Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Archive for May, 2013

The Politics of Numerology

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Numbers are important in explaining political issues and interpreting election results but they are rarely used to identify a person’s political affiliation, much less a person’s religion. In Southeast Asia, however, where numerology has retained its appeal among the masses, numbers are increasingly being used by politicians and religious leaders in […]

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Malaysia’s Election “Tsunami”

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat The word “tsunami” became politically controversial in the aftermath of Malaysia’s 13th General Election on May 5, which saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) receiving a fresh mandate to lead the country, albeit with reduced votes and fewer parliamentary seats. BN has ruled Malaysia since the 1950s, making it one of […]

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Leftists and Politicians

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Viewed from the outside, the reactionary state apparatus appears to be a brutal and beastly machine. Viewed from the inside, this juggernaut looks enigmatic. Seductively enigmatic. Nevertheless, it remains a ferocious stinking monster. Its hypnotic stink, however, is camouflaged by trappings, rituals, symbols, and other elegant deodorizers which distort the gaze of everybody, including the […]

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Written for The Diplomat “Hello, people of Indonesia. I have joined Twitter to exchange greetings, views and inspirations. Nice to meet you.” With these 140 characters, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, or SBY as he is known, joined the Twittersphere on April 13. After two weeks of tweeting, SBY has gained more than 1.7 million […]

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Kabataan Partylist: The Next Generation

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Before Kabataan Partylist, there were 17 youth groups which tried (but ultimately failed) to clinch representation in Congress through the partylist system. What is the ‘source code’ of our success? Kabataan was founded by the country’s leading youth organizations: National Union of Students (established in 1957), College Editors Guild (established in 1931 which makes it […]

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The Kingdoms of Southeast Asia

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Southeast Asia has four monarchies, each with its own unique traits. Brunei is an absolute monarchy, while Thailand, Malaysia, and Cambodia have the constitutional form. The history of these monarchies, including their future prospects, is discussed in the March 2013 issue of the Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia. The essays in […]

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Somchai, Jonas, Sombath

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Thai human rights lawyer Somchai Neelapaijit went missing on March 12, 2004. Filipino activist Jonas Burgos was last seen on April 28, 2007. Lao development economist and educator Sombath Somphone disappeared on December 15, 2012. The search for these missing activists has become a campaign for human rights promotion, not only […]

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