By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES All three branches of the government have become terrifying since the beginning of the current president’s rule. It is as if all Filipinos have no one left to trust, because what can the people do when the ones who they have placed in power—people who were supposed to protect them—ended up catering to their own selfish needs? The administration has countlessly used and abused the name of the Filipino people to their advantage: the drug war was said to be for our safety, the alarming connections that were initiated with China were supposedly for the betterment of the Filipino citizens. We are all being sold, threatened, and violated in our own land, and in both subtle and literal manners by the institutions who have taken an oath to protect us. W
By ALI IAN MARCELINO V. BIONG In Aristotle’s Rhetoric, he says one way a speaker can make an audience laugh is by violating their expectations in telling a story. Philosophers such as Soren Kierkegaard and Immanuel Kant later took on this approach, which is now called the Incongruity Theory: a theory saying laughter is caused by the violation of our mental patterns, by seeing the incongruous. We Filipinos may see this theory on humor transcend into our own jokes: “Anong tawag sa asong tumalon sa ilog? Aso pa rin.” “Anong tawag sa maliit na unan? Unano.” This manner of joking may earn a good laugh or two, but when a president says during a speech that he uses marijuana to cope with his “killing” meetings and duties while leading a drug war that has taken thousands of lives—r
By JULIA MARI T. ORNEDO THE ST. RAYMUND de Peñafort building has not aged well. Like an ailing elderly man, the 54-year-old building finds itself plagued with more and more problems every year. The toilets in the building have never known the sight of clear water; the faucets, on occasion, dispense hot water without so much as a gentle transition from lukewarm; the airconditioners in certain rooms are either defunct or their temperature is impossible to turn up without asking the tallest student in class to step on a chair; some classrooms are too small to accommodate an entire class but are cramped with chairs anyway. With the emergence of technology also came more “high tech” problems for Artlets: VGA or HDMI cables that don’t work, laptops that are a cesspool of computer vi
By CORHEINNE JOYCE B. COLENDRES WHEN MY doctor diagnosed me with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), the first thought that came to my mind was: now what? At that time, I was just recovering from a recent tonsillectomy, so when the doctor told me about the news, I found it quite amusing that just after some issues in my body were recently removed, something else popped up. But it was nothing to worry about, the doctor said. PCOS is a prevalent condition among women and it could be regulated easily. The doctor briefly taught me about medications, and that was it. Figuring out the depths and crevices of this condition was left in my own hands. PCOS has three main features: it causes hormonal imbalance because of elevated levels of androgen, it triggers irregular menstruation ...
By ALI IAN MARCELINO V. BIONG EVER SINCE I was a child, the word Bisaya has always been used as an insult, other than just a term referring to our Visayan brothers and sisters. As a Tagalog, I, too, am guilty of using the same term for either close-minded insults or playful teasing, neither of which changed the fact that it was used as a derogatory word and in a bigoted manner. “Ew, Bisaya ka talaga e, no!” It is as if being born Visayan is something to be ashamed about. Other than being discriminated against for their hard accents when speaking other languages or dialects, Bisaya has started to also mean “jologs” or “jejemon.” “Ano bang pormahan ‘yan, bai na bai!” We take pride whenever a Filipino achieves something abroad; we supported Jessica Sanchez in her American I
By MARK JOSEPH B. FERNANDEZ THE EXISTENCE of social media is revolutionary for the communication process. Consumers of the said medium (netizens) can easily connect with prominent people because of its boundless reach. These prominent people, who are called social media influencers, can also gain a multitude of followers in the speed of light depending on the creativity and originality of their content because of the unlimited scope social media offers. With its wide range, social media can easily connect influencers with netizens. That is why a single content from a social media influencer—whether it is of good influence or not—can greatly produce various reactions from netizens in an instant. A specific example of this is the notorious content of beauty blogger Michelle D
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