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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
Fiction based on real stories – and especially ones that are of recent events – can easily fall into the trap of being like a cheap TV reenactment that seeks to teach the public a lesson or two about daily living. It also has to deal with an audience that has seen the same story unfold via sensationalist media, the kind that asks a mother who has lost a daughter to a freak accident: Ano pong pakiramdam ninyo ngayon? All… Continue reading »
The mess that is the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) is something that’s become obvious not so much because of its involvement in Paoay Church renovations, or questionable engagements with heritage site reconstructions, but more because there seems to be no effort at all on its part to be more transparent about its projects, ones that the National Commission for Culture and the Arts has no choice but give it some money for. And this is the thing: we’re talking millions in… Continue reading »
It is always with a heavy heart — yes medyo OA — that I read / listen to discourse about the Marcos’s wealth of art and clothes and shoes, the ones that history tells us we have paid for, but which is handled with nary care or creativity by the powers-that-be as we get these back from the Marcoses.
I tend to veer away from stories that are out to clutch your heart, and then measure success by how much you bawl while watching. Elsewhere in the world texts like these are criticized for displaying sickness and passing it off as artistic work, or using a particular claim to an ailment and then celebrating the work as “new” or innovative. And so I could but be skeptical about Dani Girl, as I came in to see it on its… Continue reading »
Because there is plenty here that works: from the funky music to the fantastic lyrics, dramatic situations and imagery so vivid, emotions so raw it can only be yours. I knew it when I heard “Kapit Mahal” via Billy B.’s now-defunct UR radio show, but I know it even more now: that was no fluke. Top Junk released its indie debut last year, but I count it as one of my early 2011 finds, literally: I bought it at Route… Continue reading »
This blog was a finalist for the Lasallian Scholarum Awards this year, and I couldn’t be happier. We didn’t win the award but the greatness of being finalist is enough when one considers that the standard practice in this country is that you practically have to nominate your blog for awards, and then campaign to win anything. I sent my best girls Keisha Uy and Alessi Vilches to the awarding as I had my September 1 tied to a friend’s journey, but… Continue reading »
I had started watching CinemalayaX with Carlitos Siguion Reyna’s Hari Ng Tondo, Joseph Alterejos’s Kasal, and Roderick Cabrido’s Children’s Show. It was two good movies out of three, and I thought it was portents of things to come for the rest of the week’s movie viewing frenzy. After watching all 15 full length films, I realize I had it good that first day. It was downhill from there. Click here to read the rest of it over at Vera Files.
It seems the only way to start this review is to acknowledge – and praise – the Technical Theater Program Batch 111 students of Benilde for having dared and successfully staged and produced 2014’s Fluid. Were the technical aspects of the production the only point, then this was quite a successful theatrical debut for this batch of students. It would also, for the most part, be a successful re-write for contemporary times, something that playwright Floy Quintos talks about in… Continue reading »
I tend to imagine that these times of political and socio-economic crises demand of creative work an amount of relevance, where it is easy to pinpoint films and TV shows and writing that tends towards escapism, refusing to speak of issues that are urgent and important. But escapism is also exactly what we need in times like these, when only the wealthy minority can live oblivious to the rising cost of basic goods and the utter lack of public services,… Continue reading »