New Internationalist

Articles by Iris Gonzales

The stories of a tragedy named Haiyan

Iris Gonzales talks to three journalists who witnessed the devastation caused by one of the Philippines’ worst typhoons.

  • December 16, 2013
  • 1

Living in the eye of the storm

The devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines brings back memories of a similar tragedy two years ago, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • November 11, 2013
  • 1

Thailand must do more to end human trafficking

Iris Gonzales talks to those affected by a lucrative and terrible trade.

  • October 17, 2013
  • 3

Zamboanga, a city under siege

While all eyes were on Kenya, another devastating attack was taking place in the Philippines. Iris Gonzales reports.

  • September 30, 2013
  • 1

Burma must address its ‘Rohingya problem’

With ethnic violence displacing hundreds of thousands, a resolution can’t come too soon, says Iris Gonzales.

  • August 21, 2013
  • 0

‘This is just the beginning of Burma’s new beginning’

Democracy is within sight, Iris Gonzales is told, as she meets those who have reason to hope.

  • August 13, 2013
  • 0

There’s a lot more to do, President Aquino

Stop blowing your own trumpet, and start tackling human rights abuses, says Iris Gonzales in the Philippines.

  • July 31, 2013
  • 2

Let’s talk about parenting

In the Philippines, Iris Gonzales attends a course to get hints on doing the best for her daughter.

  • July 9, 2013
  • 0

Philippine ‘comfort women’ still waiting for justice

Osaka mayor’s words anger women raped by Japanese soldiers during the Second World War, as Iris Gonzales explains.

  • June 21, 2013
  • 0

Welcome to Manila, the gates of hell

Novelist Dan Brown’s description is sadly apt, says Iris Gonzales.

  • May 30, 2013
  • 2

The Philippines: little reason to celebrate press freedom

While rankings have improved, Iris Gonzales describes a culture of impunity which fails to get justice for murdered media workers.

  • May 7, 2013
  • 0

Overseas Filipino Workers – heroes at home, exploited abroad

In Qatar, Iris Gonzales is surrounded by fellow Filipinos forced to find jobs away from their families.

  • April 25, 2013
  • 6

PODCAST: Dinyar Godrej and Iris Gonzales on housing

Housing shortages, forced evictions and homelessness – why is global shelter in such a state?

  • April 24, 2013
  • 0

Philippines: right to family planning compromised

Following pressure from the Catholic Church, the Reproductive Health Law has been put on hold. This is a risky move, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • April 10, 2013
  • 0

A beautiful country tainted with blood

Iris Gonzales is saddened by what has been happening in India, a country close to her heart.

  • March 20, 2013
  • 0

Why I support One Billion Rising

Despite criticism that the campaign doesn’t address the root causes of women’s inequality, Iris Gonzales says it’s a step in the right direction.

  • February 21, 2013
  • 0

Philippines government must do better

A new report states that human rights abuses are not being dealt with sufficiently. Iris Gonzales explains.

  • February 13, 2013
  • 0

The Philippines joins One Billion Rising

Iris Gonzales is heartened that her country has adopted the campaign against violence against women.

  • January 30, 2013
  • 3

They came down from the mountains to shout out their grief

Photographer Jes Aznar has captured the pain of the Lumads, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • January 24, 2013
  • 7

A counterfeit life in a Philippines slum

Informal dwellers are struggling to survive in Metro Manila, says Iris Gonzales.

  • January 16, 2013
  • 2

Another gun, another death, another unhappy new year

It’s not just in the US that gun control laws are failing the people. Iris Gonzales reports from the Philippines on the tragic death of a seven-year-old.

  • January 8, 2013
  • 5

The ‘curse’ of Philippine floods

While the powerful thrashed out decisions on what to do about climate change, the Philippines was drowning, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • December 12, 2012
  • 2

Remembering the Maguindanao massacre

Three years on from the politically motivated killing of 58 people in the Philippines, families are still waiting for justice says Iris Gonzales.

  • November 23, 2012
  • 0

Philippines must tackle its human trafficking shame

As the UN puts pressure on the Aquino government, Iris Gonzales considers the way forward.

  • November 12, 2012
  • 0

Filipino law is ‘cyber authoritarianism’

Iris Gonzales on the Cybercrime Prevention Act and why critics say it is an affront to civil liberties.

  • November 2, 2012
  • 1

A new era dawns in the Philippines

Iris Gonzales on the signing of an historic peace pact between the government and Muslim rebels – and the challenges ahead.

  • October 16, 2012
  • 3

Marcos atrocities: the pain continues

The Philippines still bears the scars of military dictatorship, which was imposed 40 years ago this month, says Iris Gonzales.

  • September 24, 2012
  • 0

Breast must remain best

Iris Gonzales reports on a looming threat to government support for breastfeeding in the Philippines.

  • August 28, 2012
  • 5

After the floods, the blame game starts in the Philippines

The Church says the catastrophe is a punishment from God. Really? asks Iris Gonzales.

  • August 14, 2012
  • 0

Justice and healing in the Philippines

Iris Gonzales speaks to the inspiring Winnie Penaredondo about breaking free from an abusive marriage and coming to fight violence against women.

  • August 2, 2012
  • 0

Slavery still widespread in Mauritania

Shortly after modern-day slave masters are sent to prison in the UK, Iris Gonzales reminds us the practice is still alive in parts of Africa.

  • July 16, 2012
  • 5

Ratings v quality – time for the media to do the right thing

With education losing out to sensationalism, the current balance is all wrong, says Iris Gonzales.

  • July 9, 2012
  • 0

Can you teach people peace?

Iris Gonzales attends a workshop in Germany to find out.

  • June 29, 2012
  • 7

A ‘strategic silence’ on Syria – to the Philippines’ shame

Iris Gonzales on an uncomfortable absence at this month’s Human Rights Council meeting.

  • June 12, 2012
  • 0

Single motherhood: muddling through the mayhem

We all have dreams of a better life, says Iris Gonzales. But can the Philippine government help to fulfil them?

  • May 29, 2012
  • 2

‘We need a climate change adaptation fund’

Iris Gonzales interviews economics expert Jeffrey Sachs who says countries need to step up efforts to reduce their carbon footprints.

  • May 22, 2012
  • 3

Finance leaders come out to play in the Philippines

But how exactly will the Asian Development Bank meeting help the poor? asks Iris Gonzales.

  • May 2, 2012
  • 0

World Bank bullying must stop!

Iris Gonzales has strong words for incoming bank boss Jim Yong Kim.

  • April 18, 2012
  • 0

Activists, journalists, human rights workers: missing but not forgotten

Iris Gonzales calls for justice and redress in a Philippines that seems not to care.

  • April 11, 2012
  • 0

Philippines must dismantle its private armies!

State-backed militaries continue to act with impunity, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • April 3, 2012
  • 2

Staying sane in a mad world

The world can be a distressing place. Iris Gonzales meets the organizers of a stress and trauma workshop and learns some techniques for survival.

  • March 13, 2012
  • 2

International Women’s Day: women hold up half the sky

Iris Gonzales offers a lament for the state of women’s rights and a hope for a better future.

  • March 8, 2012
  • 1

Time to end feudalism in the Philippines

Farmers have always been badly treated – by landlords as by presidents. But could things be about to change?

  • February 27, 2012
  • 4

Culture of impunity thrives in the Philippines

A year in to his presidency, Benigno Aquino III has failed to address human rights concerns, says Iris Gonzales.

  • February 20, 2012
  • 0

New disaster looms for young survivors of Sendong

Filipino children made homeless after December’s tropical storm need proper care, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • January 22, 2012
  • 0

Filipino journalists living the story

What do you do if your job is to write about a tragedy of which you are part? Iris Gonzales meets some of the journalists whose lives were turned upside down by tropical storm Sendong.

  • January 11, 2012
  • 0

Christmas in a devastated land

This year, 25 December was about survival, not celebration, for the people of northern Mindanao in the Philippines, says Iris Gonzales.

  • January 4, 2012
  • 0

President parties while the Philippines mourns

Where is Benigno Aquino’s empathy for his people? asks Iris Gonzales.

  • December 20, 2011
  • 1

Education is a right, not a privilege! say Filipino protesters

Student attempts to occupy Manila may have been thwarted – but the protests will continue, says Iris Gonzales.

  • December 12, 2011
  • 1

Arroyo arrested but problems persist

The former Philippines president has been arrested, but it will take more than anti-corruption measures to save the country’s economy, says Iris Gonzales.

  • November 29, 2011
  • 0

After the slaughter

Two years after the Maguindanao massacre in the Philippines, the victims have not been forgotten, says Iris Gonzales.

  • November 23, 2011
  • 0

Cuba makes cancer breakthrough

A new vaccine could give hope to millions – if Big Pharma doesn’t get its hands on it first, says Iris Gonzales.

  • November 14, 2011
  • 7

Why aren’t we protecting our children?

A report from the Philippines revealing the latest child abuse figures makes devastating reading, discovers Iris Gonzales.

  • October 20, 2011
  • 2

The girl effect: giving young women a chance

A new blogging campaign wants to promote girls’ potential. Iris Gonzales, who has seen first hand how poverty and lack of access to education can stymie their chances, is all for this new initiative.

  • October 11, 2011
  • 0

A woman's life inside

Iris Gonzales meets women at a Filipino prison and can’t help thinking they should not be locked up.

  • September 26, 2011
  • 2

‘Like a cage without a key’ – raising awareness of depression

Iris Gonzales has a very personal reason for marking World Suicide Prevention Day on 9 September.

  • September 14, 2011
  • 9

No fairytale: the story of the Philippines

From Marcos to Arroyo, its leaders have pillaged and lied. But will this ‘Once Upon A Time’ have a happy ending? Iris Gonzales wishes she could wave her magic wand as she relates the sorry tale.

  • September 6, 2011
  • 4

Sun, sea, salt... and exploitation in the ports of the Philippines

Poor pay, polluted air, dangerous conditions. It’s a familiar story for the country’s port workers, says Iris Gonzales.

  • August 31, 2011
  • 0

Condom-wearing Jesus causes uproar in the Philippines

An art installation by visual and performance artist Mideo Cruz has upset the establishment, but surely the Catholic Church is missing the point? Iris Gonzales reports.

  • August 18, 2011
  • 5

Waters rising, spirits falling

The arrival of the rainy season brings chaos to the streets of Manila – and it’s not all the fault of the weather, says Iris Gonzales.

  • August 9, 2011
  • 0

Money in the Philippines the poor never see

There’s more than enough cash in the domestic market, but it’s denied to those who need it most, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • July 26, 2011
  • 2

A school of their own

Despite all the hardships, a school for indigenous children in the Philippines is a story of hope, courage and inspiration.

  • July 25, 2011
  • 0

Education dilemma: two bookshelves for 200 pupils

Public schools in the Philippines are a vivid portrait of the country’s economy, says Iris Gonzales. She visits one such school. 

  • July 19, 2011
  • 4

The Philippines: a global holdout in divorce

After Malta voted in favour of divorce legalization, the Philippines is now the only country in the world which still bans divorce. Iris Gonzales says her country should be ashamed.

  • July 5, 2011
  • 4

Living (and lying for) the American Dream

Millions of Filipinos are condemned to live overseas as illegal immigrants. It’s ironic that their own, inadequate government hails them as ‘heroes’, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • June 28, 2011
  • 0

Of press freedom and sexual assault

Sexual violence against female journalists is less an attack against press freedom than it is a purely evil crime against women, writes Iris Gonzales.

  • June 17, 2011
  • 0

Dying on the hospital floor

Decaying state hospitals and greedy private clinics make the death of loved ones harder to bear in the Philippines, says Iris Gonzales.

  • June 6, 2011
  • 0

His crime? Helping the oppressed

How many more political prisoners will have to be put in jail until the Philippine military is satisfied? 

  • May 27, 2011
  • 2

Our lives. Our anger

Nobody wants to be angry with the world, with loved ones and even with oneself. But when we are frustrated over the world’s follies, we let the steam off elsewhere.

  • May 25, 2011
  • 4

Of corruption, tired bus drivers and the killer highway

The killer highway of the Philippines: it’s corruption that kills.

  • May 17, 2011
  • 1

Rush hour and news stories

What does the World Press Freedom Day mean for journalists in the Philippines?

  • May 4, 2011
  • 0

'In a country like Philippines...'

Iris Gonzales reflects on the lessons she learnt on her recent trip to Portugal’s capital.

  • May 3, 2011
  • 1

Lessons from Portugal's debt crisis

Iris Gonzales reflects on Portugal’s financial crisis - and other crises.

  • April 26, 2011
  • 1

Women of courage

How do you heal after your loved one is killed for exposing the truth in a country with a supposed freedom of press? Two women share their stories.  

  • April 19, 2011
  • 2

Journalists and murder

Iris Gonzales attended a workshop for journalists, in which media workers discussed reporting murder and forced disappearances in the Philippines.

  • April 12, 2011
  • 0

Like the candle left flickering...

A story of mining, environmental destruction, the death of a Filipino journalist and the fight that is still on. 

  • March 28, 2011
  • 1

Want safe sex? Get a prescription

Condom prescription in a posh Philippine village. And as if that wasn’t enough…

  • March 25, 2011
  • 3

Radiation can reach the Philippines

The threat is serious, a Filipino scientist told the country’s media on Friday. His warnings contradict the government’s claims.

  • March 18, 2011
  • 0

Too dark to remember

Will a $1,000 compensation check for victims of the former Filipino dictator Marcos help heal the wounds? 

  • March 10, 2011
  • 1

A journey still not completed

Twenty five years ago, Filipinos got rid of Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator who had ruled the country for twenty years. But that was just the beginning of a long journey to freedom, equality and happiness.

  • February 24, 2011
  • 0

The story with no end in sight

After appeal from top Philippine authorities, China agreed to delay the scheduled execution of three Filipino migrant workers, who are on death row for drug trafficking. The case shed light on many more deeply rooted problems in the country.

  • February 22, 2011
  • 0

When a general kills himself

The saga of flesh, blood, massive corruption and shopping trips with military money.

  • February 18, 2011
  • 0

The mayhem through a lens

Photojournalism and video journalism are alive in the Philippines.’

  • February 7, 2011
  • 2


What have babies just a few months old done to be attacked with tear gas by the state that is supposed to protect them? Their ‘sin’ is simple: they were born to poor parents.

  • January 26, 2011
  • 0

Till death do us part - or death if we do not part?

There are only two countries in the world (excluding Vatican City) where divorce is not legally possible. Will a new bill succeed in freeing up unhappy couples?

  • January 24, 2011
  • 5

Never Forget: The Ampatuan Massacre

They thought they had got away with it. But devoted Filipino photographers make sure that the country’s worst political massacre stays in the public eye – literally.

  • January 18, 2011
  • 2

Surfacing: my nth wall

Public spaces in the Philippines are being reclaimed by photo activists – and they have a very serious message about the human rights violations all too common in the country.

  • January 10, 2011
  • 5

A Filipino Christmas

That one night a year… Dreamed of, talked about, waited for. Looking back at it now that it’s over.

  • January 2, 2011
  • 0

Luang Prabang, Laos: A slice of heaven

The story of a very long bus trip to a magic place in Laos. 

  • December 16, 2010
  • 0

For every human rights victim...

Progress on the case of 43 detained health workers, known as the Morong 43, brings hope to the human rights defenders in the Philippines. Can the government deliver?

  • December 13, 2010
  • 0

Retracing the journey to death

The massacre that took place a year ago in the Philippines is remembered as the worst case of political violence in the country. But has justice been delivered? 

  • November 24, 2010
  • 0

How many rounds for the Philippines?

It is crazy. The whole country stops breathing when Manny Pacquiao enters the boxing ring.

  • November 17, 2010
  • 2

The song the G20 doesn't want to hear

Tomorrow, the rich world’s leaders will gather in Seoul, South Korea. But why are they afraid of a song?

  • November 10, 2010
  • 6

Morong 43: what have we done to deserve this?

For nine months already, forty three community health workers are being held in a military camp in the Philippines. Their crime? Suspicion only.

  • November 8, 2010
  • 3

Volunteer nurse cries out for justice

Many Filipino doctors and nurses have left the country in search for better jobs abroad, but those who stayed are fighting twin battles.  

  • November 1, 2010
  • 0

Enforced disappearances in the Philippines: A mother speaks

It’s the hope that dies last. But are the guilty ones ready to admit their crimes and give their victims the very thing they had taken away – their freedom?

  • October 28, 2010
  • 0

Of typhoons, climate change and rainy nights

With typhoon Megi wreaking havoc, Filipinos wait with bated breath: what next?

  • October 19, 2010
  • 6

My sacred ritual

For those who cannot start their morning without it - a coffee vignette from the Philippines.

  • October 14, 2010
  • 1

Manila: red roses and student blood

It was supposed to be a great day for law students and their families. But the champagne bottles were never opened. Instead, a bomb brought horror and disbelief: why?

  • October 1, 2010
  • 0

Burma: the land of broken dreams

One brave woman is speaking out about her people’s suffering and why the world must sit up and take notice.

  • September 21, 2010
  • 0

Poverty elimination, Marcos-style

What can Imelda Marcos say about poverty alleviation?

  • September 13, 2010
  • 3

Justice delayed but hopes remain

They wept in disgust and they die a little each day that justice is delayed. But relatives of a mass killing in the southern part of the Philippines are not giving up.

  • September 8, 2010
  • 3

About Iris Gonzales

Portrait of Iris Gonzales

Iris Cecilia Gonzales is a Filipino journalist and blogger. At present, she covers economic news for a Manila broadsheet, but she also writes other stories here and there. She has been blogging since 2004 on various issues including women and children and human rights. She is among the winners in the TH!NK 3 global blogging competition organized by the Netherlands-based European Journalism Centre.

You may email her at

Iris Gonzales Elsewhere

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