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.

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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10 Happy things activists always love to do

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Written for Bulatlat 1. Journeying to the countryside to live with peasant and IP communities. Nature tripping, mountaineering, and political field work plus more. Tourism is fun but an activist explores the rural not just to celebrate and document geography but to study the condition of the masses. He is not there to feitishize the […]

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Written for Bulatlat According to some intellectuals and their disciples, it is foolish to join the Left or become a Leftist in the 21st century. They sarcastically remind activists that the Berlin Wall already fell in 1989 and it was followed by the disintegration of Soviet Russia in 1991. In response, we should assert that […]

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Are you dating an activist? Take the quiz

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Written for Bulatlat He had you at “power to the people!” and then he said he wanted to “occupy” your heart, and that you are his 99 percent. Yet you find his world quite exotic, his vocabulary sometimes confusing, although he seems sincere given his passionate determination to fight for his beliefs. Indeed, it is […]

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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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Written for The Diplomat Indonesia has recently pilot tested a new curriculum in over 6,000 schools which instantly drew controversy after it removed science, English, social sciences, and information technology (IT) as separate subjects in favor of Bahasa Indonesia, nationalism and religious studies. The reduction of subject load is meant to give students more time […]

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Rallies and Marathons

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Rallies and most marathons for a cause have many things in common. They both require a massive gathering of warm bodies in order to succeed. After converging at a certain point, the participants will soon march to reach the finish line, the target destination. The sheer number of the crowd is eclipsed only by the […]

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Southeast Asia 2011: A Year of Protest

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

The Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street are localized protests that still made a tremendous impact in the world this year. They were organized in response to place-specific issues, but their appeal and influence were immediately global. Through their marching calls of democratic reforms and economic equality, the protests inspired multitudes of activists in many […]

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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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Senior citizen activists

Friday, January 29th, 2010

A 20-year old student activist in 1970 is now 60 years old. The First Quarter Stormers are now senior citizens. What makes them special? They belong to a generation that defied a dictator. They were young revolutionaries who wanted to change the world. Many of them went underground after the declaration of martial law. The […]

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