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.

Published by Manila Today Epifanio delos Santos Avenue or EDSA is no ordinary road. It’s the site of two (or is it three) People Power uprisings; and it remains the principal and most important highway in Metro Manila (apologies to C-5 and Commonwealth Avenue). The growth centers of the country’s premier urban hub are all […]

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For two straight weekends, thousands have gathered in the streets of Manila to condemn the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Philippines. On February 18, the Catholic Church mobilized an estimated 20,000 people to participate in a “Walk for Life” as a form of protest against the rising “culture of violence” in the […]

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Written for Manila Today There are multiple social evils that stalk us everyday but the most familiar to all sectors and classes is the insane traffic in Metro Manila. In the past, Edsa was the only notorious symbol of road gridlock. Not anymore. Traffic has spread everywhere like the epal banners of politicians. Even secondary […]

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Why we should celebrate Edsa Dos

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Written for Bulatlat Was Edsa Dos a coup, power grab, or an uprising? Was it a farce? It may be all of the above but it’s a political event worth celebrating. Why should we allow the Arroyos, Estradas, Aquinos, and the Catholic bishops to dominate the discussion about what Edsa Dos meant to our country’s […]

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Written for The Diplomat, before the September 11 anti-pork EDSA event. Since last month, Cambodians and Filipinos have been staging massive outdoor rallies in their respective capitals but curiously they are denying that these are protests. After accusing the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) of manipulating the July 28 election results, the opposition Cambodia National […]

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The Left as Alternative

Friday, February 17th, 2012

First part: Philippine Politics 1969-2009 If power grab is the yardstick of political victory, then it must be concluded that the Philippine Left had failed in the past century. But it wasn’t a complete failure since it was able to achieve varying degrees of hegemony in the country especially in the peripheries of the archipelago. […]

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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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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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Edsa Babies Unite!

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The drafting of this speech is a collective effort. Thanks @kabataanpl. Delivered February 23, 2011, House of Representatives I rise to speak about the 25th anniversary of the 1986 People Power and its impact on young people. Madame Speaker, dear colleagues, mga kababayan. EDSA or Highway 54 is a very important and famous road in […]

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The meaning of Egypt in Southeast Asia

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Unless you’re a hermit living in the boondocks, you’ll have heard something about the massive anti-government protests in Egypt that started late last month. The protesters have become global celebrities as they’ve taken a brave stand against the three-decades-old regime of President Hosni Mubarak. The ‘million-man march’ has also made Tahrir Square in Cairo a […]

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