A Pact Violated: What We Must Remember in Araw ng Maynila

The process of sanduguan was an agreement reached by two peoples. And it was this agreement that was, as firmly believed by Filipino revolutionaries in the late 19th century, violated by Spain.

The Common Mistake Every Independence Day

Saying that we commemorate the ‘122 anniversary of Philippine independence’ today implies that we have had our national sovereignty and independence for the past 122 years, which is not historically accurate.

Bartolina

Paano nga ba masusumpungan ang kahulugan ng buhay sa bartolina ng mga dinding sa bahay? At paano kung ang pagkanaroon pa ng susunod na yugto ng buhay ay sinusukat tuwing makalawang linggo?

The Struggles of an Anime Fan

I was the typical 90’s kid who grew up in a small provincial town. There wasn’t much to do so people my age just study, then go home right after. It was a boring childhood for most of us—but not for me. I was different. I was not really into this world, I tell you. …

Of Home, Hotel and Quarantine — Manila to Macau

Metro Manila was gearing for a lockdown, and I had yet to find a flight to Macau. For an overseas Filipino worker like me, time was ticking. With the impending threat of COVID-19, my travel to Macau and the ensuing quarantine were nothing short of an adventure. March 16, 2020. I was in my small…

Total Lockdown

Update: President Rodrigo Duterte enhanced the community quarantine into a total lockdown, fighting COVID-19 with more police and military visibility. It’s also the entire Luzon island now and not just Metro Manila. There is work suspension and only basic services can resume operations. But the restricted access resulted in more gatherings of people instead of…

A Filipina in the Time of Walang Ligo

What a bad time to have your monthly period. As a woman implored on a live television interview recently: Maawa sila sa’min. Ano, magbabahuan na ang mga kipay namin? Gan’un na lang? Is self-care a luxury nowadays? Should I feel guilty washing my pasador? Should I revert to sanitary pads for now? What about the…

Pamana ng mga Lola

Maalinsangang Sabado ng hapon, at malayu-layo ang nilakbay ng isang grupo ng mga babae mula sa Candaba, Pampanga. Suot ng mga Lola ang mga bulaklaking ternong wari’y naghuhudyat ng panibagong tagsibol, ng bagong pag-asa sa kabila ng madilim at malungkot nilang nakaraan bilang comfort women. Dala marahil ng edad at sampu ng marami nilang kasamang inagaw…

Progress

Can we measure progress by the number of infrastructure mushrooming left and right in our metropolis? They do look good; we’ll give them that, be it business firms, malls, restaurants, and technological hubs. But it may just be a sign of the times: that the rich keeps getting richer, and the poor keeps growing in…

Babae

Anak, ina, babae—iyan si Ligaya, biktima ng sex trafficking at ng mapapait na karanasan ng buhay. Bakit nga ba maraming babae ang nagiging biktima nito? Bakit ba ganito ang trato ng ilang lalaki sa mga babae na parang isang tuyong sanga na pwedeng baliin? Limang taong gulang pa lamang noon si Ligaya nang pagsamantalahan siya ng…

Starbucks Planners and Handwriting

Nothing marks November like Christmas songs and hype for planners. Anticipating the new set of months, the market is ripe for consumers looking for that perfect paper partner in an attempt at organizing the foreseeable future. A few years back, the Papemelroti pocket planner was the young counterpart of the daddy organizers: small and artsy…

100 Days without Facebook

“Who are you avoiding?” “Are you okay?” “How are we going to contact you now?” If you’re going to quit Facebook, expect these questions on Day 3 — or the day your friends will realize you’re not on Messenger and can’t be tagged on 9gag memes anymore. Your profile picture is reduced to a blue…

Musoleo: Araw-araw Kasama ng mga Patay

Umaalingasaw ang usok ng mga nakatirik na dilaw na kandila. Humahalik sa ilong ang halimuyak ng mga tindang kalachuchi at lila. Nakapapaso ang init ng mga sementadong puntod. Tangan ng iba ang kanilang mga payong habang taimtim na inaalala ang kanilang mga yumaong kamag-anak. Umaalingawngaw ang sintunadong boses ng mga kumakanta sa videoke. Mayroon ding…

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…

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…

Kung Paano Hinaharap ng Babae ang Hirap

Alas-tres ng umaga, gising na si Aling Irma.* Sa totoo lang, aniya, parang wala na siyang tulog. “Minsan, pag yung humihiga na ako, alas-diyes, ganun, tinatawag pa ako dun sa kabila. May iniuutos pa, ganun. Sa kagustuhan ko naman na ako ay may kita, hala sige kahit pagod na ako, sige pa rin. Tapos wala…

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…

Three Days in Benham Rise

May 5, 2017—It was a dry and humid day in Infanta, Quezon. I wandered around the fish port, quietly observing the locals. I would occasionally glance on my phone, snap a shot, and try to post it on Facebook. But the entire town is practically a dead spot, making it extremely hard for us to…