IWMF Environmental Reporting in the Philippines: Meet the Fellows
Fellows participating in the IWMF's 2012 Environmental Reporting Fellowship in the Philippines include:
Kristine L. Alave, GMA News
Bernardino Balabo, Radyo Bulacan
Riziel Ann Cabreros, ABS-CBN News Channel
Rouchelle Dinglasan, GMA News Online
Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, Interaksyon (TV 5 Online)
Marilou Guieb, Business Mirror
Purple Romero, Rappler
Bong Sarmiento, MindaNews
Anna Valmero, LOQAL.ph
Rhodina Villanueva, Philippine Star
Kristine L. Alave is a contributing writer for the GMA News Network, a national television network in the Philippines, and also reports for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippines' largest newspaper. Alave currently covers topics including the environment, agriculture, food security and weather. She also contributes to The Guardian, a U.K.-based publication. Alave has covered trade issues for a daily newspaper, the BusinessWorld; acted as an editorial assistant for the Asia Pacific Migration Journal; and written cultural criticism pieces for PopMatters.
Bernardino Balabo has more than 20 years of experience as a journalist. He currently hosts a one-hour daily program on 90.3 FM Radyo Bulacan. He is also a correspondent for two national daily newspapers, the Philippine Star and Pilipino Star Ngayon. Balabo also works for Mabuhay newspaper, Punto Central Luzon and Central Luzon Business Week, based in the province of Bulacan and Pampanga, respectively. Balabo contributes to several online news publications and works as a part-time instructor at the Bulacan State University.
He is a recipient of various awards such as the 2005 Regional Biotechnology award, 2006 UNICEF citation for bird flu reporting, 2006 Philippine Press Institute Civic Journalism Fellowship, 2010 Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Fellowship, and the 2011 Probe Media Foundation’s Kuwentong Katutubo Fellowship.
Riziel Ann Cabreros works as a segment producer for “PIPOL on ANC,” a news magazine program airing weekly on national television ABS-CBN News Channel. This program profiles personalities who have had an impact on the Philippine society. Cabreros also writes for the Sunday evening newscasts of ABS-CBN News Channel.
In addition to TV production, she is doing research and investigative work for IWMF Courage in Journalism Award winner Marites Dañguilan-Vitug’s upcoming book on the Supreme Court. This is her second book project with Vitug; the first book, “Our Rights, Our Victories: Landmark Cases in the Supreme Court,” was published in 2011.
"Through this fellowship, I developed this interest in environmental issues. I consider that a personal success because I am now looking at environmental issues with a different eye. I’ve learned to ask questions that go beyond the technical aspect of issues such as flooding, but also the other aspects such as its social impact, especially on the vulnerable parts of our community – the poor families."
Rouchelle Dinglasan, a producer for GMA News Online, is responsible for a variety of sections including Nation, Business and the Pinoy Abroad -- a segment dedicated to overseas Filipinos. Dinglasan previously worked for BusinessWorld as its Senate Beat reporter.
Dinglasan graduated from De La Salle University-Manila with a degree in Philippine Studies and a major in Filipinos in Mass Media. She has been awarded with the Best Thesis Award for her work “Minda sa Dasma: A Study on Cultural Space of Filipino Muslims in FSC Highway Plaza.”
"Networking with my IWMF co-fellows, the lecturers and mentors provided me with an array of contacts that has definitely broadened my horizon in covering environmental issues. The best component of the fellowship program was being a venue for creating stories relating to environmental issues. Nothing can beat hands-on experience as the best teacher in journalism."
After Philex mine spill, a world of gray
GMA News, October 31, 2012
Philex spill ‘biggest mining disaster’ in PHL, surpassing Marcopper – DENR
GMA News, November 12, 2012
Watch a video clip of Dinglasan discussing her participation in the fellowship.
Lira Dalangin-Fernandez has worked as a journalist in the Philippines since 2001. Since 2011, she has covered breaking news and written special reports for Interaksyon.com. Previously Fernandez worked as a features writer. She has spent many years working for news websites, and wrote for Inquirer.net for 10 years.
In 2011, Fernandez received the Best Investigative Reporting Award at the 7th Population and Development Media Awards for her two-part series on organ trafficking.
"As a reporter covering mainly political beats, the fellowship program gave me an opportunity to focus on writing about environmental issues and their impact on people, especially the vulnerable sectors."
Writ of Kalikasan: Just in time?
Interaksyon.com, October 31, 2012
Shoreline hotels, lack of drainage bring floods to Boracay
Interaksyon.com, November 14, 2012
Marilou Guieb has more than 20 years of journalism experience. She currently writes for a national broadsheet newspaper, the Business Mirror. Also a writer and Northern Luzon Bureau Chief for the Women’s Feature Service (WFS), Guieb focuses on the voices of women and their perspectives on environmental issues -- as advocates, victims or survivors. She has worked as a writer and editor for other national newspapers, and has published book projects and reports for organizations.
In 2011, Guieb won a Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Award in best national agriculture feature story for her story on an organic farming technique.
Watch a video clip of Guieb discussing her participation in the fellowship.
Purple Romero is a reporter for Rappler, a social news network based in the Philippines; she has worked for both online and print publications. Romero has also written television reports, and in 2010, she wrote for an election special. She has reported on climate change and the judiciary for Newsbreak, a news organization specializing in investigative journalism. Romero has also contributed articles on climate change to AlertNet Reuters and Asia Views, a regional magazine. She has attended several international fellowships and trainings on climate change and environmental issues.
Romero researched a book about the judiciary that was published in March 2010. She was also the co-author of a book about corruption under the administration of former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Watch a video clip of Romero discussing her participation in the fellowship.
Bong Sarmiento is a senior journalist based in Koronadal City in South Cotabato, Mindanao. Sarmiento writes for MindaNews, where he has been a reporter since 2003. He also contributes articles to various publications including Business World, Sunstar Davao, Asia Times Online, The Mindanao Cross, and the Union of Catholic Asian News.
For his exemplary reporting, Sarmiento has received awards including the Pagkilalasamga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo (Outstanding Story on Indigenous People – Broadsheet Category) given by the International Labor Organization (ILO) in 2011. He was also one of the top 10 finalists of the first Gawad Galing for Biotech Journalism, and the Biotechnology for Life Media and Advocacy Resource Center, both in 2005.
"In the Philippines, environment still remains an underreported issue and the fellowship with its focus on environmental reporting just inspired me to write more environment-related stories that are in-depth and comprehensive."
The Tampakan project: battle over Southeast Asia’s largest copper-gold reserve (1)
MindaNews, November 11, 2012
The Tampakan Project: battle over Southeast Asia’s largest copper-gold deposit (2)
MindaNews, November 12, 2012
Anna Valmero is an assistant producer with LOQAL.ph, an online magazine in the Philippines. She started her professional career in journalism in 2006 as a copy editor with Electronic Engineering Times Asia. Valmero also worked as a multimedia reporter with INQUIRER.net in 2008 before joining LOQAL.ph in 2010. She writes, takes photos and produces video content for stories that center on politics, health, science, travel and small and medium enterprises.
As one of the reporters covering science and technology in 2011, her media organization won the Gawad Jose L. Guerrero Media Award from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
"The IWMF program was very helpful in equipping me with journalism skills and how to better tell environment stories with a strong focus on women actors, which are often left behind in environment news."
Watch a video clip of Valmero discussing her participation in the fellowship.
Rhodina Villanueva is a reporter for a daily newspaper, the Philippine Star, where she covers the Environment and Natural Resources Department, the Agrarian Reform Department and the Commission on Human Rights. A former reporter for broadsheet newspaper Today, Villanueva aims to use her writing as an instrument to inspire, inform and set people to action, especially on critical issues such as climate change.
"The fellowship helped me realize that there are venues we can maximize to share important information, and to heighten the public’s awareness on environmental issues."