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…

#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…

A London Busker: Chinese Music in the Streets

Busking is how they call it. It is the term for musicians playing in public places for voluntary donations. I see buskers in London everyday. Sometimes they’re just the right fillers for a Londoner’s short attention span, a pleasant entertainment for three seconds before rushing off to catch the train or the bus. I hear…

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…

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms. But…

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…

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte: Welcome to the Next Six Years

The 71-year-old Rodrigo Duterte from Davao garnered nearly 16 million votes, a six-million margin above the second placer Mar Roxas of the formidable Liberal Party. Roxas stood in front of his supporters and the country and wished Duterte well, the man he called a dictator and whom he attempted to gang up on two days…

Paris Agreement: What We Need to Know

With updates from Bam Alegre Finally after weeks of discussion in Paris and decades of international disagreements, representatives from 195 nations have created the Paris Agreement at the United Nations climate change talks in France. This agreement is historic because it is universal — all developed and developing countries will follow its rules and regulations….

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…

VFA and the Murder of Jennifer Laude

Co-written with Lian Buan One year after the death of transgender woman Jeffrey Jennifer Laude, SubSelfie.com provides an update to the case filed against the suspect L/Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton. Guilty Verdict December 1, 2015 — The Olongapo City Regional Trial Court Branch 74 of the Philippines ruled that US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton is “guilty…