Stories from the Field


Aftermaths from natural disasters are common in the Philippines. Everywhere there are debris from structures and foliage. Evacuation sites pop up like mushrooms. Relief goods pour in. You would think an aftermath from a war would just be the same.


Expedition to the Saw-Toothed Mountain

All our bags were packed and we were definitely ready to go!

This trip was not like our usual fieldwork. Led by some of the youngest in our pool of researchers, the team bravely travelled the deep seas between Batangas and Romblon to reach an island called Sibuyan.


Threatened Land, Threatened Lives: The Bagobo-Klata of the South

Datu Danny walks ahead of us, with a confident gait, on a narrow path and stops. The 26-year-old Chieftain of the Bagobo-Klata tribe points to a fenced area where a religious sect lays claim to a portion of the tribe’s ancestral domain. He then waves his hand to the eastern side where a larger part of the land is now occupied by a private banana plantation. Up on the slope, he says, is his meager land where he and his family grow abaca and other crops for their daily subsistence.


Exploring Mabini's Underworld

Working for a natural history museum, we get to explore places that are probably interesting only to researchers and scientists. In the past, our forebears trekked mountains, scanned forests and dove into the depths of seas. Now, we have gone into the vast underworld of Philippine caves. With headlights to give us vision, we now enter places of complete darkness enveloped by deafening silence.

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