Almost everyone I know who lives in Manila is excited for the upcoming Van Gogh Alive multi-media immersive exhibit set to open later this month. Van Gogh is undoubtedly one of the most popularly known painters of all time and his body of work one of the most easily recognized. It is thus no surprise that this event has generated plenty of buzz.
“You were more than nine pounds when you went out of my womb. You almost broke my pelvic bones. But I have exhausted myself during the delivery for you to experience the world. And I don’t ask anything in return,” my mom said [in non-verbatim] during one of our rare talks.
The film Joker has played into the agenda of people of various political stripes. Conservatives have stoked up fears of it instigating mayhem on the streets, there are liberal voices who criticize its depiction of mental illness or its supposed glamorization of “incel” tendencies. Each assessment can be examined by the individual watcher if they are so inclined. But what I want to address here is whether it is the progressive masterpiece that some claim it to be. I think it is not.
Earlier this week, an online community page named “Lapu-Lapu” maliciously vilified me and our news site Davao Today as “fake news and NPA sympathizer”. Such accusation and vilification against me and Davao Today is purely baseless.
Dengue cases in the Philippines had already risen to more than 229,736, and according to the Department of Health (DOH) from January 1 to August 17 this year, deaths resulting from Dengue had already hit 958.
Every day, we are challenged by rhetorical questions: who can sleep at night after listening to stories of a widow who just want to end her life due to poverty, or an internally displaced person who lost his mom due to their unlivable situation after the Marawi siege, while the President spits insults to divert the attention of the listeners to his language and charismatic leadership?
Earlier this week a senate hearing was conducted due to the plumetting prices of Palay (unhusked rice). During the aforesaid hearing, farmers and civil society organizations raised their concern that farmgate prices of palay dropped as low as P7 per kilo, leaving farmers in a disastrous position. Thus pointing out that price drop was caused by the influx of cheap imported rice as import restrictions were removed under Republic Act 11203 or infamously known as Rice Liberalization Law.
At the onset of the Duterte administration, I shared the optimism of my good friends along with millions fellow Filipinos for a substantial and genuine change especially in agricultural policies.
According to the 2018 Survey on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) from April to September 2018 released last April 2019 revealed an estimated 2.3 million OFWs. This also spells a total of 235.9 billion pesos of remittances sent home to the Philippines during the same period.
Right now, what’s left in Marawi are just the ruins. But the greatest ruins can only be found inside their minds — deep-seated invisible scars — seeking for healing, not insults and disregard from our government.