Farewell, Unang Hirit — and Thank You

“Do you want to try Unang Hirit?” This is the question I will never forget, because it started my career, for which I will be forever grateful. It was back in July 2016 when I was asked that fateful question by one of my bosses. I was working then as producer for Balitanghali when his…

A Tribute to the OG Revolutionary

What does it take to be a hero? Is fighting for justice not enough to demonstrate our love for country? Should there be a majority of support for a belief to be deemed the right one? These questions hound my mind as the country commemorates the birth of one of the country’s national heroes and…

Why I Left My Job as a TV News Reporter in a Popular Network

It’s not the pay. To be honest, it’s the pay that had held me back. For years, I postponed any pursuit of relatable opportunities because of bonuses and pay raise that were at stake. Bills and payables were also powerful grounding forces. Then one day, everything imploded into a thought: kung puro pera at bayarin…

From the Sidelines of the War on Illegal Drugs

“’Yang mga drug adik na yan, dapat lang patayin ‘yang mga ‘yan, mga salot sa lipunan.” “Bagay lang sa kanila ‘yan, patayin na ‘yang mga adik na ‘yan.” “Mga pusher at adik, salot sa lipunan!” These are just some of the remarks that have circulated on social media since the Duterte administration announced its war…

“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…

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…

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…

Words of Wisdom for Turning 30

For my 30th birthday, allow me to share words of wisdom from family, friends and teachers. May you also find them helpful the same way I find relief, comfort and assurance when reminded of them.  1. Remember, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.  Misfortunes exhaust themselves. – Lolita Lutanco 2. We have to…

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…

Memories of Miriam

When I visited the home of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago in 2012, I was wearing an Iron Man shirt. I only just realized today that it described her well. She was the Iron Lady of Asia, after all. Yet after decades of public service, she had no need for nicknames. Her name was enough to sow fear in her…