Category Archives: lugar

Saturday ∗ 25 Mar 2017

From neglected houses, to homes for the poor

It was on March 8 when I first heard of how members of urban poor organization Kadamay had taken over units of a government housing project in Pandi Bulacan. It seemed like the best way for our women (and men of course!) to celebrate International Women’s Day: to take over public housing units already overgrown with weeds and grass, neglected and idle for years, some dilapidated. Here were people willing to take these structures for what they were, without electricity… 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 »

Friday ∗ 11 Sep 2015


I’ve been away, in a place with no social media and a schedule packed so tight there has not been a lot of time for the internet. This was September 6’s RadikalChick column published in The Manila Times, on the killings of Emerito Samarca, Dionel Campos, and Bello Sinzo in Surigao del Sur, and the violence inflicted on their communities there. For more information on the #StopLumadKillings campaign, please click here for Tonyo’s website. *** While De Lima was partying*… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 09 Apr 2015

yaya meals and the sushal indignation

AFTER gaining such mileage for being the resort du jour for fancy weddings and exclusive pictorials (READ: the Senator Chiz Escudero-Heart Evangelista nuptials) – the kind that makes you wonder if it’s even in the Philippines at all – Balesin Island Resort has gotten the kind of press any business for the wealthy and elite would love. Or hate. As the resort’s press release has inadvertently asked: What is this hullaballoo?

Wednesday ∗ 28 Jan 2015

taking stock: Mamasapano clash

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 »

Monday ∗ 03 Nov 2014

Quinapondan, Eastern Samar

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 »

Saturday ∗ 01 Nov 2014

Guiuan, Eastern Samar

when I was doing 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 »

Tuesday ∗ 04 Feb 2014

Criticism: not (fun) in the Philippines*

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 »

Friday ∗ 10 Jan 2014

about those bunkhouses #typhoonHaiyan #reliefPH

in early December, when i went with my friend Rambie to set-up her soup kitchen for kids in Tacloban, to feed as well in neighbouring towns, we saw what the locals called “housing” along the stretch of the highway. then, even with only skeletal frames, it already looked pretty tight, and one could imagine how congested it was to become.

Sunday ∗ 05 Jan 2014

missing the point

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.

Thursday ∗ 12 Dec 2013

(not) back to business

The people on the plane—mostly men—were straining their necks to look out the windows as we descended toward the Tacloban airport. The site was grim: nothing but endless brown land, with nary a structure, and few trees. Landing is no different. While the tarmac is clear, to one side is a sea wall now in shambles, in front of which stands an airport facility standing only on its posts. There is no welcome to be had here, and the people… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 09 Dec 2013

silence / absence

been away from this space, and not because i’ve been at it elsewhere, as there has been stretches of times with no more words to use for helplessness and sadness and anger. the twice a week radikalchick column is still happening in The Manila Times, and that seems to have been enough of words, along with FB statuses, and

Tuesday ∗ 27 Aug 2013

one post-#ScrapPork rally reflection

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.  

Saturday ∗ 24 Aug 2013

why should you go to the august 26 rally?

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 »

Tuesday ∗ 23 Jul 2013


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? 

Wednesday ∗ 17 Jul 2013

dear Bistek,

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 »

Monday ∗ 08 Apr 2013

(mis)handling heritage

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 »

Thursday ∗ 14 Mar 2013

Tourism and the poor Filipino face

In January, the Department of Tourism (DOT) celebrated the 6.09% rise in the number of tourists to the Philippines. That’s 25,000 more people who have come to visit this country where everything’s more fun. That’s 436,079 tourists who landed in good ol’ Pinas in January alone. It gives me goosebumps. Far from the good kind. Because it would take an amount of delusion to think this all good, and only the naïve would think those numbers equal to development or… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 11 Feb 2012

the death of us all

in conversations with my Pinay friend Sunshine who left for the US five years ago, and who came to visit in the middle of January, tears were necessarily in order. what was surprising was that while these would be shed in the first two hours or so for the distance we had kept and the things we had survived separately, the rest of our time together would be spent crying about nation, if not shaking our heads in dismay. by… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 27 Nov 2011

bad vibes for NAIA 1 rehab

for a PNoy government that talks about the matuwid na daan, which is to say doing things correctly and properly and justly, they sure know how to reveal themselves to be on some dirt road. so yes, NAIA 1 is the worst airport in the world, i know that, and i will not pretend otherwise. but of course it will take international disgust over the airport for some change to happen, and in October a world-renowned team composed of Cobonpue-Layug-Pineda… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 24 Nov 2011

lives were lost

we should not forget. regardless of the success that is the distribution of Hacienda Luisita among farmer-beneficiaries.  

Sunday ∗ 23 Oct 2011

do something

<…> Enjoy the stories, admire the craft. Then put it in your backpack and go. As far as you can, for as long as you can afford it. Preferably someplace where you have to think in one language and buy groceries in another. Get a job there. Rent a room. Stick around. Do something. If it doesn’t work out, do something else. Whatever it is, you will be able to use it in the stories you will write later. And… Continue reading »

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