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Tag: Philippines

Philippine elections: looking back and forward

Photo by Juan Tan Kwon

By Kim Knibbe One day after the elections, the consensus in the media is that everything went relatively smoothly. Noynoy Aquino, the son of the two ‘icons of democracy’ Ninoy Aquino, assassinated by Marcos, and Cory Aquino, who led the revolution that ousted Marcos, is leading by a wide margin. Nevertheless, there were many voting-machine failures, and many people had to wait in line so long that they went home without voting.

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Elections in the Philippines

By Kim Knibbe At this moment, the day has started already in the Philippines, the day nationwide elections will take place. Filipinos must choose new members for their municipal councils, representatives on the provincial level, new senators and congressmen, and a new president. Earlier I have written about the emergence of a sudden unlikely but extremely popular candidate after the death of Cory Aquino, namely her son Noynoy Aquino, making it a lot harder for the current president, Gloria Arroyo, to find an excuse to hold on to her power. I have also written about the election violence at the local and provincial levels. Although one incident was unusually violent, this is all business as usual, no reason to call off the elections. Nevertheless, everybody is holding his or her breath, because there is one more thing that can go seriously wrong:

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Fieldwork 2010: researching prostitution in the Philippines

With three weeks to go, Sanne Maris looks back on her fieldwork in the Philippines. This is part 6 of our series on master students’ fieldwork.

It is nine weeks now that I am in the Philippines, and fieldwork preparation taught me things should get normal after a while. They don’t. Every week I find myself in several situations in which I am either overwhelmed by everything that happens or it raises many questions on how to respond. I am here in the Philippines to conduct research on prostitution. My main question is how women who prostitute create and maintain security and how the organization I work alongside plays a role in this process.

I knew prostitution was big in the Philippines, but walking in the huge red light district of Angeles City, which is known as the sex city of the country, is still an experience.


Political Massacre in the Philippines

Photo by Bikoy

 By Kim Knibbe 

Usually, the political violence in the Philippines does not make headlines in the European media. In preparation for the elections in May 2010, there have been occasional outbursts of violence, which one could label ‘politics as usual’; local big men shooting at each other, as well as the continuous killing of (unarmed) activists and journalists that has become normal (again) under the presidency of Gloria Arroyo (see also the previous posts on the death of Corazon Aquino and the candidacy for president of her son on this weblog). But last week an incident occurred which defies belief:

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