Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Entries Tagged as 'Philippines'

Filipino Brass

March 8th, 2013 · No Comments

The annual Musikahan sa Tagum, which just wrapped up its 2013 edition, touts itself as the premier music festival in the entire Philippines. I don’t know enough about that nation’s arts scene to judge the validity of that claim, but I certainly can’t stop watching videos of the Musikahan’s marching-band competition. (The one above, for […]

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The Jueteng Economy, Cont’d

September 18th, 2012 · No Comments

Nearly two years ago, I wrote about the Philippines’ futile efforts to stamp out jueteng, an illegal lottery analogous to the mob-run numbers games of yore. At that time, the government was about to launch legal lotteries that would offer higher payouts than their underground counterparts—the same strategy that states in the U.S. used to […]

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Working the Phones

December 8th, 2011 · No Comments

You’ll have to make do with some Filipino disco today, since I’m absorbed in reporting for multiple projects. Just spent the better part of the morning trying to track down an amnesia victim, only to be frustrated by his overprotective 78-year-old mother. May have to Irish up this coffee to push through that early-in-the-day disappointment.

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The Flipside of Nonsense

November 21st, 2011 · 8 Comments

There is an interracial romance at the heart of my next book, so I’ve spent appreciable time researching the question of how such couples were regarded in the early 1970s. As is typically the case, that line of inquiry has piqued my interest in a tangential matter: the creation of anti-miscegenation laws specifically targeted at […]

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The Jueteng Economy

October 6th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Filipinos can certaily be forgiven for having mixed feelings about jueteng, their nation’s equivalent of the ol’ numbers racket that used to flourish on these shores. After all, jueteng helped bring down the government of former President Joseph Estrada, who was later convicted of having close ties with the underworld characters who operate the lotteries. […]

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Off the Books

August 26th, 2010 · 4 Comments

The worst thing about this tale of a Sri Lankan maid’s suffering at the hands of her Saudi Arabian employers is that it’s completely unsurprising. Though the torture the woman endured is notable for its brutality, such abuse is evidently commonplace in Saudi Arabia—to the point that foreign workers are taught to expect beatings: The […]

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Goodbye, Palito

April 22nd, 2010 · No Comments

Sad news out of the Philippines, where beloved comedian Palito has passed away. The man born Reynaldo Hipolito was in many ways the anti-Dom DeLuise—a performer whose career path was determined by his incredible leanness: Born on Sept. 4, 1934, Palito was best known for his comedy films “Ram-Buto” and “Jones Bone,” which were spoofs […]

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Ending the Cycle of Blood

February 23rd, 2010 · 2 Comments

In reading about the persistence of clan feuding on Mindanao, we got to thinking about how governments can best end such cycles of revenge. Our natural assumption is that these feuds exist where organized justice is in short supply, and so familial units take over the role of punishing offenders. But a University of Maryland […]

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Choke on This

February 16th, 2010 · 2 Comments

There’s an old chestnut (of dubious veracity) about how more rock climbers perish in auto accidents to-and-from the cliffs than from accidental falls. We thought of that contrarian info-nugget this morning upon stumbling across some surprising morbidity news from Britain: Last week, the House of Commons’s Environmental Audit Committee heard evidence that about 35,000 people […]

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Self-Publishing for Legends

January 25th, 2010 · 8 Comments

We’ve recently been toying with the idea of self-publishing a book, but can’t quite seem to get over the feeling that such a maneuver will result in a disastrous labor-to-pay ratio. That said, we’ve been heartened to learn that putting out one’s own book is no longer the sole domain of conspiracy theorists and frustrated […]

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Bulletproof: The Tadtad

December 17th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Our semi-regular Bulletproof Project today takes us to the southern Philippines, specifically the perpetually conflict-addled island of Mindanao. It is there that a family of quasi-Christian cults collectively known as the Tadtad (“Chop Chop”) flourish, and occasionally wreak bloody havoc on the unfortunate populace. The Tadtad remind us a bit of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army, […]

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The Filipino Route Around

August 4th, 2009 · No Comments

Yesterday we looked at the economic benefits of the Philippines’ divorce ban. In doing so, we noted that while legal splits are certainly uncommon over there, they’re certainly not unheard of. Filipinos who want out of bummer marriages must opt for an annulment, which is ostensibly tough to obtain. But as is usually the case […]

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Where Divorce Dare Not Speak Its Name

August 3rd, 2009 · 1 Comment

In response to our recent string of posts regarding the “Natural Rate of Divorce”, a commenter asked an interesting question: how might an examination of the situation in the Philippines shed some light on the topic? The Philippines, after all, is the only nation in the world, apart from the Vatican, where divorce continues to […]

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RIP Corazon Aquino

July 31st, 2009 · No Comments

Her story was amazing.

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The Struggles of Stuntmen

June 1st, 2009 · No Comments

We always figured that the advent of cheap CGI effects would have a deleterious effect on living, breathing stuntmen. But we had no idea things were so rough in the Filipino film industry. The Manila Times sheds some depressing light: Stuntmen are not covered by life or health insurances, but merely hope for the assistance […]

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Two Sticks Better Than One

May 27th, 2009 · 2 Comments

There’s a movement afoot in the Senate of the Philippines to designate arnis the national sport. From the text of Senate Bill 1424 (PDF): Arnis is a sport that is indigenous and uniquely Filipino. Among the many games in the country, it can be considered as one of our national cultural gems that completely originated […]

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Take a Load Off, Insan

May 11th, 2009 · 5 Comments

In today’s installment of NtHWS Extras, we’re gonna revisit one of Microkhan’s very favorite topics: headhunting. Perhaps the most famous anthropological study of the practice is Renato Rosaldo’s Ilongot Headhunting, 1883-1974. The Ilongot, who inhabit the Filipino island of Luzon, are peculiar in that they don’t preserve their captured heads as keepsakes. Rather, they discard […]

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War Without End

February 12th, 2009 · No Comments

From Foreign Policy, a list of insurgencies that refuse to die. They forgot a biggie, though: The New People’s Army, the military branch of the Communist Party of the Philippines. They’ve been waging their futile war since 1969, which makes the group older than the Tamil Tigers (1975) or Peru’s Shining Path (1980). This sad […]

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