About the Podcast

Gubatbp. (pronounced as “gubat at iba pa” or “forest and others”) is a monthly podcast by the Forest Foundation Philippines. Here, we tell stories and engage in discussions about the interrelatedness of people, forest, and biodiversity.


Your hosts


Executive Director

Onggie Canivel is the Executive Director of Forest Foundation Philippines. A staunch advocate of the environment, he previously held positions, leading advocacy and policy initiatives, at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines, Environmental Legal Assistance Center (ELAC), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). 


He obtained his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from the Ateneo de Manila University. 


Passionate about the great outdoors, he spends his free time reading books on the environment, and sharing his love of the forests to friends and family by taking them to the country’s most beautiful landscapes. Also a serial hobbyist, he collects fountain pens and takes fishkeeping seriously.


Knowledge Management Specialist

Bryan Mariano is Forest Foundation Philippines’ Knowledge Management Specialist. He is a development communication practitioner who has been working in the forest conservation sector since 2015. He is currently finishing his MS Geography program at the University of the Philippines Diliman where he studies social meanings of places and knowledge production in human-nature relations. With great admiration for landscapes, he enjoys hiking and reading books about the environment. 

About the guests


Lee Ann Canals-Silayan

Lee Ann is committed to Philippine biodiversity and forest conservation, having founded the Kaleekasann Nursery in San Mateo, Rizal—a purely native tree nursery. Ms. Lee Ann is also a member of UP Mountaineers, having collaborated with groups such as MUNI in upholding environmental conservation.  Listen to Lee Ann’s perspective in the Plantito/Plantita phenomenon on Episode 1.

Erika Gutierrez

Erika is the owner of Pothead Manila, an online store centered around responsible urban farming. She integrates sustainability in their operations, providing buyers with informed descriptions of their plants, and promoting resilient cities. To understand how Erika was able to build a sustainable business operation selling plants, listen to Episode 1.

Atty. Theresa Tenazas

Atty. Theresa is from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, with extensive knowledge on ethical sourcing and policy. She is the OIC of the Wildlife Resources Division at the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau. Atty. Theresa discusses the rules and regulations of ethical sourcing in Episode 1.

Rina Garcia Chua

Rina is a multi-awarded author and the editor of “Sustaining the Archipelago: An Anthology of Philippine Ecopoetry”, the first Philippine ecopoetry collection. She graduated with a specialization in Ecocriticism and literature from the University of Santo Tomas and De La Salle University, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia. To learn more about her and Eco-literature, listen and tune in to Episode 2.

Alvira “Vie” Reyes

Alvira Reyes is the Executive Director of Bote Central and Acting President of Philippine Coffee Alliance. The Philippine Coffee Alliance is a SEC-registered network of smallholder coffee farmers and key players in local agribusiness. They aim for promoting and empowering local coffee farmers by preparing them for entrepreneurship. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 3.


Mariton Villanueva

Mariton is a textile artist whose technique revolves around plant-based dyeing. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines, her works exhibit prints that have been produced using natural materials and upcycled fabrics. She also owns the brand Himaya. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 4.

Soliman Poonon

Soliman is a soil painter whose technique hails from the soil painting traditions of the Talaandig tribe of Bukidnon, of which he is a member of. His works have been exhibited in countries as far as Canada and Singapore, while he continues to reside in Bukidnon where the soil painting tradition is passed onto Talaandig children. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 4.

Simeona “Ony” Martinez

Simeona “Ony” Martinez is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of the University of the Philippines Diliman. She is part of independent research and advocacy group Counter-mapping PH Network. Ony Martinez has also joined Saan Yan PH, a volunteer group mapping community pantries in the country. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 5.


Dr. TJ Malvar

Dr. TJ Malvar leads forest bathing sessions and manages the Mount Purro Nature Reserve alongside his family in Barangay Calawis, Antipolo. He is a medical practitioner who has supported activities on local agriculture, ecotourism, and food security. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 6.
John Benzon Aruta-modified

Dr. John Jamir Benzon Aruta

Dr. John Jamir Benzon Aruta or John is a professor from the Counseling and Educational Psychology Department of De La Salle University. His research interests include environmental psychology and mental health. One of his recent papers discussed the influence of connectedness to nature and materialism on ecological behavior in the Philippines. For more published works of Dr. John Jamir Benzon R. Aruta, please visit his Research Gate profile.  Learn more by tuning in to Episode 7.

Beatrice Tulagan-modified

Beatrice Tulagan

Beatrice Tulagan, or Bea, is a writer and a climate organizer. As a journalist, Bea writes about the climate crisis, cultural shifts, and social politics, as well as the environment, culture, gender, and mental health. As a climate organizer, she is particularly focused on the emerging youth climate movement in the global South as well as women environmental defenders. Her weekly newsletter, The Very Best of Us is a reflection on honoring what makes us human as we confront the biggest crises and social shocks of our time.  Learn more by tuning in to Episode 7.

Dr. Edwino Fernando-modified

Professor Emeritus Dr. Edwino S. Fernando

Dr. Fernando is the UPLB Museum of Natural History’s (MNH) curator for Palms and other Forest Plants. He is currently Professor Emeritus at the Department of Forest Biological Sciences, College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños. He is also a forest botanist and plant taxonomist, specializing in Biodiversity and Protected Areas, Biodiversity Conservation Policy and Planning, and Conservation Biology and Plant Genetic Resources.

He has conducted extensive fieldwork and taxonomic research on Philippine plants and has authored and co-authored over a hundred technical papers and books on the fields of plant biodiversity and plant taxonomy. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 8.


Schenley Anne Belmonte

Schenley Anne Belmonte is the Communications Officer of Forest Foundation Philippines. She leads the Foundation’s institutional communication programs and provides support to the management of its advocacy grant portfolio. She has significant experience in working with nonprofits, civil society organizations, government agencies, and youth groups in crafting and implementing advocacy programs for various causes. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines Los Baños and is currently completing her master’s degree in Community Development from the University of the Philippines Diliman.  Learn more by tuning in to Episode 8.


Mabi David

Mabi David is a certified vegan cook with training in whole foods, plant-based cooking, and an interest in health-supportive recipe development. She has extensive exposure to sustainability practices and finds inspiration in creating recipes that promote health, minimal waste, sustainable food systems, social justice, and animal rights. Mabi works in relocalizing food systems and advocates for agroecology and food sovereignty. She also teaches fermentation and miso making. 


Mabi has been working closely with local farmers to help them distribute their organic produce to nationwide customers through Good Food Community. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 9


Kuya Ruben Gianan

For 14 years, Kuya Ruben Gianan has worked with Masungi Georeserve as a park ranger and forest guard. He co-created the Discovery Trail and discovered its notable limestone cave, which is now affectionately referred to as “Yungib ni Ruben” or Ruben’s Cave. In addition to his duties as a ranger, Kuya Ruben is an expert at maintenance work and is knowledgeable about the biodiverse flora and fauna in Masungi. Additionally, Kuya Ruben mentors a number of new rangers as team leader. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 10 


Anabelle Plantilla

Anabelle Plantilla is the Project Manager of the Biodiversity Finance Initiative, a project of the United Nations Development Programme and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. She is also a licensed environmental planner with a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of the Philippines. She previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Haribon Foundation. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 11.  

Jay Fidelino

Jay Fidelino is a biodiversity scientist currently based at the Biodiversity Research Laboratory of the Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman, and one of the founding members of Queer Scientists PH. He has recently been teaching as a lecturer at the Institute of Biology while studying for his master’s degree in Biology at UP Diliman. He also volunteers for the Biodiversity Conservation Society of the Philippines and works with the AGHAM-Advocates of Science and Technology for the People. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 11.

Arnold Arre

Arnold Arre is a Filipino comic book artist and writer. The Mythology Class, which combined contemporary urban legends with ancient Philippine mythology in a “genre-breaking” style, was the first graphic novel to win the Comic Books category of the Manila Critics Circle National Book Awards. Similarly, Trip to Tagaytay (2000), a one-shot future fiction short story, won the Manila Critics Circle National Book Award. Both were published by his own company Tala Comics Publishing.


His other works include the romantic comedy After Eden (2016 edition by Nautilus Comics; 2002 edition by Adarna House), the self-published Ang Mundo ni Andong Agimat (2006), the Martial Law Babies (2008), and the 2015 release Halina Filipina, all of which were published by Nautilus Comics. Learn more by tuning in to Episode 12.

Reach Out To Us

E-mail: gubatbp@forestfoundation.ph
Address: 2F Valderrama Bldg., 107 Esteban St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines 1229

Phone: +63 2 8891 0595