Sa Ulo ng Nagbabagang Balita

Waring nagbibiro lamang ang tadhana nang magkakasunod na pagkilala ang inilabas ng korte at mga ahensya sa mga karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa media. Ngunit di gaya ng bungang-kahoy na pinahinog ng tubig at araw, kinailangan pang ikalburo ng ilang manggagawa sa media ang mga pagkakataon nang sa gayo’y mahinog ito nang tuluyan. Sa madaling…

Who Run the Farm? Girls!

In the hottest place in the north of the Philippines, farms are drying up and animals are dying. Men are getting old, or sick, or too weak to till the land. Their able children, in the meantime, have no interest in farming, and instead want a better chance at life outside the province. But life…

The Best Defenses v Online Harassment

It was the most uncalled-for comment I encountered on a Facebook post I uploaded on Monday, March 21, 2016. Worse, when I saw it, it had been there for an hour already. I cringed and felt so helpless and hurt knowing at the back of my mind that oftentimes when a woman gets disrespected and…

Less Is More: The True Value of Vote-Poor Places Like Batanes

In a faraway province in the northernmost parts of the Philippines, Ryan Cardona is excited for the month of May. The clear blue skies, pristine waters of the Pacific, and the warm winds from the ocean during this month are all good signs for his business. Ryan works as a tourism officer in Batanes, ushering…

The Risks I Took to Be a Reporter

My hands were shaking as I handed my resignation letter to my bosses. My thoughts were all incoherent as I explained why I was leaving GMA News. The only rational thing I remember telling them: I was a millennial seeking to explore the bigger world outside the newsroom. My bosses were shocked because I didn’t…

The Treasures of Turkey

Days ago, a suicide bomb blast killed 10 people at the heart of Istanbul. The attack targeted Sultahnamet Square, an old district flocked by thousands of tourists everyday. It was the latest in a series of bombings that rocked Turkey in recent months. I stayed in Turkey for 15 days last October to attend the United Nations Convention…

Trial by Fire

We don’t even have to wait for March to talk about fire prevention. We can have this discussion during the first day of every New Year. Instead of enjoying Media Noche with their families, our firefighters are busy babysitting reckless people who are literally playing with fire through firecrackers. Some say it’s our custom. Some say it’s tradition….

The Road to Paris: Dingdong Dantes and A.G. Sano

Mention Paris, France and most people will think about the recent terror attacks that dominated global headlines and social media timelines a few weeks ago. But Paris is now tackling a larger terror that also requires the attention of the entire world: climate change and how it can cause a literal hell on Earth if…

How to Get Away with Murder: The Pemberton Verdict and LGBT Rights

Until now, Julita Cabillan fondly calls her daughter, “Ganda.” To the rest of the world, she is known as Jennifer Laude, Jeffrey to those who cannot accept that a person can choose his or her own gender identity. Whatever you call her, she’s now just a name, a memory. For Julita, the lower court verdict…

The Unseen War of the Lumads Against Climate Change

Our indigenous people are waging wars on numerous fronts. It’s bad enough that many of the Lumads of Mindanao are fighting for the right to live, but some are also fighting an enemy that is both faceless and relentless: climate change. Take the Lumads of San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, for example. Dry spells in…

New York and Manny Pacquiao by Mav Gonzales

Manny Pacquiao smiled his way through hundreds of fans at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. It was nearly midnight in the middle of October and Pacman just arrived in Manila from his home in General Santos City. Security around him was tight, but he made sure to stop when other passengers and airport employees requested…

Freelance: The Price of Freedom

I am writing this piece with a Post-It note of my backlogs: a research proposal, three science articles, and two pitches. Not to mention my piles of papers to check (including a thesis draft) as a part-time lecturer in a university. Freelancing doesn’t sound so free after all. I decided to go completely freelance on January…

The Wonder Vendors: Mudjur Clemente and Gladys dela Cruz

Thankfully, we now have Facebook to remind us of days like our birthdays. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between people who really remembered your birthday or those who just saw a notification. But hey, it’s the thought that counts. It’s a good feeling to have most of your family, friends and acquaintances fill your timeline…

Why I Sued GMA: Refusing Unfair Labor Practices in the Media

On June 2014, I sued my employer, GMA Network, Inc. Signing those documents sealed my future, or the end of it. Scratch that. The company does not actually recognize me as its employee, and that’s precisely why I, along with other members of the Talents Association of GMA (TAG), filed a case against the network. Yes,…

This Victory Matters

The news was broken to us around 7:30 pm last night, Thursday, June 25. My head writer at State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, and one of the officers of Talents Association of GMA, Edma Remillano, whispered to me while we were writing our scripts: “Nanalo tayo sa NLRC (We won at NLRC).” We were told that our…

Sa Aking mga Kababata

Ang sarap isiping pag-ibig ang nagpapainog sa mundo. Pero sabi ng mga praktikal, pera ruaw talaga ang siyang dahilan kung bakit umiikot ito. Anong magandang kurso? ‘Yung magpapayaman sa ‘yo. Anong negosyo ang magandang itayo? Sa easy money tayo. Saang trabaho dapat pumasok? Sa malaki ang sweldo. At paano nga naman sisisihin ang taumbayan? Sa bansang…

I’m Quitting Tinder

“The New York Times makes a big deal out of Tinder,” reads my own Tinder profile. After much egging from my friends, it was the New York Times that convinced me to download the app. It published Op-Eds, Modern Love columns, and Feature articles on the increasingly popular dating app, offering perspectives that ranged from…

The Batanes Survival Guide: 13 Places You Must Visit

Just a decade ago, Batanes is just a small, unpopular island at the northernmost tip of the Philippines. Some would remember Batanes from the elementary textbooks as a place frequently hit by typhoons. Some would associate it with Ivatans, the indigenous tribe from the north who built the vernacular stonehouses. Either way, just a few…

Batanes: Tales and Tips from an Ivatan’s Granddaughter

Lola Inggay died when I was 11. She was 84. There were only too little memories I could associate with her, Christmas being one of them. My grandmother used to give me five peso coins from her plastic pouch every time I visited her. I used to think “Mano po” is some secret code to…

The Siege of Zamboanga’s Youngsters by Makoi Popioco

A little boy cowered behind an overturned wooden chair, avoiding gunfire. The other boy breathed heavily, he dashed his small feet forward and with his frail hands, he fired. The boy hiding behind the chair got shot, fell down, and played dead. I raised my hand, pointed my index finger, pulled the invisible trigger in my thumb,…