‘Huling Habilin’ of ‘Comfort Women’ for Duterte

Saturday, March 3, passed quietly without fanfare. But it is an important day in history. March 3, 1945 marked the end of the Battle of Manila to liberate the Philippines after three years of Japanese aggression. It is widely considered as one of the greatest tragedies of the Second World War where 100,000 men, women,…

Pressuring Press Freedom

One of the core principles of journalism is to be the watchdog of authority figures, especially the government. It aims to provide transparency and break the walls between power and the people. Shenanigans, propaganda, and all that — trust the media to find that out. Given this, it is not surprising when a government official…

No, Mr. President, I Do Not Feel Safe

I live in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City, adjacent to the Camanava district in Northern Metro Manila. Early morning, Friday, August 18, the Northern Police District was wrapping up their overnight drug sweep of Camanava that yielded 24 deaths, and 36 arrests. That same Friday, at around 1:30 am, I went home later than usual…

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…

To the Boy Who Lost His Father to the Drug War

It was eight o’ clock in the evening along Taft Avenue in Manila when a street child was going around each store to ask for food, if not for some coins. He was thin, muddled, and soaked in the rain. He approached me with the usual demand, “Kuya, pahingi naman ng pambiling pagkain.” (Older brother,…

Year of the Rooster

Hudyat ang bagong taon ng simula ng panibagong siklo ng pag-ikot ng mundo sa Araw. Natuldukan na ang mapanghamon at madalas malupit na mga araw ng 2016, subalit entrada lang ang mga iyon sa mga paparating pa ngayong bagong taon. Bukod sa kapalaran ng bawat isa, o ang kahihinatnan ng tambalang KathNiel, JaDine at iba pa…

News Hugot 2: Irreconcilable Differences

Sometimes, life is better than the best telenovelas. And such is the case with what’s happening in the news. After our first News Hugot dealt with extra-judicial feelings, here is a new set of wisdom from our newsmakers that ordinary people can relate to. Terms that we usually hear in divorces and annulment proceedings are now part…

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…

The Butterfly Effect of the Surprise Marcos Burial

Co-written with Lian Buan Ten days after the Supreme Court voted to allow the interment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the hero’s burial proceeded a little after twelve noon Friday with full rites assisted by the police and the military, catching the entire nation by surprise. Malacañang…

USA-PHL: Love and Hate

Let me try to make sense for my millennial counterparts another weeklong rollercoaster ride for the foreign relations of the Philippines courtesy of no less than our unorthodox President Rodrigo Duterte. Super Typhoon Lawin wrought havoc in Northern Luzon, but this was the most surprising news of the week: Duterte announced in a highly anticipated…