climate change

The tale of the disappearing ube jam

Lilibeth Frondoso

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The favorite pasalubong from Baguio brings home the argument about climate change

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More than a month ago, I was in Baguio and tried to buy some ube jam for pasalubong from Good Shepherd. The people at the nunnery said they only had “white ube” – and I left without buying a single jar. My friends and I tried looking for another well-known brand in the wet market, but we couldn’t find any, either.

Today, it became official. The iconic jam has turned white, as far as Good Shepherd is concerned.

See the Facebook post of the Religious of the Good Shepherd. The Sisters say the changing climate has made it more difficult for ube farmers to cultivate the purple root crop.

That announcement coincides with two important events: Rappler’s Social Good Summit 2019, which had the theme #InsightForImpact. The summit in Manila brought together stakeholders on urgent environmental and cyberspace issues.

READ more on that from Glenda Gloria’s newsletter.

#2030Now: Plastic pollution not just an environment problem
#2030Now: Refilling stations emerge as best solution to plastic pollution
#2030NOW: Advocates rethink gender and development in the Philippines

Then there’s the United Nations’ own SGS in New York – with this year’s emphasis on climate change. There’s even a parallel summit – the Youth Climate Summit attended by youth climate activists – most notable among them, 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

Another participant, young Argentine activist Bruno Rodriguez says, “Many times, we hear that our generation is going to be the one in charge of dealing with the problems that current leaders have created, and we will not wait passively to become that future: the time is now for us to be leaders.”

Protectors of Manila’s Last Lung. Winner Foundation’s Chiqui Mabanta talks about the fight to protect the Arroceros Forest Park in Manila during the #InspireCourage session of 2019 SGS #InsightForImpact.

She says there were days when it became difficult to enter the park. They climbed the boundary wall, or took the long way around it.

In 2017, the local government under then Mayor Joseph Estrada told them to vacate the park to make way for a gym.


But hope springs anew in 2019. The new mayor Isko Moreno promises to preserve Arroceros Forest Park.

It is a huge relief for its protectors, who spent almost two decades fighting to keep it alive.

Fixing democracy on the web. In 2013, Cult of the Amateur author Andrew Keen said the internet is an “epic failure.” Now he says we’re in a new dark age, that coincides with the democratic recession.

Keen also has ideas on how to fix it. He says only a data version of the nuclear disaster Chernobyl can bring democracy back to the internet.

He says, “It’s gonna take a kind of data catastrophe, the equivalent of Chernobyl to wake us up. Chernobyl essentially broke up the Soviet Union because it exposed all the corruption all the inefficiencies, all the redundancies of the Soviet regime.”

Keen joins Google Asia Pacific Region News Lab Lead Irene Jay Liu and Democracy & Disinformation consortium convenor John Nery in the panel discussion “Cutting through the noise.”

Liu, who connects Google with newsrooms across the Asia Pacific disagrees with Keen.

She says, “If we listen also and we listen to understand better how this is changing, how those users and makers are evolving and how they can educate older generations, I think that we might actually see quite a lot of change in the coming years.”

Keen strongly advocates getting rid of anonymity online. He says, “We need to harness, control, and civilize the digital revolution.”

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A former Armed Forces chief, Año wants the Anti-Subversion Law repealed and the Communist Party of the Philippines outlawed.

Paolo Duterte on tourism chief: ‘Napupuyat na ko sa babae na ‘to’ 

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Taking ‘Himala’ from screen to stage

The 1982 film written by Ricky Lee and directed by the late Ishmael Bernal reaches a new generation with Himala: Isang Musikal.

The screenwriter recalls he wrote the now-iconic film soon after he was released from prison for being a political activist during Martial Law.

For Lee, it is heartening and depressing – that the film remains relevant to this day.

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Lilibeth Frondoso

She currently heads Multimedia Strategy and Growth in Rappler.