VIDEO: Is Mayor Vico Sotto a Fan of Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

Wow. Napa-rewind ako dito sa video na ito: an interview of Mayor Vico Sotto by CNN/The Source anchor Pinky Webb about how Pasig City will cover all the 206,000 plus families who need help with cash grants sjnce the DSWD/national government can only give financial aid to 93,000 families via the DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Aside from this constituent-friendly move, this post is actually about what Mayor Vico Sotto says at the 9:40 mark. He and his team really get it. This is what he has to say about giving cash to people:

“Hindi lang po ito health crisis. Ito rin po ay isang socio-economic crisis. Kaya kailangan po para hindi mag-come to a stand still yung ekonomiya natin, now during community quarantine, and even after community quarantine, we need to make sure that our people have money to spend. Kung hindi, lalaki po ang krisis even after community quarantine. So, with the national government, the local government of Pasig will do everything that it can to make sure that our constituents have some degree of liquidity.”

I will not be surprised if Mayor Vico, based on his city’s actions, is familiar with Universal Basic Income (UBI) and its principles: universality, unconditionality, and prioritizing human value. UBI proponents also believe that cash in people’s hands stimulate the economy because they have money to spend for the products and services of businesses, and can even engage in business themselves if they have the extra cash after meeting their needs and paying the bills.

Of course, Mayor Vico may just know the principles of basic economics when it comes sending people cash in times of a crisis like this, but usually, the conventional or layman thinking is, primarily, to give financial relief to those in need. Listen, for example, to how our national government’s spokespersons are talking about the SAP and other cash aid. You don’t hear them talking about the cash grants in the way that Mayor Vico talks about it. If they did, they will be in a rush to cover all the families in the lists of the LGUs — not just stick to a quota (here’s also a comprehensive April 17 article by Bulatlat re the topic, saying that the cash aid is inadequate to cover all affected families) — and look for the money, just like what the city of Pasig did, because in the end, it will benefit the national economy.

In summary, if Mayor Vico Sotto is not a fan of Universal Basic Income now, it’s not hard to imagine that he will soon be, since he is already practicing its core principles.

If you enjoyed, learned something from, or were insipired by this article, kindly consider donating (via bank, G-Cash or Paymaya; if PayPal:, be one of my patrons at Patreon, or please contact me at — your way of providing me a basic income   — so that I may continue my advocacies and continue to research & write more such articles.

Crowdfunding My Historical Mystery Novel Set in 1930s Manila

Dear friends, family, & fans of literature,

After a decade or so, I have decided to revive my creative writing project: a historical mystery novel set in Manila during the American Colonial Period, specifically during the 1930s or Comonwealth Era. It’s been a long dream of mine, and come to think of it, its genesis may be traced to more than two decades ago when I started reading & becoming interested in historical mysteries in the mid-90s, a couple of years after graduating from college in 1993 — I’ve been a mystery fan ever since I discovered the stories of Sherlock Holmes in my high school library.

The novel would be a perfect project to work on since it will be a point of convergence — invoking the Japanese spirit/concept of Ikigai — of some of my passions and interests: writing, mystery, history, heritage, and social issues. By writing a historical mystery novel, I hope to both entertain and educate, to help us learn more about our past in an interesting way so that we can understand ourselves better today, and perhaps aid us in our task of nation-building. (I have finished before a similar project: an unproduced historical screenplay about Aguinaldo & Bonifacio called “Ang Heneral at ang Supremo.”)

However, I cannot do this alone. Such a project would require investing a significant amount of time for research and the writing itself. I want to be focused in finishing the project while sustaining myself.

I have therefore decided to crowdfund the writing of this dream of mine. With your help, my goal is to come up with a finished book after one year. A 250-peso (5 US dollars) donation — but feel free to be generous! — from each of you will go a long way in sustaining me while I work on the project. I am aiming for 100 to 120 donors a month, or 1200-1440 donors in one year. In return for your help, I will reward you, in a year’s time, with an E-BOOK of my finished work.

The funds will go, specifically, to paying my monthly rent & other bills, expenses for research, and food for myself, and the five stray cats I have adopted: Cato, Robin, Marvel, Wolverine, & Storm. ☺ I also have to buy either a new or secondhand laptop since my decade-old computer notebook died on me more than a week ago. (Thankfully, the hard drive and data — photos & videos of advocacies and personal ones — were safe. I am seeking a second opinion from a reputable repair shop, but not really holding my breath. Right now, I’m writing this on my 2nd-gen iPhone).

That’s about it! If you want to come along with me on this exciting journey, you may send your donations via the following accounts or payment platforms. After sending the money, pls. write me an e-mail at with the subject: Historical Mystery, and include the following in the message:
-your name
-the amount you sent,
-a photo of the deposit slip (or transaction, if possible)
-your e-mail address, if you would like me to include you in a mailing list for regular updates.

Banco De Oro (Katipunan Branch-Regis Center, Loyola Heights, Quezon City)
Account number: 007640061501
Account name: Medardo M. Manrique Jr.

Landbank (University of the Philippines)
Account number: 3076015537
Account name: Medardo M. Manrique Jr.

G-Cash/Paymaya: 09215482622


Pls feel free to spread the word and share this blog post via e-mail, social media, and various messaging platforms, including SMS.

Thank you very much, in advance, for your generosity.

With Love, Light, & Gratitude,

Dino Manrique



Been in a bit of a financial pickle for the past month or so now, and every time it seemed things were getting more sour, reached out to the Universe via these wonderful creatures called human beings, and every time, I received a cosmic surprise, a heavenly gift, as it were. An unexpected gift there, a favor granted here. And generously. I’ve always been amazed by the power of connectION and connectING. Deep down, I’ve always recognized its value. Is it an evolutionary imperative — biological, or a mystic one — spiritual? I guess both, and more. To the Universe, I celebrate you. To the lovely connectEES, I embrace you all. The journey has just turned a corner, and I’m beginning to see the awe-inspiring colors. The challenges are far from overcome — they are just beginning to fall down the road — but the warmth of the wind’s whisper, “BELIEVE,” is just so reassuring, that there’s nothing left to be done, but BE. LIVE. <3

Originally posted on my Facebook account.


sabrina ska sonaThis has been happening often lately — individuals getting the urge to help, to do something positive for society, usually asking “What can I do?” It’s the collective unconscious talking.

New movements/groups are sprouting, organic, and they are looking to converge. Across burgeoning communities like these, there’s this shared need to discover new ways of looking and of doing things, of coming up with creative and holistic/wholistic solutions, where the people and their needs are considered first, where man’s relationship with his environment is paramount. These nascent communities are offering seemingly different solutions, but in truth, their underlying paradigm is cooperation, culture, creativity, and action.

On the other hand, these groups are different, and the uniqueness of each group is their strength, for once they connect and unite, their unique viewpoints will give birth to new world views and courses of action. The sum will be greater than the parts…

We dream of meaningful and authentic change, and finally, we realize that we are wide awake, and the varied seeds of change have broken through, sustained and energized by novel and innovative ideas, inexorably seeking the light. Now all that needs to happen is for the branches and leaves to seek each other out…