7 long reads for the long weekend

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Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Dig into our archives to find stories about our ancient writing scripts, minority religions in Manila, a sign language that is distinct to Filipinos, the implications of police rape cases, a journey of an orphan boy, and a transgender man’s experience and qualms about being a man in today’s age.

OPINION: PNP rape cases reflect the macho-feudal system of the country by Rae Rival

Last October, a video of a PNP officer who was arrested for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl in exchange for her parents’ freedom went viral and sparked a debate online. The fact that it exists and criminals get away with it represents the culture of impunity in our country.

Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Sikhism: Manila’s minority religions by Regine Cabato

Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh communities have a huge following around the world — but are a minority in the Philippines. This is what their communities and places of worship are like.

‘I never felt bad about the fact that I was adopted’ by Jovani Gustilo

An orphan writes about his journey from “a naked little boy” around the CCP complex to finding people who will care for and love him.

Ancient Filipino writing systems that aren’t Baybayin by Chang Casal

There are only two places left in the Philippines that have preserved their ancient syllabic scripts: Mindoro, where the Hanunó'o-Mangyan and the Buhid-Mangyan simply call their scripts “Surat Mangyan,” and Palawan, where the Tagbanua and Pala’wan groups share a writing system they simply call “surat” — a word meaning “writing.”

The sign language unique to Deaf Filipinos by Aih Mendoza

In the Philippines, there’s an estimated 121,000 Deaf Filipinos according to the 2000 Philippine census. One of the common misconceptions about Deaf Filipinos has to do with sign language. While plenty of Hearing are likely familiar with American Sign Language (ASL), many are still unaware that the Filipino Deaf have their own unique language called Filipino Sign Language (FSL).

‘I was torn because I was happy to be welcomed yet appalled by this world of ‘real’ men’ by Julian Tanaka

A transgender man recounts his transition, how he feels like being welcomed into the “boys club,” and how he still face acts of physical and social violence due to his gender identity.

Coming out and coming of age outside Manila by Jan Gabriel M. Castañeda

Much of what is recognized as the mainstream LGBTQ advocacy is based in Manila. However, in many places across the country, you hear stories that make one realize that keeping the rainbow flag furled is still the safer bet for many people.