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SI YNIK ANTE ANG ATING USC CHAIRPERSON March 7, 2012

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Opisyal na Pahayag ng UPLB DEVCOMSOC sa Hindi Pagproklama ng CEB kay Ynik Ante bilang UPLB USC Chairperson

Noong Pebrero 29, isang malinaw na panggigipit sa isa sa ating mga lider-estudyante ang natunghayan ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Los Baños. Si Ynik Ante, standard bearer ng partidong SAKBAYAN o Samahan ng Kabataan Para sa Bayan at miyembro rin ng UPLB Development Communicators’ Society, ay hindi iprinoklama bilang University Student Council (USC) chairperson-elect sa kabila ng pagkakapanalo sa bisa ng 1, 479 boto ng mga estudyante ng UP Los Baños.
Bago pa man mag-umpisa ang kampanya para sa eleksyon ay kinuwestiyon na ng ilang kasapi ng CEB o Central Electoral Board ang kandidatura ni Ante sa batayang ito ay hindi pa nakapagbabayad ng kanyang matrikula at naka-promissory note lamang. Ayon sa promissory note ni Ante na tinanggap ng CEB noong Pebrero 6 (panahon ng pagsusumite ng kandidatura), kailangan niya lamang mabayaran ang kanyang matrikula sa takdang araw na Pebrero 29 (walang nakasaad na oras), upang masabing siya ay lehitimong mag-aaral ng unibersidad.
Ganap na alas-5 ng hapon ng Pebrero 29 nang tuluyang makapagbayad si Ante. Ngunit sa hindi maipaliwanag na kadahilan, isang oras bago (alas-4 ng hapon) mabayaran ni Ante ang kanyang matrikula ay nagpasya na ang CEB na iproklama si Joyce Divino ng BUKLOD, pumangalawa kay Ante sa botohan, bilang USC chairperson-elect. Ito ay matapos makakalap ng maling impormasyon ang CEB kaugnay sa kakayahang magbayad ni Ante sa itinakdang araw.

Ito ay malinaw na pambabastos at pambabalewala sa boses at lakas ng mga estudyanteng bumoto at nagluklok kay Ynik Ante upang mamuno sa konseho. Ang kawalan ng kapasidad ni Ante na makapagbayad ng matrikula ay isa lamang indikasyon ng lumalala pang komersyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng edukasyon, hindi lamang sa UP kundi sa iba pang state colleges at universities sa bansa. Ito ay tahasang pagsagasa sa karapatan ng mga lider-estudyanteng handang maglingkod upang isulong ang karapatan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan. Hindi magiging malaking isyu ito kung iginalang lang sana ng ilang miyembro ng CEB ang karapatan ng mga mag-aaral na tulad ni Ante.

MARIING KINUKONDENA NG UPLB DEVCOMSOC ANG DESISYON NG CEB AT AMING IGINIGIIT NA SI YNIK ANTE ANG DAPAT IPROKLAMA BILANG USC CHAIR. Kaisa ng pinakamalawak at natatanging alyansa ng mga organisasyon sa UPLB na nagsusulong ng interes ng mga mag-aaral, ang SAKBAYAN, at ng kalakhan ng mga nagkakaisang Iskolar ng Bayan, hindi natin hahayaang manatili ang mga represibong hakbangin tulad nito. Hindi natin hahayaang manaig ang interes ng iilang ganid sa kapangyarihan. Bagkus, ating patuloy na itataguyod ang interes ng higit na nakararaming Iskolar ng Bayan. Patuloy tayong maninindigan laban sa komersiyalisasyon at pribatisasyon ng edukasyon upang hindi na maulit pa ang mga insidenteng tulad nito at hindi na madagdagan pa ang mga estudyanteng kapos sa pinansya at hindi makapagbayad dahil sa napakataas na matrikula sa pamantasan.
Higit sa lahat, nananawagan kami sa CEB na manindigan sa tama at nararapat. Huwag pigilan ang proklamasyon ni Ynik Ante bilang UPLB USC Chairperson sa dahilang walang kakayahang magbayad ng matrikula. Siya ay lehitimong estudyante at siya ay nararapat na mamuno sa konseho.

I-abante ang karapatan ni Ynik Ante, ang karapatan ng mga Iskolar ng Bayan!

DEFEND OUR VOTES!
PROCLAIM YNIK ANTE!

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Tungkol sa pag-upo ni Ynik Ante, mga rally, at anik-anik pang cheverloo March 3, 2012

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Note: This repost is an opinion essay by an org brod on the case involving our sis, Ynik Ante (SAKBAYAN), the duly elected Chairperson of the UPLB University Student Council last February 22-24 elections. Despite the legitimate mandate of the Iskolar ng Bayan of UPLB, the Central Electoral Board maliciously decided not to proclaim Ante and instead recommended the proclamation of BUKLOD-UPLB’s standard bearer, Joyce Divino (2nd Place) on grounds of technicality due to a supposed late-payment of tuition fee of Ms Ante. Apparently, Ante was able to have her Form 5 marked registered on the same day the CEB ruled against her. This is in effect rendered the CEB ruling moot. However, the CEB led by OSA Director Lt. Col Vivian Gonzales continues to disregard the mandate of Ms Ante, which is an utter insult and brazen violation of students rights. 

ni John Mervin Embate

Studyante ka muna bago ka maging leader?

Sa ibang aspekto, oo, maaari. Subalit sa kabilang banda,alalahanin mo na mamamayan ka muna ng bayan bago ka naging estudyante, at tungkulin mo na maglingkod. Mandatory yun, mga hijo at hija. Kung mag-aaral ka ng Pamantasan ng Pilipinas, wala kang choice kung hindi ang maglingkod. Yun nga lang, may tunay at may japeyk — kahit naman sa totoong buhay hindi ba?

At papaano mo ihihiwalay ang mga tunay na naglilingkod sa naglilingkod-lingkuran lang?

Ang naglilingkod, kayang magsakripisyo. Kayang ihanay ang prayoridad sa buhay — iuna ang pagsisilbi kaysa sa gimik, kaysa pamilya, kaysa sarili, at oo, sa pag-aaral.

Nakatrabaho ko si Ynik sa maraming pagkakataon. Sis ko siya. Kaibigan ko siya. At alam ko kung ano ang inilalaan niya para magsilbi, para maglingkod sa bayan, para sa mga estudyante. Sabihin na natin, na, oo, medyo hindi nga siya kabilang sa mga estudyante sa unibersidad na laging nagta-top sa klase, hindi nga siya yung tipo na tuta ng mga professors, pero hindi matatawaran ang oras at pawis at dugo na inaalay niya para sa pamantasan, at para sa mga estudyante na bumubuo sa kalakhan nito.

Tapos sasabihin ninyo na hindi siya mabuting ehemplo sa mga estudyante?

Hindi ko ito sinasabi dahil lang sa Sis ko sya. O dahil kaibigan ko siya. O dahil pula ako (oo, inaamin ko) at suportado ko ang pag-rarally sa lansangan. Sinasabi ko ito dahil ito ang alam kong tama, at ito ang ipinamulat sa akin ng apat na taon kong pananatili sa unibersidad.

At hindi ko lubos na masikmura ang paninira sa kanya ng mga tao. Hiling niyo at pakiusap ang katotohanan sa bawat posts niyo, sa bawat rantings niyo, ngunit laman ba nitong mga “sabi-sabi” na to ang katotohanan at katotohanan lamang?

Mahaba at nakakaburat ang usapin tungkol dito sa karapatan ni Ynik na maupo bilang USC Chair. Pero nagsalita na ang balota. Pinayagan syang kumandidato. Hinarang nung una, oo. Pero pumayag din. At ngayong nanalo. Tapos biglang babawiin?! Ano to, pawnshop?

Subalit ang hindi ko mas lalong matanggap ay ang mga estudyante na may negatibong pagkiling sa pagrarally. Well, hindi naman trabaho ng mga nag-rarally na i-please at i-pamper ang lahat ng estudyante. Pero nakakatawa lang. Tila lumalabas kasi na ang mga estudyante ngayon ay wala ng utang na loob at respeto sa mga taong naglalaan ng oras, ng panahon, nagsasakripisyo na magbilad sa araw, magpakabasa sa ulan, pipigilan pa ng mga pulis, mumurahin (kulang na lang duraan sa mukha), aarestuhin, ikulong, yapakan ang karapatan — lahat ng ito para lamang maisulong at maihain ang kanilang pinaglalaban. At sa impormasyon niyo lamang po, KAYO po ang kanilang pinaglalaban. Hindi po nila ito ginagawa para lamang makalamang. Hindi po nila ito ginagawa bilang pogi-points. Ginagawa po nila ito dahil ang layon po nila ay mapanatiling matatag ang karapatan ng mga estudyante at ng mga marginalized sector ng lipunan.

Oh eto. Isang bulok pero relevant na halimbawa. Nung pumutok ang TOFI, sino ang naunang ipinaglaban ang karapatan mong magbayad ng tamang tuition para sa isang state university? At ano nga bang batch mo, hijo, hija? ‘08? ‘09? ‘10? Teh, hindi ka pa estudyante ng UP, yung kapakanan mo na ang ibinabalandra nila sa kalsada.

At pagkatapos, sasabihin niyo na naiinis kayo sa mga nagrarally? Na porke may karapatan silang magrally, e pwede na silang magrally kahit kelan nila gusto? Hindi po ito pagtetext, o pag-iinternet, o pag-mamasturbate na pwede niyong gawin kung kelan niyo naisin. May purpose po ito. May halaga. At nakakalungkot na ipinaglalaban nila ang mga taong walang-pake, mga taong-kebs, kumbaga, mga taong tae.

Ikaw ba, ano na bang nagawa mo sa pamantasan? Sa palagay mo ba ang pag-aaral at pag-eexcel sa klase ay sapat lang? Isa kang mabuting estudyante kung gagraduate ka with honors. Pero naging mabuti ka bang mamamayan?

Tandaan mo, hindi ka lang estudyante sa Pamantasan ng Pilipinas; estudyante ka NG Pamantasan ng Pilipinas. Magkaibang-bagay yun. Bitibit mo ang pangalan ng iyong bayan kaya mayroong nakapatong na responsibilidad sa’yo para maglingkod. At ang paglilingkod na iyon ay tagus-tagusan mula sa simpleng pag-upo sa klase, pakikinig sa titser, pagsusulat ng notes, pagpapaphoto-copy ng handouts, at pampeperpek sa eksam. Kung ganoon kang klaseng estudyante, sabihin mo nga, anong pinagkaiba mo sa estudyante ng ibang pamantasan? (Pero sa loob-loob mo, kung makapagsabi ka ng UP and Others, aba, kapal mo lang!)

Video: Lantern Flying for Sendong Victims at UPLB January 20, 2012

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Snaps: Lantern Flying for Typhoon Sendong Victims @ UPLB January 20, 2012

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On the night of January 19 (incidentally, my birthday), some 600 lanterns were flown into the sky of UP Los Banos to symbolize the sympathies of the Los Banos community to the victims and survivors of typhoon Sendong (International Name: Washi) that devastated the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Mindanao and Dumaguete in Negros. Most importantly, the event was able to raise modest amount from the lanterns sold to individuals and organizations for the benefit of the affected residents, specifically in the rehabilitation efforts.

Heart-shaped lantern

One for Sendong Victims

Up up and away

BEWARE of this Modus Operandi (This happened inside UPLB) December 20, 2011

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BEWARE! Actual account of a supposed crime that transpired yesterday morning at the Freedom Park, UPLB as narrated by a friend. In the interest of public awareness and vigilance:

“Alarming… Kanina sa Freedom Park may mga highschool students na lumapit sakin, ilan sa kanila medyo umiiyak. Akala ko umaarte lang, pa-cute- so highschool kumbaga. Pero ng magkwento sakin ang mga bata at humingi ng tulong, naawa naman ako at natakot at the same time. Sabi nila, habang nagpi-picnic sila, may lumapit na mama na naka-motor at tinanong kung naka-register na daw ba sa opisina ng UPLB ang mga gadgets na dala nila like camera, phones, etc. Noong sabihin nila na hindi pa, nagmamadali daw ang mama na kinuha ang mga gamit nila. Pero ang nakakatakot, isiinama pati ang isa sa mga babae nilang kasama, pinilit nilang sumama din sa mama pero huwag na daw dahil isa lang ang pede i-angkas sa motor nya. Sa pinaghalo-halong takot at kaba, samahan pa na nagtiwala sila sa mamang akala nila ay UPLB staff, hindi nila nakuha ang plate number ni kuya.

Sinamahan ko ang mg bata sa UPF, may ilan na palang classmates nila ang nagreport dun. Kinausap ko si manong UPF about sa nangyari, sagot ni manong ” Yun nga eh, di naman nila nakuha ang plate number, basta motor na blue at nakared na t-shirt.” pero kasi po, isinaman kasi yung classmate nilang babae, sabi ko kay manong. Nagulat naman ako ng sabihin ni manong, “Yun na nga, pinapaikot na nmen ang mga patro,” at maya maya dinugsungan ni manong : “kaso isang oras na kasi wala na yon, mahirap yang inyong yan” (sa tonong parang balewala lang o siguro ganun ko sya tinanggap sa isip ko, diko din sigurado)…

Dahil may kailangan din akong puntahan at may mga taong naghihintay sakin, minabuti ko ng magpaalam at ipaubaya sa kanila ang nangyari. Nakakalungkot na hindi ko nakuha ang contacts ng mga bata para makabalita sa nangyari. Sana lang ligtas ang batang tinangay ng mama”.

UPDATE: The Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Community Affairs has informed my friend that the ‘kidnapped’ girl was found safe in the vicinity of the University Library. Apparently, the motive was only robbery.

Justice for Given Grace! October 14, 2011

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Given Grace Cebanico was a BS Computer Science junior at the University of the Philippines Los Baños when she fell victim to ‘rape’ and then murder around the the university’s vicinity last Tuesday.Let’s offer our prayers for the repose of her soul. May she REST IN PEACE!

JUSTICE for GIVEN GRACE.

Report here.

An org sis and UPLB grad figured in Cambodia bus accident August 4, 2011

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An org sis, Nina Abad (UPLB Devcomsoc) figured in a serious bus crash in Cambodia last Monday, which unfortunately rendered her right leg being amputated due to the injuries she sustained. As of now, she is stable and will have to undergo further tests. Details of the accident were already picked up by media orgs, GMA News and Inquirer.

Below is the collective statement/press release of concerned friends and brods/sisses from Devcomsoc, calling for help and assistance to our sis:


Nina Kristine Abad is a 30-year-old travel enthusiast who has visited some of the best tourist sites around the world. However, during her recent journey to Cambodia, she met a tragic accident. Last Monday (August 1, 2011), the tourist bus she was riding collided with a truck while en route to Vietnam from the Cambodian tourist hub of Siem Reap. Seven passengers were seriously wounded, while two others died from the said incident. Luckily, Nina survived. However, due to the severity of her injuries, her right leg had to be amputated. She is currently confined at the Calmette Hospital in Phnom Penh.

Despite such adversity, brave Nina remains optimistic and hopes that her injuries will not keep her from continuing to pursue her dream of travelling around the world. But first she needs to recover from this life-altering event.

Immediate and overwhelming support from various agencies of the Philippine government, such as the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh, as well as that of Filipinos and friends residing in Cambodia and around the world has helped keep Nina’s spirits up. Her family are on their way to Cambodia to be with her. The UPLB Development Communicators’ Society, to which Nina is a member, continues to rally for support.

Nina is in a strange country and the trials she is facing are daunting. We, her organization’s brothers and sisters are now humbly calling for your prayers and support. We all believe that with the propert attention of both the media and key officials and agencies of the Philippine government will help avoid the possibility of having this incident glossed over and swept under the rug. Please help us by disseminating this information to ensure that Nina will be able to recover and return home to her beloved country.

For those who wish to have more information and offer assistance please kindly contact Benjamin Juan Delos Santos at contact number: 09178191881. For those who wish to offer financial assistance, please send them to this account:

Account Name: Sheena Eledi June A. Padilla
Account No. 2080141801
Branch: BDO Aegis People Support Branch

Living Independently June 27, 2011

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Living away from home is a recurring idea that comes and goes in my mind since I decided to study in Los Baños almost a decade ago. Now it’s timely since we just moved in to our new apartment, relatively near to my workplace. The catch, however, is that I’m with Ive, of course. Well, speaking of living in together among couple, mostly students in this nature setting is a common occurrence. Not to mention the mostly co-ed arrangement in dormitories and apartments alike. This is also apparent among organizations (org houses). But this is done on assumption of regularity and wholesomeness.

This same setup reminds me of how my parents were surprised upon learning during a visit to our apartment that I am sharing the unit with my org mates (brods/sisses) before I graduated. Proactively though, by the time they arrived there, we were able to keep the bottles of alcohol and ashtrays off their sight.

Indeed, college living, hundred, if not thousand kilometers away from home, is once in a lifetime experience. Many students can share a wide range of formidable and unforgettable stories, some even become legends. For the well-off students, a fully furnished dormitory or apartment (the likes of Westbrook, St Therese, 5th of September, Del Ray, etc) is the ideal choice. But for struggling students, the modest dorms inside the campus (Men’s, Women’s, New, Vet and Forestry dorms) and the makeshift bed spaces (along Grove) are a better and affordable choices (actually you got no choice).

This is the reality away from home where no one could prevent or stop you from your indulgences, except maybe for lack of money and when neighbors alert the barangay due to excessive noise, either because of music or indiscriminate laughter.
When it comes to food, mostly I guess everyone has a piece to share on skipping meals or crashing on a friend’s house to partake of any food there is to survive the day while waiting for your allowance. Good thing for me, I was then staying in Ellen’s which allows me to add on my meals to my rent.

Nevertheless, I still had experienced skipping many meals and settling on the infamous pancit canton and bread diet for a week. We also have the toppings n’ soup and proven n’ rice meals or avail of the orientation-hoppings or open tambayan roundups. You just have to endure the long lines or the look in other’s eyes if you’re sensitive.

Well that was yesterday. Now that I am already working, and relies mainly on my minimal earnings from work, I can well avail of other things I don’t get used to avail, especially food or gadgets. But the challenge is to strike a balance in every aspect of my finances (read: budgeting). Unlike the budgeting in college, I am now on my own. I can’t afford anymore to just ask my parents or siblings that I needed this and that. In fact, by choice that, if possible, I tried to lend a little to them. Plus, as mother would always remind me, save on for the future.

So when Ive graduated last semester, we decided that it’s wise and economical to stay together and share on expenses. We got a two-bedroom modest apartment at a reasonable rate. Since it’s within a village and inside a compound, we find it relatively safe and quiet. And since its bigger than my previous houses the past 8 years, we’re opening it for transient friends and meetings of our orgs.

Indeed, the advantage of studying or working away from home enables you to stand on your own. You can opt to do what you want, but marrying independence with responsibility is another case.

Ode to the Summer Snow April 15, 2011

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Indeed, UPLB, or Los Baños for that matter, is tantamount to nature and its underlying wonders.

When I was still in college, it awes me to see the unique display of nature’s wonders expressed through the shedding of cotton like material from the kapok (Ceiba pentandra) tree prevalent in Mt Makiling and inside the campus. This emergent tree of tropical adaptation has the ability to produce its own cotton-like fibers within its elongated ‘fruit’, which imminently cracks during summer, giving way to the shedding. The fiber is light, highly buoyant and very resilient, hence, the illusion of a snow fall during these times of the year. However, in recent years, some individuals (including my former professor) observed an unusual delay if not non-occurence of the ‘snow fall’, including that of the narra leaves and flowers surrounding the Humanities building. Hypothetical ideas suggest that this may have to do with climate change.


Ode to the UPLB Winter (2009)

This year’s nature extravaganza of some sort is exceptional (see photo). But more than than the aesthetic appeal of the shedding, lies a meaningful semblance to students. That these times of the year highlighted by the snow fall, signify survival and triumph from the rigid education in UP. On the other hand, for others whose fate are hanging, the kapok tree is a constant reminder of determination and consistency. While for alumni (like me) and others who frequent the campus, this is an added purse to UPLB’s identity. Remembering this summer scene ellicit some amounts of nostalgia and reminiscence.

(photo courtesy of kreg) *This was originally posted in April 2009

Self-Certified Runner November 9, 2010

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Some say running (as against sprint) is pathetic.Just because we are capable of doing it anytime we want doesn’t makes it less of a sport, all the more a hobby. Actually, it has been prescribed not just as a fitness activity but a competitive sport and advocacy activity. I was one of those who considered this as some unchallenging activity, until I joined a certain run-for-a-cause activity. My view was completely altered and I’m one of the many now who are into running (including fun walk/trekk). And by the day, I am trying to surpass my performance. Let me share here some of my engagements in running:

Makiling Trekathon Fun Trekking for Mt Makiling 18 April 2010
Distance: 5 Kilometers
Is a fun trekking event that aims to enhance understanding and awareness about Mount Makiling -its conservation status and importance. Its objective is to raise funds for the rehabilitation of some eroded slopes and hiking trails that were damaged by strong typhoons in the last three years.

Biodiversity Run 2010T 04 September 2010
Distance: 5 Kilometers
The Biodiversity Run 2010 is an advocacy race aimed at promoting the rich biodiversity of Mt. Makiling Forest and nearby ecosystems. The race promotes road running as an affordable avenue to physical fitness, mental well-being, ecological awareness, and enhancement of local tourism.

RUN FOR PASIG RIVER 10.10.10
Distance: 10 kilometers (Ayala Ave-MOA Seaside)
A fun-run to come together and rally for one common cause – to save Ilog Pasig and give the coming generations a clear future. It will also attempt to break the Guiness World Record for the most fun-run runners.

This is by far the most exhausting run I had so far. The prize being, an injured ankle and fatigues-induced fever.

NEXT STOP, RUN-4UR-Rice on 28 November.

*Bows to the PCARRD Mountaineering and Outdoor Club and PCARRD Management