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How millennials protested on Sept 21 – from streets to social media


MANILA, Philippines – While thousands of Filipinos went on the streets on Thursday, September 21, to mark the declaration of Martial Law 45 years ago, some millennials chose to make noise on social media. 

Hashtags #NeverAgain, #ManlabanTayo, #DayofProtest, and #LunetaRally trended the whole day of September 21. 

Using social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, millennials were able to broadcast real-time the situation on the ground. They reported on events that they attended. 

Twitter user JP Tanyag said that he is proud being part of De La Salle University after the university hung on its facade a black cloth containing the words, "Stop the killings. Start the healing." (READ: LOOK: Schools put up symbols of indignation on Martial Law anniversary


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It makes me even more proud to be part of this institution. Animo! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/EndTyranny?src=hash">#EndTyranny</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverAgain?src=hash">#NeverAgain</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DayofProtest?src=hash">#DayofProtest</a> <br> <a href="https://t.co/unBVioqfuB">pic.twitter.com/unBVioqfuB</a></p>&mdash; JP Tanyag (@dumidyeypee) <a href="https://twitter.com/dumidyeypee/status/910816741323714561">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Another Twitter user posted a picture of the rally that he attended on Thursay, saying, "Ang sarap sa pakiramdam lumaban para sa bayan." (It feels good fighting for the country)


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">Ang sarap sa pakiramdam lumaban para sa bayan! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DayofProtest?src=hash">#DayofProtest</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FightTyranny?src=hash">#FightTyranny</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ManlabanTayo?src=hash">#ManlabanTayo</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverAgain?src=hash">#NeverAgain</a> <a href="https://t.co/i22S15cXAf">pic.twitter.com/i22S15cXAf</a></p>&mdash; Jeremy (@Baymaaaaaaxx) <a href="https://twitter.com/Baymaaaaaaxx/status/910838986670612481">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Some, even at home, showed their support for those who took to the streets despite the weather. 

Twitter user @niallmanila said he is proud of all the people who went to the Luneta.


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">everyone na nasa luneta or what right now, I&#39;m so proud of you and thank you. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverAgain?src=hash">#NeverAgain</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DayofProtest?src=hash">#DayofProtest</a></p>&mdash; ㅤㅤ‏ُ (@niallmanila) <a href="https://twitter.com/niallmanila/status/910819044386775041">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Around 6:30 pm on Thursday, "Luneta" topped the trending list on Twitter Philippines with over 10,000 organic tweets collected. 

Here are some tweets collated by MovePH from around the country: 


<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/jievensanti/timelines/910686338713665537">Martial Law at 45th - Curated tweets by jievensanti</a> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


On September 23, 1972, former president Ferdinand Marcos appeared on television and used Proclamation 1081, supposedly signed on September 21, to declare martial law nationwide. (READ: Marcos’ martial law orders)

During this dark period of Philippine history, the Philippines also incurred up to $24.4 billion in debt by 1982. (READ: Marcos years marked 'golden age' of PH economy? Look at the data)

President Duterte suspended government work and classes in public schools on Thursday, September 21, and ironically declared it a "National Day of Protest." – Rappler.com


WATCH: #MoveSessions featuring KontraGaPi


MANILA, Philippines – For the second episode of #MoveSessions, we are privileged to have musical and cultural group KontraGaPi or Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino. 

#MoveSessions is a regular online live jam that will feature local music and talent from communities and schools.

On the other hand, Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino is the resident ethnic music, and dance ensemble of the College of Arts and Letters of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR). 

KontraGaPi was founded by Art Studies professor Edru Abraham in 1989. 

The group will perform 3 pieces namely, Sayaw Pagdiriwang, a couple of chants, and Sayaw Pinoy Sayaw. 

Catch this episode on Sunday, September 24, 2017, at 7pm! – Rappler.com

VIRAL: New modus to stop motorists on the road


SCAM. A viral Facebook post shows a car tainted with "blood" by a man who pretended to be hit by the car. Photo from Kristine Claire Dela Cruz Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines - A Facebook post showing a new modus operandi on the road has been making the rounds online.

Kristine Dela Cruz, who posted about the new tactic on Facebook, said she was driving along MacArthur highway when a man crossing the street dropped something and started to approach her car.  

"[The] man walked towards us and gave the car hood several "hugs", taking great care in smearing red stuff all over. During this time, I noticed he had also pre-smeared his temples with the same stuff," Dela Cruz said on the post.

"Satisfied with his painting, he then tried calling the attention of other people to his 'injured' self and imploring that I must not 'escape'" she explained.

The people were not easily deceived. Dela Cruz thanked the help of a concerned citizen and a barangay official who escorted the man to the side. 

"Thankfully, no person was really physically harmed in this episode and the red stuff could be removed with water and some scrubbing," says Dela Cruz

This is not the first time it happened, says Police Inspector Don Asuncion from the Regional Public Safety Battalion 3 in Pampanga. 

"The Philippine National Police (PNP) deployed beat patrollers performing police visibility along the streets, roads, and highways to prevent these kinds of acts," Asuncion told Rappler. 

In case this incident happens to you, Asuncion's advice is to stay calm and assess the situation.

"Report to the nearest police station or call [the] PNP hotline [by dialing] 117. If in doubt, do not go out of your vehicles until authorities arrive," he said  – Rappler.com

Nuns and priests to Duterte: 'Magpo-protesta kami hangga't kailangan'


FRUSTRATED. Sister Glenda Monroy of the Angelic Sisters of St Paul said she attended the rally because she is frustrated with the government. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Among the crowd full of placards and protesters, nuns and priests clad in their religious garb showed strength in numbers at the rally in Rizal Park on Thursday, September 21.

Coming from different religious orders, they all shouted for the same cause – to stop the spate of killings. If the need arises, members of the Church said they are ready to occupy the streets to continue the call for justice.

Sister Glenda Monroy of the Angelic Sisters of St Paul in Marikina City said she is always ready to protest against the abuses of the current administration.

"Handa ako sa kalsada. Kung kakailanganing lagi ako mag-protesta, gagawin ko. (I am always ready to join the streets. If I need to constantly protest, I'll do it)," she told Rappler.

The Duterte administration has been repeatedly slammed by the Catholic Church as the number of deaths linked to the drug war continues to rise. (READ: Christian churches: 'Stop the killings, Mr President!')

Colegio de San Juan de Letran rector Fr Clarence Marquez OP said his brothers and sisters in the Dominican order will continue to join rallies to remind the President of his obligation to Filipinos.

"Kailangan nating iparating sa pamamagitan ng pagdalo at pakikisama rito para marinig, at sana marinig nga, na maitama ang dapat na maitama dahil binigay natin sa kanya ang boto ng bayan," he said.

(We need to send the message across by attending and joining (rallies) for our voices to be heard, hopefully, to correct what needs to be corrected because he was given the mandate of the people.)

The violent campaign against illegal drugs has already claimed at least 3,500 lives in police operations alone. Various reports by media and rights groups have put the number of drug-related deaths at around 12,000 deaths – including those allegedly killed by vigilantes. (READ: Things to know: Human rights in the Philippines).

Marquez said they will not be deterred and will always fight for the common good.

"Basta para sa katotohanan, para sa katarungan, para sa pagtigil sa kamatayan na walang saysay. (Anything for the truth, for justice, and for an end to senseless killings)," he said.

Address the root causes

STOP THE KILLINGS. Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross braved the rain in Luneta to protest against extrajudicial killings. Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler

Holding placards that read "Rise up! Stop EJKs!" and "Kill no more! Stop the killings!" Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross (MMHC) priests said they came to the rally to demand an end to the killings.

Father Pio Herrera of the MMHC said the Duterte administration should look at alternative solutions to the drug war instead.

"He chops off what's on the surface and not the root causes of the problem," Herrera said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Critics of the drug war said the administration only "kills the poor." Duterte justified the act by saying the poor is being used by drug lords to sell for them: "There's always a runner as there's always money." (READ: War on drugs, war against the poor)

"If he addresses the problem on livelihood and education, then the poor will not have to be runners or even take drugs," he added.

At the Luneta, several organizations from youth, sectoral, militant, and church groups condemned Duterte's alleged acts of tyranny and the spate of extrajudicial killings in the capital and other parts of the country.

The President declared Thursday a "National Day of Protest" and suspended classes in public schools and work in government offices across the Philippines.

Thousands joined the national protest in various parts of the country to rally support for the government while others marked the 45th anniversary of the Martial Law declaration. (READ: Cops scramble to pin down real numbers in pro-Duterte rally– Rappler.com

NDRRMC reschedules postponed earthquake drill to September 27


COVER. Soldiers cover their heads during the Nationwide Earthquake Drill, at the Quezon City Hall grounds in Quezon City, March 31, 2017. The drill aims to increase effort in public awareness of the ever-looming possibility of strong earthquake. Photo by Nelson Vera/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines  – The 3rd Quarter National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill will be held on Wednesday, September 27, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) announced on Friday, September 22, through its Facebook page.

The earthquake drill was bumped off after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all government work and classes on September 21, declaring it as "national day of protest' in observance of the 45th year of the Martial Law declaration.

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Netizens also raised their concerns over the untimely schedule of the earthquake drill, which would have likely coincided with rallies scheduled by various groups with thousands in attendance. 

Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Spokesperson Romina Marasigan, however, clarified that the earthquake drill meant for on September 21 was not intended to undermine or divert attention from the protests and related activities.

The NDRRMC and OCD test the preparedness plans and readiness of local government units and local responders during the nationwide drill. The activity is scheduled once every 3 months and usually falls on the last month of every quarter. 

To spread awareness and start earthquake preparedness at homes and workplaces, NDRRMC also encouraged netizens to harness social media in influencing their friends to participate in the earthquake drill. The official hashtag for this year's 3rd NSED is #BidaAngHanda. 

According to research, the "Big One" or the movement of the West Valley Fault is expected to happen within our lifetime. It is estimated to cause a 7.2 magnitude quake in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. (READ: Preparing your family for an earthquake)

At least 35,000 people could die, with thousands more potentially injured by a quake of that magnitude, the study estimated. (READ: INFOGRAPHIC: How powerful is a magnitude 7.2 earthquake)– Rappler.com

Share your photos during the nationwide earthquake drill on agos.rappler.com/map

Heavy rain triggers floods in Bacolod


HEAVY RAIN. Bacolod experiences some flooding caused by heavy rain on Friday, September 22, 2017. Photo by Charles Hilado from Facebook.

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Heavy rain due to the southwest monsoon hit Bacolod City on Friday night, September 22.

While there are no rainfall warnings over the city, state weather bureau PAGASA raised the yellow level warning over the nearby area of Negros Oriental as well as Occidental Mindoro in its 10:43 pm weather alert posted on Facebook. 

PAGASA later terminated the said rainfall warning Saturday morning, September 23. But it added in a separate advisory that a low pressure area (LPA) near Quezon province is enhancing the monsoon, bringing rain over western sections of Visayas.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the heavy downpour since Friday afternoon have caused waist-deep floods in Barangays 39, 40, Mandalagan, Singcang-Airport, and Taculing.

Water level also reportedly went up in Barangays Pahanocoy and Alijis.

FLOODED. Bacolod experiences flooding due to heavy rain on Friday, September 22, 2017. Photo by Charles Hilado from Facebook.  

Affected residents were forced to take a respite at the public schools and other temporary shelters.

Leonardia said it is "very unusual" for the waters to quickly rise, as he attributed it to climate change. "It is a worldwide phenomenon," he added.

As of 11:30 pm, Leonardia had already ordered the residents of danger zones and low-lying areas to evacuate as a pre-emptive measure, for the high tide may trigger further flooding.

Moreover, the floods have also stranded many commuters and vehicles.

Leonardia said that trucks of the city government's contracted garbage hauler were utilized to pick up commuters.

"The priority (for them) right now is to help the stranded passengers," he added.

BACOLOD FLOODS. Photo by Patrick de Leon from Facebook.

The state weather service also advised local disaster risk reduction and management councils to continue monitoring weather conditions in their area. – Rappler.com

WATCH: Songs of protest to remember horrors of Martial Law


SONGS OF PROTEST. Some Filipinos use their creative expression to join the nationwide activities marking the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on September 21, 2017.

MANILA, Philippines – On Thursday, September 21, a day dubbed by President Rodrigo Duterte as the "National Day of Protest," Filipinos expressed their frustration and stood up for their rights in various ways – including through art and music. 

Across the country and even around the world, Filipinos remembered how, 45 years ago, Ferdinand Marcos appeared on television to declare Martial Law. For them, the day marked the beginning of a bloody and lawless regime that resulted in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, and repression. 

Les Miserables

On Wednesday, September 20, a Filipino version of Les Miserables' iconic protest song Do You Hear the People Sing? made rounds online. 

For netizens, it was a timely push for those planning to join the nationwide protest amid malicious messages and threats of the mobilizations turning violent. 

The Filipino version entitled Di N'yo Ba Naririnig was translated by award-winning composer Vincent A. De Jesus. Additional lyrics were provided by Palanca awardee Rody Vera and actor Joel Saracho.

The song was performed by Eunikkoh Castillo here. 

"I thought this could be an effective medium to channel my personal thoughts creatively on sustaining the primacy of freedom and dignity in the country," Castillo said. 


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The same version was played during the multisectoral protest at Luneta on Thursday night. 

"When I was watching the recorded version on Facebook, it made me [think] that music, indeed, conveys strong emotions and that it could really create an impact to one's life, or in this case, a society. Though I was not physically with them, it felt like I was singing with them," Castillo said. 


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Filipino version of Do You Hear The People Sing? from Les Mis now being performed at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LunetaRally?src=hash">#LunetaRally</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DayofProtest?src=hash">#DayofProtest</a> <a href="https://t.co/oNVfBzShu0">pic.twitter.com/oNVfBzShu0</a></p>&mdash; Paige Occeñola (@ohnopaige) <a href="https://twitter.com/ohnopaige/status/910833940268593153">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


Sa ugoy ng duyan

At Luneta, singer Bituin Escalante also performed a heartbreaking rendition of Sa Ugoy ng Duyan while photos of minors who were killed in the government's war on drugs, such as Kian Loyd delos Santos, were shown in the background.

The juxtaposition of the lullaby and the vivid images of slain minors moved some of the protesters to tears. 


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Delos Santos, whose death Malacañang described as "isolated," is just one among at least 54 people aged 18 years old and below killed in either police operations or vigilante-style killings in Duterte's first year, according to data from the Children's Legal Rights and Development Center in July 2017. 

Bayan Ko 

Kicking off the week-long remembrance activities, the University of the Philippines-Diliman played Bayan Ko at the Carillon on the morning of Thursday. 

Bayan Ko is one of the most recognizable patriotic songs in the country. With bold lyrics like, "Pilipinas kong minumutya, pugad ng luha ko’t dalita. Aking adhika: makita kang sakdal laya (Philippines, which I treasure, a place for my sadness and poverty. My aspiration is to see you absolutely free)," the song easily became an anthem for protest for Filipinos through the years. 


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Bayan Ko played live at the UP Carillon.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverAgain?src=hash">#NeverAgain</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverForget?src=hash">#NeverForget</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoToMartialLaw?src=hash">#NoToMartialLaw</a> <a href="https://t.co/YbVNeQbczy">pic.twitter.com/YbVNeQbczy</a></p>&mdash; UP Diliman USC (@USCUPDiliman) <a href="https://twitter.com/USCUPDiliman/status/910670550468399104">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


This is not the first time the state scholars heard the familiar melody within the school grounds. As part of the mourning for the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on November 18, 2016, the UP's iconic bell tower also played Bayan Ko from morning until midnight. 

A number of known Martial Law personalities and activists who were either abducted, killed, or jailed during Martial Law were from UP, including Lean Alejandro, Enrique Voltaire Garcia II, and Lorena Barros. (READ: Young and gone too soon: How Martial Law took our future

The same song was also performed at Luneta Park during the multi-sectoral mobilization later in the day. 

Considered seditious, Bayan Ko was also banned in radios during Martial Law. 

On September 23, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos announced the declaration of Martial Law by virtue of the Proclamation 1081 which was supposedly signed on September 21– Rappler.com 

VIRAL: UP student studying biology while in rally


VIRAL. A photo of a UP Diliman student reviewing at a rally on Thursday, September 21, goes viral. Photo by Patrick Reyes

MANILA, Philippines – Who says it's impossible to join a protest and study at the same time? 

Going viral online is the photo of a student holding a biology reviewer while attending a rally in Quezon Hall of the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman on Thursday, September 21.

The girl in the photo was identified as Dani Ting, a 3rd year psychology student from UP.

In a Facebook message, Ting said she initially thought of taking down the photo for security reasons, but changed her mind after she saw the photo's impact.

"Nakita ko kasi 'yung feedback ng other people and how it shed some light on them na hindi lang talaga 'puro rally' ang mga taga-UP," she said. (I saw the feedback of other people and how it shed some light on them that UP students aren't all about rallies.)

"We uphold honor and excellence in both our academics and our love for our nation," Ting added.

She also said that she had a scheduled exam the day after the protest, "so I decided to review whenever I can."

As of posting, the photo captioned "Iskolar ng bayan, ngayon ay lumalaban (at nagrereview ng Bio 12)" has garnered at least 8,000 retweets and 54,507 likes on Twitter. 

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">ISKOLAR NG BAYAN<br>NGAYON AY LUMALABAN<br>(AT NAGREREVIEW NG BIO 12) <a href="https://t.co/GxzsgLDTFO">pic.twitter.com/GxzsgLDTFO</a></p>&mdash; Patrick Wincy Reyes (@incywincyyy) <a href="https://twitter.com/incywincyyy/status/910697829487722496">September 21, 2017</a></blockquote>
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It was also shared on different Facebook pages.

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According to Patrick Reyes, currently a graduate student in UP, he posted the photo to debunk the myth that those who join rallies fail to look after their studies.

"I posted it to debunk the stereotype of activists being negligent of their studies," Reyes told Rappler in a Facebook message when asked what made him upload the photo.

Reyes tweeted the photo on September 21, in line with the observance of the 45th anniversary of Martial Law. President Rodrigo Duterte dubbed the day as a "national day of protest."

Marking the 45th anniversary of Martial Law, thousands of youth groups, national minorities, religious groups, and activists took to the streets across the country. Social media also lit up on Thursday as netizens harnessed different social media platforms to remember this particular dark chapter of the country's history

Many of the protesters are millennials like Dani Ting who were not born yet when Martial Law was declared 45 years ago. According to them, they do not have to experience the atroticities and human rights violations committed back then in order to own the fight against tyranny. – Rappler.com

Filipino minorities showcase culture in 'Hugpungan'


UNITY. Moros perform a theater production on the plight of the Bangsamoro for self-determination in the southern Philippines. Photo by Mark Saludes

MANILA, Philippines – Red-clad tribal children were waiting for the cue to engage. This time, they were not in a rally or a dialogue. They were on the stage of the University of the Philippines (UP) Theater to perform for "Hugpungan."

The 3-week protest camp of the country's minorities ended in a two-hour display of cultural performances on Monday, September 18. 

Dubbed as Hugpungan, a Bisaya word for convergence, the show was not a competition among the regions, indigenous communities, and tribes.(READ: Over 'failure' to protect minorities, House gives NCIP P1,000 budget)

"It was an exhibition of unity of the national minorities and supporters against national oppression," said Jerome Succor Aba, co-chair of national minorities alliance Sandugo.

LUMADS. Students of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) from Caraga region astonish the audience as they present how Manobo men win the hearts of their women with Dayan-dayan, Buwa-buwa, and Sibay, dances of courtship and love. Photo by Mark Saludes

"These cultural performances of the Moros and our indigenous people from various regions signify that we are part of one big movement for social justice, that we are distinct but not separated," said Aba.

Students of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV) from Caraga entertained the audience as they presented how Manobo men win the hearts of their women through the dances of courtship and love called "Dayan-dayan," "Buwa-buwa," and "Sibay." (READ: Indigenous peoples march to ask Duterte to lift martial law in Mindanao)

ALCADEV student Gleeza Joy Belandrez said that the Manobos' courtship dance shows that the Lumads in Caraga are "peaceful and loving people."

"It also shows how the Manobos value women and our mothers," she said. Belandrez added that through cultural performances, "we are able to introduce ourselves and the reasons of our fixation to our ancestral lands."

SONG FOR PEACE. The Sandugo chorale that is composed of singers from the Lumad, Moro, and rights activists in the cities. Photo by Mark Saludes

The 15-year old Manobo girl is one of the hundreds residents of sitio Han-ayan in Diatagon village, town of Lianga in Surigao del Sur, who witnessed the brutal killings of Lumad leaders Dionel Campos and Datu Bello Sinzo, and school director Emerico Samarca on September 1, 2015.

The "Lianga Massacre" led to the enforced evacuation and displacement of more than 4,000 indigenous people from their communities to the Tandag City sport complex for more than a year.

Members of the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK) serenaded the crowd with Salidummay songs that speak stories of struggle for life and land of the Igorots. 

DKK’s Alma Sinumlag said that these Cordilleran melodies "are poems with hymns that portray how the Igorots live, bleed, and ready to die for our ancestral lands."

"We hear songs about conflict with destructive extractions or mining operations, and dams that disturb the flow of the river, hinder the flow of life, and destruct biodiversity," said Sinumlag.

The crowd cheered as the Aytas of central Luzon occupied the stage, and applauded after every tribal prayer and poem recited in different regional languages. (READ: Indigenous peoples march to ask Duterte to lift martial law in Mindanao)

DIVERSE. Members of the Dap-ayan ti Kultura iti Kordilyera (DKK) sing Salidummay songs during the Hugpungan 2017 in UP theater on September 18, 2017. Photo by Mark Saludes

After a solemn reading of the Qur'an, the Moros of Mindanao performed a theater production that demonstrates the plight of the Bangsamoro for self-determination and the cry for just and lasting peace in southern Philippines.

The Subanen tribe of the western Mindanao region showed how they defeated Spanish conquerors that tried to seize their ancestral lands.

The UP Filipiniana dance group represented the Tagalogs with the Subli dance. It is a Catholic devotional performance honoring the Holy Cross.

Rey Paulin, coordinator of Hugpungan 2017, said that to understand the plight of the Moros and the indigenous people, "we must understand each and every culture."

He said that the lives of the rest of the Filipino people are "connected with the struggle" of the national minorities in "protecting the environment and defense of their ancestral lands."

"Why do they oppose mining, logging, mono-cropping and other development aggression? We can only understand their reasons if we will come to know them better," he added.

The UP Diliman community hosted the Lakbayan ng Pambansang Minorya, which started on August 31 and will culminate on September 21.

UP Chancellor Michael Tan expressed his gratitude to the Moro and indigenous people "who came all the way here in Metro Manila to let us learn about the things that we – people in the cities – ignore and tend to take for granted."

Tan vowed "to continue our support to our brethren national minorities," inviting them to come back and hold the Lakbayan 2018 again at the state university. 

The university has hosted the protest caravan and camp of the indigenous people for 3 consecutive years already.

The cultural show was ended with a performance from Bayang Barrios, who herself is a Manobo, together with all the national minority groups. – Rappler.com

Thousands flock UPLB for 'promised cash' from Marcos wealth


LATE STRONGMAN. Booklets detailing the achievements of former President Ferdinand Marcos are distributed during an event in UP Los Banos. Photo by Jan Jacob Jansalin/Rappler

LAGUNA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Thousands of people flocked to the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on Saturday, September 23, for "promised cash" from the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.

In interviews with Rappler, attendees said they went to UPLB because they were promised P10,000 monthly from the ill-gotten Marcos wealth. They came from different parts of Calabarzon, Metro Manila, and Marinduque.

"Kung malinis ang puso at isipan 'nyo, may matatanggap kayong blessing. (If your heart and mind are pure, you will receive blessings)," the organizers said during the program, as the people chant "Mabuhay si Apo! (Long live Apo!)" back at them.

The "blessing" implies that cash "will be given out" to the attendees. The event was organized by One Social Family Credit Cooperative.

"Sino pa ang magiging mahirap? Sa 4 years may P10,000 ka every month... 'Yung iba ayaw pumirma, ayaw maniwala. Pero hindi totoo na scam ito," the organizers said during the program.

(Who will be poor? In 4 years, you have P10,000 every month. Others don't want to sign, they don't believe. But this is not a scam.)

Booklets that contain the achievements of former President Ferdinand Marcos were given to members during the event. It was published by Bullion Buyer Ltd.

The organizers said those who have a stamped booklet will be on the "top priority" for cash release. They said it will be sent through their bank accounts.

Membership fee according to interviews were at P10 to P30 per person.

Crowd estimate is over 100,000 people, UPLB Perspective reported.

Bongbong Marcos reacts

In reaction, former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr on Saturday denied his family called for the gathering.

"Wala po kaming kinalaman sa pagtitipon na ito na malinaw na isang scam. Uulitin ko po – ito ay isang malinaw na panloloko [o] scam," said the only son and namesake of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

(We have nothing to do with this gathering, which is clearly a scam. I repeat – this is clearly a scam.)

The younger Marcos said he has repeatedly warned the public against gatherings like the one in UPLB, saying these were orchestrated by people for their "personal interests."

"Ang pagtitipon sa UPLB ay isa na namang ehemplo ng ganyang panloloko (The gathering in UPLB is another example of such a scam)," said Marcos.

Earlier, in February, residents from Pangasinan were promised P10,000 cash by a man claiming he is an employee of Bullion Buyer Ltd if they purchase booklets with Marcos Sr's face as cover for P30.

On September 23, 1972, the former president appeared on television and by virtue of Proclamation 1081 supposedly signed on September 21, formally declared martial law nationwide. (READ: Marcos’ martial law orders)

During Martial Law, the Philippines incurred up to $24.4 billion in debt by 1982. (READ: Marcos years marked 'golden age' of PH economy? Look at the data)– with reports from Jeremy Jansalin/Rappler.com

Turning the Pinoy almusal into halal


HALAL BREAKFAST. The usual Filipino breakfast is being turned into halal food. Photos by Franz Lopez/Rappler

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – When we think of Filipino breakfast, what’s usually in the minds of many is a platter of steamed rice, sunny-side up egg, and tocino. Yet we forget that our seemingly harmless collective gastric imagination could divide a nation of 103 million. Some 5.6% of it will not eat the tocino.

But somewhere in a Maguindanao town, 50-year-old Ronnie Mampen is turning the common Filipino almusal halal. (READ: Fasting, halal, and food for thought)

Mampen, the president of Dinaig Proper Fisherfolk Producer’s Cooperation, began producing non-pork tocino out of their coop’s raw products: the tilapia and bangus.

“Actually, our products are new,” Mampen said with a smile.

Their coop has been operating for a quite a time but was only registered in 2011, and it was only this year that they began processing tilapia and bangus into tocino, and other products.

Thanks to a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources project in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, their 28-member coop was given technical equipment, among them include a freezer, and a vacuum and drying machine. They were also trained how to debone and marinate the fresh water fishes.

The coop is in a Datu Odin Sinsuat village called Dinaig, which comes from a Maguindanaon word dimaig or submissive. But depending on how the word is used, dimaig can also mean assertive or self-assured, a guiding principle of the group, and Mampen’s.


HALAL BREAKFAST. Ronnie Mampen is turning the typical Filipino breakfast into halal food. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

When the coop’s president, his mother-in-law, passed away in 2011, Mampen envisioned to turn it into a profitable enterprise that could benefit its workers.

The business is far profitable, he said, compared to his workers used to do back in the days.

“Our members used to sell nipa roofs which only make an average profit of P150 per day, and you had to harvest the nipa leaves in the river,” he said.

With the processed fish products, he said a worker could debone 20 fishes in 6 hours, earning P200 along the way.

The coop members also get the products P10 cheaper than the actual price. So when they sell it, they actually gain another profit, he said.

It was a best decision he has made. It started with a P16,000 capital used to cultivate mud crabs. Within 4-5 months, when the crabs were ready to be sold in the market, he earned P140,000 and began the tocino and smoked bangus business in 2017.

And the fruit of their labor has not only benefitted the workers.

“I have a police, and a nurse who has been working in Jeddah for two years now,” he said.

Mampen’s coop was among the exhibitors of the 3-day Davao Trade Expo which began on September 21. While their humble booth was visually overpowered by other exhibitors who threw raffle prizes and contests, theirs stood out as being among the few exhibitors who traveled outside the city, even bringing with them live mud crabs padded with kangkong (water spinach) that served as an insulator so they don't die of heat while in travel.

Their town Datu Odin Sinuat in Maguindanao is some 5 hours away from Davao City by land travel.

Mampen hopes that he could tap a bigger market so it would mean more opportunities for his people back home. And his dream is not far from possible.

In fact, he could be taking advantage of a growing market for halal products. In the Philippines, the ease of finding halal food, and even a place to perform Islamic prayers still remains a challenge.

But for now, there’s one thing he promised to do once he’ll get enough profit from making non-pork tocinos.

“Perhaps I’ll enjoy the time of my life and travel around the Philippines,” he said. – Rappler.com

Xavier Ateneo community remembers victims of martial law


REMEMBERING. The Xavier Ateneo community in Cagayan De Oro lit candles in a prayer vigil to remember some of the martial law heroes. Photo by Angelo Lorenzo

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – On the national day of protest on Thursday, September 21, members of the Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan community gathered in solidarity for a mass and a prayer vigil inside the campus.

Held at the university’s Immaculate Concepcion of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, victims of atrocities under martial law were honored for their heroic stand against authoritarian rule, 45 years to the day it was declared by former president Ferdinand Marcos. (LOOK: Schools put up symbols of indignation on Martial Law anniversary)

The XU community conducted a more solemn approach compared to other protest events in other parts of the country, but with the same message that called for the recognition of human rights, the strengthening of justice, and the aim for peace. (READ: Martial Law anniversary protests: Millennials own the fight)

Aligning his homily’s message to the Gospel about responding to God’s call, Fr. Mars Tan SJ, the Xavier Ateneo Jesuit Community rector, challenged the university’s students, alumni, faculty and staff, and guests to stand firm in their faith amidst the nation’s tumultuous times and take their part in valuing its democracy. (READ: Nuns and priests to Duterte: 'Magpo-protesta kami hangga't kailangan')

“We must protect the values that Jesus Christ has taught us,” he said. “These are the sanctity of life, the right of anyone to live, to be free.”

“These values will guide our nation according to God’s plan,” he added. “Therefore we must uphold and defend them.”

6 victims at 6 o’clock

In front of the church, the congregation that attended the mass paid tribute to the victims by lighting candles under the darkening sky.

Six stories among the thousands of testimonies from victims who died or survived were shared. The stories were of:

  • Liliosa Hilao, the first recorded female casualty whose remains contained bruises marked by gun barrels
  • Archimedes Trajano, the 21-year- old student who was thrown out of a building after questioning Imee Marcos for being the National Chairman of the Kabataang Barangay while her father was president
  • UP Journalism student Maria Elena Ang, who was sexually violated during her detention. 
  • Dr Juan Escandor, whose skull was stuffed with crumpled plastic bags, rags and underwear after he was killed by the Philippine Constabulary
  • Boyet Mijares, who, at 16 years old, was mutilated and dumped outside Manila after he was tricked into seeing his father again (the author of The Conjugal Dictatorship, Primitivo Mijares)
  • Tondo community leader Trinidad Herrera who was repeatedly electrocuted on her private parts upon interrogation.

On the steps outside the church, black-and- white photographs of the victims were posted on standees, alongside an image of the iconic "FM Declares Martial Law" newspaper headline, and posters callng on Filipinos to "never forget."

Irene Guitarte, the university's Mission and Ministry Vice President, reflected on human rights before the crowd, echoing both the United United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Bible. 

“As we rejoice in the gift of our own lives and give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, we
remember all those who are not free,” Guitarte said. “Through our commitment in prayer, may we
be open to commitment in practice.

Historical truths

The prayer vigil concluded with a prayer composed by Cardinal Luis Anotnio Tagle, DD, and read by a student.

Iligtas Mo po kami sa lahat ng kasamaan at paghahangad ng masama. Bigyan Mo kami
ng kapayapaang bunga ng mabuting kalooban (May You save us from evil and from causing
harm, and grant us peace and goodwill.),” the prayer read. 

“The prayer vigil is our way of commemorating the victims,” Xavier Ateneo’s National Service Training Program (NSTP) Director Dennise Edwina Gonzalez said. Gonzalez hopes that the stories and testimonies will educate the students and the residents of the city about the extent of abuse an authoritarian government could do. – Rappler.com 

Angelo Lorenzo is one of Rappler’s Lead Movers in Cagayan de Oro City. Besides writing
features, he works in the city’s local government unit.

Atio Castillo was living 'second life,' says firefighter who rescued him in 2005


SECOND LIFE. Horacio Castillo III or Atio was rescued in a fire on December 7, 2005. Photo courtesy of Lords Hernandez

MANILA, Philippines– On December 7, 2005, firefighters, including Lords Hernandez, rescued the Castillo family during a fire in Paco, Manila, including a 10-year-old boy named Horacio "Atio" Castillo III. 

Fast forward to 2017. When Hernandez heard of the news about the death of a young man named Horacio Castillo III, he tried to find out if it was the same boy he rescued more than a decade before.

“I reviewed the photos and I compared the face of the victim. I was able to confirm [that it was him],” he said in Filipino via a phone interview. 

Hernandez said the news was heartbreaking – especially that it was, in his words, already Atio's second life.

"It was very saddening because the boy was already living his second life," he said. "I don't understand why this has to happen." 

In a Facebook post that went viral, Hernandez expressed his deep sadness over the incident. 


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Castillo, a 22-year-old University of Sto. Tomas (UST) law student, was found lying on a pavement on Sunday, September 17, covered with a blanket in the corner of H. Lopez Boulevard and Infanta Street in Balut, Tondo, Manila. (READ: UST law student Horacio Castillo III dies in suspected frat hazing). 

He is believed to have died of injuries after undergone hazing rights to be part of the Aegis Juris fraternity.  (READ: Castillo family: 'Atio was killed by criminals from Aegis Juris fraternity')

2005 fire

Hernandez recalled how he found the boy in the fire. He said that Atio fell from a canopy and he was rescued by the firefighters. He was then carried by his father out of their 3-story residence.

The boy later said that his mother was still stuck inside the house, and Hernandez came to save her. 

Now that Castillo had passed away, the firefighter only wishes for justice for the young man.

Hernandez, together with other firefighters who rescued the 10-year-old Atio, said they will be visiting his wake Sunday, September 24. – Rappler.com

WATCH: What are millennials fighting for?


YOUTH POWER. Millennials troop to Rizal Park on September 21, 2017, to join the multi-sectoral protest marking the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Photo by Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – What are the millennials fighting for?

On Thursday, September 21, thousands trooped to Rizal Park in Manila to remember the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. Many of those who attended were millennials who were not yet born during the Martial Law era, which is considered one of the darkest chapters in the country's history.

Despite rains, the crowd reached a peak of 8,000, according to Manila police. But organizers, who initially said that the protest would be President Rodrigo Duterte's "baptism of fire," claimed a much higher estimate of 30,000 attendees.

The youth played an important role in the protest as they brought the fight not just to the streets, but also to social media. (READ: VIRAL: UP student studying biology while in protest

MovePH, Rappler's civic engagement arm, asked millennials who joined the protest what they are fighting for. Watch the video above. – Rappler.com

'Oust Mocha' Uson petition circulates online again


MANILA, Philippines – After the #FireMocha campaign, a new petition is now circulating online to call for the removal of entertainer-turned-blogger Margaux "Mocha" Uson as Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) Assistant Secretary for Social Media for allegedly spreading fake news.

The petition, started by Kremlin Pandaan, now has over 36,000 signatures as of Monday, September 25. 

In the petition statement, Pandaan explained that being a public official, Uson has to stand against anti-fake news and be the advocate of real news. (READ: The curious case of the Mocha Uson blog

"She is delivering fake news to the public where ironically, she is an anti-fake news advocate herself," Padaan said.


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Uson has repeatedly invited online criticism after spreading unverified reports in her blog, using foul language in her programs, and performing in a casino. She was appointed to government as payment for supporting President Rodrigo Duterte's candidacy.

President Duterte appointed her board member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in January, and to her current post as PCOO assistant secretary in May. 

On September 22,  Senator Antonio Trillianes filled administrative and criminal complaints against Uson for accusing the senator of owning several offshore bank accounts, which were later proven to be non-existent. President Duterte, later on, admitted that he invented the numbers on the Trillanes bank accounts. 

"The era of fake news is over. Lahat ng magkakalat ng fake news ngayon ay mananagot sa ating batas. So ‘yan ang dapat matutunan ng lahat ng nagkakalat ng fake news (Everyone spreading fake news will be held liable under the law. That's a lesson for all people spreading fake news )," Trillianes said in an interview. 

Uson said she will resign if the senator wins his case. 

Senator Nancy Binay also raised the problem of "fake news" during a budget hearing with PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar. 

Ang hirap i-separate ng Mocha, the private citizen, and Mocha, the Asec, lalong-lalo na… I mean how can you, Secretary Andanar, fight fake newskung may instances na nanggagaling mismo sa isang Asec yung fake news? So I guess yun yung nagiging dilemma mo, how would you balance things?” the senator said.

(It is hard to separate Mocha, the private citizen, and Mocha, the Asec especially since... I mean how can you, Secretary Andanar, fight fake news if there are instances when the Asec is the one spreading fake news? So I guess that's your dilemma, how would you balance things?) (READ: PCOO to hold 'media literacy program' against fake news)

At the height of the Marawi siege, Uson posted a photo asking for prayers for the Philippine Army which later on turned out to be a photo of the Honduran police. In defense, Mocha Uson explained that it was mere symbolism. 

In early September, Uson was also criticized for performing in a bar inside a casino even though a memorandum issued by President Duterte prohibits it. 

Citing these as reasons, the petitioner from Quezon City emphasized that Uson's removal will be a step forward in making sure that only competent appointees are eligible for government positions.

"Mocha does not deserve the title. She is not a journalist. She is [the irritating laughing] stock of...real news and journalism," Padaan added. 

This is the 6th petition in Change.org against Uson, all calling her to suspend her blog or resign from her post. – Rappler.com

DId you sign the petition? Tell us why on X.

Palace endorses DBM resolution on pay hike for police, soldiers


SALUTE. In this file photo, President Duterte visits the wake of slain Captain Clinton Capio at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio on January 16, 2017. File photo courtesy of Malacañang

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang has already endorsed the draft resolution for military and uniformed personnel salary hike, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) announced on Tuesday, September 26.

In a statement, the DBM said the Duterte administration has come up with a Congress Joint Resolution authorizing the compensation adjustment for cops and soldiers on Wednesday, September 20.

President Rodrigo Duterte made several pronouncements in the past promising higher salaries to the military and the police. (READ: Diokno proposes police, military pay hike to fulfill Duterte's promise)

According to the DBM, a Police Officer 1 in the Philippine National Police can enjoy a 100% increase –  from the current P14,834 base pay to P29,668 – should the resolution be signed by both houses of Congress.

The same pay hike will be enjoyed by a private individual in the Department of National Defense and equivalent ranks in the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Public Safety College, Philippine Coast Guard, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority.

The adjustment will result in a 58.7% average increase in base pay for all military and uniformed personnel ranks by January 1, 2018, the DBM said. (READ: DBM wants cops, soldiers to fund their own retirement)

According to estimates, the increase in base pay for soldiers, police, firefighters, and jail guards will entail an additional cost of P63.4 billion for government.

This will be funded from the Miscellaneous Personnel Benefits Fund and from the available allotment in the respective budgets of the agencies.

No more provisional allowance

The budget department said that provisional and officers' allowances will no longer be part of the adjusted compensation.

"These are granted as an interim measure pending the modification of the base pay schedule," the statement said.

In 2016, former president Benigno Aquino III signed Executive Order No. 201 that increased the compensation of all government workers, including military and police, in 4 tranches up to the year 2019.

The first and second tranches were already applied in the 2016 and 2017 budgets. (READ: Pay hike for cops, soldiers included in 2017 proposed nat'l budget)

While Aquino's EO did not raise the basic salary of police and soldiers, it gave them higher hazard pay, a provisional allowance, and officers’ allowance. – Aika Rey/Rappler.com

Hundreds stranded amid jeepney transport strike


QUEUEING. In this file photo, stranded pedestrians wait patiently in line for a ride at Landmark in Makati City.

MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds are stranded on the streets on Tuesday evening, September 26, due to the two-day transport strike in protest of the government's jeepney modernization program.

Earlier this September, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Development Bank of the Philippines for the bank to provide loans to qualified cooperatives for the acquisition of new public utility vehicles (PUV).

The Department of Transportation launched the PUV modernization program in June which orders the replacement of jeepneys aged 15 years or older. (READ: Is the PUV modernization program 'anti-poor?')

Stranded commuters aired their frustration online as they battled for a ride on the streets and kept themselves dry from the rain:

According to data from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), around 180,000 jeepneys need to be replaced.– Rappler.com

A sad reunion: Firefighter who rescued Atio Castillo visits wake


REUNION. Firefighter Lords Hernandez and his teammate pay respect to Horacio Castillo III, the same boy whom they rescued in a fire more than a decade ago. Photo by Yvette Fernandez

MANILA, Philippines – It was not the reunion Lords Hernandez had hoped for.

Hernandez, a firefighter, reunited with the family whom he and his teammates rescued during a fire in Paco, Manila on December 7, 2005. There was no cause for celebration, as one of those they rescued now lies inside a coffin.  

On Sunday, September 24, Hernandez came to visit the wake of Horacio "Atio" Castillo III, who died of injuries that he allegedly sustained in hazing rites initiated by the Aegis Juris Fraternity. 

Sad reunion 

"Siyempre nakakapanghinayang. Kasi yung reunion 'di 'ba dapat masaya? 'Yung reunion namin, siya nakahiga na roon, wala na," he said. (It is a shame, of course. Reunions are supposed to be happy. In our reunion, he is already lying there [inside the coffin], lifeless) 

Castillo's relatives invited Hernandez to visit the wake after his Facebook post recalling the 2005 fire made rounds on social media. 

The boy's name sounded familiar to Hernandez, which led him to later discover that he was the same boy he rescued from a fire more than a decade ago. 

The memory of that night is still vivid for the firefighter. He said he remembers the 10-year-old Atio looking for his dog soon as he was rescued from their burning house. 

"Hindi niya kami kilala. Siya, kilala lang namin sa pangalan. Pero, kumbaga pagkatapos nung sunog, yung buhay namin at buhay nila may koneksyon," Hernandez said in an interview with Rappler. (He does not know us. We only know him by name. But it's like, after that fire, our lives and their lives are somewhat connected) 

The rescuer felt nothing but sorrow after learning about what happened to Atio Castillo whom he said "was living his second life."

'Justice will prevail' 

Hernandez said that he is optimistic that "justice will prevail" in the killing of Castillo. 

On Tuesday, September 26, John Paul Solano, a suspect in the fatal hazing, identified 6 fraternity brothers and one non-member in the controversial case that is currently gripping the nation. 

The law student's death revived a long-standing controversy surrounding fraternities and hazing rates in Philippine universities.

While the country has an existing law banning hazing (Republic Act No 8049 or the Anti-Hazing Law of 1995), the rule did little to discourage fraternities from the practice in their initiation rites. Since 1995, at least 16 people have died allegedly due to hazing – but there has been only one hazing-related conviction. 

In 2014, then Valenzuela Representative, now Senator, Sherwin Gatchalian filed House Bill 4714 or the "Servando Act" which seeks a total ban on any form of hazing or physical or psychological suffering, harm or injury to be inflicted on a person who wants to be admitted to an organization.  – Rappler.com  

DSWD to test new equipment for rapid emergency communications


RAPID COMMS. The Department of Social Welfare and Development will test the newly acquired satellites. Photo by DSWD Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will demonstrate its new emergency telecommunications equipment during the 3rd quarter nationwide earthquake drill on Wednesday, September 27.

The drill will test the newly-acquired satellite Global Xpress made for rapid emergency telecommunications.

Among the new gadgets to be tested are Automatic-Pointing and Manual-Pointing Broadband Global Area Network terminals which could connect a laptop computer to broadband internet in remote areas.

It also includes the latest ISat2 mobile satellite telephones that ensure reliable connectivity when a disaster strikes.

"Our goal is to encourage more people to lead good examples of resiliency and to empower them by educating them about their roles and responsibilities in disaster situations," said DSWD officer-in-charge Emmanuel Leyco in a statement.

Last Thursday, September 21, the DSWD initially tested the equipment and successfully communicated with other teams in Central Luzon, Bicol, and various operation centers in Metro Manila.

According to a study by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, movement of the West Valley Fault could trigger a magnitude 7.2 earthquake. (READ: The 'Big One': Are people ready?)

When the "Big One" strikes, communication within the metro will be greatly affected, if not impossible. (READ: What if communication lines break down during disasters?)

Preparedness plans and readiness of local government units and responders are tested every 3 months through the national simultaneous earthquake drill.

The drill was originally scheduled on September 21 but was postponed after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended government work and classes in public schools, declaring it a "national day of protest" to mark the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. – Rappler.com

Thousands participate in the 3rd nationwide earthquake drill


EARTHQUAKE DRILL. More than 1,000 grade schoolers of Mabini Elementary school in Baguio City join the 3rd national Earth Quake Drill September 27, 2017. Photos by Mau Victa

MANILA, Philippines – How ready is Southern Luzon in case of a strong earthquake?

At exactly 2 pm, representatives from the Office of Civil Defense and the local government of Bacoor, Cavite pressed the ceremonial button marking the start of the 3rd National Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on Wednesday, September 27.  

"Number one na tinitingnan natin dito ay kahandaan ng iba pang lokalidad na may pagbabanta ng isang malakas na pagyanig. 'Yung dulo ng West Valley Fault ay nandyan sa probinsya ng Cavite kaya napakahalaga na magkaroon sila ng paghahanda para dito,"  National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mina Marasigan said in an interview with Rappler.  (The number one factor we are looking into is the preparedness of other localities in case of a strong earthquake. The end of the West Valley Fault is here in Cavite so it is important that they are prepared for this) 


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">WATCH: <a href="https://twitter.com/NDRRMC_OpCen">@NDRRMC_OpCen</a> spokesperson Mina Marasigan on how Manila, other LGUs are preparing for the Big One <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BidaAngHanda?src=hash">#BidaAngHanda</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/rapplerdotcom">@rapplerdotcom</a> <a href="https://t.co/XKj8IfLdA8">pic.twitter.com/XKj8IfLdA8</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/912943536630198272">September 27, 2017</a></blockquote>
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From Luzon to Mindanao, thousands of participants  from the government, private sector, non-government organizations, academe, and individuals performed the duck, cover, and hold technique for the regular nationwide drill led by the NDRRMC.


JUST A DRILL. The 3rd nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill starts with the pressing of the ceremonial button in Bacoor, Cavite. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Civil Defense

This is the 3rd quarter edition of the drill, which is regularly organized by the NDRRMC to ensure that the public – from the barangay to the national government – knows how to respond to earthquakes. The first and second nationwide earthquake drills this year were held in Cebu and Davao respectively. (READ: Earthquake tips: what to do before, during, and after)

The goal of the activity is to test the preparedness of individuals, groups, and the government in case of a strong earthquake.

"We haven't reached the 100% [preparedness] yet. But what is important is that we are getting there. More local government units and more communities are supporting our disaster preparedness and mitigation efforts. Hopefully, when the time comes, we can say that we are really prepared and we are now moving towards the Philippine resilience that we are targeting," Marasigan added. 

This widespread support which Marasigan cited became evident in the social media activity referring to the earthquake drill.  A little past 2 pm on Wednesday, the #BidaAngHanda,  official hashtag for the activity, trended nationwide on Twitter as individuals and groups shared how they participated in the earthquake drill on social media.


<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">As of 2:20 pm, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BidaAngHanda?src=hash">#BidaAngHanda</a>, the official hashtag for the 3rd nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill, is trending on Twitter! <a href="https://t.co/ltkApYtvOh">pic.twitter.com/ltkApYtvOh</a></p>&mdash; Raisa Serafica (@raisaserafica) <a href="https://twitter.com/raisaserafica/status/912925472752787456">September 27, 2017</a></blockquote>
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A 2004 study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), showed that the movement of the West Valley Fault could trigger a strong earthquake, destroying up to  40% of the buildings in the metropolis. The same study also estimated that death toll from the strong earthquake may climb up to 30,000.

Below are some photos of the drill nationwide:


<a class="twitter-grid" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/timelines/912837018069098496">#BidaAngHanda Sept 27</a> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


The earthquake drill was rescheduled to Wednesday after President Rodrigo Duterte suspended all government work and classes on September 21, declaring it as "national day of protest' in observance of the 45th year of the Martial Law declaration.

Did you join the earthquake drill? Share your photos using #BidaAngHanda! – Rappler.com