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…

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…

Presstitutes?

It’s easy to ditch the media, if you think the institution is biased, corrupt and useless. Regardless of whatever pushes you to make such sweeping generalizations, you can just stop watching, reading, and consuming right now. But you won’t. Because whether you like it or not, the media is just as important as you are…

“Bias”

Kababasa ko lang sa isang Facebook thread — gago raw ang media. Biased daw. Paano? We feed you quality shows, and then what? Wala masyadong nanonood. The ratings, likes and shares show. Mas gusto niyong pagpiyestahan ang mga teleserye tungkol sa mga kabit at teenybopper, mga personal na buhay ng mga celebrity at opisyal ng gobyerno, at mga…

Nanlaban

Ang dali. Ang daling sabihin: “Eh kung ‘di naman kasi sila tamad, kung nagpursige ba sila sa pag-aaral. Kung ‘di sila nag-anak ng apat, anim, siyam. Kung ‘di na lang sila umalis sa probinsya para maghanap ng trabaho sa Maynila. Kung tumanggi sila. Kung ‘di sila adik. Kung ‘di sila tulak.” Ang daling sabihin kasi…

Their Last Moments on Earth

After dusk, when darkness sprawls over the metro — thieves, murderers and drug personalities find their most opportune time to do business. And where these hooligans leave a bloody mess, that’s where my duty as a graveyard reporter begins. The dirty job takes some getting used to. But I’ve never thought that my graveyard shift will…