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Abante, babae: Mela Habijan leads the charge

“I always thought of myself as a beautiful woman,” she says matter-of-factly. Coming from anyone else, these words would have sounded arrogant. But coming from Mela Habijan, they were only introspective.  If you asked her now, she would tell you without missing a beat what she is—a writer, an actress, a beauty queen. She beams…

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Free spirit: Elle Aspilla is rewriting all the rules

It was the night before the prom and Elle Aspilla (III, BS-IBS) had just come out of the closet. It would still be quite a while before she would identify as a trans woman, but even back then, just embracing queerness was liberating. And what better time to be unapologetically herself than prom night? “Nagsuot…

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Baby steps: Traversing tourism during the pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many industries came to a standstill. The lockdown measures implemented to keep people safe had adverse effects on their livelihoods as well. Profits were lost, businesses were shut down, and workers were laid off. Nonetheless, some enterprises were able to adapt and remain flexible by implementing strict physical distancing…

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Hail and farewell: The changing face of grief

Death is only truly tangible once you’ve lost someone. It’s in the cold that invades their side of the bed. It’s in the quiet that comes to haunt the room where they once were.  It is in the belongings they leave behind, untouched and gathering dust. Death is undeniably real and for many, making peace…

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Blurring the big picture: Reviewing MTRCB censorship

Many Filipinos are kept within the confines of their homes because of the ongoing pandemic. Gone are the days when one can go out and engage in their favorite pastimes, like dining in their favorite restaurants or catching a flick in the movie house. Now, people find entertainment through online streaming sites, boosting viewership in…

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Macoy, undubbed: The human beyond the humor

”Sino ang kumain ng sisig sa Jollijeep?” cries Nigel in the iconic Devil Wears Prada scene. For those scratching their heads, no, this is not some deranged Tagalog dubbing in a late Sunday night local network line-up. This is one of the zingers comedian Macoy Dubs delivered in their early days of making dubbed content…

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‘Di niyo ba naririnig?: Inside the NatDem Resistance

“Makibaka! ‘Wag matakot!” is a cry that has been heard for decades as activists who march on the streets time and again express their resistance against a system that they feel has failed the people. One of the biggest ripple of activism in history is the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution, often touted as a…