Friday, January 19, 2018

Statement: Bloggers For Freedom

.:My Pre(r)amble:.

I was still in high school back in 1999 when, in the middle of then-President Erap Estrada's term, one of the biggest thorns in his side, the Manila Times, ended up selling to the late Mark Jimenez, a close friend of Erap's, for what was essentially a steal.

The Manila Times then, like the Inquirer, then and now, definitely made some controversial choices when it came to how it chose to report on the then-President. That Erap's showbiz friends then launched an advertising boycott on both papers in hopes of teaching them a lesson, a lesson only Inquirer managed to survive, was a clear red flag that the Estrada administration would brook only so much dissent. Lucky for them, the internet was barely around at the time, and people were too busy talking showbiz and UAAP on Pinoy Exchange to really get into any meaningful form of political discourse online, especially with the absence of contemporary social media and the echo chamber platform it has ended up providing for everyone of any inclination.

Today, we see glimmers of that happening again. While the Inquirer purchase may not have been a move of desperation that the Manila Times sale was, the sudden revocation of Rappler's incorporation by the SEC is a glaring act of selective justice. And while I won't pretend to be the fount of legal expertise many of Rappler's detractors suddenly appear to be despite well over a year of pretending cops killing drug suspects without due process was anything but cold-blooded murder, it doesn't take a mind-reader to see when the fix is in.

When it happened to CJ Corona, a person most of us weary of GMA's machinations happened to be anything but fond of, not a small number of us on this list today opposed this political railroading on principle - even if we didn't like the guy.

When then-President Aquino used the Papal visit as an opportunity to take cheap shots at the media outlets that just wouldn't get off his back, not a small number of us on this list today clapped back, telling him to toughen up, because the President's job is thankless and only history can judge him.

So now that President Duterte has decided for himself that he will brook no dissent and that not using tanks and guns to take down his enemies is an act of benevolence in and by itself, are we supposed to suddenly make an exception for him?

Protecting the freedoms we have worked so hard to earn is not a partisan act. Defending our institutions and due process does not recognize party lines. All it does is acknowledge that as flawed as the system is, this is the system we are supposed to abide by. For without the system, if all we have is shortcuts and the word of a man who walks back his every other statement as a joke that only his cult of personality ever gets, what exactly are we putting our trust in?

This is the Philippines. It is my country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; if wrong, to be set right. Anything less, any complacency, any attempt at compromising one's core values, solely upon the altar of one man is a betrayal of both the self and the nation that we live in.

.:Statement: Bloggers For Freedom:.

We concerned Filipino bloggers stand for the rights to free expression and to free speech. And our first responsibility is to protect these rights.

We thus stand with Rappler, its right to exist, the rights of its working journalists and contributors, and the rights of its community of readers.

We stand against moves to silence and scare journalists, bloggers and media practitioners just because the President and his ardent supporters dislike their news and views.

Now is a time for making choices amid battles between truth and lies, debate and dissonance, democracy and dictatorship.

We sign our names here to tell everyone we have made a choice. We are bloggers for freedom.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado
Tonyo Cruz
Dale Bacar
Marcelle Fabie
Myk Mykapalaran Cruz
Rod Magaru
Ely Valendez
Alex Lapa
Tess Termulo
Zena Bernardo
Jover Laurio
James Romer V. Velina
Ramon Nocon
Flow Galindez
Helga Weber
Mc Richard Viana Paglicawan
Raymond Palatino
Loi Landicho
Saul de Jesus
Karlo Mongaya
Ricky Rivera
Mark Will Mayo Magallanes
Eyriche Cortez
Julius Mariveles
Yusuf Ledesma
RJ Barrete
Dino Manrique
Peachy Tan
Rhadem Camlian Morados
Julius Rocas
Jon Limjap
Markku Seguerra
Jam Ancheta
Estan Cabigas
Enrico Dee
Acee Vitangcol
Stefan Punongbayan
Jesus Falcis
Hancel Reyes
Czarina Maye Noche
JM Mariano
Reginald Agsalon
John Clifford Sibayan
Jane Uymatiao
Johnn Mendoza
Carlos Celdran
Christian Melanie
Jann Medina
Carlo Arvisu
Inday Espina Varona
Eugene Alvin Villar
Melo Villareal
Brian Ong
JM Tuazon
Fritz Tentativa
Fitz Villafuerte
Tina Antonio
Mykel Andrada
Reynaldo Pagsolingan Jr.
Renz Daniel de Vera

Published on January 19, 2018, Black Friday.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The 2017 Year-In-Review

.:The 2017 Year-In-Review:.

Bye, 2017! I hope I remember enough to answer this stuff.
1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?

Do a podcast, even just as a guest.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn't make any last year, and I don't plan to make any this year. As it has always been. This hasn't really changed, huh?

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Doesn't seem like it, but a lot of good friends got married.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, but someone did early 2018. :(

5. What countries did you visit?

Went to Vietnam for the first time ever, and had a great trip in Cebu!

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

Money! This is the year of Trabaho, Ipon, Travel, Enjoy.

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

September 30. Never thought she could pull it off, but Patricia the Hun threw me a surprise birthday party.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

My "Despedida" show, despite lackluster attendance due to weather and timing, was probably my slickest performance to date. I've also made a lot of headway helping out as a mere fan in the small but budding world of Pinoy pro wrestling.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Not doing enough to assuage fears that should have been assuaged, and the immediate consequences of that inaction.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

During the Manila Improv Festival, I had no voice and was burning up with fever.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Seeing as she's been winning tournaments with it, Patricia the Hun's Mono-R Burn deck.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Patricia The Hun. No explanations needed.

13. Whose behavior appalled you and made you depressed?

People I wished to work with who ended up doing wrong by me or my brother.

14. Where did most of your money go?

MTG, Food and Uber, it still seems.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

My webshow with the Kakaibros, even if it's been spotty when it comes to shooting and posting online.

16. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

i. happier or sadder? – happier
ii. thinner or fatter? – fatter
iii. richer or poorer? – poorer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Travel, gigs, and actually writing for Cracked. This has been going on for how many years already, but I think at least two of those will change.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Unwise purchases.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Spent in Tagaytay again.

21. Did you fall in love in 2017?

Stayed in love? Absolutely.

22. How many one-night stands?


23. What was your favorite TV program?

How To Get Away With Murder has been on fire this season.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

More like the opposite. I've made amends with people I never expected to. And that's a good thing.

25. What was the best book you read?

The new Dan Brown book since that was the only physical book I read. I know. Judge me.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?

That Inigo Pascual isn't such a bad singer at all.

27. What did you want and not get?

To get more gigs. A lot of hitches got in the way, but this year, I'm done with excuses.

28. Favorite film of this year?

Probably Smaller and Smaller Circles and The Last Jedi.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 34 in the company of people who loved me enough to plan a party behind my back.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Selling my condo off, and maybe headlining a show I didn't produce myself. Still the same, but I'm fine with it.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

Hanging shirts. Not by choice.

32. What kept you sane?

Patricia The Hun, gaming in general. Hearthstone and WWE Supercard, especially.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


34. What political issue stirred you the most?

All of them. Still.

35. Who did you miss?

Switch Improv. Elbert Or.

36. Who was the best new person you met?

The Kakaibros.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017.

Patience is truly a virtue and can save relationships.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

Quiero respirar tu cuello despacito 
Deja que te diga cosas al oído 
Para que te acuerdes si no estás conmigo...

Despacito: slowly, in Spanish.