The Politics of Cleanliness in Duterte’s Philippines

Photo by 12019 via

Pro-Duterte politics deploys an aesthetic that professes a devotion to cleanliness, which connotes beauty, modernity, progress, efficiency, order, goodness, and discipline. Conversely, it has a marked aversion to dirt, which is associated with ugliness, poverty, crime and disorder. The anti-drug and anti-loitering campaigns have weaponised this aesthetic to deadly effect.



Celebrating and Taming Black Power: ‘Black Panther’ and the Limits of Liberalism

Black Panther 2Photo: Grabbed from the Official Black Panther Facebook page. The liberal politics of the film echoes the benign, less brutal aspect of American foreign policy. And part of its appeal is that it’s aware of the fact. That’s what a good liberal does.

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Dreams of Freedom, Illusions of Autonomy: A Critique of ‘Love You to the Stars and Back’

Photo grabbed from Star Cinema website

Some films and TV shows are highly conducive to a philosophical reading. The Black Mirror, for instance. But it’s not something you’d expect from Filipino romantic comedies, which are more (in)famous — and at times derided — for their kilig factor, feel-good, light-hearted entertainment, and their false ideas about love and romance.  Continue reading