Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Archive for the 'media' Category

Information Fatigue

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013

Written for Bulatlat If journalism is history in a hurry, can we describe social media as the hurrying of history? Because of mobile Internet, events are ‘instantiated’ in our timelines and webpages. We constantly access the Internet not simply to read the mirror images of this morning’s newspapers or videos of last night’s news reports […]

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False Transparency

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Written for Bulatlat Beware of politicians who like to insert the keywords ‘transparency’ and ‘good governance’ in their speeches. They are the same people who also use deceptive slogans such as ‘sustainable economy’ and ‘inclusive growth’ to justify the imposition of anti-poor economic policies. These are agreeable political concepts – who would openly oppose them? […]

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Beyond Internet Activism

Saturday, August 17th, 2013

My first column for Bulatlat The opposite of internet activism is not street activism but no-activism. Online petitions and political hashtags are indispensable in the campaign for change while non-action is a convenient option that only serves the interest of status quo. Internet activism is sometimes equated with impotence but at least it exists. There […]

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The Spokesman as Politician

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Which is worse: The politician liar, or the spokesperson who willingly and even gleefully lies for him? In the age of hyper communications, the politician must be an expert communicator. But if he has problematic communication skills, the next best thing is to hire a butt double, oops, I mean a spokesperson. The spokesperson must […]

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Written for The Diplomat The inclusion of online libel in the Philippine anti-cybercrime law has raised fears that it would lead to the restriction of free speech and expression in the local internet community. It’s one of the issues to be discussed next week by the Supreme Court, which is set to hear oral arguments […]

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Apparently, the CCTV doesn’t lie. What appears on the CCTV screen is accepted as visually accurate, even true. It seems to be the latest truth-telling device which TV networks have been using to expose the petty and heinous crimes committed by the poor. The TV image is manipulated in the news editing room, the internet […]

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The Disappearing Real in the Virtual

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

A new library building was recently inaugurated in a public high school in the quaint town of Mauban, Quezon. During the ribbon cutting ceremonies, the mayor proposed to use the facility as a Community eCenter. He added that PLDT, which has a signal tower in front of the school, might be persuaded to provide an […]

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Politics in the Time of Unli

Friday, December 7th, 2012

These are unli times. Categories of the infinite pervade our everyday activities: bottomless, all-in, 24/7, unli, eat and drink all you can. Suddenly, a vision of limitless reality has appeared to be the new normal for people living in our small yet disordered society. The High Priests of Big Business are assuring us that an […]

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Politics is the Medium

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

Jose Rizal wrote Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo in Spanish, a foreign language to most indios in late 19th century Philippines. But Noli and Fili became an instant hit among the masa, and the two novels succeeded in inspiring many people to rise up against Spanish colonialism. It was much later before they were […]

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Southeast Asia’s Internet Dilemma

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Written for The Diplomat Surveillance cameras at internet cafés, harsh accountability standards for webmasters and the specter of self-censorship have many questioning the future of Internet freedom. The rise of information and communication technologies has not only revolutionized how people interact with each other but also forced many governments to operate in significantly altered political […]

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