Stories written by Kara Santos
Kara Santos is the IPS correspondent in Manila, Philippines. A freelance writer and photographer, she also contributes lifestyle and travel features to various magazines. | Web

Ramping Up Renewable Energy in the Philippines

As the Philippines grapples with frequent power outages and a growing demand for energy, government agencies and private groups say the answer to the country’s power needs may lie in alternative sources.

Filipino Fishers Cast an Uncertain Net

Minda Moriles, 56, has worked at sea most of her life. A resident in a coastal community in the city of Las Pinas, part of the Philippines’ National Capital Region, her earnings are dictated by what she can catch off the shores of Manila Bay.

An Agreement For Peace Means a Promise of Tourism

International travellers may soon get to enjoy the scenic spots and rich cultural heritage of Muslim Mindanao, the Philippines’ southernmost island group, without the threat of being caught in the crossfire of the region’s conflict.

Filipino Netizens Reject Cybercrime Act

A newly enacted cybercrime law in the Philippines has raised fears that not only online media but also ordinary netizens could be persecuted for exercising their freedom of expression.

Philippines Floods Prompt Climate Action

This year’s floods, one of the worst in Philippine history, destroyed a staggering 57 million dollars worth of crops, pushing  this climate vulnerable country to implement disaster risk reduction measures.

Biodiesel Brings Cleaner Air

For the past three months, a transport group in the Philippines has been making use of biodiesel processed from used cooking oil for their jeepneys.

Youth Reaffirm Indigenous Identity

Barefoot and clad in traditional clothes, over a hundred indigenous Aetas gathered around a bonfire in a community nestled in the mountains of Capas town, in the Philippines’ Tarlac province. They had come together to celebrate their traditions and to instill in youth a sense of pride in their cultural identity.

‘Leave Nothing But Footprints’ on Philippine Beaches

Seashells and corals are competing with styrofoam packs, food wrappers, cigarette butts, and plastic bottles for space on some of the Philippines’ most scenic beaches. Graffiti mars tourist spots like lighthouses and caves, proclaiming the names of recent visitors.

DZUP radio

Campus Radio Turns Grassroots Voice

Since it first hit the airwaves more than 50 years ago, the University of the Philippines (UP)'s campus radio has evolved into a community broadcaster, serving as the voice of the people.

A female farmer in Northern Philippines struggles to gather sufficient yields as a result of climate change. Credit:  Kara Santos/IPS

PHILIPPINES: Women Weather Climate Change

As the world commemorates International Women’s Day today, women around the globe are speaking out on various issues that affect them. In light of recent natural disasters and calamities in the Philippines, women are increasingly citing climate change as one of their most pressing concerns.

PHILIPPINES: LGBT Radio Switches to Podcasting

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues have generally been ignored in the Philippines, or worse, negatively portrayed to spice up mainstream media programmes.

PHILIPPINES: These Shots Target AIDS

A unique campaign in the Philippines is using stylised online photos to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS. Fashion and conceptual photographer Niccolo Cosme first initiated Project Headshot Clinic in 2007 as a way of merging profile photos online and advertising.

PHILIPPINES: Prisoners Find Their E-Families

For the first time since giving birth in prison 13 years ago, Sarah, an inmate in the Philippines’ largest detention centre for female convicts, saw her daughter via Skype video chat in her prison cell.

Nuclear Plant Now an Anti-Nuclear Attraction

Environmental groups hope that a mothballed nuclear power plant on Bataan peninsula will become a major tourist attraction and earn green dollars for the country.

New species are found on every dive in the expedition in the Philippines. Credit: California Academy of Sciences

PHILIPPINES: Biodiversity Threatened Before It’s Discovered

"Every time we go in the water, someone discovers something that's never been seen before," says Dr. Terrence Gosliner, leader of the ongoing 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition.

Women Clamour for Contraceptives

In a small women's clinic in the congested community of San Andres Bukid in the Philippine capital, a mother of 11 is availing herself of family planning services for the first time in her life.

Birth control is making a comeback at clinics in Manila after a 2000 city ordinance discouraged the distribution of contraceptives. Credit: Kara Santos/IPS

PHILIPPINES: Women Clamour for Contraceptives

In a small women's clinic in the congested community of San Andres Bukid in the Philippine capital, a mother of 11 is availing herself of family planning services for the first time in her life.

Catholics attend mass outside the Quiapo Church in Manila. 80% of the Philippines is Catholic, and the Church sanctions only natural family planning. Credit: Kara Santos/IPS

PHILIPPINES: Religious Groups Weigh In on Reproductive Health Debate

In a country where an estimated 4,500 women die every year due to complications during childbirth, the enactment of a reproductive health (RH) policy is said to be a measure that could save lives.

A child works by a mine in the Philippines. Credit:

PHILIPPINES: Pulling Children Out of the Tunnel of Hard Labour

At the tender age of 10, Rodel Morozco was working in a goldmine and crawling inside tunnels, until one day he fell 200 feet underground because his father had blasted the tunnel with dynamite.

Former OFW Exequel Masucal displays his green card from Libya. Credit: Kara Santos/IPS

PHILIPPINES: Migrant Workers Put Jobs Before Safety in Libya

Amidst political turmoil in Libya, thousands of migrant workers from the Philippines face a dilemma - either they risk their lives working in the conflict- ridden country, or they return home and face job insecurity.

A woman holds up pictures of the three OFWs on death row in China during a protest action in Manila. Credit: Kara Santos/IPS

Death Sentence Looms for Filipino Drug Mules in China

Time is running short for three Filipino workers in China. Ramon Credo, Elizabeth Batain and Sally Villanueva - who were convicted of smuggling heroin in 2008 - are set to be executed by lethal injection Mar. 30.

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