Philippines Signs Law Condemning Sexism

Aug 1, 2019 | GOV, MJ Toledo, NEWS, Philippines

Culture & Travel 

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the anti-Bastos bill into law, which aims to punish acts of sexism such as catcalling

Patricia roams the streets of Davao City, Philippines at night to go home from work. For the last couple of years, she has been bringing pepper spray to defend herself from harassers on the street.

“The law is such as blessing because although I still have to be wary, it calms me more now that these catcallers can now be punished by the law. It makes me feel more protected,” she said.

President Duterte recently signed the anti-Bastos bill authored by Senator Risa Hontiveros last April 17. This law was released to the public on July 15, bringing much joy to people of all gender and social standing.

Bawal Bastos Law

The Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act, or the Republic Act 11313 aims to eradicate gender-based sexual harassment which takes place not only in the streets, but also in workplaces, training and educational institutions, and public spaces.

The law covers crimes that are  “committed through any unwanted and uninvited sexual actions or remarks against any person regardless of the motive for committing such action or remarks,” like catcalling, taunting, leering and intrusive gazing, cursing, and wolf-whistling.

In addition, the law is also set to punish sexist slurs against people of all genders and sexual orientations, persistent comments on someone’s appearance, relentless requests for personal details which includes name, number, and social media account, and the use of actions, gestures and words that ridicule people on the basis of sexual orientation or identity.

Request of Commission of Human Rights

Now that the law has been signed, CHR is requesting everyone to follow it, most especially the country’s president himself.

The office stated that it hopes that the President’s signature also reflects his sincerity to follow the new law.

Commission on Human Rights Center for General Equality and Women’s Human Rights Head Twyla Rubin stated that as the chief of the country, he is the first one that should obey the new policy. It remains to be seen how he’s going to act after but the CHR, along with the women’s groups will keep a strict eye on his actions.

Iconic Asian Breads You Can Actually Try to Make at Home

Are you a bread lover? If so, you need to explore more options other than your favorite sourdough and baguette. Asia offers a wide array of famous breads that are so good it will make you want to make it yourself. We scour some of the best tutorials so you can try to make them at home.

First-Ever Online Paris Fashion Week Kicks Off Monday

The first-ever online Paris fashion week clicks off Monday with the world of glitzy runway shows thrown into an existential crisis by the coronavirus.

Movie Streaming Sparks Fears for Bollywood Theaters Built for ‘Cinema Magic’

A Bollywood actor’s face tattooed on his arm, Sandeep Bacche’s devotion shocks few in India where stars enjoy semi-divine status. But even here the hallowed silver screen may be losing its shine to streaming services and pandemic fears.

Vietnam Debut World’s First ‘Gold-Plated’ Hotel

The world’s first self-proclaimed gold-plated hotel is open for business – and the Vietnamese owners insist they have the Midas touch despite the cramping of global travel during the coronavirus pandemic. 

DMZ Music Festival Returns for it’s Third Year in the World’s Most Guarded Demilitarized Zone

If you’re up for a music adventure of a lifetime, look no further. The DMZ Peace Train Music Festival held in the demilitarized zone of North and South Korea is the best way to experience peace through your favorite artists.

Fighting Racism with Art: Asian Artists Take the Lead

The effects of the pandemic are still greatly felt, but there’s one more problem that has escalated because of it: Racism. Asian-Americans adversely affected by xenophobia have spoken up. Hear what artists, influencers, and designers have to say.

Netflix Takes on Asia

In the last few years, Netflix has been taking the world by storm. Now, Asia is surely catching up on this global phenomenon as the company seeks to dominate market share and content from the region.

The Truth About Japan’s Geishas

Geishas help preserve a 300 year old tradition – but they are tagged as prostitutes in modern times.

Bilibili Reveals Loaded Chinese Anime 2020 Lineup

Bilibili recently introduced 27 new Chinese anime, including 13 updates to existing series. The announcement came after their celebration for having the strongest revenue growth in half a decade. Are you ready for it?

Chinese Drones Grounded by U.S. Over Security Concerns

The US Department of the Interior has grounded its fleet of Chinese-made drones as it conducts a review of the program.

Hollywood Movie Stars in Asian Films

15 Hollywood stars who were cast in major Asian films

Top 3 Cities to See in Thailand

There are so many reasons why Thailand, the Land of Smiles, is pegged as a tourist paradise.

The Perfect Hug: Japanese Scientists Unlock the Secret to Infant’s Cuddle

In this era of social distancing and depressing news, we could all do with a good hug. Now scientists have analyzed what makes the perfect cuddle — just don’t squeeze too tight.

North Korea’s Food Crisis

Are punishing sanctions really the way to deal with the Hermit Regime?

Wuhan Returns to Work Without Letting Down Its Guard

A bride in a long white gown poses by Wuhan’s East Lake with her groom, face masks off momentarily as a photographer snaps pre-wedding photos.

Thailand’s Obsession with Instagram

Meet the most popular Thai celebrities on Instagram and why we are Obsessed! Aside from being 2018’s stage of the worldwide beauty pageant Miss Universe, Thailand is one of the most beautiful and...

Young Pakistanis Face Uphill Battle in Startup Space

For many of Pakistan’s farmers, long at the mercy of ruthless middlemen, an app enabling them to sell direct to clients could mean more money in their pockets.

Meet Jim Thompson, the Man Who Left a Mystery and a Legacy in Thailand

Jim Thompson is known all over the world for saving the dying art of Thai Silk. His mysterious disappearance is one of the most intriguing mystery cases in Southeast Asia and has remained unsolved up to this day

Thousands Mourn at Hong Kong Rally after Student’s Death

Tens of thousands of Hong Kongers packed into a park Saturday night to mourn a student who died during recent clashes as police arrested a group of pro-democracy lawmakers, deepening the city’s political crisis.

Japan: Mitsubishi Debuts Most Expensive Bread Toaster

The perfect toaster can finally be yours. However, prepare to shell out money. Japan’s pricey toasters prove its obsession with achieving perfection one bread at a time.

Best Romantic Asian Flicks to Stream While ‘Working’ Remote

The quarantine can leave even the best of us feeling lonely and bored. So now is the perfect time to dip your toes into amazing Asian romantic films available on Amazon Prime and Netflix. Here are some suggestions.

Tempe: Indonesia’s Vegan Superfood

Get to know Indonesia’s famous vegan soybean wonder food

China Plans Triumphant 70th Anniversary Despite Headwinds

China marks 70 years of Communist rule next week, with a massive military parade in Beijing anchoring celebrations of its emergence as a global superpower, despite a damaging year of trade tensions with the US and pro-democracy unrest in Hong Kong.

The Search For MH370 After 5 Years

The on-and-off search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may once again be resumed

Japan’s Problem With Celibacy and Sexlessness

Japan is on the brink of a national calamity with its declining birth rates that will affect a third of its population by 2060.

Riding on K-Pop Hype: BTS Dolls Boost Revenue Worldwide for Mattel

When you think of Barbie, the first image that pops into your head may be Western-looking dolls. Looks like Mattel recently got a makeover as it released dolls of K-pop stars which increased their sales worldwide.

Chronic Shortage of Face Masks Prompt the Rise of Social Enterprise

With chronic face mask shortages in the midst of a virus outbreak, Hong Kongers have started making their own — with a pop-up production line and seamstresses churning them out on sewing machines.

China to Set Up ‘Security Agency’ in Hong Kong

China will set up a “national security agency” in Hong Kong to oversee a forthcoming new law aimed at cracking down on dissent in the city, state media said on Saturday.

Luxury’s Biggest Names Stepping Up to Combat COVID-19 Crisis

The novel coronavirus has affected every single industry, and fashion is not an exception. As major stores close and events are canceled, luxury retailers have not forgotten their corporate responsibilities. Now, they are stepping up to lead the fight against COVID-19.

Children Become Nuns to Escape Conflict in Myanmar

Teenager Dhama Theingi dreams of becoming an engineer and playing football, but for now she must rise for dawn prayers before pounding Yangon’s streets to collect alms as one of Myanmar’s growing number of child nuns seeking refuge from conflict.

Malaysia Bans Hit Stripper Movie ‘Hustlers’

Malaysia has banned the hit Jennifer Lopez movie “Hustlers”, authorities said Friday, criticising the film about strippers as packed with “obscene content” not suitable for cinema-goers in the conservative country.

The Dark Side of Thailand: Part II

Beyond the Thailand’s necessary façade to make the country look more open and welcoming to the rest of the world are the cracks and crevices where the dark and unspoken aspects of Thai culture are largely hidden from view.

Mexican Crowned in World’s Top Transgender Pageant at Thailand

After her friends were killed in transphobic attacks at home in Brazil, Ariella Moura’s aim was to make a statement against gender discrimination on Saturday at the world’s top transgender pageant in Thailand.

Pregnant Women Scared to Give Birth in Hospitals to Avoid Infection

Scared of the deadly new coronavirus that has swept China, pregnant women and new mothers are giving birth alone, keeping their newborns inside and switching to pricier private hospitals to avoid the risk of infection.

Vanishing Art: One of the Last Chinese Opera Troupes in Thailand

An ancient world of swords, warriors, and folklore roars to life on the darkened street, offering a momentary escape from the modern-day bustle of Bangkok’s unstoppable development.

The Essential List to Some of the Most Iconic Chinese Films to Watch

Whether you are studying its language, getting to know its culture, or just want to dive into Chinese cinema, these are some of the must-see films to check out.

No Fear for India’s Hangman Before First Job of Execution

Pawan Kumar feels zero sympathy for the four men he is due to hang next month for a 2012 gang rape and murder that appalled India.

Biggest Surfing Lagoon in the World Coming to South Korea

Get ready for the water park of your dreams coming in 2020

HIV in Asia Continues to Stay Rampant

Cases of newly documented HIV and AIDS reports continue to grow in Asia over the course of three decades.

Humans Try to Take Back Thai City from Fearless Monkeys

Residents barricaded indoors, rival gang fights and no-go zones for humans. Welcome to Lopburi, an ancient Thai city overrun by monkeys super-charged on junk food, whose population is growing out of control.

Pandemic Pranks off the Table on April Fools’ Day

It may be the global day for pranks but with the world under assault from the deadly coronavirus pandemic many governments on Wednesday were warning against virus-themed April Fools’ jokes — some even threatening jail.

Press Freedom under Fire: An Interview with Joel Pablo Salud

Journalists in the Philippines continue to battle for their lives – and their right to defend the nation’s democracy.

Streaming Giants Battles on for the Asia Market

Asia is seen as an important part of the global streaming industry’s growth plan. In conjunction with the main event, Busan International Film Festival also hosted its first Asia Contents Awards reflecting how the market is rapidly changing.

Mythical Monster Goes Viral as Japan Prays for End of Pandemic

Move over Pokemon and Hello Kitty, in coronavirus-hit Japan, a new character has captured hearts and hopes: Amabie, a beak-nosed, long-locked mythical mermaid monster said to repel plagues.

Shanghai’s Pet Detective Reunited Thousands of Beloved Pets with Owners

Private sleuth Sun Jinrong brings heat detectors, tiny surveillance cameras, and a blow dart loaded with a tranquiliser to his search for one desperate client’s missing loved one: A cat named Duoduo.

Meet ‘Gamer Grandma’: World’s Oldest Video Game Youtuber

Every day, 90-year-old Japanese grandma Hamako Mori flexes her fingers to keep them nimble. Not for knitting or needlepoint, but to keep them in shape for playing video games.

Philippines Begins Mass Vaccinations After Polio Returns

Parents lined up from sunrise holding sleeping infants as the Philippines launched a campaign on Monday to vaccinate millions of children against polio, which has re-emerged nearly two decades after the nation’s last cases.

Singapore: The City of the Future

Known for being the world’s technological hub, Singapore has made significant efforts to earn this proud reputation as the City of the Future

11 Ridiculous Laws across Asia You Won’t Believe are Real

Immersing yourself in a new culture is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have. However, this can backfire if you haven’t done enough research. Take a look at some of the most absurd laws in Asia that will get you in trouble.

China’s Drag Queens Pushing for Mainstream Acceptance

Neon lights lit up a Shanghai stage as a whistle from the crowd pierced the air, heralding the live debut of Chinese drag queen “Miss Cream”.

Weighing the Scale: China’s New Silk Road

China’s Belt and Road initiative plans to economically interconnect nations but at what cost?

The Ride-Sharing Industry in Asia

With BILLIONS of trips completed in 2018, Asia remains the bastion of the global ridesharing industry

Indonesia: Kids Given Baby Chicks to Wean Off Smartphones

Officials in one Indonesian city have hatched a plan to wean children off smartphones — by giving them their own fluffy chicks to raise.

South Korea in Hot Water Due to Its Peeping Tom Problem

South Korean establishments plagued by spy cameras

Malaysian Ghostly Patrol on Lockdown

A ghostly figure with wild hair and a flowing beard is haunting a small Malaysian community in a bid to ensure superstitious residents stay home during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

Death of Whistleblower Doctor Sparks Outrage in China

The death of a whistleblowing doctor whose early warnings about China’s new coronavirus outbreak were suppressed by the police has unleashed a wave of anger at the government’s handling of the crisis — and bold demands for more freedom.