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On Octobers, we wear red

A day before the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released the supposed list of schools which are allegedly recruiting grounds of communists rebels for the “Red October” ouster plot against the regime, we were already protesting along Dapitan denouncing it.

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Artwork by Mikhail Reaño

A day before the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) released the supposed list of schools which are allegedly recruiting grounds of communists rebels for the “Red October” ouster plot against the regime, we were already protesting along Dapitan denouncing it.

We knew very well at that point that the University would be tagged: after all, UST had welcomed the Lumad bakwit school into the campus—the Lumad schools that AFP considers to be training grounds of the communist New People’s Army (NPA), the schools that have experienced harassment and abuses from the military. The student activist movement in the University also saw a boom in recent months, and the University itself had become more outspoken against state violence and human rights violations under the regime of Rodrigo Duterte.

When AFP released their supposed “list” of schools yesterday, the condemnation from the administration and the Central Student Council was swift—and rightfully so. It is irresponsible and dangerous, a blatant attack on academic freedom and the rights of students to free expression and organization. The list put the security of the University at risk, particularly student leaders and those involved in the martial law week campaigns, which the AFP said was how communists recruited students.

However, it is not enough for us to condemn that one incident: the past few weeks saw the regime relentlessly (or desperately?) tag protests and opposition groups as part of a supposed communist-led “Red October” ouster plot, from the mass mobilization  at Luneta last Sept. 21 to leaders of the political opposition—a not-so-subtle attempt to silence and scare dissenters by tagging dissent as “terrorism” or “rebellion,” regardless of political color affiliation.

If the list has a target, it’s definitely not the University administration, as AFP pointed out themselves. The AFP is tagging groups that are at the forefront of political struggle under Duterte: striking workers calling for an end to contractualization and abusive labor practices, urban poor groups demanding decent housing, Lumad students and teachers calling for an end to military attacks in their schools and communities—and now, the military is targeting students leaders and student activists for their alleged connections to the NPA, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

This a serious allegation, and the University must actively continue to campaign against it. Such accusations have dire, even deadly implications and consequences as it puts the lives of students and their security at risk—a brazen example of red-baiting or red-tagging, in which state actors “publicly and detractively classify government-critical individuals and organisations as state enemies, communist terrorists or members of communist front organisations.”

The consequences are fatal, and it spares none—not even students activists like Sherlyn Cadapan and Karen Empeño, who were illegally abducted, detained and tortured at the hands of military forces in 2006 after they were accused of being members of the CPP-NPA. The AFP is putting the security and lives of students at risk simply because of their affiliations or even for simply being critical of the regime.

No different to how the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos arrested his opponents on the basis of being “communists,” “rebels” and “subversives,” Duterte is using the same cheap tricks from his idol’s playbook.

The AFP might say that this article is part of the CPP-NPA’s information drives linking martial law atrocities to those committed under the Duterte administration—but then again, communist or not, where is the lie? Nothing can cover up the fact Duterte is a cheap, fascist dictator wannabe who’s now using McCarthy-style red scares against his opponents who are out to supposedly “destabilize” Duterte’s regime, a regime that was never stable to begin with.

By doing so, the President is simply orchestrating his own downfall by giving his attention to a fabricated and poorly-concocted fake news of an ouster plot while turning a blind eye to the plight of the people—just like what he did to Sheila Eballe who simply asked the President to put an end to quarrying in Naga City, Cebu after a landslide.

Duterte’s response? A misogynistic remark and a claim that Eballe was being trained by NPA.

In the face of the crisis of rising prices of rice, bread, and other basic commodities brought by inflation and higher taxes, this “destabilization” is Duterte’s own doing—and if our memories serve us right, he was the one who repeatedly told the public that he is a murderer, and he even threatened to bomb Lumad schools and shoot female rebels in their vaginas.

Duterte is this country’s top terrorist, along with his lapdogs in the military and police force. Expect an intensified crackdown on activists and dissent this October, but we will not be scared into silence—they are only forcing more and more people to join the growing resistance to Duterte’s murderous regime. State violence breeds militant resistance, and fascist dictators only build their downfall.

Now is the time to fight, and to fight a madman like Duterte is just. After all, it’s no secret that the people already want him out—and it’s not because of any conspiracy for an ouster plot. It’s Duterte’s own fault.

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KWENTONG DORM: Ano ang dapat meron ka sa iyong dorm?

FYI: Mag-isa man o may kasama, mahalaga na itatak mo sa utak mo ang mga bagay na ito para naman maging magaan at komportable ang iyong karanasan habang nananatili ka sa tinutuluyan mo malapit sa Unibersidad.

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Dibuho ni Aldrich Aquino

Muli na namang nagsimula ang bagong kabanata sa pagbubukas ng panibagong school year! Gigising na naman tayo nang maaga kahit na puyat tayo sa dami ng mga ginagawa. Magmamadali muli sa pagpasok sa klase kahit na gustong-gusto na natin magpahinga kahit saglit lang. At sa wakas, uuwi na sa mga tambak ng mga gawain para sa kinabukasan. Ilan lang ito sa mga bagay na nararanasan ng isang estudyante, pero sa pangarap na nais nating abutin, kailangan nating isakripisyo ang ilang mga bagay dahil sa huli, magiging matamis ang bunga nito.

Sa pagpasok sa panibagong school year, maaaring ikaw ay isa sa mga estudyanteng gigising nang sobrang aga para mag-commute habang mayroon namang mawawalay sa kanilang mga pamilya at mahal sa buhay para makapag-aral sa UST.

Kung binabasa mo ito ngayon, ikaw ay isa sa mga mag-aaral na nararanasan ang buhay ng isang “dormer”. Mag-isa man o may kasama, mahalaga na itatak mo sa utak mo ang mga bagay na ito para naman maging magaan at komportable ang iyong karanasan habang nananatili ka sa tinutuluyan mo malapit sa Unibersidad:

1. Damit (maraming damit!)

Mahalaga na magdala ng maraming damit (pangpasok, pambahay, at panlabas) dahil ito ang iyong pansamantalang tahanan sa mga susunod na araw. 

2. Rice cooker

Lalabas ka na naman ba para kumain kung pwede ka namang magluto? Ang perang maaring magastos sa pagbili ng pagkain sa labas ay pwede mong matipid. Kanin, noodles, at iba pang mga putahe ay pwedeng maluto sa rice cooker. Ngunit, kung makapagdadala ka ng mas maraming kagamitan sa pangluto o kaya’y hindi ka ipinagbabawal ang pagluto sa iyong tinutuluyan, mas maganda ito. Tandaan na huwag kalimutan mapanatili ang inyong kalusugan! Dapat na kumain pa rin nang tama kahit ikaw ay nagtitipid ng iyong allowance.

3. Pang-meryenda

Mas mabuti rin na magdala ng mga snacks (tsitsirya, mga biskwit, atpb.) dahil bukod sa mas nakakatipid ka rito, kailangan mo rin ng iba pang mga pagkain upang ganahan sa pag-aaral at sa iba pang mga bagay.

4. Payong

Ito ang isa sa mga bagay na hindi mo dapat kalimutan! Mainit man o maaraw, mahalaga na magdala ng payong lalo na’t madalas na ang pabugso-bugsong ulan dito sa Maynila. Manatiling handa!

5. Alkansya

Ang pagiging magastos ay maiiwasan. Mahalaga na magkaroon ng alkansya o paglalagyan ng iyong pera. Bukod sa tinuturuan mo ang iyong sarili na magtipid, ang perang maiipon mo sa ilang buwan mong pamamalagi ay maaari mong magamit para sa iyong kinabukasan.

6. Storage Kits/Organizers

Ang mga storage kits o organizers ay importante upang hindi maging makalat ang iyong tinutuluyan. Maaari mo ritong ilagay ang iyong mga damit, mga mahahalagang kagamitan sa paaralan, mga kagamitan sa banyo, at iba pa. Ito ay magtuturo sa iyo na maging masinop at organisado sa iyong mga kagamitan. May kasama ka man o wala, dapat panatilihing malinis ang iyong tinutuluyan upang hindi ito maging tahanan ng iba’t ibang uri ng insekto.

7. Walis (at iba pang panlinis)

Sa usaping kalinisan, mas mapapanatili ang kaayusan ng iyong dorm kung mayroon kang mga kagamitan para dito. Sa paglilinis, tinuturuan mo ang iyong sarili na maging mas responsable at maayos sa iyong kapaligiran.

8. Mga gamot

Katulad ng panahon, hindi rin natin mahuhulaan kung anuman ang mangyayari. Lalo na’t haharapin na naman natin ang mga araw na tayo’y maraming responsibilidad bilang isang estudyante, mahalaga na may mga gamot at supplements kang nakatago sa iyong tinutuluyan para mapanatili mo pa rin ang magandang kalusugan. Tandaan na kahit marami kang responsibilidad sa paaralan, kailangan mo pa ring alagaan ang iyong sarili!

9. Emergency Kit

Sa oras ng sakuna tulad ng lindol o kaya bagyo, importante na mayroon tayong emergency kit na naglalaman ng pagkain, tubig, baterya, toiletries, at iba pa. Okay nang maging handa at sigurado sa mga oras na ito.

 

EXTRAS:

  1. Vision Board 

Mahalaga na mayroon kang board or espasyo sa iyong pader kung saan pwedeng ilista ang mga gawaing kailangan mong matapos, lagyan ng mga litrato o mga notes na naglalaman ng mga salitang nagbibigay-sigla at inspirasyon para mas ganahan ka sa iyong pag-aaral. 

  1. Mga Litrato (Sentimental items)

Sa iyong pamamalagi, mahalaga na may mga bagay ka na magbibigay sa’yo ng motibasyon para mag-aral at makamit ang iyong mga pangarap. Kahit malayo ka man, may mga bagay na magpapaalala sa’yo na maging mas matatag sa kabila ng mga hirap at pagsubok na iyong nararanasan.

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Manila Liquor Ban: Shantay You Stay or Sashay Away?

After reading your replies on our recent #TalkOnTW segment, we’ve conducted a little “research” about a list of spots around the campus and we’ve indicated which among these are within Isko’s “danger zone”.

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Artwork by Aldrich Aquino
EDITOR’S NOTE: The measurements used in this article are based on the data taken from Google Maps. Although the authors provided radial (pinned at Plaza Mayor) and peripheral distances so as to avoid the confusion legislative loopholes may cause, they used the distance measured from the University perimeter wall to the establishment temporarily as the basis of judgment. Further, this article should not be regarded as a legitimate reference nor should it be considered as a guide to the recently implemented regulation. Moreover, this article does not, in any way, invite students to vice.

Recently, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno signed an executive order enforcing the cancellation of all business permits of stores that sell alcoholic beverages within the 200-meter range of schools and universities in Manila. With that being said, the mayor’s strict implementation on liquor ban received different reactions.

Aside from popular and affordable eateries, the University is also known for being surrounded by a number of inuman spots. From the bustling streets of Espana up to the food crawl and street food lined along the streets of Dapitan, there are a lot of (hidden) gems situated along these streets that surely became an instant hit for students.

After reading your replies on our recent #TalkOnTW segment, we’ve conducted a little “research” about a list of spots around the campus and we’ve indicated which among these are within Isko’s “danger zone”.

Dapitan

Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen (63 meters from UST perimeter wall*) 

Known for its student-friendly prices and Instagram-worthy vibes, Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen (also known as 4M), is a popular bar and restaurant in Santander Street that is not only jam-packed with Thomasians but also students from neighboring universities!

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Tapsi (119 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Found in Asturias Street, Tapsi gives off an old Manila vibe because of its vintage facade. Tapsi is popular especially to the alumni of the University as it has been one of the oldest inuman houses in Dapitan. They are best known for affordable rice meals and buckets of beer.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

The Pit (130 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Like Tapsi, The Pit is also a known landmark for drinking! Often visited by students and fellow alumni, The Pit serves affordable rice meals on their first floor. However, the real fun begins as you climb up the stairs where they serve you affordable cocktails as well!

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Viewpoint (43 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Viewpoint is a drinking establishment located at Antonio Street. Despite the area being cramped and hidden in view, it is known for its very affordable alcoholic drinks.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Fusebox Lifestyle Complex (119 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Fusebox is a popular food establishment located along Laong-Laan Street. Serving a wide variety of dishes – from affordable rice bowls to Korean barbeque, Fusebox is known to be the drinking capital due to the number of restaurants serving alcohol at the top floor. There is also a pool table, perfect for unwinding after a tiring day.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Noval

Quesarito Mexican Cocina (10 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Quesarito Mexican Cocina is a new gem situated right above Angkong, Tap N’ Chop, and Legit Restaurant. Aside from serving a wide variety of Mexican dishes and rice meals like liquored wings, they serve delicious flavored beers and margaritas that won’t make you break the bank!

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

España

Troika Resto & Art Gallery (140 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

If you’re searching for an artsy inuman spot that also showcases live music, then Troika is the place you’re looking for! Aside from being a drinking hub, Troika is also an art gallery that makes you appreciate the arts as you stay.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Breeze Resto Bar (155 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Tucked in Moret, Breeze is a drinking spot that serves affordable pulutan and alcoholic beverages. Although the place is dark, the ambiance of the place is cozy enough that it will make you come back again.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Acustica Bistro & Lounge (34 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Acustica Bistro & Lounge serves you with the usual drinks and meals that are not on the expensive price range. Unlike other inuman spots that are usually cramped, Acustica gives off a cozy ambiance that makes you feel at home. Moreover, this place is also a good drinking spot for those who enjoy live performances.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Lacson

Spotlight Restobar (321 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Want to sing your heart out to Whitney Houston’s Where do Broken Hearts Go or Salbakuta’s Stupid Love? Spotlight is a known inuman spot in Maria Clara street where you can go belt out your notes with their karaoke while being served your favorite cocktails!

Verdict: SHANTAY YOU STAY!

 

The Roof (33 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

Located on the 34th floor of Pacific Skyloft, The Roof is the perfect place for those who want to escape reality for a bit. Though the price range will give you the “Haggardo Versoza” vibe, The Roof will never fail to give you a one-of-a-kind experience as you gaze at the buildings seen from the roof.

Verdict: SASHAY AWAY!

 

Chill Top (840 meters from UST perimeter wall*)

With their branches spotted in Cubao down to Buendia, Chill Top found its home in Lacson, too! Like other roof deck bars, Chill Top allows you to enjoy a variety of cocktails and hard liquor as you watch over Manila’s skyline, too. It is definitely a place where you can chill, drink, and forget life’s burdens for a little while!

Verdict: SHANTAY YOU STAY!

 

With the strict implementation of Liquor Ban by the Mayor, will this drastically affect drinking establishments that are still operating at this moment? Whatever the result may be, the best thing that we should always keep in mind is to be more mindful and responsible for our actions! 

Jia Pizarro Bote; Brin Raizulli Isaac and John Aaron Pangilinan contributed to this article.

 

*Radial Distances

Dapitan

Four Monkeys Bar & Kitchen: 337 meters from Plaza Mayor

Tapsi: 365 meters from Plaza Mayor

The Pit: 276 meters from Plaza Mayor

Viewpoint: 250 meters from Plaza Mayor

Fusebox Lifestyle Complex: 356 meters from Plaza Mayor

 

Noval

Quesarito Mexican Cocina: 267 meters from Plaza Mayor

 

Espana

Troika Resto & Art Gallery: 405.85 meters from Plaza Mayor

Breeze Resto Bar: 398 meters from Plaza Mayor

Acustica Bistro: 325 meters from Plaza Mayor

 

Lacson

Spotlight Restobar: 586 meters from Plaza Mayor

The Roof: 325 meters from Plaza Mayor

Chill Top: 1.10 kilometers from Plaza Mayor

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The Real State of the Nation

The Philippines have witnessed injustices and abuse even before this administration started. The people who marched in the protest are not just the ones who are oppressed. This shall not only be an effort carried out by the brave people who marched that day but a collective action of a people who have since been oppressed and continue to be oppressed under a semi-feudal, semi-colonial system.

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Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb

“Ang tao, ang bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban!”, the masses chanted. If Quezon City was a body, Commonwealth Avenue would be the heart of the city. It pulsates the passion and power of the masses that intricately runs through the veins of the country. 

The streets were colored blue, red, yellow, and white. Various groups of walks of life waltzed from the Commission of Human Rights to the road of St. Peter Parish as they carried the fight that the Filipino people have been waging through since… forever.

The people in these roads know too well the struggles the country has been facing. They represent those who have been faced such tribulations under the administration that rampantly silence the oppressed. Flags were waved not as a sign of surrender, but a symbol of strength that indicates the coming of a stronger, more united front as a nation.

The United Peoples’ SONA can be summarized in one word: united. Various groups and organizations ranging from the labor sector to the youth sector were present in the momentous event. They once again voiced out their advocacies and beliefs ensuring they are heard even in the hollow spaces of the country. 

Among the attendees in the United Peoples’ SONA were former senatorial candidate Leody De Guzman who shared his thoughts regarding the call of the masses in the protest.

“Ang important ngayon kasi, bigyan ng ekspresyon ‘yung pagsasamang nabuo,” De Guzman shared in an interview with TomasinoWeb. [Dapat] maipakita ang pagkakaisa kasi [sa] tingin ko, ‘yun ang importante; na ‘di lang usapan, kundi sa aksyon ay nagsama-sama halos lahat para ipanawagan yung pagtutol sa mga patakaran ni Duterte na nagsisilbi sa interes ng negosyante at ng dayuhan.”

The West Philippine Sea has been one of the most prominent topics in the United Peoples’ SONA. This is because of the controversies that circled around it, President Duterte’s standpoint towards it, as well as the involvement of foreign entities such as China, the United States of America, and the United Nations in the issue. Various attendees extended their concerns not only through placards but other protest materials such as replicas of warships, fishes, and donned articles of clothing. 

Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb

Former Bayan Muna representative Satur Ocampo shared his thoughts on the aforementioned issue highlighted by President Duterte in his fourth SONA. 

“Alam niyo, dapat [niyang] balikan yung campaign promise niya noon,” Ocampo said in an interview with TomasinoWeb. “On the West Philippine Sea, ang sabi niya, i-a-assert niya ‘yung Philippine sovereignty. Pero kung i-a-abandon niya ‘yon, [ito] ay [isang] pagtataksil sa bayan.”

The plea was further emphasized of the recurring song that was played in the event. One of its most notable lyrics were, “Atin ang Pinas, China layas!”. This was also chanted before the masses have reached the place of demonstration. Several groups such as the League of Filipino Students, Anakpawis, and Pamalakaya also highlighted their sentiments on the West Philippine Sea in the protest.

Among the highlights of the demonstration was the visitation of the Lumad people. They are the indigenous peoples in Mindanao, known to have suffered under the heavy arm of the current administration. Their group is known to experience inequalities despite the protection of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and the 1997 Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (RA No. 3871).

Their right to education and human rights are downright violated. One of the most alarming evidence of these is the occupation of the military where schools were used as an area for camping and the notorious indiscriminate firing. But it just doesn’t end there. 

Kalumaran council member Nenita Condez mentioned that their group has experienced heavy bouts of military transgression because of the ongoing martial law in Mindanao that was implemented by President Duterte last May 23, 2017.

“Grabeng atake po ng mga military sa aming komunidad.” she shares in an interview with TomasinoWeb. “Laging nag-bobombing, interogasyon, [at] kahit saan po sa mga komunidad sa Mindanao.”

Condez mentioned that they joined the protest among the masses to amplify their voices urging Duterte to finally halt martial law in Mindanao. She firmly reinstated that they are victimized by the administration, especially that the military is still present in the midst of their home, Mindanao and among their community.

Mindanao’s ancestral lands are integral to their own especially when it comes to their identity, history, rights, and culture. Indigenous peoples have been granted an ancestral domain title given by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. It is protected by the 1987 Philippine Constitution and RA 3871 where it mentioned that they hold the rights to these lands to where their families have lived since the “time immemorial”.

“Paano na kami kapag wala na yung lupang ninuno?” Condez says. “Sa lupang ninuno din namin ma-praktis ang kultura namin.”

Condez said that the President made the indigenous people cling on to his promise to alleviate the groups’ disposition. Condez said that the president showed his “real colors” after six months in his office. She has mentioned that the President vowed to find investors for their ancestral lands so that it could be “benefited from”. Her group dissents this due to the fact that the ancestral lands are not only theirs but also because it is their home: it is where they reside and also that it is the source of their income and livelihood. 

While employment in the Philippines is held up to a high percentage of 94.8%, the majority of workers are employed in the services sector, accounting to 58.1%. The succeeding sectors work in wholesale and retail trade, machinery, and agriculture. Despite the impressive number of employment in the country, many of its workers face poor working conditions.

Larizza Lucas/TomasinoWeb

One of the roots of this issue is because of the poor social protection services in the Philippines. Affordable housing is not accessible to many. In return, the lower and middle class are prone to experience poverty due to the fact that the cost of living does not suffice the wages and benefits they receive. This is where contractualization comes in. 

“Hindi napatupad ni Duterte ang pangako niya na tanggalin ang kontraktwalisasyon, patuloy ang kontraktwalisasyon hanggang ngayon,” Bayan Muna Chair Neri Colmenares told TomasinoWeb in an interview. “In the end, anti-people, anti-poor si President Duterte at [siya] ay anti-worker.” 

Last May 2018, President Duterte signed an executive order which bans illegal contractualization. However, this doesn’t seem to solve the problem. In an interview with CNN, Anakpawis Representative Ariel Casilao said that “What the workers demanded is the total prohibition of contractualization by virtue of direct hiring”. These workers have been regularized just for the sake of doing so, upon the investigations of the Department of Labor and Employment.

The working conditions the workers face are notoriously poor. Not only are their workplaces hazardous to their health, but also to their rights as individuals. 

The United Peoples’ SONA was a testament to the resilience of the Filipino people that are constantly abused. No one deserves to live a life where resilience is perverted by the hands of a few. Their voices were amplified, but did they manage to grab the attention of the millions? That, we can be sure of. But why bother? Why should we care? Colmenares answers this question.

“Kaya tayo nandito ngayon [ay] para ilahad ang tunay na kalagayan ng bansa at panawagan na tapusin na, sobra na, tama na.”

His answer is not a coincidence to what the country is facing right now. The Philippines have witnessed injustices and abuse even before this administration started. The people who marched in the protest are not just the ones who are oppressed. The country was promised better tomorrows equipped with progress and hope. However, it seems like the people could only cling on an image of a better government for now, of a better Philippines.

This shall not only be an effort carried out by the brave people who marched that day but a collective action of a people who have since been oppressed and continue to be oppressed under a semi-feudal, semi-colonial system. Sadly, there are still some who cover their ears and cower themselves from the truth. Little do they know that this, indeed, is the real state of the nation.

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