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…

The Start of My Vegetarianism

It was a scorchingly hot Wednesday in April four years ago. Val (may his soul be in peace) and I had just finished having lunch at the monastery after a morning of meditation and Buddhist lecture. I vividly remember wearing an overused white cotton t-shirt to offset the sweltering heat, along with a favorite pair of…

When the Farmers Are Starving

Nobody takes to the streets on a whim. The scorching heat of the sun hit hard on their faces. They had been protesting for three days in Kidapawan City, Cotabato. They were hungry and desperate. Their families back home are waiting for their return, hoping that along with them is even a meager amount of…

Paris Agreement: What We Need to Know

With updates from Bam Alegre Finally after weeks of discussion in Paris and decades of international disagreements, representatives from 195 nations have created the Paris Agreement at the United Nations climate change talks in France. This agreement is historic because it is universal — all developed and developing countries will follow its rules and regulations….

The Road to Paris: Dingdong Dantes and A.G. Sano

Mention Paris, France and most people will think about the recent terror attacks that dominated global headlines and social media timelines a few weeks ago. But Paris is now tackling a larger terror that also requires the attention of the entire world: climate change and how it can cause a literal hell on Earth if…

#COP21: The Glamorous Paris Talks and the Suffering of Filipinos

This is a story of two very different people, bound by an issue that will bring together 147 world leaders in Paris, France — climate change. Paris, France Former Philippine Climate Change Commissioner Yeb Saño is in Paris now, having spent the last six months on a pilgrimage that started out in Tacloban and across…

Ocean Deep: How Badly Are We Losing Aquatic Resources?

“Why are you doing this? Aren’t you scared of the water?” Before I left for Silago, Southern Leyte more than a month ago to do some volunteer work, I received this question from a friend who knows how deathly scared I am of the water. I often ask myself the same question ever since I got…

Notes from the Arctic

At the airport, I was enjoying the sight of people chatting, some making use of free WiFi and texting. Some were checking their bags, making sure everything they needed were inside like passports, seaman’s book, letter of guarantee, certificates and other important documents while waiting to board on their respective planes. I imagined where their…

How Sendai Recovered from the 2011 Tsunami by George Gamayo

Four years ago, a catastrophic tsunami ravaged Sendai, Japan resulting to thousands of casualties. Before the tragedy, it was a lively fishery port with 7,000 residents. One of whom is Noriko Kikuchi who lived in Yuriage, Natori City, one of the worst hit areas. As we walked through the wrecked community, Noriko unveiled her stories….

Why Manila Is Better than London

My editor asked this question right after I went back to work: “Bakit umuwi ka pa? (Why would you want to return?)” The Executive Producer of a morning newscast asked me the same, with additional input: “Something is very wrong with you.” This was not the first time I heard these remarks. I have just returned from a two-week vacation…