THE KILL LIST

NBC Left Field

Winner, Overseas Press Club of America Award for best international reporting in the broadcast media, 2018

In the Philippines, thousands have died in the government-induced slaughter. It is in the closeness and intimacy of the camera — as it traces the ligature marks along the wrists of a bullet-riddled corpse, capturing the ebbing tears of a family as they gradually accept that the body they hold will never wake up, and filming the nervous laughter of a drug addict as he asks a police officer not to be killed  — that the complex issues of crime and state play out.

Filmed one year after Duterte assumed the presidency, we gained unprecedented access to the lives of survivors and policemen, and considered why Duterte’s bloody rampage continues: from the normalization of government-inspired brutality, the narrative of righteousness that undergird the killings, to the validating effect of President Donald Trump’s unequivocal support of the Philippine president.

The documentary shows how citizens of a country are willing to compromise their morals for what they’ve been convinced is the greater good and sheds light on an ongoing human rights crisis, serving as a cautionary warning on a dark side of the human condition.

22 minutes

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LONELINESS AND THE LOVE DOLL

NBC Left Field

I produced and directed this short documentary about Nakajima, a Japanese man searching for companionship and found love in his sex doll. In this story I found the universal emotions of loneliness and longing for companionship that underpin a seemingly deviant lifestyle.

4:55 minutes

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THE BAR GIRLS OF ANGELES

KCRW's Unfictional & The Groundtruth Project

Winner, regional Edward R. Murrow award for news documentary, 2017

While covering Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, amid the destruction that killed thousands and displaced millions, an aid worker told me a truth about disasters that haunted me long after I left. First comes the humanitarian aid, she said, then come the human traffickers.

Two years after Haiyan, I went to Angeles, a notorious, crime-ridden red light city to spend time with sex workers driven to the trade after the typhoon. The reporting was a feat in gaining access and trust. The resulting story is a sensitive, nuanced portrayal of the interplay of disasters, trafficking, sex work and poverty.

I conceptualized, reported and scripted this radio documentary with funding from a Groundtruth Climate Change Fellowship.  

28 minutes

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Motorcycle stunt riders of the philippines

NBC Left Field

In the Philippines, young men are targets in Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war. A band of motorcycle stuntmen ride in honor of their leader, who was abducted and killed by masked gunmen.

3:19 minutes

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when half a million drug users surrendered in the philippines, authorities sent some of them to zumba

PRI's The World

It didn't work. I visit a neighborhood struggling to deal with the drug problem, with no resources and little government support. The resulting rehabilitation efforts fell short, and their neighbors turned up dead. 

5:09 minutes

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the war on drugs is leaving hundreds dead in the street

PRI's The World

After Rodrigo Duterte became president, I was among the first foreign reporters to cover his bloody anti-drug campaign. I spend the night on the crime scenes at a time when people were still struggling to make sense of the massacre unfolding in Manila. 

5 minutes

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an american and his dog help bring closure to survivors of typhoon haiyan

PRI's The World

More than 6000 people died in Typhoon Haiyan. Thousands of bodies were never found or identified. Four months after the storm you'd expect a person might start to accept that his missing loved ones have died. But it doesn't always work that way. I follow a team of cadaver dogs as they search for remains of the typhoon's victims.

5:27 minutes

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why contraception may be a way out of poverty for filipino families

PRI's The World

The slums of Tondo are the most notorious in Manila, and Ana Lisa Loste lives in the most destitute district. Her house is down a long road, permanently muddy from the black goo that drips out of garbage trucks, past the part of the slum where scavengers sort through glass bottles, right where the smell of rotting trash meets the stinging smoke from a field of crude charcoal kilns.

The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in Asia, and most of the population growth has been in the poorest families who can least afford birth control — or children. In Tondo, people are painfully aware of the irony in this. Around here, it’s not unusual for a woman to have eight or ten children.

5:27 minutes

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turning a million yards of post-typhoon trash into jobs

NPR News

After the Typhoon Haiyan cut of path of destruction through the Philippine city of Tacloban, I follow the "disaster garbage man," a waste management specialist working to turn rubble into jobs. 

5 minutes

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maggi: the local seasoning from everywhere

PRI's The World

Immigrants from countries as far flung as Nigeria, Mexico, the Philippines and Poland share a common ingredient. They all use Maggi, and they all insist it belongs to them. I talk to cooks from immigrant communities around New York City about how Maggi reminds them of home, and upset a few people by revealing where it's really from. 

4:54 minutes

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The family who built a cafe just for their son

BBC World Service

Jose Canoy was twelve years old when his family decided that he would no longer do well in school. Jose is autistic, and his family had to accept that, unlike his siblings and other kids his age, Jose would never memorize the planets in the solar system or write an essay on history. But the Canoy family did not want him to stop learning. They opened the Puzzle Café in Manila, Philippines, as a place for him and other young adults with autism, to learn practical skills, and continue to thrive. Today, Puzzle Café is run by Jose’s older siblings.

9:36 minutes

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making the world's first prosthetic leg for an elephant

BBC World Service

Mosha is the first elephant in the world to have a prosthetic leg. She lost her leg after stepping on a landmine on the Thai-Myanmar border, but an orthopedic surgeon called Dr Therdchai Jivacate came to the rescue and created a prosthetic leg for her. I visit Mosha at the elephant hospital outside Chiang Mai, where now lives for naps, circus peanuts and stealing candy out of her mahout’s pockets.

5:55 minutes

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