Manila’s gated communities should be opened to public access to alleviate traffic

Gated communities, like jeepneys, are stopgap measures that became institutionalised and so ingrained in the national psyche that, as we see in the general tone of the debate surrounding this issue, people simply find it next to impossible to comprehend the cancerous nature of their existence. They are legacies of a succession of weak and […]

Al Jazeera video ‘Begging for Life’ features roundup of beggars during APEC Summit in Manila

Al Jazeera features in its ‘People and Power’ programme the video clip Begging for Life, a look into the lives of street children who make a living begging on the streets of Manila. The video is noteworthy because it captured eyewitness accounts of the roundup of street urchins conducted by the Philippine government in and […]

Filipinos need to uphold a Deliver-Or-Die ethic like the Japanese

The deadline for the completion of the LRT (Light Rail Transit) Line 1 project (Baclaran to Bacoor) by the end of 2015 has passed and the promise issued by President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III that he and Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya back in 2013 will throw themselves under a […]

Landless in My Own Land – What’s the Solution to Metro Manila’s Squatter Menace?

Thousands of squatters (informal settlers) are fleeing the Philippine capital to move back to their provinces. Half of the squatter population decides to stick it out though, maintaining their stand to stay in their illegal settlements all over the metropolis. Yet through the months, squatter colonies are dwindling in number, slowly becoming virtual ghost towns. […]

Imagining a truly world-class Metro Manila

The recently-concluded Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Metro Manila proved that to get the best results out of the Philippines’ premiere metropolis, its residents need to be excluded from major events like these. This is quite ironic considering the theme of APEC Manila 2015 was inclusion — getting as many ordinary Filipinos in […]

Why Filipinos should complain about inconveniences caused by #APEC2015

Horror traffic gridlock stories juxtaposed with VIP lanes through which APEC bigwigs zip by smoothly have been flooding social media timelines over the last couple of days. Accompanying the images, memes, and footage depicting this horror are ordinary Filipinos’ complaints. And they are pouring in by the bucket loads. The key argument used by people […]

Don’t generalise, not all Filipinos are like that!

This is a common argument against opinion pieces that point out confronting observations about the collective character of the Filipino nation. The reasoning can be re-worded as a question like this: When someone asserts, say, that Filipinos are slobs, is this an unfair statement? It isn’t if one recognises that this statement is a generalisation. […]

Imbeciles are exempt from criminal investigation in the Philippines

There are the hard realities and truths and then there are the democratic institutions built by a people who presumably aspire to live by said truths as closely as human thinking faculties permit. The trouble with the way Filipinos have applied their expensive Made-in-the-USA criminal justice system is that they did not put such a […]