Mbala grounds Desiderio, powers DLSU against UP

Photo by Maegan Gaspar

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered another setback at the hands of De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 62-85, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.

The Maroons failed to repeat its first round victory over the Archers, who played amazing offense and defense from the get-go.

DLSU was successful in having big man Ben Mbala defend UP skipper Paul Desiderio, who only registered seven points and a dismal 15% shooting success rate.

The Diliman team started strong in the opening salvo with Jarrell Lim and Javi Gomez de Liano scoring from downtown to take the lead, 9-4.

However, the Taft squad responded in the last few minutes with treys of their own, courtesy of returning player Aljun Melecio and Jolo Go who gave their team the lead, 24-14, to end the first quarter.

The Archers continued its rampage in the second canto, capitalizing on the Maroons’ turnovers and fouls. The Taft squad held a comfortable 24-point lead by halftime, 51-27, courtesy of Mbala’s charity shots and Ricci Rivero from inside the paint.

Jun Manzo tried to uplift the Diliman team with a 13-point blast in the third quarter. However, the deficit was too big as the Archers still held the driver’s seat, 65-45.

It was all downhill from the Maroons as DLSU maintained aggressive in their offense and defense.

Ibrahim Ouattara tried to do some last-minute heroics by registering eight points in the final frame, but the Archers ultimately went away with the game with a 23-point lead, marking UP’s biggest margin of loss this season.

Mbala and Ricci Rivero led the onslaught for the Taft squad with 27 and 20 points, respectively.

On the other hand, Manzo was the lone Maroon scoring double digits with 13 points, all from the third quarter.

UP coach Bo Perasol admitted the lack of drive from his team, especially in the first two quarters.

“You cannot have a chance against powerhouse DLSU if you don’t bring your best game.” Perasol said. “We weren’t able to shoot, and hindi talaga namin nagawan ng solusyon.”

Desiderio took blame for the loss as he was caught off guard with DLSU’s tactic of Mbala defending him.

“Pagdating nung second quarter, wala talaga akong choice kundi bantayan si Ben,” he said. “Napagod din ako.”

With the loss, UP rests at fifth place with a 4-5 win-loss record.

UP will attempt to go back to its winning ways against the University of the East Red Warriors on Sunday.

Maroon Smashers take home silver

Photo and text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Maroon Smashers ends their campaign with a 1st runner-up finish after bowing down to powerhouse National University (NU) in straight games, 0-3, today in Game 2 of the UAAP Season 80 men’s badminton finals.
En route to the finals, State U ended a drought against the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) Blue Shuttlers, defeating the Katipunan squad, 3-1 in the semis.
The Diliman squad lost Game 1 yesterday to the Bulldogs, 1-3. NU gets its fourth straight championship with a perfect 35-0 record.
Meanwhile the women’s team failed to take a comeback win against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Lady Shuttlers, 2-3 and trail 0-1 in the best of three finals.

Jaboneta catches fire, lifts UP past UST

Photo by Ally Sanga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons are finally back on the win column at the expense of still winless University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers, 71-69, at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Starting for the first time in his UAAP career, Fighting Maroon Janjan Jaboneta played flawlessly against the Espana squad. Jaboneta led the team with 12 points from 4/4 shooting from the three-point line.

It was another strong start for the Fighting Maroons, outscoring the Tigers 13-2 in the first two minutes of the match. But it seemed that UP’s offensive steam quickly ran out, only scoring a bucket in the remaining eight minutes of the period.

UST took advantage of this and went on a run of their own to lead UP, 17-15 at the end of the first.

Determined to ignite the Maroons’ offense once again, rookie Juan Gomez De Liano opened the second with a three to regain the lead, 18-17.

Both squads traded baskets and found themselves at 22-all, but a 9-0 explosive run by UP pulled them away to lead 31-22.

Stingy defense from the Diliman squad prevented the Tigers from catching up and ended the half leading by eight, 40-32.

After the half, UP’s offense didn’t falter. Despite efforts from UST to take the lead, State U still held a decent six-point lead with one quarter to go, 61-55.

Familiar with having difficulty in endgame, the Maroons made sure not to falter when it mattered the most. Tight defensive plays courtesy of Ibrahim Outtara and Paolo Romero would deny UST their first six field goals in the fourth.

But the Tigers weren’t going anywhere just yet. Foul trouble from the Maroons gave UST frequent trips to the foul line to keep them in the game.

A clutch three from UST’s Marvin Lee gave UP a scare, with the Maroons lead cut to one, 70-69 with eleven seconds to go.

Luckily for the Maroons, split free throws from Jun Manzo extended their lead to a couple, 71-69.

During the final possession, Lee heaved a hail mary three but couldn’t convert.

“We just wanted to get another win after the three loses we had, this is something that can at least perk us up, make us believe again that we can still do this” UP head coach Bo Perasol said after the game.

Overall, UP had an advantage in taking care of the ball. State U finished the game with only seven turnovers while the Tigers gave the ball away 23 times, with nine coming off Maroon steals.

Jaboneta led the Maroons with 12 while rookie Jun Manzo and skipper Paul Desiderio contributed 11 and 10 markers, respectively.

“Sobrang thankful ko lang kay coach na binigyan ako ng chance. It’s my first time to start sa UAAP career ko and di ko binigo si coach, binigay ko yung best ko” Jaboneta said.

Meanwhile Lee paced the Tigers with 17, Jorem Soriano following closely behind with 14 and Jordan Sta. Ana contributed 13.

UP improves their slate to 4-4 while UST remains winless after eight matches in the season.

State U looks to repeat their first round victory against the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers when they face the defending champions on Sunday, Oct. 15.

UP loses third straight, falls short against NU

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons failed to end the first round on a high note, losing to the National University (NU) Bulldogs, 70-77, today at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.

UP held the lead early in the first, courtesy of Maroon guard Diego Dario’s six points in the quarter.

Building off their momentum, State U’s offense continued to show in the second. The Diliman team had several chances to push the lead to double digits but settled for a nine point lead at halftime, 38-29.

The second half would spell trouble for UP. At the eight minute mark, Diliman Rookie Jun Manzo went down after NU Bulldog Issa Gaye accidentally stepped on his heel.

Manzo would eventually sit out the rest of the game. UP struggled after his exit but still managed to end the third within a trey’s reach, 53-56.

Despite State U’s hustle to get back in the fourth, UP could only manage a deadlock at 70-all with a minute and a half remaining.

The Bulldogs would eventually fire up a 7-0 run at the last minute to grab the win, 77-70.

Overall, it was a close game with 10 deadlocks and seven lead changes throughout the match.

Manzo’s injury left a big hole in the Maroons’ offense, only managing six points in 17 minutes. UP skipper Paul Desiderio led the squad with 15, followed by Dario contributing 11 points.

Javi Gomez de Liano had a good all around game with 10 points, 8 boards and 6 assists.

“He’s hurting right now. I’m just hoping he’ll be able to play in the next games because everybody knows that he’s going to be needed sa campaign namin,” UP head coach Bo Perasol said on Manzo after the game.

UP plummets to sixth place with a 3-4 record after the first round.

“Hindi pwedeng muntik na tayo manalo eh, we just have to find a way to get through that hump… It shouldn’t have been easy but we could’ve been 5-2 right now instead of 3-4,” Perasol lamented after losing two close games.

Despite a three-game losing streak to end the first round, Perasol remains hopeful going into the next set of games.

Medyo mapagpalaya: A “lesson” on hypocrisy and assertion

Inscribed on the very walls of the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP CMC) are three words which for so long, the institution has fought for: midyang malaya at mapagpalaya.

A free press. One which liberates the people.

Time and again, the college’s studentry has proven itself to be outspoken and militant against the injustices which threaten the rights of the people, as well as that of the country’s future media practitioners. However, with recent developments curtailing the students’ democratic right to organize, CMC’s ideals as an institution are put on the line of questioning.

Packaged as a document listing guidelines dictating which student organizations are duly recognized by the college, the Faculty-Student Relations Committee (FSRC) manual obstructs CMC students from exercising their right to organize through measures such as the 15-member minimum requirement and the prohibition for freshmen to join these groups during their first semester.

This led to the dying out of organizations such as Filmmakers’ Guild of UP, UP Mass Communicators’ Organization and UP Aperture.

During a town hall meeting conducted last week, a Film Institute faculty member justified this phenomenon, citing it as the “life cycle” of organizations.

While these inhibiting regulations are strictly enforced by the administration, the college’s duties to the organizations which are also listed in the manual are often neglected, as is the case with the right to student spaces. Renovations in the college basement displaced student organizations such as the Union of Journalists of the Philippines – UP, UP Broadcasters’ Guild, Anakbayan Maskom, STAND UP CMC; including the college student council and Tinig ng Plaridel itself.

In protest of the CMC admin’s unwillingness to address dissent, CMC organizations withdrew their application for college-based registration, refusing to adhere to their fascist policies.

Instead of viewing the unified action as an indication of this view, the admin countered by imposing room reservation fees on CMC students themselves. Since free use of rooms are limited to college-based orgs, renting a classroom during weekdays now costs P250 per hour, while the CMC Auditorium costs P1,120 per hour during weekends.

The same admin welcomed officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP) into the college, supposedly for a communication skills workshop. Notwithstanding the 1989 agreement between the UP System and the Department of National Defense, the PNP is not allowed to enter university premises except for cases of emergency and hot pursuit.

These officers visited the college for a partnership proposal to teach them “communication skills”, an administration officer said earlier.

This is the same institution carrying out state-sponsored killings under the blanket of the campaign against drugs, all the while establishing even deeper the culture of impunity which CMC claims to fight against.

While some organizations in CMC organize and conduct media literacy workshops for students and communities nationwide, the CMC administration chooses not to extend support and instead exposes its priorities by offering a helping hand to the police force. To help the PNP communicate the injustices they commit is to help justify the blood they have on their hands.

These fascist attacks by the CMC admin should not, in any way, dilute the solidarity reached among the organizations, even though the admin itself consists of CMC alumni who have been part of the very organizations they are trying to suppress.

Instead, these actions should further bridge the students to fight against an institution hell bent on disregarding their rights.

Rattled as we are with what is happening within the college, something greater is afoot. All over the country, campus publications are being shut down or taken over by their respective college administrations; student activists are being harassed by police; national minorities, peasant leaders, and urban poor turn up dead everyday; and communities are being bombed.

Through his consolidation of political power and the wars he waged against his people such as War on Drugs, Oplan Kapayapaan, and martial law in Mindanao, the Duterte administration is actively cultivating conditions that make smothering the people’s rights easier, and these conditions have steadily made their presence known in our university.

The role of the media in times of ardent crises and blatant fascism is historic; our loyalty is to the people and our mandate is to keep the state in line. Moreover, time and time again it has been proven that when the youth brave the frontlines in times of turmoil, success is inevitable.

Now more than ever, students of mass communication and future media practitioners are called  to serve the people. Now is not the time to remain silent and complacent, especially as we are looking at darker times ahead.

The challenge now for the alagad ng midya is to be one with the Filipino people in their fight against a system that stifles the fight for freedom and rights, and to remain steadfast and militant in rejecting any form of repression inside and outside the college. For the alagad ng midya, there is no other path to take but the path of struggle— because ours is a just fight, and a just fight will always succeed.

UP loses thriller against Adamson

Photos by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Luisa Morales

The Fighting Maroons got a taste of their own medicine.

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons suffered a heartbreaker at the hands of the Adamson University (AdU) Soaring Falcons, 71-73, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

Reminiscent of Paul Desiderio’s last second shot against the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Growling Tigers in their season opener, Soaring Falcon Sean Manganti dealt a fatal blow with a putback to give Adamson the lead with one second to go.

State U started the game strong, converting bucket after bucket to lead Adamson, 17-3. Stingy defense from the Maroon squad left the Falcons with only a single field goal until the four-minute mark of the first.

But Adamson slowly recovered, going back and forth with the Maroons. By the end of the first, UP held a nine-point lead, 25-16

It was all Adamson during the second frame, with Soaring Falcon Jerrick Ahanmisi scoring 17 markers single-handedly while the whole UP squad had 19.

The Maroons were holding onto a slim one-point lead, 44-43, courtesy of UP Rookie Lorenzo Battad’s first UAAP basket.

After the half, both teams exchanged blows to keep the game close. But the San Marcelino squad came out with a 3-point lead, 57-54, with one quarter to go.

Adamson continued to convert at the fourth, leading UP by as much as six. But State U wasn’t going away that easy.

The Diliman team caught up with a few baskets of their own and led by two, 67-65, despite skipper Desiderio failing to convert on an and-one opportunity.

No team could pull away. The game was in deadlock, 71-all with 22 seconds to go. But Adamson was able to convert with a Manganti putback to take the lead with a second left.

State U was unable to inbound the ball and lost the game, 71-73.

Desiderio and Jun Manzo paced the Maroons with 19 points each. Rookie Juan Gomez de Liano struggled all game, only scoring three points.

Despite the loss, UP head coach Bo Perasol focused on the positives of the game.

“We just have to pick up the good things about [the game] and find a way how we can get another win” Perasol said.

The UP coach commented on the team being unable to sustain a lead, losing a double-digit lead in the first period.

Perasol wanted his bench to step up after his starters, “I challenged the people coming off the bench… if I had a team that could sustain how we start, I can say for sure we’ll be in the final four.” He said.

The UP bench was outscored, 14-27 by Adamson’s reserves.

The loss puts UP with an even 3-3 slate. State U looks to fnish the first round strong in their match against National University (NU) on Sunday.

UP labor, transport groups question TRAIN bill implications

Photo by Cleverlyn Mayuga

Text by Kim Jem Muaña

Despite experts’ emphasis on its importance, the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman labor sector contended some provisions on the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) bill proposed by the Department of Finance (DOF).

TRAIN bill aims to reform the 20-year-old tax system. Under the DOF proposal, 99% of personal income taxpayers will be paying lower tax.

DOF Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresa Habitan talked about the tax reform bill as a priority of the Duterte administration in the Kapekonomiya forum held in the UP School of Economics last Thursday.

“The framework of the TRAIN really is an aspiration to give back money to the people, [specifically] those who are considered middle income groups,” she said.

Organized by UP School of Economics Student Council and UP Economics Towards Consciousness, Kapekonomiya was held to “inform students about the proposed TRAIN bill, give different perspectives on this proposed tax reform and give an opportunity for our audience to  come up with their own stand/opinion on the bill given,” according to Fiona Layson, convenor of Kapekonomiya.

However, the labor sector questioned the goals and implications of the said bill.

National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA) Executive Director Kristina David said, “Noon pa, may problema na iyan kasi kinakargo ng mamamayang mahihirap ang mga taxes ng malalaking kompanya, diba, naipapasa lang naman iyan sa atin eh.”

National Executive Vice President of All UP Workers’ Union (AUPWU) Connie Marquina also stated that increase in tax collection would not necessarily mean well until wages [for government employees] have not increased to strike the balance.

Oil Excise Tax

Additionally,TRAIN also aims to increase excise tax on petroleum products and luxury cars.

According to the DOF proposal, oil prices will gradually increase by six pesos for three years. It will target the wealthiest citizens since the highest 10% taxpayers consume 51% of oil consumption.

“Kapag tumaas ang langis, lahat tataas. Ultimong asin tataas, kasi lahat yan gumagamit ng oil, pagtransport,” Marquina said.

David further stressed that oil excise tax increase would attack the livelihood of fishermen and farmers due to the high price of crude oil which fuels transportation costs essential to their source of income.

“Yung product nila to the market, higit sa doble ang transportation cost nila,” she added.

Mass transportation

DOF adapted to their proposal the Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Modernization Program where jeepney units will be phased out and be replaced with electrically-powered jeepney engines or e-jeep.

Ikot jeepney driver Edwin Dela Cruz, 37, said that this program under the TRAIN bill will also be another burden to jeepney drivers.

“Kung kunwari, [five years rent to own] itong hawak ko, tapos wala pa sa kalahati yung naibabayad ko rito, bibigyan na naman nila ako ng panibagong utang. May utang na ako sa taong pinagkuhaan nito, tapos may utang pa ako sa gobyerno,” Dela Cruz said.

“Bago ka makapag-e-jeep dito, … hindi ko alam kung paano tatakbo ang e-jeep. Hindi pa nakarating sa kabilang kanto, wala na yung baterya [dahil sa traffic]…,” Marquina added.

According to the DOF website, PUV modernization, Pantawid Pasada and other programs were added by the department to mitigate the effects of the increase in oil excise tax.

Habitan said that jeepney passengers are exposed to danger with the old structure of the jeepneys.

“Kailangan natin ng PUV modernization. Kaya lang, maraming jeepney driver, mga operator, nagra-rally. Nagiistrike, diba? Ayaw nila ng pagbabago. And one wonders why they do not want to change,” Habitan said.

However, as direct stakeholders, jeepney drivers perceive the issue differently.

“Di naman pagbabago kasi gusto nila eh. Hindi naman pagbabago eh. Gusto nila yung electric agad. Mahirap naman kasi yung sinasabi nilang electric,” said Dela Cruz, who has been driving the Ikot route around the campus for almost 20 years now.

David agreed with the need for a tax reform but questioned its implementation. Whether it is progressive or not, she said, should be a big determining factor.

“Kailangan muna nilang siguruhin na ang basic necessity ay naibigay ng gobyerno bago sila magtaas.” Marquina said.

UP receives wake up call, blowout from FEU

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Selina Jo Paredes

After a morale-boosting victory against defending champions De La Salle University, the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons sputtered against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Tamaraws, 59-78, today at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

State U’s offense fell quiet as FEU posted them to their season low in scoring and pushed their winning streak against the Maroons to 12, dating back to the second round of Season 74 of the UAAP.

UP opened the first frame by taking the early lead off a Juan Gomez De Liaño three-pointer, but Ron Dennison and Richard Escoto were quick to score back-to-back baskets to give FEU a one-point advantage, 4-3.

Paul Desiderio answered with a triple to give UP their second and final lead throughout the game as the Tamaraws continued to hound the Maroons with their relentless defense and ended the first up by 4, 14-18.

Come second frame, FEU was quick to take advantage of the hole in UP’s defense as they scored six unanswered points early in the quarter.

Late in the second, Desiderio scored what would be his last bucket of the game. At the end of the first half, the Diliman squad found themselves down by 16.

The Tamaraws scored by committee early in the third with all players on the floor contributing a basket to further widen their lead, momentum briefly switched to the Maroons side late in the frame, as they made a 7-0 run and held FEU to just 56 points.

Despite cutting the deficit to 10, UP’s offense froze in the fourth as they were unable to hold off the Tamaraws that bolted a 16-0 run.

With less than 90 seconds left in the game, the Maroons sparked an 8-0 run which could only trim FEU’s lead to 19 points. At the final minute of the game, Maroon small forward Noah Webb went down with an apparent ankle sprain.

State U’s backcourt consisting of Team Captain Desiderio and rookie Jun Manzo had a rough outing, scoring a mere 13 points combined.

“Ineexpect ko na talaga na, grabe, halos di na ko makatanggap ng bola sa struggle, titira ako may tao na talaga.” Desiderio said on his off-game.

On how they’re going to bounce back next game, head coach Bo Perasol said, “We have to cut short our lamentations and focus on the next game kasi what’s important is we cannot get pulled down by our emotions.”

Big man Ibrahim Ouattara set his career-high of 17 points and was active around the rim to secure 13 boards to package the double-double alongside the career-high effort of Juan Gomez De Liaño with 16 points to serve as bright spots for the Diliman squad’s offense

Tamaraws Dennison and Escoto led the way for FEU with 16 and 12 points, respectively.

The UP Fighting Maroons are looking to bounce-back against Jerrick Ahanmisi and the Adamson Soaring Falcons at The Big Dome this Wednesday, Oct.4.

Webb will be unable to play on Wednesday’s game.

War on the innocents

Photo and text by Michelle Co

The story begins with a man, a leader from Kalinga. His name is Macliing Dulag, and in this region from Cordillera, he lived and served the people. He did all he could to protect them. So when the government required them to give up their Chico River in order to make a dam, he was a staunch opponent. Giving in would mean losing their ancestral land, homes and livelihood, displacing them all. And so he was steadfast in refusing this project despite bribes, harassment and threats from authorities.

Unfortunately, unlike stories where the hero comes home to a peaceful life, this one ended in his murder.

This was the price for standing his ground, staying true to his principles, and protecting his people.

Written by Luz Maranan, the tale was read by the author at the Kwentuhan at Kathang Sining sa Kampuhan last Sept. 17, 2017, an event organized by Karapatan, an alliance of human rights organizations, where children from different backgrounds came together in solidarity in line with Lakbayan 2017.

But this story isn’t some masterpiece of the creative mind. Macliing Dulag did defend his people, losing his life in the process. This is a story some of those children were all too familiar with- militarization, threats, attempts to steal their ancestral land, and more.

This was a reality that even kids no older than 13 had to deal with.

For the indigenous children who took part in this year’s Lakbayan, threats to life and livelihood were some of the very reasons they were driven out of their homes to take refuge in Metro Manila. Unsafe in their respective communities, they journeyed to the city in order to call for attention from the government, as well as to keep themselves safe from the military who have been hampering their communities with threats, harassment, and intimidation.

In the attempt to gain control of the land, the military has been infiltrating communities in different parts of the Philippines in order to intimidate and force indigenous people to flee.

Sometimes, however, the military does more than just intimidate, as was learned in the stories of teacher Arjay Perez. In his mere four years of teaching in Southern Mindanao, he says, he’s experienced more than he had expected to.

Recounting instances of violence and harassment by military in his school, he mentioned that two years ago, members of the military entered their school with no warning to ask if the school was legal or if it was created by the New People’s Army (NPA). Days after that, the military men went around the school. This, he says, was a show of power towards the people in that community, as it frightened them, especially the children. By this time the lessons could no longer proceed properly. After the community left, the schools were then occupied and made into barracks by the military.

“Walang teacher o estudyante ay gustong magturo at magaral kung may mga militar na may dalang baril na nasa sa loob ng iyong paaralan,” Perez said.

“Nagbabakwit kami, pero pagbalik namin sa komunidad ay sira na ang paaralan namin.”

He also spoke of a colleague, Teacher Miguel, who was shot thrice during a physical education class he was teaching; the bullet missed him, and instead it hit one of his students who was rushing to flee after hearing the gunshots.

“Ang mga eskwelahan ay hindi NPA school, hindi terrorista. Kaming mga teacher ay hindi terrorist. Pero bakit pinapatay ang mga magulang ng Lumad? Bakit may pinapatay na estudyante?” Perez added

Children are dropping out because of militarization, he said. Of the 200 schools in Mindanao, 39 of these were forced to close because they were occupied by the military who threatened the teachers not to come back to the community.

Now, in the city, the teachers have been trying their best to continue the students’ education in what is now known as bakwit schools. Although the dismal conditions- not to mention pollution, heat, and humidity- are not conducive to learning, Teacher Arjay can’t deny that they are safer here.

“Napipilitang huminto ang mga Lumad na sana’y nakakapagaral na ng maayos mula sa kanilang komunidad, at kung hindi huminto, sila’y napipilitang magbakwit sa siyudad para dito magpatuloy ng kanilang pagpapaaral.”

They are here indefinitely, as they cannot yet return to their community in Southern Mindanao. That is, if there is anything to return to. The military remains there, occupying their land, their homes, and their schools.

These are among the many issues that the organizers of the event wanted to shed light on. Roneo Clamor, the Deputy Secretary General of Karapatan and one of the event organizers, explained that wanted to raise awareness on the situation of children in Mindanao whose schools are under attack, children who are caught in the crossfire of military operations, and those victimized by the militarization in their communities.

“We organized this to bring the issue to the government, especially the kids in Mindanao whose schools are under attack.” Clamor said.

Since they wanted this event to bring solidarity towards children, they invited not only the Lakbayani children, but also children from various daycares in Metro Manila, and those whose families were affected by the human rights violations committed under the current administration.

Karapatan, an alliance of human rights organizations, maximizes all means and forms of campaigns possible to bring attention to pressing issues that are often not accorded enough importance.

“Bilang suporta sa mga schools na pinapasara saka sa mga kabataan na di na nakakapagaral dahil nga wala na silang mapasukan, gusto rin naming maexpose ang ibang mga bata na ‘di mga Lumad, at maka-halubilo yung mga Lumad na bata para malaman din ang plight ng isa’t isa,” Maria Sol Taule,  event organizer and legal counsel for Karapatan said.

This, she says, is important because instances like the forced closing of schools are not often reported on in mainstream media.

Rolando delos Reyes II, the Guidance Services Specialist in UP Diliman agrees that utilizing arts is a form of psycho-social support intervention that the children are in need of, especially because these children oftentimes suffer from trauma.

“Regarding adverse effects of militarization at ung nangyayaring kaguluhan sa Mindanao particularly to children, the primary effect is the post traumatic stress disorder that they are experiencing. This would manifest through panic attacks or anxiety attacks particularly kungyari, may natumba na gamit, tapos may dating sumabog, they will associate this with sounds that they’ve heard before.”

He applauded the activity, saying that having an arts and crafts workshop is a start in the healing process for these children, especially since this allows them to express what they’re not often able to.

That Sunday was unlike most days that these children are used to. A small portion of the camp had been transformed into a play area for them; mats were laid down, paint, brushes, colored paper, and bottles were used by the children to make their very own creations. Volunteers surrounded the children, talking to them, guiding them, and helping them unlock their imaginations.

The children were simply being children- a luxury that they often cannot afford in this day and age with all that they have been experiencing. They are learning, once again, what it means and what it feels like to be a child. Carefree, safe, and protected, they are able to laugh and play without fear of being attacked.

But this is not something that should remain a rarity for these children- they deserve better. They must be protected, their rights upheld. This is something that members of Karapatan, teachers like Arjay Perez, and many others remain steadfast in fighting for.

WALANG IMPOSIBLE: UP stuns defending champions DLSU

Photo by Maegan Gaspar

Text by Denver Del Rosario

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons scored an upset against the defending champions De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Archers, 98-87, today in the UAAP men’s basketball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.

From a slow start in the first canto, the Maroons never looked back as they held the driver’s seat in the succeeding quarters.

It was a well-fought match for UP with everyone contributing from offense to defense.

The Archers put up a scare from the get-go as center Ben Mbala exploded with four treys. A three-point basket from Andrei Caracut gave DLSU its biggest lead of the match, 23-9.

Captain Paul Desiderio led the charge for the Diliman squad in the second quarter, responding with a shot from downtown and getting the free throw at 4:58 to tie the game, 35-all.

The second canto also saw the debut of State U’s Rob Ricafort who closed the quarter with a basket, giving his team the lead, 47-43.

The third quarter became intensely contested as both teams refused to let the other pull away.

Desiderio responded to Mbala’s first quarter blast by registering four treys in the third quarter, which ended with a very slim lead in favor of the Maroons, 66-65.

The Archers struggled in the final canto as bench players created damage for the Maroons.

Janjan Jaboneta and Jarrell Lim contributed three shots from downtown to widen their lead, 79-71.

The Taft squad eventually lost steam as the Maroons distanced themselves to seal the game, 98-87.

Desiderio spearheaded the onslaught for Diliman with a career-high 30 points, registering 60% from the three-point area. Manzo added 17, while the Gomez de Leaño brothers contributed 10 each.

Mbala led his team with 34 big points, 21 of which came from the first half. Caracut and Ricci Rivero added 15 and 12 points respectively.

UP head coach Bo Perasol praised his team for playing with a winning attitude despite being up against the defending champions.

“Before the game, somebody forwarded me (a tweet) from Jun Manzo, saying, walang imposible sa naniniwala,” he said. “Parang nahiya ako sa sarili ko, that my players believed we can win this game and compete with a powerhouse La Salle team.”

UP now holds a 3-1 win-loss card, tying with DLSU in second place.

The Maroons will next face the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Oct. 1 at the Araneta Coliseum.

Beyond memory: A testament to heroism

Photo by Frances Urbiztondo

Text by Agatha Gregorio

Razor-sharp headlines punctuate the national dailies. The newspapers, it seems, are warning us of an oncoming storm, delivering the sign of the times.

‘Malacanang declares holiday in Ilocos Norte for Marcos’ 100th birthday’

‘Marcos buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani’

“Masakit talaga na inilibing siya sa Libingan ng mga Bayani, kasi symbol ‘yun eh, that this government has recognized Marcos as a hero,” said Maria Cristina Rodriguez, a torture victim during former President Ferdinand Marcos’ administration.

A beat passed before she continued, “But in exchange, ‘yung awakening ng youth, ay hindi ko ‘yun ipagpapalit.”

According to her, monuments can be shattered and rendered meaningless, but nothing surpasses the worth of the youth’s awareness of the dark years of authoritarian rule. When she talks of the hashtags that have been spreading all over the internet such as #MarcosNotAHero and #NeverAgainToMartialLaw, there is a sense of both gratitude and relief.

People like her have recognized the need for truth to reign in a censored society, shackled within the cages of a restrained media. This, a large contrast from today’s liberty in social media expression, was the kind of world she had to live in.

Yet, people like her found ways to voice out their political concerns. Most became victim to the martial law era’s unethical, extrajudicial practices, with some leading to death.

Their stories, however, are more than deserving of the same, if not more attention than the ways in which the late Philippine dictator continues to be commemorated today.

They were, and continue to be, the heroes that have sacrificed greatly in the name of our freedom.

Mapagpalayang ‘Malaya’

Joe Burgos is known for being the journalist who established “We Forum” and “Malaya”, newspapers which have contributed significantly to the overthrow of the Marcos administration.

With print media mainly consisting of state-owned newspapers, or those established by Marcos’ cronies, Burgos had been one to pave the way towards alternative news during a time wherein press freedom was truly lacking, if not totally non-existent.

According to his son, JL Burgos, he worked at the Philippine National Oil Company, right after having written for the Manila Times. However, after seeing how the suppression of information during the Marcos administration, he left the big paychecks that came with working at the company to start “We Forum”.

It had taken some adjustments and personal sacrifices for both him and the family to start the newspaper.

“Nanay ko nagsangla ng mga jewelries para makapagtayo ng dyaryo, dahil kailangan talagang maglabas ng dyaryo na independent; na ipapakita ang human rights violations, corruption, at iba pa,” he said.

Joe had originally applied for a permit for the newspaper under the name “We for the Young Filipinos”, making it appear as a campus publication. Due to low budget allocation, campus journalists were recruited for the newspaper.

Soon enough, they began publishing articles that opposed martial law in the Philippines. One article, in particular, exposed the dictator’s medals as fake–and Marcos himself threatened those involved in the writing of the article in a press conference that followed.

A month later, the “We Forum” office was raided, resulting in the arrest of Joe Burgos and his lawyer. He was later put under house arrest, but this did not stop him from starting another independent newspaper, which was “Malaya”, in the hopes of continuing the goal to inform the public of the truth.

“Malaya”, in fact, was the first newspaper to publish an article on Ninoy Aquino’s death.

The journalistic work that Burgos had engaged in could have played a great role in the collaborative forces that came about at the time, leading to the People Power Revolution. However, there were also other actions from beyond the media that helped propagate the injustices accompanying the martial law era.

Sacrifice and Activism

Maria Cristina Rodriguez is the executive director of the Bantayog ng mga Bayani Foundation, which is dedicated to the commemoration of martial law victims during the Marcos administration. In addition to this, she had been a student activist in college, also having been a torture victim at the time.

Despite the dangers present, activists such as students had played a great role in forwarding the movement to end martial law, she said.

“‘Yung mga taga-UP, they’d leave little notes sa toilet. Gagawa sila ng mga stickers, ilalagay nila sa doors ng mga cubicles ng toilets, just to let the other person know that others are still free in their minds. Hindi lahat nabola. Hindi lahat natakot.” Rodriguez shared.

Most anti-Marcos activists had to hide out in the provinces and take up arms, despite not being trained to handle them, due to the need for protection. According to her, most of them still died under the hands of the government.

Evident in her words were admiration for their bravery and courage, as she recalls all these people had sacrificed themselves to overthrow the dictatorship, or at the very least, recognize the injustices that plague the Philippine government and its people.

She said,“Marami diyang mga aktibista, they had promising lives. They could have been lawyers, senators or successful businessmen. But still, they decided, at that time, nung panahon pa ng Marcos dictatorship, some urgent thing had to be done, and they did it.”

Testaments to heroism can be clearly seen through the youth’s slow, but steady awakening towards the truth, and to what the martial law victims gave up to earn us our freedom and our rights. And perhaps, this is the symbol of who the Filipino people truly recognize as heroes.

These people rose to the call that eventually led to a great deal of suffering and sacrifice, without thinking of the possibility of reward or recognition. And perhaps, they are without monuments or statues or accolades written and sculpted in their name. But what is there to hollow monuments without true cause for struggle?

UP makes quick work of CSB for second win

Photo by Keith Magcaling

Text by Luisa Morales

The University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Lady Maroons made quick work of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (CSB) Lady Blazers in straight sets, 25-19, 25-13, 25-19, to take their second win in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) Collegiate Conference at the FilOil Flying V Centre.

UP started strong from the get-go, leading the Blazers throughout most of the first set.

Despite a run from CSB late in the set, the Lady Maroons were able to hold their ground, winning the first, 25-19.


With a barrage of attacks and stellar floor defense, the Lady Maroons cruised through the second set, 25-13 to take the dominating 2-0 lead.

Going into the third frame, CSB couldn’t find any answers to the stifling Maroon offense.

UP doubled up on CSB, 16-8 at the second technical timeout. But the Blazers weren’t about to go away just yet.

The Taft squad went on a furious run to catch up to State U, cutting the deficit to just a couple, 19-21.

Luckily for UP, the girls were able to prevent a late match meltdown with a 6-0 run and took the third and final set, 25-19.

Team Captain Tots Carlos led the way for the Maroons with 14 points, while player of the game Rem Cailing contributed with 24 excellent sets for the win.

“Maganda yung ginawa ng team ngayon, nagkaproblems lang sa sunod sunod na error” Carlos said after the game.

 

UP dominated the Blazers in almost every aspect of the game, including spikes where they outscored CSB 38-15, but they also committed six more errors, 28-22.

 

With the victory, State U is now on a win streak. The Diliman team hopes to push the streak to three as they face the San Beda College Red Lionesses on Saturday, September 23.