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Currently showing in ABS-CBN-2 TV Channel in the Philippines is a soap opera titled “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin” (“I’ll Love You Only Once”) about, well, all the usual dramatic themes of love and betrayal. To quote Wikipedia:

This is a story of two opposing worlds…two opposing families, bounded by lies, betrayals and shocking secrets. Alexander Del Tierro (Coco Martin) was born into a family with a strong military background, while Javier (Coco Martin) was raised in the mountain based community of the rebels. Soon after graduation from the military academy, and bent on proving himself to his stern grandfather, Alexander accepts deployment in the territory of the rebels. In one battle, Alexander and Javier come face to face in a life changing encounter. Are they long lost brothers or are they twins? Alexander and Javier enter into a pact, they decide to keep their meeting a secret and they soon embark on an investigation tracing their roots in pursuit of the truth of their real identities. They even switch places to get to know each other’s personal lives with the families they grew up in. But as they push much deeper into unfamiliar territory, the line between family and duty begins to blur. The truth that they wanted to realize becomes their worst nightmare, as it threatens to ruin everyone and everything that is important in their lives. Eventually, Alexander and Javier and their families will find themselves at the crossfire. Left with difficult choices, fulfillment of duty to the country or protection of ones family?

“Kailangan Kita” (“I Need You,” 2002) is one of those usual love stories in Filipino films about disparate people who fall in love in the most inopportune time and place. Filipino actress Claudine Barretto, at the height of her popularity, plays a rebel-coddling barrio lass (Filipino matinee idol Jericho Rosales plays the communist rebel) and Aga Muhlach a Filipino-American cook who, it turns out, is son to a former rebel himself.

Photo from this ridiculously conservative blog: http://www.charmaineyoest.com/2007/07/the_dreamer_goes_to_peruwithou.php, which in turn probably grabbed it elsewhere without permission or accreditation.

Probably in real life as much as in the movies, actress Cameron Diaz cluelessly got herself embroiled in controversy after been photographed in the ancient city of Macchu Picchu carrying a Mao Zedong bag with the slogan “Serve the People” emblazoned on it. Conservative Peruvians who hated the Shining Path movement publicly expressed their resentment at Diaz for wearing the bag. She henceforth apologized, apparently not knowing what the apology was for.

Women’s magazine Marie Clare featured a photo story from the same set of photos of Philip Blenkinsop, this time focusing on the women guerrillas. Hat tip to the Guerilla Busfare blog for this. Click on the the pages below to magnify.

Time Magazine cover on the NPA. Photo by Philip Blenkinsop/Agence Vu for Time. (Click on the image to enlarge)

Time Magazine, not exactly the epitome of western journalism, came up with a cover story, written by British journalist Andrew Marshall, on the New People’s Army in the Philippines in January 25, 2007. Read the article here.

A Hollywood film about an enterprising but desperate TV morning show executive producer (played by Rachel MacAdams), struggling with her job, managing a washed-out but proud broadcast journalist (played by Harrison Ford)as well as her love life mentions something about a “report on communist rebels in the Philippines.” What appears to be either a clipping or a poster looks like it says “Free Sison.”

Watch out for the scene in 44:40. The entire movie can be watched here.

Rationale

A friend, who like me shall remain anonymous throughout the existence of this blog, once called me a “people’s war correspondent.” Not a war correspondent or reporter — a “people’s war correspondent. A term, of course, that came from what is billed to be the kind of war being waged in the Philippines and elsewhere. (In Maoist terms, a “people’s war” is a war waged by mass-based revolutionary movements, usually for national liberation, from foreign domination and colonialism or from class-based oppression.) Having written a number of stories on the revolutionary war in the Philippines, my friend meant it as a compliment. Of course, as a journalist based in one of the major urban areas in the Philippines — this urban area shall remain unnamed at the moment — such a title does not in any way endear me to the military establishment, nor even to colleagues in the so-called mainstream media. But this is a title I have come to embrace. I am a people’s war correspondent. There is a people’s war going on in the Philippines, a raging, violent and in many ways necessary struggle between (mainly) two opposing forces — and it is the biggest story of all.

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But this blog is not about my stories in the front-lines. This blog is partly about my being a reporter writing about the people’s war, but it is more about how mainstream (global corporate) media covers the subject of my reportage. This blog shall become my public repository of magazine and newspaper stories, film clips, etc. about the many revolutionary movements and struggles throughout the world. In a way, this space shall present how mainstream media has come to view radical, often violent, transformation in many parts of the world. It goes without saying that this is a view through the prism of class bias. So in presenting this view, I plan to insert a few commentaries on the stories.

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The posts are for activists and other people interested in how radical social transformation is viewed by the mainstream media that has become so influential to public opinion and attitude.