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 We are told to prepare for the next big one, the great disaster that will destroy the metropolis. After Fukushima and Nepal, we paid greater attention to the unusual inactivity of the West Valley Fault. Rather than wait helplessly, we are rightly reviewing our capacities and vulnerabilities to increase our chances […]

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Written for Manila Today. Check out the cool graphics North Avenue. The housing district and former resettlement area was rezoned into a commercial center which displaced urban poor villages in San Roque and Agham Road. The local community is resisting the demolition. Quezon Avenue. The Philippine Children Medical Center (PCMC) successfully opposed the planned modernization […]

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Written for Manila Today Wildlife preservation is often done outside Metro Manila. And this is not surprising since there’s almost nothing to preserve in the country’s premier urban jungle. Well, almost. Thanks to environment activism, community engagement, and geographical remoteness, there are still patches of precious green habitats in Metro Manila that we can visit, […]

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Written for Bulatlat 1. You grew up fantasizing about life in the United States, the land of milk and honey. You were bombarded with seductive images of first world living courtesy of Hollywood. You and your childhood friends wanted a glimpse and taste of real America. Then you learned that you and your family will […]

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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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