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.
Probably the one thing I am most thankful for having gone to UP Diliman for an undergraduate degree in Comparative Literature in the latter half of the 90s, were the set of literature teachers and minds available to me, the ones who were well-grounded in nation and how and where theories are limited in capturing where we are, what we think, where to go from here.
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 »
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 »
On doctor-ordered isolation (nothing infectious, just radioactive, long story) and totally missed the June 12 rallies. I would’ve gone as an individual, probably brought along my parents, reminiscent of how we had gone to too many-an-anti-Erap- and anti-GMA-rally in the last decade or so. But maybe it was good to have been kept away this time around, to have watched it happening without knowing exactly what went into the planning and organizing. It allows for a sense, too, of how… Continue reading »
one hopes for some kindness. four UP Manila students will be appealing their case to the Board of Regents today, March 28. this past semester, all four went to all the classes they registered in, they were accepted by their teachers, and they fulfilled requirements. this past semester, they aimed for graduation and went through their thesis classes. they did so despite the fact that they could not and did not pay their tuition fees on time. they went to… Continue reading »
i hate it when government — anyone in power for that matter – responds to any crisis by falling back on prayer. the only thing worse than that is to have a president that uses prayer to talk about solidarity and “productive actions.” now have the Presidential Spokesperson Coloma say: “While we are praying, perhaps it is good if Filipinos would focus on what they can contribute to make our republic even stronger” and one realizes this whole discourse on solidarity in… Continue reading »
For three years I put together year-enders on arts and culture and found that there is plenty to be thankful for. There is after all a great amount of productivity, the kind that is independent and persistent. There is also a lot of private money that fuels the arts and culture scene —which is of course to point out how government only comes in when it gets embroiled in questions of censorship and freedom of expression. The latter is a… Continue reading »
a fantastic reminder for this time when we are allowed to imagine that the only way to go is to have America save us.
If there’s anything that fascinates about PDAF or pork barrel, and now the Development Acceleration Program (DAP) fund, it’s how much money this country actually has. No, correction: it’s how much money government has. I’ve said this before, and I say it again: it is fantastic that we are talking about the National Budget, that we are being forced to scrutinize these numbers, that we are looking at the state of nation vis a vis the amount of money that’s unaccounted for… Continue reading »
In times of crises pop culture provides the best of distractions. I’m not one to think this deliberate—popular and media cultures are far too complex to be controlled and dictated upon by the powers-that-be. But certainly that doesn’t remove the possibility that a government-in-crisis will use the popular, controlled and otherwise, to distract a citizenry that is finally angry and now growing impatient. If I were in their place, I would take what I can get.
The task, to me at least, seems simple enough. We want to continue the fight against pork barrel. We find it in our hearts to come together, no matter our politics, our religious beliefs, our social class. The latter of course, as it turns out, is the worst division there is, mostly because it is not something we like—or know— to talk about. Anyone who even had her eyes wide open at the August 26 rally would know that the… Continue reading »
This is in response to Mr. Harvey Keh, who asked “Why blame President Noynoy Aquino?” An essay which begins by praising the Million People March of August 26 for having “a good turnout” and disses “several groups that are planning to hold another protest rally this coming September 11.” Mr. Keh says he received “some messages” about this rally, which he is obviously critical of, especially since according to him “many of those who went to Luneta now have second… Continue reading »
There are many things I learned in the course of helping out with an informal volunteer group that was formed for the August 26 Scrap Pork rally at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta.
this is by my Tito Butch, who was at the #ScrapPork rally yesterday at 7:00AM, precisely because his peg was the three past Nazareno festivals and he was afraid the Quirino Grandstand would get that filled and unwieldy. there was of course nothing to fear. and here his reflection on yesterday’s rally, the first of many #ScrapPork rallies, if my wish that it be done every month is actually granted by the every-citizen.
in the past week, i’ve been to two meetings for the august 26 rally. i was invited to these as an individual, with no organization or affiliation, who is but a blogger and writer, no matter that the latter happens in various publications. i know few of the people in these meetings, and can hardly wrap my head around names. it seems irrelevant really, because the conversations are what’s important. these are conversations being had among people of different ideological… Continue reading »
the question is quite simple: if Bistek’s government, and in effect PNoy himself, allowed for the SONA rally to take place, as it always has, relative and as counterpoint to the president’s State of the Nationa address, would this have happened at all?
you know that is a term of endearment, for anyone at all who grew up watching you on TV. you are rarely seen as one of them celebrities who should not have turned politician, which does mean you have more credibility as public servant. it helps that you never seemed too gung-ho about being mayor, and you waited for the right time to become so. you seemed more decent than most, is what i mean to say. but then again, what has… Continue reading »
i think Spinbusters does a pretty fantastic job of keeping track of Rappler.com’s foibles, and where my tendency is to generally refuse to even click on any link that leads to that site, in the past year or so, i’ve been clicking more and more. they’ve been messing up. and no, i don’t even mean the bad writing, or the ungrammatical mood meter — or the mood meter itself as a measure of how people feel about issues (susmiyo, what… Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
notes on day 1 of the Cybercrime Law’s enforcement: or is gov’t paying attention? 1. no, because the senators who are now for amending it are only talking about the libel clause. that is not the only problem with this law. 2. no, because while i’ve done it for my social media accounts and other blogs, i know it is easy to ignore the blacked out sites and the blacked out profile pics and cover photos on twitter and FB.… Continue reading »