About this Website

“Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone.” – The Dhammapada.

ON the Road to Puka is a collection of collaborative reportage stories, assignments and travelogues of documentary photographer Jes Aznar and journalist Iris Gonzales.

The assignments, which started with the story of  an enigmatic young boy diagnosed with Down syndrome, have brought Aznar and Gonzales to refugee camps in the Philippines, to uncovered trails in Indochina, to posh restaurants in Malaysia, to dark underground tunnels used during World War II, to shantytowns, to the ends of the earth, to hell and back and to a paradise of a beach called Puka.

Iris Gonzales is a Manila-based journalist and blogger, writing mostly economic, development and human interest stories. She works as a reporter for The Philippine Star. At present, she covers public finance and the macroeconomy but she also writes other stories here and there. She is also a regular blogger of  the London-based New Internationalist.

Last year, she won in a global blogging competition organized by the Netherlands-based European Journalism Center. She finished her graduate studies at the Ateneo de Manila University’s Asian Center for Journalism where she received the Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Asian Newsrooms in 2008. Her works have been nominated for the prestigious Jaime V. Ongpin (JVO) Awards for Journalism. In 2007, a story she co-authored was one of ten finalists in the Explanatory Category of the JVO Awards. She has worked on various projects including the book “Unholy Nation: Stories from a Gambling Republic” which won the 2004 National Book Award for Journalism. She is a director of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines.

Jes Aznar Jes Aznar is a full time documentary photographer based in the Philippines. Focusing mainly on the Philippines’ feudal present and the hegemony of conquering powers, he travels and shoot to find his country’s place in this new globalized order.

After quitting a lucrative job in advertising to pursue photojournalism, he has since then worked for Agence France-Presse, New York based Reflex News agency and gmanews.tv. His works has been published on the pages of The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, Stern, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and Asia Geo magazine, among others.

Jes took up Advertising at the pontifical University of Santo Tomas, and painting at the University of the Philippines and at the Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism at the Ateneo de Manila University where he took up subjects in photojournalism.

The stories and photos published here are available for syndication as stated on this page. For inquiries, you may contact us through soundslikechinese@gmail.com