What we lost

There are many online fora and seminars nowadays – from technology, to business, to history and culture. But unless you attend or listen to the replays of each one of them, you won’t know about the very rich information being shared in these discussions. Apart from the major business events, the very interesting or informative… Continue reading What we lost

Circles of trust on social media

Not everything shared on Facebook is true. At times, what is shared is wrong. This is either because there was a mistake in the gathering or presentation or facts or there is a deliberate intent to mislead. The approaches to these two errors are different: Mistakes in reporting we correct; disinformation we fight. Disinformation is… Continue reading Circles of trust on social media

Sunog and disinformation

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia asked reporters about “sunog” in a recent press conference. This was in relation to a story based on a social media post that was eventually deleted. The reporters told her the common term now is “kuryente.” When I was active on the field, it was “sunog.” You get burned by a… Continue reading Sunog and disinformation

Religion beat

The global kerfuffle over a statement by Pope Francis on civil union for gay couples shows the need for a religion beat reporter to offer important context on history, church precepts and processes, and a local point of view. As it is, we’re likely to get just he said/he said reporting about something potentially epoch-marking… Continue reading Religion beat

Bad words

Ronnie was crying at the back of our classroom. We were in Grade 4 at the Mt. Matutum Christian School in Polomolok, South Cotabato and Ronnie’s crying was disturbing our class. He was standing with arms held parallel to the ground and knees bent in a position called “sitting on the air.” It was the… Continue reading Bad words

Facebook persona

Her voice was earnest, almost pleading. “Kung mamatay mo, madala na ninyo inyo sakyanan? Ang inyong balay? Ang kwarta?” (When you die, will you be able to take your car, house, or money with you?) “Unya ang basil?” I thought to myself. (What about the basil?) I was waiting at the border controls in Barangay… Continue reading Facebook persona


“Ayaw sultii si Fionah ha? Ayaw tagai si Jasmin,” I used to tell sources when working on a story I was sure would be an exclusive when I covered Cebu City Hall for The Freeman with Zeny Jainar. This was in 1996, about the time The Freeman first connected to the Web. Fionah Bojos, now… Continue reading Scoop

“Fake news” and Labella’s overreaction, abdication

Authorities arrested artist Maria Victoria Beltran yesterday over allegations of spreading “fake news” when she posted on Facebook that there were 9,000 new COVID-19 cases in Zapatera, making Cebu City “the epicenter in the whole Solar System.” The post is clearly satirical with its galactic reference. But the point of contention and the crux of… Continue reading “Fake news” and Labella’s overreaction, abdication

Tuslob Buwa® and HTML entities

“How do I add ® to my post?” an acquaintance posted on Facebook as everyone piled up on Azul for trademarking Tuslob Buwa by posting their own versions of trademarking Cebu products and delicacies. It’s so much easier now. You can just copy and paste special characters, including the registered, trademarked, and copyrighted signs, and… Continue reading Tuslob Buwa® and HTML entities