Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

The National Arts Council Singapore (NAC) is delighted to announce the presentation of Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book at the Singapore Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia (Biennale Arte 2022). The exhibition is conceived by Shubigi Rao, in collaboration with curator Ute Meta Bauer, who together form the first-ever women-led team to represent Singapore at Biennale Arte 2022.

Singapore, 18 January 2022 – A glorious tribute and haunting elegy to shared humanity and communities of print, Pulp III: A Short Biography of the Banished Book marks the midpoint of Shubigi Rao’s evocative 10-year project, Pulp, which explores the history of book destruction and its impact on the futures of knowledge.

Taking the form of a book, film and paper maze, this milestone exhibition created for the Singapore Pavilion explores the precarity and persistence of endangered languages, the futures of public and alternative libraries, and the cosmopolitanism of regional print communities that have blossomed and waned in historic centres of print, including Venice and Singapore. Rooted in the literary movements raised and rewritten by humankind through legendary libraries, halftruths, hearsay, and contested narratives, the presentation is a valuable lyrical manuscript that charts the breadth of human cultural endeavour.

Artist Shubigi Rao comments on the underlying ethos of Pulp III: “The stories in the Pulp project point to different forms of courage, in action, speech, in documenting and in sharing. These stories also make visible the nuanced forms of resistance in print, and of lives lived surrounded by books, of breathing air heavy with the weight of unread but priceless knowledge, of risking everything to save texts that aren’t theirs, and may never be read, but are also more than mere symbolic representations of their civilizations, or some idealistic notion of humanness. These stories embody the most powerful conviction of value beyond narrow tribalism and pecuniary pettifoggery. And every story here speaks also of the millions still unheard and unrecorded. There is redemption in the courage of others, of those who make, write, and save, and so this presentation is an acknowledgment of all the people and texts that shape while they inform, that force us to defend or relinquish positions, or envelop, enclose, and enlighten us.”


Pulp III goes beyond the documentary to formulate new strategies of resilient thought across the globe. It represents Shubigi Rao’s long-term aim to explore the moments of convergence between readers, artists, writers, printers, academics, bibliophiles, shadow library activists, librarians and other cultural custodians, as well as various defenders and supporters of print, speech, and open access to knowledge. The resulting presentation is a powerful encapsulation of the many interconnected threads that weave together the artist’s understanding of knowledge generation, ownership, dissemination, and its ecologies that are rapidly emerging in global consciousness.

The Pavilion’s curator, Ute Meta Bauer explains: “At the kernel of this Pavilion is the question of what a history of the banished book actually means. Shubigi Rao employs the book and the moving image as formats of communication which tend to the parts in the story that have often been deliberately obscured by those in power and by the expediencies of capital. The artistic research is deeply interested in the ‘keepers’ of culture, of histories, of herstories, of identity, wherein language becomes a home and a place of retreat to protect and yet lament that which is lost. At a time where the world is experiencing great loss – not just in terms of the human lives lost to the pandemic but also the forms and ways of life lost to the climate crisis – the exhibition at the Pavilion fosters an appreciation for what it means to persist, to productively and meaningfully live together.”

Pulp III continues to connect individuals and communities across disparate regions, each navigating differing obstacles to accessing knowledge, various forms of control over media, both print and online, and issues concerning privacy, data, and access.

Rosa Daniel, Chief Executive of the NAC Singapore, said: “The return of the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia serves as a reminder of how the arts continue to be important. Shubigi Rao’s Pulp III takes visitors on a journey through accounts from diverse communities, drawn into the kinship of those who recognise the robustness of the book as a medium, as well as its fragility. We invite people to the exhibition to engage in wholehearted conversations and explore the human stories and perspectives that connect us in meaningful and sustained ways. We also look forward to the return show in 2023 for our local community to experience and immerse in the art work.”

This year marks Singapore’s 10th participation at the Biennale Arte. It is the first time the nation has selected a solo presentation by a woman artist, and the first ever women-led artist-curator team. The official opening of the Singapore Pavilion will be on Thursday, 21 April 2022 at the Arsenale’s Sale d’Armi. The multi-disciplinary installation will be on display on the second floor of the building from 23 April to 27 November 2022.

Join this year’s Singapore Pavilion via Facebook and Instagram (@NACSingapore), and hashtags #SingaporeInVenice #BiennaleArte2022 and #TheMilkOfDreams. More information can be found on

Monday, January 17, 2022

Senator Francis Tolentino backs DOTr’s ‘no vaccination, no ride’ policy; says policy is legal, contained in laws and franchises of public utility vehicles

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Senator Francis Tolentino, who formerly served as chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), expressed support for the “no vaccination, no ride” policy that has become fully effective in Metro Manila starting today, Monday, 17 January 2022.

In an interview on 15 January 2022 which was later posted in Senator Tolentino’s Facebook page, the solon said “there is no issue” in the DOTr Department Order signed by Transportation Secretary Art Tugade which bars people unvaccinated against COVID-19 from boarding public utility vehicles going out, inside and within Metro Manila. The DO was issued by the DOTr in response to the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases in the metropolis, and the Metro Manila Council and MMDA Resolution, as well as ordinances issued by local government ordinances, prohibiting unvaccinated peopl from using public transport.

“Wala po akong nakikitang issue dito sa panukala ng DOTr,” said Senator Tolentino.

A lawyer by profession, Sen. Tolentino said the DOTr DO is rooted in the Constitution of the Philippines, which states that the state has the right to protect the health of the people.

“Sa ating Saligang Batas, nakalagay doon na karapatan ng estado ang protektahan ang kalusugan ng mamamayan. So pasok po ‘yun doon,” he said.

Sen. Tolentino added that the DOTr department order is also anchored on Proclamation 922 which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on March 8, 2020. Proclamation 922 placed the entire Philippines under a state of public health emergency.

Tolentino added that the franchise to operate given by the government to operators of public utility vehicles (PUVs) is not a right, but a privilege subject to laws. These laws he said, include the Constitution and Proclamation 922.

“‘Yun pong operator, ‘yung pong nagpapasada, ibig sabihin po, meron kayong prangkisa. ‘Yung prangkisa po ay hindi isang karapatan, kundi isang pribiliheyo. At bilang isang pribiliheyo, nakaangkop po sa prangkisa ang mga batas na angkop sa ating sitwasyon,” he said.

Sen. Tolentino said that as franchise holder, PUV operators must uphold laws which concern the health of the people, such as the local ordinances passed by local government units (LGUs) restricting the movements of people unvaccinated against COVID-19.

According to Tolentino, as franchise holders, PUV operators must help enforce the “no vaccination, no ride” policy as laws supporting it were already passed by a majority of local government units in Metro Manila where they have operating routes.

“So dahil po ang DOTr department order ay para sa NCR po lamang, pasok din po ang mga ordinansa ng mg LGUs, doon sa mga ibinigay sa inyong mga prangkisa. So ibig sabihin po, bilang isang franchise holder, katungkulan ninyo na ipatupad ang Saligang Batas, ang Presidential Proclamation 922. At katungkulan nyo rin po na ipatupad ang mga ordinansa ng mga lugar na kung saan meron kayong mga ruta, at eto nga po yung mga ordinansa ng mga pamahalaang lokal ng National Capital Region na limitado ang paglabas ng mga hindi bakunado,” he said.

“Kahit na isyuhan kayo ng prangkisa noong 2019 pa, napaloob po rin yun din doon. Kasi yung prangkisa n’yo po, kasama po dapat ang batas. Halos lahat po ng NCR LGUs, ay may mga ordinansa, na bawal, limitado ang paglabas. Kaya lahat po ‘yan ay legal,” Tolentino added.

Meanwhile, Tolentino added that he sees no discrimination in the enforcement of the “no vaccination, no ride” policy in Metro Manila.

To recall, Tolentino was the one who introduced the anti-discriminatory amendment during the Senate deliberations on Republic Act 11525 or the law that establishes the COVID-19 vaccination program. The Tolentino amendment of the law safeguards students, regular employees, overseas Filipino workers, and others from discrimination resulting from their non-vaccination against COVID-19.

Tolentino said there is no discrimination in the enforcement of the “no vaccination, no ride policy” as unvaccinated persons who will be barred from availing of public transportation are still given options.

“Wala pong diskriminasyon sa pagpapatupad ng batas dahil ipapatupad po ito sa lahat, at tungkol naman po sa issue ng freedom of mobility, hindi naman po totally o absolute ang pagpigil doon sa hindi bakunado,” he said.

“Sa aking pananaw, ang diskriminasyon ay kapag wala nang option yung tao na sinasabing na discriminate. Dito po may option. Pwede naman pong lumabas ang bibili ng essential items. Pwede rin pong lumabas gamit ang pribadong sasakyan. At pwede rin pong lumabas yung may mga medical reasons, halimbawa po, yung pupunta ng ospital, ” he added.

Senator Grace Poe, Samar Rep. Edgar Sarmiento as well as the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and various transport groups have also expressed their support for the DOTr order.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

White Castle whisky picks LGBT Sassa Gurl as calendar model for 2022

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Is this acceptable?

Whisky brand White Castle picks popular internet personality Sassa Gurl as its calendar model for 2022.

Is it about time ba talaga na magka baklang endorser ang alak dahil majority ng sales are from LGBTQ+ community?!

Papalag ba ang mga "tunay" na kalalakihan dito? Nakakasira ba sa image ng mga "boys" at macho men?

Kudos to White Castle Whisky?

It's okay for us that Sassa Gurl was used for mockery to entertain male drinkers?  Should we contextualize this issue using the marketing history of White Castle--those women models or endorsers who were valued not for laughs, not as caricatures of crude or ugly femininity?

"Let’s be reminded: hindi lang iisa ang mukha at hugis ng trans woman. Trans people are diverse too. 

Sassa isn’t our trans pageant queen. She represents the feisty, the unapologetic, the non-conforming trans woman whose talent is comedy.

She represents those who choose not to transition. "

The fact that this "activist" and "social anthropologist" misconstrues Sassa Gurl's expression as bakla as mockery of trans women says enough for the ways in which Western queer rhetoric erases indigenous bakla narratives and marginalizes this kind of gay.

Just because a bakla does not conform to being either a homosexual man or a transgender woman does not mean they are aiming to be laughing stocks. Have you considered maybe they're just like that? They do not have to conform to either western gay maleness or trans womanhood to exist!

Sassa is said to be fun, funny, and witty! So let’s not take away her moment and let her shine in her own element. In the same manner that we should let everyone be — the  smart, well-read, argumentative critics.

Many have assumed on the basis of our transgression of the Western binary that this kind of gay only exist to be jokers. What if they are simply transgressive by nature under colonial patriarchy? The fact that many assumed they're jokes says more about majority of our fellow Filipinos than these gays. Maybe we're mostly "transphobic".

Many really get offended by people who gatekeep representation?

The mere fact that there are still misconceptions and whatnot with the LGBTQIA+ community speaks largely of how even the slightest representation matters.

That alone speaks of how internalized homophobia/transphobia is still alive in today’s time.

I get where many are coming from, because there have been countless misrepresentations and maltreatment of trans women in the media.

Trans people are not any less dahil lang hindi "passing" sa "standard" representation of the typical. I guess many just so badly want to be right kahit hindi.

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