 residents.

Barangay 69 was declared a danger zone, with residents banned from rebuilding there because of possible exposure to environmental hazards during typhoons.

The photos highlight issues on housing, sanitation, women’s issues and children’s rights.

“Yolanda Retold” runs until November 26 and is organized by Postcards from Disasters, a multimedia human-rights campaign started by millennial journalists and social media enthusiasts.

The group went to Tacloban City to talk about human rights with the residents, as well as to teach skills on basic photography and storyteling as a creative means to protest.

This event is co-organized by TriNoma and the Vietnamese Overseas Initiative for Conscience Empowerment. It is supported by the One Meralco Foundation. For concerns, please contact Julie Nealega through (0921) 4687017 or (0917) 5110980.


‘Mygahd, I Hate Drags!’ opens UP Repertory Company’s 45th Season

Mygahd! Teaser

The UP Repertory Company (UP Rep) opens its 45th theatrical season with “Mygahd, I Hate Drags!” a twin-bill production of Rogelio Braga’s “Ang Mga Maharlika” and U Z. Eliserio’s “Karitas at Damaso.”

The production is to be staged at the College of Architecture Amphitheater in UP Diliman on the following dates: October 14, 16, 21, 23, 28 and 30. Shows start at 7 in the evening.

We put the BLAST in BLASTPHEMY as we’ll literally take you to church in U Z. Eliserio’s “Karitas at Damaso!” serving you feudalism realness a.k.a. the Catholic Church dynamics a.k.a. blinding party lights and blind followers, familiar?! Well, Jesus is a biscuit so, sop it up and catch us, DDS!

Meanwhile, ain’t no party like a kiki party as it goes oh in Rogelio Braga’s “Ang Mga Maharlika!” Category is bureaucratic-capitalist where the Marcoses slay—literally and metaphorically—but still remain as powerful as eva? We’re spilling tea, and dishing just deserts when they deserve. *wink* *wink*

And though the sun is rising, few may choose to leave so… Let’s have a kiki! UP REP WANNA HAVE A KIKI! WE’RE GONNA LET YOU HAVE IT!

UP Rep is a non-stock, non-profit student theatre organization based in UP Diliman. Founded in 1972, UP Rep remains steadfast in staging theatre productions and live performances that aim to raise the social consciousness of the Filipino audience, and has been named University Performing Group for Philippine Theatre.

For ticket reservations, go to For inquiries, contact Rainne through 09988526949.


‘PCIJ Story Project’ to Fund Multiplatform Storytelling

The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) announced the launch of The PCIJ Story Project, a new initiative that will provide grants of P15,000 up to P75,000 to journalists and artists who work together to produce innovative stories in the public interest.

The PCIJ Story Project will support projects that document and expose abuse and wrongdoing in the following subject areas: human rights, the misuse of public funds, threats to free expression and press freedom, poverty and inequality, and religious, ethnic and sexual minorities.

The project will encourage journalists and artists to team up to tell stories in nontraditional formats. It will support stories intended for legacy news media as well as social media platforms, digital-only websites, and non-digital platforms that have traditionally not been used for journalistic production, such as film, the visual arts, theater, and music.

Multiplatform storytelling is encouraged, but proposals for stories told in traditional print or broadcast formats will also be accepted.  The project will provide funding to seed projects – for example to do a story treatment, rough cut, or a trailer for a documentary project in order to seek further funding.

PCIJ will continue to do data and investigative reporting inmultimedia formats. The PCIJ Story Project is a special initiative intended to encourage new forms of storytelling.

The PCIJ Story Project will accept proposals for journalist-artist collaborative projects, including for short nonfiction films, photo essays, graphic novels, even spoken word as long as they are based on facts and are backed up by documentary or testimonial evidence.

There is no requirement to publish or air on traditional media. Stories intended for YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or other social media platforms will be supported as long as they are accompanied by an ambitious and viable marketing, dissemination, and audience engagement strategy. In addition, they must be stories of significant public interest. They must also be based on documented facts and evidence.

Interested parties are required to submit a story proposal. The deadline for the submission of proposals for the first round of funding is September 15, 2017.

For more information on The PCIJ Story Project please visit or email us at



The Cast of Angry Christ, a production of the UP Playwrights' Theatre and Dulaang UP.
The Cast of Angry Christ, a production of the UP Playwrights Theatre and Dulaang UP.

Perhaps one of the most enigmatic works of Philippine contemporary art is the mural entitled THE LAST JUDGEMENT in the Chapel of ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER in the Victorias Sugar Mill in Negros Occidental. The work of the Fil-American painter Alfonso Ossorio was created in 1950, a time of great social upheaval in Negros.

The creation of this masterpiece is the subject of UPPT latest production and the Dulaang UP season ender. Angry Christ is a new play written by Floy Quintos ,with direction and choreography by Dexter Santos. The play reimagines the process of Ossorio, his inner turmoil, his creative demons, his battle with his sexuality and his lonely childhood.

Alfonso Ossorio is played by Nel Gomez who garnered raves for his performance in “My Name is Asher Lev”. Ossorio is the second painter that Nel is playing in one year. Kalil Almonte, who also drew raves as the deaf mute Bill in “Tribes” plays Anselmo, a fictional character who serves Alfonso during the painting of Angry Christ. The Angry Christ marks both Dulaang UP debuts by Nel and Kalil.

They are supported a stellar cast featuring Stella Canete, Stella Canete-Mendoza, Julienne Mendoza,Randy Villarama, Banaue Miclat-Janssen, Alex Cortez, Jomari Jose, Micaela Pineda, Arya Herrera and the Dulaang UP ensemble.

The artistic staff incudes a formidable team. Gino Gonzales designs the stage. Monino Duque returns as lighting designer. Lilia Manahan best known for her work as a restorer and as the premier authority on Ossorio’s work is the creative consultant. Also in the Artistic Staff are Krina Cayabyab who designs the music, Marvin Olaes who does the Dramaturgy and JC Inocian for the pictorials.

The Angry Christ is set to run from April 26 – May 14 2017 (Wednesdays to Fridays at 7:00 p.m.;
Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m and 3:00 p.m.) at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, 2nd Floor Palma Hall, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

For ticket inquiries, you may contact Arkel Mendoza at 0917-9673616 or This production ends the 25th Season of the UP Playwrights Theatre. partners with you to spread the word about your advocacies, passion projects and creative endeavors. Contact us through our Facebook page so we can help get your message across.