Category Archives: akademya

Monday ∗ 03 Apr 2017

Portrait of a UP teacher as mining lobbyist

On Wednesday, March 29, GMA News Online ran a story about a UP teacher claiming two things: that Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) employees were ordered by an undersecretary to “find fault” in mining operations, and that students will not find good jobs in the mining industry after graduation. These are University of the Philippines students, ones this same professor has taught, ones that taxpayers’ money has put through university education, and they are being told they will… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 01 Apr 2014

Activism* (or what is wrong with the STFAP and STS)

Activism, to me, has always been about daring to ask the more difficult questions. And wanting to do – and actually doing – something about it. Anyone who thinks Kristel is being used for the cause of free education was obviously blind and deaf to the years of protests against tuition fee increases and the repercussions of the slow process of the State ceasing to subsidize state colleges and universities. So no, Kristel is not some mascot being used for… Continue reading »

Rage* (or what is wrong with the STFAP and STS)

When I entered the State University as a freshman in 1995, I was part of an English block that was diverse by virtue of class. It didn’t take long to find that while some of us were from well-off families (I had a Romualdez in my class for example, and there were children of lawyers), and there were some of us who were versions of middle class; many of my blockmates came from poorer families, many from the provinces. Many… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 27 Jan 2014

Dolphy, national artist*

It’s difficult to imagine childhood without Dolphy, even when all he was to me was the image of a father on television, even as who I identified with was Maricel Soriano or Claudine Barretto playing his daughters in two different sitcoms, across two different generations. At some point this father image became interwoven with that of Enteng Kabisote, father to Aiza. The images are real to me, the characterization of fatherhood that was protective but had difficulty providing, that was… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 04 Jan 2014

Pinoy social and online media 2013 (Part 2)

2nd of three installments. Pol Medina leaves his mainstream pugad. And finds another mainstream pugad really, that thought it wonderful that you could choose-your-own-punchline on comic strips. But that’s getting ahead of the story. First was a Pugad Baboy strip that was submitted by Medina in April of this year, which was rejected by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It would then be published in June to public social media outcry.

Saturday ∗ 29 Jun 2013

WTF KWF! or what is wrong with Pilipinas?

in undergrad in 1990’s University of the Philippines, i was taking a required Filipino 50 class that was teaching us all to spell in the prescribed Filipino. prescribed, which means that it was up to a Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino, to tell me how to spell my English. that is how to spell English words like engineer into injinir. i asked then why could we not leave English words alone, if only because the need to spell all these English words our… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 21 Mar 2013


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 »

Sunday ∗ 27 Jan 2013

see you University of Baguio!

don’t know about the depths of non-fiction ha. baka the narrative lang that surrounds our notions of depth. see you UP Baguio!  

Monday ∗ 23 Apr 2012

burn baby burn: criticism, jargon, power

may simple akong tugon sa usapin ng paggamit ng jargon at teorya para sa pagsusulat tungkol sa sining at kultura: sino ang audience mo? this is not to say that i don’t think theory’s important, in fact i think there is nothing but theory, every critical piece has a theoretical backbone, a framework against which it falls. and this is not to say that i don’t believe in knowing from where we speak, being clear about our own biases, and… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 05 Apr 2012

criticism, feudalism, freedom

Ricky de Ungria: “<…> perhaps because we have not shaken off our feudal cast of mind and psyche that inhibits us from critiquing the ideas of the “elder statesmen” in our fields as a result of a kind misplaced measure of deference or respect for elders, and that allows us to accept conveniently their word as “law” so we don’t have to bother with it anymore as we go on quietly with our own desperate lives?”

Monday ∗ 16 Jan 2012

on ignorance and vampires: self-/auto-plagiarism

what is being brought to light too, i find, is that while Lito Zulueta’s biases are questioned precisely because of the place he occupies in the Philippine Daily Inquirer vis a vis UST, his engagement with this issue has not happened in the broadsheet he works for. whereas Luis Teodoro’s attacks on him have happened in a regular Business World column. the discussion, thankfully, continues.

Thursday ∗ 12 Jan 2012

Tito Jorge

Tito Jorge would’ve laughed out loud, would’ve teased that this 35-year old was bawling like his widow under the watchful eye of Mother Teresa and an oven called Serenity. The 68-year old man had taught humor well. Irony, too. It seems it took him long enough. In 1994, Tito Jorge was working at the UP Film Center and on the last day for submission of UPCAT applications, arrived in the rain carrying with him – rolled up under his shirt… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 02 Jan 2012

on (the) line: credibility, the academe, journalism

truth to tell i didn’t care much about this “expose” of Marites Danguilan Vitug because it was a non-Corona non-issue to me. non-Corona, because exposing the lack of a dissertation, the number of years he took to finish the phd, his ineligibility for the honors he was given, point to the fact that this was always a UST issue. the basic question being: why make corona an exemption to university rules? and i didn’t care for that question because i knew without… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 05 Nov 2011

notes on TEDx Diliman: ideas worth spreading?

TEDx Talks are independently organized TED talks across the world, which is about “riveting talks by remarkable people.” TEDx Diliman was my first. This is a review of each of the TED talks that were part of it, done in 18 minutes or less, because that’s the time limit of a TED Talk. Read more about TED here, and check out this really good video on TEDx here. Roby Alampay on freedom is our competitive advantage the thing with saying… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 05 Oct 2011

Luisa Mallari-Hall, teacher

in April 2000, Prof. Luisa Mallari-Hall died in a plane crash, along with her husband and two children. she was a wonderful woman/teacher/friend/human being whose teaching continues to resonate with me, 15 years since she was first my teacher in 1996. these two essays were written soon after she died, the first one for a SEA newsletter, the second one i read at the tribute put together by the DECL in U.P. in 2010, i give birth and lose a… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 14 Sep 2011

careless banter: PNoy’s speech problem

the more i listen to PNoy, the more i realize that his communications team, all three heads of it, seems to be just clueless about how to handle his public speaking, how to strike a balance between being (pa-)cool and young, and creating an image of credibility and respect. case in point: at the investiture of Fr. Jett Villarin into the Ateneo Presidency, the premise of PNoy’s speech was his being Atenista, his personal relationship with Fr. Jett its context.… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 18 Jun 2011

Walang K ang K-12

School year 2011-2012 is the first school opening under the PNoy administration. The government may be new, but the problems of education remain the same. The stars of this crisis are the lack of teachers, classrooms, toilets and school desks. Look at these numbers: 101,612 — shortage of regular teachers 66,800 — shortage of classrooms 2,573,212 — shortage of school chairs 135,847 — shortage of toilets These numbers are based on Dep Ed. In front of Batasang Pambansa, at Batasan Hills… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 13 Apr 2011

are we forgiving plagiarism?

my friend D posted this on her FB page: the tricky thing about plagiarism is that while everyone is in agreement that it is a crime, a violation, the accused is almost never able to exercise his/her right to due process, legal representation, a fair trial, an appeal. how does one pay for such a crime, really? what does it take? it seems like there is nothing in the world one can do to gain genuine pardon for an offense… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 11 Apr 2011

plagiarism apology as can of worms

because this is what happened when Krip Yuson apologized for his act of plagiarism: he opened a can of worms about writing in this country, about the hubris of the editor, about the question of writer versus editor, etc. etc. and you know I’m all for letting it all hang out, but given the gravity of an awarded Filipino writer plagiarizing, it just seems like the wrong time for invoking other worms. Worm #1: Yuson talks about being the editor… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 31 Mar 2011

release Ericson Acosta, now!

(please share, repost, tumblelog, tweet this statement of support) We, University of the Philippines alumni, academe, artists, writers, students, human rights advocates, friends and colleagues of Ericson Legaspi Acosta, call for his immediate and unconditional release from his current illegal detention. Ericson is a cultural worker and writer, and a former UP activist. During the ‘90s, he served as editor of the Philippine Collegian, UP’s official student publication. He is a former chair of the student cultural group Alay Sining,… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 02 Feb 2011

dear Dep Ed, on EFA and another additional year

early in the week, on one of those hectic mornings that I keep the TV on to Sapul sa 5 for company, I heard your plans for instituting public kindergarten as part of our educational system, and I could only tweet about it as violently as I could. though of course in the midst of the violence in Egypt then (now turned into a version of people power eh?), and the fare hike, this was barely carried by the rest… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 07 Oct 2010

dear P-Noy, on Teachers Day 2010

which has just passed, this day that should be more momentous than most because you yourself spoke of your own teachers at this speech you delivered to commemorate it two days ago. there is no person who was not affected by a teacher in a good way, and that teacher need not be in the classroom. in the ideal world though, in a world where education is all important in a real sort of way, that teacher would be in… Continue reading »

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