Aerial photo of monstrous urban blight in Manila shocks Filipinos!

This aerial photo of what could be a suburb of Metro Manila made desolate by a wilderness of urban shanties as far as the eye could see has been making the social media rounds over the weekend. The first I came across it was on a Sunday morning post on the Get Real Philippines Community […]

It’s so hot in the Philippines!!

Ang init!! While the well-heeled among us cry over power bills inflated by airconditioner use, imagine the millions of Filipinos who don’t even have electric fans. Worse, imagine those living in the squatter areas! It’s bad enough having to sleep with no airconditioner in a big room with lots of windows. Imagine what it’s like […]

Modern trendy Manila’s primitive underbelly

Now that paralyzing floods are an almost weekly occurrence in Metro Manila, I now view what were once considered “improvements” on the city differently. Often, some balikbayan friends visiting Manila would gaze in wonder at the gleaming highrises that tower above the city skyline and gush about how modern it all looks now. The presence […]

Manila monsoon flooding: People are just collateral damage

Another year, another flood. How much more can Metro Manila take? Well, whether or not it can take any more, it’s gonna get more. In the Philippines’ grand old megalopolis, population is galloping at a rate faster than the city’s ironic water supply can keep up with. Its rivers are all silted up and its […]

The pigsty that is the Philippines

The rains that came just this weekend intensified to the extent that come Monday, August 19, the resulting floods brought traffic in the Metro to a standstill. Several parts of Metro Manila had no choice but to call off class for all levels. Government offices were forced to declare “no work” due to the hazards […]

Land ownership Hell: The Philippines is Squatter Central when it comes to government subsidies!

Squatting does indeed pay in the Philippines. The most recent pandering to this vote-rich sector of Philippine society is an 18,000-peso “rental subsidy” to be provided by the Philippine government to each squatter family relocated to other settlement sites. This follows a reported announcement from Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson that “there is […]

Are the obvious solutions to the Philippines’ problems feasible?

I keep reading about people proposing sensible and obvious things to combat the biggest problems we face today, like controlling (and maybe even reducing) population, reducing carbon emissions, and voting for the best leader. All sounds like the ‘intelligent’ things to do, don’t they? But all that is just asking too much when you consider […]

It’s about time the Philippine government blasts squatters out of the water

Apparently emboldened by the rising anger over the man-made nature of the massive floods that devastated much of Metro Manila last week and increasingly loud calls to rectify the problems related to it that politicians had allowed to fester for decades, President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III has issued a strong mandate for decisive action […]