What is happening to the National Artist Award?

By Maricris D. Martin
Department of English and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters

The National Artist Award has long been plagued by controversy. Its very origin—created in 1972 by the late President Ferdinand Marcos through Presidential Proclamation No. 1001—has been enough to make some perpetually suspicious of it, or at least raise a few expertly pencilled eyebrows.

The 2009 furor

It reached a boiling point in 2009 when then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo conferred the title to theatre artist Cecile Guidote-Alvarez, film director Carlo J. Caparas, fashion designer Pitoy Moreno, and architect Francisco Mañosa, along with three others. The Supreme Court later (three years later, to be exact) voided the awards given to these four, but not before the declaration caused a furor that has been quite unheard of—an angry throng of artists, celebrities, and regular people concerned with the arts took to the streets and expressed their vehement objection to the recipients of, quoting the NCCA website, “the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.” National Artists and UP’s own Bienvenido Lumbera and Virgilio Almario even took off their medallions, symbolically relinquishing their position as National Artists, since the 2009 awards seemed to have rendered it meaningless.

The 2014 debacle

The years following 2009 have seen varying degrees of disappointment and anger from many who have been pushing for the awarding of Fernando Poe Jr. (posthumously given in 2012), Dolphy (nominated in 2012, but did not pass the second of the three-part screening; he died in July of the same year), and most recently, Nora Aunor. Since last month’s release of this year’s list of National Artists, Aunor’s name has become even more familiar than before. And it’s because she isn’t on it.

The curious thing about it is that the boards of both the CCP and the NCCA that are in charge of evaluating nominations and submitting a joint shortlist of nominees to the Office of the President for approval claim that Aunor was definitely on the list they submitted.

In the Philippine Daily Inquirer article by TJ Burgonio and Bayani San Diego Jr. on Jun. 22, they quoted Presidential Spokesperson Sonny Coloma who said, “The President has the prerogative to approve all or none [of the National Artist Award nominees], without needing to explain.” The article also mentions that this prerogative was based on a 2013 Supreme Court ruling.

The snubbing of Ate Guy/La Aunor

Given the nomination and the prerogative, it is no longer a question of whether or not Nora Aunor was snubbed by the President. She obviously was. The question is why. Considering that no official statement has been issued to explain this decision (which again, brings us back to the President’s prerogative), many have resorted to speculations.

One speculation is that the President dropped Aunor from the list because of some alleged shady dealings in her past which involve drugs and tax evasion. On Jun. 24 in Bulatlat.com, Marya Salamat poses the idea that the President is not keen on giving Aunor such high recognition because “Nora Aunor and her most memorable films represented the opposite of what the Aquino administration stands for.” Others simply dismiss the decision as an act of elitism because of Aunor’s affinity with the masses. Unless and until this decision is properly explained, one can do little else but evaluate the merits of such speculations for oneself.

The remedy suggested by Manong Frankie

In his column Hindsight in The Philippine Star, National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose writes “a memo for President P-Noy” which calls for the “re-examination” of the National Artist Awards. While many bemoan the level of discretionary powers the President has on these matters, Jose says that this is necessary to lend the award prestige—“The prestige of the award will be diminished if it does not have the imprimatur of the highest elected official in the country. I emphasized the word ‘elected’.”

What he suggests, however, is that the President “convene the committees involved and work out a new charter (which will have the force of law).” He also suggests that there be no more posthumous awards given, and that the awards should be limited to seven categories—Music, Literature, Visual Arts, Architecture, Theater, Dance and Film.

Forty-two years after its birth, the highest award given to artists in this country seems to be getting nothing but plenty of flak instead of acquiring the regal patina that it should.

SIDEBAR

  • In 1976, President Marcos named Nick Joaquin National Artist, but the latter laid down one condition for his acceptance of the award—the release of his friend and fellow journalist Pete Lacaba. Read Ninotchka Rosca’s account of the incident here.
  • For more information on The Order of National Artists, check out the Official Gazette.
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Ambag ng agham panlipunan at kaalamang-bayan sa disaster risk management [i]

Ni Jem R. Javier
Departamento ng Linggwistiks, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Masasabing ang naging susi upang magkaroon ng paradigm shift sa disaster risk management sa Pilipinas ay ang pananalanta ni Ondoy noong 2009. Mula sa relief at response na prinsipyo (na isinabatas noong 1978 sa bisa ng Atas ng Pangulo Blg. 1566, nilagdaan ng noon ay Pangulong Marcos) patungo sa disaster risk management (Batas Republika Blg. 10121, nilagdaan noong 2010), mapapansin ngayon ang pagbibigay ng higit na halaga sa mga gawaing may kinalaman sa paghahanda sa panahon ng sakuna.

Isa sa mga prinsipyong gumagabay sa mga tanggapan ng pamahalaan, NGO, at iba pang ahensyang pambansa at internasyonal, ay ang ideyang tumitingin sa hazard at vulnerability bilang mga salik na dapat isaalang-alang sa pagbibigay-kahulugan sa disaster. Ang hazard ay maaaring dulot ng tao at/o kalikasan samantalang ang vulnerability naman ay ang sosyo-ekonomikong kalagayan ng pamayanan na maaapektuhan ng sakuna. Mapapababa ang disaster risk ng isang pamayanan kung mapatataas ang capacity o kakayahan nitong mapaghandaan ang paparating na disaster at makatugon sa mga suliraning magiging kaakibat nito.

Kamakailan ay napagtibay ang isang Memorandum of Understanding sa pagitan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas at Université Catholique de Louvain na magtataguyod at magpapaunlad ng pananaliksik ukol sa katutubong pakikibagay o indigenous adaptation and resilience sa mga likas na bantang panganib o natural hazard. Sa ilalim ng MOU na nabanggit, nagbigay-daan ang research project na pinamagatang, “Local Adaptation, Resilience, and Interpretation of Socio-natural Hazards and Environmental Management in the Philippines” [i] ng UP at mga unibersidad mula sa Belgium at Canada upang mabigyan ng pagkakataong mapagtuunan ng pansin ang mga napapanahong usaping kinakaharap ng bansa gaya ng disaster risk management. Sa ilalim ng proyektong ito nabigyan ng grant ang ilang mananaliksik gaya nina Kerby Alvarez ng UP Departamento ng Kasaysayan, Janine Ochoa ng UP Departmento ng Antropolohiya, Benigno Balgos ng Center for Disaster Preparedness, at Lou Angeli Ocampo ng UP Departamento ng Geografia, upang kumuha ng PhD sa Belgium at Canada habang itinataguyod ang kani-kanilang pananaliksik na may kinalaman sa usaping pangkapaligiran sa Pilipinas. Inaasahang ang mga resulta ng kanilang pananaliksik ay lubusang makatutulong sa mga policymaker ng bansa sa pagtugon sa disaster, isyung sa kasalukuyan ay hindi mapasusubaliang nangangailangan ng kapwa daglian at pangmatagalang lunas.

Kaagapay ng mga policymaker ang mga mananaliksik lalo na yaong mula sa social sciences at natural sciences upang tuwirang makakuha ng impormasyon hinggil sa katangian ng lugar, paraan ng pamumuhay, at iba pa.

Sa pagbuo ng polisiya, hindi maaaring isantabi ng mag-aakda nito ang mismong stakeholders ng patakarang may kinalaman sa disaster risk management. Sa kasalukuyan, hindi na lamang ang pisikal na anyo ng lugar at sosyo-ekonomikong kalagayan ng mga mamamayan ang isinasaalang-alang; tumitingkad na rin ang pangangailangang ungkatin ang kultura ng mga mamamayan, ang tuon ng pananaliksik sa ilalim ng mga disiplina sa agham panlipunan. Nakapaloob dito ang kanilang mga paniniwala, kaalamang-bayan, at tradisyon, at maging ang paraan ng pagpapangalan at kategorisasyon ng mga material culture sa pamamagitan ng kanilang sariling wika. Sinasalamin ng mga lokal at katutubong kalaaman na ito ang kolektibong gunita (collective memory) ng etnolinggwistikong grupo, na hinango sa kanilang karanasan sa nakaraan at nagpasalin-salin sa mga henerasyon. Mula rito ay makikita ng isang social scientist ang ugat ng kanilang pagpapahalaga sa lugar (kung kaya may ilang hindi magawang mag-evacuate mula sa kanilang tirahan sa kabila ng banta ng panganib), interpretasyon sa sakuna (parusa o kamalasan o imbalance sa mga realm ng pamayanan), at tugon sa mga phenomenon (cliché man, subalit karanasan pa rin ang pinakamainam na titser).

Sa pagdodokumento ng mga lokal at katutubong kaalaman ng mga etnolinggwistikong grupo sa Pilipinas, lumilinaw na ang pamayanan ay isang entity na nag-iisip, nakikibagay sa paligid, at may karanasan at kasaysayan na pinagdaanan, mga bagay na dapat isaalang-alang sa paggawa ng patakarang sila rin ang maaapektuhan, o makikinabang. Ang mga impormasyong ito ay mahalaga sapagkat mas mailalapit ang isasagawang pananaliksik at lilikhaing patakaran sa mismong stakeholders, upang higit nila itong maunawaan at nang sa gayon ay maging ganap ang pagbawas kung hindi man tuluyang pagkawala ng panganib na dulot ng disaster.

 


 

[i] Ang artikulong ito ay produkto ng pakikipaghuntahan ng may-akda sa isa sa mananaliksik sa Centre for Disaster Preparedness at isa sa mga grantee ng Belgian-Canadian-Philippine PhD grant na si Benigno Balgos.

[ii] Hinuha ang impormasyon ukol sa research project at mga grantee ng PhD grant mula sa Facebook page ng UP Department of Anthropology: https://www.facebook.com/pages/UP-Department-of-Anthropology/247528895291816

The Crisis in our Midst

By J. Neil C. Garcia
Department of English and Comparative Literature, College of Arts and Letters

K-12 and Filipino Nationalism                                                             

The academic crisis we are currently mired in is the result of two things: the ASEAN integration of school calendars and standards (like the adoption of a regional medium of instruction, which appears to be English, by default), and the K-12 system (the adding of two additional years in high school, which among other things means a revamping of the existing college general education curriculum, whose present subjects will now effectively be moved to the last two years on the secondary level).

The former is presupposed by the latter.

The other ASEAN countries enacted the K-12 reform a decade or so ago, and so since 2007 (when the integration agreement was signed) they’ve only been needing to worry about—and working on—the shift in the school calendar and the adoption of English. For example, Thailand is shifting its calendar this year, while Malaysia enacted its shift two years ago, and is moving towards implementing an all-English college curriculum, etc.

The questionable “de-nationalizing” of priorities aside, we can say it’s really mostly a crisis of our own making: our government took its sweet time and decided to cram everything (including implementing mother-tongue instruction) in the eleventh hour—as we know, next year is the deadline for complete implementation of the ASEAN provisions. What’s missing from the discussion so far is precisely this “regional” perspective: all nationalist paradigms in the ASEAN are being retooled, revised, deprioritized. Even if it doesn’t feel like it, our present problems are hardly unique to us (and so, we should perhaps inquire into the situation of our neighbors in the ASEAN, and try to dialogue with our academic colleagues if only to work out possible ‘common’ solutions).

The old English, Filipino, and other “disciplinal” subjects will no longer be part of the new General Education curriculum, whose “novel” subjects are all supposedly interdisciplinary and thematic (making up domains or topics, really, which can be team-taught, modular, etc., in imitation of global trends in General Education). This looks good (and even refreshingly progressive) on paper, but this revision has not been properly planned and prepared for. Moreover, and crucially, leaving the choice of medium of instruction to the different colleges and universities is the same as excluding Filipino from the General Education curriculum: it’s almost certain schools will all choose English, because it is the ASEAN’s (and the global community’s) own de facto medium, precisely (we need to remember that the standardizing of the education system across the region really serves to standardize employment policies; hence, a college degree earned in one ASEAN country is supposed to be valid in the rest).

With Filipino relegated to the primary and secondary levels, it will be even harder to cultivate it as a language of expert knowledge, imperiling the decades of heroic and admirable efforts in this regard (and undoing, quite possibly, the Filipino nation itself: as Ernest Gellner once famously put it, “nationalism is not the awakening of nations to self-consciousness; it invents nations where they do not exist”; thus, the nation is not an assured thing at all; it is ever under threat, and can always be “de-invented.”)

Needless to say, the University of the Philippines, as the national university, is duty-bound to step up and challenge these dangerous and ill-conceived revisions, and take every possible measure to support the continued use of Filipino in college and beyond.

A silver lining (for we must not give up looking for such): UP is not under the jurisdiction of Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The wisdom behind this “arrangement”—to keep the national university autonomous—now has the chance to prove itself.

The Geo-Politics of Integration

Of cours, what we need to realize is that all this “regionalization” and/or “internationalization” amounts, in the end, to the forced modification if not abandonment of nationalist paradigms in education, language development, culture, and economics. In other words: a reversal (and an undoing) of all our unfinished efforts in decolonization.

What we need to critically discuss and determine is, among other things, just how much of this has been spurred by the global supremacist struggle between the West (the old imperium) on one hand, and the “upstart imperium” of the China-Russia-and-others (yet to be revealed) coalition, on the other.

If so, we need to critique the assumptions behind this arguably Western-imposed move: will “cosmopolitanizing” Southeast Asia and making its economic and cultural systems more synchronous with one another and with the West really render its member states less vulnerable to the wiles and imperatives of this new imperialism? To be sure this is not a novel strategy: as I personally managed to discuss with tipsy officials of the Taipei government, back when i was an artist in residence there in 2001, this was precisely the strategy that the Taiwanese decided to quietly adopt: make Taiwan so thoroughly integrated into western networks of economic and cultural exchange, that China would not so easily be able to claim it for itself.

Of course, we must resist imperialism—Western, Asian or whatever else—but in this case we all need to ask ourselves whether our region’s various hard-won nationalisms need to be sacrificed in this frenzied attempt to stave off the very real threat of Chinese integration (the idea is that either we survive as a region, or individually we get incorporated into China’s “Co-Prosperity Sphere”).

To the degree that the push for “regional unification” is being mandated and promoted by the West, just how readily or eagerly must we comply with it, especially since it’s clear that what motivates it is—at the very least—the desire of the western powers to maintain their hegemony over not just Asia but the global south in its entirety. Why, in trying to oppose yet another period (or “layer”) of colonial subjugation, must we disregard and undo all the progress we have made in nationalizing and/or decolonizing ourselves?

Answering CHED’s response

Once again, we are told: with this new curriculum, not just Filipino but also English—and the entire paradigm for the old GE program—will be expunged and replaced with something more “liberal” and transdisciplinal. However, it’s disappointing to see that CHED’s “letter of clarification” still does not sufficiently clarify things, for it does not even mention the fraught geopolitical context of these changes: basically, the regionalizing of ASEAN’s economies, premised as it necessarily is on the standardizing of systems of education in the region (among other things).

Let’s be clear: it’s always a good thing for the GE curriculum to be reexamined and fixed for the better. Who wouldn’t want that? And yes, the idea of thematic and transdisciplinal courses is potentially a very good one, for it complicates the way we wish our students to perceive and appreciate reality—from several perspectives, basically, and all at once. This is merely reflective of the simultaneity of the information age.

But there are questions that we all need to mull over: Did CHED even think of giving teachers some lead time in this regard—which is to say, “retraining” them? Has CHED even bothered investing sufficiently in course material development? It feels like we in the education sector are all being herded into this new system because there’s that fast-approaching integration deadline to meet. With this officious and entirely logistical letter, it would seem that despite the compellingly vital nature of this issue, CHED doesn’t exactly wish to be upfront about the political and economic context for K-12 at all (I say: why not just make a clean breast of things? Why not just admit to the fact that something extra-national is spurring all these radical revisions?)

If anything, this interesting CHED xplanation sounds like a qualified “retraction” of sorts—to quell the firestorm of protests—for now we are being told that nine units will still need to be taught in Filipino. Easily we see, however, that this “assurance” will not necessarily solve the “labor problem” (of members of the Filipino faculty being laid off), because with the whole idea of disciplines being no longer relevant to the new GE program, there’s actually no requirement for the teachers concerned to come from the Filipino department. As we’ve been told over and over, there are no disciplinal prerequisites involved in this new GE. Hence, if the new GE subjects are to be simply “thematic” in nature—and since our teachers across the disciplines are bilingual, anyway—then any one teacher coming from any of the disciplines can, notionally, handle them.

I cannot help but wonder: if team- or modular teaching is not to be the paradigm, and if any of these new GE subjects must still be handled by just one teacher, then a clear and much simpler alternative presents itself: Why not just ask the GE programs of all the old GE disciplines to simply require their respective teachers to be well-rounded and well-read, and to make sure their bi- or even multi-lingual readings are sourced from as many realms of knowledge as possible? This will effectively turn GE subjects into “seminars” of a sort, with the idea of each university establishing its own GE center (or institute) becoming more and more attractive, over the long haul.

The bottom line for me—which CHED has avoided in addressing—is the following: for any of the traditional disciplines to successfully cope with this new situation, they need to be sustainable as departments offering their own specialized programs, and they should not have to rely on the GE load to survive. The question is: just how realistic or doable is this? Did CHED even bother taking a look at the enrollment figures of these different GE departments? (obviously, where this problem is concerned, some departments are doing better than others).

And then: why did CHED decide to completely renovate the GE program when, if the intention is to simply change the content of its subjects, arrangements could’ve been found within the existing set-up to turn existing GE subjects more “complex” and transdisciplinal, by simply asking colleges and universities (and their relevant departments) to refunction and re-describe these courses? I just want to say that this is entirely doable, despite the “forbidding” way it sounds: “popular science writing” is readable and understandable to the general reader, which means a non-science GE teacher should be able to use it; conversely, even if a scientist were to team-teach a course on ‘the self’ (which is actually one of the new GE topics that CHED stipulates), his humanities-based readings should be “accessible” to him, too…

In other words: Why are we going through all this fuss if CHED could’ve simply just asked the tertiary schools to tweak or revise their existing GE subjects in order to make them more “liberal”?… Just now, I’m thinking of my own readings in Freshman English: even without the benefit of this paradigm shift—and because I’ve always believed in the value of an eclectic “textbook”—years ago I already determined that my readings would need to include various interesting (but accessible) pieces about certain “choice” topics in archeology, cosmology, history, literature (okay, more of this than the rest), and yes, mathematics…

Needless to say, I can’t believe I am at all exceptional, in this regard. It should be relatively easy to reorganize any GE teacher’s existing readings around the various “themes” that CHED recommends, without having to overhaul the entire system of tertiary education…

Of Food and Hope: Not Your Typical Disaster Response

By Benjamin A. Gonzales
Department of Food Science and Nutrition, College of Home Economics

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) formally announced the start of the rainy season in the Philippines last June 10. With this announcement comes, inevitably, the complete package: winds, floods, class suspensions, disaster response and relief operations. As of this writing, our typhoon alphabet is currently at letter “F,” and we’re expecting tropical cyclone Florita to pay a visit anytime soon.

UP as a public service university, I believe, has never failed to respond to the needs of those affected by our annual list of natural calamities. Donation drives can be seen left and right, with students, faculty and staff all getting their hands dirty in whatever way possible, for the sake of the affected communities in need of help. Yet beyond the spirit of volunteerism—generous hearts and able hands—I believe that the fullest potential of UP as an academic institution can be brought out only if all our knowledge and skills are utilized to address problems and challenges in ways only we (in our fields of specialization) can do.

Here are accounts of how some disciplines from the College of Home Economics were able to respond in such a manner during the aftermath of one of the most devastating storms to hit the country, Typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) last year:

Technology for a Social Cause

Researches were never meant to accumulate cobwebs in a distant corner of the library. Nearly a week after typhoon Yolanda’s landfall, it was evident that both utilities and food were in short supply in typhoon affected areas. Even if common relief foods such as “instant” noodles and bigas (uncooked rice) were being distributed, the lack of potable water and a means of cooking hampered their utilization. Doctor Maria Patricia V. Azanza of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition, knowing that she has a solution to this problem at hand, thus sprung into action.She was able to develop, in her previous researches, ready-to-eat (RTE) rice and bihon (rice-cornstarch noodles) that required neither water nor heating prior to consumption, and could last for a month, even without refrigeration.

With funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development’s (OVCRD) Source of Solutions (SOS) grant, and the aid of 313 volunteers from the ranks of faculty, staff, alumni and (mostly BS Food Technology) students from within and outside UPD, around 5,000 200-gram packs of RTE rice and 3,000 150-gram packs of RTE bihon were produced in the UP Pilot Food Plant, from Nov. 19 to Dec. 4, 2013. These were distributed through volunteers to different locations where typhoon victims were housed: from dorms within UPD, to shelters in Metro Manila, and even up to the provinces of Leyte and Aklan.

1Busy as bees: Volunteers packing ready-to-eat (RTE) bihon at the UP Pilot Food Plant

2From point A to point B: Unloading of RTE rice at Lambunao, Iloilo

Kalinga kay Isko at Iska

Learning and public service often go hand-in-hand in UP. With the arrival of students from Tacloban in Nov. 2013 came the challenge of providing for their basic needs – including food. With ingredients being subsidized by generous donors, BS Community Nutrition Students from the Foodservice Management classes, along with some faculty and alumni volunteers, were able to cook around 480 safe and nutritionally adequate meals in three separate occasions during the span of the semester. The meals were either served/picked up in the College of Home Economics, or distributed to the dormitories, with the help of the office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA), UP Church of the Risen Lord (CRL) and the University Food Service.

3Service-learning: Community Nutrition Students preparing meals for students from Tacloban as part of their Foodservice Management class.4

Dine in: Students from Tacloban partaking of their meals in the College of Home Economics Food Laboratory, which has been converted into a dining area.

The Feeding of the (more than) Three Hundred

No, these faculty members and BS Hotel, Restautrant and Institution Management (HRIM) students from the Catering and Cost Control classes did not multiply five loaves and two fish, and neither did they cater to king Leonidas and his men, but they did heed the call from the Art Relief Mobile Kitchen in Villamor Air Base on Nov. 20, 2013. With financial support from faculty and alumni, they were able to prepare around 400 sumptuous hot meals such as adobo, soup, and arroz ala cubana, among others, and served them to refugees staying at the base.

5Tired but happy: Hotel, Restaurant and Institution Management (HRIM) students after manning the soup kitchen at Villamor Air base.

Psychosocial Activities for Children in Tacloban

Beyond food, clothing, and shelter, tragedy survivors, especially children, also need psychosocial support in expressing, processing, and managing their feelings and emotions. From Dec. 19 to 23, 2013, some faculty members of the Department of Family Life and Child Development (DFLCD), in partnership with the Agape Rural Program (ARP) and other volunteers, went to barangays in San Jose, Tacloban, to address the said needs. Over 150 children, ranging from 5 to 17 years old were able to participate in the programs. Age-appropriate activities that were done included drawing of experiences, color-feelings association, paper plate of emotions, clay molding, role playing, writing/drawing or prayers, bracelet making, and group art. The 4-day event was able to help the kids foster a sense of community and adopt a hopeful outlook. A follow-up training for teachers and organization members that were left in Tacloban was also conducted one month after, to ensure the continuity of services in the communities.

6Platemoticons: Volunteers from DFLCD used paper plates with drawings of different emotions as a tool to allow children to indicate how they feel in given situations.

7Draw me a picture:Children were asked to draw their experiences to be used as a springboard for sharing.

8What’s with the face? Older Children were asked to draw “bioglyphs” – the use of art to get information about the child without formally doing interviews. Meanings of symbols were given by the facilitator to the children, who in turn used different symbols based on what they perceived was appropriate in expressing their feelings.

With the advent of climate change, population growth, and predictions of the devastations to come, how can UP use its assets to effectively address the hierarchy of needs during disasters? This question is perhaps best answered by each one of us. Regardless, what’s important is for us to be ready: heads, hearts and hands.

About the Diliman Blog

The University of the Philippines (UP), under RA 9500, is mandated to perform its unique and distinctive leadership in higher education and development. RA 9500 also named UP as the sole national university in the Philippine Archipelago.

At the same time, UP Diliman (UPD) is known as the cradle of academic freedom. UP Diliman was also the home of freedom of speech movement, particularly during the martial law era in the 1970s. The Diliman Blog is created to continue performing academic freedom and to revitalize the tradition of freedom of speech via voicing out opinions and ideas by UPD professors and scholars in a forum that encourages public engagement.

As a nation, the Philippines continuously searches for answers to a litany of burning issues and questions. This site is a virtual blackboard to discuss these issues.

The thoughts expressed in The Diliman Blog are not of the University, not official, and not of one mind. Like in the spirit of Freedom of Speech, the ideas presented here are those of the individual authors. We welcome your comments. But we have some rules:

  • Comment on the topic expressed by the author. Your post will be removed if you rant far afield.
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