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8 Must-try burger places around UST

YOU COULD never go wrong with a burger. It’s the little black dress of the Food Kingdom; it’s classic and versatile.

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YOU COULD never go wrong with a burger. It’s the little black dress of the Food Kingdom; it’s classic and versatile. You can eat it anywhere, on any occasion, in any form, at any pace.

One of the perks of being a Thomasian is having access to the array of restaurants and food stalls surrounding the University, and a big portion of these are burger places. Here are some of the best ones.

 

1. Yvan Navy

This burger and kebab place was the talk of the town when it first opened because of its low-priced but quality burgers. If you’re on a tight budget but craving for a solid pig out, Yvan Navy is the solution. For only ₱50, you could get a hearty serving of their Quarter Pounder. If you crave for something heavier, all you have to do is add ₱50 more for every extra 1/4 pound patty. And if you really are in the mood for a splurge, go big and try their Triple Half Pounder. Their luscious patties cooked on volcanic rock are guaranteed fresh from the grill. Because of this and the huge demand, your patience might be tested first before you get your hands on your burger. But don’t fret, because they’re really worth waiting for.

Location: P. Campa St., corner Andalucia

Price range: ₱50-300

 

2. Recess Time

Customization is the craze these days and that’s exactly what Recess Time offers. You’re free to choose your own patty (regular, premium beef or spicy chicken),  sauce (BBQ, teriyaki, pesto, honey mustard, lemon cream, buffalo, or spicy mayo), and toppings. If you want to play it safe, they offer signature burgers and they all come with an appetizing side order of potato nuggets. Their best-sellers include the Bacon Mushroom Melt and the Belly Buster. Aside from the satisfying food choices, Recess Time offers a good dine-in ambience and weekly barkada promos, making it a great choice for lunch or merienda with friends.

Location: Antonio St., Dapitan

Price range: ₱60-120+

 

3. Critu’s Burger

Located on the same street as Recess Time is the promising Critu’s Burger. This less-than-a-year-old burger place offers finely grilled quarter pounders that you will surely want to come back to. They’re currently serving two types of burgers – the regular one, with patties made of 100% New Zealand beef topped with a special sauce that will tickle your taste buds in the right places, and their special Spicy Peanut burger, a must-try if you’re game for a new, exciting flavor. However, this burger place could provide a bigger dine-in space so that more people would get to experience their good food.

Location: Moradiane Park, Antonio St., Dapitan

Price range: ₱55-95

 

4. JackO’s Burger Bar

This burger joint is almost always a full house. If you have tried their burgers, you’d understand why. The prices are very student-friendly (their quarter pounder is only ₱49), and their burgers really do live up to the hype. One of their best-sellers is the Cheesy Bacon Mushroom quarter pounder (₱65), and it is as tasty and satisfying as its name suggests it is. They also have a few eccentric entries on their menu, like the Peanut Butter burger, the Cheesy Hawaiian burger, and their one-and-a-half pound burger, aptly dubbed, the Mouth Smasher. Following the footsteps of the infamous Zark’s Burgers, they’ve recently started their own “defeat the meat” challenge, where you can get the chance to pay absolutely nothing if you can finish the Mouth Smasher, along with 150 grams of fries and a small bottle of Pepsi.

Location: Dos Castillas, corner Piy Margal St.

Price range: ₱49-₱290+

 

5. Burgervibes

The most important part of a burger’s anatomy is, without a doubt, the patty. This is where Burgervibes excels at. Their patties are made of pure beef so rich in flavor and chunkiness, you might swoon a little at first bite. Each burger meal comes with a generous serving of fries, iced tea, fresh vegetables, and homemade sauce of your own choice. Try their best-sellers: the Hungry Hulk for the cheese lovers, The Burglar for those who prefer the Western taste, and the Kalye Burger for the gravy fiends. Just make sure that you have extra space in your tummy before going in!

Location: Annie’s Place, P. Noval

Price range: ₱119-199

 

6. Barneys Burger

If you’re really craving for a quick, scrumptious snack after a tough day at school, you don’t need to go too far. Inside our campus lies a burger kiosk worth checking out. Originating from Guagua, Pampanga, Barneys Burger boasts of its own signature recipe that will both enkindle your taste buds and satisfy your belly’s needs. The next time you find yourself wandering around the carpark area, having a hard time choosing where to buy your lunch or merienda, try this one out. Their BBQ Burger is legen–  wait for it –dary.

Location: UST Carpark

Price range: ₱59-109

 

7. Yummerz Burger Bistro

Located on the other side of España, this restaurant’s strongest point is its logistics. They have good customer service, and their dine-in area is spacious and hip, with neon lights and impressive wall art. Their flame-grilled burgers are customizable (you’re free to choose your add-ons) and appeasing. If you’re a side-dish aficionado, you’ll like this restaurant’s diverse menu—you can pair up your burger with criss-cut fries, onion rings, nachos, quesadillas, buffalo wings or burritos.

Location: Loyola St., corner P. Noval

Price range: ₱85+

 

8. Lovelite

Last, but definitely not the least, is the famed Lovelite. Perhaps it’s more known for its combo rice meals with heart-shaped eggs and overflowing gravy, but this eatery-slash-copy center is also home to the cheapest burgers you’ll ever find in the UST area. Try the burger and egg sandwich, or the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. They also offer a variety of affordable fruit shakes to complement your meal. Granted, it’s not as exquisite as the other burger places in this list, but if you’re on a thrifty mode, and if you want a legit “hole-in-the-wall” experience, Lovelite is the place to be.

Location: Asturias St., Dapitan

Price range: ₱20-40+

 

Photo courtesy of Burgburp.wordpress.com

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Pride Month Playlist: The Welcome Party

You’re invited to The Welcome Party.

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Playlist artwork by Patricia Jardin

This 2020, we won’t be able to attend the iconic Metro Manila Pride March because of the pandemic. Soon, we’ll be able to step out of the door to see and hug the people that makes us who we are. We’ll celebrate our identity and our triumphs and I’m sure, it’ll be a wild party. In the meantime, let’s celebrate the party in our homes as we welcome the newest members of the community and to commemorate the month of Pride.

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#DefendPressFreedom: A War Cry Against Impunity and Disinformation

From ineffective COVID-19 cures, to conspiracy theories, to deliberate propagation of fake news and propaganda, the wave of misinformation and disinformation can claim lives. Without press freedom, we would succumb to this second pandemic.

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Patricia Jardin

May 3 is the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day, a day that serves as a reminder for people, especially governments to respect press freedom. This year, the theme for this celebration is “Journalism without Fear or Favor,” highlighting journalists’ need to freely do their jobs, especially during a global pandemic.

May 5, two days after World Press Freedom Day, is the day that ABS-CBN went off-air due to. National Telecommunications Commision’s (NTC) cease and desist order a day after its franchise ends. It is also the day when a radio broadcaster was slain in Dumaguete City, making him the 1616th journalist killed under the Duterte Administration.

#DefendPressFreedom has been trending on social media due to the shutdown of ABS-CBN and the killing of radio broadcaster Rex Cornelio. The hashtag was used to support the free press, and decry the attacks against the media and media practitioners aiming to silence them. While many people support #DefendPressFreedom, many still do not understand the concept of press freedom, even going as far as saying that the law is above the freedom of the press. 

However, #DefendPressFreedom goes beyond being just a hashtag or a trend.

Iron grip on media

Martial Law is a time of countless cases of corruption and human rights violations, and the press is not excluded in the abuses of power of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who held the Philippine media in his iron grip.

After the declaration of Martial Law through Proclamation 1081,  Ferdinand Marcos released Letter of Instruction 1, or the military  “take over and control”  of “newspapers, magazines, radio and television facilities and all other media of communications.” The reason behind the media takeover is to prevent involvement of media outlets with the Communists. Media outlets affected include ABS-CBN, Channel 5 (now TV5), Manila Daily Bulletin (now Manila Bulletin) Manila Times, and others.

With most of the media outlets closed or under strict government monitoring and censorship, critics of the Marcos administration were arrested. Several journalists like Joaquin ‘Chino’ Roces, Teodoro Locsin Sr., and others were detained. Media was also heavily censored and needs to be approved by the Department of Public Information.

Several laws such as  the Presidential Decrees 33, 36, and 90 were passed, placing the Philippine media into further chokehold.

Loosening chokehold?

After the People Power Revolution, the iron chokehold on the media began to loosen.

Press freedom has been written in the Bill of Rights, specifically in the Article III Section 4 of the 1987 Constitution. According to it,  “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.” 

While the situation of the Philippine media became better, there are still attacks to the press coming from the government in the form of criticisms and  lawsuits from previous Presidents. There are also cases of media killings. As of 2018, 185 journalists. were killed since 1986 according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

In March 1999, former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada sued The Manila Times over a story about government corruption on public works contracts. The Manila Times issued a front-page apology, prompting some of the  editors and writers to resign in protest.

The former president also prompted an ad boycott on Philippine Daily Inquirer. Estrada has criticized the newspaper for being biased after covering several government scandals.

The Arroyo administration also had several cases of lawsuits against journalists. According to Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo has filed 50 lawsuits against 46 journalists for writing articles about his alleged crimes.The lawsuits were eventually dropped in 2007.

It is also in the time of the Arroyo administration when the Maguindanao Massacre happened. This event is considered as the world’s single deadliest attack on journalists in history, with 32 journalists killed out of 58 victims. Although a verdict has been passed, there are still around 80 suspects at large according to the Human Rights Watch. 

The Strongman versus the Media

Recently, the 2018 Time Magazine article depicting Pres. Rodrigo Duterte as a strongman. A strongman is described as an authoritarian leader with a heavy reliance on the military. Duterte denounced the strongman label, but he cannot denounce the actions that he had done, especially his  attacks on the press.

In March 2017, Duterte threatened several media outlets, namely ABS-CBN and Philippine Daily Inquirer over “rude” reports against him. Duterte said that “karma” will come someday.

Another media outlet that has been on the receiving end of Duterte’s tirades against the media in the news site Rappler. The news isie is known for its critical reporting on the Duterte administration, and has been plagued by attacks both from pro-Duterte blogs and  Duterte himself. 

In Duterte’s State of the Nation Address in 2017, he accused Rappler of being “fully owned” by Americans, which violates foreign ownership restrictions on the media. In January 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked Rappler’s license to operate over violation of the Constitution and Anti-Dummy Law. Duterte also banned Rappler from covering Malacañang in February 2018. Duterte himself banned Rappler reporter Pia Ranada, as well as Rappler CEO Maria Ressa from entering Malacañang. Maria Ressa was also arrested for cyber libel in February over a 2012 article on Wilfredo Keng. She was arrested again in March 2019 for violation of foreign ownership.

Duterte is said to have a personal vendetta on ABS-CBN due to an ad broadcasted on the network showing Duterte cursing and saying rape jokes. The ad was paid for by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV. He also accused the network of not showing the campaign ads that he paid for back in 2016. ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak clarified that the campaign ads were shown, but some local ads worth 7 million were not shown due to airtime shortage.

Also in 2019, Duterte’s attacks continued and he once said that he will block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise. 

In February 2020, Solicitor General filed a quo-warranto petition against ABS-CBN on the grounds of foreign ownership, labor conditions, unpaid taxes, and issues on Kapamilya Box Office (KBO) and TV Plus. 

The network responded to the allegations in a hearing on February 24, 2020. In terms of foreign ownership, SEC Commissioner Ephyro Amatong said that the Philippine Depository Receipts, which Calida said is a form of foreign ownership, is not a certificate of ownership. The Bureau of Internal Revenue also said that  ABS-CBN has no unpaid taxes and has complied with the tax requirement of the government. The network also said that the Department of Labor and Employment cleared the network for their compliance on labor laws, and said that the network does not practice contractualization. The network was also cleared on the pay-per-view issue on KBO and TV Plus, and if there are penalties, NTC can just fine the network instead of a shutdown.

The network was allowed to operate until May 4. NTC said that it will give ABS-CBN provisional authority as the network’s franchise renewal is in progress. However on May 3, Calida pressured the NTC by saying that the department could face charges under Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act if NTC gives ABS-CBN provisional authority. Two days later, NTC issued a cease and desist order on ABS-CBN due to its expired franchise. ABS-CBN. went off-air at 7:52 p.m..

More than a hashtag

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that there is a “second pandemic” spreading as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads: the pandemic of misinformation. From ineffective COVID-19 cures, to conspiracy theories, to deliberate propagation of fake news and propaganda, the wave of misinformation and disinformation can claim lives. Without press freedom, we would succumb to this second pandemic.

Press freedom is necessary, with or without a global crisis. The press is the eyes of the masses. They are the watchdogs of the government, watching for corruption and injustices. They are the lenses that capture the society and its problems, bringing it to light for people to do something about these problems. They are also our frontliners in this global pandemic, reporting correct guidelines and calling out inaction when necessary. In short, taking away press freedom is like stripping a nation of its right to know and to be aware.

#DefendPressFreedom goes beyond a mere trend or a hashtag. It is a war cry against forces trying to silence the press to cover its wrongdoings and inactions, an advocacy promoting the right of every citizen to be aware, a simple message to the people spreading the culture of impunity that we won’t back down in this fight. As a popular protest sign says, “First they came for the journalists. This is a warning that we need to defend the free press”.

If we lose our press freedom, we will never know what happens next.

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TUBAW’s Kalinow: The Soundtrack of a Revolution

No emotion is more intense than the pain that the masses feel amidst the numerous challenges in our country. The TUBAW Music Collective aims to capture the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of the masses through their music. 

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Album artwork grabbed from TUBAW Music Collective's Facebook page

They say that art is at its best when driven by intense emotions. No emotion is more intense than the pain that the masses feel amidst the numerous challenges in our country. The TUBAW Music Collective aims to capture the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of the masses through their music. 

Being a citizen of our country is a challenge in itself. From the persistent traffic, mind-boggling taxes, poor healthcare, and high living costs, the “Filipino Dream” is bleaker than its foreign counterpart. Life has it worse for indigenous communities in our country with capitalism exploiting their non-conformity to the urban lifestyle, taking away homes, education, and livelihood from these communities. The cherry on top of this burdensome cake is the continued dominance of officials who offer scraps in their term after promising the world during their campaign periods.

These struggles are what the TUBAW Music Collective aspires to shed light on with their music. TUBAW or Tubong Mindanaw, Tulong Mindanao Music Collective are a group of musicians who produce and perform songs dedicated to the working class since 2016. In their Artist’s Bio, it states that it is their goal to inspire the younger generation “to take part in achieving just and lasting peace.” They have notably shown support for the causes of saving Lumad schools with their album PARAGAS: Mga Awit ng Pag-ibig, Pakikibaka, at Pagsulong. Their music can be heard on streaming services such as Spotify with their 2nd album Kalinow available on the platform.

Kalinow can also be downloaded for free by visiting their Facebook page here. The album features 12 tracks that communicate their advocacy and ignites the passion to seek for change.

Kapayapaan

Opening the album, this song immediately captures the vibe of its namesake. Using instrumentals that bring you back to the peaceful beaches, it conveys the message of finding the root of war and resolving it to achieve peace. It directly calls out aspects that ails our current society, such as the dependence on foreign aid and disrespect towards human rights. 

Misyonero

Following the first song, this song gets the ball rolling with its introductory lines. It calls for the masses to take part in the lifestyle of the communities in the mountains and stand by them to fight for their land. It takes the energy from the first song and takes it up a notch to get its message across. 

Bayani

Taking a more somber tone, this track is a departure from the rather direct message from the previous two tracks. The song gives thanks to a hero/heroes and proclaims the inspiration that they have provided. Once again, it focuses on one central message: fighting for peace in the entire country.

Tuloy Ang Laban

Picking up the energy once again, this song aims to serve as a battle cry. It places emphasis on the current issues today, particularly with promised changes that have done little to ease the real problems of the country. As the title suggests, there is power behind each lyric that is meant to rile up the listeners.

Paasa

The next track takes humorous instrumentals with melancholic lyrics. Keeping with the central message of the album, the persistence of killings and the absence of actual help. As the title suggests, it pertains mainly to false promises of change and how injustices keep the masses down.

Tala

This song is an ode to the working class in our country. It carries an uplifting tone meant to encourage and brighten their advocacies. This song echoes the same vibe as Bayani where it serves as a tribute more than anything else.

Ngayong Gabi

A departure from the nationalistic themes of the prior tracks, this aims to tell a love story. This could be considered the “pop anthem” track of this album, showcasing simple elements to place emphasis on the lyrics and the vocals of the singers. It’s a beautiful song that brings hope and love in its lyrics.

Alab

Another departure from the usual style of previous tracks, deviating from the instruments and musical theme that the prior songs took on. Nonetheless, this track makes its statement clear: igniting the passion for justice, truth, and peace. 

Paper Tiger

Concluding the album, this song from its introductory instrumentals sends a message of calm defiance. The only song in English in the entire album, this song sends a particular message of defiance towards the killings in broad daylight. It sends a message of defiance towards the robbery of land and the arson of properties such as schools and homes. The closing track for Kalinow is brooding, passionate towards achieving justice and peace for the entire country.

Kalinow does not only send messages through its tracks, but the entire album itself paints a narrative. It calls for defiance against injustices and empowers the voice of those who shed light on these injustices. The strong and powerful message is clear from the first track to the album and reiterates it again on the last. Tubaw remains consistent with the core message of their group while also showcasing their talent as a collective.

The musical styles of this album highlights the strong suit of the group. Vocals were never the sole highlight but rather the entire song as a whole. The arrangements make each song appropriate for a soundtrack of an equally strong revolution-themed film or play. They tell a narrative through their music and whether it serves as an accompaniment to a bigger form of media or standing on its own as an album, it inspires vigilance and deflates conformity.

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