Connect with us


The age of online youth publications

THE Internet has proven to be an effective medium that weaves both self-expression and artistic experimentation.



THE Internet has proven to be an effective medium that weaves both self-expression and artistic experimentation. Given the wide range of available platforms to select from, many young people nowadays have utilized cyberspace as a venue where creativity is allowed to flourish without restraints.

Individuality aside, collaborations have paved way for the burgeoning scene of youth-driven, online-based independent publications. This movement has garnered so much attention that it has not only honed aspiring artists, photographers and writers in the past years, but also maneuvered them into working for the actual publishing industry.


Stache Magazine, dubbed as “the magazine for and by the creative youth,” is the brainchild of Maine Manalansan, who wanted nothing more but a platform for underappreciated Tumblr artists.

It was during a career orientation workshop in the university she was attending that prompted Manalansan to first act on the idea of establishing her own magazine. Then a 17-year-old Business Management student, Manalansan found her career preference veering away from the corporate world. Instead, she chose to become an editor-in-chief. Two months after, in December 2010, Stache released its maiden issue.

Stache has gone nowhere but up ever since. In a way, it spearheaded the local online magazine movement. It even bagged Young STAR’s Future Perfect Blog of the Year in the 2013 Globe Tatt Awards.

However, Stache rocked its following last April 2014 by going on an indefinite hiatus, capping off three years with a black-and-white-themed issue.

“I think we just needed a break because three years of creating a magazine and getting no compensation for it is a tough job especially when you’re fresh out of college,” Maine said, who currently works as editorial assistant for Young STAR, the Philippine Star’s youth culture section. “Art is good but you can’t do art for free forever.”

Despite this, Maine assures that something exciting is on the works for Stache.

You guys will know about it soon.”


Admittedly, Elision was intended as an alternative from mainstream publishing and its inability to cater to the needs of “passionate and intellectually-hungry youths.” So with the help of four other friends, editor in chief Fiel Estrella pioneered the Tumblr-based webzine.

Fiel describes Elision’s content as “an outlook of the modern Filipino youth.” Initially focused mostly on music, the webzine eventually expanded its coverages to the arts, literature and popular culture. While most of their features comprise of foreign personalities, they make sure to include local figures every once in a while, like blogger Camie Juan, singer-songwriter Luigi D’Avola, and indie folk band the Ransom Collective. “We’re definitely not trying to be esoteric. Our issues always have a little something for everyone, whatever their current state of being is,” says Fiel.

“I hope Elision evolves wonderfully while staying true to its nature. I want to dive into intersectionality and give voice to all kinds of people.”

Manic Pixie Bakunawa

While it’s become a common notion that literary journals nowadays are curated by the likes of scholars who make the medium quite inaccessible and unapproachable, we’ve got Manic Pixie Bakunawa (MPBK), which in contrast is run by fresh college grads to thank for opening its doors to young artists and litterateurs looking for a place to exhibit their works.

Editor in chief Raf Nakpil shared, “MPBK was inspired by the fact that I really, really want to be able to write and tell stories as much as I can.”

READ  Kempo 101: Healthy Mind, Healthy Body

The online literary journal took its name from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character trope, depicted as a quirky and enigmatic heroine deemed likeable for her confidence in expressing herself.

He related, “Seeing as we’re a literature [and an] art channel, we thought that approaching literature or art however we would like was a really good way to do so.” On the other hand, the Bakunawa part references to a sea serpent in Philippine mythology and embraces a sense of cultural heritage.

Having launched only last September 2014, MPBK has built quite an impressive following. For the coming months, Nakpil tells readers to expect “lots of stories, good art and some fairly interesting blogs.”

The Thing Online

At first glance, one would misjudge The Thing as a local homage to Rookie Magazine, similar by how their target demographic comprises primarily of young women. Editor in chief Gaby Gloria remarks, “I’m flattered that people would even think of comparing (Rookie) to The Thing, (but) we’re trying to break away from any comparisons though.”

However, a female audience was only the initial setup. The Thing has gone on to cater a wider demographic, which now includes even male readers. “Our articles are geared towards interests and real stories,” says managing editor Patricia Chong. “There isn’t exactly some kind of brand telling you that some interests are really for just girls or just guys.”

From popular culture, literature, sports, and even science, there’s one word that best describes The Thing: diversity. And that’s exactly what constitutes the core value of the magazine which, according to Gaby, has become more of a community open to exploring various interests.

“We want to be a place where people can read about what they like, and for them to find their own thing.”


To ruminate is to think about something deeply and according to Julianne Suazo, and that’s exactly what the people behind Rumination Magazine do to produce challenging content for their readers.

Julianne, editor in chief, was interning for Candy Magazine when she realized her ardent love for writing. Rumination had always been on the back of her mind, but the only impediment was her lack of drive. Pushing her to make the magazine materialize was her friend, associate editor Cedric Reyes, who asked Julianne during a 2 a.m. conversation, “Why not now?” And Rumination took off from there.

“Rumination goes beyond showing what’s aesthetically pleasing or talking about what’s the new ‘in’ thing,” Julianne said. “We talk about things that are haven’t been necessarily made known to the public yet.”

She also encourages Rumination readers to look out for “fresh new faces and fresher contents.”


These publications all fall under a common denominator — that is the love for craft and culture. It just proves how far the youth could go to follow their passions and exert all efforts to allow such things to continue, never minding the lack of financial funding and reward.

If the five we’ve listed above failed to suffice to your appeal, also check out ADHD Magazine, Kamusta? Magazine, Ursus et Cervus, and Yuckzine.


Photo courtesy of



Filipinx in your area: Should ‘Filipinx’ become the new Filipino?



Fernardine Hernandez/TomasinoWeb

One of the things which utterly makes the Filipino language endearing are words such as siya and ikaw as a manner of referring to a person outside the conversation. Likewise, we refer to the persons in our family as anak, kapatid, kabiyak, and the likes. These words fully realize that the Filipino language is peppered with gender-fluid words — a stark contrast from other languages with distinct genders. 

On this basis came, however, the confusion for using words such as “Filipinx” and “Pinxy”. These terms weigh a lot of meaning and none at all — depending on which lens a person perceives it that we begin to question: where do we draw the line of political correctness?

Understanding the “Filipinx” Movement

In a recent report, the term Filipinx and Pinxy have both been recognized by an English language platform,, alongside Filipino/a, Pinoy, and Pinay. These terms have been dynamically integrated into the language, mostly by Filipino immigrants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community residing abroad. 

The emergence of the Filipinx term was heavily influenced by the “Latinx” movement. Introduced by progressive Hispanic youths, the term “Latinx” is widely used by media outlets to address the pan-ethnic groups and the spectrum of genders in the Hispanic population. Eventually, the term became acknowledged across the globe; however, it was met with certain clauses, such as the deliberate disregard of Spanish and its gender-specific language. 

This accentuates how people, whether involved in the discourse of “Latinx” or “Filipinx”, are met with the initial reactions of resistance, especially when familiarity is displaced. 

While “Filipinx” and “Pinxy” are names utilized by Filipino immigrants, the online dictionary’s definition of the term scopes all inhabitants of the country, which enrages most citizens in the Philippines. 

Social media discussions regarding the use of the term were echoed with confusion and displeasure as they argue that the “Filipinx” neology, as suggested by Filipino immigrants, seems to further put distance to their axes and the axes of social narratives of Filipinos here in the Philippines. Moreover, many argue that the whole conversation on “Filipinx” is believed to conjure only from the immigrants’ penchant for the glittering culture of the Philippines—an occasional cultural immersion with tangible quirks in form of adobo and Filipino moms—coupled with a distant understanding of the struggles of the people. 

On the other hand, the proponents of “Filipinx” seek to elaborate on the relevance of the term most importantly in a colonial-bred culture. Discussing the topic of Filipinx from the lens of an immigrant, AnneMarie shared in her blog how the Filipinx movement, like Filipino, came from the desire to be seen and not to be caged from oppressive systems hand-picked by Western ideologies.  

“Both the terms Filipino and Filipinx stem from this desire to carve out an identity and from a movement resisting oppressive systems,” the blogger said. 

The Filipinx movement also touches the discourse on gender-inclusivity as it acknowledges and respects the non-binary citizens of the Philippines both here and abroad who, for so long, struggled with identifying themselves from traditional impositions. 

The people who refuse to veer away from “Filipino”, however, were quick to point out that the term is a collective nomenclature for citizens born of Filipino parents, regardless of any distinctive factor such as gender and place of birth, thus a particularly irrelevant discussion. 

The Language of Colonialism

READ  Logan Paul and the murky standards of YouTube's community guidelines

Gender-neutral terms, nonetheless, do not wholly define the aspects of our language. As our history is interlaced with the colonial narrative, our culture exists as an amalgamated system of beliefs and traditions. Examples are the word “Filipina,” as a determiner of a Filipino woman, and a roster of professions that end in -o and -a, are all indicative of the influence of Spain’s gendered-language in our vernacular. 

Furthermore, the introduction of certain adjectives nitpicked from folklores such as maganda for babae and malakas for lalaki; looped phrases of “Kay babaeng tao” and “Kasi lalaki eh” all hold a subtle nuance of gender-exclusivity. Whether these were inherent or more likely imposed from the systems of patriarchy, there exist varying gender identifiers in our language—-which ultimately breathed life to terms such as Filipinx and Pinxy that challenges to disrupt them. 

The Middle Ground 

In an interview with Prof. Galileo Zafra Ph.D., the former director of Sentro ng Wikang Filipino of the University of the Philippines, he emphasized the emergence of Filipinx in today’s context. 

Ang pangangailangan ng paggamit ng wika o isang aspeto nito ay nakabatay sa kung may nakikitang pangangailangan dito ang lipunan o ang mga espesipikong grupo o sektor ng lipunan,” he said. (The emergence of a lexicon is based on a need from the society or a specific group in the society.)

Filipinx and Pinxy, regardless of its unfamiliarity and their weird roll-of-the-tongue sounds, encompasses the axial culture of the global diaspora spurred from the need to be recognized and seen. While it cannot be completely received, in essence, they are determiners of narratives that are as substantial as our narratives in the Philippines. Their existence does not mean invalidation of our history. These are not an erasure of Rizal’s revolutionary stance of owning the term Filipino from Spanish-bred citizens of the Philippines during the nineteenth-century; rather, these terms are taking space and planting themselves as part of the whole language and cultural dynamic—one which we are continuously writing and rewriting each day as our own, despite the vivid bouts of oppression from post-colonial systems. 

In the grand scheme of things, the core of the discourse is anchored not on the question of what we collectively call and identify ourselves as, but a question of how we craft our identities to become worthy narrators of the country’s story. One must fully understand that the Philippine narrative is composed not only of the plethora of quirks that we take pride in. More importantly, it  is composed of the grapples of each marginalized sector that ultimately tests the lengths we can go to, from the lenses of our privileges, to wrestle the systems that cease our identity.


Continue Reading


Enola Holmes: Effecting Change through Actions and Words

This take on the Sherlock story presented the adventures of Enola in between Fleabag style narration and the British suffragette movement in the 19th century. 



Screengrab from 'Enola Holmes'

Change does not happen quietly. It is brought upon by the sound of a crowd marching on the streets, through the loudness of people’s unified cause, through a society’s collective action. Change arrives when people’s actions and voices are seen and heard.

The film Enola Holmes showed how one can effect change through its title character. Adapted from Nancy Springer’s Enola Holmes Mysteries series, this Harry Bradbeer film features Sherlock Holmes’ (Henry Cavill) younger sister Enola (Millie Bobby Brown). This take on the Sherlock story presented the adventures of Enola in between Fleabag style narration and the British suffragette movement in the 19th century. 

Set in 1884 England, the film centered on Enola’s journey of finding her mother Eudoria (Helena Bonham Carter), who vanished on her 16th birthday. After leaving home to find her mother, Enola met Viscount Tewkesbury (Louis Partridge), a young lord who escaped from his estate. Soon after, Enola became entangled in a conspiracy concerning Tewkesbury, deciding to put her search mission on the backseat as she tried to protect this “lost soul” from his pursuers.

Enola is “unlike most well-bred ladies.” She does not conform to the standards for women in Victorian England society. Her mother taught her many skills from cryptography to martial arts. She scoffed at the idea of marriage as a woman’s life goal. She was also the one doing the saving instead of the man. Her loudness in action, her refusal to fit in society’s mold, and her blatant rejection of the “damsel in distress” trope emphasizes her fight for her independence. 

“[I] was never taught to embroider. I never molded wax roses, hemmed handkerchiefs,  or strung seashells. I was taught how to watch and listen. I was taught to fight. This is what my mother made me for.”

The changing British society was also highlighted, with a focus on British suffragette movement in the middle and  late 19th century. Back then, women were not allowed to vote and were only granted voting rights in 1918 for women over 30 and in 1928 for women over 21. Aside from Enola’s search for her mother, the women’s suffrage movement is one of the driving forces of the movie, with the movement prompting Eudoria to fight for Enola’s future. This heavy focus on women’s rights contextualizes Enola’s character arc as she navigates a society that puts women at a disadvantage. It also highlights the role of being vocal to change an unfair system. Suffragettes protested loudly, from chaining themselves to railings to storming the British Parliament and the Buckingham Palace. This loud protests eventually lead to women gaining the right to vote.

“You haven’t any hope of understanding any of this. You do know that?”

“Educate me as to why.”

“Because you don’t know what it is to be without power.”

The film questions neutrality in a political context, especially the detachment of the privileged to politics. The privileged “don’t know what it is to be without power,” refusing to change a society that suits them well. This is shown when Sherlock is confronted by Edith (Susie Wokoma)  on his notion of politics as “fatally boring.” Edith hit back, saying that he has “no interest in changing a system” that benefits the likes of Sherlock who can vote unlike Edith. It captures the notion that choosing to be detached from politics is a privilege itself.

“You have to make some noise if you want to be heard.”

Change happens when people take up space, when they act together  and start to raise their voices. Like what Enola Holmes said, “the future is up to us.” No one can bring change but us. Passivity only perpetuates uneven playing fields and double standards. Enola’s refusal to conform to harmful standards, as well as her act of “finding lost souls” who cannot fight for their own speaks volumes, is a reminder to be loud and to take up space–to make ourselves be seen and heard. It is a call for change through the loudness of both our  actions and words. After all, change does not arrive in whispers but in screams.


Continue Reading


Wake me up when September 2020 ends

After half a year in quarantine, how much have things changed in the country? 



Photo courtesy of Richard Reyes/

With the arrival of ‘ber’ months comes the cold response of the government to the nation’s major problems. While many cities and provinces have eased quarantine restrictions, the Philippines’ capital along with a few other areas have been placed under a month long general community quarantine. Yet, the country has still not achieved its expected results with millions of Filipinos hungry, unemployed, and financially struggling.

After half a year in quarantine, how much have things changed in our country? 

1. PH reaches more than 300,000 COVID-19 cases

Photo courtesy of Lalawigan ng Rizal via CNN Philippines

Despite having one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, the number of COVID-19 cases continued to skyrocket. As of Sept. 26, the country’s total leaped past 300,000 cases with more than 60,000 active cases, 230,000 recoveries, and deaths breaching the 5,000 mark. The health crisis continued to worsen not only in the country’s capital, but also in different provinces. Bacolod and Negros have both reported that their hospital and quarantine facilities are nearing their maximum capacity.

Last Sept. 15, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque called the Philippines’ testing policy “the best in Asia” since it has screened more than 3 million people in the country. However, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco of the UP-OCTA Research and UST Department of Biological Sciences disagreed, saying that the number of positive cases continue to rise despite the increased testing capacity and that, unlike the Philippines, other Asian countries who had robust testing policies were able to keep the crisis in check. 

Ironically enough, the following day, a petition seeking to compel the government to conduct mass testing was junked by the Supreme Court. This ruling cited the petitioners’ failure to exhaust administrative remedies to warrant the granting of a writ of mandamus. 

2. A holiday for a dictator

Photo courtesy of Rappler

The irony of events continued when the House of Representatives approved a bill to declare Sept. 11 as a special non-working holiday in Ilocos Norte to honor the life and achievements of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. However, it was met with criticism from the public because the measure took only 44 days to be approved, whereas the act to provide free mass testing is still pending after 3 months. 

Sept. 21 marked the 48th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Along with the strong urge to resist tyranny, Martial Law victims condemned the House’s decision saying it would lead future generations into forgetting about the atrocities that happened under the Marcos era. Many also found it ironic that the country has a holiday celebrating the revolution that ended the Marcos regime and a holiday dedicated to the dictator it ousted. 

Dear Congress, please, make it make sense. 

3. The passing of vlogger Lloyd Cadena

Photo from Lloyd Cadena’s official Instagram account

This month also saw the loss of an influential online personality to many netizens. On Sept. 4, the news of YouTube vlogger Lloyd Cadena’s passing came as a shock to many of his friends and subscribers. It was later revealed that the 26-year-old tested positive for COVID-19 and died of a heart attack. 

Lloyd, whose online journey began way back in 2011, became the talk of the town because of his comedic antics that brought joy to anyone who stumbled across his content. But behind the jokes, he became an inspiration to many by using his platform to pay it forward to his family, community, and even strangers. Prior to his passing, he went around donating relief goods and tablets to students and aiding families who were struggling because of the pandemic. 

Rest easy, Kween LC.

4. More Tigers leave the España streak

Photo by Christine Annmarie Tapawan/TomasinoWeb

Following the Sorsogon “bubble training” controversy of the UST Men’s Basketball Team, many notable names have chosen to depart the team. Last month, team captain CJ Cansino and players Rhenz Abando, Ira Bataller and Brent Paraiso, bid farewell to the University after announcing their transfer to other teams. 

This month, three more members of the UST Growling Tigers followed suit and parted ways with their beloved team. Incoming sophomore Jun Asuncion announced his move to Mapúa University. UAAP Season 82 Rookie of the Year Mark Nonoy and teammate Deo Cuajao are now part of the Green Archers of De La Salle University. Former Tiger Cub Bismarck Lina, who was originally set to debut as a Growling Tiger, has completed his transfer to the University of the Philippines as a Fighting Maroon. 

5. Delight in dolomite?

Photo by Jansen Romero/Manila Bulletin

Perhaps the center of this month’s events is the Manila Bay rehabilitation fiasco conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The supposed beautification project drew flak from many Filipino politicians, scientists, and citizens because of its use of dolomite as sand and untimeliness of the project itself. 

The rehabilitation of the capital’s historical site began in January 2019 through the efforts of many local government units and private sectors. After reducing the amount of pollutants in the bay, the Department of Interior and Local Government relocated more than 70,000 informal settlers from the areas surrounding Manila Bay in November of the same year. Based on these accomplishments alone, it seemed as though the project was not harmful at all.

The downward decline, however, began during the late phases of the project when DENR began to dump crushed dolomite along Manila Bay on Sept. 4. The white sand that now graces Roxas Boulevard was mined and exported from Cebu. Along with the fact that no permit for extraction was issued by the provincial government of Cebu, many scientists argued that dolomite is harmful not only for humans, but also for the environment in the long run. The fisherfolk group Pamalakaya urged the government to consider using the P389-million budget to plant mangrove forests along the coastline of Manila Bay instead as it has significantly better long-term effects in improving not only its aesthetics, but also in reviving its marine ecosystem and biodiversity. Vice President Leni Robredo also said that the funds could have been more efficiently used to strengthen the government’s pandemic response, especially in aiding the poor. 

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque came to the project’s defense saying that the white sand in Manila Bay will benefit the mental health of Filipinos. On the issue of the project’s timing and legality, he clarified that the budget for the project was already allocated long before the dawn of the pandemic. 

On Sept. 20, hundreds of people flocked to Roxas Boulevard after a portion of the beach was temporarily opened to the public. Photos and videos that circulated social media showed visitors standing shoulder to shoulder amid social distancing protocols. Rather than holding the parties involved accountable, the Palace justified the gathering as proof that filling the baywalk with white sand was a “right decision.”

Recently, progressive group Akbayan filed a motion at the Supreme Court seeking to cite DENR for contempt regarding their move to dump dolomite on Manila Bay. The 16-page pleading stated this act was a violation of the 2008 continuing mandamus, which entails the environmental department to fulfill its duty to protect, rehabilitate, and clean the said water body. The group recognized the need to save the bay, but they insisted that it should be done in the right way. 

On Sept. 25, DENR decided to suspend its mining operations after initial inspections by the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) found fallen particles of dolomite on the seafloor near the town of Alcoy in Cebu. PENRO further reported that the minerals that covered the seafloor caused the dwindling of marine life and damaging of corals within 500 meters of Barangay Pugalo of the said town. At this point, it is very difficult to believe that the project still aims to “rehabilitate” Manila Bay when it is clearly being done at the expense of destroying another ecosystem.

6. Pardon for a convicted murderer

Photo by Lyn Rillon/

On Sept. 7, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. announced to the public that President Duterte had granted absolute pardon to US Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Permberton. In 2015, the American soldier was found guilty of homicide over the death of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude. 

Human rights and LGBT groups slammed this decision stating that it was an outright injustice to our national dignity and sovereignty, and disregard for transgender rights. Senator Risa Hontiveros called the pardon “an affront to the Filipino people.” Filipino netizens also expressed their dismay by pointing out how fractured the justice system must be to grant pardon to a convicted murderer, but not to those who have been wrongly accused and convicted of lesser crimes. 

Spokesperson Harry Roque, who previously served as Laude’s defense council, believed that the President’s move was tied to securing better access to a potential COVID-19 vaccine from the United States. Locsin, however, denied the claim and stated that it was the President’s “unilateral decision.” In a televised address, President Duterte defended his decision saying that the country has not treated the soldier fairly in terms of computing his Good Conduct Time Allowance. The Laude family had appealed to the court, seeking basis for Pemberton’s good behavior knowing that he had been jailed alone in a detention cell in Camp Aguinaldo. 

Almost a week after he was granted Pardon, Pemberton flew as a free man back to his home country. Atty. Virginia Suarez said in a statement that the Laude family had no choice but to accept the decision. However, they still feel  frustrated and betrayed by the government’s decision. 

7. ‘Doktor Para Sa Bayan’ bill

Photo courtesy of GMA News Online

On a lighter note, Senate Bill no. 1520, also known as the Doktor Para Sa Bayan bill, was passed on its third and final reading on Sept. 14. Although long overdue, Senator Joel Villanueva said that the approval of the bill became dire due to the stark effects of the pandemic on the country’s health sector. Apart from that, this landmark seeks to encourage students to pursue a medical degree and improve the country’s 3 to 10,000 doctor-to-patient ratio.

Once implemented, aspiring physicians who cannot afford to pay for medical school can apply for a scholarship. The medical scholarship will cover tuition and miscellaneous fees, books, as well as transportation, dormitory, internship, and board review fees. Students who qualify will have to render 3 years of return service to their hometowns upon the conferment of their license. With medicine being one of the most expensive courses in the country, the bill became a breath of hope for many students and parents amid the pandemic.

8. No election this 2022?

Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News

With the COVID-19 crisis in the country still unabated, Pampanga Representative Mikey Arroyo urged the Commission on Elections to consider postponing the upcoming 2022 elections as he believes that many fear being exposed to the virus. On social media, many netizens criticized this suggestion, saying that if Filipinos are fearless enough to flock the white sands of Manila Bay, then there is no reason to delay the elections. Former Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal added that such a measure would raise constitutional issues and that not anybody in the government, not even the President or Congress, can cancel the elections. 

9. A battle for the iron throne in Congress

Photo courtesy of CNN Philippines

Under the 15-21 months term-sharing deal brokered by President Duterte, House Speaker Alan Cayetano was expected to step down from his post and hand over the Speakership to Marinduque Representative Lord Allan Velasco next month. Although Cayetano had previously announced that he will honor the agreement, the Alan vs Allan rivalry was reignited this month when presidential son and Deputy Speaker Paolo Duterte said that he would declare the leadership post vacant to give way for the election of a new Speaker as they continue to deliberate over the 2021 national budget. 

Cayetano’s allies added fuel to fire by citing Rep. Velasco’s inactivity in Congress and lack of numbers from other representatives. Buhay  Representative Lito Atienza, however, said that the present House Speaker must honor the deal otherwise, “Congress is doomed to fail.” The President later responded that it is no longer in his power if Velasco is not supported by the majority.  

In a privilege speech addressed on September 30, Cayetano announced his resignation as House Speaker. However, 184 lawmakers voted yes to the motion to reject his resignation offer.

10. President Duterte’s UN General Assembly speech

Photo courtesy of the Presidential Communications via One News

On Sept. 23, President Duterte, for the first time, addressed global officials at the United Nations General Assembly. He began by acknowledging the COVID-19 crisis as the world’s “biggest test” since World War II and extending the country’s gratitude to all frontliners. His speech also touched on a range of global issues, such as the plight of migrant workers, geopolitical tensions, refugee crisis, climate change, and even the implementation of a Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to halt a possible nuclear war.  

In what might be the biggest plot twist since the start of his term, the President invoked the Philippines’ legal victory in the Hague ruling against China over the West Philippine Sea. Before a roster of global leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, the President asserted the country’s rights by stating that, “The [2016 Arbitary] Award is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon. We firmly reject attempts to undermine it.” 

The degree of clarity and succinctness the President expressed was a far cry from his equivocal televised addresses to the public. While most senators commended the President’s stance on the dispute over the maritime area, the true question lies whether these strong words would be translated into action or would again concede in favor of other interests.  

Based on what transpired within the 30 grueling days of September, it seems as though it was another attempt of the government to bamboozle the whole nation and deflect their attention from more pressing issues that affect their lives, such as PhilHeath’s 15-billion fraud and the global pandemic itself. What makes their actions more spiteful is that they still choose to rationalize their mistakes and failures rather than to openly admit it. Apart from being at odds with science, they spend time pitting themselves against each other instead of working harmoniously to circumvent the unabated health crisis.

As we enter another month into the longest lockdown in the world, our job as citizens is to cooperate with protocols that safeguard our health, but not in a defeatist stance that makes us acknowledge the wrongs as mere peccadillos. As Lord Varys once said, “Incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty.” Thus, the wrongs should beckon us to question and criticize whether actions being taken in the ‘new normal’ are done for the welfare of the Filipino people living in a time of uncertainty. 


Continue Reading