Another Filipino Journalist Shot, in Critical Condition

Carlos Conde, moderator of PinoyPress, just sent an e-mail alert on the reported shooting of another journalist in General Santos City.

He wrote that Jonathan “Jun” Abayon, 27, a reporter of RGMA Superadyo in that city, is in critical condition after he was shot in the head early this morning, allegedly by a bodyguard of Filipino world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao. Continue reading “Another Filipino Journalist Shot, in Critical Condition”

The Problem with Numbers

As the proposed 2-child policy heats up debates in the House of Representatives, health centers, which provide free training for family planning, are now threatened to lose their free and low-priced contraceptives. These contraceptives are being donated by international groups who out of their good will and advocacy provide us with free condoms. But without the government’s clear support on the family planning program, couples without means may have to content themselves with the calendar method or the more popular yet incorrect withdrawal method.”

The National Statistics Office (NSO) projects our population to 82.7M this year. Filipinos are being sexually active at a younger age but the government seems to be blinded by the fact, tied down by the conservative faction more popularly known as the Catholic Church and several ignoramuses who still believe that sex is done only within the constraints of marriage. Continue reading “The Problem with Numbers”

Shooting the Messenger (2)

“Two journalists slain in five days; four killed in 2004,” the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines reports in a statement.

Last Saturday, Roger Mariano, a DZJC-Akyson radio anchor in Laoag was shot dead while on his way home. Yesterday, Arnel Manalo, Batangas correspondent of Bulgar tabloid and the radio station DZRH, suffered the same fate.

“The one factor visibly missing in the Philippines is public indignation widespread and compelling enough to make it politically advantageous for the Philippine government to rigorously go after the killers,” writes Philippine Journalism Review editor Luis Teodoro. Continue reading “Shooting the Messenger (2)”

FYFP’s Open Letter to Howard

The governments of United States and Australia, among other countries, have been criticizing the Philippines for pulling out its troops in Iraq to save Angelo de la Cruz.

The Filipino Youth for Peace issued this open letter to Australian Prime Minister John Howard in response to his government’s verbal attacks against us. The group said:

Mr. Howard, you accuse the Filipino people of weakness for the way they responded to the hostage crisis. May we take the liberty to tell you that it is those who see no course for themselves other than to unflinchingly hug the tails of imperial mass murderers who are the real weaklings. It is they who, above all, risk the lives of their countrymen for a war that is not worth the life of even a louse, much less that of an innocent human being.

You need not look to the Philippines to find weakness, Mr. Howard. You need only look in the mirror.

Trapo Queen

Among the things one would notice in President Arroyo’s 2004 inaugural address was that she no longer refered to the need for new politics as she did in January 2001 at the EDSA Shrine.

In 2001, she said:

Politics and political power as traditionally practiced and used in the Philippines are among the roots of the social and economic inequities that characterize our national problems. Thus, to achieve true reforms, we need to outgrow our traditional brand of politics based on patronage and personality. Traditional politics is the politics of the status quo. It is a structural part of the problem.

We need to promote a new politics of true party programs and platforms, of an institutional process of dialogue with our citizenry. This new politics is the politics of genuine reform. It is a structural part of the solution.

It was the best thing to say at that time. Continue reading “Trapo Queen”

Film as Art

For movie afficionados like me, the annual Cinemanila film festival is a haven. This year, the annual festival will run from July 1-12 at the Greenbelt Cinemas in Makati.

One of the featured films this year is Ramona Diaz’s controversial documentary “Imelda,” which as the synopsis describes “dramatically highlights how Marcos transformed herself from a Third World beauty queen into an international political force.” I’ve seen a part of that documentary where the former first lady was being asked about her love for beauty. Hair on my arms stood when she said that if someone was to kill her, she’d opt for a bolo tied with a ribbon on it.

Another Filipino masterpiece worth seeing is Mario O’ Hara’s “Babae sa Breakwater,” a film about a small community of indigents living beside the breakwater of Manila Bay. This film failed to make noise when first shown publicly but has surprisingly earned critical success from Cannes. Continue reading “Film as Art”