Atenews Pandemic Special Issue Vol. 66 No.2

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The official student publication of the Ateneo de Davao University NOVEMBER 2020 | PANDEMIC SPECIAL ISSUE

VOL 66 NO.2

‘Digibak’ Rising: Pandemic limitations amplify online activism JULIA ALESSANDRA TRINIDAD

INSIDE STORIES OPINION dialogue 2 Isdead? NEWS of modules 5 Lack causes distance 7

learning fails—ACT After 38 years, SAMAHAN ratifies new consti

FEATURES dreams, 8 Five one laptop 10

Love in lockdown


s the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose crowd and close contact restrictions, the new normal is prompting activists to rethink public demonstrations, setting the scene for the re-emergence of digital activism.

“It encouraged more people to learn how to sympathize and engage. Maybe, there are instances that people might use it for the ‘clout.’ But let us not limit the knowledge to ourselves just because we think people are just getting along with the trend,” Abueva said.

Nekka Abueva, former governor of the University of the Philippines-Visayas Skimmers, expressed how social media activism does not intend to veer away from the real protests that usually happen on the streets. Instead, social media has become a means of informing more people, strengthening and widening the reach of their calls and fights.

The UP-V Skimmers former governor also emphasized how social media serves as a platform to criticize people and hold them accountable when using someone else’s struggles for fame and popularity. “So, where can we make them pay? On social media. What we see on this platform is a pool of opinions. That is why we should learn how to fight these misconceptions in order to educate other people,” Abueva added. According to AdDU-SHS Humanities and Social Sciences Chairperson Vincent Gonzaga, the concept of online activism has already been there during the physical setup, even before the pandemic. But with the transition to the digital platform, there is now a stronger presence of online activism. “Siguro in terms of how social media is changing activism in the country, given the current situation and transition of events, mas napalakas. It became more relevant; it became more prevalent in the sense that since there is already a restriction of mass gathering[s] [for] activism,” Gonzaga stated. With the onset of the pandemic, social distancing has greatly affected activists from taking their movements to the streets’ parliament, making social media’s pre existing role in activism amplified. The technological evolution and growth within the youth uprisings provided more entryways to youth leadership through decentralization with digital media. CONTINUE TO PAGE 5 >>>


opinion the students when, during their meeting, the amendment was merely presented instead of proposed. At the end, the admin’s decision overrode those that have already been agreed within the departments. One in particular is within the School of Business and Governance (SBG). Last Monday, the AVP and the SBG Dean had already agreed to exempt the Accountancy and Management Accounting departments from rescheduling all their exams to December, provided they propose a new schedule of taking the exams in December and January. However, on that same night, the University President disagreed to their proposal, insisting that all clusters should take all their exams by December without exemption.

Is dialogue dead? EDITORIAL


e have to practice what we preach. In a university that claims to value inclusivity and dialogue, it is hypocrisy to make decisions among the few than the many. This, after Ateneans were apparently misled to think improvements would be made in our academic policies. We were willing to give the admin a second chance to make our entire online experience better, but it seems that this has only been to our disadvantage. On the day that the rights and welfare of students were supposedly celebrated, Ateneans were distressed and betrayed by the very entity that promised to be understanding in this time of crisis—the administration. Without genuinely consulting students and faculty prior to the announcement, the Office of the Academic Vice President (AVP) on November 17 officially amended the schedule of final summative assessments (SAs) for Summer 2020 and the First Semester of AY 2020-2021. The said tests have all been suddenly rescheduled earlier to December 2020, causing mass panic among students as they would only have less than a month to prepare. Since the academic policy for online education makes SAs the sole basis of students’ final grades, students, especially upperclassmen, have expressed that the new memo imposes undue pressure when they have to take several comprehensive major exams within one month. Worse, the memo runs contrary to previous reassurances by the admin that online education in AdDU would be “self-paced”


and “flexible,” and that November and December would be used as “quality time to rest”. While an emergency town hall meeting was held on the night of November 17, it did not result in any kind of solution apart from making students feel that they were heard. There is no denying that the online shift caught both the studentry and the administration off guard. This is why it seemed reasonable, at first, for some policies to be changed and improved for the better. But while the admin attempted to revisit its academic policies, the changes they implemented were contrary to the needs of most students. Instead of making things easier, the admin has further complicated students’ current predicament by breaking its promises and pressuring students to comply, even when they are not ready to do so. It is a betrayal of students’ trust to reassure them at the beginning, only to take back those promises at the last minute. We were made to believe that we had a benevolent and compassionate administration, but with the current developments, we have every reason to speculate if those promises were made sincerely in the first place or were made merely for publicity. The scheduling of exams in December could have been a non-issue had the admin only announced the decision earlier, enough to give everyone time to prepare. No matter how much the admin claims to have undergone “due consultation” with the SAMAHAN, we question the former’s sincerity of hearing the plights of

Since the recent memo maintained that SAs can be retaken twice, issues regarding finances also persist with the 500 pesos bother fee that is required for every retake. While we are not new to paying with our every move, this policy is becoming unacceptable, especially in a time of crisis. It is very likely that bother fee payments will translate to fundraising as more and more students take the exams unprepared, having higher chances of failing. The admin must clarify how they intend to use these funds, otherwise it will be an utter inconvenience and insensitivity to the plight of the students. We remain dissatisfied and disappointed with the decision of the University administration. Similarly, we condemn the lack of consultation from students and faculty. While compromises are currently being made between students and their departments to cushion the effects of the memo, administrators responsible for these mistakes must face the students and be held accountable. Although, with the SAMAHAN, we are pushing for leniency for students who cannot afford taking the exams in December, it is clear that this could have been avoided in the first place if the admin was only keen enough to listen to the students. Taking the admin at their word, we recognize their attempt to help students clear their backlogs before the start of the second semester. However, this reveals a more deepseated systemic problem: who decides for the students? In issues that affect them, shouldn’t they, above all else, have a say? This situation only proves how out of touch the administration is to the realities of the students. If they indeed value dialogue in their decision making processes, then they must translate it well into policies. Should there be amendments, it must be considerate, not sudden and unexpected. As this betrayal calls into question the very tenets that we were taught to live by, we continue to resist until the policies are just and genuinely pro-student. #AdDUStrike


EDITORIAL BOARD Gwyneth Marie Vasquez EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Sofia Roena Guan ASSOCIATE AND MANAGING EDITOR Danica Malle Peña NEWS EDITOR Brian Steve Garay FEATURES EDITOR Stephen Geronilla • Jeni Anne Rosario ART EDITORS Kevin Cody Mahinay SOCIAL MEDIA EDITOR

STAFF Carlo Isiah Escarda HEAD CARTOONIST AND ILLUSTRATOR John Abiel Villanueva HEAD WEB DEVELOPER Noriel Jeules Alisoso • Ryar Caasi • Johanna Vaughn Dejito Czar Ysmael Rabaya• Bai Rehana An-an Sacandal Percival Cyber Vargas SENIOR NEWS WRITERS Rea Jean Cabahug • Alver El John Linaza SENIOR FEATURE WRITERS Demi Althea Padillo • Fe Lourence Valente SENIOR CARTOONISTS AND ILLUSTRATORS Moammar Nawang SENIOR LAYOUT AND GRAPHIC ARTIST

Sheena Allison Dela Salde • Mara Girl Idpan Juan Paolo Miles SENIOR FIELD CORRESPONDENTS Jared Joshua Bangcaya • Kim Angel Cautivo • Tom Aaron Rica Julia Alessandra Trinidad JUNIOR NEWS WRITERS Angelo Mari Cabual • Anna Mae Escobar Daniel Dave Gomez JUNIOR FEATURE WRITERS Leah Genny Altizo • Alfonso Miguel Cordoviz • Carmela Ariane Ko Mariah Johanna Uy • JUNIOR PHOTOJOURNALISTS Ethel Marren Guerra • Sean Anthony Penn Lacorte Ali Bani Sixto Martinez III • Hilary Vera Parcon Raphael Eddmon Tiu JUNIOR CARTOONISTS AND ILLUSTRATORS Ericson Narciso • Emmanuel Pacis Jake Salvaleon JUNIOR LAYOUT ARTISTS & GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Gwyn Kelly Lobitos • Dascha Bernice Oville Hanna Maj Piccio JUNIOR FIELD CORRESPONDENTS Ira Dumagan JUNIOR VIDEOGRAPHER & VIDEO EDITOR Son Roy Almerol • Joeshua Dequiña JUNIOR WEB DEVELOPERS & WEB DESIGNERS Dr. Cheryl Baldric MODERATOR Ericson Narciso TABLOID DESIGN

Member of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines G/F Arrupe Hall, Martin Building, Ateneo de Davao University, E. Jacinto St., 8016 Davao City

Tel No. (082) 221-2411 loc. 8332

VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue


A discipline in crisis? contexts and historical processes. Today, anthropology has acquired a reputation of working in solidarity with marginalized peoples.

Gwyneth Marie Vasquez MASAWA


s an incoming third year college student last summer, I was fortunate enough to be given the chance to shift to the course that, I felt, gave me a sense of purpose. But while I was finally able to pursue anthropology, a discipline that would bring me closer to people like I imagined, the pandemic averted all prospects of going on field work. So like all other aspiring anthropologists, sociologists, and social workers, I had to ask: What now? How do we remain relevant in an age where we are not allowed to practice the thing we are trained to do best--interacting with and learning from other peoples, personally? Anthropology, as a discipline, has colonial roots. In its early days, it was used by the British empire to learn about the culture of its colonies, which, in turn, aided the former in exercising control and authority over the latter. This phase of anthropology was guilty of assigning dichotomies between the ‘primitive’ and the ‘civilized’. But by the 1940s, American anthropologists started to break away from the colonial legacy and embarked on a mission of eradicating racial prejudice. Instead of looking at culture through stages, it acknowledged that all cultures sprung out of unique

Although this brief historical run-through probably does not give justice to the evolution of the field, one thing is clear: field work, and the ethnography that follows, is an indispensable part of anthropology. Indeed, without it, can anthropology ever be called anthropology at all? In my eagerness to go on field work myself, did I just risk my third year in college for a discipline in crisis?

This recourse may somehow seem like a data science approach--it is, to a lesser extent--but apart from offering an alternative, it also challenges anthropologists and researchers to step out of their comfort zone. It calls us to be more open to learning new skills and to be ‘multi-taskers’, as it were. This does not mean turning our backs on the old. It simply means that we should be able to integrate the classic skills of field work in listening to and making sense of what the public is saying about issues that concern us. In the age of a pandemic, social media is the field, far from the physical, bounded space of yesteryear.

The pandemic and by extension, the first semester of online classes, taught me the opposite. Anthropology and all its sister disciplines which rely on fieldwork have become more relevant than ever, especially as social inequality and public discontent over the government’s response grows. In the digital era, it is necessary for these disciplines to quickly adapt to the online platform, to utilize the possibilities of digital methods in order to carry out their academic and social commitments. For anthropology, this means listening to social media users’ voices online.

But digital methods also have their limitations. Researchers who employ digital methods enjoy some degree of privilege, to say the least. To be able to harvest a large amount of data and process it in visualization software requires high-power computers. One cannot even begin exploring the Twitter interface without fast and stable internet connection. Like the gap created by online classes, digital methods, no matter how functional, may inevitably disadvantage those without access to devices and the internet.

Although interviews and focus group discussions can still be held online, new methods of ‘doing fieldwork’ digitally are coming to the fore. One of these is by mapping public conversations on Twitter by using ‘big data’ collection techniques. The use of Twitter Archiving Google Sheet (TAGS), for example, has proven to be an effective way of harvesting all the tweets containing a specific hashtag or keyword. Other software can then be used to visualize the data. The results can be astounding--with thousands of harvested tweets, researchers can get the pulse of the entire Twitter public tweeting on the issue, such as #OustDuterteNOW and #COVID19.

Should devices and internet connection be made more accessible, digital methods offer a promising way of conducting anthropological, and even social science research in a pandemic. Researchers who are able to successfully employ this would be revolutionizing the discipline. But more than that, they would be showing the resilience and increasing relevance of the academe in the midst of crisis.

Onto 2022 partnerships with the COMELEC are beneficial and very accessible to students as I was personally able to participate in the last election after registering very quickly on campus grounds.

Stephen Geronilla NAPALM


iden’s win in the United States’ recently concluded presidential elections sets the stage for a global triumph against oppressive populist regimes. As the world anticipated the election results, we Filipinos were called to probe how the indifference and terrors of our own administration compare from a comprehensive and international perspective. As a country, we are now tasked to emulate strategies that would ensure the realization of our upcoming 2022 national elections, ultimately safeguarding our democracy in a present where the persecution of advocates and the critical are normalized by the powerful. This year of the pandemic marks the fourth year of Duterte’s 6-year term as president, with two more years of an administration that spells human rights violations, press freedom attacks, and neglect of real urgent matters. Now more than ever, we, the youth, comprising over 30% of the nation’s voting population, are called to engage in the electoral discourse and, most practically, to register to vote. Among the efforts that have helped many become informed and empowered during the past election seasons are initiatives such as Ateneo de Davao University’s Blue Vote. In my experience, these information drives and university

In preparation for our 2022 national elections, the goal of holistically educating the population, especially our youth, is challenged with the current constraints on our democratic spaces. With a little more than a year to register and without clear indications when the pandemic will end, the need to quickly appropriate and adapt the entire electoral process to the new normal also arises. Given the limitations of the pandemic, the US 2020 presidential elections attained, what is for them, a recordbreaking turn-out count of 160 million American voters. While most traditionally voted by visiting polling places, a significant number, 65 million votes were cast via mail ballots. Mail-in voting is only one example of how the election process can be made more secure, safe, and accessible at a time when participating may seem to be a choice between exercising our right to vote or protecting our health. Another strategy we can try to emulate is the implementation of the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). The data of an eligible voter who applies for any government ID can be directly inputted into a database and automatically added to the voter roll removing the need to register solely for COMELEC. This will reduce the burden for both the registering body and the citizens while also allowing the government to keep more secure and consolidated data. Developed democracies like Sweden have employed AVR and boast well above 80% voter turn-outs. Simply put, people will vote if the whole election process is made simpler.

a populist regime by encouraging the masses to register and vote. However, the idea of our democracy holds true that we should do everything in our power to reach every citizen and make each vote count. The very essence of our freedom lies in the fulfillment of these civic responsibilities. Except in areas under ECQ and MECQ, COMELEC resumed voters’ registration last September 1 and will be accepting applications until September 30, 2021. To register, you can first download and fill out the form on COMELEC’s official website. Eligibility requirements are as follows: a voter must be (1) a Filipino citizen, (2) at least 18 years old before election day, May 9, 2022, and (3) a resident of the Philippines for at least a year and a resident of the place where you intend to vote for at least 6 months. As of the 2019 midterms election, over 63 million Filipinos are registered to vote, with a turn-out of 75%. Further, the number of registered voters aged 18-29 in the same year is a little less than 19 million, only half of our youth’s population. The emphasis on the youth, specifically first-time voters, to participate and be driven in this electoral season is consequential. As it stands today, we must continuously channel our collective efforts and make use of the virtual spaces available to us so we may effectively influence movements and escape from tyrannical leaders. We are the ones with the most to lose; our tomorrows are at stake, and it would serve us well to individually embody this duty. If our next elected officials do not enact laws we are in dire need of, such as radical policies for environmental justice, our entire nation and our youth’s future might as well be history.

In hindsight, it does seem ironic to counter the dangers of

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news Night market vendors halt operations due to reimposed curfew NORIEL JEULES ALISOSO AND JARED JOSHUA BANGCAYA

ROXAS’ NEW NORMAL. Since its reopening last September, Davao City’s Roxas Night Market ceased operation after Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio reinstated curfew hours due to a surge of COVID-19 cases. Photo by Alfonso Miguel Cordoviz


eopened last September to help workers regain their living amid the pandemic, activities at the Roxas Night Market have once again slowed after most vendors and suppliers halted their operations due to the reimposed curfew, cutting their business hours from the regular 5-11pm down to 5-7pm. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, through the issuance of Executive Order No. 55, brought back the curfew hours effective October 15 until December 31 this year as response to the surge in active COVID-19 cases in the locality. With the said implementation of the curfew, night market vendors and other workers expressed that operating for two hours is not enough for stall preparation and income generation. In Sunstar Davao’s article, night market vendor and Barangay Buhangin resident Rachelle (name withheld) said that the alloted time for operation is not enough considering that the food preparation takes time. Rachelle also said that it would be better off closing Roxas since it would not only affect the vendors but the customers as well. In response to some vendors’ appeal for consideration, Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview that there will be no more extension to the night market’s business hours but opened the possibility of readjusting its operating hours beginning 4 pm. Duterte-Carpio said she already instructed the offices involved in the night market operation to study the possible readjustment of operating hours at an earlier time. “That would mean nga mag-adjust tanan sa ilaha, including ang CTTMO nga in charge sa traffic situation sa atong siyudad,” the mayor said. A month after resumption Prior to the October closure, vendors and suppliers expressed their hopefulness as they were finally allowed to resume operations. The night market was first closed last March 12 due


to COVID-19 outbreak in the country, having more than 500 workers who were forced to halt their operations. It was reopened to the public under ‘new normal setting’ on September 12, exactly six months from the closure. Jasmina Mahuyag, a night market vendor whose only source of income comes from selling drinks, had told Atenews that she was thankful to be back after not being able to earn for half a year.

after determining that COVID-19 patients admitted in Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) contracted the virus mostly from non-essential activities. “Kani siya base ni siya sa mga interviews sa atong mga Covid-19 patients. Usually, nakita nato didto ang ilahang mga lihok. We deemed it nga kinahanaglan i-regulate kanang mga activities nga ginabuhat sa mga tao nga dili essential, dili sila sulod didto sa kanang ginasulti sa IATF Omnibus Guidelines,” Duterte-Carpio said.

“Pasalamat [mi] sa Ginoo nakabalik mi miskin mingaw nagaadjust gyapun mi naga-sacrifice jud mi atleast may income bisag papaano,” Mahuyag said. Mahuyag also shared she dealt with the six-month income drought, left with no other choice, by utilizing their savings from selling for their daily needs throughout the entire lockdown.

Vendors said that operating for 2 hours is not enough for stall preparation and income generation.

“Pirting paita ...nag puyo ragyud mi sa balay kay hadlok ta syempre ug bawal magtinda sa gawas, naghulat gyud mi magabri ang Roxas night market so pag abri, [niadto] na gyud mi diri diretso,” the 22-year-old seller expressed.

Moreover, Mahuyag said she was less concerned with the hazards brought by the pandemic as long as proper precautionary measures are observed, and more worried about losing what has been her stable source of income in recent years. Surge in active cases In a live radio interview on DCDR 87.5 FM, Duterte-Carpio said that she was prompted to bring back the curfew hours

According to the Department of Health-Davao, the city’s two-week growth rate as of October 15 has increased to 60.10% from 43.60% in the past three to four weeks. Stating the rate as the city government’s reference for bringing back a stricter curfew, DOH-Davao Assistant Director Lenny Joy Rivera said that mass gatherings, such as birthday parties, weddings and other special occasions, were among the contributors to the rise of local transmission in the city.

“Kasi nakikita po namin na tumataas ang cases, based on contact investigation ay yung mga gatherings... yung mga workplace and lalong-lalo na sa mga gatherings na events after work,” Rivera said. Knowing that the surge in cases was mostly due to unbridled drinking sessions, as per City Health Office (CHO), Duterte-Carpio enforced a 24-hour liquor ban starting November 2 until the end of the year. Aside from the reimposition of stricter curfew hours and liquor ban, Davao City will also enforce a “Safe Davao Quick Response” (DQR) code system to control the COVID-19 outbreak in the area. Duterte-Carpio issued the Executive Order No. 60,

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news requiring residents and non-residents who want to travel around the city, as well as those who want to enter the city for essential activities to acquire their DQR. No QR code means no travel.

VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue

As the city shifts to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the QR code system is intended to bolster the local government’s contact tracing as well as prohibit people from non-essential travels.

‘Digibak’ Rising: Pandemic limitations amplify online activism >>>

there’s really an imbalance in terms of the welfare, or in terms of how does it affect the people, then you make an intellectual decision. That’s activism,” Gonzaga explained. “But if you are just noisy, you are just creating noise for the heck of it, and you are just joining the bandwagon without fully understanding what is going on and what really matters, there’s no thorough analysis or any deep understanding of the issue, then it’s not activism,” he added. The AdDU-SHS HUMSS Chairperson also emphasized the need to know one’s rights, especially with the emerging trolls and cybercrimes in the media. Being educated about laws that could safeguard one’s security is best effective in fighting against these threats online.


Harvey Lao, Student Council President of the University of Southeastern Philippines, mentioned that although the country’s internet connectivity has been a challenge, online access and social media platforms will enable activism to reach more people in the country.


“History will show that the youth will always take an essential role in activism. As the youth sector is a significant cluster in the country’s population, technology will be our ally,” Lao said. Significance in dark times

Furthermore, USEP Student Council President Lao asserted how the government’s misplaced priorities and outof-touch policies were common in the pandemic period. One of the few is denying the legislative franchise of the country’s largest broadcasting network, the unscientific and cosmetic “solutions” against COVID-19, and the lack of support to livelihood and education.

In the pandemic context, Gonzaga highlighted that digital activism proves that Filipinos are not indifferent towards social issues and government policies. Activists in the social media platform reinforce the importance of awareness and information, especially during the national health crisis. “When will we be heard? When we are voicing out. That’s activism. Kumbaga, it’s been there. Lalo lang syang lumaganap. It becomes more important, prevalent, and relevant because of the limitations that we have,” the AdDU-SHS Humss Chairperson stated. Similarly, UP-V Skimmers Abueva stressed that the COVID-19 crisis has exposed inequalities in society and continued to hit the Filipinos at different levels. The nation experiencing discrepancies and lack of progress in this pandemic time is enough reason for countrymen to be angry. “We have been passionate about the lives of people, and yet we allow the cases of COVID-19 to rise because of the lack of plans. We allowed it because the Anti-Terror Bill, now law, had been more urgent than human lives,” Abueva said. “Fraud happened in PhilHealth, which is supposed to be a government-owned insurance corporation responsible for covering universal health. It happened now, during a health crisis. Not only that, let’s put into the spotlight different officials who failed to follow IATF’s (Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases) inconsistent guidelines. But who was put to jail? Poor and unprivileged individuals,” Abueva

“If all these are concerns, then we should know that even up to this point, activism is important, and we should not stop holding these people accountable.”

“The people should never allow this to become the ‘new’ normal. Rather, as the system exposed the broken system, we must seek for the better one,” Lao said. Lao added that bringing responsible people into account, putting the right people on the table for discussion, and lobbying the right policies for the people will be the usual role of activism.

Presented via Facebook Live, the said report stated that

On the judgment whether digital activism is a viable alternative to activism in the pre-pandemic times, National Union of Journalists in the Philippines Chairperson Nonoy Espina pointed out that like any tool, there is an upside and downside to using social media for activism. “Social media remains a powerful tool for rallying people around causes and even mobilizing them. However, it remains a neutral tool that can be used for good or bad. Without the proper knowledge and precautions, it leaves people vulnerable to state surveillance or worse,” Espina stated.

youth will always take an essential role in activism.

Drawing the distinction According to Gonzaga, it is crucial to know the difference between activism and free speech. Activism requires someone to be critical and well-informed on all sides of the issue. Being noisy is another thing because not all free speeches are considered an act of activism.

The NUJP chairperson further mentioned that although it has not happened in the Philippines yet, it has been relatively easy for other repressive regimes to either shut down or control social media. Contrarily, the growing dissent online increasingly challenges the government’s army of trolls to attack critics.

“Unfortunately, the instant gratification of seeing a post generate hundreds or thousands of likes, or going viral, can give the illusion of influence and can turn people into literal keyboard warriors, who would rather wage their battles online instead of being out there,” Espina said. “So, while it will always remain a valuable tool for activism, social media can never replace warm bodies in the streets.”

“You know both sides of the issue, and you know the pros and cons. If you found [out] that there is really an injustice,




History will “ show that the

Lack of modules causes distance learning fails—ACT month after the opening of classes last October 5, an Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) report assessed the quality of distance learning, showing that the lack of modules due to insufficient funds and supplies leads to “delayed learning” among students. Other concerns also include low class attendance due to poor internet connectivity, heavy work and study load, and tight expense budgets to teachers and parents.

The QR codes, replacing the food and medicine pass, can be accessed by the public through https://safedavaoqr.davaoct. com.

schools in Quezon City, Taguig, Angeles City and the city of Manila faced such delays for more than one week. In Quezon City only diagnostic tests are delivered “because there were no modules in the area.” ACT further explained that many of DepEd’s divisions are still on their third week of modules while the divisions of Pasay City, Occidental Mindoro, Southern Leyte, Bulacan, Cagayan, and Tarlac still have incomplete modules. Rotation and lending modules on the other hand, remain a concern in Sorsogon and

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Butuan City. Since most of the modules were rushed, ACT has received reports of poor quality, plagiarism, and wrongful information. ACT Secretary General Raymond Basilio urged the Department of Education (DepEd) and the government to conduct “objective and comprehensive assessments” in order to check the delivery of quality education during the pandemic, especially to its stakeholders. “Kailangan magkaroon ng komprehensibong pagtingin: ano nga ba ang mga kalagayan ng mga eskwelahan, anong kalagayan ng mga estudyante, anong kalagayan ng mga magulang sab ago nila pagkatuto [ng mga estudyante] sa taong ito,” he said. Aside from these assessments, Basilio also called on DepEd to prioritize immediate funding for distance learning necessities, module quality check from the Central Office, and further evaluations from students. DepEd insists on SLMs In an online forum with the National Union of Students




VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue

Lack of modules causes distance learning fails—ACT >>>


in the Philippines (NUSP) last October 3, ACT had warned DepEd that teachers were struggling to cope with modular learning. Printing full sets of modules had still been unfinished even days before the start of classes, while some modules contained lessons that were only good for a week. Lack of printing equipment and supplies were also prevalent complaints among the callers of ACT’s #BantayBalikEskwela hotline.

napapakinggan ang ating mga hinaing,” Manuel said, describing what makes the Philippine education ‘anti-democratic”.

It could be remembered that a press release uploaded on DepEd’s website last July 1 reassured the public that the said department would “provide Self-Learning Modules (SLMs)... for various types of learners across the Philippines.”

Moreover, Harvey Lao from University of Southeastern Philippines-Obrero shared that CHED and DepEd’s policies were deemed “insensitive” to the poor students.

Alternative learning delivery modalities, in the press release, aims to give learners access to quality education despite limitations brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. These modalities include “modular, television-based, radio-based instruction, blended, and online modalities.” ‘Anti-democratic’ National Education

The former NUSP president also shared that the rise of the number of graduates, dropouts, and the unemployed brought to the pandemic would lead to a “larger pool of low-paid, semi-skilled workers.”

He pointed out that mechanisms on the need for devices and fast internet connection for online and blended learning must “be a priority for the poor and struggling students.” “Ang edukasyon ay karapatan ng bawat mamamayan at hindi dapat prelihibiyo lamang ng iilan,” he concluded.

However, netizens and critics questioned Briones’ claim of ‘victory’ while growing issues from modules to inadequate gadgets to students and internet connectivity, persist. Briones further gained the ire of critics when she advised schools to solve their own problem on the soiled and damaged modules caused by Typhoon Rolly during the first week of November. “Siguro hindi naman susulat ang superintendent na, ‘Basa ang module namin.’ Maghanap sila ng paraan. Siguro ibilidad nila, iyong iba pinaplantsa,” Briones said on a press conference last November 3.

The first month of classes involved more of the same abandonment from DepEd and the President.

“Hindi na sila uutusan ng circular galing sa central office para sabihin kung ano ang gagawin,” Briones added. Briones also claimed that the super typhoon will “not affect the module production since [the department] produced the learning modules for the 1st quarter.”

During the early weeks after the opening of classes, DepEd Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones claimed that distance learning ‘was a success’ despite the limitations brought by the COVID-19 virus.

As a rebuttal to the Education Secretary’s claims, NUSP’s current president, Jandeil Roperos said that the said claim towards stakeholders proved that the said department “continues to turn away from their responsibility in addressing the challenges upon student demands.”

“The multitude of problems plaguing distance learning since its conception to its implementation have not been addressed by Sec. Briones and the rest of this administration,” he added.

“The opening of the school year has generally been very successful, and we will continue to face any challenge that lies ahead with great resolve to continue education in the country,” Briones said.

“Pinatunayan lamang lalo ng Kagawaran [ng Edukasyon] na kahit walang bagyo o anupamang kalamidad, hindi sapat ang kanilang kahandaan sa pagsulong ng distance learning at pagtugon sa mga hamon na kaakibat nito,” Roperos stated.

Meanwhile, Raoul Manuel, former President of the National Union of Students in the Philippines (NUSP), on a forum last August, stated “the pandemic has exposed [our] colonial, commercialized, and anti-democratic education.”

The Education Secretary said that it is “inspiring and encouraging” knowing that millions of students continue to pursue their education despite the pandemic.

“Nasa unang buwan pa lamang ang distance learning sa mga pampublikong paaralan, ngunit malinaw na mas nagiging inaccessible ito sa mga Pilipino dulot ng kakulangan sa suporta at kahandaan,” she added.

Both ACT and NUSP have been vocal critics of DepEd’s action in ensuring the efficiency of online education. For them, the problems in online education are reflections of wider systemic problems in the country. “The first month of classes involved more of the same abandonment from DepEd and the President, with education stakeholders shouldering the state’s duties to education and to resolving the issues with distance learning,” Basilio said via ACT’s Facebook account.

“Hindi nabibigyang pansin ang hinaing, welfare, at interest ng [nakararami]. At given sa mga schools: ang mga students, teachers, at mga personnel na sila ang affected sa mga policies sa pinababa sa government pero hindi


‘Dry and iron’ modules -Briones

“The Department remains steadfast in its commitment to provide all learners with the quality education they deserve, and we will continue to work hand in hand with our stakeholders to continue education for Filipinos across the country amid these trying times,” the DepEd Secretary said.

“Dumagdag pa ang kawalan ng aksyon sa mga kalamidad na matinding dagok hindi lamang sa mga estudyanteng may online classes kung hindi pati na rin sa hanapbuhay ng mga ordinaryong Pilipino,” she then concluded.


VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue




fter 38 years, the Ateneo de Davao University ratified the SAMAHAN constitution, garnering 59.35 percent approval from the student body.

Barely exceeding the required voting turnout of 60 percent, 60.19 percent of the student body voted last October 12-14, 3,865 of which are for the proposed constitution, while 55 voted against it. The new constitution will take effect in January 2021. Updates of the constitution The 2020 Constitution introduced new provisions and amendments absent in the 1982 Constitution. These include a three-branch government structure, a new SAMAHAN Central Board (SCB) position, recognition of student executive councils, improved checks and balances, and improvements to the Bill of Rights. Under the new draft, the SAMAHAN’s government structure would be based on that of the Philippine government - introducing the Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches. The SCB would serve as the Executive, the Students’ Council would serve as the Legislative, and the Student Judicial Court (SJC) would serve as the Judiciary. In the SCB, the positions of Internal Vice President (IVP) and External Vice President (EVP) would be merged into the new position of Vice President. Aside from serving the combined duties of the two offices, the Vice President would also serve as the head of the Students’ Council; the latter serving as the Legislative branch of the student government. “Last elections, the 1982 consti was cited as a reference for an obligation in the elections. Clearly the 1982 constitution is not in accordance to our current context. It proposes some issues, not only within the SCB and the elections, but also within the student body,” Students Rights and Welfare (StRAW) Department and Constitutional Convention (ConCon) chairperson Jyp Phyllis Galan said. The constitution’s ratification would grant legitimacy to the various student executive councils in the University. Unrecognized in the 1982 Constitution, the otherwise traditional/de facto offices would be granted legitimate functions and roles. In addressing checks and balances, the new constitution introduces new organizations such as the Commission on Students Rights and Welfare (STRAW), Commission on Audit, and a variety of autonomous student commissions. The SJC

would play a role in dealing with organization-level issues, particularly being in charge of impeachments, resignations, and other sanctions. The 2020 Constitution also improved on the general 1982 Bill of Rights with a more “expanded” one. “For example: rights on protection. In the 1982 constitution, it is stated in the rights on protection that the students have the right to be protected from certain actions. In this 2020 constitution, we expanded it to context that the students should be protected. For example, bullying, sexual harassment, etc.,” Galan said. Challenges in passing The readings for the previously drafted constitution took almost two months before the final draft was disseminated. With the ConCon composed of members who are not necessarily knowledgeable on the proceedings, Galan admitted that the proceedings were made “delegate-friendly.” “Sa ConCon, we really made sure na ma-orient ang mga delegates on how we will do this. We actually simplified the readings… We settled on simple things in our internal rules and procedures in order for it to be delegate-friendly,” Galan said. Committee moderator representing Bahaghari Nur Guimba also said that some issues developed during the readings were due to the different backgrounds of ConCon members. “There were misunderstandings during the reading sessions given the fact that the delegates came from different organizations and have various takes and views on certain articles and amendments. Obscurities emerged on certain provisions but would be then clarified and given justice by the people who authored it,” he said. Last September, the issues in the proceedings were brought to light when some delegates expressed their sentiments in social media on increasing the quality point index of those who are eligible to run for SAMAHAN Central Board positions. It eventually became issues of “bullying,” and polarization of the political parties.

professionalism. “In the end, we are actually here for the interests and the benefit of the whole SAMAHAN student body, not just for the organization itself and the organization that you are representing, but actually for every student in the Ateneo community,” he said. Despite the problems encountered by members of the ConCon, their hard work paid off as the student body voted enough to ratify their proposed constitution.

Obscurities emerged on certain provisions but would be then clarified and given justice by the people who authored it.

Guimba is hopeful through the new constitution, the needs of the student body will be more addressed, as it adapts to the current context. “It also exudes or promotes inclusiveness, great recognition for student-led organizations, rights of the students and comprehensive dialogues with the admin thus bridging the gaps from all the lapses in the past. The new constitution will then affect the future SAMAHAN in a way that they can rebrand their way of leading and generate more opportunities for the students,” he said.

Admitting that it was difficult to “meet in the middle,” Galan said that the delegates were reminded of

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features Five dreams, one laptop

of online learning. Unfortunately, Lacuesta’s family is one of the many affected households as the country’s economy plummets due to the pandemic. “As of now, nagabenta po ng mga ulam yung mga parents ko. And I think po hindi po enough yung earnings nila para sa aming pamilya kaya thankful po talaga ako na na ka full scholarship ako.” Furthermore, his elder sibling who recently found a job is also assisting their family with her salary and agreed to shoulder all of their bills, basic utilities included. Adamantly, AdDU sought ways to address these concerns that would hinder students from pursuing their studies this academic year. The distribution of Home Prepaid Wifi devices were set in motion, as well as the provision of gadgets to university scholars and students classified as code red.



etting education has always been an ordeal, yet an irresistible dream for Filipinos with their purse strings tightened, and living in rural, far-flung areas. However, not snakes found spiraling in trees and not even excursions to the mainland during a pandemic can deter their passion for learning. The question looming in everyone’s minds is if they are ready to weather these dangers daily or will they be left behind once again? It has been months since educational institutions took a full dive into the virtual world, but the inefficiencies of the newly adopted system still remain controversial. The country’s trademark of poor internet connectivity has taken its toll on thousands of Filipino students. Many are going the extra mile just to gain access to devices and a stable internet connection, even if it means risking their lives. A student from Masbate braved a daily 30-minute trek in treacherous mountains in search of signal to submit school requirements last April 2020. However, not all students go through these risks unscathed. The following month, a Criminology student from Capiz State University lost her life after getting involved in a road accident, looking for that much-desired internet connection. Meanwhile in one household, 5 siblings juggle these challenges with the fear of compromising each other’s academic aspirations as they compete for resources. Compromised Opportunities In Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), a first-year Aerospace Engineering student aliased as ‘CJ Lacuesta’ to keep his privacy intact, faces this resource problem for online class. Every school day, Lacuesta sees himself pushing through online classes with a one slightly damaged laptop together with his four other siblings. “We set we need to wouldn’t fight explained. Although schedule was usage among

a schedule whenever use the laptop so we over it,” Lacuesta

an organized established for fair the

siblings, Lacuesta expressed the frustrating instances of inevitable conflicts that emerged due to their situation. In the end, they had to resort to a dominant approach in determining who gets to maximize the laptop first. “The first person who turns on the laptop usually ends up using it, and the others will have no choice but to wait and use their phones.” The presumed agreement on scheduled usage has been thrown out the window for instances that are deemed necessary by another sibling. The choice of compromising for the benefit of the other has grown to be accepted and unquestioned due to their current setup.

AdDU’s Assistant to the Academic Vice President for Online Education, Father Ulysses Cabayao, SJ, admits that the administration was unprepared for the sudden shift, and did not expect this situation to reach several months.

That’s the thing about disasters and pandemics. It highlights the social inequalities present in society.

Grit and perseverance Even with apparent hurdles, Lacuesta still chose to set them aside and devour the fruit of knowledge, agreeing to continue his studies this school year. However, this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for the scholarship provided by the school which was a significant factor that led him to pursue his academics. “I am from AdDU SHS po and yung nag offer po ng Aerospace Engineering yung AdDU naisip ko po na dun mag enroll. Additionally, mas namotivate po ako na magenroll dahil nakapasa ako sa DOST (Department of Science and Technology) scholarship.” said Lacuesta.

“It takes a lot of time to prepare for a shift to online education, which we did not have. And I think this is where, you know, we were trying to respond to an emergency situation, which by now we’re still trying to, in a way recover from.”

As the administration reached out to the government and telecommunication companies for assistance in addressing the problems of connectivity and resources, they can only do so much within the confines of their jurisdiction. “The problem is demanding accountability from the people who can do something about it on a systemic level kasi you can only do so much. If only [the] government can subsidize private institutions like this.” Although efforts from the administration have been greatly appreciated by many, including Lacuesta, these were still not able to reach his end.

However, he found out later that Aerospace Engineering is not yet a priority course of DOST. Hence, he was only left with the “I was only aware of the HPW, but I wasn’t able to avail it Grant-in-Aid (GIA) scholarship from AdDU, which he admitted would be a waste if he took a gap year since the scholarship is only because I was enrolled late. I think that it is really a big help especially to those who don’t have gadgets and don’t have access for this school year, and would therefore result in forfeiture had to wifi.” he not enrolled in this semester. Apart from the possibility of losing a scholarship, the bleak situation of their family’s finances served as his motivation to embrace the uncertainties

The combination of slow wifi connection and a significant number of people in their home has led him to worry if they can perform to the fullest like how they would in the physical setting. With the recurring disturbances coming from all directions in his surroundings, his frustration slowly builds up as online class lectures continue. “That’s the thing about disasters and pandemics. It highlights the social inequalities present in society. And in this case, we’ve seen that not everyone has access to the internet, not everyone is able to afford resources which other societies take for granted,” Fr. Cabayao shared. Missing boundaries The online learning environment had no clear boundaries set for the separation of student’s responsibilities at home and in school. Aside from the overlying demands of education, there were household chores to consider. Lacuesta strengthened this argument by putting his situation into perspective. “In my case po, dahil po nagbebenta yung parents ko ng mga




VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue

In light of the impeccable results of the NBA bubble plans, it can be concluded that the bubble system can be a taste of a long-term normalcy for athletes and spectators alike. But what if this sort of system is applied to a third-world country like the Philippines? The question of the bubble system’s practicality would then arise. PH sports tournaments landscape

IN THE CIRCLE. Universities reluctantly consider the ‘Bubble System’ as a model in training and games for studentathletes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a concept implemented by the NBA, on account of expenses that might hassle the student-athletes. Photo by Atenews

Inside the “bubble”: How sports is set to overcome the pandemic TOM AARON RICA


he year was off to a great start as athletes all over the globe were optimistic of the big surprises that 2020 had in store. While the Tokyo Olympics was anticipated to be the largest sporting event this year alone, there were many other games to look forward to in the world of basketball, soccer, American football, volleyball, boxing, swimming, and so on. But, little did everyone know that storm clouds faced like no other were about to disrupt the cherished normalcy of the sports realm in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. Competitive sports came to an abrupt, screeching halt as the pandemic either forcibly barred or postponed much of the tournaments and competitions in most nations today. Amidst increasing cases of infections among players and attendants of these games, many organizers have come to decide that it is no longer possible to hold them with huge crowds of fans and spectators mixed in with athletes and coaches. Likewise in the Philippines, the dreams of studentathletes to play beyond small-scaled competitions were dashed due to the government’s hard, but necessary call to stop regional and national meets so as to avoid having to suffer the consequences of the coronavirus fallout.

To officially return from training, the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) is now in talks with the government agencies and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to craft guidelines and protocols for the said resumption. In the local context, the bubble system is one of many ideas considered, but there are hindrances as to its implementation in a country like the Philippines. “The thing about bubble system is it’s gonna be expensive. Halimbawa sa Ateneo de Davao lang we don’t have our athletics fee, and so will I go through the hassle of requesting for fees and ask in the middle of the school year? I don’t think so. Even if I say we have the funds, will the athletes go to school to practice for no tournament at all?,” stated Emmanuel “Noli” Ayo, the Director of the University Athletics Office of AdDU. “This bubble, dapat may collective effort ang community. If you ask me, ‘are you for it?’, I’m not for it because it’s expensive.”

the varsity program, we “haveTreating to modify it. When we go back to face-to-face interaction, hindi nalang puro laro. bubble-like setup to avoid much exposure from the virus. Today, the National Basketball Association (NBA) currently finds themselves in Disney World, Orlando, Florida where it can continue to conduct games, despite paying a hefty price for the so-called “Disney Bubble”. According to an ESPN article by Brian Windhorst, the NBA costs more than $150 million to operate the threemonth continuation of the league. The price entails a cozy hotel room for all the personnel involved from the 22 teams plus their daily COVID-19 swab testing and other medical support to assure that the bubble is free from popping out.

The bubble system As a result of the pandemic, sports leaders, league commissioners, and team owners came up with the bubble system to salvage ruined seasons and leagues. This format entailed the creation of a campus in a

The universities’ and colleges’ sports tournaments are currently non-existent in this time of the pandemic. However, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) gave a green light to the tertiary ranks last September 7, 2020 for their return to workout and training which carved a mark for the college sports that it will be back sooner than later.

So far, the league’s bubble plan continues to work as everyone hoped as it recorded zero positive tests out of 341 players tested for COVID-19 on the NBA campus since the test results were last announced on August 12, according to a CBS Sports report by Jasmyn Wimbish.

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Ayo further shared that this pandemic will change the outlook of sports when everything goes back to its normal. With this, he suggested modifying the athletics program by teaching values and conducting more classes instead of just playing to instill the impact that sports provide in student athletes’ lives. “Treating the varsity program, we have to modify it. When we go back to face-to-face interaction, hindi nalang puro laro. We will have to spend hours teaching them more than just playing, equipping them for life. I think that would reshape the way you treat your varsity program para hindi nalang puro laro kasi nalilimitahan nga yung laro eh,” shared Ayo.




VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue

Love in lockdown KEVIN CODY MAHINAY

We started getting to know each other virtually, first through chatting and voice calling, then eventually video calling, which became a daily routine. I soon discovered that he was very articulate and smart, but also assertive and intimidating--qualities that were easy to fall for for someone like me. We shared the same likes and dislikes, and I felt that I could be myself around him. Living 300 or so kilometers away from each other, we, who had never seen each other in person before, even planned to meet up when travel restriction eased. We felt like we were really going somewhere and I thought, maybe he was the one for me. But that didn’t happen. What started off as a rosy fairytale love story ended like a firework that quickly shot up to the sky with kaleidoscopic colors only to fall back to the surface in bits of smoke and ash. And that was when it hit me--did I really, genuinely love that person? Or has this lockdown made me so empty that I went as far as ‘falling in love’ to fill the void? Can it even be called ‘love’ in the first place? Love at first swipe Since the onset of the pandemic, it’s not uncommon to encounter trends that have not existed in the past. One of these is the so-called ‘quaranfling’ which is defined by the Urban Dictionary as “an online dating experience which starts during quarantine” and is “used to fill the dating gap and finishes before quarantine is over.” As social media introduced a lot of excitement, especially by connecting people with loved ones and friends in a cyberspace that knows no bounds, it has opened many possibilities such as checking on close friends without ever having to see them physically or even buying and selling goods with little-to-no hassle going to shops, and of course, online dating with strangers. With these new technologies helping people find ways of meeting strangers by using dating applications like Tinder and Bumble, it gives them the opportunity to find potential partners online by just a simple swipe. For “Ara”, a third year AB Communication student from the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), she admits that she spends her free time with quaranfling and online dating by using dating apps on the Internet. “Pampawala lang gud sa ka bored, and I think dating apps are a great way to meet new people,” she said.

We find fulfillment, joy, and happiness, if we are able to connect.

As such, dating applications have become popular, especially among the younger generations. They have enabled young adults to meet new people that match their interests in order to know each other.

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“To be honest, naga use ra pud ko ana pag bored rako or need ko makig socialize especially karon nga pandemic, dako jud na siya tabang sa mga tao nga dili anad makulong sa balay,” she added. As this new normal prevented us from meeting new people in public places such as malls, coffee shops and bars, the rise of virtual dating applications has become a huge spike for worldwide users. In a research by Match Group, an online dating service company which handles 60 percent of the dating application market, almost 2.2 million new downloads had been done by various users worldwide by this year compared last year based on their second quarter 2020 earnings report. This shows that this trend may even exponentially rise in popularity, even after the pandemic has passed.



ne boring quarantine afternoon, I was browsing through my Facebook news feed when I received a notification--a guy had just liked my dating profile. Smitten by his porcelain-white skin and chiseled jaw, I also responded with a ‘like’, marking the beginning of an offbeat pandemic match.

But online dating isn’t entirely new since it has been existing for years now. Some tried to deepen their relationship by going more intimate into seeing and meeting each other personally, and building more into their own personal connection, while for some, it may not work at all. The pandemic might just have amplified its use since we cannot hang out and socialize just like before. Just like Ara, based on her experience as a frequent user on dating apps and sites in the digital space, exclaims that some of her online dates didn’t go well as she expected. “Lingaw jod siya at first kay naay kastorya, pakilig, maka meet kag tao, socialize and all, pero ang downside tho kay pagma-attach naka saimong quaranfling tas lisod iingon kung asa namo nga point sa relationship kay walay physical contact and di ka sure kung seryoso jod ba siya or bored lang.” However, even after countless strangers-turned-intolovers-and-turned-back-into-strangers that she had experience

with, she can’t help herself refrain from using social dating applications and sites to meet more strangers that will either take her as his lover or fall out of love just like most of the others in the past.

Can you feel the connection? When asked why people tend to socialize digitally and physically, Lunar Fayloga, from the AdDU Theology Department, shared that as part of life’s basic desire, especially in these trying times, people like to connect. And as human beings, it’s innate to make connections with other people to maintain sanity. “Being in isolation is not easy. Yung iba nga either sa plants or animals, they find connection. It’s because people would like to connect. We find fulfillment, happiness and joy, if we are able to connect,” he said. On his opinion about “quaranflings”, Fayloga stated that it’s up to people now how they are going to navigate these types of online relationships. “Well, it can be very challenging, we cannot predict

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features what’s going to unfold, but time will reveal what is really the intentions of the heart. Mahirap na nga sa physical, sa cyberspace pa kaya.” But on a wider level, online dating users are more likely to characterize their overall experience in positive rather than negative terms when using these platforms. The negative part is that online daters generally assume that dishonesty on these sites and applications is a prevalent problem. Fayloga further shared that through online dating, one of his colleagues has found true love and now the married couple are living together harmoniously as a family. For him, true love is based on truth and honesty. Whether a person presents himself either physically or digitally, he or she must be prudent and authentic enough for a healthy-friendly relationship. “In loving, we must be completely aware of ourselves with authenticity. Kasi we don’t know, through online, maybe na inlove ka na sa kanya, pero sa kanyang identity lang sa social media. Not on his true identity,” he said. “Loving” in the digital age For Ara, even though it’s impossible to find honesty and integrity through cyberspace, she and her quaranfling must clearly establish their relationship with each other.

Five dreams, one laptop >>> FROM PAGE 8 ulam, pinagsasabay ko nalang po yung pakikinig sa mga discussions habang tumutulong sa parents ko sa pagbenta at paglinis ng mga ginamit sa pagluluto.” Lacuesta further shared how he was still happy with the course he chose and was content with the academic demands of his professors, but is still behind due to numerous formative assessments. He thought that it would be a better option to

VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue

“That’s why important jod ang ‘labels’. Like sa sugod pa lang kay iclarify dayon nimo kung unsa jod mo para maka set na ug boundaries sa relationship before its too late,” she said.

Dapat kabalo jod ka na unsa imong gusto before getting in a relationship and same goes for your partner.

Perspectives about this may vary from person-to-person, given that everyone has his or her own preferences and own ways of dating online. It may be positive or negative, but one thing’s for sure: what people see in social networking and dating sites from other online users are just the things that they

prohibit assigning tasks during weekends to give students time to rest. However, he also expressed how the online set up was not as efficient as it would have been if it were face-to-face. Students struggle to cope with the adjusted learning method, which led them to resort to faster approaches in completing tasks that compromise academic integrity, such as searching on the internet or copying answers from classmates. Moreover, the constant need to beat deadlines is one problem faced by many Filipino students who were caught unprepared for online classes. This only affirms the sad reality that online learning is not for everyone, at least not yet in the Philippines where an apparent inadequacy of internet infrastructures exists. “If you look at the situation, education in the country today,

want the public to see in them. “Dapat kabalo jud ka na unsa imong gusto before getting in a relationship and same goes for your partner. Communicate, be open, be understanding, and no to ghosting,” Ara further expressed. Love has many faces. It’s based on experiences. While others love unconditionally and become loyal and true to someone, some may mistake love for lust, especially in this time of the pandemic when so many people are trapped in their homes and desperate to find the slightest bit of human connection. While social media and the internet are there to connect people with strangers, the short-term, temporary relationship that quaranflings bring may not actually be true intimacy and genuineness. In order to truly love, people must first be aware of their own selves and assess their capacity to care for and commit to someone else before swiping the phone screen or liking and reacting in social media. But at the end of the day, there are some people who would rather dive into the waves of uncertainties that quaranflings offer. In order to escape from the reality that is the coronavirus pandemic which has sadly led many towards social isolation, quaranflings serve to fill the emotional void and the desire to connect with other human beings.

vis-a-vis online learning. It’s the same problem that everyone’s encountering. So it’s really a systemic problem,” Fr. Cabayao emphasized. As the pandemic left schools with no choice but to adapt to online classes, students like Lacuesta and his siblings would continue to fall victim to the effects of digital divide. With their future at stake, students are forced to comply, and are robbed of the time to process the sudden shift or cope with the challenges of the new system. Whatever Lacuesta may feel now is of lesser importance compared to juggling with the problems of unstable internet, a shared device for online learning, four other siblings with pending tasks, and a noisy household. There has been no time to ponder how he feels, for every task is due tomorrow, and every lesson must be understood today.

Inside the “bubble”: How sports is set to overcome the pandemic >>> FROM PAGE 9 Student athletes on the bubble system

could afford to do it, even AdDU,” he said.

Rysell Villarte, a former volleyball player from AdDU Senior High School and a 2019 Palarong Pambansa bronze medalist, expressed his sentiments on the cancellation of regional and national meets last March 2020.

Meanwhile, James Payosing, a recruit for San Beda College Basketball Team, expressed willingness to play again amidst the pandemic as long as the tournament setup is carved in a bubblelike blueprint.

“After hearing the news about the official cancellation of regional meets and Palaro, I’m quite frustrated at first because at that time many athletes [were] already preparing - doing in-house training and etc.,” said Villarte. Furthermore, he supports the idea of pursuing a bubble system in university sports, yet he also agrees with Ayo that such a system would prove to be costly. “I think the bubble system is a great opportunity for all the athletes out there who are greatly affected by this health crisis, knowing that they provide [a] venue or an area that is exclusive only for the athletes and other personnel involved. On the other hand, considering the case here in our country, I think none of the universities

“Siguro okay lang naman maglaro kung kagaya nung sa NBA Bubble. Siyempre always na ata may thoughts sa isip mo about the virus, pero if strict naman ang health protocols, then willling naman ako maglaro ulit,” shared Payosing.

Siguro okay lang naman maglaro kung kagaya nung sa NBA Bubble.

While the NBA showed that adapting to a pandemic is possible through the bubble system, the PBA hopes to replicate this same success in the near future. With few

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options available, local sports organizers hope to once again conduct tournaments that will not only protect the lives of athletes from the virus threat, but also continue the enjoyment of playing sports even during these trying times. True as it may be that the bubble system is a costly solution for a country like the Philippines to sustain during the course of a pandemic; however, the success shown by the bubble system still provides an opportunity for the sports world to adapt under the new normal. It is likely that this year’s problems will carry over to 2021, but with the future highly uncertain, overcoming the pandemic through an idea like the bubble system is a step in the right direction for

everyone involved.





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VOL. 66 NO. 2 November 2020 Pandemic Special Issue



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