The community pantry movement in the Philippines is a phenomenon, and it’s something I’ve been dwelling on for more than a month. I published the article ‘Community pantries are a form of placemaking’ in CNN Philippines Life, where I dwell on how the movement counters the rigidity posed by pandemic measures in the country.
I’m also fascinated by how much the spaces where the numerous pantries are located. Initially, I created a collage to understand this:
Now, I’m further researching about the pantries and writing about it as a case study for our research project at the Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster.
This has been a long time coming in my mind, but I finally found courage to write it. Leslie Kern’s Feminist City really resonated with me when I read it a year ago in London, and now that I wade through Philippine cities and battle with patriarchal space, words just came out pouring, and I finished writing this in a few minutes. CNN Philippines Life published this in time for International Women’s Day, and within two hours of this being online, I received so much “Me Too” feedback on having to find clean public bathrooms while menstruating, keeping safe at night, and just generally, making it as a women in the urban, patriarchal jungle.
Read my essay here, and I’d love to discuss how we can improve cities to cater more for women and girls.
We started a video series at UP Plano to talk about COVID-19 and Planning in the Philippines. As a starter, I talked about spatial inequality and critical public spaces, which are crucial points of discourse in understanding how we spatially respond to the pandemic. I briefly go over what has happened so far in the quarantine, look into what the crisis yields, and provide suggestions on how we can frame our response in moving towards more equitable cities, as against what used to be ‘normal’.
It’s been a while since I’ve written for the media, because university life has been keeping me with academic essays and design work, but when CNN Philippines got in touch for an urban perspective on COVID-19, I found myself writing non-stop.
Before leaving for London, The Guidon asked my take about the street vendor clearing that happened in the City of Manila a few months back, and I was glad to share insights on how we should understand the underappreciated value of informality in our cities.