Saturday ∗ 21 Mar 2015

competition* #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

Here’s to the friendship
that could have been ours:
wife of my lover,
lover of my husband,
lover of my lover.

For women at both ends
are always rivals:
smiling for points
at a beauty contest,
icing the cake
at a cooking competition,
sprinting for the gold
as they race to a man’s heart. Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 19 Mar 2015

different women* #IAmNotMyShoes #WomensMonth2015

Six months since she’s arrived And yet she does not speak. She must have been chained; This I guess from the bruises On her wrists. But she will not Let me touch them. She trembles at the sight Of tall men, more so at those With shadows on their lips.

Monday ∗ 16 Mar 2015

relationships and freedom* #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

I. You are the earth and all that earth implies: The gravity that ballasts me in space, The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries For food and shelter against devouring days. You are the earth whose orbit marks my way And sets my north and south, my east and west, You are the final elemental clay The driven heart must turn to for its rest.

Sunday ∗ 15 Mar 2015

motherhood in a time of war* #SAF44 #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

… mourn a woman’s bitter lot: to give birth to men who kill and are killed.                               Grace Monte de Ramos                                               That morning alone he had sunk ten warships, downed four planes, marched countless armies across unseen territories, borders mapped only in his… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 13 Mar 2015

the decision to be alone* #IAmNotMyShoes #WomensMonth2015

Babae akong namumuhay na mag-isa Hiwalay sa asawa Matandang Dalaga Kerida Puta. Ang aking pag-iisa’y Batik na ituturing ng aking lipunan Latay na pabaon ng nakaraan, Pilat na taglay hanggang sa kasalukuyan.

the violence of choice* #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

To this harlequinade I wear black tights and fool’s cap Billiken, make me three bright masks For the three tasks in my life. Three faces to wear One after the other For the three men in my life.

Thursday ∗ 12 Mar 2015

the violence of words* #WomensMonth2015 #IAmNotMyShoes

Ginahasa ako ng mga salita, Paulit-ulit, Paulit-ulit, Hanggang magutay ang diwa. Buntis ang alaala Sa mga alimura, Pasa-pasa ang puso’t Lama’y salanta. — Ruth Elynia Mabanglo, 1992.

#IAmNotMyShoes Redux #WomensMonth2015

I am in awe of this National Youth Commission campaign In Her Shoes because it is so wrong, so offensive, so sexist, and is being sold to us by the male commissioners, including actor Dingdong Dantes in bright red high heels. Oh yes, at 1;27AM on March 12, I have the privilege of seeing him on 9News, in a replay of Pia Hontiveros’s News.Ph show. He and NYC commissioner Perci Cendaña have brought the heels they’ve been wearing for this campaign; Hontiveros has… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 10 Feb 2015

the President’s confidence level: the Mamasapano clash

sometimes one becomes unclear about whether or not the presidential spokespersons are actually on the President’s side, painting as they do some of the more unstable images of PNoy. with regard the question of the President seeking and listening to advice of a suspended official like ex-PNP Chief Alan Purisima, for something as critical as the Mamasapano operation at a time of peace negotiations with the MILF, Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda is quoted to have said: “No law prohibits the President from exercising… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 29 Jan 2015

the tale of the absent President: the Mamasapano clash (updated)

today, the nation watched and cried and grieved as the 42 slain police commandos of the Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police arrived in Manila in coffins. the members of the cabinet were present, as were Senators Bongbong Marcos and Nancy Binay, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, former President Fidel Ramos, and Vice President Jejomar Binay. President Noynoy Aquino was nowhere in sight. there was no member of the Aquino family representing him. there is no valid reason for this absence.

Wednesday ∗ 28 Jan 2015

taking stock: Mamasapano clash

yes, a statement, not a question. because there’s just too much not being said, or being spun? about the Mamasapano clash that has killed 50 policemen (as of last count) 44 police commandos of the Philippine National Police’s Special Action Force and an unreported number of MILF and / or BIFF fighters. and yet there is also an overload of information — such is the nature of social and online media in this country — and some of the more basic questions and answers get… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 23 Jan 2015

The end of the (art) affair*

My tendency in the past four years that I’ve been writing about and reviewing local art has been to be kind. I stopped reviewing art I didn’t like unless my editors assigned it to me; I would look at art events and could not but appreciate the effort that organizers put into it, even when it was clear to me that celebrating local art in this way is the height of superficiality. Artists earn money in these events, after all,… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 16 Jan 2015

#DearPopeFrancis*

Today you arrive in Manila. Unlike Sri Lanka, there will be no elephants dressed in fancy garb to welcome you on our streets. But I hear the President himself is set to welcome you at the airport, refusing as you have to do a State Dinner at Malacañang Palace. While he might invoke his Catholic upbringing, there have been many instances when he seemed to lack compassion and kindness, when often that is what this struggling and exhausted nation needs.… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 04 Jan 2015

Marian’s freedoms*

If there’s anything that’s true about Marian Rivera, it’s that she doesn’t care what we all think: she presents to us what she is, which is probably the closest to a private self we’ve been treated to within the public space that is local popular TV and movie culture. And when I speak of Marian’s private self, I mean the one that we don’t usually see of our celebrities, I mean that which is usually deemed unworthy of being made public.… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 15 Dec 2014

The human rights report card

Matuwid na daan—the righteous path—has always been more than a campaign slogan for this government. It is the frame for the image(s) of nation that it seeks to sell to the world. It is the ideological backbone of its belief in itself and all the good that it does. But of course at some point it will seem almost delusional, because there is real life and real people and real injustice that will prove matuwid na daan wrong. This is… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 01 Dec 2014

review: on ICON the concert

RadikalChika kicked-off with a review of ICON the concert, with Rico Blanco, Gloc-9, and Yeng Constantino. :) Photos here and with the column by Martin San Diego as provided by Thea G. Pollisco.

Wednesday ∗ 26 Nov 2014

the last of kolchor for 2014

the days have been long, though filled with too many things happening, and certainly even more happening in the shadows, beyond public scrutiny: this is the Philippines after all. so first a list, because there is also quite a lot of work to do, but also there is so much to talk about, and i feel like the three people who read this blog (haha!) might be wondering where i am, why so silent. well here i am. 

Saturday ∗ 08 Nov 2014

Kuya Joseph, Brgy. Burayan, San Jose, Tacloban City

Kuya Joseph. From Brgy. Burayan San Jose. Interviewed in early December 2013, less than a month after Typhoon Yolanda. He drove us around when we volunteered with Kusog Tacloban. His experience in his own words, just re-organized as this happened in various conversations. Will translate at some point, though will gladly let others do it. Because I still think there is no writing people’s stories that will do justice to their voices. Making it pretty is not just an injustice, it… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 05 Nov 2014

Balangiga, Eastern Samar

there is a general sadness to this space, so historically vibrant, and such a measure of how we do not care about this history. the bells are missing from the church’s bell tower, and the church itself is closed and under renovation. in May its doors were open, masses were being celebrated, a choir practiced in between. in the plaza in front of the Church there is a monument by Napoleon Abueva showing how 500 Filipino revolutionaries launched a surprise ambush on… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 03 Nov 2014

Quinapondan, Eastern Samar

the show was missing an audience when we arrived. a huge tent had been set-up at the barangay hall’s basketball court, the monobloc chairs for a hundred arrived, but there was no audience. in Guiuan where our first shows were, our venues were filled to the rafters, many women arriving with their children who wouldn’t understand the show, and would be crushed in the crowd. it took one show to realize that unbeknownst to us, these women were required to watch the show as part of… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 01 Nov 2014

Guiuan, Eastern Samar

when I was doing reliefph.com at the height of Yolanda / Haiyan last year, one indication I had that things were really bad was the number of phone calls and pleas for help that we received through the site. this was when there was a news blackout about the aftermath of the storm, and very little was getting through to Manila. relatives had started getting in touch with the site to tell us about the last time they had contact with family from Eastern Samar… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 16 Oct 2014

Justice for Jennifer

But first we decide not to be confused about the fact of this death. Because media is truly messing it up, even with just getting Jennifer’s name right, as they refuse to call her by the name that she identifies herself with, insisting on calling her by her birth name Jeffrey. Worse, many put Jennifer in quotes, or say Jeffrey Laude alias Jennifer, which already layers her name with the idea of deception. Because Jennifer is transgender, a trans woman.… Continue reading »

Recent Comments

© Katrina Stuart Santiago  ·  Contact Me
Wordpress theme and web development by @joelsantiago