Korina Sanchez is still my favorite reporter. Well, don’t judge her too quickly. May point ang magkabilang panig. Pero malaki ang paniniwala ko kay Cooper sa mga reports niya. Unang una walang mapapala si Cooper kung pagtatakpan niya ang Pilipinas. At hindi natin masisisi si Cooper sa makikita niya dahil unang una galing siya sa Amerika. Ang gobyerno nila dun eh aksyon agad. So normal sa isang tao na galing sa isang magandang bansa na masilip ang ganitong bagay. Pangalawa reporter si Cooper sa ibang bansa. So mapagmasid siya at lahat ng detalye eh makikita niya dahil kailangan niya yun dahil nagtatrabaho siya sa isang kilalang news broadcasting at yun eh CNN.

Posibleng gusto lang nga pagtakpan ni Ms.Korina si Mar Roxas dahil asawa niya ang maiipit dito. Pero mali ang sinabi niya kay Anderson Cooper na “hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya” dahil unang una. Si Korina Sanchez eh nasa studio lang at wala sa Tacloban at si Anderson Cooper eh nasa Tacloban mismo. So sino ang mas nakakakita? Sino ang mas nakakaranas? Si Cooper diba?

So hindi imposibleng magsabi ng rant si Cooper about sa Pilipinas. Kung pati naman tayo alam naman nating mabagal ang Gobyerno pero sigurado akong nagawa na ni PNOY yung effort niya sa pakikipag kaibigan sa bansa. Isipin mo, kung hindi siya nakipag kaibigan sa mga bansa tulad ng Korea, Japan, USA, UN at iba pa. Sa tingin mo ba makakakuha tayo ng malaking tulong mula sa kanila? Hindi na rin maalis ang crabmentality ng Pinoy na once na napunta sa Gobyerno eh makukurakot agad. Bigla nga nawala yung mga balita tungkol kay Napoles eh.

So bilang reporter ginawa lang ni Cooper yung trabaho niya. Nakita niya yung pinag kaiba ng pag assist ng government natin sa trahedya sa bansa nila.

Eto example:

Galing ka sa Pilipinas. Let’s say 14 Years kang andito. Tapos lumipat ka ng ibang bansa. Tapos sa eskwelahan mo dati mapapansin mong mababait ang tao. Tapos pumunta ka ng ibang bansa tapos uso dun ang pagkakaroon ng bully. So ma ikukumpara mo kung ano ang meron dati sa bansa mo na nakikita mo sa bansang kinaroroonan mo ngayon. O kaya naman pumunta ka ng Singapore. Magugulat ka na bakit sobrang linis ng Singapore? Hindi ba’t minsan eh nagtatanong tayo bakit hindi ganun sa Pilipinas? So sa issue ni Anderson, ganun lang din ang ginawa niya. Naihambing lang niya yung bansa natin sa bansa nila.


So to make the long story short.

Ginawa lang ni Anderson Cooper ang role niya bilang reporter.
At ginawa lang ni Ms.Korina Sanchez ang role niya bilang asawa.

10

The 71 members of the KILUS Magniniyog (KM71) represent all coconut farmers in the Philippines who are pleading for humane operations and standard of living amidst the country’s prosperous coconut industry. Supported by the Catholic Bishop Council of the Philippines (CBCP), the coconut farmers from all over the Philippines begin their 1,750-km march from Davao City in Mindanao to the Malacañang Palace in Metro Manila on September 21.

According to Pia Ranada of Rappler.com, “In 2012, the Supreme Court decided that 24% of San Miguel Corporation stocks were bought by the Marcos administration using coco levy funds collected from smallholder coconut farmers. Therefore, the money, now amounting to around P71 billion ($1.6 billion), should go back to the government and be used specifically for the benefit of coconut farmers.”

Their two-month march seeks to personally appeal to President Benigno Aquino III to sign the Executive Order that urges the recovery and perpetual protection of the P71 B Coconut Farmers’ Trust Fund.

The Ateneo community welcomes the farmers as they arrive in the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) on November 20. Students and farmers of various religions gather as one faith and one humanity against injustice.

5

Manila, Philippines: Workers and youth march to demand “Disaster President: Resign!”, March 14, 2014.

Sorry Not Enough! Resign Now!

One day after Pres. Noynoy Aquino apologized for his government’s late response to super typhoon Yolanda, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marched to Mendiola to call for the chief executive’s immediate resignation.

Saying that the more than 10,000 people who died because of the super typhoon and the government’s criminal neglect deserve nothing less than Aquino’s resignation, the labor group also said that Aquino’s apology is both insincere and unacceptable.

“People will surely ask who will replace Aquino if he resigns. We think, however, that the main question after his apology is how long should he remain behind bars for his criminal neglect of the victims of Yolanda,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said Aquino was only forced to apologize because of the intensifying protests of the victims of the super typhoon and that without the protests, the government would still be trying to make it appear that it was swift and effective in responding to the super typhoon.

“Aquino’s apology brings to mind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ‘I am sorry’ speech in the aftermath of the ‘Hello Garci’ electoral fraud scandal. Both apologies highlight the chief executive’s crimes and their desperate attempt to dampen growing condemnation of their crimes,” Labog said.

KMU also said that Aquino’s apology is insincere because it is followed by various justifications for his government’s late response and comes four months after the super typhoon hit the country.

“While it is true that Yolanda is the strongest storm to ever make landfall, it is also true that Aquino did not do anything significant to save Filipinos’ lives. Yolanda’s strength does not justify Aquino’s criminal neglect, but further highlights the latter,” Labog said.
The labor center claimed that the Aquino government failed to conduct a massive evacuation drive before the super typhoon hit as well as rescue operations immediately after the super typhoon hit.

It said the relief operations the Aquino government did carry out were late, grossly insufficient and constitute an insult to Yolanda’s victims, given the devastation suffered by agriculture and companies along the super typhoon’s path.

“We vow to bring our case for the president’s resignation to the people. We vow to intensify our protests against his anti-people policies and call for his resignation as we approach Labor Day,” Labog said.

Photos: Buhay Manggagawa

Racist Lucy Liu

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Lucy Liu was on the David Letterman show tonight and said that she doesn’t run outdoors because then, she would get dark and start looking Filipina.  She then followed this up by saying that this won’t “match.”*

It isn’t so much the fact that Liu expressed such abhorrent sentiments on national television that bothers me.  Rather, it’s the way she didn’t think it was a big deal to make these glib observations that irks.  It’s almost as though Liu felt that what she was expressing was a sentiment that was so pervasive that saying that looking dark was a mark of inferiority and thereby insinuating that those who are comparatively darker skinned are ugly was just, you know, telling it like it is.

Sadly, Liu’s thoughts are far from being anomalous. I spent my formative years in Hong Kong and trust me, I know from painful personal experience that these ideas are out there.  Also, after interviewing different Filipina and Indonesian migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong and Singapore, it struck me just how accepted it is to judge people’s worthiness based on skin tone.  In these cases, migrant domestic workers’ skin tone was seen as valid criteria for determining their employment.  More than one migrant domestic worker I interviewed told me that their recruitment agencies, spurred by prospective employers, prioritized the hiring of lighter skinned Filipinas and Indonesians, with one woman even telling me that her employer rationalized this by saying that hiring someone with dark skin “will scare the children.”   Others told me that their employers in Hong Kong and Singapore saw Filipinas and Indonesians’ dark skin as a sign of poverty and dirtiness; indeed, their employers’ rules that insist that their clothes are washed separately from other household members’ clothes because employers didn’t want their ‘dirt’ to literally rub into other people’s clothes is a direct manifestation of how employers fear being contaminated by dark skin.  All of this shows how value is tied into class and gender as well as to race and to color.

Although I doubt whether these sentiments are freely expressed in North America (the Lucy Liu incident being an exception, of course), this doesn’t mean that perceived racial hierarchies among different Asian groups don’t exist.  Although it would be tempting to assume that the immigration experience binds different groups of Asians together, if anything, it almost seems as though these divisions are hardened in the diaspora. In fact, Asian racism against Asians is so commonplace in North America that entire stereotypes about how “Asians hate other Asians” have become a standard trope that comics such as Russell Peters incorporate this in their acts.  His classic piece on how Indo-Canadians compete with Chinese-Canadians when it comes to bargain hunting is a brilliant example of how different Asian groups are suspicious of each other. 

My own experiences with attempts to form Asian-Canadian solidarity coalitions in Canada show that sadly, we are still a long way away from trying to work in solidarity with each other to achieve common economic, political, and social goals.  A lot of Asian-Canadian organizations fight against each other, not only for the very limited resources that are available to support their work, but also for recognition. For instance, though I initially participated in the discussions among different Asian Canadian groups on forming a unified “Asian Canadian” response to the notorious MacLeans magazine article on universities being “too Asian,” I, as well as many others, were soon disgruntled.  Not only was “Asian Canadian” coded as being “Chinese Canadian” and “Korean Canadian” to the exclusion of other Asian groups, attempts to engage in dialogue across these different groupings were thwarted because only certain voices and certain perspectives were being prioritized; heck, a lot of the correspondence that was sent on our list-serves were written in Chinese, making it inaccessible for those who could not read Chinese characters!   What experiences of “Asian Canadians” are then being privileged and being seen as the norm? 

Consequently, Liu’s sentiments deriding Filipinos for being dark makes sense when you see these in the broader context of how different Asian groups are socialized into distrusting and excluding each other and, yes, ranking each other on the basis of arbitrary criteria like skin tone. 

*Shout-out to DSS for telling me about this!

For those of you guys who do not know, Mr. Benigno Aquino III is the president of the Philippines. That article was his response when he was asked if he was to attend the wake of Jennifer Laude, a transgender Filipino woman who was brutally killed by U.S. Marine Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton.

Wow. Just WOW. I cannot believe that the leader of this country is so thick. I didn’t know that a PRESIDENT could not care for and sympathize with his own country’s citizen just because they are "people I don’t know". i’M SO SORRY THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE TOO IMPORTANT TO CARE. It’s bad enough that a lot of people in this country believe that Laude deserved to be killed. Now, it seems that even the president doesn’t give a fuck about this issue. 

FUCK YOU. You only care about the alliance the Philippines have with the United States. For once, can you just open your eyes and see the injustice happening in your own country because of your beloved treaty. Serve your country first, goddamnit.

P.S. I do not have anything against USA as a country or Americans as people. I just want justice for one of our own. 

Members of Anonymous in the Philippines display a banner about the current expenditures and the so-called Pork Barrel of senators and congressmen near the House of the Representatives in Quezon City, November 5, 2013.

Protesters aligned with the hacktivist movement Anonymous are preparing for mass demonstrations in 477 locations around the world this Tuesday. The Million Mask March’s Facebook page states that followers should “remember who your enemies are: billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice.”

The protests coincide with Guy Fawkes Day, a celebration of an unsuccessful attempt on 5 November 1605, to blow up the British Parliament. The date and face of Guy Fawkes has been appropriated as an emblem by the movement and participants are encouraged to wear masks depicting his likeness.

Protesters will rally around political institutions in major cities around the world. Trafalgar Square, where Anonymous has rallied on previous Guy Fawkes Days, is expected to see a large number of protesters.