Climate, energy & environment

Clean-energy push puts abandoned Philippine nuclear plant back in spotlight
The Washington Post, co-reported with Rebecca Tan, Jan 2023

Climate change, high power rates and a looming energy crisis spark renewed interest in nuclear energy in the Philippines, a Southeast Asian nation still heavily dependent on coal and gas. With Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as president, will the nuclear plans of his late dictator father finally become reality?

Communities and advocates resisting fossil fuel and nuclear expansion are readying themselves for the fight ahead, but they know that the battlefield has massively changed from their resistance to nuclear in the 1970s. Disinformation, which helped sweep the younger Marcos to power, swirls around talks of nuclear in the country. At the centerstage is the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, a 40-year-old plant sitting idly west of Manila, and was never switched on due to corruption and safety concerns. READ STORY

Waste workers on the frontlines to protect Apo Island from plastic threat
Rappler, Oct 2022

In picturesque Apo Island, home to one of the most successful community-managed marine reserves in the Philippines, a small band of women leads the pushback against the rising tide of plastic waste in their island village.

Their efforts may not seem gargantuan in the face of the global plastic pollution crisis, but these women waste workers take pride in conserving the vibrance of their island and their seascape, as well as in protecting their ways of living and connection with nature that they hope they can pass on to their children. READ STORY

In informal waste work, women are twice as vulnerable, invisible
Rappler, Sept 2022

Despite the services that they provide in waste management, waste workers remain undervalued and unrecognized, leaving them exposed to dangers and subsisting on very little income. These risks and exposure are magnified for women informal waste workers, who face multiple burdens and hazards in their work compared to their male counterparts.

In Metro Manila in the Philippines, a country already choked in plastic pollution, women waste workers and waste pickers find themselves with few choices within and beyond waste work. READ STORY

Urban poor struggle to adapt as rising seas threaten to remap Metro Manila
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept 2021

Climate change impacts are no stranger to the Philippines, yet the archipelagic country of 110 million remains ill-equipped to respond to a slow-onset disaster: rising sea levels accelerated by climate change. In Metro Manila, the capital region and the political and economic center of the country, coastal residents find themselves co-existing with the threat of rising waters and perennial flooding.

As cities of Metro Manila sink due to rapid groundwater extraction and sea level rise, coastal communities face tougher and tougher choices on whether they will stay or leave. Many residents are forced to stay, despite their precarious living conditions, since their livelihoods are in the city or are tied to the waters. Scientists and climate experts have cautioned the government to rethink the rapid urban sprawl in Metro Manila, before the cities further sink and the waters remap the metro. READ STORY

Embracing the light: Churches tap solar power
Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 2021

In Catholic-majority Philippines, the Catholic Church has become increasingly vocal in climate action and in divesting from and transitioning away from fossil fuels. Some local dioceses in the country have taken their pledge a step further by powering up their cathedrals and chapels with solar energy. READ STORY

Six years after ‘Yolanda,’ mental scars linger
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Nov 2019

Years after the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, in central Philippines, survivors continue to reel from the mental scars and trauma caused by one of the world’s most powerful storms to hit land. Survivors in Leyte and Samar provinces deal with climate grief and anxiety, long after the storm had passed. Despite being among the most vulnerable countries to climate change impacts, mental health remains largely absent in climate action plans in the Philippines, leaving climate disaster victims to find their own ways to heal and recover. READ STORY

Wildlife, biodiversity & science

Rescues of rare Philippine eagles soar during the pandemic
National Geographic, Jan 2022

Philippine wildlife criminals get away with a slap on the wrist
Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalism,
June 2021

Biologists rediscover rare frog after 27 years
Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 2021

Subspecies of microsnail on limestone boulders discovered
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 2020

Wildlife trafficking perfect recipe for next zoonotic disease
Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 2020 (two-part series)

New Filipino wildlife traffickers, traders emerge in Facebook hubs
Philippine Daily Inquirer, August 2019 (three-part series)

Philippine pangolin trade can make Palawan a ‘lost frontier’
Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 2019

Features & general assignments

Bent on making Christmas merry, the Philippines barrels through inflation
The Washington Post, Dec 2022

Amid anxiety, hope still springs for Filipino climate activists
Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 2021

Emden Deep yields dirty secret in Philippine Trench: Trash
Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 2021

Kanlungan online memorial set up to honor fallen frontliners abroad
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 2020

Quarantine life offsets gains in drive versus plastic waste
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 2020

‘Ondoy’ 10 years after: Marikina volunteers rise from trauma
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept 2019 (three-part series)

Metro air getting dirtier, deadlier for commuters
Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 2019 (three-part series)

Climate change, land conversion threaten Pampanga bird haven
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Feb 2019

Amid din of climate change talk, youths want their cries heard
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Dec 2018 (COP24 coverage)

‘Waterworld’ folk tap solar power for clean drink
Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 2018

Selected multimedia work

Apo Island in Negros Oriental fights back against plastic waste
Words, photos and videos for Rappler, Oct 2022

Where Vivaldi soars above the noise of dump trucks
Words and video for Philippine Daily Inquirer, Oct 2016

Padayon U.P. para sa P.W.D.: A day in the life of Miggy Bautista
Investigative journalism thesis, May 2015

Marching through the years
Words, photo and video for The Daily Mississippian, Jan 2014