A community pantry in Manila.

The Philippines is enduring one of the longest covid related lockdowns in the world. Beginning in mid march of 2020, many parts of the country, including the capital of Metro Manila have been under some form of restriction for over 13 months and even by the government’s own reporting — and even as vaccines finally begin to trickle into the country — the number of new covid infections is higher than it was at any time in 2020.

Like every other country that failed to contain the virus, the public health crisis was followed by an economic crisis. GDP fell…

February 25 is what is commonly referred to in the Philippines as the EDSA Revolution. On this day in 1986, Filipinos peacefully threw the dictator Ferdinand Marcos out of office by camping out for three days in the middle of Manila’s main thoroughfare known as EDSA. The people massed on EDSA because it was the most direct path to the military camp where Marcos’ defense minister Juan Ponce Enrile and a band of rebel soldiers had holed up after a failed coup attempt against Marcos. Out of options and facing imminent arrest and execution, Enrile called up the politically influential…

On Becoming the Old Guy at the Wedding

Yesterday, I was a guest at the wedding of my partner’s son. He and his bride were in their late 20s and wanted a simple ceremony attended by family and close friends, so it wasn’t going one of those big fat Filipino weddings with over 400 guests, but an intimate affair with less than 100 people, all of whom were invited by the couple and not their parents. …

Philippine Authorities Arrest Journalist Maria Ressa.

Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) just served a warrant of arrest against Maria Ressa, a veteran journalist and CEO of online news website Rappler. The charge is libel in relation to a story published five years ago. The charge had previously been dismissed by the same office that is now charging her.

Maria Ressa, a former CNN correspondent and former head of ABS-CBN News was taken away by the authorities. Her lawyer says they are cooperating with the NBI and has declined to comment further. …

This story was originally published in ANCX in 4 October 2018

Santa Catalina Minas is a sleepy rural town less than an hour away from Oaxaca City in Mexico. Its sparse, dusty landscape is dotted with wild cactus. From tall, thick cacti like the ones you see in old Hollywood westerns, to knee-high spiky shrubs, there is cactus growing all over the place. As you drive by the small family-owned farms spread out through this town you notice that they only grow a single crop — cactus. Santa Catalina Minas is all about cactus; agave to be precise. Agave is…

Ricky Carandang

I was a journalist. I was a senior government official. I was a c-suite executive. I’ve got some stories to tell.

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