“It Would Be Unfair to the Kids”

It was late afternoon on a summer day about seven years ago and I was fake-sleeping inside my mom’s hospital room because it was my turn to guard her. She was admitted because of a mild stroke and she was talking to her attending physician about what happened to her. “Will I still be able…

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…

The Transgender Couple

Our pseudo-conservative society will judge them and the mysoginists will bash them. But for Pau and Aiju, both 25, they simply made a decision to choose, and that is to choose love––no matter how cliché it may sound. These lovers met only days after Valentine’s Day in 2015. The last two years was not smooth sailing…

Understanding the Angry Christ

I am no theatre critic, but I’ve seen every single production of Dulaang UP since its 33rd season—that’s more or less 30 plays. There were hits and misses, but hands down, Angry Christ easily ranks as one of the most enigmatic and beautiful. I would admit, for each Dulaang UP season, it is Sir Dexter…

The Rising Burma

Five years ago around this time, in one hot summer day in Singapore, I woke up to a good news from a dear friend that I’ll get a chance to tour Myanmar for free.  I was set to go back home in Manila after finishing a 10 month-contract in an F&B company, so I thought…

Ang Resureksyon ng ROTC

Pormal nang inaprubahan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang sapilitang pagpasok ng lahat ng mag-aaral sa Grade 11 at 12 o Senior High School sa Reserve Officers Training Course (ROTC). Sa pagbubukas ng Palarong Pambansa sa Antique noong Abril 24, nagbanta pa ang Pangulo sa mga umaalma sa ROTC na posible pa siyang magpatupad ng sapilitang pagsisilbi sa…

Farewell

I hope this message finds you well. The world calls you millennials — and with your diverse skills, the possibilities are endless. Yet understandably, it is also a time of uncertainty since you are about to leave the comfort zone of the classroom. If you may have entertained doubts, everything is still alright. We live in a time when…

#Taiwanderlust: Discovering the Underrated Asian Dragon

It’s only been half a year since Taiwan has opened up and relaxed its visa rules for its Asia Pacific neighbors, and already we’re seeing a surge in tourists arrivals in Taipei. In 2016 alone, there was a 25% spike in the number of Filipinos who visited this island-nation barely the size of Luzon. These were 172,475…

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…

Mga Kwentong Laman

Sabi ng puso ko, mahal ko siya. Sabi ng utak ko, ‘wag! Hindi tama. Sabi ng bituka ko, naguguluhan ka na. Gutom lang ‘yan. Sabi ng kidney ko, hindi siya nararapat sa’yo. Dapat piliin mo lang ang mga nakakabuti para sa iyo. Sabi naman ng puwet ko, hindi ka talaga magugustuhan nun! Tignan mo nga…

Gabe Bondoc: The Homecoming of a YouTube Sensation

One. Two. Seven. Nine. It took a while before I (as well as hundreds of other fans) got to hear that intro live in Manila straight from the man himself—Gabe Bondoc. It was long overdue, but damn was it worth the wait. We Match Unlike many of his over 300,000 subscribers, I didn’t find Gabe…

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…