Posts

EDSA 38 Years On: A Legacy of Revolution in the Shadows of Today's Philippines

Image
In the year I turned thirteen, the pulse of freedom in the Philippines beat faintly under the heavy hand of the Marcos regime. My world, already stretching beyond childhood games, became attuned to the whispers of change and the courage in quiet resistance. Books hidden away, like those by Primitivo Mijares, Ricardo Manapat, Raymond Bonner, and others, spoke of truths Manila's streets dared not utter, guiding my young mind through the shadows towards an awareness of the struggles and the fight for freedom enveloping my country. Thirty-eight years since EDSA, we remember the sea of humanity that clamored for their stolen voices, dignity, and nation to be returned. Now, at fifty, I witness history's cyclical dance, seeing power lost and regained. The Marcoses, once exiled, now walk the halls of power again, their legacy a contested chapter in our nation's continuing story. Amidst this, Imelda Marcos' deliberate absence from her son Bongbong's political adventure and t

Divorce in the Philippines: Balancing Faith and Compassion

Image
I grew up in the shadow of the church, the heavy bells marking the passage of time. As an ex-seminarian, I believed no man should part in what God joined. Family meant a father and a mother, a unity I never knew. Raised without a traditional family, I was blessed with the warmth of my aunt's home. Now, with a daughter of my own, I face the paradox of my beliefs and the reality of life in the Philippines. Here, where divorce is a ghost, it haunts us. We are the last to hold out against it, a country clinging to an ideal while ignoring the cries of those trapped in unions that bring harm, not harmony. I understand the sanctity of marriage, the vows made before God. Yet, I've seen the other side—the need for a law that allows people to part, not on a whim, but with heavy hearts seeking peace. This is the story of that struggle, the balance between faith and the harsh truths of life. It is about finding a middle ground where the law respects both the sanctity of marriage and the we

Unpacking the Great Debate: Were Ross and Rachel Really on a Break?

Image
Last night, I found myself revisiting the beloved world of "Friends," a show that's not just a TV series but a cultural phenomenon. As I watched, I chanced upon an episode that has sparked endless debates and discussions: "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break."  This episode, even years after its release, still holds a special place in the hearts of fans and critics alike. It's fascinating how a storyline from a '90s sitcom can open up a window into the complexities of relationships and communication.  As a blogger and a critic, I realized the value of exploring this iconic episode for its entertainment and its intriguing question about the nature of relationships: Were Ross and Rachel really on a break? The Backgrounder – "The One Where Ross and Rachel Take a Break In this pivotal episode from the third season of "Friends," the relationship between Ross and Rachel reaches a critical juncture. Fueled by Ross's growing jealousy ov

Freelancers Can Indeed Secure U.S. Tourist Visas: Insights and Success Stories

Image
Have you ever encountered the myth that freelancers can't get a U.S. tourist visa? It's a widespread belief, leading many freelancers to doubt their chances of exploring the United States. However, while there are stories of freelancers facing visa denials, numerous instances prove otherwise. Several people I know have been granted a B1/B2 visa despite their freelance status.  This article doesn't aim to disprove this long-standing myth entirely but rather to present the other side of the story - that of freelancers successfully obtaining a U.S. tourist visa. We'll explore the factors influencing a freelancer's visa application and provide insights into how they can enhance their chances. Understanding the U.S. Tourist Visa Before we delve into the unique situation of freelancers, let’s understand what a U.S. tourist visa, or B1/B2 visa, entails. This visa is for individuals visiting the U.S. for leisure, tourism, or medical reasons. It’s important to note that a to

Here Lies the Last Hope of the Filipino People: Choosing Our Leaders Wisely

Image
In the heart of our nation, the Philippines, we cherish our right to vote like a precious gift. It's a power we hold dear, but it comes with a question we must face: why do we often choose leaders who dazzle us with promises but fall short when it's time to deliver? This isn't about pointing fingers but understanding our habits at the polls. We're a country with a rich legacy of strong and intelligent leaders, yet we find ourselves in a loop, swayed more by charm than by concrete plans and vision.  This article is a friendly nudge to look beyond the words and to seek leaders with real, actionable plans for our future. It's a call to remember that the true hope of our nation doesn't rest on one person's shoulders but in the collective wisdom of our choices. Join me as we explore this crucial question and consider what it truly means to vote for our nation's future. The Allure of Personality Over Policy: A Concise Examination Philippine politics is a stage

Is Diskarte a Toxic Filipino Trait? The Fine Line Between Resourcefulness and Opportunism

Image
Growing up in the Philippines, the word “diskarte” was everywhere. Friends and family often remark, “ Mayaman’ yan kasi madiskarte sa buhay, ” praising someone’s knack for thriving. Or they’d say, “ Tingnan mo’ to si Gino, kulang sa diskarte kaya hirap na hirap, ” about someone struggling due to a lack of resourcefulness. But “diskarte” can be a double-edged sword. On one side, it’s about making smart moves, like a vendor finding the best spot to sell more fish. On the other, it’s about cutting corners, like someone whispering, “ Kaya ka na-ticketan ng LTO kasi kulang ka sa diskarte. Sana pina-ipitan mo na lang ng 200, ” suggesting a bribe to avoid a ticket. This duality of diskarte, how it’s celebrated for ingenuity and yet can slide into questionable acts, is what we’re delving into. Is this trait truly toxic, or is it just survival? Let’s take a closer look. Diskarte: The Filipino Art of Ingenuity and Its Edges Diskarte is a word that captures the Filipino’s knack for clever solutio