Sofia is a 21-year-old freelance writer from Manila, Philippines. She is a former campus journalist under the investigative arm of The GUIDON, the official student publication of Ateneo de Manila University. She is interested in stories surrounding pop culture, socio-political engagement and cultural criticism from an interdisciplinary perspective. She has previously worked as a research intern for Rappler, an HIV Programme intern for the United Nations Population Fund, an intern for the Office of Senator Francis Pangilinan and the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances.

With an eye for detail and a passion for crafting stories that authentically represent the subject's humanity at the forefront – her work explores the nuances, grey areas and intricacies that inform our world. For queries and collaborations, email her at


FALSE: CSIR says smokers, vegetarians less vulnerable to COVID-19

On April 24, the CSIR issued a press release, clarifying the false claims circulating about the study. In the press release, the CSIR stated: “In studies such as these, associations with any of the parameters should be considered causal until proven experimentally. Hence, CSIR would like to state that NO conclusion can be drawn that the vegetarian diet and smoking may protect from COVID-19 based on these studies.”

FALSE: COVID-19 tally in PH manipulated by doctors

Swabs collected from RT-PCR tests at COVID-19 testing centers set up by the DOH and the RITM – the Philippines’ national reference laboratory for infectious and tropical diseases – are monitored, screened, and validated according to a process that spans days. Even if the sample from the swab tests positive, it is still subject to a confirmatory test before the results are released. The released results are encoded and sent to the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit that then forwards them to

FALSE: Defensor to file case against ABS-CBN over Ivermectin ‘fake news’

In the article, ABS-CBN News included information on Ivermectin currently not being registered for human use in the Philippines. It is only registered for veterinary use as an anti-parasitic drug to rid animals of heartworm, mites, and other parasites. The article has since been updated and is now titled, "Defensor insists on ivermectin vs. COVID-19, to give out ‘human grade’ of veterinary drug."

FALSE: Former South Korean president visited NLEX in 1960s

The post contains the following text: “[President] Chung Hee and Marcos once visited the Radial Road 8, now called North Luzon Expressway. I heard that Mr. Chung Hee literally cried on Mr. Marcos’ shoulder saying 'wish my country would be just like the Philippines.' Right after he came back to Korea he started a plan to create expressways similar to what he saw in the Philippines to literally connect the cities all over Korea which were divided by tall mountains.”

MISSING CONTEXT: Virus discovered in China nearly identical to COVID-19

There is a study that says the newly discovered “RpYN06” was found to be most similar to SARS-CoV-2 in genetic makeup at 94.5%. However, this study – titled “Identification of novel bat coronaviruses sheds light on the evolutionary origins of SARS-CoV-2 and related viruses” – was published on bioRxiv, an online archive and distribution service for unpublished preprints. It has not been peer-reviewed; bioRxiv doesn't post studies that have been accepted for publication in a journal.

FAST FACTS: Prioritized groups, guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination

The immunization drive, however, has been marred by illegal vaccinations of people close to President Rodrigo Duterte. On February 23, a week before its launch, Duterte's former special envoy to China, Ramon Tulfo Jr said that he and members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), a “Cabinet member,” a senator, and several other government officials had already been vaccinated with Sinopharm jabs.

Ramping up the pace

A hallmark of any university’s success is the capabilities of its students. In Ateneo for instance, diversity manifests, among other ways, through the growing population of Students with Special Needs (SWSNs) on campus. However, despite the efforts being employed by the University to accommodate the needs of SWSNs on campus, there is still more that needs to be done to create a more inclusive and open environment for them. SWSN is the umbrella term for students who have specialized psychologica

Music and Culture

Carly Rae Jepsen is my Emotional Support Popstar

In most ways, CRJ is not a good pop star. She possesses all the hallmarks of one, with an endearing fandom name (believe it or not: Jepsies) and the masterful ability to create music that reads like the most intimate trappings of our minds. So why the lackluster commercial success? For those who haven’t followed her career since ‘Call Me Maybe’, it may seem strange to think of her as anything other than a one, two, or three-hit wonder of the early 2010s. Some will argue it’s her accessibility an

An ode to Total Girl Philippines

Looking back at the publication that shaped my childhood. As a kid, my vices were limited to the spectrum of consumption and collection. The glossy worlds of magazines were my window to glamorized renditions of girlhood. I started collecting Total Girl magazines in 2007 when I was eight years old and just beginning to wrestle with the challenge of actively cultivating my own taste and hobbies. The magazine, dubbed “the first and only lifestyle magazine for Filipina tweens” fell along the axis

Detours from home: Curbing adulthood anxiety with a childhood hobby

It is ingrained in us to see our education as a stepping stone towards larger hallmarks of success, or essentially, financial stability. Education is hardly ever promoted for the value of learning itself. Coupled with the framework of profitability from the rise of influencer culture on social media, we are consumed with marketing ourselves, curating ourselves. We have commodified ourselves through the most digestible aspects of our personalities, so much so that we have placed ourselves onto a

[OPINION] Activism as a call from Christianity

The underlining thesis statement of Christianity is love. The worn-out rhetoric of religion has cemented its place across cultures as a call to love, a call to forgive, and a call to respect. In the Philippines, Catholicism envelopes our society, blanketing our politics and everyday life with the constant ringing of God. We cannot move without His followers hovering over our shoulders, providing moral codes and belief systems to which we can attune ourselves. However, a consequence of religion i