Stories tagged


Toxic city

FILMED over a five-hour period from the hills of Antipolo, you can see the gradual encroachment of smog choking Metro Manila in this time-lapse video.

Smog is a combination of smoke and fog. The smoke is caused by nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons emitted by motor vehicles. When this is warmed by the sun’s rays, a photochemical reaction occurs and smog forms.

At Boys Town, regrets over lost glory

ERNESTO Beren, 61, remembers the Manila Boys Town of old with fondness. He recalls that the 23-hectare institution had a rustic landscape, surrounded as it was by trees, and huge grounds that gave him and his fellow young wards plenty of room to play.

The life it offered was not exactly ideal for the 10-year-old boy since he had to be away from his family, but the priests who ran the place made sure the boys felt safe and loved. And while daily chores were included in their daily schedule of study and play, Beren himself says these only helped instill in the wards discipline and good values.

Boys Town wards cry sexual and physical abuse

SEVENTEEN-year-old Paul was already resigned to sleep at the guardhouse of Manila Boys Town in Parang, Marikina as part of his punishment for a minor mischief he says he did not commit. But then the officer-in-charge of the facility changed his mind; Paul was to stay at the OIC’s living quarters while the boy was still “under observation.”

In Manila, pills and condoms go underground

THEY ARE not drug dealers or smugglers. They’re not even video pirates. But many nongovernmental organizations in the city of Manila are now feeling as if they were involved in an illicit trade. They do their transactions on the sly, with furtive glances cast here and there to check if someone is watching.

The City

Blueprint for a city’s soul

AT TIMES, when the breeze is just so, the sun is shining, and peals of children’s laughter ring out, Luneta’s grand past can still be glimpsed, leaving no one to doubt that for 19th-century Manila, it was the prime leisure amenity. The American planner Daniel Burnham laid out a grand civic district in Manila, like Washington D.C.’s. Burnham’s grand plan was never fully implemented. Only a few of the planned civic structures were built. After the war, plans were revised to move the capital to Quezon City. Luneta became a cogon-filled no-man’s land eventually turning into the city’s Central Park.