Category Archives: the elite

Tuesday ∗ 31 Oct 2017

A Battle Against Exhaustion

In the 16 months that we’ve had Rodrigo Duterte as President, what has become apparent is not only that he is ill-equipped for the position, but that we, the people, are unprepared for the kind of resistance and protest that a President like this one requires. It’s not just the war on drugs that has claimed thousands of lives, whether in official or unofficial numbers – the world knows enough about that. What might be missed by many is what… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 16 Aug 2017

Common sense dictates: Confirm Judy Now!

Here’s the thing with DSWD Sec. Judy Taguiwalo’s pending confirmation at the Commission on Appointments: it makes no sense anymore to deny her this position, given that she has already been working the post for a year, has served in it effectively, with nary a controversy, no questions about her integrity, and having transformed our sense of what the Department of Social Work and Development is actually about. It is relief goods and funds on-the-ready, in anticipation of that next storm. It’s the prompt release of… Continue reading »

Monday ∗ 15 May 2017

Duterte, Lapanday

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 »

Friday ∗ 28 Apr 2017

Torre de Manila: a review

Because our short memory as nation is becoming legendary, and these days the manufactured noise is enough to distract us from what happened just yesterday, it seems important to review Torre de Manila, now that DMCI is going to get away with continuing its construction, as the Supreme Court has found that “The court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter; the petitioners (Knights of Rizal) have no standing to sue; and they (petitioners) stand to suffer no injury. Furthermore,… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 23 Dec 2016

Film, art in a time of change

AFTER a good seven years of doing the arts and culture beat, writing reviews, doing cultural assessments, I have surprised even myself that my interest seems to have dwindled. It’s not that nothing’s going on, as it all just seems secondary to the state of the nation, the urgencies of which cannot be overstated at this point in time. When you don’t have a government that delivers credible information, and no opposition that provides an alternative ideological viewpoint, and all… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 25 Nov 2016

No color, no politico, no party

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 »

Friday ∗ 02 Sep 2016

Who does #NoPlaceForHate displace?

Blogging since 2008, along with a mother who’s been doing it since 2007, our policy for the comments section has always been clear: no murahan, no takutan. As owner of the blog, you decide where that line is drawn, and you’d be surprised that in fact that line is very clear. And no, it isn’t as simple as disapproving comments that use cuss words – sometimes the mura is not directed at anyone, as it is about frustration and anger.… Continue reading »

Saturday ∗ 02 Jul 2016

Inauguration day #Du30 #Day1

Today is inauguration day, the official start of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency. Yet if we were looking at the past month or so since the May 10 elections, Duterte’s been blamed for most everything that has happened, including Abu Sayyaf’s kidnapping spree, and the spate of killings since elections. Never mind that these crimes are happening under the Aquino government.

Wednesday ∗ 29 Jun 2016

ridiculous #MediaCrisis

It has gotten ridiculous, the way this noisy elite on social and mainstream media has looked down on, put into question, scoffed at, anything at all to do with incoming President Rodrigo Duterte. Don’t get me wrong: we should be discussing at length and in depth all his major campaign promises because he is willing to risk the presidency to fulfil these. This requires that we be on our toes, and engaging in relevant discussions about the death penalty, human rights, and federalism. But instead of levelling up the discourse, this noisy elite is grasping at straws. Without the… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 10 Jun 2016

COMELEC rules, the Liberal Party, #mediacrisis

It seems important not to let this pass. Tuesday, June 8, was the deadline for all those who ran for public office to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) to COMELEC. The Liberal Party has missed its deadline, and is asking for a 14-day extension. As per COMELEC rules: The 08 June 2016 deadline shall be final and non-extendible. Submissions beyond this period shall not be accepted. COMELEC Resolutions Nos. 9849 and 9873, Minute Resolutions Nos. 13-0775 and 13-0823 are hereby repealed, insofar… Continue reading »

Sunday ∗ 24 Apr 2016

The urgency of the environment #Eleksyon2016 #EarthDay2016

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 »

Wednesday ∗ 20 Apr 2016

The Lumad and mining #Eleksyon2016

If there is an issue that should be part of the decision to vote for anyone at all this coming elections, it is the Lumad killings, and the injustice that those who survive continue to live with. Thousands of Lumad are in evacuation centers, living off lugaw if there is food at all, away from the productivity of caring for their land, away from the schools that nurture their children, away from their homes. The bigger picture we are looking… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 05 Nov 2015

Lumad, first

Work kept me from visiting the Lumad Camp in the University of the Philippines Diliman early in the week. On Tuesday evening, their second night, I arrived close to midnight to bring a cash donation for the camp’s food fund and some medicines from a doctor. Feeding 800 Lumad at P50 pesos per head is P40,000 pesos per meal after all. From the moment I heard that they were coming, this was what I wanted to raise funds and get… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 27 Aug 2015

The portrait of a columnist as plagiarist

It has been confusing to say the least. But also it has been quite fascinating, this whole case of Ducky Paredes versus the broadsheet Malaya. Because it’s such a public display of what goes through the mind of a man who has been accused of plagiarism, and the kind of defensive stance he’s decided to take. How the decision to turn this story around — in fact get ahead of the story — and claim that one had been oppressed and un-paid, therefore that would explain whatever actions he was… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 30 Jul 2015

Jim Paredes: The burgis as bastos

Ever since this open letter from 2011 I have not found the energy to make patol Jim Paredes at length. Maybe because I just stopped following him on Twitter, and ignored his Facebook all this time. Maybe because the world is a more intelligent place if I do not have to listen to the Jim Paredeses of this world. And yes, I was able to keep it this way even throughout this PNoy Presidency, when Paredes revealed himself to be nothing but loyal… Continue reading »

Friday ∗ 23 Jan 2015

The end of the (art) affair*

My tendency in the past four years that I’ve been writing about and reviewing local art has been to be kind. I stopped reviewing art I didn’t like unless my editors assigned it to me; I would look at art events and could not but appreciate the effort that organizers put into it, even when it was clear to me that celebrating local art in this way is the height of superficiality. Artists earn money in these events, after all,… Continue reading »

Thursday ∗ 05 Jun 2014

#YesAllWomen

i had watched the hashtag #YesAllWomen take a life of its own on Twitter, and was fascinated that while it didn’t trend in the Philippines, the tweets from elsewhere in the world (mostly the US it seems) resonated with this Pinay so removed from that context. i’m the last to imagine universality to be a valid enterprise, imagining as i do that we are always more complex than just being / standing for / standing against one thing. yet it… 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 »

Tuesday ∗ 14 Jan 2014

in defense of Enteng Kabisote*

I agree with some of what Lourd de Vera says (or asks) Vic Sotto in his open letter. I agree that Bossing Vic should aim to do better than a movie filled with product placements. I agree that he should do better than a film where he’s not stuck with a non-kiddie-actor Yap and his mother Kris Aquino. I disagree that this was all Bossing’s doing.

Thursday ∗ 31 Oct 2013

PNoy and that legal card

this was published in The Manila Times on October 17 2013. on October 30 2013, PNoy went on live television to defend the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) by saying that it’s all legal. this piece was entitled “Legal.”  The spin is clear, and for once the PNoy government and its allies are right. All of this is legal. Right now, as I write this on Tuesday morning, Senator Franklin Drilon is on television. “What crime did we commit?” he asks… Continue reading »

Tuesday ∗ 15 Oct 2013

miracles

I helped out with the August 26 Million People March, with the September 11 EDSA TAYO, with Pork Day the 13th and Rock and Rage Against Pork on September 13. It was all a matter of knowing that extra hands would be useful, and while for the August 26 MPM it was clear that one person who was part of the meetings to organize the event was going on a totally different tangent, the rest of us were united in… Continue reading »

Wednesday ∗ 09 Oct 2013

OTC: on the contrary (OTJ, Transit & the indie)

The truth is that while we celebrate local films, especially independently-produced ones, it seems important to point out that many other things come into play at this point as far as declaring any movie a critical success. That is, there is the social media bandwagon, where “public perception” is deemed powerful, and no one is allowed to think differently about a movie lest one is pounced on like some enemy.

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