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.

Timely and relevant talks by environmental advocates and scientists at the top of their field should also be expected by the participants. Among the seminars for this year are:

GeneTalk 1: Forest Genetics and the Indigenous Forest Genetic Resources
Dr. Lerma SJ. Maldia (UP CFNR)

GeneTalk 2: Amplifying Forest Genetics for Glocal Climate Change Resiliency
Dr. Enrique L. Tolentino (UP CFNR)

GeneTalk 3: Climate Change and the Glocal Goals for Sustainable Development
Mr. Ludwig O. Federigan (Executive Director, Young Environmental Forum)

GeneTalk 4: Climate-smart Tree Improvement
Dr. Wilfredo Carandang (UP CFNR)

GeneTalk 5 and Capacity Building: The Vital Role of Youth in Achieving the 2030 Agenda
2030 Youth Force in the Philippines

This year’s participants will not only bring home newfound knowledge in forest genetics for they will also make new friends from all over the Philippines. Activities such as the Cultural Night and Amazing Race to the Forest were designed to make sure that the participants from various schools would have fun and work together on completing exciting challenges.

Joining the growing number of youth fighting for the future generations’ home are:

Ateneo de Davao University Senior High School
Ateneo de Naga University Senior High School
Bignay National High School
College of Saint Anthony – Bulacan
De La Salle – Santiago Zobel School
Laguna College
Our Lord’s Angels School
Pedro Guevara Memorial National High School
Philippine Malabon Cultural Institute
Philippine Science High School (PSHS) – Bicol Region Campus
Philippine Science High School (PSHS) – Eastern Visayas Campus
Philippine Science High School (PSHS) – Western Visayas Campus
University of Santo Tomas Senior High School

The new and innovative activities for this year’s Genetics Camp are brought to you by Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST – PCAARRD), Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR – ERDB), and Plant-for-the-Planet.

Genetics Camp 2017 would also like to thank Asshulz, Click the City and Pinoy Catalyst for their media coverage.

Should you have any questions and concerns regarding the event, you may reach us through our Invitations Committee Heads:

Michelia Malabrigo
0916 521 550

Freeman Mago
0905 546 7085

Learn more about Genetics Camp 2017 at

#GenCamp2017 #WeMustBecauseWeCan

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.

Last November, Diezon was also recognized as the 2016 College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Student during the 44th CAS Foundation Anniversary Convocation and Awarding Ceremonies in UPLB. A student-leader of magna cum laude standing, he has been serving the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council for two consecutive terms— formerly as a Councilor and, this academic year, as a Vice Chairperson. Diezon had also been the editor-in-chief of GENEWS, the official publication of The UPLB Genetics Society, a year after he became part of the organization.

With his current achievement, Diezon has joined the rank of a UPLB summa cum laude and GeneSoc alumnus Michael B. Gamalinda (Batch Polygenes) who was distinguished as one of the Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines in 2006.

The Office of Student Affairs assisted in the selection process of Diezon as the sole nominee of UPLB for the search of 10 outstanding JRMSP this year. 

Behind is ‘a man of his people’
For Diezon, even though most Filipinos seem to celebrate Rizal’s death more than his life, it was Rizal’s life journey that made all the difference and rekindled the heart of the Filipinos during, and even after, his time.

Diezon shared that Rizal being “a visionary and a man of excellence” has motivated him to be more inspired to live his dreams. “Following his life from Calamba to Ateneo and to the many corners of the world, Rizal has shown marks of brilliance. And looking back in his life in Dapitan, we can see that even in exile, he has contributed to Dapitan’s progress.”

“Rizal is a man of principle. He is a man of his people,” said Diezon while also pointing out that we can find the Rizal in each one of us.

Beyond the fame
Diezon stated that getting the award has an impact that goes beyond fame and that the recognition he received is “more of a bonus.

“This award brings the Iskolar ng Bayan brand throughout the rest of the archipelago with the purpose of voicing out our stand on issues and plights faced by our fellow Filipinos,” Diezon believed.

He further noted that the distinction itself should not be the viewed merely as a purpose at its end for the recognition heeds a greater call to serve our countrymen.

He added, “After all, the problems we encounter as UP students are not different from those which are faced by the members of the communities outside the bounds of our campus— be it the farmers, the fisherfolks, the peasants, and the LGBTQI.”

For the masses, with the masses
“I offer this award to all UP students, hoping to inspire them to be one with the masses in asserting our rights now that our country is in dire need of leaders who shall defend the rights of every Filipino,” Diezon said. 

He also hopes that the award he received will put an end to the stereotyping of activists. An advocate for free and accessible education who has been active in arranging and leading campaigns to champion students’ rights, he emphasized that activists must not be adjudicated as being delinquent in their studies, neglectful of their academic life, and whose acts are not worthy of emulation.

“I must say that my experience of living in the communities and going to the streets, organizing protests and mobilizing students to fight for their rights has transformed me to become more passionate and driven. Those experiences with the masses made me believe that our 1.0’s or 1.25’s won’t feed the hungry; they won’t give the farmers their land nor give justice to those workers who are experiencing contractualization,” said Diezon.

(Editor’s Note: Some quotations have been translated to English. With contributions from Mr. Jickerson P. Lado.)

Rochelle B. Sarmiento is a senior Genetics major who intends to pursue a career in medicine after graduation. Her interests include reading classic literature and engaging in volunteer woks.
You may e-mail her at 

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.

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.

5. And helped the kids to paint on tote bags as part of the HOPE Intervention: One Gene, One Child program.

6. IQlympics 2016 was again jam-packed.

7. And only heard either “ughhh, bakit?" or "YES!!!” after each correct answer was flashed.
IQlympics is dubbed as the most brain-draining general info quiz contest in UPLB.

8. But nothing can be harder than the 7th National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest.

9. Where some thought it would be a high scoring quiz contest...  

10. But the predictions faded and faded as questions got harder (harder!!!).

11. As requested, Prof. Jae Rodriguez and Dr. Merlyn Mendioro sang to relieve the tension in the crowd.

12.The activity ended seeing these faces from the participants.

13. And all the stress and fatigue seemed to be masked by smiles and delight.

14. But the activities didn’t end with Genetics Week and NIGQC.

15. GeneSoc continued conducting free BIO 30 tutorials in partnership with the UPLB Learning Resource Center.

16.  Where all BIO 30 students got to participate during lecture.

17. Or ask when the questions seemed to be out of hand.

18. And leave quite ready and relaxed for their "most-awaited" BIO 30 lecture exam.

19. GeneSoc also hosted PalaCASan 2016.

20.  And made the audience feel the “gravity” of BuCASan 2016.

21. And turned WaCASan to WASACAN real quick.

22. But amidst all such activities, who would have forgotten the #K4Health Community Youth Training Program conducted by GeneSoc this semester in Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija...

23. That qualified and was announced as one of the four finalists for this year's Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards under its Health Nutrition and Well-being category.

24. And was the reason of this.

25. As Genesoc turns 33, you will not only notice students-at-work...

26. But also see members who find happiness and fulfillment with what they're doing.

27. And GeneSoc will always be glad to welcome with open arms everyone who wants to be part of its family.


28. To create more of these memories. #sestra #icecreamsoc #gabnation #squad 


29. To continue cheering on everyone's achievements and dreams.

30. To never be tired influencing one’s outlook about the society.

31. And to continuously spread the knowledge on the science of Genetics.

32. Because it is never the years that matter.

33. It is the things we feel, the memories we create, and the changes we make together.

Happy 33rd anniversary, brods and sisses! #G3N3SOC

Joana Marie Cruz is a junior BS Biology major in Cell and Molecular Biology student in UPLB. She intends to pursue medical school upon graduation. Aside from writing for Genews, she also blogs and writes short stories and poems. She is currently an Education Committee member of The UPLB Genetics Society.
You may contact her through and visit her blog at

Credits to the following accounts:
Twitter | @Genesoc1983, @palacasanuplb, @rebelbttt, @emillouise, @LostBritish, @delapenakatrina, @beyayaa, @embalogs, and @janiolajp
Facebook | /Genesoc1983, /NIGQC, /vylhphilippines, /TAYOawards, and /mpmatienzo