WHILE PEOPLE have the right to free expression, those who staged the Liwasang Bonifacio protest against mandatory vaccination last January were arrested or were bombed with water cannons.
However, the individuals who protested against what they called “medical martial law” were dispersed not for expressing what is now an unconventional view but for violating quarantine protocols. According to the police, the protesters, which numbered about 150 people, refused to wear face masks or present their vaccination cards, violating city ordinances and minimum health protocols set by the government.
But for JJ Villanueva, the dispersal was inconsistent with the freedom of speech guaranteed to Filipinos.
“They told us we had every right to express our opinions, and [then] one day th...
THE LIBERALIZED ‘foreign-oriented’ policies led by the incumbent Senate President and vice presidential aspirant Vicente “Tito” Sotto III did not bode well with former Akbayan Partylist representative Walden Bello.
Bello wanted the amendments of Retail Trade Liberalization Act and Foreign Investment Act to be repealed, saying that Sotto’s business policies are detrimental especially to small businesses. He also hit Sen. Francis Pangilinan for signing these laws.
“Paano ‘yan? Sinasabi niyo for Filipino kayo, and then you’re liberalizing all these laws?” he said.
The amendments on these laws consist of decreasing the investments required for foreign enterprises, eliminating a certificate of pre-qualification from the Philippine Board of Investments, and reducing the minimum cap...
NEARLY all businesses have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing health crisis caused mass lay-offs and closures, putting nations in economic shock. However, this did not stop small business owners from finding ways to survive and thrive.
Artlet alumna Clarice Bernardo, the founder and co-owner of Karruba Cafe, is an exemplar of this. Karruba Cafe is a booming home and coffee shop located in Isabela province. Bernardo bravely took the risk of starting her own business despite the odds stacked against her.
Karruba is the Ilocano word for neighbor or neighborhood. It serves as the foundation of what Karruba Cafe aims to offer: extending their home cafe within an arm's reach in their community, despite the strict health protocols.
After its launch in June ...
by THERIZ LIZEL R. SILVANO
THE PREVIOUS years of isolation may have brought Filipinos time to ponder new realizations and meaning in their lives. In those years, the presence of anxiety and fear were felt in different situations.
Their despondency may be caused by pandemic adversaries: sickness, death of a loved one, political chaos, financial distress, or mental illness. However, human beings also have the capacity to overcome these challenges.
This was visualized by Jayson Cortez in his art exhibit titled ‘Revisioning The Breakout After Despondency.’ Cortez, whose collection centers on victory and growth amid struggles, shared how he became optimistic despite his own familial challenges.
“I think it’s so important to be optimistic during these times. That’s the baby step ...
THE YEAR 2011 was the last time Hannah “Hans” Joy Baquiran physically celebrated Christmas with her father. This would be the tenth year they will celebrate the holidays with an unfilled seat by the dining table.
As Hans and her mother Liza Baquiran prepared food and gifts for their relatives, her father Baroy Baquiran would set up his device in time to see his family’s smiles back home.
Liza’s phone would eventually ring, she would answer and would be greeted by her husband’s voice.
From Qatar to the Philippines, a virtual connection allows them to share the joy of celebrating the Holidays. From screen to screen, they would endure the longing that precedes their situation—all in hope for their family in these coming years.
After Hans’ elementary gradu...
WHEN INCOMING Behavioral Science student Alyana Galang decided to enroll in the University, she already knew that her education would carry a hefty price tag.
However, Galang, whose parents were among the millions who were not able to work during the first weeks of the quarantine, was still surprised upon learning that she had to pay about half of her tuition to secure an enrollment slot.
“I was expecting that it [would] be that pricey, considering that it is a private school, but it still surprised me that we have to pay almost half of my tuition fee for the whole academic year immediately. I was also worried that I would lose my slot since we cannot afford such an amount in one week,” Galang told The Flame in an online interview.
Galang is one of the incoming first year stud...
by SAMANTHA ARGONZA
ENTERING a new decade challenged by numerous natural calamities and a pandemic temporarily halting live events, Artlets have redefined their concept of home as the yuletide season is now fast approaching.
In an attempt to restrengthen the value of home, UST Chorus of Arts and Letters (AB Chorale), along with other five choirs, united in harmony during a virtual Christmas presentation last December 1 titled Himig ng Pasko: Paskong Pasko Na Talaga.
AB Chorale collaborated with pioneer members from UST Senior High School Chorale, Marriage Encounter Foundation of the Philippines Chorale South Cluster, Lagablab ng Espiritu Santo Chorale, and Pag-IBIG Fund Chorale.
Overseeing this by their musical director, Mark Raeniel Agpasa, the event greeted Art...
by CHRISTINE JANINE T. CORTEZ
FOR EVERY great defeat comes along a greater resurgence. It may not happen tomorrow or the day after that but like every other episode in a series of unfortunate events, eventually, things will make sense and all things will come to an end.
Although it may seem that this pandemic has ended a lot of great opportunities, it is without a doubt that life must still go on. And in doing that, arduous but inevitable changes have to be made.
Despite several changes in the industry, the creative people behind the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the Museum Division, guaranteed seats for everyone as they unveiled this years' Cinemalaya film festival.
They launched not one but two online events to celebrate the annual film festival. One of the two ...
by THERIZ LIZEL R. SILVANO
MILLIONS of silent complaints about online learning in the midst of a pandemic are bottled up at the back of each students’ mind—no worries about feeling alone in this struggle.
Students and parents think that studying amid the pandemic is somehow inappropriate for various justifiable reasons. After overcoming the challenges of the last school year’s adjustments to continue the semester, however, students are now able to adapt to the online learning environment.
Although other students have experienced homeschooling, some are not born with that kind of privilege, making it hard for them to adjust to the new way of education.
Despite knowing how wearying the country’s problems today, Education Secretary Leonor Briones believes that education should...
by THERIZ LIZEL R. SILVANO
MONEY comes and goes—it doesn’t really stay long in one’s hands, but rather flies and shifts places or possessions from one person to another.
And when talking about money, two impressions come to mind—earning and saving.
Lack of “emergency money” pushes most people to commit poor decisions in handling their finances and resources in times of crisis. The absence of knowledge in financing is also another reason most people struggle in committing to saving their money.
People also think that it is easier to finance at a young age. But in today’s circumstances, many may have noticed that both adults and students face troubles when it comes to budgeting.
It turns out that making money for students is not completely effortless and fulfill...