Swimming in Pancit Cabagan

February 15, 2015

Swimming talaga

I was told that we’d be swimming in Pancit Cabagan when I was asked to document activities in the province of Isabela. And damn, they weren’t kidding!


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My first time on Mindoro Island

January 24, 2015

Good morning Oriental Mindoro!

Early into the new year, the Haribon Foundation sent me to document environment training sessions for a group of young people, focused on the Philippines’ 5th largest lake on the island of Mindoro.

Naujan Lake National Park, or NLNP, is a Protected Area under the Philippines’ NIPAS act, and holds within it not only unique wildlife, but watersheds crucial to the survival of the park’s human inhabitants.

Here are some photos of what we did, and if you don’t know me already, photos of food we ate!


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3 possible PBA team names inspired by Philippine biodiversity

January 19, 2015

Philippine Eagles vs Palawan Bearcats. Now that's a game!

I may not watch sports (which makes it easier for me to criticize national sports team names) but I still have utmost respect for talents regardless of sport or skill. That said, I still think that sports team names representing the province or island you’re from would make nationwide sport associations like the PBA far more interesting than names that represent some brand of energy drink you don’t like. And if ticket proceeds went to development work and environment conservation, as opposed to corporations, you’d see me at Araneta Coliseum faster than a Meralco Bolt.


3 things I did in Davao!

October 16, 2014

A & R do Davao!

The internet is full of lists… so here’s another one! Except that mine starts with biodiversity conservation commentary, slowly transitioning into a mildly humorous tale about fist pumps and fairies, and ending with some corny romantic shit.

Still reading? Good! Here are 3 things I did in Davao!


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My first year at Haribon & the 6 accomplishments I’m most proud of.

June 3, 2014


Image designed by Mikeel Araña.

This past year has been one of the most formative and life-changing for me. Exactly one year ago today I moved to Manila and began working for the Haribon Foundation, a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (or NGO) fighting for environment conservation in the Philippines. It would be my first time leaving the commercial sphere for the non-profit sector. But there were many firsts to follow soon after that.


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Zamboanga City, Birding, and the 9th Philippine Bird Festival

April 7, 2014


War. Religion. Kidnapping. Words unfortunately associated with Zamboanga City after headlines focused on the fighting that had occurred there in September of 2013.


Mangroves. Birds. Diversity. What about these words? Mangroves riddle the seaside landscape of Zamboanga City. Not bullet holes. Birds like Barn swallows perch atop buildings, not snipers. Chabacano, Yakan, Tausug, Bisaya, Tagalog, English, and more are spoken in this 98-baranggay-paradise called “Asia’s Latin City.” A place where the Spaniards left a fort just as old as Manila’s Intramuros in the north, but also a language colorfully created in time by Zamboanga City’s people, making Chabacano, a Spanish-Filipino language, the predominantly spoken language in the city.


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Things Hello Balut loves to do…

February 22, 2014




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Sunday sermon

January 14, 2014

The Black Nazarene in Quiapo.

Last Sunday my friend Leah and I were on a speeding jeepney that sounded like a machine gun on our way to the National Museum. And then we hit traffic. The air stopped rushing in so it sat with us in the mid-afternoon heat, waiting to be carried off again. We inched our way toward Quiapo, a place where just a few days before millions of devotees had converged around a black statue of Jesus Christ. They call it the Black Nazarene. I wondered why millions flocked to see him every year. I entertain the idea that they find comfort in a Jesus who looks like them.


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Hallmark? Nah, Haribon! (And 3 things I learned as a designer)

December 1, 2013

Philippine Eagle nest e-card for Haribon.

Last month I was asked to come up with new designs for “e-cards” in our adopt-a-seedling campaign. It was pretty tough. I’ve never designed Christmas cards before. I’m also more of a graphic designer who works with fonts and colors and not a holiday card illustrator. One of Haribon’s on-going projects is to bring back the forest cover of the Philippines. So this was something I had to see myself through. If I am to work alongside the very people getting their hands dirty planting these trees for the benefit of future generations, why can’t I put in some work to help sustain that?


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Bangon Bohol! (Rise up Bohol!)

October 25, 2013

Before and after: Baclayon Church

On October 15 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol. The death toll as of the writing of this post has reached just under 200, while some of the Philippines’ oldest stone churches have been severely damaged.


Advertising vs. Advocacy

September 29, 2013

The march toward house of representatives. 500 people strong.

A few months ago I was asked to take photos and video of a march to the house of representatives. It’d be for a coalition of environmental groups fighting for 3 “green bills” in congress. It made me reflect a lot on my transition from corporate or commercial designer to non-profit advocacy designer. I once wished that money grew on trees, but today, I wish more people grew an appreciation for what trees already give us.


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Designing for people and Philippine Eagles.

August 2, 2013

Standing beside Haribon's resident biologist Kevin Artiaga, who also acted as art director for the t-shirts and the infographics.

2 weeks ago my colleague, Haribon’s resident biologist Kevin Artiaga, sent over a job order for 4 posters and a t-shirt design he needed. The posters were going to be infographics used to inform people living in a town that just so happened to have within its domain a sliver of forest belonging to the Philippine’s longest mountain range: the Sierra Madre. But that’s not the only superlative this town has.


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