by BLESS AUBREY OGERIO
I WAS 19 when I fulfilled my long-time dream of legally driving a car and obtaining my license.
It was the typical midnight drives and fun road trips, getting the most out of my freedom. But as I drive along the journey of growing up, hitting 405 becomes less fun and more of a responsibility, especially when I am about to experience another unpleasant surprise at the local gas station.
Getting from one place to another would be a hassle if it were not for my motorcycle and four-wheeled APV car. Be it an important school event or a spontaneous hang-out, the privilege of this comfort has kept me away from Metro Manila's traffic congestion.
Until the slow traffic started to roll, followed by the constant checking of the gas tank, and finally getting fru...
by PATRICK V. MIGUEL
WE LIKE the idea that we are contributing to the betterment of society. And when you are stuck at home during a pandemic, the best place to do this is in the expansive digital architecture of social media. A landscape that has become a dump of cancel culture, trolls, performativity, micro-trends, and endless brain-rot ‘hot takes’ that gave me lobotomy.
I say this with pure sincerity: “Welcome to the 2020s.”
#NoToOnlineClasses, #BlackLivesMatter, #JunkAntiTerrorLaw, #MassTestingNOW, #SaveTheTurtles, #JusticeFor[Someone]—these hashtags, among others, have resurfaced and resurged within apps we have scrolled on. And in a social media culture where you are alienated for being ‘silent’ and hastily labeled as ‘apolitical,’ you feel obligated to post and show t...
by LILA F. MORTEL
BEFORE OLIVIA Rodrigo and Heart Evangelista, we had Imelda Marcos. As a dictator’s wife and a beauty in her own right, she shocked the international community with her shoes, personality, and most, unfortunately, indiscretions.
With news features of her ostentatious lifestyle came criticism from all forms, some in the form of ridicule such as modern iterations like Netflix’s The Crown to lesser-known skits from SNL and On the Television’s “Our Maid Imelda” episode.
The portrayal of Imelda Marcos in this medium was flat-out racist. It was not right she was portrayed as a maid to be ridiculed, a hysterical woman, or a socialite with a ‘funny’ accent.
There are Filipina women who are not Imelda that may be subjected to this ridicule, and at the end of the d...
by Fatima Baduria
GOING BACK to normal after a stretched time indoors should be exciting, but “normal” has always been different for us women.
It does not always mean “okay.” Merriam-Webster would characterize normal as “usual, typical, or routine.” It is expected, something adhering to a pattern. And the pattern is this: when women go out on their own, fear creeps in. A lot of times, the feeling becomes a premonition.
There had been a pause to the transgressions that the streets constantly witnessed, mostly because they became empty. As most were restricted to their homes, it became safer, at least on the streets.
However, as we gradually come closer to the kind of life we knew before the pandemic, the issue resurfaces.
This story goes on repetitively in a seemingly...
by Samantha Z. Argonza
ACROSS THE tides of survival in the northernmost stretch of the Philippines is an island province that only had its first LTE connection in 2018. Adjusting throughout the pandemic has become a challenge in a process of reassessment.
In-person classes are resuming gradually, yet it took me two years in the pandemic to process the risks, which also continuously reminded me of my home’s constant struggle with access to resources.
Spending about ten days in Batanes last August 2022, I still encounter the internet disconnections of our plugged home wifi more than twice daily. My friend, who is also in the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) and is currently in Batanes, has revealed that in every five minutes of attending online meetings, unstable internet conn...
DURING THE onset of the pandemic two years ago, students rallied on social media using the hashtags #NoToOnlineClasses and #NoStudentsLeftBehind. However, the spread of COVID-19 left schools with no choice but to shift to distance learning and to hold online classes. No thanks to the country’s unreliable internet services and the economic impact of the virus, some students were left behind.
After two years, the Philippines’ education sector finally embraced what the government called “the new normal.” Last November, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) issued a memorandum prohibiting full distance learning without its permission.
Higher education institutions are expected to implement either full onsite or hybrid learning modality in the upcoming semester. They are require...
By RHEN DAVE RAFAEL
(FULL TEXT: Message of Thanks by Rhen Dave Rafael, UST Faculty of Arts and Letters batch 2022 valedictorian, during the Solemn Investiture on June 11, 2022)
Post-truth. Adjective. A 2016-Oxford Word of the Year “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”
It is said that we live in a post-truth world. While this claim is open for debate, one thing is clear: we face an uphill battle against the systemic distortion of the truth.
Seeing how lying becomes normative in our social spaces, it is perhaps easy for us to question the ways of the truth. Yes, it is really frustrating to see how reputable sources of knowledge lose credibility to Tiktok and...
By Theriz Lizel R. Silvano
When the Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines first arrived in our borders last February, I remember releasing a long sigh of relief. I consider vaccines a great achievement, a beacon of hope in a time of uncertainty. I had only read little information about the vaccines during that time, but I had already firmly and confidently decided to get vaccinated.
Little did I know, my best friend had the opposite view. She and I have the same political and social beliefs and morals. Our sense of humor is alike, and we accept each other’s emotional capacity. We also have the same perspectives in almost everything, except for one crucial thing: getting vaccinated for COVID-19.
Her refusal to get vaccinated shocked me. Needless to say, I want her to have extra prot...
By Maria Cecilia O. Pagdanganan
As a self-professed Twitter addict, I have grown accustomed to seeing #____isoverparty trend. Here, you would see users bring up a celebrity’s past bigoted comments and hurl insults at said celebrity. You can get plus points if you spot the occasional K-pop fancams (videos of Korean pop idols dancing), accompanied with the word “DELETE” in all-caps.
Alas, the public court of Twitter strikes again.
The rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter has made it easier for people to express themselves freely. However, this might embolden them to post offensive content. In retaliation, the bereaved party would “cancel” this person. Cancellation varies in gravity, from snarky replies to death threats.
As toxic as this seems, cancel cu...
By Siegfred Aldous Lacerna
The 2022 elections are just around the corner, and the heightened online discourse about politics and politicians has been ignited once again. While several users have said that they would not let politics affect their relationships with their families and friends, some are keen to simply cut ties with people who support “the wrong candidate."
These acts of cutting ties or retaining the relationship with those who have different political opinions are prevalent in the current discourse of people with partisan inclinations. Even if different camps are willing to converse with those who are either undecided or already have another candidate in mind, others do not want to discuss with people who have opposing views. This often causes division and affects o...