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

Mga Kwento ng Pagtitiis at Pagpupunyagi ng Kababaihang Maralita Unang Bahagi 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,…

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…

Orapronobis

The commemoration of the Passion of the Christ is an opportune time to pause for a while and reflect on all that has been and all that will be. And while a very few blessed kababayan can afford to travel either to the Sistine Chapel in the Holy See or the Holy Land in Jerusalem, you…