Aurora Almendral is a freelance reporter and radio producer based in Manila and New York.
Conflict & Justice
One week after the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, authorities warn that extremists may be planning more attacks, while religious sites are starting to rebuild from the destruction.
Authorities in Sri Lanka urged people to pray at home instead of in mosques and stationed guards outside those that remained open.
More than 100 people were killed in the St. Sebastian church in the village of Katuwapitiya. On Tuesday, the community gathered to mourn their dead in mass funerals.
When President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June, he promised mercy for drug addicts who turned themselves in. But there are very few drug rehab programs in the Philippines, and now some of the users who surrendered are being killed by masked gunmen.
The Philippines' new president came to power on a promise to rid the country of criminals and drug addicts. He has said to "kill them all." And, since he took office at the end of June, more than 600 people have turned up dead.
The Philippines largely escaped the global AIDS epidemic in the 80s and 90s. But now it has one of the fastest growing HIV epidemics in the world.
Abandoned fishing nets destroy ecosystems and the livelihoods of fishermen around the world. Now a network of nonprofits is partnering with a for-profit company to recover some of these "ghost nets"in the Philippines and elsewhere and recycle them into carpeting.
When Pope Francis holds a Catholic Mass in Manila this weekend, he's expected to draw up to six million people. But there are conflicting hopes and expectations for what he'll say to Asia's most populous Catholic country.
Typhoon Haiyan caused more damage than the Haiti earthquake or the Indonesian tsunami, displacing 4.1 million people and killing more than 6,300 people in the Philippines. Now a year later, there's still plenty of work to do for the government and international aid agencies.
Health & Medicine
The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in Asia. But recently, the government passed a law, over the strenuous objections of the Catholic Church, that paved the way for providing free contraception. Reporter Aurora Almendral speaks with one woman, a grandmother at 33, about how free birth control could change the lives of the country's poorest.