Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Genetics Camp 2017: Marking A New Goal for Sustainable Development

By Jerard Monge (Riboswitch)

LOS BANOS, LAGUNA – Hosted by The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc), co-organized by Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems and co-presented by 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, Genetics Camp 2017 was held last March 3 to 5 at the College of Forestry and Natural Resources of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UP CFNR).

With the theme “Sustaining the Indi-GENEous: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency,” GeneSoc brought together young scientists, innovators and environmentalists on the 12th installment of Genetics Camp. This year, GeneSoc, furthered its aim of promoting the creative appreciation of genetics by introducing two of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 13, Climate Action, and SDG 15, Life on Land, during the camp.

Timely and relevant talks by environmental advocates and scientists at the top of their field highlighted this year’s Genetics Camp. Among the speakers during the 3-day event were highly revered UP CFNR professors including Dr. Lerma S.J. Maldia, Dr. Enrique L. Tolentino and Dr. Wilfredo Carandang. Joining them is the Executive Director of the Young Environmental Forum, Engr. Ludwig O. Federigan. Ten different schools from various parts of the Philippines competed in a number of individual and group competitions such as the Inter-High School Genetics Quiz Contest, Essay Writing Contest, Poster-Slogan Making Contest, Advocacy Speech, Debate and the new addition for this year’s contests, the Search for the Young Geneticist of the Year.

Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus bested the ten competing schools, copping their 4th consecutive overall championship title since 2014, followed by Philippine Science High School Bicol Region Campus and University of Santo Tomas Senior High School, earning their place as the 2nd and 3rd overall winners, respectively, of Genetics Camp 2017. Bernabe Angel D. Salazar from Philippine Science High School Western Visayas Campus was selected as the Young Geneticist of the Year. The search is an effort of GeneSoc in sustaining the goals of the camp by selecting delegates who could best represent and lead the activities for the greater appreciation of genetics in their schools.

Apart from the individual and group competitions, the participants, together with their teachers, also had a chance to make new friends with unforgettable activities such as the Cultural Festival, Search for Mr. and Ms. Genetics Camp 2017 and Amazing Race to the Forest. The participants also brought home newfound knowledge and skills from the Capacity Building organized by the 2030 Youth Force of the Philippines and from tours at the Museum of Natural History, Makiling Botanic Gardens and the CFNR Forest Genetics Lab. The new and innovative activities for this year’s Genetics Camp were powered by the Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST – PCAARRD). 

Genetics Camp 2017 would like to thank the Philippine Council for Agriculture (PCC), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR – ERDB) and the event’s advocacy partner, Detox Pilipinas. The national event would also like to extend its gratitude to Asshulz and Pinoy Catalyst for their media coverage.#

For the complete list of winners, visit our website.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Proactive Kabilin: Connecting Generations Through Preconception Health

By Liabel Pena (Casposons)
Team Proactive Kabilin . From L to R: Ms. Aster Lynn Sur, Liabel Pena, Jeanne Ruth Basas, Jedidiah Sarmiento,
Angelica Obrador, Dr. Christian Gomez (Program Manager, Ideas Positive) (Photo: Ideas Positive/Unilab Foundation)

Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health - Los Baños Chapter (VYLH-LB) as Team Proactive Kabilin, earned a finalist spot in Unilab Foundation’s 7th Ideas Positive Run last February 7 to 11, 2017 during the Boot Camp held in Ace Hotel, Mandaluyong City.

The team comprised of members from four of seven partner organizations of VYLH-LB: Maria Liabel Peña, current VYLH-LB coordinator and VYLH Committee Head of The UPLB Genetics Society, Jeanne Ruth Basas, team leader of Team Proactive Kabilin, from Philippine Association of Nutrition Alpha Omega Chapter, Jedidiah Sarmiento from The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society Inc., and Angelica Obrador from the first community partner of VYLH-LB, the Rotaract Club of Los Banos; under the mentorship of Aster Lynn Sur, RN from UP Manila and VYLH. The project was aptly entitled Kabilin Kalusugan for LB Nanays. “Kabilin” is a bisayan term translated as “legacy,” which was also the batchname of the teammates during the VYLH’s first NCR-South Luzon Cluster Youth Camp last October 2016.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

GeneSoc’s K4Health Project among the finalists in 14th TAYO Awards

Photo: Ten Accomplished Youth Organization (TAYO) Foundation 
By Rency Raquid (Riboswitch)

MANILA – The UPLB Genetics Society landed on the Top 20 of this year’s Search for Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) of the Philippines courtesy of its project, K4Health: Kabataan for Health – Kabataang Kabalikat ng Komunidad Para Sa Kalusugan. 

The prestigious search, dubbed as the “FAMAS Awards” of youth organizations, was organized by TAYO Awards Foundation Inc., National Youth Commission, Offices of the Senator Bam Aquino and Senator Francis Pangilinan and has been running for fourteen (14) years already. The K4Health Project of the organization was among the 443 entries from different organizations across the archipelago which undergone the rigorous process of field validation and panel deliberations before clinching a spot in the National Finals. 

The TAYO Week, which was held last February 12-16, 2017 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila, was attended by GeneSoc President, Merc Emil Matienzo (Batch Riboswitch). The National Judging and Mentoring held at the Senate of the Philippines were among the highlights of the week-long activities. GeneSoc also had the chance to share the hopeful visions of the K4Health project in promoting maternal and infant health in a morning radio program, Rated PG. Matienzo emphasized in aninterview at DZRH AM 666 that “These are the health issues which are underrated and only few people know about. So, we thought that the youth can be an instrument in providing solutions in their own community through advocating for birth defects prevention and maternal care.”

The TAYO Week was also co-presented by Coca-Cola Foundation Philippines, Inc., and in partnership with Jollibee Foods Corporation, San Miguel Corporation, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Lenovo, Smart Communications, and De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde.

“The experience was really overwhelming. I feel so grateful and very privileged to have represented GeneSoc since this is also the first time we participated in such endeavor,” said Matienzo on his takeaways from the recently held TAYO Week. “Also, the recognition by the eminent leaders of the country and executives of huge companies on the noble change that we want to pursue is really an honor,” he added. 

“About the future plans… of course, after TAYO Awards we’ll still push the replication of the project to other underserved communities like Nampicuan . We are actually receiving text messages and Facebook queries from some Municipal Councilors and Municipal Health Officers on how we can bring the project in their area. We have laid out plans to implement the project in San Luis, Aurora and then hopefully in Mindoro also,” Matienzo closed.#

Read more about the K4Health Project

The K4Health-Nampicuan Project was organized in collaboration with Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines and the Municipality of Nampicuan - Nueva Ecija. The project was supported by the Department of Health Central Luzon Regional Office (DOH Region III), Newborn Screening Center-Central Luzon (NSC-CL), and Institute of Human Genetics-National Institutes of Health, University of the Philippines Manila.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Genesoc to host Genetics Camp 2017

Hosted by THE UPLB GENETICS SOCIETY (GeneSoc) led by Mr. Odilon O. Picaso (Genetics Camp Steering Committee Head), co-organized by Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems which is headed by Director Nathaniel C. Bantayan and co-presented by 2030 Youth Force in the Philippines, Genetics Camp 2017 will be held on March 3 to 5 at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UP CFNR).

With the theme “Sustaining the IndiGENEous: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency,” GeneSoc takes the initiative of bringing together a nationwide pool of young scientists, innovators and climate warriors on the 12th year of Genetics Camp.

Genetics Camp 2017 is certain to empower the youth with contests and activities which are to be openly broadcasted such as the Essay Writing, Poster and Slogan Making, Interschool Quiz Contest, Advocacy Speech, Debate, Search for the Young Geneticist of the Year, Laboratory Activities and a Tree Planting Activity together with Plant-for-the-Planet.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

UPLB Biology student is among the recent Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines

by Rochelle B. Sarmiento (Polylinker)

UPLB Biology student and GeneSoc member Paul Jhon P. Diezon was named as one of the Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines (JRMSP) during a ceremony at the Knights of Rizal International Headquarters, Manila on December 30, 2016. The said event coincided with the commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the martyrdom of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal.

Diezon was chosen from a pool of nominees of various universities and colleges throughout the country for exemplifying the national hero’s achievements, leadership, and nationalism through academic excellence, extracurricular activities, and community involvement.

The search for the JRMSP is organized by the Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKOR), a civic and patriotic organization and the sole order of knighthood in the Philippines which was created to honor and uphold the ideals of Dr. Rizal. Chartered under Republic Act 646, OKOR is mandated to promote the teachings and values of Dr. Rizal especially among the Filipino youth.
FIGHTING FOR THE MASSES. PJ Diezon said that it is by immersing ourselves with the masses
that we can truly stand with the oppressed and the underserved in asserting their rights.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

33 reasons why you will love GeneSoc more as it turns 33 today

Words by Joana Cruz (Cyclosome) 

1. It opened our eyes to the marvelous world of Sports Genetics. 

For Genetics Week 2016, GeneSoc highlighted the current advances of Genetics in the field of sports.

2. And invited Prof. Hercules Callanta of UPD’s College of Human Kinetics.

to discuss gene doping, the makings of a champion athlete, and the genetics of athletic performance

3. As well as high school students from Christian School International in Los Baños.

Video: facebook.com/GeneSoc1983/videos/10153873615691816/
to further emphasize that athleticism may be traced down to the interaction and expression of our genes, aside from the fact that it may be influenced by our discipline to hit the gym

4. GeneSoc members also read story books for the children of HOPE Intervention Center in Calamba, Laguna.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

7TH NIGQC, Huge Start for Genetics Week 2016

By Jerard Monge

NIGQC 2016 contest winners together with the contest judgest.

The 7th National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest (NIGQC) officially started The UPLB Genetics Society’s Genetics Week last November 5 at the UPLB NCAS Auditorium. With the theme “Breed and Transform: Genetics and Agriculture Towards Food Security and Sustainability,” NIGQC 2016 rose above its preceding installments with a seminar and a fresh twist to the quiz competition.

From L to R: NIGQC Head Rency Raquid, NIGQC 2016 Guest Speaker
Dr. B.P. Mallikarjuna Swamy of IRRI and GeneSoc President Merc Matienzo
Dr. Merlyn S. Mendioro, the current director of the Institute of Biological Sciences – UPLB and the senior adviser of The UPLB Genetics Society welcomed the participants prior to the Synapsis (Individual Exam) Round of the national quiz contest. Dr. Merlyn S. Mendioro was also among the judges of the quiz competition together with Dr. Ajay Kohli, Dr. Azucena L. Carpena, Dr. Christian Joseph R. Cumagun and Dr. Renato S.A. Vega.]

Following the Synapsis Round is a seminar by Dr. B. P. Mallikarjuna Swamy of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) on harnessing rice science to develop rice varieties for better human nutrition.

Adding to the challenge of the previous installments of NIGQC is this year’s Genetic Drift Round wherein only five highly competitive teams with the highest garnered points were selected to compete from the Dogma Round. The five universities that qualified for the final round were University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Zamboanga University, University of the Philippines Baguio, Ateneo de Manila University and University of the Philippines Manila.

Ateneo de Manila University bested the four qualifiers and copped the championship title, marking the university’s second win since 2013, followed by University of the Philippines Manila and University of the Philippines Baguio as the 1st and 2nd runner up, respectively. Ateneo de Manila University’s Francis Mart Angelo R. Legitimas was also awarded the highest individual top scorer of the Synapsis Round.

Ateneo de Manila University NIGQC 2016 Team

Schools that competed in NIGQC 2016 include Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU), Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), De La Salle Lipa (DLSL), Far Eastern University (FEU), Polytechnic University of the Philippines Manila (PUP Manila), Southern Luzon State University (SLSU), St. Scholastica’s College Manila (SSC Manila), University of the Philippines Baguio (UP Baguio), University of the Philippines Manila (UP Manila), University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao), University of the Philippines Visayas (UP Visayas – Miag-ao), University of San Agustin (USA) and University of Santo Tomas (UST).#