I've been a journalist for six years, writing stories related to environment, education, human rights and local governance. In October 2012, I was a fellow at the Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Workshop, organized by the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. I've also joined workshops organized by the Thomas Reuters Foundation, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, Philippine Press Institute, Peace and Conflict Journalism Network, UNESCO, UNICEF, International Justice Mission and Oceana Philippines. In 2012, I was awarded Reporter of the Year at the first Cebu Media Excellence Awards (CMEA), and a finalist in the succeeding years. In 2014, a special report on cyber-pornography I co-wrote with three colleagues won the Investigative Story of the Year prize at CMEA. It was also adjudged as the country's best investigative story at the Catholic Mass Media Awards.
I look out at the bay dotted with islets. I feel a force pulling me to the sea, a wave of desire to seize the moment, to disappear beneath the waters. I look back at the moments since I stepped foot on El Nido. They come in images: the solitary carabao, the long-haired man lost in music, the European books, the scowling dog, Fast and Furious Booking Office.
In the central Philippine city of Mandaue, traffic enforcers not only endure heat and dust. They also get insults from hot-headed drivers, and even occasional punches from traffic violators. Motorists and commuters going to major urban centers in Cebu island have to travel through Mandaue. A traffic study conducted a few years back revealed that more than 370,000 trips pass through the city every day.