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.

Written for Bulatlat Philosopher Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest minds in history, taught geography yet his knowledge of the physical world was probably based only on intuition and printed materials since he didn’t travel outside his hometown. This piece of information may be trivial but useful for those who want to debunk the corporate-sponsored […]

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Written for Bulatlat Our country is on fire yet we continue to rank our islands based on what tourists want. Should we rejoice when travel magazines list some of our islands as among the must-see places in the world? Yes, of course. But it doesn’t mean we should adopt their standards to measure the relevance […]

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Arroyo-Aquino infrastructure projects

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

1. The Public-Private-Partnership program of the Noynoy Aquino government is not an innovation since its framework is no different from the Build-Operate-Transfer model of previous governments. In fact, PNoy recently renamed the country’s BOT Center into PPP Center when he issued EO No.8 series of 2010. The name PPP is also misleading since many of […]

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Parachute politician in Palawan

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

If there are parachute journalists, there are also parachute politicians. During elections, national politicians become parachute candidates. I am a parachute candidate. I visit provinces and far-flung towns to campaign for Kabataan Partylist but I only stay for less than 24 hours. This prevents me from deepening my knowledge about the issues confronting our kababayans […]

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Travel tips. Travel habits

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

1. Always bring a book. Read a book in the pre-boarding gate. Read a book while waiting for delayed flights. Read a book inside the plane. Reading reduces stress. Reading distracts your mind from the bad plane food and lousy seatmates. When travelling, it is wise to go on high-tech fasting: don’t use your phones […]

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Local and foreign trips

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

Kapit ng mahigpit, babyahe tayo…. From Laoag airport, we travelled to San Juan, Ilocos Sur. I attended the flag ceremony and delivered an inspirational talk in a public high school. Then, we went to the Vigan campus of the University of Northern Philippines. I visited the provincial capitol first before proceeding towards Candon. I met […]

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Shortage of runways?

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

“If people here don’t travel, it’s not because of a shortage of runway.” – George Monbiot The Philippines has more than 85 airports, 9 of which are international airports. That’s about one airport per province. Composed of more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines must have an efficient transportation network to move people and goods within […]

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Byahilo: Evaluating Philippine Tourism (2009)

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Tourism continues to be a promising sector of the economy. It employs more than 3 million Filipinos (mostly in passenger transport segment of the industry). It contributes roughly 3 percent to the country’s GDP. It showcases the beautiful and exotic hotspots of the country. If the country is composed of more than 7,000 islands and […]

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