If Only I Could Vote…

by alex

Nationalism.  Democracy.  Freedom.  These are words.  In the Philippines they are important words.  Unfortunately more because they are reminders of what Filipinos don’t yet have.  [*Current events around this election are perfect example.]   Continue reading

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Elections 2010: What’s Going On?!?

by alex

In front of the Commission on Elections in Intramuros, Manila. Progressive partylist congresspersons (and two senatorial candidates) in the centre from Bayan Muna, Gabriela, and Anakpawis.

It has became apparent that the 2010 Philippine elections are in trouble.   Continue reading

It Might Get Crazy. Real Crazy. Real Soon.

by alex

This article is illustrated with older photos of mine.

The mood was kinda weird tonight at the house.  We have a friend from Kapisanan in Toronto who has been here almost a week, and today his cultural adjustment just hit a major bit of Philippine political reality.  We were up talking til three… and then I decided to write this.

You see there is a very real possibility of a failure of elections (or a postponement or straight out cancelation).  And if that happens things will get real interesting, real crazy, and real soon.

It’s kinda freaking near everyone (in the country) out. Continue reading

Guide to the Elections

by alex

I thought I’d share this great little concise guide to the elections I got from IBON the other day with you guys.

If you’re like me, Philippine politics can be a little daunting and confusing a topic.  I know I’m not the only one a little curious about it.   Continue reading

“Why Are You So Dark?”

by alex

In front of a really f*cked up ad for some kind of skin whitener. (photo by k.ancheta)

In a family bathroom I recently found a bar of soap that featured “WHITENING EXTRACTS” (caps theirs), that would apparently “reveal the whiter skin that glows with health.”

Later that night Vince was asked “Why are you so dark?” by a well-meaning friend of a friend.

Sigh. Continue reading

Religion, the Farming Felipe’s, and an Empty Manila Hotel

by alex

Standing in a dry creek that runs through dry farmland. (Tarlac)

It was a weekend of contrasts.  I’ve been doing alot of contrasts lately.

It was a weekend where I saw people beating themselves bloody for Jesus, met my paternal grandfather’s side of the family (who were mostly landless farmers), found out that a distant cousin committed suicide, and then returned to the city for a get-togther in the newly renovated, and super swank, and super empty, Manila Hotel. Continue reading

Overnight in a Jeepney, to an Evening in a BMW…

by alex

In many ways I am still reeling from my day yesterday.—just wait til you see the footage in our doc in this summer’s Kultura Festival in Toronto.

The many many mosquito bites I have on my arms and legs remind me of sleeping on a table in a dusty open air jeepney depot in Novaliches, Quezon City documenting the very simple life of one driver.  I spent the next morning (yesterday) with the driver, and by the evening I was having a beer by a pool in Alabang, the premiere gated community for the Manila elite. Continue reading