TNPicks: Our Appreciation List for 2021

It was a busy year for campus journalists. They began 2021 reporting on their school’s adjustment to the COVID-19 pandemic and will end the year with the hopeful prospect of a genuine safe return to their classrooms. This is on top of surviving the remote learning setup themselves and adjusting to the virtual shift of their newsrooms.

Despite continued attacks from the government—and for some, the lack of support from their educational institutions—our colleagues on the campus filled in coverage gaps by amplifying the underreported stories of their communities.

To wrap up 2021, our editors sent in their favorite stories and multimedia output from other campus publications. In the second edition of TNPicks, this appreciation list hat-tips the work of our pals in the school press.

To our colleagues in other student publications, we thank you for your work.

Tinig ng Plaridel

Buboy Figueroa, Multimedia Editor

Top pick: AXIS Our National Heroes: Behind the reel by The Guidon (Ateneo de Manila University)

Produced by Danielle R. Garcia, Tatiana L. Maligro, Bryce R. Rubi, Carmela B. Masiglat, Bea Bacason, Mariana Gardoce, and Raphael C. Dela Cruz

Directed by Alissa Evangelista, George D. Kho, and Julian Michael Maiz

Shot by Abby Chua, Matthew V. Samson, Patricia Corpus, and George D. Kho

Assisted by Yanna Estrellado and Felicity C. Santos

Edited by Patricia Corpus

As historical revisionism remains a huge concern, especially with the coming elections, the media’s role in combating disinformation is further highlighted. The Guidon’s second season of Axis, a 3-episode docuseries, effectively delivers this by deconstructing preconceived notions of the country’s national heroes. 

Most notable is its second episode, Behind the reel, where they talked to Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral director and producer Jerrold Tarog to understand the deconstruction and reconstruction of Goyo as a national hero and character. The Guidon’s documentary is an exemplary way to view the ins and outs of historical films and mull over its implication on reexamining notable personalities.

Bonus picks: AXIS Our National Heroes: Textbook Nationalism by The Guidon; To Someone Behind Bars by Fidel V. Agcaoili (Points of Contact) by Philippine Collegian; #NoToCarbonPrivatization by Tug-ani

Jem Torrecampo, Graphics Editor

Top pick: The Work Newsletter, Vol. 72 Special Issue by The Work (Tarlac State University)

The Work impresses once again with its sleek composition, finding the balance between striking graphics and functionality. Polished illustrations confidently occupy and expertly make use of space. The coordinated palette assigned for each spread leaves a coherent impression and prevents a collision of colors.

Among their noteworthy graphics include the layout for ‘New Frame, Old Stories’, which showcases a gallery of protests led by the masses during the pandemic. The newsletter also uses clever symbolisms to convey its messages to the reader.

Bonus picks: The Catalyst, News Magazine Volume 33 No. 02 by The Catalyst; AGOS, Tomo XXXVI BLG II Disyembre 2021 by Ang Pahayagang Plaridel; Scientia The Persist Issue, Vol. 28 Issue No. 1, by Scientia; Pananaw UPLB Perspective Vol. 47, Issue 5 by UPLB Perspective; The Guidon, Finding Recourse, March – April 2021 Quarantine Special by The Guidon

Noelle Mejia, Photo Editor

Top pick: How Soledad Sowed the Seeds of Resistance 

by Daniel Sebastian Daiz, Philippine Collegian (University of the Philippines – Diliman)

Over two years since its implementation, millions of Filipino farmers continue to suffer from the perils of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). As opposed to the promises of its proponents, RTL opened the door wide for big businesses to dominate the rice importation industry, leaving poor domestic rice farmers like Nanay Emma behind. It is clear that President Duterte’s administration is no different from the previous ones. It continues to prioritize the interests of large corporations and foreign investors at the expense of the rights of the people who feed the entire nation. 

Philippine Collegian, through this excellent piece, effectively tells the stories of Nanay Angelina and Nanay Emma, whose everyday struggles mirror the centuries-old worsening condition of the country’s agriculture sector. It brings us back to the bigger picture — that what the peasants have been fighting for to resist the rice liberalization is not just about themselves, but also for the meaningful future of a nation with food security, national industrialization, and genuine agrarian reform.

Bonus picks:

Lady Ann Salem gets the last word by The LaSallian; The Intertwined Histories of Filipino and Indonesian Communists by Philippine Collegian; Stripped bare: Exposing the male gaze by The LaSallian; When the world is burning, stay by The Guidon 

John Mark Garcia, Sports Editor

Top pick: Bare bleachers 

by Neal R. Beltran and Joachim S. Melo, The Guidon (Ateneo de Manila University)

Gender disparities remain pervasive in both collegiate and professional sports. From unequal pay to gender-based discrimination, the uphill battle of women in sports remains terribly unaddressed and worsened because of the global sporting shutdown prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Delving further on such inequalities in the local context, this piece from The Guidon takes us on a deep dive in uncovering systemic flaws in the collegiate scene, which offers little to no regard for women. Highlighting key issues on match schedules, media coverage and financial investments, the story effectively calls for a systemic overhaul to allow female athletes to thrive in their respective fields and penetrate the male-centric status quo of sports.

Bonus picks: Halftime Thoughts: Should mandatory vaccination be implemented in leagues? by The LaSallian; Changing the spotlight by The Guidon; Behind the scenes with Hidilyn Diaz’s nutritionist by The LaSallian; Finding the athlete within by The Guidon; Using statistics for an effective game plan: Data Science in sports by The LaSallian

Dominique Flores, Features Editor

Top pick: Our Fisherfolk Sector is Drowning at the Hands of the Duterte Administration

by Mary June Ricaña, Philippine Collegian (University of the Philippines – Diliman)

The struggles of the fisherfolk have always been reported so lightly, but the issues they face are greater than their daily fish haul. Being one of the most impoverished sectors in the Philippines, they can barely meet their family’s needs with the meager income they receive. As they battle large and technologically advanced commercial fishing industries, hopes of catching a greater yield are slowly lost.

Philippine Collegian’s feature story on Cebu fisherfolk carefully narrates the untold story of a whole sector about to lose their livelihood to illegal fishing done by large industries. It paints a picture to those miles away from coastal communities, explaining the fisherfolk’s fight and the government’s blatant neglect of the country’s seas – let alone its people.   

Bonus picks: Redefining Magis by The Guidon; No More Tyrants in 2022 by UP Baguio Outcrop; We are not your Guinea Pigs by The Catalyst; Nasaan si Balikbayan?: How an OFW family celebrates Christmas by The Flame; Mula Petisyon Hanggang Panawagan: Pagkakaisa sa Gitna ng Krisis sa Edukasyon by KALasag 

Mon Caling, News Editor

Top pick: UPLB REPS disclose pandemic work woes; demand better pay, health benefits, tenureship 

by Paulette Dela Paz and Yani Redoblado, UPLB Perspective (University of the Philippines – Los Baños)

With in-person activities suspended for another year, UP constituents’ stories in the remote setup poured in the headlines. Many of these reports feature the grievances of students and faculty as lines between home, school and work become increasingly blurred. 

UPLB Perspective brings the conversation to the university’s research, extension and professional staff (REPS). Their in-depth report explores how REPS grapple with limited access to laboratory facilities and compounded delays in procurement. This is on top of systemic issues of unequal pay grades and allowances, different promotion guidelines and contractualization. 

The issues that our REPS contend with are not new but they remain underreported. To quote, “juggling multiple responsibilities in the remote set-up, REPS call to be recognized more than mere ‘secondary citizens.'” Cheers to the UPLB Perspective Team for shedding light on this subject and reminding us to join our workers’ struggle for just and humane working conditions. 

Bonus picks: Probing the flexible learning setup, WVSU has a long way to go by Forum Dimensions; Why are vaccines taking so long? By Scientia; Breaking barriers: Filipino and native languages as ‘language of resistance’ by The Flame; Mining the gap: On Brooke’s Point and illegal mining by UPLB Perspective; Lack of GE Slots, Enlistment Woes Persist As Another Semester of Remote Learning Begins, Philippine Collegian

Ingrid Delgado, Managing Editor

Top pick: Sa Kahon ng Tahanan at Pabrika: Ang Pakikibaka ng Kababaihang Manggagawa 

by Amiel Antonio and Fransheska Gene Perez, Pacesetter (Bulacan State University)

This feature on female factory workers stirs an important conversation on the perilous road to labor equality. Apart from dismantling the common belief that women cannot wear work boots, the article also highlights the struggle shared by women to fulfill their dual role as mothers and breadwinners. The article features real experiences from women who carry out the same work as their male counterparts but battle a layer of deep-seated misogyny cultivated by patriarchal regimes from Marcos to Duterte.

I think that pieces like this that honor the intersectionality of feminism are most important at a time when it’s easy to lose sight of the complexity of the fight for equality. Kudos to Pacesetter for contributing to this necessary conversation.

Bonus picks: May Nanay Mameng sa Bawat Tahanan ng Maralitang Lungsod by The Catalyst; Dead man’s land: On the ground with environmental activists by The LaSallian; The Face of Philippine Politics: Great or Greater Evil? by The Catalyst; Sa Pangil ng Estado by Pacesetter; Middle-class memoirs from Martial Law by The Guidon

Jan Cuyco, Associate Editor 

Top pick: The perfect crime: How the state robs our youth through oppression and exploitative child labor 

by Giancarlo Morrondoz, UPLB Perspective (University of the Philippines – Los Baños)

On this year’s commemoration of World Day Against Child Labor, this feature raises the alarming problem of child labor in the Philippines. Children were never meant to be forced to work in dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs, and yet dominant framing touts these bitter realities as examples of hard work. It gave a much-needed wake-up call: a child who is led into a life of slavery and deprived of their right to education is all but for the state to blame.

It was sharp of the author to frame this story not just as an isolated social phenomenon, but as a result of state neglect, neoliberal education and poverty. A fiery message brews between the lines of ‘a perfect crime.’ This hard-hitting piece puts more teeth in holding the state accountable for leaving children in the margins. Because when the state lowers the minimum age of sexual consent, gun down children in the name of its bloody drug war and prolong children out of schools, it robs children of a future worth living. The call to uphold and protect children’s rights grows only louder, and this piece reminds us why we must never forget the next generation of Filipinos. 

Bonus picks: Commentary: Sharing isn’t always caring by The LaSallian; Mangingisda sa Taliptip, Batid na ang mga Malulubhang Epekto ng Proyektong Bulacan Aerotropolis by Philippine Collegian; The Heart of the City’s Ignition by UPB Outcrop; Palimos ng Lunas by The Catalyst; Drifted away: Portraits of campus attachment by The Guidon 

Renz Palalimpa, Editor-in-chief

Top pick: To be a scientist is political 

by Scientia (University of the Philippines – Diliman) 

“In this way, science becomes political,” says Scientia, describing how scientists and their discoveries are ruled by politics. “Claiming the neutrality of science makes us enablers of the government and those who weaponize science and technology for their own interests.”

At the dawn of the decade, the Philippines is met with a climate crisis and a global pandemic. The bare minimum solution to these issues is contingent on the ability of national leaders to lend an ear to scientists and experts, whom officials have impaired through repulsive underfunding and vilification.

As the official student publication of the UP College of Science, Scientia brilliantly reconnects with their role as journalists and scientists: to go away with neutrality and link with the masses whom they must serve in a time of crisis. Kudos to our colleagues in the College of Science for this excellent editorial.

Bonus picks: Sino’ng Nakikinabang Sa’ting Pagkasalat? by Philippine Collegian; The hands of the ruling class are anything but green by Scientia; Takot sa progresibong libro and pasistang estado by The Catalyst; UPLB colsec numbers show that LOA, dropped cases up between 2 sems of 1st online acad year by UPLB Perspective; Sa likod ng mga karatula, bandila at balatengga by UPD Kalasag