GeneSoc celebrates its 35th founding anniversary

By: Sean Lemuel L. Santos (Hybrizyme) 

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA– With the theme “Timeless”, The UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) recently celebrated its 35th Anniversary and Alumni Homecoming (35th AHOC) at the Winner Events Place, Sta. Rosa, Laguna on December 15, 2018.

The 35th anniversary was hosted by Juan Miguel Balatibat (Hybrizyme), the 35th AHOC Co-Head, and Ma. Angelica Robles (Cybrid), the current Outreach Committee Head of GeneSoc. The event was formally opened by James Raphael Medrano (Rap), the 35th AHOC Head.

The most-awaited part of the event was the Paramount Achievement Awards where several GeneSoc members (Genes) were recognized for their exemplary performance and significant contributions in their respective fields. The awardees were Dr. Peter S. Guzman (Charter) for Academe and Research, Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (Recombinants) for Industry, Dr. Teri Marie P. Laude (Autosomes) for Medicine, and Dr. Sylvia Briones De Guzman (F1) for Social Welfare.

(Below is a full transcript of the awardees’ achievements)

Academe and Research: Dr. Peter S. Guzman (Charter)
Dr. Guzman was lauded the Paramount Achievement Award for his extraordinary efforts in the field of plant breeding. His endeavours and researches in the development of corn varieties had helped more than 20,000 Filipino farmers. The University of the Philippines Los Banos College of Agriculture Alumni Association also honoured him as its distinguished alumnus for his significant contribution. He graduated from UPLB with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, cum laude, and master’s degree in plant breeding at the same university. He achieved his doctorate from Iowa State University and a post-doctorate degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Industry: Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio (Recombinants)
Dr. Gregorio has been designated the Paramount Achievement Award for Industry for his work in the development of abiotic stress tolerant rice varieties. He was the deputy head of the International Rice Research Institute’s (IRRI) Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Biotechnology Division and the acting global coordinator of Network for Genetic Evaluation of Rice (INGER). His research on rice breeding and genetics of salt-tolerant rice paved the way for the advancement of the rice industries in the Philippines. In 1986, he graduated master’s degree (Major in Plant Breeding, Minor in Soil Science) and in 1997, for his doctorate (Major in Genetics, Minor in Statistics), he graduated at the same university. Recently, he has been given the title of Academician by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) Philippines.

Medicine: Dr. Teri Marie P. Laude (Autosomes)
Dr. Laude was lauded the Paramount Achievement for Medicine for her efforts in breaking the stigma on mental health, advocating for anti-sexual harassments and violence against women, and for excellence in the field of Family Medicine. She graduated from UPLB with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then pursued Medicine at the University of the Philippines Manila. In 2014, she obtained her master’s degree in Clinical Medicine (Family and Community Medicine) at the University of the Philippines, Manila.

Social Welfare: Dr. Sylvia Briones De Guzman (F1)
Dr. De Guzman was lauded the Paramount Achievement Award for her extraordinary efforts in the improvement of human societies and for being one of the first to bring complete response and relief to the City of Tacloban, Leyte after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). During that time of crisis, at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, she and her team gave emergency and surgical services to those who are affected by the devastating typhoon.

During the 35th anniversary, Michelia Malabrigo (Hybrizyme), the president of GeneSoc, presented a progress report which featured the current activities, accomplishments and involvements of the organization. Most notable in her report are the two national events currently hosted by GeneSoc: The National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest and Genetics Camp. The bagging of the TAYO Awards and UNO Awards by the organization was also featured on the report.

Several alumni members also gave an inspirational message. They talked about how GeneSoc shaped them to become excellent in their respective fields and how grateful they are as a member of the organization.

Mr. Paul Hilario (Exons) led the toast during the event. He made the toast for the successes of GeneSoc and the years ahead for the organization.

Special awards were also given during the night. Below is a list of the recipients:

Young-At-Heart: Lichelle Dara T. Espada-Calor (Replicons) and Resa D. Javier-De Jesus (Charter)

Faces of the Night (Alumni): Male-Paul Benjamin R. Hilario (Exons), Female-Vanessa Dyan R. Aldemita (Heteroplasmy)

Best Dressed Alumni: Male-Alberto A. Kalaw (Eugenics), Female-Reyna Marie Chua (Synapsis)

Faces of the Night (Residents): Male-Edzel Evallo (Replichore), Female-Princess Joy Humarang (Helitron)

Best Dressed Residents: Male-Sean Lemuel L. Santos (Hybrizyme), Female-Hedaya Angli (Replichore)

Some ice-breakers were also held such as the “Bet on your Orgmate” game patterned to the game show “Bet on your Baby”, “Category” Game where contestant-members have to enumerate three things based on a category, and the “Act-It-Out” Game much like the game of charades.

In the closing ceremony, Yzzia Montifar, the Vice-President of GeneSoc gave some closing remarks and led the Genes in reciting the organization’s preamble.