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The category is: Untucking the art of Philippine drag

Glue the lashes, pucker the lips, and bring home the tips. The moment their heels step out of their cramped dressing rooms and into the stage, drag queens give such sickening performances that leave audiences all over the metro gasping for air.  To simply call them entertainers is to do injustice to drag’s long history…

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A sudden homecoming: Realities of COVID-19 displaced OFWs

There is a multitude of ways to view the Filipino diaspora. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are hailed as heroes, exemplars of the modern Filipino, with a temperament and skillset suited for the globalized economy. Domestic workers, seafarers, and healthcare workers alike set forth from their homeland to search for employment elsewhere, all for the upward…

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Sigaw sa kanayunan: The uphill battle for genuine agrarian reform

The gargantuan task of feeding a nation typically falls on the Filipino farmers’ weary shoulders—but for a people who receive only a little recognition, if any at all, the burden may be too great in exchange. The everyday farmer endures back-breaking work under harsh conditions, and must contend with numerous challenges, principal of which is…

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God is a woman: Finding the divine in the female

In the Judeo-Christian context, God has always been painted as distinctly, explicitly, and exclusively a man. This idea of an omnipotent male has been the bedrock of our beliefs—it is then deemed only natural that men lead, that men control, and that men define.  Women, on the other hand, are also labeled many things—wives, mothers,…

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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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Lumalaban sa lansangan, lumalaban sa kulungan: The plight of political prisoners

It started with a simple request from the police. Well into the second day of their nationwide protest to decry the insufficient pandemic response that has left drivers to fend for themselves, transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) was summoned to the Caloocan city hall. “Pagkatapos kausapin ng hepe, ay…

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Rant & Rave: Mank

The moment audiences saw Citizen Kane’s groundbreaking snowglobe shot, the clever play with lighting, and the long pan back in 1941, its place as one of cinema’s greatest was cemented. It would go on to define many of the textbook filmmaking techniques we  see today.   The film’s praises were sung to 24-year-old newcomer director Orson…

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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…