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 'places' Category

Written for Manila Today In 2008, the world was mesmerized by the victory of Barack Obama, the first African-American president of the United States. Everybody wanted to follow the example of the USA, a nation that overwhelmingly voted for change. In 2014 the world is horrified by what is happening in the USA: Michael Brown, […]

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Lessons from the Haiyan Typhoon Tragedy

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat The Philippine government has already declared a state of national calamity in the wake of the devastation caused by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on several Visayas islands. More than 10,000 are feared dead after Haiyan, the strongest storm in the world this year, ravaged entire communities – especially the costal barangays […]

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Public space and resistance

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Written for Bulatlat When Third Word dictators are ousted, many people celebrate the emergence of a democratic space in society. After years of repression, there is suddenly a micro explosion of multiple freedoms in the streets, in schools, in workplaces, and in the press. Interestingly, it proves that public space is not inherently democratic. It […]

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Rallies and timezones

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Written for Bulatlat Because of varying time zones, it is almost impossible to organize synchronized global protests. Realtime uprisings in the global village are actually done in a continuum. Let us assume for example that today is the Global Day of Action Against Evil. It is 12 noon in Manila and 1pm in Tokyo but […]

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Luzon and Island Mentality

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

There’s a need to highlight the islandness of Luzon. It may be the biggest island in the Philippines but it’s still an island. Its unique ecosystem must be studied in its organic wholeness. Dividing it into five regions and dozens of small provinces had served the parochial objectives of pragmatic politics but it prevented the […]

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Philippine Realities in Google Maps

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Batasang Pambansa, the so-called House of the People, where the President of the Republic delivers his annual state of the nation address, is symbolically close to Payatas dumpsite. Batasan is also surrounded by urban poor communities and exclusive subdivisions. Chaotic zoning? It’s urban planning, Philippine-style. Payatas, which was recently converted into a controlled dumping facility, […]

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Mono Towns

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Polomolok in South Cotabato is a mono town: Its main economic activity is the agricultural production inside the vast Dole plantation. Its present and future are dictated by the rise and decline of Dole’s fortunes. The residents there and nearby rural communities like Tupi have become dependent on Dole either by working in the fields […]

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Edsa and inequality

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Inequality in Philippine society is reflected in the whole stretch of Edsa. Despite its People Power past with its egalitarian promise, the site Edsa is still very much a territory dominated by the elite. In fact, the relics of the feudal past are visible along Edsa. Several prime properties which dot the 54 kilometer highway […]

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Reclaim Edsa, the people’s highway

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

A specter is haunting Edsa today: the specter of street crimes. Car thieves and bus bombers are causing panic in the metropolis. Traffic and pollution are getting worse everyday. Giant billboards are displayed on every building along the highway. The old folks are asking: where are the trees in Edsa? The government assures us that […]

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From belfry to cell phone tower

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

The cathedral of the Catholic Church in Spanish Philippines was the central symbol of power in the community. The rich and the powerful preferred to establish their residences near the church. The aspiring rich wanted to live in strategic locations where they could see the church tower. The law-abiding and God-fearing poor lived very far […]

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