How have new social behaviors strained the Philippines’ attempts at recovery?

On April 20, 2021, ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido forecast on Twitter that the Philippines would breach the 1-million mark for COVID-19 cases within the week. On April 26, this forecast proved to be accurate, making April one of the Philippines’ worst months in its battle against COVID-19. However, as the country continues to face an alarming surge in cases, vaccine rollout remains slow and insufficient. Mass testing, which is foundational to pandemic response, has yet to happen on a national scale. …

New research is proving that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted in enclosed indoor spaces — even when you’re six feet apart and wearing masks.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts have been largely divided on the primary mode of transmission of its causative virus. On the one hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) was adamant about COVID-19 being transmitted through droplets exhaled from an infected person’s nose and mouth, which would then drop to the ground and no longer be able to reach another person situated six feet away. The “six-foot rule” became influential in informing policies such as…

It’s the time of the year when streets and beaches are lined with students taking their summer break from another year of schooling — or would have been, if not for the coronavirus pandemic.

With the resurgence of COVID-19 cases especially in the country’s capital and surrounding areas, authorities have had to implement stricter protocols. With the way things are going, plans of restarting face-to-face classes are once again halted. It looks like Filipino students would have to learn remotely a little while longer.

Not like the Philippine education system pre pandemic was exemplary to begin with. In an interview…

Is the rise of the community pantry our quarantine spring?

On April 14, 2021, a small business owner named Ana Patricia “Patreng” Non set up a community pantry along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. Above a bamboo cart, which she filled with rice, canned goods, and vegetables, she posted two cardboard signs. On one of them, she wrote, “Maginhawa Community Pantry,” and on the other, a now famous note: “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan. Kumuha batay sa pangangailangan.” (Give only what you can. Take only what you need.)

In her original Facebook post, she also issued a simple call to action…

Being a country among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, how far along are we into mitigating its effects?

In 2018, the United Nations reported that we only had 12 years to prevent “irreversible damage from climate change.” This came three years after the Paris Agreement, where around 197 countries collectively signed in to cut carbon emissions and reduce global warming to below 2℃.

Under the agreement, countries with the highest rates of emissions committed themselves to cutting their climate pollution and helping developing nations with their mitigation efforts. …

A coalition built on being anti-Duterte has to go beyond being just anti-Duterte.

From the early 1900s to the 1930s, the Philippines was essentially a one-party state ruled by the Nacionalista Party, which gave us Presidents Manuel Quezon, Sergio Osmeña, and Ramon Magsaysay. At the time, this seemed ideal — a way to unify a young nation-state under a common ideology.

But the Nacionalista Party was itself a tense arena, where delegates from different provinces competed for their own interests and rallied behind figures who had “winnability.” …

It’s more than just the fuzziness you get when your idol gets all aegyo (애교) on stage.

Recent years have seen the rise of one of the biggest phenomena in entertainment: K-pop. Be it from boy groups like EXO and BTS, girl groups like Red Velvet and BLACKPINK, or even solo acts like IU and Eric Nam, one song is all it takes for most of us (this writer included) to fall under their spell. …

Seventy-nine years ago, thousands of Filipino soldiers walked the infamous valley of death. Here’s what it means for us today.

During the Second World War, Japan dominated Asia as one of the three major Axis powers. With the Southeast Asian peninsulas as their primary target, Japanese troops began to besiege the Philippines on December 8, 1941, resulting in a tense standoff against Filipino and American soldiers.

Social scientists and researchers have earlier predicted the surge of racism and xenophobia caused by COVID-19 disinformation.

A series of racially motivated attacks in the United States in March 2021, including the mass shootings at three spas in Atlanta, Georgia, that killed six individuals of Asian descent, reminded me of an article by Filipino researchers and educators Jonathan Corpus Ong and Gideon Lasco from February 2020 — just before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. …

How are women — from the grassroots to the podium — faring in Duterte’s regime?

To live as a woman in the era of President Rodrigo Duterte is difficult. Not that it was easy with past administrations, as history shows that women have always occupied a disadvantaged position, whether in colonial or postcolonial Philippine society. Having Duterte in the country’s highest seat of power, however, has done nothing to forward the women’s movement, on the contrary even pushing it back by a couple of decades.


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