Monday, February 28, 2011

UP President Alfredo Pascual with friends of Leonard Co at the fund raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement

(Editor's note: The following series of videos were taken at the lugawan fund raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement headed by AGHAM Nasyunal, PNPCSI, KALIKASAN, CEC, AGHAM Youth and Health Action for Human Rights. UP Balay Kalinaw, Feb. 24, 2011, U.P. Diliman. Source: arkibongbayan2006 at

Video 1 - UP President Alfredo Pascual at the fund raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement

Video 2 - Lian Seng Co, father of Leonard Co at the fund raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement

Video 3 - Glenda Co, widow of Leonard Co, at the fund raising dinner of the Justice for Leonardo Co Movement

Video 4 - Dean Rolando Tolentino at fund raising dinner of Justice for Leonard Co Movement

Video No. 5 - Wokie and Jun at fund raising dinner of Justice for Leonardo Co Movement

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Acoustical Analysis of U.P. Diliman College of Science Auditorium

Good day!

We are fourth year BS Architecture students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman and we are currently doing our project on Acoustics.

We are hoping that you could share us your time and allow us to solicit few information and opinions that could help us in our undertaking.

Please take some time in answering our survey for your answers are deemed valuable.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Son of former Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia endures life under electronic surveillance

Timothy Mark Garcia, son of ex-Armed Forces of the Philippines comptroller Carlos Garcia who is being accused of plunder together with his wife and sons, is seen here in a recent photo wearing a Chanel pouch for his electronic monitoring ankle bracelet. Tim is under house arrest in New York City, where he currently works as a publicist for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Eat your heart out, Lindsay Lohan!

To read an extensive 2009 writeup by the Daily Beast of Tim's life under electronic surveillance in NYC, please click on this link:

(Photo courtesy of Cristy Jalasco)

Notes on the 1971 Diliman Commune

(To enlarge the graphic, just click on it)

By Judy M. Taguiwalo
Presented to the Forum, “We, the Communards: 40 years of continuing struggle” organized by CONTEND-UP, February 23, 2011, Recto Hall, UP Diliman.

I was at the Diliman Commune, that historic event on February 1 to 9, 1971; the event showcasing the power of the militant solidarity of the UP community against military incursions into the university. Too many events had happened since then and I have bits and pieces of remembrance of those days, forty years ago.

I was a Sampaguita dormer and remembered the entry of the soldiers into the dorm and into our rooms with some residents losing watches and wallets after the soldiers left. A similar thing happened in Kamia and in other dorms. 

I remember (wo)manning the barricades in front of the Faculty Center with other students and faculty members. Long metal tubes  attached to the huge LPG tanks used in the Chemistry department transformed the tanks into flame throwers. These and the self-igniting molotovs (there was no need to light the molotov prior to throwing them) created by Physics professors were our defensive weapons in case the military entered UP again. We stayed 24 hours at the barricades sustained by food brought in by the residents of the communities around UP. I was particularly touched by the hot pan de sal delivered to us one early morning by the owner of a small bakery.

The communards, as we called ourselves then, were ecstatic when low flying air force helicopters fled after students using the Engineering and AS rooftops as launching pads released lighted kwitis against the invaders of UP’s airspace. DZUP became the Tinig ng Malayang Komunidad ng UP Diliman with student announcers taking turns to give updates on the situation in UP, commentaries on the Marcos government and playing the infamous tape of Marcos purportedly singing “Pamulinawen” to Dovie Beams, an American starlet rumored to have an affair with the President. Bandilang Pula, the paper of the Diliman Commune, came out published by the students using the printery of the UP Press.

These bits and pieces are not sufficient for they do not do justice to the historic event that was one of the defining moments of my UP generation. So, I did archival work at the UP Library and went through issues of the Philippine Collegian in February 1971.

Antonio Tagamolia was editor then. Senen Siasoco was managing editor and Eduardo T. Gonzales and Fernando Barican were associate editors. I was features editor. And Ramona Flores was one of the staff members.

The February 4, 1971 issue had the headline “Sinalakay ang UP!” 3 nabaril, 60 sugatan. The left ear of the mast head had the slogan, “Ipaghiganti si Pastor Mesina” while the right ear said “Struggle against militarization of the campus”. The lead story of that Feb. 4 issue provided a chronological account of the events leading to the Diliman Commune

Feb. 2 Monday: Students put up barricades at Katipunan and the  University Avenue in support of striking drivers protesting increase in the price of gasoline. Inocentes Campos, UP Math professor initially stopped by the barricade at the University Avenue turned back. When he returned, he had on a bullet proof vest and started shooting at the students. Pastor Mesina, 17 years old, BS Zoology major, NSDB scholar and PSHS graduate was shot by Campos and would die on February 4 at the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital where he was taken after the shooting. Leo Alto, a pre med student was hit on the left cheek. In the afternoon, soldiers attacked Vinzon’s Hall and another student, Reynaldo Bello, 19 years old, Veterinary Medicine major, was shot in the right arm.

Feb. 3 Tuesday: Students gathered at the AS steps and agreed to put up barricades to protest military incursions into the campus. By 10 am, UP was surrounded by Metrocom soldiers. Tomas Karingal, QCPD chief refused the request of then UP President Salvador P. Lopez for a dialogue. At 5 pm of that day, Karingal’s men using tear gas attacked Molave, Yakal, Areas 14 and 17 ,Vinzons Hall, the AS Pavilions, Kamia and Sampaguita. President Lopez according to the Collegian, “ay nanawagan ng pakikiisang damdamin sa mga mag-aaral ng pamantasan.”

Feb. 4 Wednesday: Incensed by the violence perpetrated by the military the day before, the students set up more barricades. By 2 pm, DZUP was held by the students who operated it to broadcast the events in the university. The Collegian also reported that “Senators Benigno Aquino, Eva Estrada Kalaw and Lorenzo Sumulong arrived at the University and expressed solidarity with the students and concern over the presence of the military on campus. They called for the departure of the military.”

The February 10 Collegian would report that the barricades were removed at 8 am that morning by virtue of the announcement made by the “Provisional Directorate ng Demokratikong Komunidad ng Diliman.”

The same issue noted that protest classes were held in February 8 at the University Avenue by UP faculty members’ “Temario Rivera, Dolores Feria, Zeus Salazar, Vic Manarang, Roger Posadas, Gonzalo Jurado, Pepe Miranda” and others.

The Collegian also enumerated the seven demands forwarded by the “Provisional Directorate ng Demokratikong Komunidad ng Diliman” :

1)     Pagbabalik sa dating presyo ng langis
2)     Malayang paggamit ng ilang oras ng DZUP
3)     Malayang paggamit ng makina ng University Printing Press
4)     Paglalantad sa mga mag-aaral na konektado sa military tuwing araw ng pagparehistro
5)     Pagbabawal sa pagpasok ng tauhan at sasakyang military sa kampus
6)     Pag-urong ng mga habla laban sa mga mag-aarl kaugnay sa malaganap na kaguluhan
7)     Pagpapatalsik kay Prop. Inocentes Campos

In its February 18 issue, the Collegian reported that two of the demands have been granted by the Board of Regents. Students were given the 7 to 9 pm time slot of DZUP from Tuesday to Saturday and students were allowed to use the facilities of the Printing Press at a charge lower than the usual charges.

What for me are the lessons of the 1971 Diliman Commune?

  1. The UP community united, initially in support of the demands of the jeepney drivers for a rollback on gasoline prices and in larger number in defense of the university against military incursions and attack on academic freedom;
  2. At the core of the militancy and perseverance needed to establish and maintain the  Diliman commune for eight days were the progressive organizations of students with support from progressive faculty members and residents of the communities inside the campus. While there were segments of students and a few faculty members who publicly expressed opposition to the commune, the fact that it lasted from Feb. 2 to February 9 and was voluntarily ended by the communards on February 10 indicated that there was widespread support for the Commune;
  3. UP President Salvador P. Lopez’ position against military presence in the campus and the support of the students by  opposition senators including Ninoy Aquino were significant in broadening the support of the communards;
  4. Cultural forms of protest whether through the use of the DZUP, the publication of the Bandilang Pula, the protest posters were important in broadcasting the justness of the Diliman Commune and the demands of the communards. (After the Diliman Commune, a protest play cum musical entitled “Barikada” was produced by local artist groups.)
  5. The creativity of the students and professors bloomed in the midst of the struggle. The anti-aircraft kwitis, the self-igniting Molotov bombs, the flame-throwers from LPG tanks were just some examples of  that creativity.
  6. The UP coeds, experiencing first hand state violence in the dorms and in the campus, unshackled themselves from the decorative roles associated with them in the university’s traditional  “Cadena de Amor” and as muses in the Lantern Parade. They came forward as communards ready to defend the university.

Our gathering today is not merely a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The Diliman Commune’s message of a university in solidarity with the people opposed to spiraling prices and a university ready to defend itself against attacks by state forces remains relevant to this day. With the Oil Deregulation Law, the multinational oil companies raise gasoline prices practically every week. Price hikes in transportation costs, in food prices, in utilities are a daily occurrence while budget cuts for basic social services have made education, health and housing services unreachable for the majority of our people. The neo-liberal thrust of the past UP Administration with its emphasis on global competitiveness and resource generation has eroded the public character and the public service orientation of the nation’s premier state university. That thrust has also led to the atomization of the university’s various units and has weakened the solidarity even within the constituent universities and among the CUs as university and college officials place emphasis on generating resources for their own units. The  Aquino Administration’s emphasis on public private partnership and the huge reduction in the budget of state universities and colleges means the continuation of the very same economic and social policies that provide subsidies to business but reduce government support for social services.
UP Tigil Paslang, an alliance of UP students, faculty and staff formed during the 2006 massive attack on human rights and civil liberties by the Macapagal-Arroyo administration issued  a statement “Soul Searching, A Statement for the July 20 Activity for the Missing Students” on the forcible abduction and disappearance of Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan: 
It is now easier to take stock of the conditions that shape a university’s soul. Unlike other institutions that are primarily driven by the inertia of capital and power, a university ideally enjoys relative isolation from these imperatives to allow it to fulfil its important role as a social critic and repository of social memory. This historic role has been played by UP time and time again. Generations of UP students and faculty have lived these ideals of speaking the truth against power whether it be against foreign domination, corruption or tyranny. Many of the activists, nationalists, and intellectuals that help chart the destiny of this nation towards more democratic ideals came from the university. In an apt symbolism represented by the Oblation, countless have martyred themselves offering their lives for the ideal that the university stands – the courage to speak the truth when no one dares to, and to sacrifice one’s life for such convictions. It is the capacity of the university to witness for the truth that gains for it a soul. Karen Empeño and Sherlyn Cadapan are embodiments of this core of university traditions.
Thus the Diliman Commune and our commemoration of its continuing significance today, 40 years after the event, highlight our continuing struggle to retain the soul of our University by arresting the drift of UP Naming Mahal turning into UP Na Naging Mahal and to continue to call on our University, “UP ang galing mo, ialay sa bayan. “


1971 Philippine Collegian: February 4, 10 and 18. Micro Film section. UP Main Library.
Tigil Paslang. “Soul Searching “, July 17, 2006., accessed February 2, 2011.

(Judy M. Taguiwalo is the former Faculty Regent of the University of the Philippines. She is currently a professor of the College of Social Work and Community Development at U.P. Diliman)

UP Babaylan: Why is the UP College of Arts and Letters so Homop...

UP Babaylan: Why is the UP College of Arts and Letters so Homop...: "Below is another documentation of a similar case of homophobia that occurred at the UP College of Arts and Letters as narrated by Libay Lins..."

Riding a folding bike around Manila: My Brompton goes to Marikina!

Riding a folding bike around Manila: My Brompton goes to Marikina!: "Last Sunday, I joined the monthly critical mass ride of the Firefly Brigade. For February, our trip was to Marikina. Marikina, m..."

People Power Anniversary traffic advisory

MANILA, Feb 23 (PIA) – In anticipation of the heavy traffic during the 25th EDSA People Power Anniversary celebration on Friday (February 25), the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) bared alternate routes for motorists to avoid parts of the 24-kilometer highway which will be closed for the said event.

Motorists are to avoid the People Power Monument Area in White Plains Ave corner EDSA, which will be the center of celebration.

During the celebration, northbound lane of Ortigas Avenue to Santolan will be partially closed from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m.; totally closed from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and again be partially closed from 9 a.m. onwards.

Three lanes along the stretch of Ortigas Avenue to Camp Aguinaldo will be closed to traffic , however, the two inner lanes from EDSA Ortigas fly-over to Aguinaldo gate will still be passable except during the total closure.

Closure along EDSA starts from the service road after Ortigas Avenue.

Alternate routes

Along Ortigas avenue, left turning traffic from Greenhills to EDSA must go straight along Ortigas Avenue to destination while right turning traffic from Meralco Avenue must go straight to Greenhills to destination.

Motorists can take an alternate route from EDSA northbound lane:

* Right to McKinley Road to C5 to destination.

* Right at Kalayaan Avenue to C5 to destination.

* Take Rockwell flyover, left to Estrella, and use Estrella/Pantaleon Bridge, which is now open to traffic.

* Right at J.P. Rizal Avenue to C5 to destination.

* Right at Pioneer Street to C5 to destination.

* Right at Shaw Boulevard to C5 to destination.

* Right at J. Vargas Avenue to C5 to destination.

UP-Ayala TechnoHub in Diliman is a family dining destination | loQal - Travel and Outdoors | Philippines

More places for good eats in the Diliman area. recommends the UP-AyalaLand TechnoHub at Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City:

UP-Ayala TechnoHub in Diliman is a family dining destination | loQal - Travel and Outdoors | Philippines

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Eggplants destroyed by Greenpeace activists at U.P. Los Baños, but group is apprehended by University Police Force

(Pictures 1 to 4: A Greenpeace Philippines “decontamination unit” removes Bt talong (eggplants) growing in field trials at the U.P. Los Baños. Picture 5: A security officer from the Bureau of Plant Industries removes a sign calling attention to hazards posed by genetically-engineered Bt talong. Photos courtesy of Greenpeace Philippines.)

BAY, Laguna - The academic and scientific community of the Philippines, represented by the National Academy of Science and Technology, expressed indignation on the February 17, 2011 attack made by Greenpeace Philippines on the Bt eggplant field trial in the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) – the first time a research project was assaulted in the more than 100-year history of the revered University’s campus, according to a press statement released on February 18, 2011 by SEAMEO SEARCA Biotechnology Information Center at College, Laguna.

The anti-biotech group Greenpeace forced entry to the field experiment but only succeeded in uprooting more than a hundred non-transgenic eggplants, which served as pollen traps and check varieties.

It was evident that the group had already planned the uprooting of the whole trial site. According to the press release in Greenpeace’s website, the group moved to “decontaminate” the trial site. They are insisting that the trial is dangerous to the environment and can contaminate local varieties and therefore has to be terminated. But what they mostly accomplished was to uproot the non-Bt eggplant pollen traps, which were planted around the trial to prevent cross-pollination in the first place.

Scientists reprimand rash act

“It is a sad day for Philippine science. Misinformed, misguided people are denying our poor farmers and consumers the benefits of good science,” said National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), and former UP President Dr. Emil Q. Javier.

He also said that the academy denounces and condemns the trespassing, destruction of government property, violation of academic freedom of university, and interference to legitimate activities of the scientific community.

The NAST president reaffirmed the academy’s support, in strongest terms, to the insistent and legitimate activity of the scientific community which is consistent with the national policy of the government on the safe and responsible use of modern biotechnology products.

UPLB Chancellor Luis Rey I. Velasco said that the incident was in violation of the National Biosafety rules and was an affront to academic freedom in UPLB. “Being a University, we promote and are committed to academic freedom. We expect people who adhere to academic freedom and to science to also have equal respect to people who oppose their ideas. We respect opposing views and the views of Greenpeace. And while we do that, we are still bound by the rules and laws of the land,” he said.

Chair of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office Dr. Candida Adalla also slammed the attack.

“The DA remains steadfast in its position that the Bt eggplant trial is compliant to all government guidelines and therefore should not be destroyed. I particularly condemn the uprooting of the Bt plants because that is tantamount to stopping the truth to come out. Scientific experimentation is the only means to generate the truth and therefore all scientists should be allowed to conduct independent experiments. I also condemn the act of trespassing because it is a violation of academic freedom and the security of university property,” she said.

Local farmer points out the benefits at stake

Meanwhile, biotech corn farmer from the province of Pangasinan, Ms. Rosalie Ellasus, also expressed regret on the recent intrusion and destruction of the Bt eggplant trial site. She called for the anti-biotech group to consider the benefits at stake and hear the side of the farmers when it comes to what is beneficial for them.

She said that such groups need to understand the true needs of the farmers, and should not rashly take actions.

Ms. Ellasus lamented that the anti-biotech groups would not listen to the scientists. “They [the anti-biotech groups] won’t listen to what biotech experts have to say. Maybe if they would open their minds, even just once, and see the truth, they would know how these crops really benefit our farmers,” she said.

Ms. Ellasus pointed out that biotech corn farmers, which are already more a hundred thousand small-scale Filipino growers, cannot be stopped by the groups from cultivating the biotech crops. “They cannot do anything about it because we farmers have already realized the benefits of biotech corn,” she said.

According to Ms. Ellasus, “many farmers are already anticipating the Bt eggplant seeds. The crop is still under research, and it needs to go through the field trials to generate the data. They (the anti-biotech groups) are making our lives more difficult.”

Legally and fully supported, safe and compliant project

The Bt eggplant project has been consistently complying with all the biosafety conditions prescribed by the Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 8, as set by the national regulatory agency Bureau of Plant Industry. The regulatory assessment of biotech crops in the Philippines is science-based and is considered as a biosafety framework model by other countries. Since 2003, more than a million hectares of biotech corn have been planted in the entire country, and has benefitted more than 125,000 small-scale Filipino farmers.

Bt eggplant is developed through modern biotechnology and has inherent resistance to the most destructive pest-fruit and shoot borer. The project is now on the second season of multi-location field trial for the open pollinated variety (OPV). This very promising technology is expected to reduce the pesticide use and increase farmers’ income. Similarly, it could also provide positive impact to the environment and reduce the health risks associated with the extensive use of chemical pesticides. Farmers, especially those who have benefitted from the adoption of insect-resistant corn Bt corn, are looking forward to the commercialization of this innovative technology.

All the communities and local governments adjacent to the trial site have strongly supported and endorsed the trial.

Illegal entry?

The anti-biotech group arrived at the Bt eggplant field trial site of UPLB at around 6:30 in the morning.

Approximately 20 people, headed by Daniel Ocampo of Greenpeace, forced entry to the experiment by destroying the steel gate with a bolt cutter. Some media practitioners came with the anti-biotech group to document the destruction of the ongoing experiment and for a photo opportunity. Indian nationals wearing Greenpeace shirts were with the anti-biotech group during the illegal activity.

The anti-biotech group was apprehended by the University Police Force and will be facing charges in court.

“The issue now is that these people have violated rules and legal procedures in the University and in the land. Because of their actions, we will have to deal legally with them as an institution,” said Chancellor Velasco.

Greenpeace gives its side

A Greenpeace "decontamination unit" removed genetically-engineered Bt eggplant, locally known as ‘Talong’, from a field trial site in Barangay Paciano Rizal in Bay, Laguna, and sealed the experimental food crop in hazmat (hazardous materials) containers to prevent further contamination of neighboring fields and the environment, Greenpeace Philippines said in a press statement.

The Greenpeace activists were supported by organic farmers from Davao who had participated in a similar operation carried out by their provincial government last year.

“Greenpeace is taking action … to prevent any further contamination from these hazardous genetically engineered crops. This Bt eggplant experiment poses a threat to the environment and to farmers’ livelihoods, aside from violating the spirit of the Organic Agriculture Act. Once these experimental GMOs (genetically modified organisms) flower, their pollen can contaminate both conventional and organic crops, irreversibly damaging them,” said Daniel Ocampo, Sustainable Agriculture campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“The public has the right to a safe environment and to food sources that are not genetically engineered. If the authorities, such as the DA, fail to uphold those rights, then it becomes legitimate for others to do so,” he added.

Greenpeace has called on the Department of Agriculture (DA) to:
  • Halt all Bt eggplant field trials in the Philippines and decontaminate all existing field trial sites with immediate effect;
  • Implement the Organic Agriculture Act and ban genetic engineering of all food crops in the Philippines.
  • To take an active role in supplying sufficient quantity and quality of non-Bt seeds and support organic and ecological agriculture practices.
Bt eggplant field trials commenced in 2010 despite massive protests by farmers and consumers. Of the seven selected trial sites, Davao City, Baybay in Leyte, and Sta. Barbara in Iloilo, have issued municipal and barangay resolutions banning the field trials.

Similar statutes are still in process for Pangasinan, Laguna, Camarines Sur and North Cotabato, where field trials are already underway. Field trials were also conducted in Davao city last October but the plants were uprooted by the local government to uphold a resolution banning the trials.

“Like in India, there is no public support for Bt eggplant field trials and it is just not right for a few GMO proponents to conduct an open experiment that can inflict grave and possibly irreversible risks to an unsuspecting public,” added Shivani Shah, the sustainable agriculture campaigner from India who was on-hand to provide support to local efforts in implementing a shift to sustainable farming practices.

The Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) eggplant is genetically-modified to contain a built-in toxin to kill the fruit-and-shoot borer insect. It is currently not approved in any country including in India where the technology was sourced for use in the Philippines. Last February 2010, the government of India passed a moratorium on Bt eggplant commercialization to protect the country’s agriculture. In its decision, the Environment Ministry said that the science behind Bt eggplant is inadequate to answer the concerns raised by civil society groups, and that the country’s GMO regulatory system is inadequate.

An analysis of India’s Bt brinjal (eggplant) biosafety data by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, a French scientist, released in 2009 shows that the GMO eggplant is unsuitable for human consumption. The analysis concluded that Bt brinjal released into the environment, for food or feed, may present a serious risk for human and animal health.

“Greenpeace is urging DA Secretary Prospero Alcala to categorically ban all Bt Eggplant field trials. He has already stated that Bt eggplant will not be commercialized, which renders the field trials irrelevant. Safety concerns on Bt eggplant are still unanswered, and the risks are even more disturbing given the Philippines’ very lax and permissive regulatory systems. Only by halting the further entry and approvals of genetically engineered food crops can the DA achieve its goal of food security and sustainable agriculture in the country,” concluded Ocampo.

Earlier, the Diliman Diary had reported on the leading role that UPLB and U.P. Mindanao were playing in conducting field research on Bt eggplants being grown on a test basis in Davao City. Concerns over potentials of biological contamination impelled the Davao City government to destroy the plants over the protests of U.P. officials ( To see the copy of Davao City Mayor Duterte's cease-and-desist order sent to U.P. Mindanao Chancellor Gilda C. Rivero, please see the picture embedded below:

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But even as the scientific debate rages in Davao City and Los Baños over the benefits and pitfalls of genetically modified organisms and the role of the University of the Philippines in furthering such research; the economic logic behind this goes largely undiscussed.

Neither side has so far referred to any big business interests that may be funding such University of the Philippines research on genetically modified organisms, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture.

The references to this are few and scanty, save for a leaked U.S. State Department cable quoting Vatican officials as saying that they and Philippine church officials were deeply concerned about the potentials of such patented biological products leading to the economic exploitation of marginalized farmers in poor countries such as the Philippines (see:

No paper chase | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Here is an article about how a group of University of the Philippines students are engaging themselves in social entrepreneurship in order to help impact their world. Read the rest here: No paper chase | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Garden of Eve (Ganap na Babae)

In celebration of the International Women's Day on March 8, HUBO Productions in association with U.P. Sigma Alpha Nu Sorority (Manila) present, a film about women by women directors, GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve). ♥ U.P. Diliman Film Center / 08 March 2011 / Door Opens 6:30PM / Price: Php80.00 / Contact: +63.917.520.4826 for ticket inquiries / Box-office tickets available at the door, 1hr before the screening. ♥ ♥ U.P. Los Banos DL Umali Hall / 15 March 2011 / Door Open TBA / Price: Php80.00 / UPLB Screening Contact: 0917.607.5793 for ticket inquiries / Box-office tickets available at the door, 1hr before the screening. ♥ The screenings benefit the charity organization "Women’s Day Off". "Women's Day Off" is a Quezon City based women oriented non-government organization focusing on the working class women and trains women leaders for livelihood & technical programs. They have a vision of having a call center where women can seek legal help. Support Philippine Cinema! Support Filipina Artists!


UP Babaylan: DISCRIMINATION IN UP DILIMAN: "Below is a transcript of the letter submitted by Hender Gercio to the Department of European Languages, College of Arts and Letters, Univer..."

Eden Lost: a Forum on the Mining Situation and its Impacts on Biodiversity in the Philippines

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The new administration of Benigno Aquino III was ushered with hopes for reforms in its policies on the state's environmental and natural resources, particularly with mining among other extractive industries that have grave ecological impacts. However, this was met by the new administration by raising its mining output target by 30% more than the 2009 output this year. We are faced with the prospect of intensifying mineral liberalization and negative impacts on communities and ecosystems.

It is in this context that we are the forum “Eden Lost: Mining and its Impacts on the State of Biodiversity in the Philippines”, was organized. This is a forum discussing the current mining situation in the Philippines and its effects on the country's different ecosystems that serve as treasure troves of genetic resources. This is organized in partnership with the Defend Patrimony! Alliance, Kalikasan People's Network for the Environment, the UP Diliman Institute of Biology and the Youth for Earth Alliance in UP Diliman, and will be held on February 23 from 1:00PM – 4:00PM at room PH4205 in the Biology Pavillion in UP Diliman.

Monday, February 21, 2011

On the 100th day of the killing of Leonardo Co and his teammates, Justice remains elusive

A reminder from U.P. Kilos Na:

Tomorrow is the 100th day of the killing of Leonardo Co, UP botanist and his teammates Sofronio Cortez of the EDC and Julius Borromeo of the Tongonan Farmers Association (ToFa). UP Kilos na shares the UPD University Council statement approved last Nov. 26, 2010. We also enjoin the UP community to join the picket tomorrow at the Department of Justice, Padre Faura, City of Manila at 9 am. (from:

Editor's note: We are also embedding the official statement of the University Council of the University of the Philippines Diliman on the killing of Leonard Co and his teammates:

Design your own burger at Teacher's Village, Q.C.

I’ve long been searching for the best burgers here. I’m consistently craving for that ultimate burger that could satisfy my cravings like that of my favorite burger joint in California, In N Out Burger.
So it was to my absolute delight to have found this small place called: The Burger Project!
What’s even better about this place is how you get to design and name your own burger! It’s having your burger your way, taken to a whole new level! So it’s really fun to just sit in this burger shop and hear the funny names that the other patrons call out.

You’ll find a lot of students and avant garde people here. It being close to the University of the Philippines Diliman (UP) and all. Of course, they also have their signature burgers you can order in case you’re not feeling like the master chef quite yet.

iBLOG 7: The 7th Philippine Blogging Summit at the U.P. College of Law

The University of the Philippines College of Law Internet and Society Program (UP Law-ISP) will be hosting iBLOG 7: The 7th Philippine Blogging Summit—an open event for the Pinoy blogging community.
For the past six years, the UP Law-ISP has been hosting successful Philippine Blogging Summits so that these events become highly-anticipated interaction venues, where famous Pinoy bloggers give informative talks and more than 300 bloggers attend.
The 7th Philippine Blogging Summit will be held on April 1 and 2, 2011, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Malcolm Theater, Malcolm Hall, College of Law, U.P. Diliman Campus, Quezon City.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Diliman Video of the Week: Isa Dalawa Tatlo

A short film made by film students from U.P. Diliman narrating the story of a "Taong Grasa."

The makers of the film were:
Hazel Tan
Raiza Lansigan
Blessy Naval
Frances Mortel
Victoria Mostoles

The film is based on Anton Juan's "Taong Grasa."

Mga Kathang Katotohanan: A Contemporary History of Greenwashing at U.P. Diliman

There has long been a history in UP Diliman of traditional politics carrying populist rhetoric come February’s election period. Yes, there already are trapos this early in the game, just wait until they first touch base in the bureaucracy. Yes, the election rhetoric of trapos are flavors of the month. And finally, yes, the trend of using “Go Green” as party mantra is the growing soundbite of choice these days.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

U.P. Mindanao Student Council: Dialogue with U.P. President Alfredo Pascual

Last February 14, in his third day in office, UP President Alfredo E. Pascual visited UP Mindanao. His day was filled with sectoral consultations and each sector was only alloted one hour. With the time constraint, we only had the chance to raise the very urgent issues.

Note: These are not the actual words and statements from the dialogue. These are just interpretations from the notes of the secretariat.

Pres. Pascual: This is my third day in office. This is my second unit to visit, my first was in UP Manila. I have visited UP Mindanao last year for a BOR Meeting but I didn’t have the chance to look around the campus because it was a quick trip. (He then reiterates his vision statement for the students: Provide affordable education, prepare them for a successful career and responsible citizenship)

PE Laboratory Fees

Rey (USC Vice Chairperson): The PE laboratory fees is not only a concern of our unit but of all UP students because it will be applied system-wide. It should be scrapped because we should acknowledge the fact that there was already a 300% TOFI back in 2006. In UP Mindanao, there was no proper consultation done and despite this, the DHK still pushes for the collection of the fees. We think that these PE lab fees should be scrapped.

Pres. Pascual: The government still subsidizes 85% of your education. I am aware that this is a system-wide issue. Tuition fee increase is not a default solution. I will look into this issue.

Cherry (CSM SC Secretary): In addition, it is to be noted that last year, only 40% of the population in UP Mindanao were respondents of the survey whether or not to charge PE lab fees. This is not acceptable for it should be a minimum of 50% + 1. I’d also like to ask about the COA’s findings on Chancellor Rivero’s investiture. It took four years to clarify this issue.

COA Report regarding Chancellor Rivero’s 2007 Investiture

Pres. Pascual: I am not aware of what the BOR has come up with because my last BOR meeting was back in August 2010. But we will follow the recommended actions of the COA.

Krista (USC Chairperson): We have already written the BOR back in September 2010 and the constituents were assuming that former President Roman would do an action regarding her case. We also wrote the BOR again on January 2011 so that before President Roman steps down, she would do something about it. But as we have seen, it was not even included in the January BOR meeting. Can we have your commitment regarding this matter? (Hands a copy of the COA findings to the president)

Pres. Pascual: This is my first copy. I will look into the minutes of the BOR meetings (September 2010 to January 2011) and implement COA’s recommendations.

OJT Miscellaneous Fees
Anjel (CSM SC Biology Rep): The OJT miscellaneous fees (energy fee, library fee and internet fee) are inappropriate for students that do not undergo the OJT program.

Pres. Pascual: Then students who do not undergo OJT should not be charged with these fees.

Cherry (CSM SC Secretary): (Reiterates previous speaker’s point) Students with OJT cannot even use the facilities in the campus since they are having their OJT outside the school.

Pres. Pascual: In principle, OJT fees should not be charged from students who do not have OJT. I will ask the administration regarding this matter. I am concerned with the students who are academically excellent but cannot continue their education because of financial constraints.

Pres. Pascual: (Asked the STFAP brackets of the students; asked on “drop out” cases and asked if the fees are paid in full regardless of the problem. He also inquired if there is discounted fee for STFAP scholars. He found out that the miscellaneous fee is fixed regardless of the STFAP bracket.)

How do you see UP Mindanao six years from now?

Emcee: (Reads from a written question) How do you see UP Mindanao six years from now?

Pres. Pascual: I envision that UP Mindanao will provide trained graduates, provide leadership in the profession, address research problems in Mindanao, and address national concerns. However, I am aware that resources are needed to realize the mandate - to be excellent and relevant to this country.

Campus Militarization

Rendell (LFS): We have two issues we want to raise. First, in UP Mindanao, the camp of the Regional Community Defense Group (RCDG) is present in the campus. Not only is this a concern of our unit, but also of the other regional units. According to the Sotto-Enrile accord, a military camp should be 500 meter radius away from a campus. Its presence endangers the lives of the constituents. What can we expect from your administration? Second, students are restricted from using the CHSS AVR and Lorenzo Hall for forums and other activities. As of now, we cannot use the Kalimudan since it’s not conducive for these kinds of activities.

Pres. Pascual: Military entities should not be allowed in the campus. We have to enforce the tradition to keep our campuses free from the presence of military and police. It places a lot of responsibility to the students to keep peace in the campus. In other campuses, military personnel are in the campus because of ROTC.

Use of Facilities for Student Activities

Pres. Pascual: Why is the Kalimudan inappropriate for such activities?

Rendell (LFS): It houses the canteen and the tambayans, but it has no room to hold activities like seminars and forums.

Pres. Pascual: I will visit the Kalimudan and discuss this with the Chancellor why there are restrictions. The Chancellor does the implementation of rules in the unit while my role is to check the policies.

Departmentalization of the Architecture Program

Jeff (ASC): We would like to raise the clamor to departmentalize the Architecture program. We have a 100% passing rate in our department. We really need your support on this one. Other schools already have AutoCAD while here we have to do it manually.

Pres. Pascual: I want to assure you that your faculty is also asking for the departmentalization of your program.

What do you think about the issue regarding the Bt Talong?

Emcee: (Reads from a written question) What can you say about the Bt Eggplant?

Pres. Pascual: The local government was concerned on its effects to the other crops, but I am supportive to our scientists who revealed that the plant has no harmful effect. However, I suggest that proper communication should be done. UP Mindanao should work with the stakeholders.

Constitution of the Student Council and the Autonomy of Student Institutions

Krista (USC Chairperson): The issue of the ratification of our constitution is always brought up by the administration whenever we have big protest actions. Just last week, the OSA Director called me and asked me about this matter. What we don’t understand is the Chancellor herself knows that our constitution is ratified, but she keeps asking for the document. As the new UP President, what can we expect from you in order to protect the autonomy of these student institutions?

Pres. Pascual: Our students have the capacity to govern themselves through these institutions. The Student Council has rights and responsibilities as well. I support the right of these institutions.

Unlimited use to the dance hall

Katrina (Dance Ensemble): We cannot use the dance hall in the late hours of the night because we are only restricted until 7PM. With our concert coming up, the time for practice is not sufficient and we need to extend. We would also like to ask what your opinion is on the promotion of performing arts.

Pres. Pascual: Performing arts are important but the limited access to the dance hall is maybe due to security issues. Then you should use the time appropriately to lower power cost and avoid security risks. I will check on the practice of other campuses. UP Mindanao has its own administration (and wanted to understand the administration's reason for such policy). I don’t run UP Mindanao.

Oblation Run

Nassefh (APO): During the time of Chancellor de Ungria, our organization was able to conduct the Oblation Run. But under Chancellor Rivero, our organization was suspended for doing the activity. This year, we followed the guidelines for conducting an activity, we submitted all the necessary permits required by the OSA and we still don’t have feedback from them.

Pres. Pascual: (Asked for clarifications on the matter)

Nassefh (APO): The org was suspended two years ago because of the Oblation Run.

Pres. Pascual: Is there a written policy that you cannot do the Oblation Run?

APO: None.

Krista (USC Chairperson): I actually talked with some APO members and the OSA. The OSA director explained to me that such activity could be considered a “public disturbance” but we all know that her view is very subjective.

Pres. Pascual: Who among you want an Oblation Run? (Majority raises their hands)

Aleen (APO): We want to hold Oblation Run again but our requests are repeatedly denied by the OSA and were obliged to submit concrete objectives. Our org might be suspended again.

Pres. Pascual: You should ask your other chapters in order to help you justify the activity. You should also clarify with the OSA director the reasons for suspension.

Aleen (APO): Our org’s last Oblation Run was back in 2006 as a sign of protest and we got suspended for it.

Demolition of the Main Library

Stella (BA Anthro): We are concerned of the main library’s demolition in order to make way for the construction of the access road. We all know that aside from books, the library houses other equipment.

Pres. Pascual: I am aware of the issue. The old main library was not designed to be the main library of UP Mindanao under the Campus Development Plan. Under the Plan, the construction of the University Avenue would entail the removal of a part of the old main library. The new main library will be situated at the back of the admin building. The real issue is the communication problem between the librarian and the Vice Chancellor for Administration. The demolition of the library is a short-term sacrifice.

Cherry (CSM SC Secretary): What will happen to the books during the construction of the new library?

Pres. Pascual: The books will be transferred temporarily to a building or room while construction is ongoing.

Informal Settlers

Cherry (CSM SC Secretary): The settlers in the campus are also part of the UP community. What are your plans with this sector?

Pres. Pascual: We will do what is proper with the informal settlers. We have to consider the place and their livelihood.

Rendell (LFS): Can we invite some of them to talk you about their problem?

Pres. Pascual: Now is not the right time. And it’s the responsibility of the university administrators.

Pres. Pascual: “Don't ever think that you are the only one concerned with issues on laws and policies – these are also national and university concerns...”

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