once again social media Pilipinas and government officials are on the defensive, offended by references to Manila in Dan Brown’s novel Inferno. as i sit and read the novel — because there’s no other way to assess it really, but to read it — here’s something i wrote in 2010 for the now defunct metakritiko, about Filipinos and our inability to handle it when we are told some truth or other about us, and how we miss the point entirely half the time.
also this is what Cabinet official and MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino has said in response to Inferno:
More than your portrayal of it, Metro Manila is the central of Filipino spirit, faith and hope. Our faith in God binds us as a nation and we believe that Manila citizens are more than capable of exemplifying good character and compassion towards each other, something that your novel has failed to acknowledge. Truly, our place is an entry to heaven.
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today, the workers of a Coca-Cola plant in Sta. Rosa Laguna have started their strike. that is, Coke’s drivers, haulers, fork lift operators, and pickers, almost 300 of them, have refused to go to work, effectively stopping operations in two plants (as i write this at 9AM today), as they call for their most basic rights as workers be respected by Coke. that is, just wages, workers benefits and job security. and ironically, this strike demands that workers be given… Continue reading »
mag-isip, Pilipinas. mediocre media. nothing brilliant about brillantes. cheating.
my issue with this list of partylist organizations that are sure to get a seat in Congress at this point in time, is that it is so so easy to prove that they are not for or about the marginalized, and neither are most of these about some underrepresented sector. late last year, when my friend Aries began being asked to endorse candidates for the election, i had done research on some of these partylists, and could quickly tell which ones shouldn’t… Continue reading »
I do not know Teddy Casiño And when I say that, I mean that I do not know him personally, and at a random meeting he wouldn’t know me from Eve. I’ve been asked by friends if I’m endorsing him though, and the answer is yes, because for someone I do not know, I trust Teddy. I trust him for exactly the reasons you have been made to think he is not worthy of your vote. I trust him because… Continue reading »
If you had the chance to have the entire Philippines hear what you want to say about the coming elections, what would you write? For one day let’s all blog, tweet and post about our hopes, aspirations, reminders and challenges for the Pinoy voting public.
IV. At eight years old, my task was to read to my Lola, then blinded by cataract and cancer. Articles from the two newspapers and the monthly Newsweek Magazine that Lolo subscribed to were already chosen early in the morning, long before I was due back from school at noon. Lolo, having read some of these articles by the time I arrive for my task, would doze off as I read to Lola. Meanwhile, Lola would be attentive to my… Continue reading »
which is to say what exactly? that she is honest about her earnings? well you see, she has no choice but to be honest, seeing as she likes to display her wealth, talking about it on TV, mentioning it in her interviews, if not using it for the pages of her very own magazine. if you were Kris Aquino, you would have no choice but to pay your taxes. you display your wealth like that, you earn from your life in this way,… Continue reading »
We’ve always known Kris Aquino to be shameless. And no, to me this didn’t start with her wanting to join show business, neither was it about the fact that her mother’s presidency was riddled with her love affairs with “wrong” men, with a couple even fighting it out in Malacañang, no less. To me, the shamelessness began in 2003, September to be exact, when Yes Magazine featured this ex-presidential daughter as nothing but her clothes, her make-up, as nothing but… Continue reading »
I am the last person to defend SM, and I do think we’ve got enough malls and condos in this country. But one of the first things I asked when the petition to save the Philam Life Theater began to gain ground was: why? And no, not why did SMDC buy the Philam Life property, but why was this property sold at all? Yet that doesn’t seem to be a question that many people are asking. Instead we are asking… Continue reading »
It was difficult to celebrate Women’s Month at a time when the Pinay remains under attack, even when she’d like to think otherwise. To me it happens on the level of a beauty industry that has standardized what it is we mean by beautiful, as it does happen on the level of a Catholic Church that continues to take a stand against the Reproductive Health Law, after we have fought for it for 14 years. Scientific and common sense would… Continue reading »
What the UP Administration and the governments who have supported that 300% tuition fee increase have created here are the conditions for the poor’s discomfort and embarrassment, in a space that should be the bastion of equality and sameness. In the 90’s, paying at most a P5,400 tuition fee, one of us was not better than another, and in fact, discomfiture was for the rich who were even there at all. In the 90’s, the best and the brightest from… Continue reading »
as i continue to wrap my head around the aftermath of Kristel’s death, as one grapples with what ultimately is an injustice, one is also forced to respond to the most insensitive comments cloaked in notions of being “more objective” or being “scientifically, medically correct.” and while we mourn, we are also fuelled to fight. and as many others are out on the streets, are boycotting their classes, i fight the best way i know how: with words. at a… Continue reading »
because as i try to wrap my head around this, the more urgent task has been to respond to what to me are the more unthinking and insensitive assertions about Kristel Tejada’s suicide, in relation to her unpaid tuition fees at the University of the Philippines Manila. and because if there’s anything that is even sadder here, it’s that those who assert that this is no political issue, are those who fail to see that their mere articulation of such… Continue reading »
In January, the Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrated the 6.09% rise in the number of tourists to the Philippines. That’s 25,000 more people who have come to visit this country where everything’s more fun. That’s 436,079 tourists who landed in good ol’ Pinas in January alone. It gives me goosebumps. Far from the good kind. Because it would take an amount of delusion to think this all good, and only the naïve would think those numbers equal to development or… Continue reading »
Over on Twitter, Teddy Boy Locsin claims credit for suggesting that actor Robin Padilla be brought to Sabah to help resolve the conflict. Locsin’s take on Robin of course is somewhat limited: he is charismatic, he is handsome, he can make people stop doing what they’re doing, Locsin says. But in fact Robin’s iconography, his history as icon, reveals how while he might be all these adjectives, what is far larger than his charisma and looks is what he’s done,… Continue reading »
Bam Aquino promises to bring social entrepreneurship to the Senate. That he is running on that, and his last name (obviously!), is the most vulgar act of political ambition we might see since the Pacquiaos (in the plural!) decided they must all run for government in Gen San (Jinkee for Governor!). At least Jinggoy and JV went through years of being mayor. And yes, I am comparing the Aquinos (Kris included!) to the Estradas. Such is local politics, and yes… Continue reading »
thank yous are in order, and while Angela and i always difficult to go all me! me! me! or I! I! I! on our blogs, almost two months into 2013, it would seem wrong to not fall back on that i, if only so i can talk to a you and articulate gratefulness. the year kicked off with being offered a regular Opinion column over at The Manila Times. i had hoped i could get away with putting a logo instead of… Continue reading »
Making Lemonade There is a romance that we like to imagine about writing, and especially the writing of a book. And while my rebellious self would like to tell you that this was not the case for Of Love and Other Lemons, that would be a lie. Certainly it came from a personal history of love and loss and sadness, complete with the high – if not OA – drama of buckets of tears. But the writing of this book… Continue reading »
As it turns out, nowhere. On an otherwise regular Friday night this single girl would find herself in a non-descript bar on the Fort Strip – the most recent incarnation of which has less of the sosy clubbing crowd, thank goodness. The years might have taught me of the need to dress appropriately for certain spaces, but adulthood has made me more stubborn about being myself too, especially for a night when all I need is a round or two… Continue reading »
don’t know about the depths of non-fiction ha. baka the narrative lang that surrounds our notions of depth. see you UP Baguio!
which is what Ricky Lo is. and yes, we can go on and on about how bad that interview was, and the wrong questions he asked, or you know, we can go the way of wanting more hits and ask people: what do you think? but what we might want to ask too is the question of why: why is Ricky Lo the one we’re sending out to represent good ol’ Pinas? why are his interviewing skills so bad? why is he… Continue reading »