Rock Rizal rouses UPLB community’s nationalism

by Nicolle Andrea S. A. Payuyo and Gumamela Celes Bejarin

UPLB, Laguna—Some of the country’s best musicians rocked the UPLB Freedom park yesterday as a tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary.

Some of the country's best musicians performed at the Rock Rizal concert held at UPLB Freedom Park. (Photo by Nicolle Andrea S. A. Payuyo)

The concert is a different mode of learning which aims to enhance the UPLB’s sense of service and patriotism as Filipinos. Popular local bands and artists who performed were Oktaves, Sandwich, Ebe Dancel, Gary Granada, Lolita Carbon and many more. There were also performances from UPLB students during the battle of the bands. The performing artists wrote songs based on the different facets of Dr. Jose Rizal’s life.

Rock Ed Philippines, a volunteer group working to provide venues and events for alternative education, is the sponsoring organization for Rock Rizal. Local hosts for this event are the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Office of the Dean, UPLB Department of Social Sciences (DSS) History Division, and the Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA).

Student organizations who participated in organizing the event are Movement of Students for Progressive Leadership in UP (MOVE UP), Buklod-UPLB, Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAYAN), and UPSILON SIGMA PHI (USP).

Rock Rizal is a concert organized as a tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary. It is also part of the 40th  founding anniversary celebration of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Bringing the concert to Laguna is apt since it is the home province of our beloved national hero. Rizal, who represents the synergy of arts and science, is an epitome of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Enzo-Kevin Death: LB Times Chronology of Events


-At around four in the afternoon, LB Times received a task to cover a suspected murder of two unspecified people at the Flatrocks area of the Makiling Mountain Forest Reserve, a part of the UP Los Baños Campus.

-There were talks that the two bodies were ‘Kevin’ and ‘Enzo’, both students of UPLB.

-The only unofficial reports LB Times gathered before the coverage were:

(from New Dorm residents) Kevin and Enzo both reside at the New Dormitory; all residents agreed that the last time they saw either of the two PERSONALLY was SATURDAY (Dec. 1, 2012) and the last time they had communication with either of the two was SUNDAY (Dec. 2, 2012);

The New Dorm residents also stated that many of them planned to trek on Sunday. But only Enzo and Kevin pursued the trip.

The New Dorm Residents also said that Kevin was sick during the weekend.

(from the College of Human Ecology students and friends of Enzo) Enzo posted a status on Facebook telling that he is going on to hike/trek (it was posted Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012).

(from the Student Councils) Even before confirmation, students have already passed group messages and Facebook posts which ASSUMED that Kevin and Enzo were the identities of the two bodies seen.

10:37 PM

-According to the UPLB University Police Force, the bodies were recovered and were transferred to Funeraria Regina in Brgy. Anos, Los Baños but the SOCO and the Police ordered the bodies not to be opened until a go signal is given (they were inside a van).

11:16 PM

-The LB Times arrived at FUNERARIA REGINA. While there, the television was turned on to SAKSI (GMA 7) and had this report:

SAKSI said that there was NO CONFIRMATION yet of the identities of TWO bodies retrieved.

Also stated in SAKSI’s report: TWO people went on to hike Sunday morning (possibly Enzo and Kevin); after a few minutes, there was said to be SEVEN more people who hiked; however, there is no information regarding the seven people

-some friends of Enzo from the College of Human Ecology were also present.


12:00 MN

-FIVE members of the Valdez (Enzo) family arrive at Funeraria Regina; people from UPLB contacted them beforehand.

-12:15 AM

-UPLB University Police Force arrives at Funeraria Regina; Valdez family requested for the body to be inspected to confirm Enzo’s identity.

12:20 AM

-UPLB University Police Force contacts PNP Chief for clearance to inspect the bodies; they came up with a deal to go to the PNP Crime Laboratory (in Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang, Laguna) as the retrieved items from the two bodies were already there.

12:40 AM

-The Police and the Valdez family went on to proceed to the Crime Lab; The LB Times travels from Funeraria Regina to PNP Crime Lab in Camp Vicente Lim, Canlubang; the bodies remained at Funeraria Regina.

12:50 AM

-Police, Valdez family and The LB Times arrived at Camp Vicente Lim in Canlubang.

12:53 AM

-Valdez family enters PNP Crime Lab while The LB Times remains outside the building.

12:59 AM

-Slippers, a face towel and a striped T-shirt were shown to the Valdez family.

1:00 AM

-Mrs. Valdez (Enzo’s mother) confirms that the things shown were Enzo’s properties. Valdez family confirms Enzo Valdez as one of the two bodies retrieved.

-Mrs. Valdez and Enzo’s elder sister become emotional.

1:16 AM

-Police reminds the family that the bodies will be autopsied later this morning for official confirmation.

-Valdez family decided to go home and return to Funeraria Regina come sunlight.

7:30 AM

-Unang Hirit’s (GMA 7) morning news reported that the two bodies recovered were correctly identified to be Enzo and Kevin. Kevin was said to be identified by his friends through the shorts he wore.

-Also, in Unang Hirit’s news report, the log book at the Flatrocks was shown for about 2 to 3 seconds. The LB Times could not record its entirety, since it was just a glimpse but it was clear that there were names after Kevin and Enzo’s log-in.

8:03 AM

-The LB Times arrives at Funeraria Regina. Ms. Gina Umali, the proprietor of the funeral homes, was there.

8:17 AM

-The father of Enzo, Mr. Marlou Valdez, and Enzo’s sister arrived at Funeraria Regina.

8:35 AM

-SOCO is on their way for the autopsy according to Ms. Gina Umali.

8:45 AM

-Funeraria Regina prepares items/chemicals for embalming (e.g. alcohol, gloves,

9:06 AM

-UPLB University Police Force arrives at Funeraria Regina.

9:12 AM

-UPF interviews Mr. Valdez; shows video of Flatrocks.

-UPF tells Mr. Valdez that the bodies were recovered floating on water (sa tubig mismo nakuha ang mga bangkay).

9:22 AM

-Funeral Team already prepared for autopsy; an unpleasant smell is already noticeable.

9:44 AM

-CIDG arrives; questions UPF for details.

-UPF: Initial Investigation was “nalunod”.

9:48 AM

-SOCO arrives; whole team is ready.

10:00 AM

-The LB Times initiated to leave.

-The entire Funeral Team along with SOCO and other authorities left for the autopsy which was to be done in a building near the Heaven’s Garden in Brgy. Anos, Los Baños (the odor would affect the neighbors if the autopsy would be done at Funeraria Regina).

1:23 PM

-The LB Times returns to Funeraria Regina; the bodies were not there anymore.

-The LB Times arrives at a building near Loyola (Heaven’s Garden) were the autopsy was conducted.

1:47 PM

-The bodies were already embalmed; SOCO and the doctor (Superintendent Roy Camarillo) who conducted the autopsy were not on the spot anymore.

-Enzo’s remains were to be transferred to St. Peter’s Chapel in Calamba.

1:55 PM

-The LB Times travels to PNP in at Brgy. Baybayin for more details.

2:00 PM

Meanwhile, at the New Dormitory, UPLB Chancellor Rex Victor Cruz and Vice Chancellor Oscar Zamora escorted Kevin and Enzo’s respective families while they vacated the lockers and rooms of Kevin and Enzo.

2:04 PM

-The LB Times arrives at PNP but could not find substantial information.

-The LB Times travels to St. Peter Chapels in Calamba.

3:04 PM

-The LB Times arrives at St. Peter’s Chapel where Mark Enzo’s body is located.

-His uncle, Vergilio Sagum (a former Muntinlupa Police himself) was there with the St. Peter Chapels employee.

 3:15 PM

-His uncle expresses his disbelief/disappointment over the no-foul play result.

3:27 PM

-The LB Times receives an update: According to Interaksyon’s report, there was no foul play; but ABS-CBN and GMA reported that the case is still “under investigation”.

4:53 PM

-Mr. Valdez arrives.

-Mr. Valdez immediately calls for justice as he noticed some marks on Enzo’s back during the autopsy; he doesn’t believe that the cause is drowning.

-Mr. Valdez also told The LB Times that they’ve already vacated Mark Enzo’s room at the New Dorm; there is no trace of his cellphone and handbag.

-Mr. Valdez noted that he called Enzo on Monday (Dec. 3) morning, to notify Enzo about the cash he sent via LBC; There were no responses from the phone (whether answered or dropped); But the phone was ringing.

5:22 pm

-The LB Times leaves, going back to their headquarters.

7:00 pm

[Interview with the College of Human Ecology (CHE) Student Council]

-last semester, Mark Enzo resigned from the student council.

-Enzo is usually seen around CHE, especially in his organization OIKOS according to CHE SC.

-the CHE SC’s last personal contact with Enzo was on Friday (Nov. 30) during a workshop for aCHEan 2012.

-LAST TEXT of ENZO according to CHE SC: Dec. 1 (Saturday) 10:51 PM.

-Dec. 2 (Sunday) was aCHEan 2012; CHE SC had no contact whatsoever regarding Enzo, but they also noticed his FB statuses.

-CHE SC notes that there really is somehow a hint of conflict shown in Enzo’s statuses but they were clueless who could have bad blood with Enzo, if ever there is bad blood.

-WELLA (CHE SC) who is also a member of the Kapatirang Plebeians cited that Enzo was somehow not in good terms with some of the members of Kapatirang Plebeians; however she noted that whatever conflict there was between Enzo and Plebes, it won’t boil down to an extent that will take lives away.

-JEAN of CHE SC: (Enzo’s close friend as well) Enzo told me before that he “doesn’t want to enlist in PE 2 in swimming because he doesn’t know how to swim.”

-CHE SC also expresses its disappointment regarding the negligence of whoever was on duty for the Flatrocks logbook during that day; They asked why they were not urgent enough once they found out there were two people who were unable to log out.

9:00 pm

-in AksyonTV’s (Ch. 41) Andar ng mga Balita’s report, Los Banos resident Gloria Castillo tells the possibility of the two victims being na-engkanto; she tells TV5 that “we should take care of Makiling.” She cited a similar case in 1983 where 4 students also drowned in Makiling.


10:30 AM

-The LB Times arrives at the New Dormitory.

[Interview with Datu Mokalid, President of the New Dormitory Residents Association]

-Enzo resided at room 102 while Kevin resided at room 201.

-Datu last saw Enzo and Kevin about TWO weeks ago.

-According to Kevin’s roommates, Kevin was indeed sick (trangkaso) on Nov. 29 (Thursday).

-According to Datu and to Kevin’s roommates, Kevin talked to his mother via phone call; His mother requested Kevin to go home since he is sick.

-The last time the servants of the New Dorm canteen saw Kevin was Saturday night (Dec. 1) as he was eating.

-Residents of room 202 (adjacent to Kevin’s room 201) last saw Kevin Saturday. Kevin was sharing internet with them.

2:30 PM

-The LB Times went to the PNP at Brgy. Baybayin to ask for updates regarding the incident. The Police told them that the case is already closed and the progress report is already submitted to the Provincial Office.

UPLB to enforce campus security

by Gumamela Celes Bejarin

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs Dr. Enrique Tolentino assures that they are doing their best to enforce campus security.

After the incident at Flatrocks last week, where two UPLB students were found dead, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA) will impose stricter security measures.

Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that the place where the two students decided to trek is supposed to be off-limits. The signage there was apparently stolen and vandalized by some people at the Makiling Forest Reserve (MFR).

The OVCCA is planning to put up a signage that cannot be easily stolen and vandalized like rocks.

At the checkpoint, the hikers will also be required to leave their IDs or valuables that they can retrieve once they log out. The measure will be done so that the hikers will be obligated to log out.

According to Vice Chancellor Tolentino, the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) is doing an investigation as to why the forest guards failed to check that the two students were not able to log out.

Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that the MFR is not easy to secure since the area is very big. He added that it is very difficult to guard because there are many entry and exit points. “We have a very big task,” he said.

There is also a proposal that hikers should be accompanied by tour guides. Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that extra fees may be charged, but that is all for the hikers’ security.

MFR was closed for the mean time. Vice Chancellor Tolentino said that they will be implementing the new regulations once they open the MFR.

“We are hoping to have something before the year ends,” said Vice Chancellor Tolentino.

Vice Chancellor Tolentino added that while the incident is very unfortunate, he would still say that it is safe in the campus.

17 candidates showcase their talents for Miss Los Baños

by Ladylove May B. Baurile

Los Baños, Laguna – 17candidates representing the 13 barangays of Los Baños showed their talents last night for the Miss Los Baños Talent Night.

Among the representatives are Arnie Delideli (Mayondon), Jarmaine Acebedo (Bayog), Margielyn Icarro (Lalakay), Jane Frances Palis (San Antonio), Maricar de Luna (Maahas), Julie Anne Baltazar (San Antonio), Louisse Ann Perez (Timugan), Aira Mae Trinidad (Batong Malake), Roxanne Siman (Bambang), Lovely Garcia (Bambang), Beverly Hintural (Bayog), Victoria Banagan (Timugan), Jielleen Banatlao (Lalakay), Rubelyn Malitic (Bayog), April Rose Dichoso (San Antanio), Mikki Pamulaklakin (San Antonio) and Jonnadel Dongsal (Timugan).

Overwhelmed ako kasi ako yung nag-iisang nagrerepresent nung barangay namin and flattered kasi nandoon ang support nila (I was overwhelmed because I am the sole candidate representing our village, and the support they’ve shown me is flattering),” said Arnie Delideli of Brgy. Mayundon. She also added that when joining pageant you are really expecting to win but not for popularity but for experience.

“I won’t expect too much [on coronation night], simpleng maging member lang ako dito masaya na ako,” shared Mikki Pamulaklakin of Brgy. San Antonio.

Beauties from the different barangays of Los Baños showcase their talents in a night of song, dance, and wonder as they compete for the titile of Miss Los Baños 2012. (Photo by Joan Nacorda)

The judges for the said event are Prof. Joan Luna of UPLB Department of Human Kinetics, Mr. Jose Emmanuel Lingao of McDonald’s Vega Center, Mr. Ever John Guce of Globe Telecom, Ms. Emma Izon of Philippine High School for the Arts and the chairman of the panel of judges, Prof. Naomi Enriquez of UPLB Department of Human Kinetics and Philippine Dance Sports Association.

The criteria for judging are execution (2.5 points), originality (2.5 points), choreography or musicality (2 points), projection (1 point), costume (1 point) and overall impact (1 point).

According to Ms. Twila Torres, the coordinator of the event, Miss Los Baños was originally a part of the Bañamos Festival but was rescheduled to focus on the flood affected barangays. “Since this is Christmas and we wish to give the people little happiness, merriments, festivities, the municipality… decided to do it here since because of the Habagat parang it’s not a proper time to celebrate,” added Ms. Torres.

Miss Los Baños, now on its eleventh year, is a part of Paskuhan sa Bagong Los Baños. The swimming competition occurs 8 am today and the coronation night on December 15.

The 17 candidates posed for one last time. The winner of the title Miss Los Baños, the Best in Talent award and other minor awards will be done at the Coronation Night this December 15, 2012. (Photo by Joan Nacorda)

3 UPLB students commemorated at Faith Rally

By Joan Nacorda, Kamille Anne Anarna, and Nicolle Andrea Payuyo

Los Baños, Laguna – A faith rally  was organized by the UPLB University Student Council at the CAS Fair 2012 in commemoration of students Vicky Reyes, Mark Lorenz Valdez, and Kevin Lagadon.

Vice Chancellor for Instruction Oscar Zamora in his opening remarks talked about moving on in the spirit of Christmas. “This could happen to anybody. Let’s be prepared. Youth is not a guarantee,” Vice Chancellor Zamora reminds the students. Zamora also added that the events have shown the Los Baños spirit.

Messages from the friends and fellow students were made. Regret was one of the central themes of the messages. They also talked about their fond memories with their late friends. After the messages, there was a short prayer made by USC counselor Arthur Holt together with the lighting of candles and release of white balloons.

Abby dela Cruz, USC Vice-chairperson and Officer-in-charge, says that the faith rally was made to challenge the security system in the campus.

Vicky Reyes was a student who was murdered in her home in Biñan, Laguna last November 19. Mark Lorenz “Enzo” Valdez and Kevin Lagadon were found dead at the Flatrocks, Mt. Makiling Trail last December 6. Police reports say Valdez and Lagadon’s death was an accident.

UPLB Cagers triumphant in Chairman’s Cup 2012

by Levi Verora

Los Baños, Laguna- The UPLB Men’s Basketball Varsity Team unleashed its full potential as it convincingly beat Team Yellow, 77-66 to capture the Chairman’s Cup title at the Copeland Gymnasium of UP Los Baños yesterday.

Team captain Gian Vergara led the balanced attack with 12 points while sophomore point guard Arvin Dela Peña added 11 in the team’s victory. The UPLB men’s squad opened the game with 9 straight points and never looked back. The varsity team sustained a double-digit lead until the 4th period and were able to fend off a comeback attempt by the Yellow Squad.

The Chairman’s Cup 2012 was organized by Mr. Vir Marilag of the Department of Human Kinetics. The participants were UPLB constituents, like faculty members, staff and community service brigade (CSB) members. Four teams participated in the competition: Team Yellow, Team Green, Team White and the UPLB Varsity Team. The UPLB Varsity Team bested the field with a perfect slate of 5 wins overall.

The Chairman’s Cup was organized to prepare the men’s squad for a tougher competition this upcoming State Colleges and Universities Athletic Association (SCUAA) tournament slated in January 10-15, 2012 in Mindoro.

The UPLB Men’s Basketball Varsity roster for A.Y. 2012-2013 will be bound for Mindoro for SCUAA 2013.