By FATE EMERALD M. COLOBONG THOUSANDS HAVE been killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs while tens of thousands of others have been thrown into jail to live under unbearable living conditions and unshakeable ghosts of uncertainty. According to a report by Inquirer, in Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) jails alone, congestion rates go as high as 612 percent nationwide. The BJMP blames the worsening jail congestion on the spike in arrests, inmates’ ineligibility to pay the bond, and slow movement of criminal cases, among others. However, during my internship where I had the chance to witness the jail congestion at the Quezon City Jail and interview inmates arrested because of involvement with illegal drugs, a number of them claimed that they were framed
By LUIS MIGUEL B. ARUCAN CALOOCAN CITY College was one of the 18 schools that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) claimed to be hotbeds for communist recruitment for the rumored ‘Red October’ ouster plot. The military cannot fulfill its role without the knowledge and intelligence-gathering skills of experts. When the military claims something, one can rest assured that it is true. But Caloocan City College does not exist The AFP later admitted in a statement that their list was “subject to continuing validation.” They seem to want to follow in the administration’s footsteps and throw around allegations before or without presenting evidence. In retrospect, the military’s plans and actions seem more red-faced than Red October. Step one was to make up a conspiracy out
ON Feb. 24, the monthslong public persecution of opposition senator Leila de Lima culminated in her arrest. The former Commission on Human Rights chairperson and former Justice secretary ran in the 2016 elections on a platform centered on human rights and anti-corruption. It is no wonder that she so staunchly opposed a president whose ideals contrast starkly with her own. The detained senator earned the ire of the president and his legions of supporters through her sharp jabs at both the Duterte administration and its bloody campaign against illegal drugs. In almost no time, de Lima became the center of a teleserye-like investigation into her alleged involvement with drug lords where no small or intimate detail of her life was spared, not even her rumored relationship with her forme...
Before thesis defense, I attended a recollection in Cubao with Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle as the recollection master. There, he reminded us of many things but the two lessons I really remember are these: See the extraordinary in the ordinary and allow yourself to be surprised by God. Before, I was not that person who shares this kind of thoughts to people. For me, it was too serious when you get into a conversation about these things. But maybe thesis and other major things—which would include stress from academic workload, editor duties, family matters, constant hunger (for literal food and food for the mind), and endless doubt on yourself and everything you do—change how one thinks and now, I appreciate and hold on to these wise words. Some see the Flame as a small
There are many things in life that are always left unnoticed. No matter how hard we try to look, we never see their value. As cliché as it already is, but we only realize the importance of something when it is no longer there. And sometimes, even in its absence, it stays the same—forgotten. People who never saw me growing up or who do not really know me, see me as a person who is so sure of herself and has her life all figured out. I may not be described as confident, but they would never call me timid and shy. I, however, am. Majority of my college years was geared towards finding my own version of self-love. Like anyone else, the journey was definitely not an easy one. There were moments where I spent most of my time pressuring and questioning myself. “Am I good enough?” “Why do
My parents told me that my grade school adviser said I am satisfied with my performance at school as long as I am passing. My adviser also told them that she believes that I can excel further, only if I wanted to push myself a little more. Basically, everything boils down to my actions and decisions. I knew I should have learned from what my adviser said, but I did not listen. I maintained my habit until high schoo —exerting more effort on subjects I am interested in and doing average on the others. Even in choosing the program I would take in college, I did not deliberate thoroughly on which field I might have an advantage on. I just chose the one which I thought would land me on an interesting job after college. When I entered the Journalism program of the University of Santo
I was an unremarkable high school student. I was introverted, insecure, and had nothing that made me stand out from other students in my alma mater. Terrified of shaking up my comfortable life, I delayed worrying about college until I had little time to worry about anything else. Fortunately, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) was still accepting applications by the time I thought of preparing for college. I decided to take up Journalism because I imagined I was good at writing and could not see myself doing anything else. Stepping into UST felt like coming home, and I was thrilled when I found out that I passed the entrance examinations. But getting into my dream school came with a hell of a lot of challenges. My block was composed of people who looked like they had their whole
What is at that end of the road? That is the question I started to ask myself as I reflect on my journey at the University of Santo Tomas (UST). It could be anything. In my case, it is something that comes unexpectedly, yet when you finally grasp it in your hands, it is something you would be entirely grateful for. It took me four grueling years to have that realization. I was always that kid who had high expectations, anticipating my wants to be a fullfledged reality. *** Tears rolled down my cheeks when I failed UST’s entrance exam, specifically in her AB Journalism program. It took only one click to crush my dream of being a Thomasian, reinforcing his passion for creative writing in the field of Journalism, crushing them into bite-sized pieces, shattering my enthusiasm.
A person would not really know his or her first word because naturally, even when a child’s brain is likened to a sponge, it does not take in a memory long enough for a 20-year-old person to recall it. To watch your three or four-year-old self learn how to combine and recite letters would be a groundbreaking moment, almost like witnessing a divine act. In short, learning a language is a milestone. It is a time when our parents finally get past comprehending our cries according to its pitch, volume, and pace. A time when the language center inside our brains instinctively activates. Charles Darwin stated that a man’s language ability is an instinctive tendency to acquire an art. Thinking more of it as a “pick your poison” situation, I happened to choose writing as an instrument of expres
“Kids, I’m gonna tell you an incredible story.” Such are the opening words of the hit American sitcom How I met your mother and they seem to encapsulate the life I had in college with the Flame: a story worth sharing. This will be my last perspective for the Flame. Similar to a president ending his/her term, I am here writing my valedictory message with the narratives I collected while working for this publication. Three years ago, during my enrollment, I was handed with a booklet that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB). I remember telling my father how well written the articles in the booklet were and betting him that it was the college publication who made that. Even after enrolling in the English Language Studies (ELS) program, thoughts suddenly cam