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…

To the Boy Who Lost His Father to the Drug War

It was eight o’ clock in the evening along Taft Avenue in Manila when a street child was going around each store to ask for food, if not for some coins. He was thin, muddled, and soaked in the rain. He approached me with the usual demand, “Kuya, pahingi naman ng pambiling pagkain.” (Older brother,…

Duterte’s Balancing Act of Two Superpowers: US and China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is treading a dangerous path trying to balance two superpowers in his hands: China and the United States. In a recent turn of events, Duterte has decided to retain the military alliance between the US and the Philippines after rashly announcing a “separation from the US” on independent foreign policy during…

Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche

There are certain curse words that have become part of daily conversations. But do we really know where these words come from? After discussing Putang Ina and Yawa in the first edition of our special report Oral Origins, our sequel presents two more familiar utterances. Gago We all have probably gone through the nasty habit of christening our childhood…

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…

Chexit: The West Philippine Sea Is Ours but Now What?

China calls it a “farce.” The Philippine government filed the case before an international arbitral tribunal back in January 2013, seeking to quash the validity of China’s historic claims — an imaginary nine-dash line that impedes on our exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and effectively declares most of our seas as theirs. Their reason? Because they…

Oral Origins: The Etymology of Putang Ina and Yawa

Editor’s Note: Here is the sequel — Oral Origins 2: Gago and Leche I faintly remember what led to our teacher’s ire that afternoon and why she was scolding the class. All I can clearly recall now were the dusty black shoes I was wearing. They were the first things I saw when I looked down in shame…