Rikki Mathay

Comfort women

The issue of comfort women in the Philippines first surfaced in the 1990s when Lola Rosa broke a half-century of silence, exposing the unimaginable ordeal she went through during the Japanese occupation in the Philippines during World War II. But she wasn’t the only one. It is estimated that there were 1,000 Filipino women who were later on known as “comfort women” who were gathered by Japanese Imperial Army soldiers from the town of Mapanique and housed at the Bahay na Pula to be abused, not only sexually but emotionally, psychologically and physically as well.

The season of heat strokes

The heat index in Metro Manila reached an all time high of 50 degrees last week. Prior to this, 145 students were reported to have been affected in Occidental Mindoro due to the intense heat. Records of the Department of Education show that seven of these students from San Jose National High School experienced a hard time breathing which led to fainting. Two of them were brought to the hospital while 10 experienced dizziness and headaches.

Women empowerment in BARMM

In what is perceived as a highly patriarchal society, a woman tops the list of top performing solons. The RP-Mission and Development Foundation Inc. (RPMD), in its latest study dubbed as “Boses ng Bayan” has named Maguindanao and Cotabato City’s 1st District Representative in the Lower House, Congresswoman Bai Dimple Mastura, as the most effective solon in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Garnering a 70.2 percent job performance rating, Mastura leads the list of other BARMM representatives. What is more remarkable is how she is the only female in the roster.

Training to be a reservist in the PAF

With all the news of civil wars abroad and the alliances of nations being made, the thought of war is not far from a lot of people’s minds. Hence, mandating the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) has been a hot topic lately. The ROTC is “tasked to train and develop college students in the rudiments of military service in order to produce capable Armed Forces of the Philippines reservists,” and for older citizens like myself, the reservists program in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Mental health now

After years of lobbying for the national government to focus on suicide as a silent killer, we now have more legislators as well as agencies other than the Department of Health (DOH), paying closer attention to mental health.