Master of his fate, captain of his soul

Published 12:00 PM, November 02, 2019
Updated 1:23 AM, November 06, 2019

On All Saints' Day, Rappler reporter JC Gotinga came out with an exclusive. It's a gripping, blow-by-blow tale of a ship captain and his crew standing up to the Chinese Coast Guard and a "warship" near the Scarborough shoal.

Must watch: I won't say more – it's a story best told through video.

Poetry in adversity: Listening to Captain Manolo Ebora tell his story, the romantic side of me is reminded of the poem "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley, with the immortal lines, "I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul."

Why it matters: The political side of me, however, is struck by the boldness of the declaration made by the Chinese Coast Guard: "This area is under the jurisdiction of Chinese government. You should keep away from this area."

My take-away. I tend to remember little things from video – trembling hands, a steely stare, a grating voice. One thing grabs me in this video: that voice on the radio in pretty good Chinese-accented English – the voice of a bully.


Undas (All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day) is a visual treat, from the borrowed western tradition of Halloween to the candles and flowers on tombstones. Watch.

Perfect tandem: Protest and Halloween. Small flashmob rallies break out in multiple locations in Hong Kong, Thursday evening, October 31.

Defying a ban on face coverings, activists donned Halloween masks lampooning the city's pro-Beijing leaders. The march typically ends in clashes with the police.


Day of the Dead. It's a testament to our respect for tradition and our loved ones: the yearly visit to the cemetery is crowded, noisy, and bereft of solemnity.

Rappler tries to capture the real spirit and poetry of Undas in these images. Video taken at the Manila South Cemetery.


Candles and shadows. Bathed in candlelight, the grave sites transform into solemn, mysterious places at night. Even the crowds turn into eerie, moving shadows.

Shot at the Eternal Covenant Memorial Park in Floridablanca, Pampanga.


'Judgement Day' chapel. Do you believe in hell? Does the idea of eternal damnation spur you to live a pious life?

This chapel in Negros Occidental gives us a glimpse of the after-life in images of an angry Jesus, tormented souls in purgatory, and an all-seeing eye.


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Baghdadi raid. The US Defense Department releases a grainy black-and-white footage of troops approaching a high-walled compound in northwestern Syria where Baghdadi was holed up.


Goma. Actor-politician and Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez talks about the first 100 days of his second term and his plans for the city. He got thrice as many votes than his closest rival in the last election.


Post-retirement. Retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio says he aims to convince President Rodrigo Duterte to assert the Hague arbitral ruling on the West Philippine Sea.


Vaping. Tobacco cessation expert and pulmonologist Maricar Limpin is among health professionals pushing for a ban on e-cigarettes in the country.


Health secretary. Francisco Duque III talks about the re-emergence of polio in the country, dengue, universal health care, and the challenges of vaccination. How will the department implement its ambitious health reform plan?


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