Philippines’ Live Music Scene Perseveres Through a Pandemic

Metro Manila has officially transitioned to a modified enhanced community quarantine allowing us residents to regain parts of our normal lives, while still being mindful of physical distancing, proper handwashing at all times, and following strict community rules like curfew and limited movement.

We are seeing malls, commercial centers and restaurants reopening once again, as well as some offices and businesses as long as these observe MECQ guidelines.

The live music scene, however, is yet to recover since non-essential mass gatherings cannot be allowed still, and for all the good reasons. This entails countless job loss not just for the musical artists but also for managers, roadies, assistants and employees who all work for live gigs and venues.

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Step Up for Healing in the Mountains

TEXT AND PHOTO BY EUDEN VALDEZ

ALMOST four years since Duterte administration’s bloody war on drugs took the lives of thousands, this fact remains: Families are left dealing with losses of their loved ones. Wives without husbands. Children without fathers. Parents without children.

Justice is far off, not within reach nor within sight.

Healing, on the other hand, may be a step closer to some of these family members. They are taking the steps forward, upward and downward along the trails of mountains.

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Reaching Out, Breaking Grounds: A Christmas Celebration for Aetas of Limay

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY EUDEN VALDEZ

“Takot kami dati sa mga Unat.”

This was an overheard statement from an Aeta from an upland community in Limay, Bataan during a group’s Christmas outreach. The elderly woman was referring to lowlanders or Filipinos outside their tribe. Unat is a Filipino word that means someone with straight hair, that differentiate them from Aetas who have curly hair. 

We can’t blame the Aetas, or any other indigenous tribes in the country, for harboring fear toward their fellow Filipinos who have periodically abused and displaced them in the past and even to this day.

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Walk, Run, Cycle – UNHCR Calls Filipinos to Move in Solidarity with Refugees

(United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees)

ALIN NISA was among the 720,000 Rohingya who fled persecution and violence in Myanmar last year. When her village was attacked, she and her family was forced to escape in the dead of the night at 3 a.m.

They had nothing but the clothes on their back. With her husband, mother-in-law and two young children, she crossed mountains and rivers. Along the journey, they walked across water-logged paddy fields, in torrential rain, sometimes through the night. After a perilous journey of 10 days and 102 kilometers, they arrived at the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh. 

Now safe in Bangladesh, the family has built a shelter, using plastic sheeting and bamboo – all provided by  the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They also received a cooking kit, mats and blankets.

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Goodness Continues at Human Nature with these Healthy, Mindful Picks

(Text from Human Heart Nature; Photos by Euden Valdez)

HUMAN NATURE, the country’s largest social enterprise, now also serves as a distribution hub for fellow homegrown social enterprises that share its gold standards: sustainably-made items, locally-sourced raw materials, and ethical business practices.

These social enterprises also go beyond uplifting partner communities by producing world-class products that showcase the best of the Philippines.

“Everyone will enjoy the items from our partner social enterprises! Each delicious snack and refreshing drink encapsulates the best of the Philippines. It will give you the warmth of Filipino hospitality, like getting a taste of home wherever you are. Even when you’re stuck in your office or just cozying up at home.” Coco Castro-Cruz, Human Nature’s Category Manager for Social Enterprise Development shared.

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#CONNECT2EARTH: It’s a Homecoming for Earth Hour PH

(From the Cultural Center of the Philippines)

AS a leading national establishment, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has the responsibility to raise awareness and educate its audiences about issues happening in the Philippines and in the world, which include ecological challenges.

Through arts, people can explore the relations between nature and humankind and understand the importance of biodiversity in their lives.

On March 24, the CCP welcomes the return of Earth Hour after 10 years since it held its first-ever switch-off event in the Philippines in 2008. It will lead a myriad of activities until the 60-minute switch-off at 8:30 p.m.

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Two Filipinas Are Spearheading Environmental Conservation in Palawan

(Text by Euden Valdez; Photos by Alex Delos Santos)

“WE like to consider ourselves as strong, empowered women,” said Jessa Belle Garibay of herself and Karina May Reyes-Antonio.

No doubt they are!

As co-founders of Centre for Sustainability PH Inc. (CS), both women led the establishment of Cleopatra’s Needle Forest Reserve as a critical habitat. Located in Puerto Princesa City, this 41,000 hectare, bio-diverse forest is home to some of Palawan’s endemic species, as well as the last remaining members of the indigenous Batak tribe.

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When You Give, You Receive: RAK Holds Annual Outreach for Aetas of Tarlac

TEXT BY EUDEN VALDEZ, ADDITIONAL PHOTOS BY COLEEN SALAMAT

RIPPLES.

​​This is one concept that Random Act of Kindness – RAK Ph Mountaineers live by. That whatever you give, you also receive. By extending kindness in the form of our Christmas outreach called “Give Light on Christmas Day and Pasko Fiesta,” we also received so much more from our Aeta recipients.

Our beneficiaries, 36 households residing in an Aeta Resettlement in Sitio Camiling, Brgy. Papaac, Camiling, Tarlac, through their very own hands, dug earth crops like ube, cassava and ginger from their own lands as gifts in exchange of our donations.

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