Thursday, April 21, 2022

[Panel Discussion] Author on Author: Creative Doctors - The Write Treatment

On April 22, 2022, I joined author and neurosurgeon Dr. Ronnie Baticulon in an informal dialogue on medicine, public health, and creative writing, as part of the "Author on Author” webcast by the National Book Development Board. The occasion was also held to mark National Literature Month with the launch of the 13th Philippine International Literary Festival (PILF), a celebration of reading and literature. 

The dialogue mostly involved a sharing of our respective literary, professional, and personal backgrounds, our creative process, and future plans. I had the opportunity to talk about my book, “The Philippines is Not a Smal Country”, while Dr. Baticulon shared about his essay collection, “Some Days You Can’t Save Them All” - for which I also wrote the foreword. We also fielded questions from the audience about the challenges and rewards of being a physician-writer. 

The recording of the event can be viewed here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

[Public Lecture] Virginia A. Miralao Exellcence in Research Award (VAMERA) Lecture

On March 2, 2022, as the recipient of the Virginia A. Miralao Exellcence in Research Award (VAMERA) given by the Philippine Social Science Council, I gave a lecture for my winning work entitled “Living Together in Precarious Times: COVID-19 in the Philippines”.  The presentation was based on the essay which was published a book chapter in Viral Loads: Anthropologies of urgency in the time of COVID-19 (UCL Press, 2021) edited by Lenore Manderson, Nancy J. Burke, and Ayo Wahlberg.

In the presentation, which I updated to reflect changes that took place in the country over the past two years, I charted the enduring role of other species in our experience of the pandemic, as well as how the pandemic continues to affect various species and entire ecosystems. 

The awarding ceremony and lecture can be viewed here.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

[Public Lecture] Medical Populism and the Covid-19 Pandemic

On December 6, 2021, I gave a public lecture entitled "Medical Populism and the Covid-19 Pandemic” to the Institute for Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin. The public lecture was organized by Dr. Andrea Fleschenberg and Dr. Rosa Cordillera A. Castillo as part of the "Covid Governmentalities in Transregional Perspective - Public Guest Lectures.

In the lecture, I provided an overview of the concept of medical populism, and used its framework of spectacularization, simplification, and division to make sense of the politics of COVID-19 pandemic. I also introduced the concept of 'pharmaceutical messianism', which I argue is one of the most prominent manifestations of medical populism today.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

[Book Launch] Drugs and Philippine Society - Part I

On November 24, 2021, we held an online book launch for Drugs and Philippine Society (Ateneo de Manila Press, 2021), the collection of critical essays that look at drug use; drug wars; and drug policies in the Philippines from different angles. It was a privilege for me to have edited and written the critical introduction to this volume, which features the perspectives of scholars; social and cultural workers; artists and activists present and past.

The book launch featured Filomin Gutierrez, Mary Racelis, and Ica Fernandez, all of whom contributed important chapters in the volume, particularly focusing on “interrogating the drug war” (also the title of the second part of the book). All three asserted the importance of eliciting the perspectives and positionalities involved in the drug war, from police officers to people’s organizations and of course the people themselves who are living in communities affected the most by the so-called war.