TORONTO – In a third world country like the Philippines with so many poor people, rumour and gossip seem to be the national pastime. Texting (email) costs only one peso, a mere few cents Canadian. Even if this is the Philippines, poverty has not stopped citizens from engaging in online chats, Facebook and Twitter. And they feel important for they all have something to say, for after all they are a part of a larger social group.
Pope Paul Francis and Cardinal Tagle of the Philippines during Special Papal Mass in the Vatican Rome, March 14, 2021. Celebrating the 500th Anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.
How does one celebrate 500 years milestone history in three continents, with a pandemic? (more…)
Human rights violation in the Philippines, then and now…..MARCH 8,2021
Growing up in the heart of Manila where I was born, everything looked bright to me. I felt safe playing in the streets with my two younger siblings. My parents never had any cause to worry for our safety. The country which suffered at the hands of the Japanese Imperial Army during the war was experiencing a rebirth and everyone was excited to be part of this rebirth. (more…)
The Philippines has a rather high rate of poverty – around 18 million of its 110 million people either live below the poverty level or are struggling to meet the daily necessities of life. COVID 19 just exacerbated this with reduced economic activities and the undercounts of COVID infections due to lack of healthcare and the availability of water for handwashing. (more…)
When you Google “Bayan Ko”, you’ll see words like Nuestra Patria (Our Country), patriotic, unofficial national anthem and seditious.
No Filipino living in any part of this planet can claim to be unaffected by this song. Bayan Ko became the rallying song after the 1983 assassination of a Marcos opponent, Benigno Aquino, and gained traction during the People Power Revolt of 1986. It’s a song that expresses opposition to anything that curtails Filipino freedom, be it a foreign power governing the Philippines or the imposition of martial law, as was the case during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos when he declared this in 1972. (more…)
My trip to the Philippines was precipitated by my need to connect with my older surviving siblings. When I arrived in January 2020, I immediately sought my older brother who had a stroke a few years back and who recently lost his beloved wife. He was glad to see me, despite him being unable to talk and wheelchair-bound. My sister who lived thirty minutes away also was very glad to see me. (more…)
TAGALOG VERSE (KAHIRAPAN SA PHILIPINAS). “TAGUMPAY LAYUNIN
Ang pag uwi ko sa Pilipinas ay upang bisitahin ang tattlo kong matatadang maga kapatid na may karamdaman. Nang ako’y dumating noong Enero 2020, pinuntahan ko agad ang lalaki kong kapatid na naatake sa puso at hindi nakakapagsalita at hindi nakakatayo. Patay ang kalahating katawan at naka “wheelchair”. Nakilala ako at masaya siyang makita ako. Pagkatapos doon, iyon kapatid ko naman babae ang pinuntahan ko na di kalayuan ang bahay niya. Siya ay tuwangtuwa nang nakita ako. Tinanong ko siya kung may balita sa isa pang babae na kapatid naming, na may sakit na alziemers. Ang sagot ay wala. (more…)