Online science writing site cites Filipino science writer’s article on fruit bats

Tristan Mañalac

Science and environment writer Tristan Mañalac’s feature article on fruit bats was cited in SciShortform, an online publication that highlights standout science writing.

Mañalac’s piece,”This cave in the Philippines has over 2 million bats. And it needs to get bigger,” published on Filipino online news portal Flipscience, was recognized under the Columns, Op/Eds, & Blog Posts category for the publication’s quarterly round-up of select science pieces produced from April to June 2019,

It was produced during a trip organized by VERA Files under the Earth Journalism Network (EJN) program to commemorate World Environment Day on June 5, 2019.

The article featured the 245 ft (75 m)-long cave, home to over two million Geoffroy’s Rousette Fruit Bats (Rousettus amplexicaudatus). Monfort Sanctuary is the largest bat colony of its kind in the world, according to the Guinness World Records.

“I knew right away I wanted it to start with a description of the cave and end with a look toward the future,” said Mañalac, who also credited the vision of his editor, Mikael Francisco.

Nine editors chose from over 200 nominations and narrowed them down to 55 stories.

“Pieces that made the cut had to survive two rounds of selection and impress at least two (and usually three) SciShortform editors,” founder of science blog and one of the judging editors, Diana Crow, wrote.

The piece had to “have emotional impact on read and use facts to back up the argument,” among others.

Other winning stories include the Los Angeles Times’ Deborah Netburn for “Researchers avoid ‘messy’ hormonal female mice. And that hurts women”, the Guardian/Observer’s David Whitehouse for “Apollo 11: The Fight For The First Footprint”, and the National Geographic’s Maya Wei-Haas for “Huge mystery blob found under the moon’s far side”

Mañalac is also a fellow in VERA Files’ Road Safety Fellowship in partnership with the World Health Organization.

Read his full story here: This cave in the Philippines has over 2 million bats. And it needs to get bigger.


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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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