Gemma Bagayaua-Mendoza


Follow her on Twitter via @gemmabmendoza
Email her at:

Gemma is a journalist and a geek. After finishing AB History at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, she played around with databases, crashed a few computers and learned to put them back together again along the way. She received her web publishing training at the Stockholm University in Sweden as well as in multimedia journalism at the SEACEM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

At home with gadgets and gizmos, the instinct to tinker as well as the determination to manipulate the forces of technology to serve the ends of journalism continues to move her today. Gemma facilitated the transition of Newsbreak magazine from print to the World Wide Web. As Editor-in-chief of, she played a key role in developing the online and social media components of the highly interactive Harapan series of ANC and ABS-CBN towards the 2010 elections. At Rappler, she serves as the bridge between the editorial and the technical.

She co-authored Newsbreak's latest book, "The Enemy Within," on military corruption and civilian neglect. Her stories on governance & corruption, the security sector, disasters, and other social issues have won recognition in the Jaime V. Ongpin Awards for Investigative Journalism, the UNICEF-Philippine Press Institute Awards for Child-friendly Journalists, and the Asian Development Bank Institute’s Developing Asia Journalism Awards.

Offline, Gemma prefers action-suspense and romantic comedies over art films, and will eat any part of a chicken, except for the legs.

Jan 2019
THOUGHT LEADERS 02:11pm, Jan 13, 2019
[OPINION | Data Matters] Learning from DFA's passport data fiasco

Since everybody including their mothers weighed in on Foreign Secretary Teddyboy Locsin's rather colorful statement that the past passport contractor has "made off" with our passport data, I could ...

Apr 2018
THOUGHT LEADERS 04:16pm, Apr 28, 2018
[OPINION] Can you read Baybayin?

Back in college, my thesis professor required us to write a term paper in Baybayin. It was not that hard to learn. I initially wrote down my thoughts using the Latin/Roman script, the one we have ...

Nov 2017
BLOG 08:00pm, Nov 02, 2017
Why cover the national budget?

The national budget is perhaps the most boring topic you can be assigned to as a journalist. Every now and then we come across juicy scandals that generate buzz such as the pork barrel scam and ...

May 2016
IN-DEPTH 09:30am, May 08, 2016
'Fingerprints of election thieves' spotted in past PH polls data

MANILA, Philippines – In the 2007 elections, results for the Senate race from the province of Maguindanao generated a huge controversy after the province gave the administration’s Team Unity (TU) ...

Jul 2015
SONA 2015 04:41pm, Jul 30, 2015
2015 SONA Mood Meter: Not as happy, not as angry

MANILA, Philippines - As in the previous 2 years, Rappler tracked how the public felt about President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address (SONA) minute-by-minute through the SONA Mood ...

Aug 2014
HUNGER 12:06am, Aug 20, 2014
Don't judge working moms who can't breastfeed

For starters, let me stress this: I see the value of breastfeeding. I totally agree that it's best for babies. And like many moms out there, when I got pregnant, I really looked forward to ...

Jul 2014
SONA 2014 10:35pm, Jul 29, 2014
Mood Meter: Angrier with Aquino SONA in 2014

MANILA, Philippines – There were 3 times more "Angry" votes to President Aquino's State of the Nation Address (SONA) this year compared to "Angry" votes in 2013 on Rappler's SONA Mood ...

SONA 2014 12:19am, Jul 27, 2014
LOOKING BACK: Aquino's 2013 SONA in moods

MANILA, Philippines – As President Aquino delivered his 4th State of the Nation Address in 2013, people reacted to his speech online through a feature on Rappler's SONA 2013 microsite. It allowed ...

NEWSBREAK 10:45am, Jul 21, 2014
Why the Philippines needs a freedom of information law

MANILA, Philippines - In February 2014, the Philippine government finally recovered around $30 million from multi-million dollar accounts that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos stashed away in ...

Jun 2014
ISPEAK 03:39pm, Jun 12, 2014
Why celebrate Philippine independence on June 12?

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2014. Since then, Philippine foreign policy has shifted significantly. In October 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte announced he would keep ...