Los Baños welcomes Pilgrim Relics of St. Therese

By: Kamille Anne Anarna

Residents of Los Baños and nearby communities gathered at the St. Therese of the Child Jesus Parish (STCJP) in Los Baños to welcome the pilgrim relics of St. Therese.

The pilgrim relics was transferred from Camp Vicente Lim to STCJP through motorcade, with short stopovers: Camp Eldridge, Rhodas Subdivision, Umali Subdivision, UPLB freedom park, Putho, Collegeville, Pleasant Village and Hillside.

The pilgrim relics, moved via motorcade along Lopez Avenue, Brgy. Batong Malake, was welcomed by students of Lopez Elementary School, Colegio de Los Baños and Los Baños National High school. At exactly 12:50 pm, the pilgrim relics arrived at the STCJP.

Bishop Bernard C. Cortez, DD, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Manila, and former STCJP priest presided the welcoming rites of the pilgrim relics.

The Veneration by pilgrims followed the welcoming rites immediately, which will continue until 12 midnight.

The Scheduled Activities are as follows:

FRIDAY, 01 February

12:01 AM onwards – Veneration except at

4-4:30 AM -Asalto

5:30 AM – Lauds

6:00 AM – Holy Eucharist

12:00 NN – Midday Prayers

5:00 PM – Vespers

5:30 PM – Pontifical Mass (Bshp. Leo M. Dorona, DDB, D.D.)

6:30 PM – Holy hour in honor of St. Therese

10:00 PM – Night Prayers

SATURDAY, 02 February

12:01 AM – 8:00 AM – Veneration except at

4:00-4:30 AM – Asalto

5:30 AM – Lauds

6:00 AM – Holy Eucharist and Farewell Rites

8:00 AM – The Pilgrim Relics leave STCJP for Lucena

There will also be a special blessing for those baptized Therese, Teresa, Teresita and Teresito during the Pontifical Masses.

This is the third visit of the pilgrim relics of St. Therese in the Philippines.

Senatoriables face UPLB students

By Kathleen Mae M. Idnani and Easter Paz Issa D. Paulmanal

Seven senatorial candidates for the Philippine mid-term elections faced UPLB students and voiced their stand on various issues in “Ang Pagsusuri: Pagkilatis sa mga Susunod ng mga Lingkod-Bayan” held January 31, 2013 at the D. L. Umali Auditorium.

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Greco Belgica, Rizalito David, Baldomero Falcone, Marwil Llasos, and Christian Seneres participated in the discussions which revolved around issues like mining, sin taxes, reproductive health, cybercrime prevention, K-12 education, divorce, and campus militarization. They later on talked about their political platforms which centered on health, environment, education, and security among many others.

Miriam Grace Go from Rappler, Atty. Damcel Torres of the UPLB College of Public Affairs, UPLB University Student Council Chairperson Abigaile  Dela Cruz, and Joan Nacorda of the UPLB Parliament served as panelists.

After the open forum, the candidates recited the “Panata para sa Kabataang Pilipino” and signed a contract of commitment as a commitment to the audience and the people as a whole that they will perform their duties once elected.

Ang Pagsusuri was made possible by the UP Student Council, UP Padayon, UPLB Student Council, CDC Student Council, and other organizations.

8th Genetics Camp held at UPLB

By Ma. Khrisma Soliven with reports from Kezia Grace Jungco

Over 114 high school students and teachers from different parts of Luzon gathered for the 8th Genetics Camp held at the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) , University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) last January 19-20.

For this year, the annual event is themed “GENEStability: Sustainable Agricultural Productivity through Genetics and Biotechnology.” It aims to introduce and promote the science of Genetics through its applications. Participating schools include: Recto Memorial National High School (RMNHS), Quezon National High School, St. Anne College, Laguna College, and Don Bosco.

Prof. Mia Desiree Azañes-Verdeprado and Prof. Cheryl Agdaca delivered lectures on the “Introduction of Genetics” and on the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”during the first day of the event. The participants were also given activities so they can further appreciate the event. They saw the human DNA structure through a 3D-origami model. They also had a hands-on experience on the extraction and isolation of DNA through their own cheek cells. An educational tour at BIOTECH-UPLB was also conducted for the participants.

Symposia on “Biotechnology” and “Newborn Screening” was also conducted by Dr. Rhodora Aldemita and by Dr. Merlyn Mendioro. Gene Camp’s first day ended with a Socials Night wherein the participants from different schools got to interact with their co-participants.

On the second day, Dr. Gabriel Romero of Monsanto Philippines talked on the importance of biotechnology in sustaining agricultural productivity. The students were given a tour to the facilities of the UPLB campus. Teachers were also trained with the effective teaching of Genetics, which was facilitated by Mr. Jickerson Lado, an instructor at the IBS and junior adviser of the UPLB Genetics Society.

Jenny Guevarra of RMHS said, “We teachers attended this for us to learn new things for our students.” She said that the camp had done well in introducing Genetics to students while letting them enjoy it.

Several contests were also held during the second day of the Gene Camp. The said activities include: Genetics Inter-High School Quiz, Essay Writing Contest, Poster and Slogan Making Contest and Debate. Over-all champion school for the camp was Laguna College (LC).

Isabel Louise Reyes of LC, one of the participants and chosen as the Best Performing Student in the camp said, “Talaga pong hindi maikakaila na nakakaenjoy po tong camp.”

UPLB Genetics Society Head Rufus Thomas Adducul also stressed the importance of Genetics. “Through Genetics, we bring about sustainable development, food sustainability, and many more.”

LB locals, candidates walk for a SAFE 2013 elections

by Vhernadette A. Oracion and Kimberly B. Salamatin

About 300 participants joined the two-kilometer Secure And Fair Election (SAFE) 2013 unity walk and prayer rally for from Olivarez Plaza in to the municipal covered court in Los Baños, Laguna on Sunday, Jan. 13.

The Los Baños Municipal Philippine National Police took part in the event in cooperation with the electoral candidates and different sectors of the community. Police Chief Inspector Conrado T. Masongsong and Election Officer Randy P. Banzuela led the activity that was attended by Mayor Anthony F. Genuino and 16 government officials who were at one with the goal of a peaceful May 2013 elections.

Among those present in the activity were government officials including Mayor Anthony F. Genuino, Vice Mayor Josephine Sumangil-Evangelista, Councilor Julius Moliñawe, Councilor Jay Rolusta, Councilor Domingo Galang, Councilor Benedicto Alborida, and ABC President Gaudencio Macatangay.

PNP, COMELEC prep for elections: set up checkpoints, ups police visibility

by John Paul M. Omac and Belle Marjorie A. Dela Vega

The Los Baños Philippine National Police (PNP) together with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) continue to intensify their efforts to prevent crime and promote order in the municipality in preparation for the upcoming May 2013 elections.

LB Police conduct a checkpoint along the national highway (PCCARD) as part of their efforts to promote peace and order for the upcoming 2013 election (JPMOmac)

Handang-handa na ang kapulisan ng Los Banos”, assures Police Chief Inspector Conrado Masongsong, chief of Los Banos PNP, four months before the 2013 elections.

The local police has set up  checkpoints along the national highway starting January 13 in line with the start of the nationwide gun ban. The gun ban aims to strengthen the campaign against loose firearms and possible private armies in order to reduce election-related crimes.

Randy Banzuela, the Los Baños Election Officer III, has oriented the police on the proper conduct of checkpoints to ensure that the proper procedures will be implemented and that the rights of the public will be protected,

Police Senior Inspector Anastacia Luis, who heads of the three rotating teams conducting the checkpoints, explained that they have instructed their men to abide by the guidelines and protocols given by the COMELEC. She emphasized that checkpoints should be in a well-lit place with a visible sign, a police mobile car should be present in the area of the checkpoint, and should be manned by uniformed policemen. A commanding police officer in proper uniform must also be present to supervise the operation. Ps/Insp. Luis said that they also reminded the police men to be courteous and polite when during inspections. “Mas magkakaroon ng pagkakaunawan kung magiging magalang tayo sa isa’t-isa”, she stated.

Though motorists experience delays because of the checkpoint, they gave positive feedback. “Ayos to. Para sa safety rin natin”, says Sonny Magalac, a resident of Bambang, Los Baños.

Aside from the checkpoints, the Los Baños police is also set to intensify police visibility through security patrols. Despite insufficient funds, local police have innovated a way to a carry out security patrols by using the personal motorcycles of some of the members of the force.

The election period has officially started on January 12, 2013 and will last until May 12, 2013. The local police force is now working closely with the COMELEC. Masongsong explains that this means that gun ban is strictly implemented. All those caught with firearm without approved exemption from the gun ban will be arrested even if they have ‘permit to carry’. COMELEC will be notified first about all the arrests and other related actions.

Masongsong also said that they are strengthening their intelligence and monitoring programs to deter and intercept people with illegal motives.

Furthermore, local candidates will sign a peace covenant this coming March as part of the campaign of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for a Secure and Fair Elections (SAFE) to preserve the safety of the constituents and guard the integrity of the polls.

Volunteers, vet clinic conduct free cat spaying, neutering

by Alexandria Nicole D. Agustin and Jasmin Joyce P. Sevilla

“Spaying and neutering is part of responsible pet ownership.”

This is according to Joan Manguiat who patiently waited while her cat, Tri, was being spayed during the Free Spay and Neuter Day for Cats organized by the Zen Cats Association Inc., in cooperation with the UP Los Baños College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM)  last Saturday (January 12) at Hayop Kalinga Veterinary Clinic in Calamba.

Helen Quimson, one the volunteers of Zen Cats Association, said that spay and neuter are two types of castration, which is an effective tool to prevent the rapid pregnancy among cats.

“Basta kapag [ano] nasa anim na buwang gulang na yung pusa, pwede na ‘yung kapunin. (As long as the cat is around six months old, then it can be castrated,” Quimson added. According to Dr. Andrew Bernardo, professor from CVM and a volunteer on the said event, spaying is castration among female cats wherein the uterus and ovaries are removed so they cannot be impregnated. Neutering, on the other hand, is castration among male cats wherein the testicles are removed so they cannot impregnate.

“The procedure is done in five minutes. Matagal lang pagpapatulog sa kanina. (It is making the cats sleep that takes a lot of time.) After the surgery, the cat will recover within the next 30 minutes,” said Dr. Bernardo.

The first step: A volunteer from UPLB CVM shaves the abdomen part of a female cat as part of the first stage of spaying

Vetmed student-volunteers conduct the operations

Luckily, owned cats are not the only ones that can be spayed and neutered. With the help of barangay officials and animal lovers, stray cats within the Calamba area are being trapped and brought to Hayop Kalinga Veterinary Clinic to be spayed and neutered for free.

According to Rosemary Yates, founder of Zen Cats Association Inc., after spaying or neutering the stray cat, it would be taken cared of for about three days to be able to recuperate and then it would be brought back to the place where it was caught.

Dr. Bernardo further explained that castrated cats will be marked with a V-shaped notch on their ears for easy identification, especially for the stray ones.

Quimson said that cats would be healthier and a lot more tamed once they were subjected to castration. Dr. Bernardo also added that castration would tend to lengthen the lifespan of cats.

“Ang maganda sa kinakapon na pusa, hindi na siya nakakaperwisyo. Di na sila kumakalkal ng basura, di na sila maingay.  Di na pwedeng dumami. [Ang] pakinabang ng pusa na lang pag nakapon, manghuli ng insekto, matulog. (The good thing about cat castration is that they would not be a disturbance anymore. They won’t scavenge for food in trash bins. They’re not noisy. They won’t multiply. The purpose of castrated cats is to just catch insects, sleep,)added Quimson.

Quimson explained that cats release certain type of hormone that makes them feel the urge to be sexually active and mate. Attracting mates would cause the non-castrated cats to be noisy.

Pet owners within the vicinity of Laguna grabbed the opportunity to have their cats be spayed and neutered for free.

One of them was Joan Manguiat, 24, nurse, whose cat, Tri, had been spayed. It was her first time to have a pet spayed. When asked what her purpose of spaying is, she replied, “Roaming ang cats [at] independent. Unlike dogs na sa bahay lang na di mo palalabasin pwera lang pag exercise. Ang cats, roaming, mabilis mabuntis. (Cats roam [and] are independent. Unlike dogs that just stay in the house unless you’d walk around with it for exercising. Cats are roaming and can be easily impregnated.)”

Another pet owner, Gemma Salinas, 42, office worker, also shared the same insights with Manguiat. She has ten adopted cats and two of which have been spayed and neutered before.

According to her, castration of cats is highly beneficial because her two castrated cats have been a lot healthier and livelier now.