Studying under extraordinary conditions is possible, but requires a shift from what is familiar.
Social enterprise enables Filipinos to build peace with coffee
Davao-based Coffee For Peace nurtures grassroots coffee ‘farmerpreneurs’ to produce high-quality coffee beans and promote peace building
A Bangsamoro Millennial’s Reflections on the Plebiscite
A 25-year-old Bangsamoro-Maguindanaoan young professional who is campaigning to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law shares his thoughts as the plebiscite happens.
‘Allah Valley’ at mga Lumad
Wala pa ring katulad. Ang langit, isang karagatan ng asul. Nakakalat ang malabulak na mga ulap na minsa’y naghuhugis ayon sa lawak ng imahinasyon. Ilang dipa na lang ang layo nito sa lupa, halos abot kamay na ng mga tao. Pinapagitnaan ng bulubundukin sa kanluran at silangan ang mga sakahan ng palay at mga tirahan….
From the Frontlines of Marawi
The siege was already on its ninth day when my cameraman and I flew to Marawi. It was an assignment I was anticipating since the day firefight broke out in the city. Our defense reporter rode a C130 on the second day, and I was asked by the desk to replace her after a week….
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…
Sulu: A Lost Paradise
Berwina Timbang, a grade six student in Sultan Jamalul Kiram Elementary School in Maimbung, Sulu, was diligently listening to her English teacher when I first saw her. I was in Sulu then for a one-day news coverage. Occasionally, she would glance outside the window, her eyes innocent and her face hopeful. In a class of…
The Death of the Bangsamoro Basic Law
Co-written with Ephraim Aguilar Just like that, the proposed legislation that promises peace in the South is dead. The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) died in a war — not of guns, bombs and barbaric grounds — but a war within the hallowed, civilized halls of Congress. The very same fruit of two decades of grueling negotiations is…
Inside the Barracks of the PNP Special Action Force
Heroes are not born; they emerge because of certain circumstances, often through hard work and sheer courage. Fate may have chosen the brave 44 commandos of the PNP Special Action Force when they offered their lives for the country last year. But their training inside Fort Santo Domingo in Santa Rosa, Laguna has already prepared them for the worst….
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…
A Tribute to Visayas and Mindanao
It was the hottest time of day inside a rickety bus last April that I think I fell in love with Visayas. My skin was dark and burnt, having spent the last four days on polar ends of Cebu, and my forehead was dripping wet with sweat as we made our way from the Remegio…
The Lumads of Mindanao Are Desperately Calling Out for Help; Who’s Listening?
Every single Filipino, or perhaps even the non-Filipinos in and out of the country, knew what happened last week until Monday: that members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) staged a large demonstration in EDSA to condemn what they say was the meddling of the Department of Justice with their internal affairs. But what many…
Lumads of Davao del Sur: Students without a School
“Tak tak tak.” It’s the sound of a bolo hitting the chopping block, reducing rotten and rejected bananas from the plantation into small, circular pieces. The chopping would go on all afternoon until the sun turned golden and the shadows of the banana trees envelop the little town of Hagonoy, Davao del Sur. Three boys would…
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,…
The PNP’s Chance at Redemption by Howie Severino
At no other time in recent memory has any group of policemen elicited as much public sympathy as the Fallen 44 SAF Commandos. In the midst of the horrific nightmare that triggered this outpouring of emotion is an opportunity. At any other time, many of us would regard the police as the least heroic, most…
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