It was in early August when I was asked to be convenor of the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT), a multi-sectoral gathering of various groups and individuals who are taking a stand against the killings, the state of tyranny, and the return of dictatorship. Admittedly, I was hesitant about saying yes. I was not part of any organization, and was being invited primarily as independent writer. At this point I had already resigned my column with The Manila Times, which I realized afterwards was a… Continue reading »
President Duterte is trying very hard to spin the September 21 protest in Luneta, by trying to feed whatever divisions already exist, if not by sowing fear in a gathering that government expects will be massive. One can only take this well. After all, it reveals an acknowledgment of the very valid demand to #StopTheKillings and to say no to tyranny and the return of dictatorship. At the very least, it’s an acknowledgment of how government is being affected by the growing public outcry against the killings. It… Continue reading »
It was a little over a year ago, in July 2016, when President Duterte first talked about pardoning policemen in the name of the drug war. He had been turning defensive because of constant criticism about the human rights violations of his war on drugs and its contingent, growing body count. In a speech in front of San Beda batches 1971 and 1972, Duterte spoke of how he is the President and therefore is not required to respect due process. And instead of addressing questions about human rights… Continue reading »
It looks like the Department of Transportation and its connected agencies will be forced to postpone the implementation of RA 10913 or the Act Defining and Penalizing Distracted Driving. Senators JV Ejercito and Nancy Binay have stepped in (JournalOnline, 22 May), knocking some sense into the DOTr’s over-interpretation – if not power trip – which will allow them to penalize drivers for even taking a drink from a coffee tumbler, or having rosaries hanging on their rearview mirror, or air… Continue reading »
It was quite the show of unity, President Duterte’s visit to the farmers camped out in Mendiola, members of the Madaum Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association Inc. (MARBAI) who have been fighting to get back their land from the Lorenzos of Lapanday Foods for the past six years. Was it a surprise? Not quite. Duterte has always had it in him to perform tasks like this one, showing his support when needed, delivering the best soundbites that are still a surprise… Continue reading »
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have been busy doing some spinning. They keep insisting – complete with infographics – that the jeepney phaseout is actually a modernization plan that will make these public transport vehicles safer for the public and kinder to the environment. After Monday’s transport strike, they’ve insisted that it wasn’t nationwide at all, belittling its effect on the commuting public, towards asserting that the strike was no problem… Continue reading »
It came to me on the evening of February 21: why not “live” tweet the events of the EDSA People Power Revolution of 1986 as it happened? How hard could it be, I thought. I remember one year when the now defunct (but quite missed!) communications office of the previous government, which had Manolo Quezon in charge of history, actually sought to “live” tweet EDSA 1986, too. Besides, the original chronology of EDSA’s four days by Angela Stuart-Santiago is online… Continue reading »
I’ve been out of the literary and academic establishment since 2008, and save for finally finishing my M.A. Degree in 2013, and now imagining that I would like to work on a PhD., have steered clear of its trappings and requirements. I did not go without the requisite kicking and screaming, as I always thought of a career in teaching and writing. But what has become clear since is that I also needed to let go of my romance with… Continue reading »
It would take me forever to get to the point where I stopped caring about the establishment. The first indication I had that I was coming into my own would ironically happen when I had both my feet in activism, and I was teaching in the Ateneo de Manila University as part of its Department of English. It was February 2006. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had declared Proclamation 1017, purportedly because of intelligence reports that members of the military were planning… Continue reading »
By the time Angela won in the Centennial Literary Awards for her Tagalog essay on EDSA entitled “Himagsikan Sa EDSA: Walang Himala!” in 2000, I was more certain about my political beliefs and my relationship with the academe. I was not fearless, oh no! but I sure was becoming more critical. I knew enough about the literary and academic establishment to keep a healthy distance from it – thanks in large part to teachers who were still open to criticism.
In 2014, Angela and I were asked to write an essay each for the anthology Remembering / Rethinking EDSA (Anvil Publishing, 2015). We have since published those two essays as a zine for #BLTX, and to celebrate the EDSA Revolution of 1986 this year, we’re posting our essays in parts on our blogs, to commemorate the four days of EDSA, now on its 31st Anniversary. Her blog is at stuartsantiago.com. :) *** When I was invited to write a piece for… Continue reading »
The jeepney strike that kicked-off this week drove home the point that needed to be made about the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) proposed jeepney modernization program. First, that in fact jeepneys are not the main cause of our traffic crisis, because despite the fact that there were barely any jeeps on the roads, traffic was still terrible. Second, that in fact this proposed modernization program will not only disenfranchise jeepney drivers and operators, it will also ultimately affect the commuting… Continue reading »
It seems important to tell this story: I have been to enough rallies in my life, mostly as student in the State U, and then as a teacher in AdMU. I would join – as my politics would dictate – the rallies of the militant left throughout the Ramos, Erap, and GMA administrations, from State of the Nation Addresses (SONAs) to anti-Erap rallies, EDSA Dos to GMA’s Declaration of a State of National Emergency via Proclamation 1017. During PNoy’s presidency,… Continue reading »
NOTE: Urban Modifications is on exhibit at Vinyl on Vinyl at The Collective in Malugay. Seize The Daze Photography has always been embroiled in the question of impropriety: what is it that you seize, that you catch in a frozen frame, other than what is expected, if not what is obvious?
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 »
Today you arrive in Manila. Unlike Sri Lanka, there will be no elephants dressed in fancy garb to welcome you on our streets. But I hear the President himself is set to welcome you at the airport, refusing as you have to do a State Dinner at Malacañang Palace. While he might invoke his Catholic upbringing, there have been many instances when he seemed to lack compassion and kindness, when often that is what this struggling and exhausted nation needs.… 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 »
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.
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 »
that it is social media that has kicked off this call to rally on August 26 is not a surprise. that it has taken on a life of its own, should be a great thing: it forces us to catch up, it teaches us how we might take control, and when to cede control, too. it forces us to imagine what this will all look like in real life, beyond the internet and facebook, and out on the streets. it… 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?
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 »