DL

2-3

4-5

6-7

8-9

10-11

12-13

14-15

16-17

18-19

White Egret

White Egret focuses on the Orang Seletar, an indigenous people who lead a life afloat in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Focusing on Ain and Nasir, a couple, the documentary draws out how their move from the sea to a coastal village has affected their lifestyles and livelihoods. The couple describe both the resilience their community has shown, as well as the uncertain future they face, in a period of rapid social transformation.

Loh Yoke Ling (Malaysia)

Loh Yoke Ling is an independent Malaysia film director and made short films and documentaries for alternative channels. She has 7 years of experience in the drama and film making industry in Malaysia before she went on to further study in the field of screen studies. She is passionate about the power of storytelling through aesthetic media.

 

Chee Wei Hsing (Malaysia)

Chee Wei Hsing is a student who graduated with a Diploma in Journalism and is current studying for a Bachelor Degree of Mass Communication at the Southern University College. She has participated in student projects such as the publication of newspapers, documentary filmmaking and event organizing and worked as a photographer. She is passionate about filmmaking and spreading stories through media.

Produced in Malaysia

What were your reasons for making your documentary and how did you come to focus on the topic?

In March this year, I moved to Johor Bahru from Kuala Lumpur another big city in Malaysia. I would always see a couple selling fish beside the road on my way to work. I asked my sister who are these people who selling fish and sea products just beside the highway. She replied that they were Orang Seletar an indigenous people living nearby our house in Masai. I was so surprised that there was still an indigenous people in this big city. This became the impetus to discover what is the life beside the highway. 

In urban Johor Bahru, there is a group of people who still relies on the sea for their livelihood. This is something unique and uncommon in the 21st century. The lifestyle of the Orang Seletar, an indigenous people on the coast presents a very big contrast to urban life in Johor Bahru City. Yet, no matter how much technology advances, they insist to live on their own terms in the present. Although they are facing oppression in life, they are still content with it as they are with their family and that’s enough. They ask for little, but the only one thing they need is that their family is by their side and that they can have a healthy life free from misfortune. This film aims to present their unique lifestyle in the urban life of Johor Bahru to the audience and also to embody the carefree life they have. This film was by no means made for people to pity an indigenous people, but merely to reveal how they use a very optimistic mind to overcome difficulties in urban living which totally different and contrasts to the lifestyle they pursue.

 

Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

“White Egret”

This documentary was shot in the southern Malaysia, Johor Bahru, the capital city of Johor State, located at the southern end of Malayan peninsula. Further to the south of Johor Bahru, across the sea, lies Singapore. Yet, the term sea here only refers to a strait with the width of approximately 500meters to 2 Kilometers. In Malay, strait is Selate, and since the time of the Sultanate of Malacca, people living on the water around this strait have been called the Selates. These people are now called the Orang Seletar. They used to live on both Malaysian and Singaporean sides of the strait, but through the course of Singapore’s economic development, they moved to Malaysian side. At present, in the midst of economic development in Johor Bharu, they are also losing their place on the Malaysian side. This forms the background to this documentary. According to Malaysian statistics, at present the number of the Seletar, who are centered around Johor State, account for no more than 1000 nationwide. In this respect, this is an important documentary that depicts their lifestyle. The white eagret, in the title of this documentary, is the bird mostly observed on waterfronts in tropical Southeast Asia. They build nests in trees and live in flocks, while preying on crabs and fish. In Malaysia, they are regarded as an endangered species and therefore subject to protection. Although the documentary does not loudly criticize the Malaysian government’s settlement policy for Seletars, it clearly depicts their circumstances through the twist in the title.

            In Malaysia, Bumiputra policy has been adopted to provide favorable treatments to the “Bumiputra” (native or indigenous people) and most Malays, as well an indigenous people, have enjoyed the benefits of economic development. As native inhabitants, the Seletar are also subject to this policy. In reality, however, some of them have been left behind economic development, just like the couple in the documentary, Ain and Nasir, who find themselves in a situation where keeping up their traditional lifestyle is difficult. Since Bumiputra policy, as a matter of fact, is a Malay-first policy, there is a reality, in which the standard of living for the non-Malay Bumiputras remains low. As such, this documentary depicts the situation behind the progress of economic development and urbanization, where a rich natural environment as well as people’s traditional lifestyle are being lost. However, what is appealing is that it does not present the Seletars as piteous people who are doomed. Despite their unstable income and the small size of their business, Ain and Nasir are entrepreneurs, who could even hire someone. Above all, what is surprising, is the fact that they own a sophisticated speed boat equipped with an engine that appears to be expensive and rather unnecessary just for catching crabs under mangroves or cultivating shellfish at the seaside. Finding out what (or who) they are carrying on their speed boat, for instance, could be a clue to reveal such aspects as to how the Seletar relate to locals, and what role they play in the regional community. It is an expansive work that leaves something lingering with the audience.


Nostalgia Senja [Reminiscences of the Dusk]

This documentary offers a sensitive portrayal of Mr. Gohyong reminiscing about his former days as a successful performer with a Gambang Kromong. Nostalgia Senja foregrounds one man’s lifetime dedication to preserving music in the present, and highlights the pressures some traditional arts face in contemporary Indonesia.

                           

29 years old, Fazihila Anandya is a videographer and filmmaker. In 2010, he studied at the Jakarta Institute of Arts and completed the Bachelor of Arts in 2015. The short documentary “Nostalgia Senja” was his final project at the Jakarta Institute of Arts. It has been nominated at the Indonesian Film Festival 2015 and XXI Short Film Festival 2016 as best short documentary and was also shown during Indonesian Movie Week 2016 in Syria and made it into the movie compilation in Cilect 2016.

                           

 

                           

Andrew Saputro (Indonesia)

25 years old, Andrew Saputro is a professional Re-Recording Mixer, Sound Designer and Sound Mixer based in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has been working in the audiovisual and film industry for over 4 years and worked on many shorts, web series and commercials as a sound recordist and sound designer. He completed the Bachelor of Arts in 2015 and “Nostalgia Senja” was his final project with Fazhila Anandya (Director) at the Jakarta Institute of Arts.

Produced in Indonesia

What were your reasons for making your documentary and how did you come to focus on the topic?

Age is not an obstacle to work and creativity. Age is only a measure of the time of existence of an object or subject. It is our destiny as human beings to undergo multiple processes. Yet, in living the process of life we will not always experience good things as sometimes we can encounter the worst, and also meet people who have experienced much. There are many good and bad things that they will have experienced. Starting from our interest to know more what has been experienced in the later years of life, we met Mr. Oen Sin Yan, also fondly known as Mr.Goyong. He is a musical artist of the Tehyan (a Betawi musical instrument). At present, usage of the instrument has become rare, and we only occasionally get to hear it played at Betawi cultural events such as the Gambang Kromong show, Ondel-Ondel or Lenong Betawi. And even more rarely do we meet people who can play string instruments with these two strings. Generally, Tehyan musicians are old, just like Mr. Goyong and it has become hard for him to continue playing the instrument. With these issues at hand, we, as filmmakers, were challenged to bring his story to others. We did to contribute to this art of music, maintain its existence, and popularize the Tehyan so that it is not forgotten.

 

Shota Fukuoka (National Museum of Ethnology)

“Nostalgia Senja (Reminiscences of the Dusk)”

First, let me offer my straightforward impression on this documentary. This work traces a performer of the Tehyan and records his life in a detached manner. Since there was nothing arbitrarily exaggerated neither in the footage nor in the story, I was able to closely feel the presence of Mr. Gohyong. This is what I appreciate about this documentary.

            Though the Tehyan performer, Mr. Gohyong seems to have once been ashamed of Tehyan music when he was younger, he now wishes to pass down this tradition to the next generation and even teach it even to his own son. Seeing that he was able to build a house, he cannot be extremely poor, yet neither can we say that he is wealthy. He is diligent enough to regularly observe prayers in a Chinese manner at home and to collect plastic bottles on the streets before sunrise, despite the occasional mocking by his acquaintances, and to make instruments when he has time during the day. I think this work depicts such situation he is in and his personality very well.

            The Tehyan is a musical instrument that was brought to Indonesia by Chinese people and is widely used in music and performing arts of people called Betawi, who live in the vicinity of Jakarta. Present day Jakarta, which was once called Batavia during the Dutch colonial period, was home to a relatively large number of Chinese people as well as those who had come from various regions within Indonesia and they soon came to be called Betawi. Their culture was an amalgamation of cultures of different origins apart from those brought over by the Chinese people. Furthermore, many Chinese live in the periphery of Tangerang, where Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is located. Among other cultures of Chinese origin that have been handed down by those people, the Tehyan occupies an important place. Incidentally, there is a scene in the documentary, showing three persons including Mr. Gohyong performing on a truck, and was said to be shot on the Bangka Island. It suggests that the Tehyan is also a significant instrument among the Chinese network in Indonesia.

            One of the things that most interested me was the way the director perceived the Tehyan and Betawi culture. Regardless of the title being “Nostalgia Senja (Reminiscences of the Dusk)”, my impression of Betawi culture, especially with their music and performing arts, is a vivid and lively one. As the documentary shows, playing along with the guitar or the drums is nothing unusual for Betawi music. Rather, it can be regarded as an expression of Betawi-ness that insatiably absorbs various elements.

            Passing down culture is also a matter for the future generations who will inherit it. If Betawi culture were to appear as “Nostalgia Senja” in the eyes of the young director, it might indicate that the culture is starting to lose its power. Does the director regard Tehyan and Betawi culture, as simply nostalgic? Or as something with a force to stimulate new creations? The answer will predict the future of the Tehyan. I see it that way, and this will lead to the matter of how to relate to a society through this visual work.

 


Don't know much about ABC

This documentary offers an intimate portrayal of a relationship between a father and his son, and the challenges of homeless life on the streets of Phnom Penh. Drawing out the importance of education in opening opportunities to improve one’s lot in life, it traces the everyday challenges that Ron Dara faces raising his son.

Norm Phanith (Cambodia)

Norm Phanith was born in 1989 in Battambang, Cambodia and is passionate about media. He studied the visual arts for four years and 2D animation for two at Phare Punleu Selpak. After graduation, he applied to work at a studio as an assistant in animation. In 2011, he was promoted and became an animation teacher. He has produced various short animations focusing on education, human trafficking, migration among others. He was selected to join training on a filmmaking program with the Bophana Audiovisual Center for one year. Through this he produced the short documentary film, titled Don’t know much about ABC, his first achievement. He has also been a cameraman for others film such as Sorrow Factory, Guide Boy and the Hunter.

Produced in Cambodia

What were your reasons for making your documentary and how did you come to focus on the topic?

I had no idea what documentary film was until I had a chance to learn it. It was a great experience and great learning process. It made me aware of real life stories which are outside of my comfort zone with real social actors happen in a real place in Cambodian society.
Phnom Penh is the Capital city that many people travelled from various provinces to settle their life, looking for a job for their livelihood. Some of them don’t even have accommodation or relative in Phnom Penh. They rent inexpensive rooms (with unhealthy conditions) to live in. They struggle to earn a daily living and in some cases, they even cannot afford to rent accommodation. They work all day long and at night time and stay at any place that find suitable for them such as in front of someone’s house or shop.
Homeless people can be found everywhere around the world especially in the capital city of each country. Through this film, I wanted to express a small part of the reality of Cambodian society and focus on a homeless single father who earns a living collecting garbage in the capital: a person who cannot fulfill his basic needs. This particular case is very similar to other homeless people in the country. Yet in Ron Dara’s case, he takes his full responsibilities to be a father to look after his son till he can send him to school. This movie shows that the future of poor children is heavily dependent on the way their parents think in the present.
Overall, I made this particular film because I wanted to showcase how a homeless, poor man struggles for the future of his son. He is poor in wealth but not in mind, meaning that he has a long-term perspective. He doesn’t want his son to live in a difficult life like him. As such, he tries to find different ways to support his son’s study because he believes that studying is a way to a better future.

 

Satoru Kobayashi (Center for Southeast Asian Studies)

“Don’t Know Much About ABC”

The setting of this documentary is on the streets of Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. Life on the streets, or daily life of the homeless people is the subject of this documentary. It reflects both the positive and negative sides of economic development. Recently, Cambodia has been experiencing rapid economic development. If you visit Phnom Penh today, you might often come across people with the latest iPhones, buying cars and houses while enjoying dinner at beautiful restaurants. Economic development has brought happiness to many people. However, it is also true that the poor will always stay poor.

            The townscapes shown in the documentary were shot in the area near the royal palace. The father in the documentary is collecting garbage to send his son to school. The school appears to be in the precinct of a large Buddhist temple in the city center and I assume it is run by a NGO. In Cambodia, Buddhist temples have often been associated with school education. The fact that a site providing education for the street children is found in a temple, made me aware of this cultural tradition, which I found interesting.

            With this documentary, there are some opinions in the introduction and commentary in this year pamphlet. Written by the director himself and with a commentary from one of selection committee members, that it “draws out the importance of education in opening opportunities to improve one’s lot in life” emphasizing the importance of education. However, I did not get a strong impression of that particular theme, education, from this documentary. Rather, what I perceived were some universal motifs, such as “love for children” and “obdurate poverty.” I suppose these are the two ubiquitous messages that comprise the foundation of strength in this documentary.

            On the other hand, I was attracted to the father’s way of living as captured in the documentary. It seems that he has not seen his wife for a long while. He and his maternal half-brother are like cat and dog. He only shares his life with his son and some of his fellows, who also live on the streets.

            From my research experience, so long as one is not prone to sickness, it is relatively easy to find a place and a way to live in Cambodia. Even if you don’t have land, you can still work and make some money. In fact, many people would work away from home, when it becomes difficult for them to make a living. It is also possible to provide children a place to live, by leaving them in the care of relatives or by having them live in a temple, where they will be given leftovers from monks. Education can be considered to be a light economic burden and up to elementary level education it may also be possible to find a way to send children to a school.

            Observing their life as depicted in the documentary, we can tell that for now, the father can still send his son to a school and buy him some clothes to wear. However, such time shared between father and son is a happiness built upon a very fragile balance. In all honesty, we can expect separation in the near future. At the time of shooting, the son was said to have been 5 years of age. He is still too innocent to get a clear picture of what poverty is. But when he becomes a little older, he is going to have his own idea about his father and society. When education is considered, to send his son to an orphanage, while the father works alone, can said to be a more far-sighted action.

            Now, how come the father has been living on the streets of Phnom Penh? It seems to me that he has a desire to disassociate himself from others. Since he wants to lead a life, while severing relations with others, he does not want to go back to his hometown nor to live in a countryside. Thus, it seems to me that he is putting himself in the city and seeking refuge in a relationship with his child. I am not criticizing the father. I think this is a kind of human behavior. Certainly, it stirs the imagination: why did the father choose such a way of living? What is the mother of the child like and so on.

            The life of the father and images of the town here, when viewed from another perspective, might represent the nature of the space “on the streets” of a city that accepts and accommodates such ways of living. It sheds light on a different kind of human figure and feature of a city, depicted in “White Egret” or “Nostalgia Senja (Reminiscences of the Dusk).” Suffering hardship “on the streets” as a human being is a universal image. Whether “on the streets” of a city, be it here in Kyoto, Bangkok, Thailand or New York, the United States, there is always someone, who tries ineptly, to face the agony of mankind. This message is also something universal, and I think it gives strength to this documentary.


Yangon, the city where we live

This film offers a unique window onto Yangon, a city undergoing immense change. Living in harmony is the art of living in life. A city’s attractions can be irresistible and enticing. Yangon, is a safe fortress for the migrants where all live together. Through a unique mixture of narrated poetry and juxtaposed images from Yangon’s urban landscape, this documentary depicts a city that holds the hopes and aspirations of a diverse population, struggling and enduring in the hearts of all who live within it.

Shin Daewe (Myanmar)

Shin Daewe is one of Myanmar’s documentary pioneers. Born in Yangon in 1973, she began writing articles and poems during her studies at university. When Myanmar’s universities were closed in the wake of student protests in 1996, she joined the Yangon production company AV Media where she soon discovered her passion for documentary filmmaking. In 2006, she took up studies at Yangon Film School (YFS) where she quickly became one of the School’s most prolific filmmakers. Many of her works – such as her portrait of the Burmese painter Rahula, An Untitled Life, and Now I am Thirteen, about a young girl living in Myanmar’s dry zone – have screened to acclaim at numerous film festivals around the world. Several films, including A Bright Future about child-centered teaching and Take Me Home, about internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Kachin, have also won awards. With 10 short documentaries to her credit, she is currently developing a feature-length documentary about opium farmers in Shan State as part of the Yangon Film School’s Fellowship program. She is also a regular directing mentor on YFS courses and a member of the School’s Steering Committee.

 

Ko Oo (Myanmar)

Ko Oo is a photographer and his main interest is in the reality and portrait of Burmese people. He married Shin Daewe, a pioneer documentary filmmaker in Myanmar. Since they married in 2006, they have made a number of short documentary films together.

Produced in Myanmar

What were your reasons for making your documentary and how did you come to focus on the topic?

Cities are the masks of modern civilization and capital cities the hearts of nations. A city is a center of fascination for the people living in a nation. Most cities are vibrant, new and magnificent. They may not only prophesize the future, but also showcase the past as museums. In the late 19th century, Yangon used to be the heart of South East Asia, in other words, it encapsulated a past replete with the most beautiful city in the region. Nowadays, the future of Yangon is all-inclusive reforms through democratization. I believe that this is the best time to document the poetic lives of those living in Yangon.

 

Kanae Kawamoto (Ryukoku University)

“Yangon, the City Where We Live”

Along with recitation of poems, this documentary mostly depicts the daily life of two families; Lin Way Khat, the poet (the man with long hair) and his wife and children, as well as Ko Thein Win (the man who was collecting donations in town) and his wife who is a midwife, and their son, while showcasing the universal activities of the world and humans, such as the past, present and future of Yangon. “The past” of Yangon is expressed through traditional practices, such as faith in Buddhism. The film was shot during the rainy season usually lasting from July to October, which is called “Uposatha” (Ango in Japanese), the season of religiously significant period when Buddhist monks observe special practices. While images of trains, urban traffic jams and scenes of homes are symbolizing “the present,” those of the midwife, a pregnant woman, and children are the representations of new life that will continue into “the future.”

            There are two unique perspectives in this documentary. The first point is that the metaphor for “Nirvana”(or Nibbana in Pali) is repeatedly employed. For example, in one scene, Lin is working print job on T-shirts, he says “People can reach nirvana if they meditate, yet to have a room in Yangon is an unthinkable dream.” In Myanmar, many of them are pious Theravada Buddhists and they tend to emphasize “the attainment of Nirvana” compared to other neighboring Buddhist countries, such as Thailand and Laos. Therefore, Nirvana or enlightenment is a state of ideal or dream for Burmese Buddhists. Needless to say, the way to reach Nirvana is not so easy, yet, there are some monks who teach the practices for it. On the one hand, there is no one who could teach the way to own a house in Yangon. Life in Yangon should be hard to the extent that reaching Nirvana is deemed more possible than attaining an affluent life.

            In the scene after one rain shower, a verse as follows appears: “If you don’t care for reality, Yangon is heaven. Learning to suffer, indulging in suffering (dukkha in Burmese, coming from a Buddhist term in Pali)”. Burmese could dislike to be drenched in rainwater like a swimming pool in front of their houses as dirty or dukkha just as most Japanese might do. In this scene however, images of children and dogs swimming there are depicted in a cheerful and humorous manner, in order to express a true sense behind the analogy of Nirvana. That is, to see difficulty or enjoyment in a situation depends on the way you take it.

            The second point is that it describes Yangon, as an absolute living organism. One scene depicts Lin getting off the train, it repeats a verse: “There is only one Yangon”. When regarding Yangon as one of metropolises including New York and Tokyo, for instance, a relationship of comparison and relativity will follow. However, there is only one Yangon. It is an absolute being, beyond the relations of relativity, under which we choose Yangon, or vice versa.

            This indication leads to the passage at the end of the documentary; “Yangon, expecting something, ironically still trapped in itself.” Yangon, despite being a living organism with a will to change, her absolute existence is preventing herself from smooth transformation.

            Thus eventually, what can people do for Yangon, an existence like an absolute god in monotheism? While Lin praises Yangon as a place of freedom, to take refuge in or as a place where he can live on his own, he also confesses a sense of unrest at the same time, that in Yangon, it is impossible to own a house of his own and that he is an outsider, no matter how long he has been living there.

            If that is the case, the only thing people could do is to accept life as it is, just as children enjoy rainwater, even if it is incomplete, unstable and full of hardship. Shouldn’t that be the own way of those living in Yangon to appreciate the bliss like Nirvana? From this documentary, I felt the line of questioning by the director.


Timbre [Tip-off]

Ever since the Duterte administration rose to power, nightly killings have terrorized the Philippines in an all-out government endorsed war on drugs campaign. This documentary follows the plight of a family who recently lost a loved one in this war, offering a stark personal perspective on the current political crisis in the Philippines.

Edrea Camile L. Samonte (Philippines)

Edrea Camile L. Samonte (Philippines) Edrea Camille L. Samonte is an aspiring documentary filmmaker based in Manila, the Philippines. She graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Mass Communication Minor in Broadcast Journalism at St. Scholastica’s College. Her work primarily focuses on socio-political issues, indigenous peoples and human rights. Her thesis film, Bulabog (2017) received the Best Thesis Documentary Award at the St. Scholastica’s College Mass Communication Department. In August 2017, her student film Timbre (Tip-off) won 3rd place under the Documentary Category of the 29th Gawad CCP Independent Film and Video Festival. Currently, she works as a full-time television news segment producer and does freelance jobs as a field producer, researcher and production assistant to various local and international documentary filmmakers.

 

Nicole Pamela M. Bareo (Philippines)

Born in Manila, Philippines in 1995. Nicole Pamela M. Bareo graduated with a degree in Mass Communication Minor in Broadcast Journalism at St. Scholastica’s College. In August 2017, her co-produced student film Timbre (Tip-off) won 3rd Place under the Documentary Category of the 29th Gawad CCP Independent Film and Video Festival. Currently, she is working as a Production Coordinator in SDI Media Philippines.

Produced in Philippines

What were your reasons for making your documentary and how did you come to focus on the topic?

My classmates and I decided to make a documentary on extrajudicial killings because we noticed that the government's war on drugs doesn’t seem to be killing the drug lords, but low-level users mostly from poor urban communities. We want to speak out for the voiceless victims in the darkest corners of the Filipino society and challenge the perspective of the people about the brutal killings. Many people kept silent and have turned a blind eye out of ignorance. Our hope is that, as we shed light on the untold stories of the affected families left behind by those who were killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s War on Drugs, many will be educated of what is really happening. This campaign knows no age, gender and circumstance, and even innocent people have been caught in the crossfire. It’s also depressing to think that there is now a growing callousness among our nation as many Filipinos have become desensitized to these brutal killings. I hope this documentary film will serve as an eye-opener and a challenge to Filipinos to be critical and question the supposed noble intentions of this war.

 

Wataru Kusaka (Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University)

“Timbre(Tip-off)”

The world presented in this documentary is one of scenes of daily life in present-day Philippines. Regardless of the widespread abuse of human rights, the current President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained his approval rating at approximately 70 percent. Most victims of extrajudicial killings, the subject of this documentary, are the poor and yet, many of them also support him. How is this possible? One of the reasons is that the people who tolerate the war on drugs believe they are “good citizens” and those being killed are “vicious criminals” who would threaten their lives. This is backed by the following idea: “If there are no villains, this will improve our society and lives”.

            Behind the support for Duterte’s war on drugs, is frustration that derives from crippled legal restrictions, due to the officials abusing the law and giving in to corruption. For instance, a number of corrupt policemen have reaped benefits by receiving monetary contributions from drug traffickers or by illicitly selling confiscated narcotics. As a result, drugs have become readily available and troubled numerous families and communities. Supporters of the president are expecting that he will break down a corrupt system with rigid discipline and an iron fist so as to restore the rule of law and social order.

            However, going so far as to advocate the extrajudicial killings for restoring the rule of law is a profound contradiction. In the documentary, there was a display of a signboard right next to the body of a murdered youth, that read “There is discipline in Navotas city”. I think the scene brilliantly describes the inconsistency of “discipline” mentioned by the president.

            I am afraid that the war on drugs will not restore, rather, it will further undermine the legal system. A society is emerging, where any sort of murder can be tolerated, where if you a reason to eliminate a person you can do so by making them out to be a “drug offender.” Cases of vicious policemen have also cropped up in succession, such as those shooting down their fellows involved in drug dealings to silence them or those blackmailing civilians for extortion. Furthermore, suspicion that Duterte’s eldest son is involved in drug trafficking has also been reported.

            Supporters of Duterte have also fallen victim. I suppose the mother of Raymart, who was slain, was also his supporter. Nowadays, one out of ten Filipinos are living overseas and the president is highly popular among those overseas foreign workers (OFWs). They live in societies where the legal system is strictly enforced, and wish that the Philippine would follow suit. While these OFWs send money earned abroad to their family members, they are afraid that their children left behind in the Philippines might fall victim to drugs. Duterte, whenever he goes abroad, always promises to Filipinos working there that his war on drugs is to protect their children from drugs. Nonetheless, there have been cases, in which the children of OFWs are killed, just like Raymart. This is a grave treachery by the president.

            Filipino society has always been the place where the spirit of mutual support for each other’s life is highly valued. I doubt that kindhearted Filipinos will endlessly tolerate the prevalence of such bloodshed. As such, I predict that the approval rating for the president will gradually decline over the coming year.

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: CSEAS

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa

Photo: Toru Hiraiwa