Hello from sunny Philippines!
I am Krixia Subingsubing, a 26-year-old journalist from the country’s paper of record, the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I’ve been a reporter for nearly six years now and have been largely covering social justice, human rights and the environment—issues that most newsrooms consider as separate beats but are, in reality, very much intersectional and related to one another.
My stories usually focus on how best to empower the vulnerable and the marginalized, including women and indigenous communities. Through my work, I hope to give encouragement—not to “make people feel good,” as feminist Rebecca Solnit puts it, but to “make people feel empowered.”
I come from the capital Manila, where the people love to sing in karaokes and drink until the wee hours of morning. Like the Finnish, we too are a happy people, albeit in a very literal way: we laugh and dance a lot, fall in love a little too easily. Maybe the right word is that we’re a little too happy-go-lucky? Nevertheless, I’ve always loved that about us: how resilient and how strong we are in the face of upheaval.
I’ve just recently come off the campaign trail as the Philippines just recently concluded its national elections. It’s been such a whirl—from touring almost all the provinces here in the Philippines to cover our candidates, and now to fly to Finland next month!
I can’t help but feel excited about the auspicious timing, too. The Philippines has come a long way now, but it still has a long way to go in terms of the important metrics that determine quality of life: social welfare, gender equality, press freedom.
I’ve always considered Finland as a symbol of what can be: what happens when both government and its citizens work together, tirelessly, to keep and preserve the gains of a hard-fought democracy. In my mind, Finland is the culmination of what nations like ours can ultimately become if both government and citizens work hard to keep its democracy. So to visit this great country just as the Philippines transitions to a new administration seems like a serendipitous adventure. I look forward to absorbing as much as I can from your culture, and bring home as much as I can so we Filipinos can learn and imbibe these lessons in our own way of life.
I think you’ll find that we share the same values and aspirations for our nations. I’m excited to share my own experiences as a young Filipina and as a journalist, too.
See you next week!