Thursday ∗ 28 Jul 2016

Media madness #DuterteSONA2016

It was hilarious actually, watching media make a mess of their SONA 2016 coverage — and we’re not even talking about those “power shots” of the President’s nostrils and hands.

In fact, I’m not even talking about the SONA itself — for how can media mess up that coverage when we were all stuck with video from Brillante Mendoza? I’m talking about the pre-event coverage, when our congressmen and senators arrive at the Batasang Pambansa. In the past, this was the time and place to talk about what the women of Congress and the Senate are wearing, an opportunity to talk designers, a veritable fashion show.

But with the directive that guests wear “business attire,” it seems the media got the red carpet pulled from under their feet. Because what do they now talk about? What questions do we ask? What stories can we spin, with no clothes, fashion, designers to talk about? Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 20 Jul 2016

From #WestPHSea dispute to … impeachment? #mediacrisis

Not that it isn’t being pointed out by more and more people, which has also made our mainstream media practitioners totally defensive, but there are some glaring media mishaps that seem important to mention — before we (i) forget, and just so it’s here for future reference. The Karen Davila Headstart interview with Justice Antonio Carpio on July 14 2016 happened as expected. They talked about the West Philippine Sea dispute, the decision of the international arbitral tribunal in favor of the Philippines, and where to go… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 14 Jul 2016

From Luneta to the Hague: a timeline of the #WestPHSea dispute #mediacrisis

Still reading up — and there is a lot of reading up to do — about the decision on the West Philippine Sea, but have found it scary irresponsible that mainstream and social media have taken on this celebratory tone, with the contingent demand that we all join in with as much fervour and gratefulness to former President Aquino. But a sense of recent history, of what brought us here, is important towards understanding why Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay is correct about handling the results of this case… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 02 Jul 2016

Inauguration day #Du30 #Day1

Today is inauguration day, the official start of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency. Yet if we were looking at the past month or so since the May 10 elections, Duterte’s been blamed for most everything that has happened, including Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping spree, and the spate of killings since elections. Never mind that these crimes are happening under the Aquino government.

Wednesday ∗ 29 Jun 2016

ridiculous #MediaCrisis

It has gotten ridiculous, the way this noisy elite on social and mainstream media has looked down on, put into question, scoffed at, anything at all to do with incoming President Rodrigo Duterte. Don’t get me wrong: we should be discussing at length and in depth all his major campaign promises because he is willing to risk the presidency to fulfil these. This requires that we be on our toes, and engaging in relevant discussions about the death penalty, human rights, and federalism. But instead of levelling up the discourse, this noisy elite is grasping at straws. Without the… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 10 Jun 2016

COMELEC rules, the Liberal Party, #mediacrisis

It seems important not to let this pass. Tuesday, June 8, was the deadline for all those who ran for public office to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) to COMELEC. The Liberal Party has missed its deadline, and is asking for a 14-day extension. As per COMELEC rules: The 08 June 2016 deadline shall be final and non-extendible. Submissions beyond this period shall not be accepted. COMELEC Resolutions Nos. 9849 and 9873, Minute Resolutions Nos. 13-0775 and 13-0823 are hereby repealed, insofar… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 23 May 2016

a shred of truth?

Could it be true that Malacañang staffers have been ordered to shred documents, with no explanations, and with no written memo, a little over a month before the President of matuwid-na-daan steps down? Napaka-exciting naman! What is being shredded, and who exactly is squealing it to the media? I mean for all our complaints against Rappler, I don’t think they’d come out with a story were their sources not credible and reliable. And they are correct when they say that government… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 24 Apr 2016

The urgency of the environment #Eleksyon2016 #EarthDay2016

I had started on this series on the environment – from urban development to climate change – because the early press releases on today’s debate declared that the topics would be about disaster preparedness, climate change adaptation, health care, education, and fighting corruption. Since last Sunday though, I’ve heard otherwise, and if the grapevine is correct it will be a free-for-all (yet again!) as far as topics are concerned. Also, if my news is correct, today’s #PiliPinasDebates2016 will include a… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 23 Apr 2016

Climate change and matuwid na daan #Eleksyon2016 #EarthDay2016

Each candidate for president is talking about development and change. From those big concepts, they will reveal that what they mean by development is infrastructure and investments, towards job creation and poverty alleviation. None of them though are talking about the construction of roads and better public transport as connected to air pollution. None of them are talking about urban development as interwoven with reducing our carbon footprint.

Environment, development, cities #Eleksyon2016 #EarthDay2016

The most important platform a Presidential candidate must have is one for the environment. It is the one that they need to be clear about, that they need to work on beyond imagining the environment as mere resource that should be, must be sold, like we have no choice. Here is where we need to hear a pro-people stance, one that will dare say no to big business, irresponsible mining, illegal loggers, oligarchs and transnational corporations. A real platform for… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 22 Apr 2016

Leading by example #Eleksyon2016

I’m pretty sure Malacañang knows it, we all know it, and even the voting masses can see through it: that when the Palace uses public money to talk dirty about Mar Roxas’s political rivals, that in fact, it is doing the classic foot-in-mouth. So when it says the next President must “lead by example,” one cannot help but ask: so what kind of example has this current administration been for all of us the past six years? If they’ve been… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 21 Apr 2016

Divorce and freedom #Eleksyon2016

Triggered by The Rundown 2016, an ABS-CBN News Channel and UP Economic Society program that aired live on January 29, here is another issue that one must take into consideration when deciding on who to vote for. The Rundown asked the first batch of its Senatorial candidates about their stand on divorce, and to have had only one senatorial candidate say yes to divorce among the many who were there, is just utterly disappointing. Of course the show’s format was… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 20 Apr 2016

The Lumad and mining #Eleksyon2016

If there is an issue that should be part of the decision to vote for anyone at all this coming elections, it is the Lumad killings, and the injustice that those who survive continue to live with. Thousands of Lumad are in evacuation centers, living off lugaw if there is food at all, away from the productivity of caring for their land, away from the schools that nurture their children, away from their homes. The bigger picture we are looking… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 06 Apr 2016

Tungkol sa kultural na paggawa

Walang pagkilos na kultural na hindi nababalot ng kontradiksyon. Kontradiksyon ang eleksyon at ang pagsampa ng kahit na sinong artista sa entablado ng sortie. Kontradiksyon ang pagsusulat bilang hanapbuhay para sa pulitiko. Kontradiksyon ang pagsusulat ng opinion column para sa diyaryong pagaari ng big business o oligarkiya. (AKO)

Thursday ∗ 31 Mar 2016

don’t believe those surveys #Eleksyon2016

Elsewhere in the world, election surveys are held against the light, and assessed based on where it is done, whose bailiwick(s) it chooses to survey, and how the survey is conducted. In the Philippines, it is the media enterprises like ABS-CBN and Rappler that commission or do their own surveys, justifying the practice instead of questioning it.

Tuesday ∗ 29 Mar 2016

Social / media bias #Eleksyon2016

If I were the Liberal Party, I’d be congratulating myself. After five years they have successfully dumbed down public discourse, selling us the true, the good, the beautiful about matuwid­ na­ daan, making us believe that it is all we need, handling criticism and crises via spin, always using notions of anti­corruption and transparency to respond to anything at all.

Tuesday ∗ 15 Mar 2016

#womensmonth2016: censoring our words, our bodies

the trailer of the movie “Ang Taba Ko Kasi,” a trailer that has been online since February 1, a good month and half ago, has been deemed by the Movie Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) as unfit for public exhibition. lead actress Cai Cortez posted the MTRCB decision on her instagram, obviously and understandably exasperated by the decision.

Sunday ∗ 13 Mar 2016

#womensmonth2016: those darn shoes

while elsewhere in the world the discussions for women’s day and women’s month 2016 have been on the level of celebrity women’s bodies and slutshaming, role models and raising our young girls, in the Philippines we have a government that cannot even pretend to know what women need, much less what we want.

Wednesday ∗ 17 Feb 2016

Pacquiao self-destructs

we knew it was coming yes? i mean Manny Pacquiao was always coddled and forgiven, he could do no wrong. this is what we tend to do for anyone we declare hero. because in a nation in dire need of some good vibes, some wins in the midst of too many losses, we make heroes out of, and i paraphrase Pia Wurtzbach here: basketball stars, beauty queens, and boxers.

Thursday ∗ 28 Jan 2016

Ai Weiwei, beyond Western claims

Though it was apt to kick-off a year with the promise of writing more about art, and hopefully more about art outside of this country (haha!), with the first Ai Weiwei exhibit in China, something that I happened upon when I was there in September, and rebelling against the very fixed and strict schedule set for the media group I was with. So I got in a cab and asked in my Chinese-English (which is really just English with a… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 25 Jan 2016

Blaspheming against the bul-ol

There is no looking at Ronald Ventura’s work without having in the back of my head that $1.1M dollar record-breaking sale at the 2011 Sotheby’s auction. In 2012 it seems he’s also had a good run at art auctions such as the Christie’s auction in Hong Kong last last year, which shouldn’t be a surprise really. Between the interest in Southeast Asian art and 2011’s record-breaking sale, it would seem strange if Ventura were not to ride that wave. It… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 04 Jan 2016

Tita Baboo, 1948-2015

In September 2014, I met Tootsy Echauz-Angara for a Metro Society cover story (with Heart Evangelista and Shalani Soledad). My interview with her started (as I try to with any subject) by establishing a connection between us. In this case, it was easy: I called her mom Tita Baboo, who supported my nanay’s book on EDSA and put out money for it without hesitation, who had (with Tita Laida) fed me so well on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Baguio in 2013, smarting as I was from a hit… Continue reading »

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