It is difficult to stay calm when you’re watching the Commission on Appointments proceedings for the confirmation of Gina Lopez as Environment Secretary. It doesn’t help that at the center of it all, the Chairman of the Committee for the Environment is Manny Pacquiao who, without a script, reveals himself as utterly incompetent and totally lost — he can’t even keep up with the concept itself of what the DENR does, the laws that it protects and moves within, the fact… Continue reading »
On February 1, I watched with many as the fire at the House Technologies Industries (HTI) inside the Cavite Export Processing Zone grew bigger and bigger, seemingly beyond control. On February 2, at 12:30AM, the fire was declared under control (ABS-CBNNews). Yet all day the building continued to spew smoke. By early evening fire started on the building again. On February 3, at 4:15PM, officials finally declared fire out on the building (CNN Philippines). No casualties declared as of 3:19AM,… Continue reading »
First, an aside. I steered clear of writing about Miss Universe, any more than I already had long before the pageant even started its activities in this country. I stood and still stand squarely against holding the pageant here, especially at a time when we face the crises of poverty and need, of climate change and intermittent floods, when the dead are being collected off our streets, when the promise of change has yet to even be felt in fundamental,… Continue reading »
The first time I heard about the tax on cosmetics, it had already been framed against the hashtag #DontTaxMyBeauty. But as with many things that happen via hashtags, there was little fleshing out of what this so-called Vanity Tax was going to be about. A day after the hashtag happened, the three-page House Bill No. 4723 was uploaded online, but many remained disinterested in what it contained: it is easier to jump on the bandwagon of calling something anti-woman, than… Continue reading »
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 »
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.
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 »
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.
I wasn’t very good at doing arts and culture in the country the past year. But here’s a list of the strange, the good, the surprising in culture for 2015, not at all a best or worst list because … see the first sentence. First a critical aside: having worked as dramaturg for Kleptomaniacs and a bit with Tanghalang Pilipino in 2014 meant keeping the theater reviews to a minimum in 2015. I needed that time to let go of the little inside stories that I know,… Continue reading »
I had read about the stories of the members of the Talent Association of GMA (TAG) Network with sadness and frustration, compassion and anger. I could not believe that this institution, this high profile media network, could be so unkind to its workers of 5, 10, 15 years. I could not believe that the same space that I thought had treated me well enough for three years (or so) as a regular contributor for GMA News Online, had decided to treat its… Continue reading »
“This is why Kris Aquino’s tirade against an Instagram follower was utterly surprising; I also can’t believe how media tended to side with her on this one. <…> This is the same woman who has spent much of her TV career “making pakialam” people’s lives via intrusive questions in talk shows. The same woman who “makes pakialam” people’s lives for a living, as she endorses every product imaginable and tells the public: this product is what YOU need in your… Continue reading »
You’ve got until midnight tonight (Sunday) to download “It Will Be The Same But Not Quite The Same” for free over here. — http://www.mediafire.com/…/adam_david_-_IWBTSBNQTS_-_single… And to play with HiMaamSir. — http://himaamsir.blogspot.com/. Very sad and dismayed and angry that these sites will be going down by the end of today, because of the use of the law (and lawyers!) without consideration for appropriation, transformation, and derivative work, not to mention critical-creative engagement. These are sad times for Philippine literature, when a… Continue reading »
Here’s the statement from writers and supporters of literature on the case of Adam David who has been told to take down a website and PDF that critically engages with the book Fast Food Fiction Delivery, published by Anvil and edited by Noelle de Jesus and Mookie Katigbak-Lacuesta. Here is the site — http://himaamsir.blogspot.com/ And the PDF — http://www.mediafire.com/…/adam_david_-_IWBTSBNQTS_-_single… Here’s Adam’s explanation of what his project was about — “It’s a collection of 132 stories gathered from a story-generating machine… Continue reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »
The world knows of the Philippines by now, for reasons other than a senator who refuses to admit to plagiarism, being the setting for the bustling Asian city in “Bourne Legacy,” and a cybercrime law that might be the worst piece of legislation against freedom of expression since the world wide web. There was a time when we could call out the Western eye for gazing at us exotic: the ones who eat duck fetuses, the pretty brown-skinned girls with… 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 »
it is a waste of time, but also utterly insensitive and absolutely unnecessary for anyone at all in government to be talking at this point about looting on the one hand, and proposing a level-up on the punishment against looters on the other, obviously contextualized as it is in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. this is what Muntinlupa City Representative Rodolfo Biazon is doing by filing House Bill 3367. he is also missing the point.
this is not the first time that purported “new media” proves that it doesn’t know to use the internet. no wait, it doesn’t know to read, full stop. in many instances in the past, rappler would publish essays and articles as if they are the first to write about issues, not even forcing its writers to revise based on what’s already been said.
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 »