Tomorrow, Friday, is a red day for Filipinos who care for what is happening in Burma; those who feel for the monks, the men and women and children who went out to the street to demand justice and freedom from the despotic Burmese government. Red is for rage against the oppressors. Red is for freedom...

(NOTE: Please feel free to copy, if u want to post it in your own page, the image...you don't even need to credit me for that. I swear I won't mind)


Lest you tell me I don't care...


She forgets herself as she waits for her lover in the dark expanse that she's learned to befriend.Always with her to keep her company is the gasera that is always teased by the wind, its bottom partly burried by the white sands that also never fail to keep her feet warm every time she walks down on them meters away from their kubo to welcome him back. Whispering her untold desires to the tides has become a painful hobby, but a (hepful) hobby nevertheless. The tides seldom spoke to her. She's a tired wife but this she's never willing to admit. To say that she's in denial is to say that she's a waif, a truth that has been consistently told to her by the tide--during those seldom moments they intimately shared. Apparently, she's afraid of her truth.

And this scares the tide.


Fellow Inquirer correspondent Julie Alipala is reportedly banned from covering military activities in Basilan. Reports said the ban came following her inconsistent report of the military encounters with the rebels in the island province, particularly on the supposed changes in the military's operational plan which was being blamed for the number of military casualties during the clash last Aug. 18 in Tipo-Tipo.

Alipala's vehement denial is understandable as much as how understandable it is for her to stick to her story and her sources. She says her sources are reliable. The supposed ban has reportedly emanated from Armed Forces Chief Hermogenes Esperon himself and is being stickly carried out by Task Force Thunder chief Brig. General Juancho Sabban.

The Inquirer report stated that Alipala's story of the supposed changes in the military's operational plan "apparently incensed Sabban." An updated inquirer.net report carried Sabban's denial.

"Hindi totoo yan. Pinakain pa nga namin siya sa officers wardroom. Sana magsalita naman siya tungkol dyan," the Inquirer quoted Sabban as saying.

I remember several years ago when I was also banned from entering the military compound in Carmen, North Cotabato to cover the military exercises happening between government soldiers and their American counterparts. While other journalists were already inside the camp, I was stopped at the gate and had to make frantic calls just for the guards to let me in.

The guards said I had to ask for permission from a Colonel who was then based in Makilala town. I could not figure out why because Carmen is not in Makilala. For one, they're two different towns. For another, the powers-that-be of the officials in Carmen are much, much higher than those being held by the Colonel in Makilala. Carmen is supposed to be the mother and Makilala is the infant.

Because I thought I had to kiss some ass just to get through, I called the Colonel in Makilala and asked why I was being banned. And he said it was because they did not like the story I wrote about a ranking communist rebel that they captured. And I remember him saying "magkasama pa naman tayong kumain sa office ni governor(We even ate together at the governor's office)..."

I can remember some details of that event. It was a press conference and in most press conferences, food are being served for the media and other guests, something that I did not really think was valid enought to be used against me. What more? The invitation did not come from the military but from the governor.

But what incensed the Colonel what the way I wrote the story. The man said he was practically awake for three nights and articulated the words "mental torture."

"Daw mabuang guid ko ya (I thought I will lose my sanity)," the cadre said.

And that was what I wrote. That while he was spared from physical brutality, he underwent intense interrogation and that it was a torture.Apparently, the Colonel wanted me to write the story the way other journalists did--announce that they captured a big fish while the military exercises was on-going and that the cadre was not harmed.

Well, yeah, the man was not harmed physically.

It's no longer clear to me how was I able to convince the Colonel to let the guards open the gate for me. Eventually I found myself covering the military exercises and submitting stories like how the rifles of the Filipino soldiers conked during the exercises.

At the eve of the end of the exercises, I crashed into the send-off party thrown by the provincial government of North Cotabato for the American soldiers. There, I saw again the Colonel who told me that a military intelligence officer wanted to have a few words with me.

Sitting beside him, the intelligence officer whispered to me: "Pagandahin mo naman kami sa mga estorya mo (Make us appear good in your stories)."


I never felt so abuse in my entire life until last night, after a fight that sprang from his insensitivity. It was probably the only fight I had with him where I saw myself totally unable to grab reason to justify my disgust.

I tried to shot back but perhaps it was the intensity of the unexecpected fight that silenced me. Or was it because of the tiring out-of-town trip during the day that paralyzed the system? Or there could be other more reasons why I opted to edit the self. Whatever it is, I am not sure.

I felt the coldness of the ground seep through the makeshift bed as I pressed my tired body against its softness and tried to search for comfort. My back on him, it was a torture listening to his kilometric tirades against my belief (or the lack of it) and some people I know.

My weak one-liners succumbed to his tart remarks which later went levels higher when I refused to surrender to his calls for reconciliation. For how can I possibly just forget everything he has told me when I am still burning with anger? All I wanted was enough time for me to process the self and allow the night to simmer me down.

But all the more this angered him, something that further exposed his insensitivity.

"Ang OA mo. Daig mo pa ang babae!!! Sobrang OA mo!!! Kaya nga hindi ako nag-girlfriend kasi ang aarte ng babae!" he said as he got up of bed, turned on the lights and picked up his pants and keys. "Nasan ang shirt ko?"

Frozen, I remained silent.

"Tigilan mo na ang kaartehan mo ha? Hindi ka babae! Bakla ka!" he said before he walked out the door.


Sticks of incense were slowly burning down—thin wisps diminishing into the air and emitting that strong scent, sending me a feeling of preternaturalness and mysticism.

At a corner, the woman named Lizette, sitting on a mat and her eyes closed, was silently making quick but graceful jolts, while Peter Gabriel’s Book of Love was softly playing in the background.

Eight other individuals, including I and a 17-year old Philosophy student of a high-end university in Davao , have assumed spots to eventually each become part of a huge circle--the burning incense, a brown-colored bottle of an aromatic oil, and a lighted red candle at the middle.

Outside, the drizzle has already ceased and the pitch dark space became the host to hundreds of insects, wild animals and other beings that owned the night. Inside the hall, I was starting to embark on a transcendental experience that has never crossed my mind before nor was prepared to—dancing a babaylan’s inner dance.

With legs crossing each other and feeling relaxed, I felt the urge to close my eyes as a strange feeling started to envelope me. Without the slightest idea of what must be done or what will happen, I allowed the feeling to overwhelm me for a moment while not forgetting skepticism on the other hand.

Moments later, someone came near me, touched my head and several parts of my back, including my spine and elbows. At that time, I felt like listening to someone talking to me, whispering something in a language I cannot understand.

It was the same moment when I felt like a voltage of electricity from a very strong powerhouse enter my spine and scattered all over my body, demanding it to escape dormancy from the present state, asking it to discover something within and around it.

Then followed the the spontaneity of the body that succumbed to the flow of the energy from somewhere and someone unknown, dancing to the music that shifts from something soft to cheerful then to fast and exciting. It was overwhelming to feel the fluidly of the body in creating forms and doing non-choreographed floor routines that would have been pretty challenging and scary had I been, say, “awake.”

Came also the flashes of colors and forms behind a black backdrop—yellow, blue, green and electric circles and the fingers caressing the wind, touching the water and the chest feeling the earth.

Had I been in control, I would have not chosen to tumble and fall—on my face and on my back so dangerously—for countless times.

For several times, too, I saw myself literally roll, crawl and rest in childlike curls that are quickly followed by elaborate flings and swishes of the arms and legs, the latter I can barely lift for lack of muscle flexibility training. For how can I also possibly explain my almost 10-minute self-beating of the legs and chest that created a rhythm so pleasant to listen to that I felt like I was a human percussion instrument.

While the body was spontaneously dancing, doubt was forgotten and fear was never felt. There was an overflowing feeling of bliss hile the unexplainable force was comforting and assuring that everything will be alright.

And I ended the almost three-hour dance with a strange feeling of lightness, surprisingly unscathed or hurt.

Inner dancing, according to Pompet Pi Villaraza, happen when a person becomes conscious of his or her own energy and that of the surrounding environment, and becoming the energy itself. It is, he added, bringing back a person’s kundalini, the feminine energy which can be accessed from a person’s spine.

“The dance makes you feel and experience that you are made up of energy. You find energy within and then the body spontaneously moves. The palm opens and you gather your energy and you become a powerhouse then you can do healing,” said Pi who rediscovered inner dancing in a Palawan island called Kalipay, a cebuano term for happiness, several years ago.

Pi, Villaraza’s “revealed name” for Mindanao, Visayas and Manila , said that the dance, allows a person to feel the ball of light on the palm and enables him or her to transfer that energy to other people, hence the snowballing effect. He cited how some kids who also experienced the dance were able to heal other people without them memorizing the basics of natural healing.

Now, inner dancing is attracting quite a number of different kinds of people from all over the country—from those who came from affluent families and well-paying jobs, farmers, natural healers, artists, among others. Pi and a couple of his colleagues have stationed themselves with a group of farmers practicing natural agriculture here, a village that is practically close to the majestic Mt. Apo .

Pi explained that for so long a time, the energy rediscovered because of inner dancing, was an experience that has been deprived of the Filipinos, especially when the “extinction” of the babaylan.

Also called Kali-Pi Mu (Your happiness), inner dancing was performed by Filipino indigenous priests and priestesses who held ancient secrets and wisdoms. When the Roman Catholic demonized these tribal shamas during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines , the healing ritual also vanished with them.

Troy Bernardo, in an article, described the term Kali-Pi Mu as a three-fold name.

“Kalipi Mu (also) means Our Tribe. Kali is taken from the word kalis, meaning blade. The syllable ka represents the word kaalaman, which means knowledge or wisdom, while Li refers to lihim or secret. Put this together and you find the source of the ritual—secret wisdom,” Bernardo said.

Bernardo also pointed that kali is also known as the Hindu diety “who had the frightening form of the mother goddess Durga, which represents the Benevolent Mother-Goddess, the Divine Feminine, as celebrated by the babaylan.”

He also pointed the seeming merry coincidence that the word Pi also represents the Philippine Islands. He also pointed how, as a mathematical symbol (Pi= 3.14159 or the ratio of a circle’s circumference), the Pi is “called the transcendental real number…it is also known as the divine number, since no man can ever calculate it precisely, thus putting the digits at the heart of the divine circle.”

Meanwhile, Bernando said that the word Mu represents the so-called vanished continent Lemuria “thought to have been located in the Pacific Ocean and believed by many psychics to have deep spiritual ties with The Philippines.”

In the same article, Bernardo also said that the “People, who have undergone Kali-Pi Mu gatherings, report an immediate sensation of bliss, intense happiness and spiritual ecstasy, and later on, rapid acceleration of spiritual evolution. Some go through an involuntary dance, mostly with heightened abandon in such elevated states.”

A corporate executive of a known a global technology provider company related in a blog post how after she went through inner dance, drove home “feeling light of heart and light of movement.”

“I usually get very tense driving (on EDSA, who doesn’t?) but this time I sat up without feeling the usual weight on my spine. It was as if I was being held up by a hundred balloons on a string! High na high ako pauwi…If I could sum up the experience in one word, it would be this: Happiness,” she said.

And there was Aika, the 11-year old girl who travels astrally to a river and meets with the mother. In one of her dances, though, Aika met two women: one that transforms into a flower and another who one who turns into a butterfly.

There was also Marwin of Cebu who drew circles on a piece of paper and wrote the names of the members of his family so well using his left hand when he is right-handed.

Pi said that his role is to initiate unleash the channels that people—those who attend the inner dance gatherings—to access their own energy and become the higher self.

“Scary, silly, or sublime forms of the dance, they are nonethless powerful moments that leaves us in awe of seeing the unreal turn into very real forms at the twirl of a finger, the crack of a wrist, or the swaying of your arms,” Pi said.

“We can pretend that there are aliens, diwatas, monsters speaking through us, but we all know that all parts are filters only, no matter how open we might be. Here are our true selves. The screams, the laughter, the tears are real. As real as those strange deities, ancients, nature spirits and alien forms you've seen,” Pi added.

*An edited version of this story also came out in today's issue (Sept. 16) of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.


He was towering over the television reporter who had his eyes fixed on his. I walked past them and went straight to where the reporter’s cameraman is seated. The cameraman was making faces after they were denied of an on-cam interview.

I looked at him then to the reporter. They were both good looking, I told myself, but he was a lot hotter than the reporter who suddenly turned bland and burnt against his smooth, white skin. And perhaps it was because of his skin that I did not immediately notice the handcuff as its color diluted the color of the steel.

The television reporter left with the cameraman, frustration and despair in tow.

As I was approaching him, I was distracted by the unbuttoned shirt that exposed his chest. It was smooth. Well, I was not distracted by the unbottoned shirt but by the chest. Damn, it was my first time to get up close to a Korean hunk--the object of my desires--and the fact that he was an accused criminal was not even a turn off but rather an added value to the encounter.

But I was not there to flirt with him. I was there to get his story that I first learned about from the am radio. I had the impression that he will not talk to me, something which was validated when he told me that he has got nothing left to tell me because he has told everything to the television reporter.

But I'm not the kind who easily gives up. I engaged him in a conversation in my hope to force him into disclosing the details of his story.

“So you will not talk to me?” I asked him, my eyes on his chest.

“Yes. I have already told him everything…” he answered as he pouted his lips.

“Yeah, I can actually understand that but we’re different. He’s a television reporter…I’m from the paper,” I replied as my eyes moved down from his chest and attempted to scour the hem of his shirt (that touched the crotchline of his soft jeans) for anything hidden behind it.

He’s eyeballs rolled. He opened his mouth and attempted to speak, only that the words coming out were in Korean.

Seconds later, he said: “Yes, I will talk to you. I want to tell you something. Last night, I blah…blahh…and they yadahhh…yadahhh…and the driver blah…blah…and I was rude because the police screamed at me….aray!!! blah…blah…”

“And this television camera was….while I was angry…the police took my cellphone…it was my privacy…I don’t understand why I am treated like a criminal…”

And he told me his story while he was reeking of alcohol—at 10:00 am. After the interview, I made sure that the Korean, who was at that time already talking to the police, will not miss my goodbye.

“Bye Mr. Hann…I love you.”

I looked back and saw the Korean smiling while looking at me leave the Prosecutor’s office.

Click here to read the full story of Bin Maru Hann.


For almost three weeks now, the body is empty of pork, beef and chicken. From day one of this new drama, I have been filling up the body with vegetables and fish to accompany the organic rice. I hope I can last as I avoid thinking about December and the food the overflows with the celebration of Christmas.

What's behind this? Because I agree with the contention that "you are what you eat." I do not mind being called talakitok, telapia, bangus, or bulad (tuyo or dried fish). I do not make it my problem if people call me malunggay, raddish, pipino, ampalaya, talong or orka.

It's a different story, though, if someone calls me baka or baboy.


For how can't I not love him? Tell me...





(Para sa mas malaking bersyon, click nyo ang photo...salamat po)


Instead of hitting the ball, a Korean father clubs his son in the middle of a well-manicured green golf course because the son cannot make a good hit. He hits the crying baby repeatedly, surprising other golfers.

The beating continues and a man named Rodrigo Duterte enters to pacify. But the Korean national refuses to budge, apparently lacking in knowledge of who Duterte is. The Korean barks at Duterte while the nervous son wipes his tears, smears of it clear on his cheeks.

The Korean lifts his right arm, swinging the club towards his son's head. A blood spurts seconds after. A club falls, barely creating a rattle as it hits the ground. The boy stands in awe, watching his father blooded head.


Sure I was not there when that incident happened. I only learned of the story when it was carried as a backgrounder for a newspaper report on deported Koreans. Perhaps my account is different from what really happened.

It could be far from what really ensued. It could be close. I'm sure the older Korean was hurt much more than his son was when he clubbed him repeatedly for performing poorly in golf. He could have been hit on his head or on his face. Wherever he was hit, what's important is, he was stopped from hitting his poor child when he himself got hit by no less than Duterte.

Duterte admitted hitting the Korean and later asking the Bureau of Immigration to send the Korean back to his country.

Like most major cities of the Philippines, Davao has become a gracious host to thousands of Korean nationals who entered the country either as students or tourists. Later, a number of these Koreans have decided to settle here, investing in restaurants and tourism. But zoom in to their business ventures will make you understand how exclusive they are: visiting (and stay-in) Koreans eat at Korean Restaurants and travel around with Korean tour operators, onboard Korean buses.

So except for the hotels and small shops, English language teachers, and the Ateneo de Davao University, no one in Davao is actually benefiting from the Koreans, officials said.

A number of those who study at the Ateneo de Davao University (their top choice, I guess) I find really hot.They reinforce my fancy for the mukhang-parang-tanga men. But as their stay here is dragging for many more years, the graciousness of their own host they challenge; the hospitality they abuse.

Imagine these Koreans smoking even at a crowded hotel lobbies when a city ordinance banning smoking in public places such as hotels lobbies (except for designated areas that resemble gas chambers)is still in place. Imagine them walking at hotel lobbies shirtless and dripping.

Councilor Bonifacio Militar said at least 18 Korean companies in Davao are allegedly circumventing Philippine laws, on top of these is their failure to remit social security payments of their employees to the Social Security System (SSS, aside from the fact that they pay wages way below the mandated minimum wage.

These abuses and more while they are in Davao. I could only imagine what's happening in Korea.


Sunday morning, an incensed Duterte appeard on his television program threatening to arrest Koreans he will find violating the anti-smoking ordinance. He also threatened to shut-down the Apo View Hotel, the hole of the alleged abusive Koreans.

Read this story for more.