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patnugot ng Pananaw 2021 Ang Pananaw ay ang opisyal na folio ng UPLB Perspective. Dibuho ng pabalat | Miguel Lubag kasama sina Felipa Cheng, Abel Genovana, Sho Reyes, Kin Demotica, Dale Aireen Paglalapat | Gerardo Jr Laydia Walang bahagi ng aklat na ito ang maaring masipi o muling mailimbag sa anumang paraan nang walang nakasulat na pahintulot mula sa tagapalathala maliban na lamang sa pagkakataong ang nasabing pagsipi o paglimbag ay para sa akademikong rebyu o panunuring pampanitikan. Ang lathalaing ito ay hindi maaring ipagbenta sa kahit anong komersyal na transaksyon.

Jed Matthew B. Palo Punong Patnugot

Dana Stephanie M. Sandoval Kapatnugot

Felipa E. Cheng Tagapamahalang Patnugot

Chrystel Therese V. Darbin Patnugot sa Panitikan

Miguel Adrian G. Lubag Patnugot sa Dibuho

Gerardo Jr V. Laydia Patnugot sa Paglalapat

Mark Ernest T. Famatigan Tagapamahala ng Pinansya

Maaring maabot ang editoryal sa Opisina ng UPLB Perspective Silid 11, Ikalawang palapag, Gusaling Student Union University of the Philippines Los Baños College, Laguna pananaw14@gmail.com perspective.uplb@up.edu.ph

Reserbado ang lahat ng karapatan

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mga nilalaman 01 Greater Resistance · Dakilang Ipis · 02 Payak · Chezka Angara ·

pp.1-2

p.3

03 Lala ng Luoy na Lapit · Genevieve Soriano Aguinaldo ·

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04 Breaking the Silence · Mia Agulto and Andrea Florendo of UPLB Babaylan

·

pp.5-6

05 If 2020 is a Song · The UPLB Jocks ·

pp.7-12

06 Gates Painted White · Chrystel Therese Darbin · 07 Space-In Out · Miguel Adrian Lubag ·

pp.25-26

08 Tagging · Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo · 09 Unang Iyak ng Mayo · Dakila Cutab · 10 Last Dance · Jed Palo ·

pp.13-23

pp.27-28 p.29

pp.31-64

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11 Dissent Cannot Be Quarantined · Jermaine C. Valerio · pp.65-66

12 Nangungusap · Jason Renz Barrios and Bernadette Anne Morales · pp.67-68

13 Work From Home · Sheena Absalud · 14 Breathe · Claude Russel Sastrillo · 15 Aa-Yy · Daphne Sandoval ·

pp.69-72

pp.73-84

pp.85-95

16 Making the world that is, the world that ought to be · Ron Jay P. Dangcalan · pp.97-98

17 Complete your tasks, eject all impostors, fix the sabotaged

devices · UP Internet Freedom Network ·

pp.99-128

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editoryal Distance, isolation, detachment, among others, are some of the things we have grown accustomed to over the past year. Heightened by our innate desire to belong, we were forced to rethink how we relate and connect with each other in hopes of bridging the absence felt physically. Intimacy was no different, first thought to be one of the pandemic’s immediate casualties until it eventually manifested itself in ways we never thought of before. Last March 2021, the government welcomed the country with another imposition of Enhance Community Quarantine (ECQ), a year after its first implementation, despite concerns over its militaristic execution. With active cases breaking records almost everyday and slow vaccination programs inducing confusion and paranoia, public health resources and manpower are yet again overpowered by the dire condition of the country. Timelines have been flooded by people mourning the loss of loved ones, grieving as we realize that even though viruses and lockdowns have already crippled our communities, a bigger border exists and it has been keeping us apart from the very beginning. With Duterte prioritizing his political agenda over a proactive centered response to the pandemic, we were ultimately left to fend for ourselves. For instance, many people have established their own community pantries operating under the basic mantra of “magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan”. People come and go everyday dropping off fresh produce, canned goods, and hygiene necessities, while others fall in line to get what they need for free. A common scenario could also involve street sweepers and tricycle drivers helping to manage the lines, making sure everyone is following social distancing protocols, while farmers and fisherfolk, local vendors, and small businesses all chip in to replenish the stock. These pantries proved to be effective as they serve thousands of people every week, even spreading over the country within just days after the first pantry was established. Although met with suspicion by paranoid and deluded officials, such display of resistance through the spirit of mutual aid is a manifestation of society’s innate human ability to share when all else fails. Efforts of local communities were also the ones which stood as the first and most consistent line of support and relief when COVID-19 hit the country. Led by students, faculty, and other individuals, Serve The People Brigade Task Force Community Unit Response (STPB TF CURE) mobilized volunteers that spent weeks relentlessly cooking and delivering food to students and residents that were still in Los Baños during the first leg of the nationwide lockdown. They also 6


set up numerous donation drives where people can drop off any in-kind and incash goods, in hopes of allowing the kitchen and distribution program to continue despite the lack of support from the university’s administration. Since then, the brigade, which was initially formed mainly by students during Taal’s unexpected eruption, has led numerous relief programs and deployed hundreds of volunteers to extend help to nearby areas of Laguna, Batangas, and Cavite. In November 2020, hundreds of students, faculty, and staff convened in an online Council of Student Leaders (CSL), enjoining their forces in an unprecedented move to call for a multi-sectoral academic strike. For the weeks that followed, all concerned sectors asserted the immediate halt of any academic-related matters in order to give way for relief operations, especially with the overwhelming material and health-related concerns. During this time of urgency, everyone’s efforts were put to the test. So much was needed beyond our work as students and teachers; and even as artists, writers, and leaders. Days were spent coordinating and unifying different organizations, planning campaigns and assessing needs, crafting statements and resolutions on a whim, hoping to gain strength in numbers despite the obvious limitations brought by the digital set-up. In a Discord call one of those nights, Pananaw found itself checking up on each other. Like many people during this time, we shared and listened to each other’s voices over numerous attempts to reconnect through faulty servers and Internet connection. Hearing each other felt reassuring. It carried some of our worries away, and left in exchange a bigger faith in the work that we are doing together with other students, faculty, and staff who decided to join hands in demand for something better. It didn’t matter that we were not together physically. Our solidarity was two-thousand strong and it transcended beyond the screens, the Internet, and the collective anxiety felt by most constituents. These efforts and responses from within ourselves and our communities in the face of adversity are what we wanted to surface for Pananaw’s fourteenth issue. We believe that the question “how do we perform intimacy in resistance?” enables us to open and share parts of our being and our stories that would be crucial in inspiring hope, empathy, and resistance from one community to another. We accepted works that explored and discussed how the personal is also political, as well as works that crossed borders and distance by not only choosing to come together, but by fighting for it as well. What came is a diverse body of work, each with its own unique, but equally monumental, perspectives and experiences. 7


Genevieve Soriano Aguinaldo’s Lala ng Luoy na Lapit is a wistful lullaby that likened our collective experience to darkness, hoping for intimacy to find its way back to our caress as we heal and yearn for a new day. In Gates Painted White, Chrystel Darbin recalls her own memories through personal anecdotes of the people close to her and the world around her, as both succumb to the reality of Duterte’s governance within the past year. Such is also the case with Sheena Absalud’s Work From Home, a series of collages featuring up-close and personal looks at four individuals as they share their own views and experiences related to the global political crises. For the first time in Pananaw, there are also more than a few works submitted by student organizations, all of which are direct performances of intimacy in resistance. UPLB Babaylan’s Breaking the Silence invited people to express their gender identity in online spaces as we celebrated last year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB). The UPLB Jocks’ If 2020 is a Song is a podcast episode that explores the intimate relationship of people with music, a language so universal it transcends culture and binds people together through the sheer experience of listening and relating. Meanwhile, UP Internet Freedom Network’s Complete your tasks, eject all your impostors, fix the sabotaged devices gathered participants in a live streamed game of Among Us to not only play but also discuss pressing issues and concerns UPLB students are facing over digital spaces and the online learning set-up. At the core of Pananaw is the intrinsic duty and desire to share, especially now more than ever. It is not only important that we are able to process our human experience through art and literature, but that we are also able to show people what we can do when we do things together. Resistance is only possible when we let intimacy seep through even in the smallest of our actions. Sometimes all it takes to overcome distance, isolation, detachment, among others, is a simple “Kamusta ka?”

Jed Matthew B. Palo Editor-in-Chief July 2021

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Payak

ni Chezka Angara Ngayong ‘di maaari maghawak, magtabi At lalong lumalalo layo ng tanaw Babasagin ng alingawngaw ng pusong puno ng damdaming nagaalab; Atat kumawala, magpakawala Tinig ma’y ipit, sigaw ‘di maihiyaw huwag madanagan ‘pagkat lahat ng hakbang ay sapat ‘Di kailangang sobra, naguumapaw, labis Sapat na ang hagod ng pluma, ng lapis Bawat pindot sa telepeno, sulyap, kurap, padyak, guhit, talsik ng pintura— Kilos kahit anong liit Lahat simbigat, ‘yan ay tiyak Gaano man kapayak

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Lala ng Luoy na Lapit ni Genevieve Soriano Aguinaldo

Ilusyon ang layo ng labas sa lagim ng labo ng lagpak lagalag ang lakas sa lawak ng lito lango sa alaala ng lamyos lapnit sa laplap ng lunos Likumin man ang lungkot o libakin sa linlang ng lugod lubos ang luwad na lubak sa luganggang na lugmok Ngunit lingid sa liko-likong limlim nililimos ang linamnam ng limot sa langit na iniluluwal sa liyab ng paglingap Ilang lapnos pa ng liwanag lilinaw ang laktaw sa lagim liliban sa lansi ng langasngas lalaya sa lilok ng ligalig Hanggang maging langib ang lindog at magbalik sa linamnam ng lukso

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Breaking the

NAME: Andeng

NAME: Dudin SOGIE: Cis woman line-presenting lesbian

mascu-

DESCRIPTION: Fan ni Taylor Swift since 2012. Mahilig magpagupit para maramdaman ang gender euphoria kahit papaano. Nakahanap ng pamilya sa UPLB Babaylan noong 2019. Bilang lesbiyana na nakakaranas ng patong patong na diskriminasyon batay sa aking sekswalidad at kasarian, para sa akin ang IDAHOTB ay araw ng pagtindig para sa karapatang pantao ng LGBTQ+ community na ilang dekada nang inaagaw sa amin.

SOGIE: Queer DESCRIPTION: Wala nang ibang ginawa kundi mag-Photoshop. Gumawa ng Picrew mara makapag-express ng sarili sa digital platform at para ma-share rin sa iba hehe. Graphic design is my prison eme.

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silence

NAME: Bernard <3

NAME: Rosh

SOGIE: Non-binary femme

SOGIE: Queer

DESCRIPTION: god starts with a “g” and so does “gay”. satan starts with an “s” and so does “straight”. wonder who is going to hell now! <3 IDAHOTB for me should not only be a day. queer lives go on and continue after these [celebratory] days and we should still be protected against discrimination and violence. we do not “wish” for cis heterosexual people to respect and treat us fairly. we DEMAND that.

DESCRIPTION: Pag may tumataas ang kilay o kumukunot ang noo sa pagpasok ko sa women’s comfort room, mas tinatagalan ko na lang ang pagtitig sa salamin para namnamin kung gaano kabagay sakin ang undercut ko. Paboritong outlet ang pagsusulat ng statement para sa UPLB Babaylan para ilabas ang galit sa mga homophobe at hindi magresort sa pagwiwish na sana makakain sila ng panis, matalapid sa daan, o papakin ng surot sa higaan nila.

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As part of JockTunes’ very first season, “If 2020 is a Song” is an episode written and hosted by Resident Jocks, Robbie (Irishe Remoto) and Miguel (Kioh Monato), released last November 27, 2020. The idea was conceived around the word “loud”, which is a part of our slogan for DZLB and other local radio programs, “Local, Loud, and Proud”. They believe that music has the ability to go beyond just being a form of art or entertainment. For them, music can be just as powerful as speech. It can also be used to initiate thought and action, empower stories, provoke empathy, uniting people in a shared experience like no other language can. Due to pandemic restrictions, this episode of JockTunes was recorded entirely via Zoom. Below is the transcription of a part of the episode: R - Robbie M - Miguel R: So… as I mentioned earlier, 2020 has been quite a ride. And… just a little story when the year jumpstarted, I personally felt enthusiastic like wow… new year, new me! But then, things got a little crazy, you know? With the Taal incident and then COVID-19 pandemic. You know Miguel, crazy is an understatement actually. 2020 really said “Nope!”– M: Exactly! R: ...sending all of us in our homes for eight months now, and counting! I honestly don’t know how I survived all these months. M: Exactly! 2020 has been such a crazy roller coaster ride. It was challenging, it was lonely at times, it was just a mix of emotions and situations. And– looking at it at the bigger picture, many industries were gravely affected, and the music industry was no exception. It was affected the same way but what’s amazing is that it managed to flourish even more! We have lots of songs and albums released this year. And I guess, part of that, is because people like me clung– like us, I guess, clung to music even more at these times. Maybe because, also, artists have more time to polish their craft. And… as equal individuals, we all were, and are, continuously affected by the pandemic. We all have our own coping mechanisms, we dealt with it in our own unique ways. Music really did help me a lot, in coping up with the changes in my daily routine, which now… a big part of it is actually music. Music, pretty much, is how I braved through the loneliness that I felt when the pandemic initially started. And I believe a lot of people have the same experience with music as well, because, you know, that’s just how music affects a life; it inspires us to do better, it makes us calm when faced with challenges, it just does a lot of things, right? R: Yeah… I actually agree because… I do everything with music! I clean the house, I go out, I– I study– M: Same!

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R: ...I sleep with music! Because it makes everything lighter and easier to accomplish. And… I also feel like the reason why those artists who released their songs, some even dropped an album, during the pandemic, is because it’s their way– M: Yeah! Entire album! R: ...is because it’s their way of coping with the situation that we’re in, and they also want to help people to survive during these times. So actually, some studies show that music remains as a way for humans to express their feelings. Because of that, music could actually define a certain period in time. Like Miguel, I’m gonna ask you, is there a moment in your life where you listened to music and then felt like suddenly you’re– you travelled back in time? Because I certainly do! Like for example– M: Yeah! Me too, like you know, stories have– music has that power to tell stories. R: Like for example... me! I listened to Pop Danthology 2014... and suddenly I’m back in high school. So… in that way, music could actually tell you a story of the past. So… there have-- there have been events in the past where music mobilized people by touching their emotions through the lyrics, the rhythm, and... the subject of each song. So I’m gonna go a bit serious here, for example, the 18th century, you know, during the American revolutionary war. People used protest songs with social injustice as the subject. And not only that but also here in the Philippines during the Marcos Regime, when activism was not really tolerated by the government so people engaged in performing arts like theater or singing to... send out messages to everyone saying that “Hey! This is what’s happening behind the scenes, you should know this,” and stuff like that. M: Yeah… yeah– it really is... relevant in many aspects. And like what you said, it carries this big role in many fields especially in... the field of politics, as well. Even up to this day, we have many political issues, not just here in our country, it’s not a unique experience... to the Philippines. But– but the whole world experiences– or has political issues. And music, just like any other form of art, has that power to initiate thought, polit– political thought in particular, and mobilize action. And maybe if we look even closely, politics and music may even have– or may even seek for the same thing. And that is, maybe to inspire and influence their targets. And… you know what? A lot of songwriters actually turn to their craft when faced with political and social injustices, and… I guess that gave birth to the songs which seek to shine light on inequalities… of social inequalities that are present today. And if– people just see that goal of music, or that purpose of music, and... maybe turn their attention to that, I believe that results further to empowerment of a certain community. R: Yeah! And actually, as what you’ve mentioned, performers are now becoming an agent for promoting social awareness. And if they fail to do so, people call them out, you know the cancel culture... for not using their platforms well. And so... because of that, music has more substantial topics now like, what you’ve said earlier, empowerment– women empowerment, in particular. So... there is an ongoing discourse about music being a medium both for oppressing and empowering women... 9


...Songs that promote women oppression are mostly created by men in particular, like they produce music videos and they overly sexualize women. But on the brighter side, there is more women’s music now. Women’s music is basically defined as songs created by women, sung by women, and for women. So this dates back from the time when women are not allowed to participate in the society, but through music, stories of women are being told, empowering them by making them realize their power and their rights. Well, some of the outspoken feminists of these times are Madonna, Adele, Taylor Swift, Beyonce… the queen! M: Yeah… Sasha Fierce! R: Yeah… and Rihanna and Halsey! And I’m pretty sure there’s so much more that I failed to include but there’s a lot of feminists right now. And also... women’s music includes the stories of the lesbian community. Yeah! The 1973 album by Lavendar Jane, entitled Lavender Jane Loves Women... it really made a breakthrough since during those times, gay musicians, in general, were expected to keep their sexuality hidden. So this proves that music is more than just a form of art but it’s also a means for social reformation. M: Yeah… exactly! And women empowerment has been truly successful... in its pursuit of empowering women all over the world. And that has a lot to do with music, even way before. And… we also have another community, which is the LGBTQ Community. The LGBTQ in the music industry has been the forefront of representation for quite some time now for the past years. Aside from the breakthroughs that the community had in the previous generations, such as when Freddie Mercury, the legendary artist, came out as an HIV positive and dedicated his time to raise awareness on HIV. And aside from that, I believe one of the most important reasons for representation is the impact of LGBTQ visibility on music listeners, especially the young ones. I read an article once... R: True! M: ...where the lead singer of Against Me, it’s a punk rock band, and their lead singer, Laura Jane-Grace, is actually one of the first highly visible punk rock artists who came out as a transgender. She said that, “LGBT visibility in the music industry must get to that point where it isn’t even an issue anymore because it’s so common.” And, I guess, that’s just the power– or that’s how... visibility comes as an effective way to support the community– the entire LGBT community. Music is inspirational, right? I guess, we all agree to that... R: Yes! M: ...but, you know, I believe that stems not just from the message of the song itself but also from the artist– from the identity of the artist. Imagine! A young gay boy who is fond of music, and hears Heaven by Troye Sivan, which pretty much highlights his own struggles to accept his sexuality while maintaining his religion. And then we have another artist such as Lady Gaga– 10 10


R: Yes! Lady Gaga! M: …the icon! Like we have Born This Way which is, literally, the gay anthem. R: Yeah! M: And, you know, when– when this young gay boy sees these two artists, one openly sharing who he is and his own experiences, and the other is someone who is actively promoting gay rights and supporting the community, in general. When that boy sees these artists, it tells that young boy that he is not alone or who he is, is okay… and it’s... just amazing! There’s nothing I can say but amazing! That’s just how music is! It’s amazing! It impacts a life, it changes a life, it empowers a life! And that– pretty much, sums up the massive effects of music to one’s life and its intimate link to empowerment especially with women, with the LGBTQ community– with the young LGBT– young members of the LGBTQ community. And in general, music does play significant roles in uplifting people, reflecting a personality, building a person or... maybe building a personality, and reflecting cultures… and defining conditions. Like what you’ve said earlier, 2020 has been such a crazy and a roller coaster year– a roller coaster of a year! It has been challenging… (which is why) music has become even more relevant and present in these times.

JockTunes is a podcast series dedicated to everything about music, from culture and history, to artists, genres, and more! Listen to the full podcast at bit.ly/JockTunes.

References: Fitzparick, R. (2017, February 14). The 101 strangest records on Spotify: Alix Dobkin – Living with Laven der Jane/Living with lesbians. the Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/feb/04/the101-strangest-records-on-spotify-alix-dobkin-living-with-lavender-janeliving-with-lesbians Hayward, N. (n.d.). Brief overview of protest songs. National Women’s History Museum. Retrieved November 26, 2020, from https://www.womenshistory.org/resources/general/brief-overview-protest-songs Henwood, B. (2017, May 22). The history of American protest music, from “Yankee Doodle” to Kendrick Lamar. Vox. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.vox.com/culture/2017/4/12/14462948/ protest-music-history-america-trump-beyonce-dylan-misty Matthews, C. (2020, June 17). Love in abundance: A guide to women’s music. NPR.org. Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.npr.org/2020/06/17/877383217/love-in-abundance-a-guideto-womens-music Palusis, K. L. (2017, April 28). Expression and Emotion in Music: How Expression and Emotion Affect the Audience’s Perception of a Performance. FireScholars-Institutional Repository for Southeastern University. https://firescholars.seu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1059&context=honors Tan, J. (2018). LGBTQ+ Representation and Activism in the Music Industry. Backstage Pass, 1(1). Article 13. Retrieved from https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/backstage-pass/vol1/iss1/13

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Listen to the full podcast at

bit.ly/If2020IsASong

or by scanning the code below.

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by Chrystel Therese Darbin

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Tagging by Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo Linguists! Why do we stick improvised explosive device, bala with your belongings? Di ba pwedeng beat them to conjure the animals they want “uneasy and shuddering” that day. Guess men are all tubig pa ba? Tubig naman lines nila. Now they are working on your extreme sport? Mine is living yellowed by the rain and then use “science” to justify tapos na babe! Gray sa ibang oposisyon. Hindi nawawala ang raspberry calligraphy ink. 9 months I prefer leaves sa landslide so I listen to the tears, a friend swallowed a crystalline hearty dish! Sabi ko bebenta ko na communities. Nagbaon na kami para really sweet, strong milky victories and translation. Personally, di manlulumo dyan? May mga times na bigla willing to shovel music, humanities—we need to under itong pa-victim. Sila daw na humihingi ng kapalit. 27


Bakit meron pa rin nagtatanong How childbirth became hunt for feed grains but don’t know where to start? Here is a quick name! So people will know daw ngayon sa unos. Sobrang kapal ng takot niya. * Prayer ng mga humihingi ng saklolo dahil wala kayo sa those in need. Sinisi niyo pa bakit sa eruptions, and still have a platform? The environment is tulong muna bago manisi. We acknowledge yung daan -daang residente dahil babaha? Tumawag sa inyo yung tao to ask for abuse and indifference. Typhoons, floods, tulong sermon talaga muna? Global warming is words! If you didn’t know, other hard earned possessions raise our hearts to you palibhasa fortunate in life. Handa ba ang rest of your creation? We have not been good, mukha kang tinapakan na natural and man-made. Wala pa bang meme na forgiveness of our sins? Grabe ang insensitive to subdue the earth. 28


Unang Iyak ng Mayo (quasi-Italian Sonnet) ni Dakila Cutab

‘Shoot them dead.’ ~ Philippine leader says won’t tolerate lockdown violators (Reuters, April Fools 2020)

Bago magpaalam ang buwan ng Abril ngumisi-ngisi pa ang kanyang anino sa nagbabadiyang parating na Mayo. Humuni ang ingay sa bulong ng baril, walang nakasigaw sa biglang pagkitil. Tanging mga luhang sa pisngi’y dumapò, naglakbay sa labì’t labí ng siphayò. Mabilis na hukom ang daliring gigil— pagkat mapanghusga itong huling Buwan sa nagdaang Araw. Sa ibinabagsak ng bawat malyete ay tahol ang taglay na ipinapataw sa ampaw na tiyan. Aserong kamao ang bagong palasak at búhay ang hatol ng mahaba’ng kamay.

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Nangungusap nina Jason Renz Barrios at Bernadette Anne Morales Walang tinig ang mga mata Ngunit kaya nitong umawit Ng pighati at lumbay sabay sa pagdanak ng luha Tahimik lamang sila Ngunit nakaririndi itong mga titig Habang sumisigaw ng poot Sa tuwing nag-aapoy ang galit Ngunit kahit mamutawi ang pagod Hindi ito mapapaos sa pagsasalita Ng mga damdaming naiipon Sa sisidlan ng ating kaluluwa Kaya busalan man ang bibig, Sa pagkrus ng landas ng ating natatanaw Hindi na mahalaga ang layo sa pagitan Naririnig kita at nauunawaan.

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by Claude Russel Sastrillo THE SOUND OF CRICKETS CHIRPING suddenly disappeared as I was brushing my teeth that night. When I looked outside, a huge blast of wind struck me in the face, and I shut the window immediately. It was taking away leaves, twigs and even small branches, and the storm’s restless rage continued even as I closed my eyes and went to sleep. When I woke up, an eerie silence was all that remained. I peeked through the curtains to see the aftermath and was met with a huge wall of white—a strange, billowing fog had formed overnight, absorbing the houses and trees so thoroughly that I couldn’t see anything five feet away from me. I rushed to the living room and was met with the sight of my mother, holding a rosary in silence while the morning news from the radio blared in the background. The small barangay of Maambon, with less than 500 residents, was a place where everyone knew everyone, and soon our phones buzzed with messages from friends and relatives, demanding to know what was going on. My friend Alice warned us to stay inside. “Ramon just went outside to water the plants this morning, and when he came back, he was sweating and burning up,” she relayed to me through text. People were heating up, coughing and short of breath upon exposure to the fog, and we spent the rest of the morning contacting people we knew and seeing if they’re alright. From what we’ve gathered, this wasn’t a country-wide or even townwide event; this massive fog was just here, in Maambon, where threefourths of the area was bordered by dense forests that stretched for kilometers. This strange occurrence led Inay to believe that this was the work of something supernatural. “I told you this before, Isaiah, but deep within the forest, may naninirahan na diwata,” Inay said. “When I was a child, I took some camia flowers from the forest because I liked its sweet smell. The next day, I woke up to find a huge red rash on my wrist, as if the diwata herself grabbed it to stop me from plucking them out. My father took me back to where I took the flowers and made me apologize, and the rash disappeared overnight.” 73


The next morning, I was woken up by the roar of an engine in the distance. Through the haze, I could barely see the silhouette of Ka Karlos’s white mini-jeep as it traversed the dirt road towards our home. In disbelief, I rushed downstairs to see my mother hurriedly closing the door behind two men who could not be any more different—Ka Karlos, the current barangay captain, a six-footer with a weathered face, denim jacket and khaki pants, dwarfing the hunchedback, ancient tanod Manong Andon, who was sporting a faded T-shirt and jeans along with his usual bamboo cane. They were wearing cloth masks, and I wondered how they were able to arrive here safe and sound. They brought boxes of rations: bags of rice, canned goods, tablets and pills, bottled water. “This was reserved for disasters like the usual floods in our area, but this is already a disaster in itself,” Manong Andon muttered. “How did you come here, Karlos?” Inay asked. Ka Karlos pulled out something from his jacket and showed it to us—an anting-anting with an embossed Virgin Mary on it. “Perlita was kind enough to loan us these, but there’s only a few to go around, since its original maker is dead. Only the two of us, Perlita and some of my men have it.” Tiya Perlita was our local albularyo and if she is involved, then this fog really then had something to do with the strange and unusual. “Manong Andon, did Tiya say what was causing the fog?” I asked. He scratched his chin. “It probably is the diwata, as most of us had thought. She never gets angry unless provoked, so something big must have set her off this time. Perlita told me that the fog felt vengeful, as if it wanted to drive something out.” “You all should stay put until we find a way to calm her down,” Ka Karlos warned us with his raspy voice. “We don’t know what may have caused this—we’ll be entering the forest to see what’s up, but we don’t want to push our luck while she’s still furious. Tiis muna ng konti, she’ll hopefully calm down.”

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“Tiis, he says...” I idly wondered as I sat in the living room, watching my mother on the phone as she chatted with yet another friend or relative. Maambon’s remoteness does not take kindly to signal reception, and so we resort to texts or the occasional call if we can’t just walk right up to their house to talk. On the phone, Tita Alliah, a family friend, was bemoaning to Inay about her husband, who has been coughing nonstop even with a healthy dose of Tuseran. Ramon, Alice’s brother, still hasn’t recovered from his fever, and I could hear him wheezing in the background when she responded to my call. My phone also has been subjected to a truckload of group messages or GMs, full of prayers to saints, God and even the diwata, complete with the shorthand, comma-and-ellipsis-filled way of typing the older people always do. “In times of trouble, we had a chapel open for those who needed it,” Inay said sorrowfully. “However, now, this is all we could do.”

There was something I could do, however, even if I was stuck here. There was only so much I could contact through text and calls, and it took several hours of standing on a chair, waving my phone in the air in the middle of the night when the reception slightly shifted to my favor to send emails to anyone I thought could help. Our municipality, the local radio station, acquaintances from university, hell, even Jessica Soho, as long as they can provide some sort of support. I’m not sure if it was through my efforts or someone else’s, but a week later, our phones were abuzz with the news that a group of people were spotted at the entrance of Maambon. Ka Karlos confirmed this with a text, saying that they were from the municipality, and while they could not enter due to the fog, they would be supplying us with more rations and bringing our sick to the nearby hospital until the fog was gone. The situation was far from perfect, but we were managing. “This afternoon, Ka Karlos came to our house and ferried Ramon over to the new arrivals. He was nearing forty degrees, thank God they came in time,” Alice joyfully reported to me. “I got someone from there to check up on him, they said he’ll be okay in a few days.” Tita Alliah’s husband was also brought there soon after. Ka Karlos was even given an additional budget by the mayor to bridge us over the diwata’s rage, and our

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rations now had noodles, soap, shampoo, and other stuff we couldn’t go outside for. I spent the days asking around about the diwata, and while everyone knew about her, what they knew about her was conflicting and most likely exaggerated. Local legends depict her as kind and amiable, leaving fruits and firewood on doorsteps. However, she was also fiercely protective of her domain, and would make her anger known through sudden rashes or fevers, freshly-bought groceries going bad or the tap water turning brown and murky. Seeing the silent, pearly-white harbinger of disease and death through the window gave me both a sense of fear and awe. As the next week rolled over, our strange circumstances have become even stranger. From time to time, the sound of tires rolling over dirt would echo faintly throughout Maambon, and, try as I might, the fog made it hard to discern who or what they were driving. The usual text network was now rife of bizarre claims—people hearing footsteps at night, shouts and groans from the depths of the woods, even the diwata herself hiding behind the trees. I thought that people were just being paranoid, but every night as I slept, the silhouettes of the balete trees, barely visible with the fog, stood menacingly as if judging us. Our rations were reduced as well, and what was once delivered daily was now every two days, sometimes even three. “We’re not sure how long this fog will go on, so Ka Karlos said we’d have to budget, just in case,” replied one of Ka Karlos’s men as he carried over our ration box then left. The flow of communication has also turned sparse, oftentimes having a sour tone to them. Unknown numbers have begun sending me GMs, accusing certain people of angering the diwata and demanding they surrender. “People have become desperate,” Inay remarked. “They want the fog to end. But this won’t bring us closer to it.” Ka Karlos’s text two days later provided us with some much-needed assurance. “Tomorrow, we’ll be heading towards the center of the forest, where the diwata resides. Will take a week or two. Perlita will try to appease her through an old ritual. Tiis muna ulit, makakaya natin to.” That seemed to relieve everyone’s worries, and the flow of panic-stricken texts and calls slowed down a bit. The revelation of a possible end to our troubles made us breathe a bit easier. That’s right, 76


I thought, Maambon has been through a lot — I could still remember wiping the mud off the floor of our house after a series of floods surged throughout Maambon. Typhoons, earthquakes, epidemics, these we have all managed to overcome. Ka Karlos mentioned in his first day of office that in aerial view, Maambon looked like a lung surrounded with greenery, with the main road connecting us to the rest of the world branching off into dirt roads like bronchi. “The key is our bonds; with it, nakakahinga tayo ng maluwag,” as he used to say for his election slogan. Maambon is tiny, but our camaraderie is second to none. It was midnight when suddenly there was a knock on our door. Thinking that the rations have arrived, we opened the door to see the two people we least likely expected: Tiya Perlita and Manong Andon. There were a few shrieks of surprise, the door clanging, and in the end we settled ourselves at the dining table with some coffee and bread. Tiya Perlita and Manong Andon had no phones, so they had no idea what Ka Karlos said until we told them. “That can’t be,” sputtered Manong Andon. “Karlos told me to watch over Perlita as she was sick and had no one to look after her. I haven’t heard anything about appeasing the diwata, none!” Tiya Perlita cackled, her necklaces heaving in unison. “Does he think I am some sort of babaylan? I wouldn’t have been able to calm her down even if I tried.” Me and Inay shared looks of worry as we pondered over this revelation. So, Ka Karlos was lying to us—but why? Was it to calm us down? Or was it something else? I looked over at Mang Andon. His name was really Anton, but we called him Andon because he was always there, driving his motorcycle every night monitoring the area, or responding to a neighbor’s calls about a giant snake in their backyard. He was the former kapitan, and even after retiring he continued working as tanod due to a love for Maambon and its residents. I asked him what he and Karlos were doing all this time. He probably saw the consternation on my face. “At the start, we really were just trying to keep Maambon afloat—rations, budget, the sick, we took care of that. At some point, Karlos started to go on more trips outside. I assumed that he was trying to get more help, maybe even find a way to get rid of the fog.” 77


“What about those vehicles we hear sometimes? They don’t sound like they’re yours or Karlos’s.” “Karlos had been talking to a lot of people recently. Me and Perlita have been trying to ask them what’s their business here, but they were really tight-lipped. They enter the barangay hall and leave almost immediately. Karlos told me they were ‘big men from higher up’, and refused to explain what he meant.” “Di na namin kaya dito sa Maambon, Anton,” Inay pleaded. “Can’t you ask Karlos to evacuate us out?” “Ayaw niya, Jackie,” Tiya Perlita replied. “He says that if the perpetrator escapes, the diwata might get angrier and the fog might reach other towns. And we can’t sneak you out, either. Karlos has men in the entrance to keep out outsiders from being exposed to the fog, or at least that’s what he says. We can try through the forest, but I don’t like to take my chances with her.” Manong Andon breathed a heavy sigh. “Back then, Karlos was someone I could trust, and trust I did, and I endorsed him for kapitan because of it. Now, though...I just hope that he hasn’t gotten himself into anything bad. We already have enough troubles to sort out. For now, I’ll see what I can do.” We waved goodbye to Manong Andon and Tiya Perlita, Tiya’s arms holding a paper bag of medicine and water we lent her. As their backs were absorbed by the fog, me and Inay looked at each other, each mirroring the other’s dismay. The situation has changed. “We have to tell this to everyone,” I said. Inay nodded. “We’re not stranded; we’re trapped here.” The following morning brought both of us a rude awakening. “Maniwala ka sa akin, Lyah, Andon and Perlita came here last night, Karlos’s text was a lie,” Inay cried as she held the phone tightly to her ear. I could hear the disbelief on the other end. Some believed us, some didn’t: in the heat of the moment, we forgot about the less-than-favorable mood Maambon was harboring, and our warnings went straight to the rumor mill which was already close to bursting.

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The lung called Maambon was now breathing heavily with resentment. Doubt had turned into distrust, then hostility. Inay reported to me the next day that one of her cousins ambushed the guy delivering their rations, grabbed his anting-anting and made a run for it. No one knows where he is now. Ka Karlos broke radio silence to send a warning that lost all pretense of politeness: “Huwag niyo kaming subukan. Kapag inulit niyo yung ginawa ni Kanor, ‘wag niyo na asahan na bumalik kami diyan.” Despite this, I continued on with my efforts. With the help of Inay and Alice, I made a video detailing our situation. Even a 30-second video took the entire night to upload, but it was worth it for people to see the unnaturally dense white fog crawling in our streets, and to hear my voice and see my face. That it was real. With the help of my friends from college, we spread the video to relevant social media and media outlets, hopefully netting us the people we need to get us out of here. Ka Karlos got wind of it a few days later, and arrived at midnight with a tight expression. Behind him were two men, armed with batons. He looked more weathered than when I last saw him. “You seem to be doing something interesting with your time,” he said as he bit on the crackers Inay gave him. I said nothing. “I will admit that I lied about Perlita and appeasing the diwata. But you seem to be spreading fake news in that video of yours. I am not keeping you trapped here.” “Then why won’t you allow us to evacuate?” I demanded. “I believe Anton already told you why. The suspect needs to be caught. If he runs free, we have no guarantee that the fog would just stay confined here. Also, what about Maambon? These are our homes, our schools, our churches. Most of us have lived here all our lives. We cannot simply let it go.” He made it sound sensible, but this reasonable Ka Karlos is a far cry from the one who sent us a text that said, “Huwag niyo kaming subukan.” The batons aren’t helping either. He cracked his knuckles. “We will catch the culprit, mark my words. I have experience in this type of thing, you can trust me.”

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Ka Karlos, the soldier and university graduate. He was the educated one, a privilege that most in Maambon could not enjoy. Panganay to eight siblings, he worked his way up towards getting a degree and decent job, then was enlisted as a soldier for a while before coming back here to serve as police, then kapitan. They say he had met celebrities, senators, even Marcos during his time in Manila. To Maambon, he was an object of admiration for his many deeds and pursuits. Now he stood here, allowing us all to suffer for unknown reasons. “Don’t pull any stunts from now on, Isaiah.” Ka Karlos breathed heavily through his nose in annoyance. “Things are already bad as they are... I won’t hesitate to make them worse.” He glanced at Inay. I reflexively clenched my fist. In a low voice, he added, “One day, you’ll understand that things aren’t as simple as they seem. That the world moves a certain way, and going against it will only make you suffer.” It took us about a week of no rations before it dawned on us that they weren’t coming anymore. Under risk of exposure, people went out of their homes, wrapped in cloths from head to toe to try and find food. Some delivered surplus food they had to those who had none of it. We called them “runners,” and they could only last a few minutes before having to retreat back home, weak and sickly. Ka Karlos made true to his promise when Aling Cynthia, our neighbor, posted a cry for help on her Facebook. We watched in horror through the curtains as unknown men bashed her windows in. “Binasag nila ang bintana ko! May tatlong anak ako, tatlo!” she screamed in despair as she tried to block the holes with plywood. With nobody carrying the sick to the outside, Manong Andon and Tiya Perlita took it upon themselves to go through households and relieve their ails with herbs and hilot. “I have to do it out of sight of Karlos or his men,” Manong Andon muttered to me as he visited our home once more to get some of Inay’s homegrown herbs. “My neighbor told me that strange men were dropping by my house trying to get a hold of me. For now, me and Perlita are hiding in Kanor’s empty house.” Inay and I spent most of our time lying down in our rooms, trying to preserve our energy and sanity. At mealtimes, we picked through our diminishing supply of rations, the silence surrounding us just as densely

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as the fog. Our phones would periodically vibrate or ring, bearing more news of people we know starving, missing or succumbing to disease, and more times than not I chose to ignore them rather than read them. To make matters worse, the power went out one morning, and never returned back on. With no way to charge our phones, everyone set them aside to preserve battery, and the singular link that kept us all together has been cut, just like that. That night, as I scrounged up my remaining data to see if I could still do something, anything, I realized that even if people did know of our situation, there was virtually nothing they could do. As long as Ka Karlos stayed safe within the diwata’s fog, no one could touch him or his cronies, and the fog which was meant to drive him out passed through him harmlessly, innocently, as if he had no fault at all. Then what could I do?! I shouted soundlessly in my pillow. The threat to Inay’s life ate away at my insides. I felt so powerless, so weak. Ka Karlos’s weathered face loomed in my mind as he held a gun to my face, or to Inay’s face, or to the faces of people who wanted nothing else but to do the same to him. He had left us here to rot, and we didn’t even know why. I saw light flitting in my peripheral vision. From the window, I saw a short, hunchbacked man within the fog holding a flashlight. Silently, I went downstairs and opened the door. “What are you doing here?” I whispered. “Come with me,” he said, and handed me an anting-anting. This must be Tiya’s. He led me through the fog towards somewhere. As we walked on, I heard a faint, rhythmic, almost upbeat sound, echoing through the trees and empty roads. With a chill on my spine, I realized that it was the distinct sound of karaoke. A row of shadows greeted us wordlessly as we entered Mang Kanor’s house. They were wrapped in copious amounts of cloth. Tiya Perlita was on the side praying. I thought that this was a “runner” operation, but the atmosphere was full of tension and barely suppressed anger. 81


“This is the end of the line for us,” Manong Andon said. “Unless we do something about it. There seems to be something happening in the barangay hall at the moment. It is the perfect time to strike. If we remove Ka Karlos out of the picture, the diwata would release us from the curse, I’m sure of it.” “Tangina, karaoke habang kami’y namamatay dito? Kapal ng mukha!” one of the men whispered fiercely, to which the crowd murmured in agreement. As they got even more riled up, I looked worriedly at Manong Andon, his candlelight casting a ghastly shadow on his face. He looked tired and betrayed. He shook his head, breathed through his nose as if stealing his resolve, and said, “Let’s go. Isaiah, you come with me.” I hopped on Manong Andon’s motorcycle as the rest of the crowd revved their motorcycles and tricycles. With only one anting-anting to spare, which was on me, our companions were already looking pale and sickly. They brought rosaries, prayer books, Holy Water, anything they thought would help, but it was no use. The fog and darkness made it really hard to see, and soon people were tripping their motorcycles on fallen branches or rocks. Some couldn’t handle the curse anymore, and they crashed onto trees or simply collapsed on the ground. I felt a sob escape my chest—these are all people I knew. We reached the barangay hall, a two-storey blue building made out of cement. The blaring of the karaoke and the fog masked our arrival. We could see flashing, colorful lights inside. Cheering, glasses clinking, OPM—it was a full-scale party. I felt my blood boil. Someone handed me a metal pipe as they rushed inside. Screams and shouts erupted, followed by people running out of the building. “Mga hayop! Tarantado!” I chased after them, swinging blindly at the legs running past me and stomping on their bodies in rage. “Andon! Andon! Sa trak! Patong-patong! Tangina, eto pala habol nila!” We ran towards the voice and saw it: at a nearby distance were a dozen trucks, full of towering stacks of lumber, neatly piled and ready to be shipped. My vision grew dark. This was the culmination of our suffering. And they were celebrating it. 82


The sight of the trucks sent the others into a frenzy. A tricycle drove past me, running over the escapees at random and cursing at them. Shots rang out, some nearly hitting me, yet I didn’t even care. I had to find Karlos, but in this fog, it was an impossible feat. “You will all pay for this, I swear.” I gritted my teeth as I took out my phone instead, capturing every license plate, every escaping motorcycle, every face I see of these greedy bastards who left us to die. When things quieted down, I felt my vision clear up. The fog was dissipating. All this time I was used to seeing this stupid fog everywhere, then suddenly it just disappeared. It was all so clear. The trees, the full moon, the starry night sky. And with it came the visual of what we have done—bodies, broken glass, trailing smoke and the trucks and lumber they have left behind. My arms hurt, my stomach gurgled, my face was cut with glass, but in this moment, I have never breathed in so freely the air around me. --After searching the scene, we found no trace of Ka Karlos, which meant that he was either absent or had managed to escape. A total of 22 people died that night, 13 of which were our own. I looked down, blinking rapidly, as the news recited the names of people I met on the street, people I shared blood with. Most of them were young adults or fathers who couldn’t bear to see their children starve. Authorities are still searching for Ka Karlos and his men, leaving the people he served broken, lost and Maambon unable to breathe with the same vigor as it used to. The news also listed down the suspects we managed to apprehend that night. A lot of them were what Ka Karlos called “big men from higher up”—entrepreneurs, company managers, even the vice mayor of the town we relied on to ferry the sick to the hospital. It made me wonder about our last encounter face-to-face, where he said that things aren’t as simple as they seem. In the end, Ka Karlos was just a barangay kapitan. He may have just gotten himself caught in the crossfire of money and power that run this rotten country. I wouldn’t have forgiven him either way.

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The fog had precipitated into a constant drizzle that muddied the roads and poured heavily over our umbrellas. Inay and I gazed at the marble headstones that marked the path we marched on that night. Each headstone had the name of a martyr, and were surrounded by dozens of camia plants with white, fragrant flowers that seemed to have grown overnight. They say that Maambon was once a hiding ground for revolutionaries during World War 2, the forests providing ample cover for guerrilla tactics. The first record of the diwata came from a unit who were fleeing from Japanese soldiers, where an inexplicable white fog helped them lose their pursuers. Reportedly, she appeared within the fog with that characteristic sweet smell of camia flowers, offered them food and drink, and sent them on their way.

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Making the world that is, the world that ought to be by Ron Jay Dangcalan Central to human existence is a great contradiction. The British sage, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks expressed this reality as a “world that is, is not the world that ought to be.” It is abstract in principle, yet we see it every day. It is evident in our daily attempt to overrule our biological nature where our spirit tries to overcome the limitations of time in which the terminal period is death. This is expressed in various ways from scientific research to new medications, from developing various branches of medicine to a whole gamut of care. Resistance is inherent to our existence. This great contradiction is the very same reason political movements and theories of development emerge. When the “world that is” is a world full of poverty and injustice, our nature compels us to resist. First by articulating the “world that ought to be” using ideas, and then reshaping reality through our actions. I do not have to believe in it, I have experienced it. Some time ago, my feeble and wasting body lies in a lonely corner of the hospital—almost dying from an illness in which the cause and cure remain elusive to science. While in pain beyond any of my words can ever describe, I have not lost my will to live. I spent what little strength I had to scour the far reaches of the internet to find patients like me who were suffering from a rare illness, called Crohn’s Disease. Patients were far and few, very difficult to find. Some were found through Twitter and Facebook while others were discovered through segments on television from many years back. While in hospital, we managed to create a small group chat where we spent hours talking about our shared misery and got inspired by others’ stories of good health. I returned to my state of good health many months later with renewed vigor to serve the University, the various organizations to which I belong to and the patients like myself who are suffering from the darkness of Crohn’s Disease. The experience taught me that there is a logic in this contradiction and there is nobility in resisting it. Even in illness, there was a protest wherein hope was the gunpowder and the words of comfort were the artilleries. I also realized how commonplace this resistance is. From the masses who till their land against the onslaught of climate change and unequal economic systems to the poor street sweeper who works diligently and with dignity despite being overworked and underpaid. The resistance rages every time we perform a good deed – when we lend 97


a shoulder to a friend in need; when we correct an injustice that we see at work and online; when we give genuine compliments to our neighbors; and when we make ourselves a vessel of positivity for others to emulate during difficult times. In this great contradiction, resistance is the machinery, and intimacy is the fuel. Without intimacy, resistance in itself falls victim to evil. It becomes an impersonal mechanical process aimed at social change without moral ends. The worship of the abstract was the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. People of influence have worshipped extreme ideologies at the expense of humanity. In the 21st century, we are at the crossroads of this creative struggle. As Prof. Alleli Ester C. Domingo shared in one of her presentations, “high tech should also be high touch.” Armed with an unfathomable amount of information and the speed in which we disseminate them, technology should not make us lose our humanity. Without intimacy, technology like the ideologies of the 20th century will cause unspeakable harm to a great multitude of people. We see the bastardization, the incivility, and the unleashing of monsters within us on social media. Technology has also changed the scale and possible impact of human conflicts. With nuclear weapons and cyber warfare, we have the ability to destroy the whole human race and incur irreparable damage to our planet. We need intimacy to help our generation learn from the past. It enables us to have a genuine concern for the welfare of the individual whereby the process of achieving the “oughtness” of the human condition is as important as the results. The end does not justify the means. The means are as important as the ends. While we savor the details, may we not lose sight of the fundamental principles in our desire and action to reshape our world. Whether it be in our pursuit for genuine agrarian reform, climate justice, empowerment 2 of the poor, inclusive and sustainable development, food security, international cooperation, and the cessation of conflicts among states. As we frame the world from the lens of ideologies and maxims, we should not forget that the ultimate measure of ideas is whether or not they respect the well-being and dignity of the human person. Intimacy needs to be reinforced and cultivated in society. It is done through acts of kindness, by relishing the beauty of arts and culture which fosters empathy, and in the exercise of justice in the everyday. Beyond individual actions and the constant struggle to challenge and alter systemic inequalities, may we remain connected with intimacy in our resistance as we make the world that is, the world that ought to be.

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mga may-akda Dakilang Ipis Facebook: @karmakomiks | Twitter: @karmakomiks Instagram: @karmakomiks Ang Karma Kolektib ay isang samahan ng mga kabataang kartunista at manunulat na naglalayong ialay ang kanilang mga likhang sining sa pagsulong ng makabayan, siyentipiko, at makamasa na kultura.

Chezka Mayne C. Angara Facebook: @chezka.angara Chezka Mayne C. Angara is a 19-year old freshman from Baler, Aurora, taking up BA Communication Arts. She finished Junior and Senior High School at Aurora National Science High School. In the said institution, Chezka served in different clubs and organizations including the School Council, Performing Arts Club, and The Nucleus, their official school publication. Chezka also had affiliations outside the academe. She took part in different youth-led summits and conventions. Last October 2019, she became a founding member of a Non-Profit Organization, Youth Advocates for the Philippines, and served as the Central Luzon Regional Director until July this year. Upon finishing her degree in Communication, Chezka plans to go to Law School and pursue legal practice.

Genevieve Soriano Aguinaldo Genevieve Soriano Aguinaldo is a mother to four children. She graduated from the BACA program in 2007. She is currently taking MA Language and Literacy Education in UP OPen University. Her works appeared in {m} aganda magazine, Sunday Times, The Fib Review, and Shot Glass Journal.

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Mia Agulto and Andrea Florendo of UPLB Babaylan Facebook: @uplbbabaylan | Twitter: @uplbbabaylan Instagram: @uplbbabaylan Since 2004, May 17th has been an annual celebration of International Day Against homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) to commemorate the decision of the World Health Organization to declassify homosexuality from its list of mental disorders in 1990. IDAHOTB seeks to eliminate various discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQ+ while drawing the attention of policy makers, media, corporations, and global leaders to push for a progressive representation and policies for the community. Rather than being a centralized campaign — IDAHOTB also calls for the protection of one’s human rights and equal opportunities in terms of healthcare, education, and employment. But the celebration of last year’s IDAHOTB was far different from what it was supposed to be. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to stay inside their homes making it impossible to bring our calls to the streets. This health crisis heavily impacted LGBTQ+ individuals, especially those in the marginalized sectors, for it revealed how both social and economic necessities remain unequal and inaccessible. Along with this is the fear of the LGBTQ+ individuals who were left in dire straits and dreadful situations as the lockdown confined them inside unsafe spaces. According to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), there were at least 37 violent killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the year 2020 making it the highest recorded number of deaths since 2013. This grim reality are products of the aggravated culture of transphobia and bigotry which denies the transgender and gender non-conforming individuals of the space that should be theirs in the first place. In the Philippines, the militarized lockdown had conspicuous impacts on LGBTQ+ individuals which manifested on the rampant cases of discrimination and harassment towards the vulnerable sector of the community. We saw how they used this crisis to impose backward policies, silence the people, and violate our fundamental rights.

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But despite the limitations brought by the COVID-19 crisis, the LGBTQ+ community and allies took the celebration through online means by arranging online conferences, concerts, and webinars, among others. More than 100 countries participated in last year’s IDAHOTB with the theme “Breaking the Silence”— which aims to unite the community in dismantling the systematic oppression and upholding genuine gender liberation. For UPLB Babaylan, an LGBTQ+ students’ advocacy and support group, it is important to reach out and provide a safe space to the young LGBTQ+ individuals especially in this time of need. Through the use of Piccrew, an online avatar maker, LGBTQ+ individuals were able to rally their calls while creatively expressing themselves using the characters, objects, and signboards personally made by the members of the organization Andrea Florendo and Mia Agulto. With over 900 retweets and 1,500 likes, this online art protest was participated by various individuals from across the country making it a successful commemoration for IDAHOTB 2020. For the longest time, the LGBTQ+ community had been subjected to unjust treatment and gender discrimination. But the lives of the LGBTQ+ individuals should not be swept under the rug nor should they feel like their life is a series of unfortunate events. Now more than ever, it is imperative to take a collective movement in order to resist a system that deprives every LGBTQ+ individual of a safe and inclusive environment. Because no matter how much they try to break our chains, our community will continue to stand in solidarity for there will be no pride for some of us until there is liberation for all of us. UPLB Babaylan is the premier LGBTQ+ students’ advocacy and support group at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. The organization aims to serve the LGBTQ+ community by providing them a safe space in the campus. Follow Mia Agulto on Instagram: @areceli_arts Follow Andrea Florendo on Instagram: @fent00zlers Behance: @fent00zlers | Link to Picrew: bit.ly/IDAHOTBPicrew

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The UPLB Jocks Facebook: @theuplbjocks | Twitter: @theuplbjocks Instagram: @theuplbjocks | Spotify: @theuplbjocks TikTok: @theuplbjocks The UPLB Jocks is the premier media-based organization of UPLB. Dedicated to serve the university and its immediate community through communication and infotainment, The UPLB Jocks offer a wide array of media from hosting, events, and digital content. Catch the 2nd Season of JockTunes on Spotify now! Giving you the best of music, this is The UPLB Jocks!

Chrystel Therese Darbin Facebook: @chrysteldarbin | Twitter: @chrysteldarbin Chrystel uses writing as an excuse to overdose herself with caffeine, preferably through ceremonial grade Matcha, if not, pweds na sa Kopiko Blanca na maraming ice. Ay! siya rin pala ang current chairperson ng UPLB Writers’ Club.’

Miguel Adrian Lubag Twitter: @LubagMiguel | Instagram: @miguellubag Miguel tries his best to draw and layout since it’s one of the few things he can focus his attention on. The other two being movies and food and definitely not trying to graduate. Currently a resident member of the UP Film Circle and is currently looking for ethical ways of earning money. We are constantly contained in rooms of our own design, a microcosm of the lives that we inhabit. Yet as we decorate these spaces according to our own perception, the truth remains that we are all individual units of a whole, each with different goals, capabilities, character, yearnings, skills and a deep desire for intimate connection. With the recent events changing how we inhabit these spaces; we are again left with a greater gap that further separates each individual through both physical and socio-eco-

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nomic boundaries. Yet in times of calamity we resist being confined by these limitations, bridging the gap through community empowerment and collective action, not letting ourselves be stuck in our own bubbles as we are continuously moved by our shared sense of responsibility for others. Through the possibilities presented by technology and our desire for intimate connection, we can become agents of change even in the confines of our own personal spaces.

Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo Blog: tekstongbopis.blogspot.com Kategorisasyon ang pag-tag, pagpapangalang nagsusumikap humila papalapit (tag this photo), magtakda ng presyo sa pamilihan, at isiwalat ang target ng gubyerno. Mapanghati ang tagging (ka-close/hindi, de kalidad/ mumurahin, tayo/iba), ngunit paraan din ito upang maglatag ng kasunduan: narito ang ating kalaban. At siya nga, may pagkakaisahan na ang taumbayan. Hinugot ang tulang “Tagging” mula sa mga pira-pirasong tweet sa halos iisang sandali. Pilit nitong pinagsasanib-puwersa ang mga tinig na kung tutuusi’y walang malay sa isa’t isa at kung gayo’y walang hayag na balak na magkasundo-sundo. Nagtuturo ng mga kursong pampanitikan si Dennis Andrew S. Aguinaldo sa Departamento ng Humanidades. Naging fellow siya ng mga palihan para sa malikhaing pagsusulat: sa AILAP, UST, UP, at IYAS. Inilathala online ang kaniyang mga piyesa’t collab sa Daluyan, Gnarled Oak, hal., Kritika Kultura, {m}, Plural, Softblow, at iba pa. May-akda siya ng mga aklat na Shift of Eyes at Bukod sa maliliit na hayop.

Dakila Cutab Dating litratista ng UPLB [P]erspective noong hindi pa uso ang digital camera. Kasalukuyan siyang tagpangasiwa sa konstruksiyon, kasapi ng Linangan sa Imahen, Retorika, at Anyo (LIRA), at isa sa pasimuno ng The Makatàs, isang grupo ng mga makatang naglalayong ipagpatuloy ang tradisyon ng Balagtasan. Noong 2017, lumabas ang kanyang unang kol1 33


eksyon ng tula na may pamagat na Puro Forma at Konting Landi. Siya ay ikinasal na sa kanyang ex-girlfriend. Jed Palo Twitter: @VELVETF4G | Instagram: @velvetf4g Writer. Singer. Dancer. Actor. Director. Producer. Philanthropist. Astronaut. Magician. Restaurateur. Beauty Vlogger. Tarot Card Reader. Fashion Designer. Small Business Owner. Talk Show Host. Reality TV Star. Editor-in-Chief of Pananaw XIV.

Jermaine C. Valerio Twitter: @jonkkayrowlao | Instagram: @kaylao_arts I originally started out as a self-taught traditional artist three years ago until I eventually switched to the digital medium. Coinciding with this transition was my increased engagement with the socmed space and its capacity for an instantaneous form of rhetoric. I have found no greater opportunity than this. I have been using the medium ever since to create political and socio-cultural pieces – things that I believe could help make a difference.

Jason Renz Barrios Twitter: @jayzner | Instagram: @jrnzbarrios Si Jason Renz ay isang manunulat at miyembro ng UPLB Writers’ Club at UPLB Com Arts Society. Noong siya’y bata ay pangarap niya maging astronaut. Sa kasalukuyan, pangarap na lang niya maging bata ulit.

Bernadette Anne Morales Si Bernadette Anne ay isang journalist at miyembro ng Tinig ng Plaridel ng UPD CMC. Ang dami niyang kuda sa mundo kaya sinusulat at kinukuhanan niya ang mga ito para ‘di niya makalimutan. 1 34


Sheena Absalud Sheena Absalud is a multimedia artist based in Quezon City. She was an undergraduate student taking BS Forestry at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, before leaving in 2017. During her time in UPLB, she became affiliated with the UP Film Circle with whom she collaborated to produce two films (‘Day 500’, ‘Sid Says Goodbye to the World’) she wrote and co-directed.

Claude Russel Sastrillo Claude Russel D. Sastrillo is a BA Communication Arts student in the University of the Philippines Los Banos, majoring in Writing. Despite being enrolled in such a course, he is horrible at communication and treasures his solitude and privacy. He is currently learning how to write stories that reflect on who he is as a person and what kind of society he lives in.

Daphne Sandoval Aa-Yy is a Manobo alphabet chart that features words associated with the culture and livelihood of the Manobo people in the Caraga region. Translations have been derived from the Manobo Dictionary written by Datu Manggusawon aka T. E. Gelacio, J.K.L. Lee and, R.L. Schumancher. It was further developed into an app to empower the Manobo people from the Caraga region through the preservation of language. As the Lumad continue to be driven away from their homes by military forces and land grabbers, they lose touch with knowledge systems tied to their ancestral land. Schools are faced with threats of closure amid armed conflict and red-tagging. Teachers and students alike are arrested under false claims. Without access to education, they continue to be silenced by the state, excluded from social services and vulnerable to exploitation from private entities. As an act of resistance, alternative schools are dedicated to ensuring the protection of Lumad culture by weaving indigenous knowledge into the school curriculum to reinforce their self-determination, enrich their identity and reclaim their land. The Aa-Yy alphabet 1 35


chart serves as a tool to support such efforts. It intends to be an educational material in teaching literacy and, connecting displaced Manobos to their heritage. It also allows the reader to have a glimpse of the people’s culture and identity. Reading and popularizing the chart contributes to the preservation of the Manobo language and, the empowerment of the Manobo people. The Manobo Dictionary published by SIL Philippines is available on their website and in Google Play Store: https://philippines.sil.org/resources/online_resources/msm https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rjdeleon.manobodictionary&hl=en&gl=US Daphne is a servant to a tailless dog and a master of font hoarding.

Ron Jay P. Dangcalan Ron Jay P. Dangcalan is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Social Development Services, College of Human Ecology, and a Specialist at the Interdisciplinary Studies Center for Water, University of the Philippines Los Baños. With academic training in both Humanities (Liberal Arts) and Political Economy, his academic interests include political theory, international affairs, disaster risk management, and climate change.

UP Internet Freedom Network Facebook: @upinternet.org | Twitter: @upinter_net Instagram: @upinter_net On Oct. 26, 2020, the UP Internet Freedom Network (UP INTERNET), together with members of UPLB Perspective and the UPLB University Student Council, conducted a discussion on Zoom issues, remote learning, and the Acceptable Use Policy of the UP IT System while playing the popular multiplayer game Among Us. Participants communicated through Discord and Among Us in-game chat, and appeared on a Facebook livestream published through UP INTERNET’s page. 1 36


The performance situated itself in the COVID-19 outbreak in the Philippines, where people have been forced to stay at home for months due to the militarized lockdown and risk of acquiring the virus, made worse by the failed government response. In the University of the Philippines, students are prohibited from using online services such as Zoom, UP Mail, and cloud storage for no other than “official academic and administrative purposes.” They are also banned from using the school’s online services for “any partisan political activities,” “personal activities,” or “commercial purposes.” All of this in the midst of the remote learning school year promoted by the state, and the worsening political and economic crises in the country. Among Us is a free-to-play “party game” for 4-10 players, where players are divided into two teams, crewmates without being discovered. The crewmates could also win by collectively finishing tasks, holding meetings, and turning against the perceived enemy. Available on PC and mobile devices, the game was a popular choice for Filipinos during the pandemic. The work is an attempt to question our ideas of academic spaces and people-centered systems, as well as investigate the many ways we can intimately and urgently respond to different states of emergencies. The UP Internet Freedom Network is an alliance of students and volunteers advocating for internet freedom, based in the University of the Philippines Los Baños. They hold educational discussions, Wikipedia Edit-athons, Discord parties, and other initiatives.

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PATNUGOT NG

Punong Patnugot

JED MATTHEW B. PALO

Kapatnugot

DANA STEPHANIE M. SANDOVAL

Tagapamahalang Patnugot

FELIPA E. CHENG

Patnugot sa Panitikan

CHRYSTEL THERESE V. DARBIN

Patnugot sa Paglalapat

GERARDO JR V. LAYDIA

Patnugot sa Dibuho

MIGUEL ADRIAN G. LUBAG

Tagapamahala sa Pinansya

MARK ERNEST T. FAMATIGAN

Mga kawani

MAC ANDRE R. ARBOLEDA

KIN P. DEMOTICA

CHRISTABEL M. GENOVAÑA

DALE AIREEN V. FLORES

JASON RENZ D. BARRIOS

TUNGKOL SA UPLB PERSPECTIVE Tungkulin ng UPLB Perspective na magsilbi bilang plataporma ng pagsasanay ng mga estudyante sa alternatibong pamamahayag, at pamumuno sa politika ng ideya, opinion, at pagkilos. Kabilang ang publikasyon sa pangunguna ng pagbabandila ng malayang pamamahayag sa pamantasan pati na rin sa pagsilbi sa mga tuntunin nito sa pagtaas ng kamalayan at mobilisasyon ng komunidad ng UPLB. Patuloy na kumikilos ang [P] sa makaestudyante at makamasang oryentasyon.

MARK ERNEST FAMATIGAN Punong Patnugot

FELIPA CHENG Patnugot ng Kultura

SONYA MARIELLA CASTILLO Kapatnugot

GERARDO JR LAYDIA Patnugot ng Produksyon

SOPHIA ISABEL PANGILINAN Tagapamahalang Patnugot

JERMAINE VALERIO Kapatungot sa Grapiks

DEAN CARLO VALMEO Patnugot sa Rekrutment

KRISTINE PAULA BAUTISTA Kapatungot sa Litrato

REUBEN PIO MARTINEZ Patnugot ng Balita

DAYNIELE LOREN Kapatnugot sa Paglalapat

AESHA DOMINIQUE SARROL Patnugot ng Lathalain

KENNLEE OROLA Patnugot ng Opinyon

PATRICE BIANCA YAPJOCO Patnugot sa Online

Lora Noreen Domingo, Ian Raphael Lopez,

MGA PAHINA SA ONLAYN

Kenneth Rementilla, Datu Zahir Meditar, Caleb Buenaluz,

Website: http://uplbperspective.org

CLAIRE DENISE SIBUCAO Patnugot ng Orgwatch

Joaquin Gonzalez, Gabriel Dolot, Noreen Donato,

Telegram: t.me/UPLBNews

BEYONCE NAVA Tagapamahala ng Sirkulasyon

Jed Palo, Abel Genovaña, Ma. Victoria Almazan,

YouTube: bit.ly/UPLBPerspectiveYT

Aubrey Carnaje, Lindsay Peñaranda, Carla Dela

Spotify: sptfy.com/uplbperspective

TAJ SAMUEL LAGULAO Tagapamahala ng Pinansya

Cruz, Charles Alison Rivera, Giancarlo Morrondoz,

Issuu: issuu.com/uplbperspective

MGA KAWANI

Michael Ian Bartido, Vince Villanueva, Ralph Caneos,

Pakinggan ang balitaan at talakayang naganap sa

Juan Sebastian Evangelista, Mac Andre Arboleda,

Shane Rachel del Rosario, Ron Jeric Babaran,

Today’s Rundown at Usapang Elbi sa [P] Live.

James Bajar, Caren Malaluan, Sophia Pugay,

Emerson Espejo, Justine Fuentes, Krystelle Lachica,

Laging tumutok tuwing Sabado, 10 a.m.

James Masangya, Andrei Gines, Paul Carson,

Frances Mendoza, Marl Ollave, Justine Fuentes

ITINATAG 1973 Ang opisyal na pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Los Baños ADDRESS Silid 11, 2nd Floor Student Union Bldg., Mariano M. Mondonedo Avenue, UPLB 4031 EDITORIAL perspective.uplb@up.edu.ph OPINION opinion.uplbperspective@gmail.com ORGWATCH orgwatch.uplbperspective@gmail.com Miyembro, UP Systemwide Alliance of Student Publications and Writers’ Organizations (UP Solidaridad) at ng College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP)

Aron Jan Sierva, Reignne Francisco, Jonas Atienza,

sa facebook.com/uplbperspective/live.

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Profile for UPLB Perspective

Pananaw, Issue 14  

For Pananaw's 14th issue, we pondered upon the question: "How do we perform intimacy in resistance?" The current health and political crises...

Pananaw, Issue 14  

For Pananaw's 14th issue, we pondered upon the question: "How do we perform intimacy in resistance?" The current health and political crises...

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