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Opinion


Showbiz for ugly people? How Filipino politics is one big soap opera

Ever wondered why politics in the Philippines is so melodramatic? Or how any Filipino who gets even remotely famous ends up in public office? Here Anna Cristina Pertierra of Western Sydney University discusses how the country proves the old adage that “politics is show business for ugly people”… The international press has become…


Having a child in the Philippines. Part 1, the birth

As so often happens when two people of the opposite sex get together, the missus ended up pregnant. Suddenly, I was on a journey of discovery about what it means to have a child in the Philippines. It’s a very different experience from doing so in the west. First up,…


Bramovich: In a game of tug of war, nobody cares about the rope

As yet another Asian neighbour steps into the Philippines infrastructure ring, there are some questions that the people of the republic really need to be asking themselves. With both Japan and China now promising to invest heavily in the Philippines and offering the country access to debt since Duterte’s pivot…


Bramovich: Round up the Indian loan sharks, and send them home!

I was pleased to read that the government has announced that Indian nationals operating exorbitant “5-6” lending schemes can now be arrested without warrants for running illegal businesses. All around the provinces, people from the Sub-Continent are well known for their predatory lending — preying on people who seldom have access…


The unwanted guest: A true tale of demonic possession

After a career managing hotels and resorts across southeast Asia, Howard Stanton says that nothing has ever matched the strange and terrifying events that unfolded when he took on his first job. Many expats tend to dismiss or even mock local beliefs, but Mr Stanton says he will never again be one of…



Bramovich: Mind your language (a cautionary tale)

I was reminded this week of an incident from my past by a very amusing story that I came across about a caucasian girl working in a retail store. This particular girl spoke Mandarin. One day she was serving two Chinese customers, a husband and wife. The wife was talking to…