Unassuming in all his simplicity, I have known Medel Hernani whom we have fondly called “Boy” as the light-footed and quick photographer of the Development Education Media Services Foundations (DEMS) in the early eighties, whose work not only involved capturing images during Martial Law, the height of protest actions in Davao.
What gives chismis, as a social phenomenon, its potency is not mostly its play with “untruths”, but because it facilitates, in a refracted manner, the expression of the often inexpressible framing of things held by many in a given community.
There is a lot to rethink about the Philippines’ party-list system. For one, President Duterte wants it abolished, saying that party-list groups are being used by millionaires to get a seat in Congress and push for their interests. While progressive groups recognize this flaw, they call not for abolition but for a thorough review that assures that party-list groups and their nominees truly represent marginalized sectors.
Nanaha sa tumang kalunhaw ug nanalingsing sa tumang kadalisay ang mithi sa pakigbisog nga gitanom ni Titser Chad Booc sa kabanikanhan!
Sure, many art practices have been winging it via online platforms since 2020 but the uncompromising nature of street arts can teach us a thing or two about the non-negotiability of physical and public spaces to artmaking, especially in times of crisis, under authoritarian regimes.
I am aware that pragmatic solidarity is not enough but somehow, we must find a way to reduce suffering the soonest time then continue to work for strategic solutions that impact positively on humanity.
Among the Pantaron Manobo communities I work with, for example, the use of surnames was a relatively recent development that came with State census-taking, and was further regularized by formal schooling. For many of my friends, their current surnames are actually the personal name of an admired or respected ancestor that were picked for this purpose. But similar to our own practice, these ancestors whose names were re-adapted were almost always male.
True to his cultural agenda, the Duterte regime doesn’t and won’t go all the way like Marcos did—except for the edifices—so he could still maintain an illusion of democracy. How could this government be accused of curtailing press freedom when it shut just one network down as it trolls another?
The pandemic shows the worse of what we have, but it also makes us reflect on some issues that can help us turn the tide.
The fight for democratic rights of the Afghan peoples should not be viewed in the lens of the occupying forces and imperialist countries but the Afghan people themselves. It is in the hands of Afghan people to truly fight for their genuine liberation.