MNS frees entangled python

Late in the afternoon of April 14, 2016, an eight-foot long snake was released back into its natural habitat by the staff of the UP Visayas Museum of Natural Sciences (MNS) together with Ms. Lyncen Fernandez of the UPV Information and Publications Office. The reptile was identified as a reticulated python or Phyton reticulatus. It was found in the morning, entangled in the fishing nets at the back of Pidlaoan Hall, Audio Visual Bldg., College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, UPV Miagao campus. Mr. Vicente Noquial, the security guard on duty immediately reported the presence of the snake to MNS. Mr. Leonardo Mooc, museum staff assisted in the rescue of the entangled snake and it was brought to the museum for documentation and examination. The snake, which measures approximately 8 feet long and weighs 6 kilograms, was found to sustain minor bruises due to the entanglement.

The reticulated python has a wide range of species in Southeast Asia, with most snakes kept as pets originating from Indonesia and Malaysia. Different populations are highly variable and have been divided into separate subspecies. On the average, reticulated pythons live 15 to 20 years, with some individual snakes reaching 25 or even 30 years of age. (By: Soledad S. Garibay)


Duterte and Cayetano in UPV Candidates Forum

Presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Vice Presidential candidate, Senator Allan Peter Cayetano shared their platform of governance during part 3 of the Presidential Candidates Forum Series on April 19, 2016 at the UP Visayas Auditorium, Iloilo City campus.

Cayetano emphasized their “Pagbabago and political will platform” and answered the question of the panelists about the federal system of government that the tandem is putting forward. Duterte, on the other hand, explained why he will not apologize about the remark he made on the rape and slaying of an Australian missionary during a campaign rally in Quezon City rally on April 12. He, however, apologized for the hostage killing and rape incident that happened during a jail siege in Davao in 1989. He also forwarded his strong stand against drugs and criminality in the country, which also includes Iloilo.

Also present during the event were Senatorial candidates, Ms. Sandra Cam, Rep. Dante Liban and General Dionisio Santiago.

UPV alumnus, Atty. Hector Diaz; UPV faculty member Prof. Hanny Jan Mediodia; and College of Management Student Council Chair Cicily Isabelle Mirasol were the members of the panel who asked questions during the forum. Prof. Monique Muyagas from the College of Arts and Sciences served as the emcee and moderator during the forum.

The activity is part of a series of forums for national and local candidates organized by the UP sa Halalan 2016 Committee in UPV chaired by Anna Razel L. Ramirez of the Information and Publications Office. (By: UPV-IPO)

Income from discarded fishing gears

Photo source

To turn discarded fishing gears or nets littering along the coasts all over the country into something that can be recycled or even earn money from, is the idea behind Coast 22, a social enterprise owned and operated by Dr. Almira Astudillo Gilles.

She said that discarded fishing gears or nets make up about 10% of trash in the oceans of the world which cause damage to marine life and the ecosystem. They litter the beaches including the 22,500 miles of the Philippine coastline.

Coast 22, inspired by the 22,500 miles of Philippine coastline, aims to address two problems in the coastal communities. These are: what to do with discarded fishing gears and do something about poverty in the fishing villages.

Through the enterprise, the discarded fishing nets and gears are turned into flowers that are used as decorative items. In the examples that she showed, the fishing nets and gears were crafted into flowers and used as accents on Handbags. She said that she purposely she marketed them in the US to command a higher return. The women who designed the flowers underwent training for this purpose. The entire community was also involved not only to gather the discarded materials for a source of income but to make the community neat, clean and beautiful.

Gilles hopes to expand the endeavour into more communities and to a larger market that would redound not only to more income to more families but to also contribute in protecting the marine ecosystem.

She was at the Miagao campus on April 14, 2015 to talk about Coast 22 through the invitation of the Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences that also organized and sponsored the event.

Gilles is an AB Psychology cum laude graduate from UP Diliman. She acquired her MA in Labor Relations, MA in Comparative Political Systems, and PhD in Social Science from the Michigan State University. She is a Research Associate in Anthropology at the Chicago Field Museum and the National Museum of the Philippines. She has published books and novels in several genres. Her novel, “The Fire Beneath: Tales of Gold” received a Philippine Presidential Award. Her new science book, “Hotspot, Cool Country: Biodiversity in the Philippines was recently published. She is currently working on “Art and Anthropology: Portrait of the Object as Filipino.” In June 2016, she will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for Cultural and Natural Resource Conservation/Preservation from the University of the Philippines Alumni Association.

Halalan 2016 Forum Series: Santiago and Marcos visit UPV

After a long break from the campaign trail, Presidential Candidate, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, chose to visit UP Visayas on April 13, 2016 together with her running mate for Vice President, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

The audience at the UPV auditorium were composed of UPV constituents, majority of which where students coming from both the Miagao and Iloilo City campuses as well as students from various universities in Iloilo who came to listen to Senators Santiago and Marcos’ plans for the country. Supporters of the two candidates as well as media representatives from the local, national, and international scene were also present to witness the event.

There were also faculty, students and representatives of different organizations from different parts of the region who protested and showed their anti-Marcos stance outside of the UPV auditorium.

The activity is part of a series of Candidates Fora for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates organized by the UP sa Halalan 2016 Committee in UP Visayas in cooperation with the College of Management Student Council. Aksyon Radyo iloilo also supported the event. (By: UPV-IPO)

UPV partners with ABS-CBN Iloilo for “Sambuwa”

The UP Visayas Halalan 2016 Committee and ABS-CBN Iloilo formed partnership for the conduct of “Sambuwa 2016,” an election debate for local candidates in Region VI. The debates will be featured in “Derecho,” an ABS-CBN show hosted by Mr. Noli Basco and aired every Saturday as well as in the morning program, “Sikat ka Iloilo,” which is aired every weekday mornings in the ABS-CBN Channel 10 in Iloilo City.

Retired Colonel Gil Lebin, a candidate for Iloilo Governor, was the guest for the first round of debate, which was taped April 6, 2016 at the ABS-CBN Station. Incumbent Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and another candidate, Mr. Diopito Gonzales failed to come citing unavoidable other commitments.

Msgr. Meliton Oso of the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Ministry, Prof. Donne Jone Sodusta of UPV, and Mr. Relan Vergara of Bayan Panay were the panelists for this first round of debate.

With the aim of bringing closer the candidates to the voting public, this series of debates is scheduled until the end of April 2016.

UPV to spearhead work on traditional knowledge systems and environment book

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through the Office of Senator Loren Legarda has tapped the University of the Philippines Visayas to spearhead the publication of a book on traditional knowledge systems (TKS) and the environment of Panay and Guimaras Islands. The other universities that will also collaborate in the project include the Antique State University, Aklan State University, West Visayas State University, Capiz State University, and Guimaras State College.

DENR Central Office Public Affairs Director Ms. Marissa Cruz, representatives of the Office of Sen. Legard; former Antique Governor Sally Perez; and Ms. Bai Salina Pendatun met with the UPV Core Committee for the publication of the book led by Prof. Emeritus Alicia Magos and representatives of the five SUCs on April 5, 2016 at the UPV, Iloilo City campus.

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Dept Chem-CAS team develops an easy-to-use cassava cyanide test kit

Dr. Vivian Azucena-Topor, Project Leader conducts the lecture on common cassava varieties and their corresponding cyanide content determined using the Easy-to-Use Cassava Cyanide Test Kit, while Hon. Punong Barangay Felicitas Vilches of Brgy. Suclaran, San Lorenzo, Guimaras looks on. Turning over of the Easy-to-Use Cassava Cyanide Test Kit to Hon. Punong Barangay Vilches (2nd from left) by Dr.Topor in the presence of the Brgy. Council Members, Anthony Salvador Albaladejo (Chemistry Instructor, right), and Joseph Noel Alviar (Project Asst, 2nd from right).

Every now and then, we can read and hear reports on cassava cyanide poisoning. The March 2005 Bohol incident where at least 27 elementary school children died and approximately 100 people were hospitalized after allegedly eating fried cassava balls, and the alleged cassava poisoning in Cotabato, also in March 2005 have sowed fear in cassava consumption. Among the latest reports on cassava poisoning were about the death of a girl in Cotabato in August 20, 2015 and the alleged cassava cyanide poisoning among high school students in Brgy. Suclaran, San Lorenzo, Guimaras.

To ensure the public’s food safety, a team from the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, UP Visayas (Dept Chem, CAS) through the funding assistance of UPV Foundation, Inc. developed an Easy-to-Use Kit to test the cyanide content of cassava roots. The sodium picrate method was first introduced by Dr. James Howard Bradbury of the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. However, since transport of the kit from Australia is costly and is therefore not sustainable, the team with Dr. Vivian Azucena-Topor as the Project Leader, together with Mr. Anthony Salvador Albaladejo (Chemistry Instructor) and Joseph Noel Alviar (Project Assistant) studied and adopted with modifications the sodium picrate method developed by Bradbury to come up with one that would be suitable for local use.

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UPV Balay Balay Child Minding Centers Hold 2016 Culminating Programs

The UPV Balay-Balay Child Minding Center (BBCMC) in Iloilo City held its culminating activity on March 16, 2016 at the UPV Auditorium, while its Miagao campus counterpart held its 2nd culminating activity on April 1, 2016 at the CFOS AV Hall. These culminating programs marked the end of a year’s rhythm of activities that BBCMC wards experienced. The city campus presentations revolved around an “Under the Sea” theme, with the children dressed as sea creatures. On the other hand, the children of BBCMC Miagao wore animal, butterfly and flower costumes to give life to their songs and dances.

Prof. Ditas Ligue, faculty of the Department of Special Education of West Visayas State University served as guest speaker in the Iloilo City campus culminating activity. Prof. Ligue’s inspirational message was geared more towards the children and she managed to engage the BBCMC children by telling a story and blowing soap bubbles in their midst. In the Miagao campus, the guest speaker was Ms. Augil Marie Robles, Instructor of Psychology at the Division of Social Sciences, CAS, UPV Miagao. Ms. Robles’ message was aimed more at parents and caregivers and emphasized the importance of “play” in young children’s lives.

The BBMC is an extension project of the UPV Gender and Development Program that supported the implementation of Executive Order No. 340, mandating government institutions to respond to the needs of working parents by providing a place for socialization for 3-5 years old children while they are at work. To date, BBCMC has provided early childhood care and early formative education in a secure environment to more than 500 children from the city campus and 30 children in Miagao. The Iloilo City BBCMC started in 1999, while BBCMC in Miagao started in the last quarter of 2014. (By: Michael Q. Orquejo, Gender & Development Program)

HIV, AIDS lectures underscore the importance of screening and treatment

The UPV Health Services Unit, in partnership with the PH Pub (an organization of BS Public Health students) and Partido sang Mainuswagon nga Bumulutho student organization organized a lecture forum on “Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)” on March 31, 2016 at the Interactive Learning Program audio-visual room, UP Visayas Miagao campus.

Mr. Angelito Nualla, Nurse II at the Rural Health Unit, of Miagao, Iloilo discussed the various sexually transmitted infections (STI) including their signs and symptoms and how they can be transmitted. He also discussed the rising number of STIs in Miagao including HIV.

The second speaker, Mr. Rodolfo Chin, Jr. of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health, Region VI, talked more extensively on HIV. He presented data showing a 1,038% increase of Filipinos contracting HIV and AIDS since 2008 nationwide, translating it to one case per day in 2008 and 27 cases per day in January 2016 or during the early part of the year.

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UPV-GDP and Ugsad conduct benchmarking of anti-VAWC mechanisms in Iloilo

To cap the 2016 Women’s Month Celebration, the Ugsad Regional Gender Resource Center for Western Visayas, in coordination with the UP Visayas Gender and Development Program, conducted a benchmarking of existing province-level mechanisms to address the persistent problem of violence against women and their children (VAWC), on March 30, 2016.

The activity’s objective is to determine the institutions and facilities that are in place where VAWC victims can be referred to receive proper and necessary assistance. It also aims to assess these mechanisms and give feedback or interventions to improve the services being offered in these centers.

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