The Disappearing Farmers of Cambodia

KAMPONG CHAM, CAMBODIA — Hun Heang and his six siblings were born and raised into farming. They inherited the half-hectare land of their parents in Kang Meas district, Kampong Cham province, Cambodia. He was seven years old when he learned how to plant rice. Life was easy then, according to Hun. But as years went by, farming…

False Balance in Journalism

Can a journalist really create a false sense of balance in one’s work? This was one of the points of discussion during a journalism training I attended in Cambodia this month. UNESCO sponsored the workshop and selected fourteen journalists from the ASEAN region. The issue is interesting, relevant and somewhat controversial, as balance is a…

Scarborough Shoal: Close Encounters with China

Technically, the place is merely a collection of rocks and reefs. But its numerous names mirror the tension that has engulfed its waters. China believes it is Huangyan Dao based on their historical claims. Filipino fishermen from Zambales refer to it as Kalburo or Bajo de Masinloc or Panatag Shoal — a safe haven against storms. But…

President Noynoy Aquino’s Report Card

I hate the State of the Nation Address. For a news producer like myself, it is the busiest time of the year for researching stories, producing a series of news segments on the plight of Filipinos and doing a remote coverage at the House of Representatives. The list goes on. But it is not the busy schedule…