Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year to our Readers! Have a Safe New Year's Celebration With the Diliman Diary and DOH!

U.P. Diliman 2010 Lantern Parade fireworks display

Are you stuck at home during New Year's Eve? Abroad and unable to come back in time for the New Year's celebrations back in the Philippines? Or do you simply plan to save your digits from being mangled during the New Year's Eve celebration by enjoying a virtual fireworks celebration? Do you plan on staying indoors to avoid stray bullets hurtling back to earth and causing more than just a passing headache? Then hang out with us at the Diliman Diary and enjoy a virtual celebration. All you need is a laptop, PC or netbook adjusted to full volume to enjoy the virtual sound of celebration and firecrackers and fireworks. These audio files are courtesy of the Department of Health (DOH) website with their Goodbye Paputok project. The DOH Hotline may be accessed at number 672-7177.

Enjoy these audio files which may be used in lieu of actual and more dangerous firecrackers and fireworks. Save your digits, and just download these audio files of exploding fireworks and firecrackers from the DOH-designated website: And Happy 2012 to our readers from the editors of the Diliman Diary! :-)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Diliman Diary blog: 12.31.2011

Photo via

I love trees, they make places look more pleasant but it’s not just its social benefits that we should focus on. What happened in Iligan City has made a lot of people investigate what went wrong and what Filipinos can do to prevent this from happening again. The answer of course boils down to planting more trees. The benefits of having trees around can be categorized into communal, economic, environmental, and social benefits which will be discussed below.


Photo via

Their social relevance does not only touch beautification of the environment but also the lives of those who have planted them. Often, we associate ourselves with the trees we have planted, and sometimes we even carve hearts on them to show the world we made a promise to love someone forever since trees seem to last forever minus of course the fact that some trees are also cut down. Do you remember that song that goes, tie a yellow ribbon on the old oak tree? It's a reminder of one social benefit -the kind that one can never replace i.e. memories. 


Trees moderate the climate. They improve the quality of the air that we breathe, they help in conserving water and also encourages wildlife. In the case of Iligan City, trees would have prevented the flood. 


Photo via

Trees are usually private property especially when planted on a private land but even if they are owned by someone else, the community benefits in having them around. In cities, trees are very important because they have several engineering and architectural functions and also provide privacy for townhouses, emphasize views of certain buildings and in the case of large cities in the Philippines –screen out views that aren’t so nice to look at. Apart from all these, trees also reduce glare and reflection making driving during the daytime a lot easier. They are also a great way to direct pedestrian traffic and prevent people from walking too far from the sidewalk.


Trees have value even when they are not cut down. However since there are a number of species, it is difficult to determine their exact economic value. I remember one of my professors in the National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG) saying that we should compute the amount of oxygen being produced by one tree multiplied by the cost i.e. oxygen in tanks that hospitals use and declare that as the value of the tree. This means that if a logger cuts one tree down without replacing it, the logger would have to pay for the oxygen costs since he or she has just deprived a number of individuals a certain amount of oxygen in the air. This is of course very drastic but it shows that no one seem to think of trees in such a point of view. If everyone did, no one would probably cut down a tree without replacing it with ten trees. 

The direct economic benefit of having trees around has something to do with energy costs. For example, a house that has a lot of trees around it would not require the use of air conditioning all the time. Homes with lots of trees also  have more value than homes without trees. Landscaped homes cost a lot these days so this means that if you are planning to sell your home at one point, it would be best to invest on trees.

(By Sigrid Salucop)

University of the Philippines holds press conference on U.P. Padayon Disaster Response Team deployment to Iligan City

U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual during the press
conference held at Quezon Hall, U.P. Diliman
By Chanda Shahani

A multi-disciplinary team of experts from various units of the University of the Philippines (U.P.) and U.P. President Alfredo E. Pascual reported to the media today U.P.'s initial assessment of the devastation wrought by Typhoon Sendong in Iligan City. Typhoon Sendong hit Cagayan de Oro and the Iligan City areas last December 16 and 17, 2011.

"This is a good time to share what U.P. has done with respect to Mindanao. U.P. has a unique role because of its capability to provide a quick response to crises such as these as well as also provide longer term solutions to disaster risk reduction and management," he said.

President Pascual said he was in Hong Kong on December 16 and 17, attending the centennial celebrations of Hong Kong University when the disaster struck. He said he immediately instructed U.P. Vice President for Public Affairs J. Prospero de Vera, who is also a professor at the U.P. Diliman's National College of Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) to immediately formulate a U.P. response to the disaster

From left to right: VP for Public Affairs Prospero de Vera,
President Alfredo E. Pascual, Prof. Mahar Lagmay and AVP
for Public Affairs Danilo Arao
Correspondingly, a multi-disciplinary team from U.P. units in Diliman and Manila was assembled for quick deployment to Iligan City last December 27 to 29, 2011, since it had become apparent to President Pascual that Cagayan de Oro was in better stead from relief efforts from other sectors, while Iligan City was comparatively just as devastated, but more neglected. V.P. de Vera was designated by President Pascual to head the U.P. Padayon Disaster Response Team.

President Pascual said U.P.'s choice of Iligan City for its intervention was based on its own assessment as well as with consultations with Senator Koko Pimentel, a U.P. Diliman graduate, whose family has strong roots in nearby Cagayan de Oro City.

The multi-disciplinary team was made up of four main components:
  • A medical mission team from U.P. Manila - PGH and local volunteers. These were made up of pediatricians, community doctors, psychiatrists, emergency medical staff and nurses. 
  • A public health team from U.P. Manila and U.P. Diliman, including public health experts and sanitary and civil engineers. 
  • Geologists from the U.P. National Institute of Geological Sciences 
  • A forensics team from U.P. Manila - PGH and the U.P. Diliman's National Sciences Research Institute Analysis Laboratory. 
All the four teams conducted quick ocular inspections of calamity sites in Iligan City as of December 29, 2011.

The teams will provide recommendations on Monday, January 2, 2012 to President Pascual, and these will be forwarded to the City of Iligan and also to Senator Koko Pimentel.

Vice President de Vera said that a lot of bodies in the area still needed to be unearthed. He said working arrangements had been made with Vice President Jejomar Binay and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay for the City of Makati to send K-9 units for the detection of bodies. All that was needed was to make arrangements for the dogs to be transported, he said.

He also said that U.P. had partnered with Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology to collect rainfall data for U.P.'s computer simulations on the area.

Here is what the four teams essentially accomplished during their trip to Iligan:

Medical Mission Team from U.P. Manila

The team took care of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and health needs. The health team treated 1440 evacuees on December 28 at Barangay Digkilaan. Out of a population of 5,000 27 were listed as dead and 28 were missing. The most common medical problems were upper respiratory tract infections and gastro-intestinal disorders with several cases of PTSD. A total of PhP 400,000.00 worth of medication was brought to the site. In the press conference, the medical team was represented by Dr. Carlos Primero Gundran, a specialist in disaster medicine.

Public Health Team from UP Manila and UP Diliman

The Public Health Team consultations, led by U.P. Manila College of Public Health Professor Buenalyn Teresita Ramos-Mortel on December 28, 2011 occurred at the DOH-CHDNM Operation Center in Iligan City Hall, the Juan Actub Lluch Evac site with a population of 528 persons, the Ubaldo Laya Evac Site with a population of 1,299, the MSU - IIT Evac Site with a population of 1,030 as well as two additional evacuation sites.

The team observed varying levels of organization and a common need for continuous supply if drinking water, water for sanitation, food provisions and sanitation facilities. There were inadequate numbers of comfort rooms and waste bins and all sites were reliant on aid and donations.

Both teams were not yet ready with their full reports, Vice-President de Vera said, adding that they would be submitted on Monday, January 2, 2012.

Geologists from U.P. Diliman National Institute of Geological Sciences

The Geohazard Team was headed by Dr. Mahar Lagmay of the National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) at U.P. Diliman The team's mission was to collect the geohazard data of devastated areas and also to check the viability of permanent relocated areas.

Dr. Lagmay said that the devastation in Iligan was worse than Cagayan de Oro (CDO). The impact was really visible in Iligan, he said A NASA TRMM satellite positioned showed that the storm warning of NASA was already spotted several days before it hit landfall in Mindanao. It peaked 20 kilometers from the clouds, indicating a heavy volume of water

Water measurements reached 142 mm on December 16 and 97 mm on December 17 as measured in the CDO airport with the rain peaking between 6 to 7 p.m. on December 16 and with floods between 11:30 1:30 a.m. on December 16 to 17.

CDO was hit with three times the water volume as the Marikina watershed during the devastating Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, Dr. Lagmay said.

Most of Iligan was impacted with high velocity floods. The Mandulog River itself accumulated water. The component villages or barangays of Santiago, Hinaplonan and Upper Hinaplunan which are all located in Iligan City were the most heavily hit, Dr.Lagmay said during the press conference

Dr. Lagmay said that the flood waters reached up to eight meters in height and were characterized by high velocity and carried logs, sand and mud. They were rampaging and were highly erosive, "like a tsunami," but with more debris. Even trees were ripped away from their foundations, he said.

Flood plains were part of the water system during extreme weather events, he said making them unsafe for human habitation

He said that illegal logging aggravated the flooding but the primary reason was that it was an extreme water deluge that was primarily responsible.

He called for a proper geohazard assessment of the area, adding that places like Santiago may not be inhabitable anymore.

There are two approaches, he said to Disaster Readiness and Preparedness:

First are the conventional hazards triggering operational responses to emergency management.

Second is a development oriented vulnerability based framework with an emphasis on vulnerability as a factor in sustained development.

It is in the second component that U.P. with its bank of experts can help tremendously in having a long-term institutional response to disasters.

We must review where hazards are and plan accordingly, he said, through the use of geohazard maps. However, another technique was to conduct computer simulations using topographic maps of the government. He stressed that an Iligan-style of Cagayan De Oro City style even could happen anywhere in the Philippines given sufficient volume of water.

Dr. Lagmay also said that even with geohazard maps, if local governments were not prepared, there would still be major problems. He stressed that it was very important to conduct drills. He said local residents needed to be briefed on where they could escape to; including evacuation routes and places to go to seek refuge from violent nature.

Forensics Team

This was headed by Dr. Raquel Fortun of the UP College of Medicine and Dr. Ma. Corazon de Ungria of the UP-National Science Research Institute DNA Analysis Lab

Their job was to assist local governments help their constituents have closure by assisting with cadaver management through the creation of a missing persons list and to help work with the national Bureau of Investigation in obtaining DNA samples of dead persons.

“The urgent task, as of yesterday, is to come out with a missing persons list,” Dr. de Ungria said during the press conference. “People cannot move on unless they know that their friends and loved ones are still alive or already dead,” she said, adding that many of the victims were still suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

President Pascual said U.P.'s role in such events as the Iligan City disaster was to research to bring together experts on disaster risk reduction. "There will be more disasters hitting the country in the future," he said, adding that such disasters would be triggered mainly by climate changes and changes in population.

He said U.P.'s role was to help prepare local governments in ways to better manage disasters. Citing the University of the Philippines Charter of 2008 (R.A. 9500), he said U.P. was mandated to provide various forms of public service and technical assistance to civil society.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Diliman Diary blog: 12.29.2011

Over the past few days, companies and private individuals from allover the country have been sending relief goods through LBC. The devastation in Iligan City ruined the Christmas for many Filipinos but the unexpected event made many realize the real meaning of Christmas –giving.

With photos of Iligan City wiped off the map making rounds on the web, those who haven’t been in the area now know that illegal logging is the main culprit. It’s pointless to point fingers now though because what really needs to be done is to help retrieve the bodies of the dead and find the missing.

What happened in Iligan City and the areas nearby the said place is truly a sad thing but hopefully, the catastrophe will bring about some positive changes.

(By Sigrid Salucop)

Nation-wide candle lighting ceremony for Sendong victims and survivors on December 29, 2011


By Krista Melgarejo

BALSA MINDANAO in cooperation with people's organizations and concerned groups will hold a Candle Lighting Ceremony for Sendong Victims and Survivors, tomorrow, Dec 29, 2011 at 5pm in the space fronting Davao City Hall and Unitop Center. Please join us as we remember the dead and the missing, and praying for those struggling with the floods since Monday in various points in Mindanao. Wear black and bring candles.

This is a suggested nationally-coordinated action while others can't really be physically present to render direct services at the site, we have this as our space. Hope that other cities could do the same. Please spread and make this a real simultaneous action nationwide.

There will also be an action there in Manila as posted in the STAND UP page:

Tinawatagan ang lahat na dumalo sa gaganaping Nationally Coordinated Candle Lighting Ceremony sa pangunguna ng BALSA Mindanao, para sa mga biktima at mga survivors ng Bagyong Sendong, bukas, December 29, 5PM sa Timog Circle (World Scout Jamboree Memorial). Mangyari lamang po na magsuot ng ITIM na DAMIT. Para sa karagdagang impormasyon, kontakin lamang si RG sa 0935.881.5619. Salamat po.

(Krista Melgarejo is Vice President - Mindanao for the National Union of Students of the Philippines)

UP System-wide Typhoon Sendong Relief Operations

Source: PAGASA

By U.P. Student Regent Krissy Conti

Collated at the General Assembly of Student Councils
December 22, 2011

The student councils of the UP System have several channels open for students, faculty and staff to contribute for Typhoon Sendong Relief Efforts. Some of the councils have local partners already, which specify the beneficiaries.

UP Mindanao

Who: University Student Council with the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Mag-aaral sa UP

Local partner: Panday Bulig Relief and Rehabilitation Center, Tabang Mindanao Center

What: water, clothes, food, cash

How: Drop off at 12th-22nd streets, Nazareth, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City

T/F: +63 (88) 856 6413 (look for Beryl Tranco)


UP Visayas

At least 5 students from UP Visayas were affected by the typhoon

Who: University Student Council, College of Arts and Sciences Student Council, College of Management Student Council, School of Technology Student Council, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Student Council, UP Tacloban College Student Council

Local partner: UP Tubong Mindanao (Tubao)

What: water, clothes, food, cash

How: Contact Earl Francis Valdehuesa 09162522317

UP Manila

Who: University Student Council

What: cash

How: Deposit any amount to BDO account number 003530163362, account name University Student Council-UP Manila

Who: Medicine Student Council (MSC)

Local Partner: Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS)

What: cash

How: Deposit any amount to the account of PCS

The MSC as early as Saturday morning launched UPCM CARE (Calamity Assistance and Relief Efforts) and has sent liquids, supplies and other goods donated by students to Mindanao.

UP Diliman

Who: University Student Council with UP Kilos Na

Local partner: National Union of Students of the Philippines

What: water, clothes, food, cash

How: Drop off at Kabataan Partylist- Southern Mindanao Region Chapter, 700A E. Jacinto St., Davao City

T: 221-6589 and 09266453953 (look for Krista Melgarejo)

Who: College of Social Work and Community Development

Local partner: Oxfam GB

What: volunteers to repack hygiene kits

How: Sign up for shifts at 6am-12nn, 12nn-6pm, 6pm -12mn, Thursday, 22 December at the UP-CSWCD located along Magsaysay Ave., Diliman, QC.

UP Los Banos
Who: University Student Council with Serve the People (STP) Brigade and Kabataan Partylist-Southern Tagalog

What: goods and cash

How: Drop off at the offices of the USC and local student councils

These student councils have extra goods and supplies, but need groups to coordinate with and beneficiaries to accept:

UP College of Science Student Council has eight boxes of medicines.

UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga has extra typhoon relief kits (rice, sugar, canned goods) from DSWD

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Spending Christmas in Diliman

It already felt like Christmas inside UP Diliman during the Lantern Parade and even now that everyone seemed to have already gone home to their respective provinces for the holidays, the whole University of the Philippines Diliman is still well-lit. The Oblation Plaza showcases a very large parol  making it the highlight for the campus’ Pag-iilaw 2011.

Photo via

Although the university is almost empty and all student activities already ended on the 17th, the rest of the Diliman area is still pretty much alive. Restaurants along Maginhawa Street are still bustling with people and places like the infamous UP student hangout Sarah’s is still entertaining quite a number of customers.

For those who are spending Christmas in Diliman and do not want to stay home for noche buena, there are a lot of restaurants along Maginhawa, Matalino and Matatag that you can go to.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Depression

The bright lights around Diliman will make one feel happy but there are those who are likely to experience depression this time of year. According to research, suicide rate is considerably higher during December. Depression can be triggered by a lot of things, experts say but it usually includes losses, loneliness and often, failure in certain arenas.

Photo via

Doctors say that it is especially complicated to cope with depression during the holidays because everybody else is happy making reaching out to friends or family more remote and sometimes very awkward. There is a tendency to disassociate oneself once Christmas depression hits and often, those who are depressed ask self-defeating questions and feel sad as to why they cannot join in the holiday cheer.

Not everyone gets depressed due to a loss or due to failure though because there are just some who feel depressed during the holidays for no obvious reason.

If you are feeling depressed this season, it might be time to reach out to your closest friends. A writer once said that asking for help takes the courage of a soldier but what must be done should be done for you to get through the season unscathed. 

Diliman Diary blog: 12.19.2011

"Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean dictator who defied global condemnation to build nuclear weapons while his people starved, has died, state media reported. A government statement called on North Koreans to “loyally follow” his son, Kim Jong Un," according to a Bloomberg report.

Like Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III, who is an untried scion of a wealthy family who did not earn his spurs in the school of hard knocks; but rode the quick and easy path to power and influence on the strength of his forbear's efforts, we can expect Kim Jong Un to reign but not to rule.

 If both rulers were made of sterner stuff, they would be calling the shots and imposing a program of action while persuading the people to support it. But the program should be based on truth and justice; not on greed, egoism and self-serving interests.

In North Korea, the Communist Party is a party of privilege whose members get special treatment while the majority of North Koreans slowly starve to death. In the Philippines, it is not much different. Only 100 families control 90% of our Gross Domestic Product. In both instances, a small minority of people control the scarce resources that should accrue to the majority. In this respect, "democracy" and "socialism" are not so far apart.

We have seen President Aquino's faltering efforts to play the macho Man of the People by bullying a Supreme Court Justice who could have been quietly impeached. With his powers at his disposal, he could have done this quietly instead of rattling so many sabers at the same time.

But I await with bated breath the future performance of Kim Jong Un, who is expected to introduce more market reforms in this totalitarian state. For all we know, he may end up being another Pu Yi, or a puppet emperor, who ended up being a figure head emperor of China, while others ruled the Middle Kingdom.

In the Philippines, I don't see any enlightened leadership beyond mere posturing and grabbing at any spontaneous good news that may arise from efforts of various sectors or particularly capable government officials.

(By Chanda Shahani)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Emergency Hotlines for Diliman & the rest of Quezon City

Emergency HotlinesPDFPrintE-mail
Police Assistance (including fire and ambulance assistance)
QC Rescue

QC Emergency Rescue Team
QC Fire Department
QC Central Police District
QC Red Cross
Civil Defense Operation Center (for extreme emergencies caused by disaster/ calamities like typhoons, floods, earthquakes and the like)
National Poison Control
Bantay Bata
Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
Maynilad Water Services
Manila Water Company
171 – General Inquiries
173 – Repair Services
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT)
633-1111449-3000/ 412-1212 - Information
730-1000 - Information
Globe Telecom
888-1111/ 811-0211 - Information
Smart Communications

Information taken from

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Parties at UP Diliman last night

Students and alumni who watched the Lantern Parade last night had a hard time contacting friends within the UP community. Attendees were warned the day before that there is a possibility of this happening between 5 pm to 8pm. By half past eight, hundreds already vacated the UP premises but a good number still stayed for their Open Tambayan and their fraternity, sorority or org meetings.

At noon yesterday, the Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity did their yearly Oblation Run. Although this is usually done for a cause, to every UP student and alumni, it is a signal that the party has started.
The Pi Omicron Fraternity on the other hand also celebrated their 48th anniversary yesterday at their tambayan near the Lagoon.

The infamous Facebook group TUPDKK also hosted a party within Diliman last night.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fire near BPI Kalayaan, tweet alerts Meralco

A tweet coming from Giney Villar alerted Meralco and the fire department to rush to Kalayaan Avenue a few hours ago. Villar reported a live wire near BPI Kalayaan just seconds before the fire started.

The cable on fire was beside one of the transformers along Kalayaan Avenue near BPI Kalayaan which sits across a number of restaurants in the Diliman area. A number of these restaurants caught fire just last summer.
Meralco has not yet released a statement regarding the seemingly old cables at Kalayaan Avenue.

The Philippines has one of the most expensive rates for electric power; rates that are even higher than that of advanced countries such as France and Germany. With such high prices that consumers pay the electric power provider, Meralco should be able to perform regular maintenance on their transformers and cables, sources say.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lantern Parade December 16

It’s been raining in Diliman for the past few days but students from the University of the Philippines are unperturbed. Just last week, a number of student organizations sold baked goodies, books and other items to raise funds while others were getting ready for the Karolfest 2011 held yesterday, December 9. The UP Planner was also launched last week making it an exciting week for the students but the real fun is yet to come. Paligsahan ng mga Parol 2011 more popularly known as the lantern parade will be held on December 16, 2011.

This year’s theme is Isang Unibersidad, Isang Komunidad to promote oneness within the UP community.  
This tradition is something that many UP students and alumni look forward to. For those who would like to see the parade, make sure that you get to the university early because hundreds maybe even thousands of people will be there. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Doctor Love: The Quest For Mr. Right, Defining Mr. Wrong

by Sigrid Salucop

Photo via

Apparently the quest for Mr. Right is now a joke because nobody wants a guy who is always right. That however may have come from some cheesy anecdote from one of those chick flicks and will later on not contribute anything to this article. 

Mr. Wrong Mary J. Blige ft. Drake

The main reason I am stalling is to try and avoid telling the ladies that there might not be a Mr. Right so don’t get your hopes up. I could be wrong though. IMHO I think I may have already been proven wrong. Does Mr. Right exist? Sorry skeptics but I think he does. Unfortunately I just wasn’t Ms. Right. It seems that these things are a matter of perspective so there can’t be one formula we can follow to find Mr. Right, love after all was never meant to be mathematical no matter how many of us would love for it to be.

Mr. Wrong (1996) starring Ellen Degeneres

How do you find Mr. Right? You can find him in the most unlikely places –a street corner somewhere hopefully not selling drugs unless you are into that type, your favorite restaurant, the pet shop, he could be anywhere. In fact, he could be that guy sitting right in front of you. He could be the butcher you always see on Sundays when you do your groceries. It could be your seatmate in chemistry class or for the more adventurous, your physics teacher.

Mr. Right - A Rocket To The Moon

The quest for Mr. Right is a treacherous journey but to get to Mr. Right, you must avoid Mr. Wrong i.e. your ex-boyfriends or a person pretty much similar to those ex-boyfriends. The secret to finding this rather elusive person is to break away from your pattern. Apply a bit of statistics and you might (you just might) increase the probability of you meeting Mr. Right. The keyword here is “meeting” not marrying, no happy endings –don’t expect that because a Mr. Right could also become Mr. Wrong in the long run. Now that makes things more complicated and that makes the use of basic statistics useless. However, there is that window where everything goes right and there is a happy ending. Yay to Cinderella right there.

Mr. Right - Mickey Avalon

Now back to the pattern, if you only date certain types of men for example, it may be high time to go on a blind date. No one is saying that a fat, bald guy is nicer than the good looking ones –that is not true because sometimes they are even more annoying. In fact, in the Philippines, the ones we call fugly are the ones who usually have the nerve to cheat on us to compensate for their shortcomings contrary to the western opinion that an attractive man is more likely to cheat than the average-looking guy. This means that you should not lower your expectations but please try to open your eyes to certain possibilities.

The Right Man -Christina Aguilera

What is the chemical structure of Mr. Wrong? Again, there is no one formula but every girl has a unique formula of who Mr. Wrong is. One has to remember however that what you can offer is also directly proportional to the quality of the man you will end up spending your whole life with. Now this makes me wonder what Wallis Simpson had to offer the King.

Questions? Comments? Reactions? 
You may email Doctor Love at

You can also post your comments below.

"How do you say good-bye to a Remarkable Filipina Woman?"

Ms. Jopin Romero

By Jingjing Romero

"PAALAM: A Farewell Tribute for Jopin Romero"

Philippine Trade Commissioner, U.S. Western Region

Honoring an economic broker in the Filipino American community.

The following will share stories of how she influenced our perceptions about investing in our homeland, the Philippines, and how she makes us feel proud of bring Filipino.

Christina Laskowski, Partner, Alquemie Partners
Audie Vergara, Manager, Grassroots Productions
Alelie Funcell, President & CEO, Renewable Energy Test Center, LLC (invited)
Regina Manzana-Sawhney, Google (invited)
Jojo Flores, Plug and Play Tech Center (invited)
Sherri Burke (invited)
Zeny Cunanan, President & CEO, Galaxy Global Corporation (invited)
Gertrude Gregorio, Dean, Adaptive Learning, Foothill College (invited)

The Philippine Trade Office and her staff, Rosalie Say and Mylene Juan, have been a great resource for economic trends and reports about the Philippines and Asia.

We will miss you, Jopin!

Please join us in wishing Jopin "paalam" (farewell)

at a Holiday Salo Salo Brunch!

December 17, Saturday, 11am-1:30pm

RSVP online @

or call 415.935.4FWN (4396)

(early bird until Dec. 12) FWN members $40; Nonmembers $45

Sponsors requested - see sponsorship benefits

CREDO: Feed the People

360 Pine St. @ Montgomery St.

San Francisco 94104

(Ms. Jingjing Romero is a director of the University of the Philippines Alumni Association)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Real Men To Battle It Out In A Beauty Pageant On The 17th

It's even more days to go before the most awaited week for the College of Engineering but students are already excited on what is going to transpire during the week-long celebration. Dubbed as the place where real men are in the University of the Philippines Diliman, the college will be hosting yet another Miss Engineering pageant whose participants are real men. 

The pageant takes place annually and is the most prestigious beauty pageant inside the university.

The transformation of these College of Engineering men is what makes the event a very special one.
Who is the fairest of them all? is the main question that needs to be answered. If you want to know the answer, you might as well buy tickets for the pageant night.

The pageant will be on December 17, 2011. For more information, you may go to Miss Eng'g 2011 Facebook page

Monday, December 5, 2011

U.P. Press goes on Christmas Sale!

Hey it’s Christmastime, and what better way to enrich our culture and enrich the people around you than to fill them with awesome ideas and new loads of knowledge? (what a sales pitch huh?)

So the UP Press will be on sale in the coming weeks, and I do hope that people take advantage of this. The titles are great, and the prices aren’t bad, and a little trip to our bookstore is a nice walk away from the main thoroughfares of the campus. Drop us a line, and if I’m around I’ll even wander the bookstore with you and recommend titles

(Carl Javier)

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Financial literacy for Filipinos (1): How to become a millionaire for thirty (30) year olds

Source: Philippine Stock Exchange

By Chanda Shahani

Let's face it: You're not getting any younger, and you have to start thinking about your future. You know how difficult it is to retire alone, poor, and saddled with mounting health costs. Now is the time to start takinbg charge of your future, so that you can live a quality life that makes every day count.

If you save and invest money every month, you will inevitably become a millionaire. As Albert Einstein said, compound interest is the "eighth wonder of the world." But reaching this eighth wonder of the world largely depends on the amount of money you currently have, how much interest that money will earn (the tricky part), and how much you can save each month -- and, of course, how long you can wait. Another critical part of the equation is that you leave the interest earned alone so that it keeps earning interest.

For example, if you're 30 years old, have PhP 250,000.00 already saved up, you caqn then save up to PhP 5000 per month, and can earn 8 percent interest, you'll be worth PhP 50 million in a mere 51 years or at the ripe old age of 81.

How to become a Millionaire

There's no one one way to become a millionaire, However, here are some ways to adopt commonsensical strategies to become a millionaire.

Know your current net worth

In order to successfully travel anywhere you have to first know where you're starting out, right? So, the first thing you have to determine is your current net worth, because knowing your starting point will help you pinpoint that all important estimated time of arrival.

Set your goals

How soon do you want to be millionaire? In a year? In five years? Or are you just hoping to make it by the time you retire? Whether you want to make it in one year or 30, you need to have a written goal. If you're thinking about your retirement years, do you plan to downsize to a smaller and less expensive home? Do you plan to travel? Or are you content with a simple lifestyle? Whatever your goals are, you need to define them so that you know what kind of strategy you are going to employ to get it.

Determine your strategy

Now is the time to determine how you want to make that money. Most millionaires own their own businesses, but others have achieved millionaire status working for others. Many physicians, attorneys and corporate executives also earn incomes that enable them to achieve great wealth -- particularly if it's managed wisely. Obviously, if you want to make millions of pesos in a short amount of time, say 5 to 10 years, you're going to need a pretty aggressive plan in order to succeed, and that usually means you'll need to branch out on your own.

Set up an emergency fund

One of the first rules you hear about managing your finances is to always have accessible cash in the event you're are laid off, injured, or some other catastrophe takes away your ability to earn a living. Recommendations vary, but usually that amount should be three to six months living expenses.

Set a budget and manage your money wisely

Budgets are something most people don't worry about if they have enough money from month to month. They don't see the need. The problem is they also don't see how much money they are throwing away on things that don't really matter. How much money do you spend on things like fast food, lattes or movies? Do you shop because you're bored, buying things you really don't even care about?

Think about how much money you spend buying things on a whim. Keeping track of where your money goes is one of the best ways to increase your wealth. Spend your money only on things that are actually worth it. Using a financial management software program makes tracking where your money goes much easier.

Setting a budget also helps you save more money. At the end of each month, any money you haven't spent on necessities (or budgeted items) could be transferred into savings or invested.

Pay off your debt

Start with your smallest debt first and remove it slowly at it until it's gone. Then add the money you had been paying on the smallest debt toward your next smallest debt until it's paid off and so on until you're debt-free. Throw away your credit cars, or at least don't carry them around with you and just keep them at home for emergencies only. Also, pay off your credit card debt in full every month.

Invest in the stock market

U.P. College of Business Administration Professor Roy YbaƱez once said in 2001 that he studied the the ups and downs of the Philippine stock market index and found out that when it came to blue chip stocks (that is, the stocks of the very best Philippine companies such as PLDT, BPI, Ayala Corp., etc), the performances of these stocks averaged 10% a year all through the assassination of former Senator Benigno S. Aquino, the turbulent elections between Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon C. Aquino and several coup attempts as well as the economic resurgence under former President Fidel V. Ramos.

Th bottom-line is that blue chip stocks while grow in terms of value because these giant companies will continue to do well in turbulent times.

The savvy investor will, therefore put away a modest amount of P 5,000 every month and buy only the blue chip stocks or high value stocks which will grow in value over the ensuing years.

(The author has a Master's in Entrepreneurship degree from the Asian Institute of Management and is a former business reporter from the Philippine STAR. He is also a licensed real estate broker. He graduated A.B. Comparative Literature from U.P. Diliman).

General assembly of Filipinos who are part of the Alliance of Progressive Labor Hong Kong on Sunday.4 December 2011 at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town

A re-post from Floro R. Francisco:

Para sa mga kababayan nating nasa Hong Kong.... para po ito sa inyong kaalaman at suporta...

Dear Friends, if you have friends, relatives or neighbors working in Hong Kong especially as Domestic Workers or any other work, please inform them that there will be a general assembly of Filipinos who are part of the Alliance of Progressive Labor Hong Kong on Sunday ...4 December 2011 at the Bayanihan Center in Kennedy Town. My office the LO-Norway (Asia) have been assisting in organizing and capacity building of Filipino Workers in Hong Kong in cooperation with APL Philippines and the HK Confederation of Trade Unions and the Asian Migrants Center. If they are interested to know and understand their rights and may be interested to join such an organization, they can contact me. The Program starts at 10AM and it will end at 5PM. I will be in HK from 3-5 December! They can email me at for more information!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pasko sa UP Diliman: Pasko 2011: Isang Unibersidad, Isang Komunidad


1.   EXHIBIT:    “The Christmas Tradition in UP” isang eksibit sa Foyer, Office of the Chancellor.
2.  PAG-IILAW:    Lunes, Disyembre 5, ika-6 ng gabi, sa Oblation Plaza.  Ang simula ng pagdiriwang ng pasko sa Kampus ay magtatampok ng mga bilang mula sa UP Symphonic Band sa pagkumpas ni Prop. Rodney Ambat, UP Staff Choral Society sa pagkumpas ni G. Chris Reyes at ng UP Cherubim and Seraphim sa pagkumpas ni Dr. Elena Mirano.  Tatampukin din ito ng isang espesyal na pagtatanghal ng UP Varsity Pep Squad.  Ang pagsisindi ng mga ilaw palamuti sa UP Diliman ay susundan ng isang community singing na pangungunahan ng mga tampok na koro sa saliw ng tugtog ng UP Symphonic Band.  Ang tagapagpadaloy ng palatuntunan ay gagampanan ni Dr. Jovy Peregrino ng Kolehiyo at Literatura.
3.  CHANCELLOR’S CONVOCATION:    Huwebes, Disyembre 8, ika-4 ng hapon, sa University Theater.  Ang paghahatid impormasyon ng Chanselor ukol sa mga plano ng administrasyon para sa UP Diliman at paguulat sa mga naipatupad at natapos na mga proyekto.  Ang gawaing ito na magsisilbing kapalit ng Investiture Rites para sa Chanselor ay naasahang maging taunang programa.
4.    KAROLFEST:    Biyernes, Disyembre 9, ika-1 ng hapon, sa University Theater.  Ang taunang paligsahan ng mga koro ng mga mag-aaral ay bibigyan ng panibagong mukha sa pagdagdag ng mga koro ng faculty at ng mga kawani bilang mga kalahok sa kumpetisyon.
5.  PALIGSAHAN NG MGA BELEN AT PAROL:    Lunes, Disyembre 12, sa mga Akademikong Yunit.
6.  DANCE CONCERT:    Miyerkoles, Disyembre 14, ika-6 ng gabi sa University Theater.  Tampok ang UP Filipiniana Dance Group, UP StreetDance Club at UP DanceSport Society.  Isang natatanging bilang mula sa UP Dance Company at UP Varsity Pep Squad ang itatampok sa gabing ito.
7.  HANDEL’S MESSIAH:    Huwebes, Disyembre 15, ika-6 ng gabi sa Abelardo Hall.  Ang taunang konsiyerto ng Kolehiyo ng Musika na nagtatampok sa mga kilalang Christmas Carols ni Handel, ay pangungunahan ng UP Cherubim and Seraphim, UP Concert Chorus, UP Madrigal Singers, UP Manila Chorus, UP Singing Ambassadors, UP Chorus Classes at ng UP Orchestra Class sa pagkumpas ni G. Agripino Diestro.
8.  PARADA NG MGA PAROL (LANTERN PARADE):    Biyernes, Disyembre 16, ika-4 ng hapon sa Academic oval.  Susundan ito ng pamaskong palatuntunan sa Amphitheater at paggawad ng mga premyo sa mga mananalo sa paligsahan ng Parol, Belen at karolfest.  Magtatapos ang pagdiriwang sa isang 15-minute fireworks display na handog ng Beta Epsilon sa komunidad ng UP Diliman.

Cinema One Originals, UP Cineastes' Studio and the UP Film Institute Holds 4th Cinema One Originals Campus Tour

If you are planning to visit UP Diliman this coming Saturday, you may want to drop by the Film Institute located right in front of the Bahay ng Alumni.

The UP Film Institute, the UP Cineastes’ Studio and Cinema One Originals are holding the 4th Cinema One Originals Campus Tour inside UP Diliman.

On December 3, 2011, Saturday, the UP Film Institute will be showing Cartas de La Soledad at 5pm followed by Six Degrees of Separation from Lilia Cuntapay at 7.30pm.

For those who would like to go watch a movie at the UP Film Institute tomorrow, Friday, the campus cinema will be showing Sa Ilalim ng Tulay at 5pm and Ka Oryang at 7.30pm.

For ticket inquiries, you may contact Rem at 09179012481 or just go to UP and get a ticket from the ticket booth. Tickets are sold at Php100 each.

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