SIKADA to vie for gold in the int’l folk dance competition in South Korea

by Maria Carmel A. Rimpos

[NEWSFEATURE] A group of Pagsanjan youth dancers will represent the country in the international folk dance competition in South Korea’s Cheonan City on September 28 – October 5.

The Sining Katutubo Dance Assembly (SIKADA) is composed of 65 student members. It is managed by Delto Michael Abarquez, Jr. who is also the head of the Laguna Trade, Cultural, and the Arts Tourism Office (LTCATO).

Banga Salidsid is one of the many difficult dances done by SIKADA. Romeo Bungabong, Jr. one of SIKADA’s senior is still the one who performs the dance. He said that the male dancer requires skill to properly put the pots on the girl’s head. (Photo courtesy of LTCATO)

Given the troupe’s list of international competitions and awards, it is hard to believe that SIKADA is not a professional dance company. In 2010, the group amazed the judges of the Cheonan World Dance Festival when they brought home their first international win.

Taken in 2010 at the Cultural Center of Laguna with Governor ER Ejercito and Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Ejercito. (Photo courtesy of LTCATO)

Abarquez explained that their earlier mentor Bayanihan asked SIKADA to compete on behalf of the Philippine National Dance Company which was on a world tour that year. SIKADA took the opportunity to perform in an international competition and showcased the Philippine culture without holding expectations for winning. That year, SIKADA brought home the silver medal. Not bad for the first international competition.

According to Abarquez, Governor Emilio Ramon Ejercito, then mayor of Pagsanjan, conceptualized SIKADA in 2001 as a project to promote culture and arts to the youth. It aimed to divert the attention of the younger generation from doing vices into dance.

During that time, cultural arts was not popular among the Pagsanjan youth. Modern dancing was the “in” thing. The lack of appreciation for cultural dance was a challenge for Abarquez. He shared the the youth viewed cultural dance as soft and effeminate.

Romeo Bungabong Jr. has always had a passion for dancing but his dance crew have gone separate ways so he could not  practice as much he used to. He wanted to continue dancing so he looked for a new group. On his birthday, January 29, 2001, his prayers were answered. SIKADA was formed.

Bungabong was one of the assembly’s first few members. He admitted that he did not like performing local dances at first because he was more into hiphop. But, he changed his mind after a few months. He did modern dancing at the same time with folk dancing allowing him to he see the difference, most notably in terms of discipline.

Passion for dancing was what made Ledveni Penido also join SIKADA in 2004, but, like Bungabong she didn’t appreciate the ethnic dances until much later on. She even felt very shy performing them at first because she wanted to dance something fit for the era. “It was already the modern times,” she said.

As she continued dancing for the group, she saw the beauty of ethnic dancing that she did not notice before. She added, “You’re not just able to express yourself, you’re also able to promote the Filipino culture.”

Sayaw sa bangko was one of the crowd favorites during the SIKADA: A Journey to Success. (Photo courtesy of LTCATO)

It was not easy to recruit new members, especially since the youth usually see cultural arts as old-fashioned. “Before, we have to go from school to school to recruit members, but no one took notice of us,” Bungabong shared.

However, the people slowly began recognizing SIKADA as a group since they started winning in competitions, most notably the one in South Korea. Abarquez proudly shared that the perception of the kids had changed. More youth nowadays see the team as hip and in. SIKADA already has 65 active members and more wanted to join.

“Now, almost all young people of Pagsanjan, whether they are the masculine type or the macho type or the modern dancers, they want to be part of SIKADA because of the success of the group,” he said.

Anyone can join the group, as long as they have the passion for cultural dances. Bungabong shared that their president is not particular about the talent, but more on the hopeful’s willingness to learn. Abarquez screens the applicants through interviews with the parents and the kids. The applicant and the parent must also know the sacrifice that come along with being a member of SIKADA. He describes it as a “partnership between the parents.”

“They have to know what they’re facing because it’s not easy,” Abarquez said. “It’s more of a sacrifice for their part.”

Majority of the members are still students who have to worry about balancing school and group activities. However, Abarquez thinks that the members’ ages are into their advantage. “What makes the SIKADA different from other dance group is that it is a mixture of elementary students, high school, and college students,” he said.

Off stage, most of the members are students who go to school every day. They worry about their homework and upcoming tests. Unlike other students though, they think more than just about their school life. SIKADA is part of their priorities, especially now they are going to compete again.

At six o’clock every Friday and three o’clock every Saturday, SIKADA members gather at the Cultural Center of Laguna. Sometimes they would practice in the abandoned Pagsanjan Rapids Hotel. The place of practice does not matter. They will go through their routines with or without an upcoming performance. Abarquez claimed that the kids know 80 dances, and they can do them on cue.

Now that they have an upcoming competition, they practice more than the usual. They would often meet at least four times a week to perfect their dances. The smallest mistakes would be noted and corrected. According to Bungabong, the current resident junior choreographer, the group has been preparing for the festival for almost six months already.

They would do this every week. Their focus and determination to do something is really intense. Their ages don’t matter, even if they’re just four years old or seventeen.

“At the start of their training, we already force them to be disciplined,” Bungabong said. [Umpisa pa lang ng training nila, finoforce na namin silang maging disiplinado.]

No matter how busy their schedule for the dance group is, the members are not to neglect their fromal education. Olav Olivar, a college student and a peformer for six years did not have to sacrifice his academics. “In SIKADA,” he explained, “their priority is the school.” Whenever there’s conflict between a performance and an examination, SIKADA recommends that students with exams should not take part in the performance. Passing their exams is more important than making a great performance. As much as possible, the students must refrain from being absent in their classes to make up for the possible absences they might get because of performing for SIKADA.

Time management is one of the most important things the people will learn from their membership. It isn’t easy to practice and study with equal amount of focus.

“You have to stand up for what you do,” Bungabong advised. Because of the discipline and time management the kids learn, they didn’t have a hard time coping with their studies. Marinel Salvitiera, a member for nine years, thinks that her passion is also what keeps her going.  “If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be happy. You can balance your time between enjoying and studying,” she asserted.

Because members do not get anything from being part of SIKADA, Abarquez identifies them as “volunteers.”

“When I say volunteers, anytime they can leave,” he explained, “and anytime also we can remove them from the dance group if they are misbehaving or if they’re not following our rules and regulations.”

Despite not having a solid contract with the assembly, many of its members didn’t leave the group, because they’ve become very loyal to it. Some were even already with it ever since it was formed.

To recognize hard work, Abarquez said that they have something they call “Lifetime Achievement Award.” A member would be granted this achievement after that person had served the group for five years, without any bad record. They become “permanent members” already. Once the award is received, the member would then have an option whether to continue performing with the group, or just perform when they want to.

Bungabong and Penida, both college graduates already, decided to stay with the group. They already had received some offers to work someplace else, but they are still there. Bungabong could work abroad, but he declined each and one to serve the group more. He currently choreographs for the group.

Meanwhile, Penida had to stop participating in the group for a while after graduation. She had to move to Manila, where she found work. After two months, she decided to go back to her hometown. SIKADA was a big factor to her decision.

“It was difficult for me not to dance,” Penida commented. However, staying with SIKADA meant more than just dedication. It requires a lot of sacrifices. If happiness and satisfaction would only be enough for their needs as a group, then they won’t have any problems. Unfortunately, the dance troupe needs money for their activities.  

The subsidies they get from the government would only suffice for their props and costumes. At times, what they receive won’t even be enough for their things. They still need to cut expenses.

To help in saving money, the members would sometimes create their own props. They would also wash their own costumes on the riverbank. During a performance, they would fix their own stage. They don’t hire a professional choreographer, too. They rely on research instead.

For the kids, the little chores they do are irrelevant. Performing, rehearsing and being with the other members are what’s worthwhile. Cane Carandang, a dancer for two years thinks that being part of SIKADA is fun because of the presence of his peers. They rehearse and enjoy dancing together.

The group does everything out of love, not expecting anything from return. They don’t have any allowances, or even regular free merienda.

To motivate them even just a little, Abarquez also had something to give. “I have ten of them as my scholars, elementary and high school, out of my own pocket,” he said.

Usually they can get through the problems, but there are times that they couldn’t. The most remarkable event that happened was three years ago. It was just around the time when they won their first medal.

In 2010, they were supposed to represent the country and Asia in the International Folklore Festival in Europe. Abarquez said that they were supposed be one of the main performances of the show. It was not a competition rather a tour around Europe. The organizers were very impressed of SIKADA’s performance during the World Dance Festival so they were invited for the tour.

The group was excited to go. They had already collected the right amount of money, processed their visas, and prepared the luggage. However, they weren’t even able to step on the airplane. The government took back their financial assistance from the group. The newly-elected president disapproved the financial support because “expenditures for those kinds of purposes are not allowed,” Abarquez explained.

The event had left the members downhearted. There were tears of diasappointment and frustration shed by the members. For Olivera, Bungabong, and Penida, it was the most unforgettable and saddest experience they had in SIKADA. Penida shared that it felt like their world almost fell apart.

To prevent a similar situation, the dance group organized “SIKADA: Journey to Success,” a series of shows that aim to fund their competition expenses through the shows’ proceeds. The performances would be held in three venues, namely: University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB), San Juan de Letran-Calamba, and Laguna State Polytechnic University-Sta. Cruz. Last August 5, 2013, the group had already showcased some of their dances in the DL Umali Auditorium, UPLB.

The terrain doctor

by Kristin Chloe S. Pascual

Up in the sky, look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s Itera Robota!

Itera Robota is a self-directed aircraft which provides aerial surveillance of terrains. What seems like an oversized robot-toy is actually equipped with lenses, sensors, and other devices that function altogether to survey the environment, specifically agricultural plantations mid-air.

Itera Robota makes possible to capture a top-view perspective of a certain place at a certain time. One of the creators of this technology, Dr. Vladimir Y. Mariano of the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics at the University of the Philippines Los Baños shared that just as a doctor diagnoses a person from head to foot, Itera Robota works in the same way in monitoring and identifying problems that can be found in a target land area.

It was developed to come up with a quick way of assessing terrains. The technology is able to provide not just aerial images of the terrain but also ground data on water vapour, rainfall rate, and cloud motion which are used to monitor agriculture, forestry, and the environment.

For instance, images analysis of agricultural plantations may be used to identify plant diseases. Itera Robota renders a “full picture” of the terrain which can back up consultancy services on precision agriculture and crop management.

The technology is aimed to help its stakeholders arrive at better decisions for the agriculture and the environment from efficient and reliable data. As of now, Itera Robota is already dealing with its potential stakeholders such as International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARD), Del Monte Philippines, and Philex Mining Corporation for partnerships.

PCAARRD helps restore coral reef

by  Ma. Catherine C. Arzobal

Glued. Lived. Saved.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) showcased its project “Filipinnovation on Coral Reef Restoration,” an initiative to restore broken and degraded coral reefs, during the three-day celebration of SyenSaya 2013 at the University of the Philippines Baños (UPLB) Copeland Gymnasium on July 31 – August 2, 2013.

Filipinnovation on Coral Reef Restoration is a project which started on June 2011 mainly funded by DOST. This innovation is a process of cultivating the tissues of corals through a special type of nursery installed on the surface of the sea with a width size of 3 meters x 1 meter and half meter in height. In the cultivation process, the corals are tied on the nursery to let it grow until it is ready for planting.

According to Mr. Eugene Afalla, Science Research Specialist from PCAARRD, it takes 2-3 months for the corals to restore their tissue and grow its branches. The divers who are trained and guided by PCAARRD determine if the corals are healthy and ready for planting. A special type of epoxy called ‘marine epoxy’ is used to permanently attach the broken fragments of corals to the hard substrates of the ocean. These substrates are reefs which are ridges of rocks in the sea. After some time, the coral naturally attaches itself to the substrate and eventually branch out again providing additional habitat for thousands of aquatic species.

Along the one-year run of the project, Mr. Afalla said that they find the epoxy costly and is only limited for certain areas. PCAARRD’s team addressed this by using concrete nails to secure the broken coral fragments on the surface of the rocks by binding them on the nail using rubber or ordinary knot. This allows the corals to attach itself on the rocks after a period of time.

Using the coral nursery, degraded and broken fragments of coral reefs can now be retrieved instead of letting it die. PCAARRD tested and proved its effectivity to protect the shoreline and restore habitat for school of fish along the one-year run of the project. They are coordinating with local government units, local universities, hotel owners and divers as the project targets tourism hubs such as beaches in the country.

On May 2012, the project was piloted in various areas of the country. Among these are: Baler, Aurora; Bagac, Bataan; Laiya and Anilao in Batangas; Ticao, Masbate; Panglao, Bohol; Malay and Tangalan in Aklan; Sogod, Southern Leyte; and Tawi-Tawi.

Meanwhile, Mr. Afalla added that PCAARRD already has the technology package but the study is still ongoing. He also explained that the innovation has no particular limitation since the area of implementation is assessed before the installation.

Coral reef restoration will benefit the country by providing habitat, income, food, protection and even medicine as researches show that coral reefs can be a source of potential treatments for many of the world’s serious illnesses. But further researches are still needed to prove this claim.

The installation of nurseries in certain areas is not purchased because it is a government project. PCAARRD wants the people to be aware of this project because they believe that people are capable of saving the coral reefs for a rich marine ecosystem.

Brgy. Langkiwa holds livelihood workshops

by  Mary Josene Uriel V. Villar

Biñan, Laguna – Fifteen residents from the Southville 5a relocation site in Brgy. Langkiwa attended the ‘Sipag at Tiyaga Caravan: Free Livelihood Skills on Water Lily Weaving’ workshop on September 6.  The activity aimed to teach the residents of Southville 5a how to make slippers, bags, and baskets from water hyacinth, locally known as water lilies, which abound in the area.

The workshop on water lily weaving is part of the efforts to establish livelihood projects in the relocation site. Other activities held include job fairs, accessory making, microfinance, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) vocational courses, skills training, soap making, meat processing, among others.

According to Mr. Arnel Pineda, the head of Southville 5a’s livelihood project, need assessment surveys were conducted to determine what the topics the residents were interested in and what skills they needs to learn. Based on the survey results, they contact various organizations that are willing to take part in helping them orient the residents in terms of livelihood by providing workshops, seminars, etc. Villar Foundation was the partner organization for the September 6 workshop.

Southville 5a participants in a posterity shot with the resource persons and organizers for the water lily weaving workshop.

The workshops organized, usually held at the Southville 5a Livelihood Building, are free and open to all interested to take part in the activity.

According to one of the residents, a 37 yr. old laundrywoman named Teresita Salvador, she has attended a couple of their community’s seminars on soap making and meat processing back. Now, she’s currently selling water inside the community. She says that she is grateful that various seminars and programs are being held even though she has not been able to attend all of them. She also expressed that these seminars also provide them with the materials necessary to be able to start of their livelihood businesses.

Another laundrywoman named Rosalie Bitonio, 36 yrs. old, said that she has attended a couple of the activities on livelihood as well. She says she began attending about two years ago when they held a seminar on cosmetics. She says that she really did learn something from the seminar and that it was not hard for her to cope since she really is into cosmetics. She also admitted that she hasn’t been able to attend any of the programs or activities lately because she has been busy doing her job as a laundrywoman and taking care of her kids.

After each session, the workshop organizers gather feedback from the participants to better design the succeeding livelihood sessions.

Pineda emphasized the need to prioritize the residents’ opportunities for additional source of income. Biñan’s Head of Housing Jovic Tiongson estimated that the current population of Southville 5a is more than 30,000. The residents were relocated in Southville 5a from disaster prone areas and danger zones in Biñan, Tondo, Marikina, and Manila.

Since their relocation in 2010, the people of Southville 5a have been able to put up various means of living for themselves. These include sari-sari stores, beauty salons, computer shops, grocery stores, and food stalls.

According to Pineda, the livelihood projects conducted such as the workshop on water lily weaving aim to enable Southville 5a residents to earn additional income. He added that the residents can earn as much at least Php 300 from water lily products, enough to pay the housing dues every month. Pineda’s team organizes seminars to help the residents find opportunities for better jobs and help them manage their income well through TESDA vocational courses and through alternative learning system (ALS). They also coordinate with government agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment, which provides livelihood kit and packages such as that for cosmetology.

Pineda also shared that they are building a database of the residents’ skills and capabilities. This way, he explained that it would be easier match jobs with the skills set of Southville 5a residents. Other programs that have been conducted in the area include the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) and various feeding programs.

Future Southville 5a projects include the Impok Pabahay Program, which involves distributing “piggy banks” with locks among the residents encouraging residents to save a portion of their income.

Additional CCTVs to be installed in Brgy. Batong Malake

by Mary Rose B. Manlangit

The Sangguniang Baranggay of Batong Malake is now becoming stricter in its implementation of peace and order measures.  This September, seven sets of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras will be installed in Umali Subdivision, El danda, Agapita, Raymundo and F.O. Santos. This is Phase 2 of the camera system installation project according to Brgy. Captain Nilo Lapiz.  The 1st phase was already done during the first quarter of this year.

The installation will run from first week up to the third week of the month. A team from Tremendous Communication Incorporated (TCI) will install the seven CCTV cameras.

The CCTV system project

The goal of the CCTV system project is to ensure the peace and order situation of Batong Malake, Councilor Alan Leron explained in an interview.

Organized by the Sangguniang Baranggay, the project was already planned in 2010 but materialized only this year. Councilor Leron said that the arrangements with the bidding corporations and fund raising for the project were the reasons of the delay.

Councilor Leron said that contrary with what most barangay residents assumed, the CCTV systems were installed not just because of the various incidents that happened in UPLB such as the death of UPLB students Given Grace Cebanico and Rey Bernard Penaranda. He explained that it was already planned even before these happened. However, he admitted that the incidents triggered the faster implementation of the project.

On the other hand, Councilor Janus Lapiz said that among all the barangays of Los Baños, Batong Malake was the first to implement CCTV system. They are hoping that they would serve as an example for the other barangays to also include CCTV system in their projects.

According to Councilor Lapiz, the Phase 1 of the project had a budget of Php 500,000 where a complete unit of CCTV camera approximately costs Php 65,000 – Php 70,000. The budget included a high definition television monitor and antennas. “Now,” he said “the same amount will be spent for the Phase 2 project.”

The bidding for the Phase 2 of the project was already completed. Currently, legal arrangements with the winning bidder and equipment testing are being done to ensure the efficiency of the camera units.

The main source of fund for the project is the Baranggay Development Fund under the Peace and Order Committee of the Sanggunian. It accounts for the 20% of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) coming from the national budget.

CCTV cameras, the eyes of the barangay

“With the CCTV cameras, conflict on vehicular accidents were solved, masterminds of crimes such as budol-budol gang cases were arrested and street fights among teenagers were responded,” Alan Mabolo, a tanod of the barangay said.

Mabolo said that he and the rest of the tanods shift schedules to watch the CCTV monitor in the barangay almost all day and all night.

“In the monitor,” Mabolo said, “you can see almost everything that people do in the areas. In fact, every night we see teenagers dating in dark areas.” He said that they could respond more quickly because they can now see the place of an incident via the CCTVs rather than just relying on verbal descriptions via two-way radio.

Councilor Leron said that the CCTV cameras also helped in easing the flow of traffic. Traffic build-ups are prevalent along Lopez Avenue to UP gate. With the help of CCTVs, traffic enforcers could devise ways on how to moderate the flow of traffic congestion.

He also narrated that last July 21, a mother complained that their laptop was stolen in their house by three men believed to be members of akyat-bahay gang. She was able to identify the men with the help of the CCTV.  The complaint was immediately coordinated with the Philippine National Police (PNP) Los Baños. Thus on July 26, when one of the suspects was seen walking along the 7eleven store in Agapita, the police arrested him immediately.

Councilor Leron said that the CCTV also helped a lot in the arrest and eventual imprisonment of the drunk driver who hit the UPLB BS Nutrition student Nhelette Gonzales last August 7, 2013 along Lopez Avenue. He said that there was a concerned resident who tipped the barangay right after the accident. To identify if the car would turn towards Agapita or F.O. Santos Avenue, they played back the CCTV. There they have seen a fast moving car turning to Agapita. With this, the PNP Los Baños and the barangay tanods were able to strategize how to arrest the driver by analysing his possible exit points.

Information on the system project is not widely disseminated to the barangay residents because this would defeat the purpose of hidden cameras. However Councilor Leron said that sooner people will learn about it and in turn it will serve as a preventive mechanism for the residents not to do crimes and be wary of their actions.

Ateneo tops Nat’l Genetics Quiz

by Crispin Mahrion Abacan

Members of the UPLB Genetics Society (GeneSoc) wore blue shirts. Indeed, blue was the color of the day as the team from Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) topped the 4th National Intercollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest (NIGQC) of the UPLB GeneSoc held at Drilon Hall-SEARCA, University of the Philippines-Los Baños, Sept. 14.

Hadeza P. Cabaddu, Wrench Chester S. Canicosa and Antoni Andreu M. Martija of ADMU bested 9 other teams. They were the leading team during the group category in the average and difficult rounds.

“We’re really happy! The reviews we had done for three weeks were all worth it,” said Canicosa. ADMU received a cash prize of 15,000, a trophy, certificates of recognition, and team members each received medals.

The Ateneo team poses for a photo op with their prizes.

“The questions were pretty-well balanced and very challenging. Practically, they are the best from each school. And I believe, all of them were challenged appropriately with the sets of question,” said Ronald Cruz, the moderator of the Ateneo Biological Organization who accompanied the students.

Kenji Rowel Q. Lim, Dominic S. Albao, and Liezel U. Tamon of UP-Diliman finished second place. Adrian L. Santos, Federico Cristobal C. de Jesus, and May Nadine Alessandra R. Uy of UP-Manila, the defending champion, were in third place. They received certificates of participation, medals, and a cash prize of 7000 and 5000 respectively.

Furthermore, Santos and de Jesus of UP-Manila, were recognized as top scorers for the individual easy round.

“Honestly, I didn’t expect to top the first part. Before the quizcon, we don’t know how we compare to other schools since we have different genetics curriculum. I guess we showed them that the curriculum we have is really competent despite having few genetics majors to teach us,” said Santos.

With the organization’s 30th year anniversary, the GeneSoc, through this event, aims to reach out and encourage the creative appreciation of the genetics field among college students.

“One of the UPLB’s GeneSoc’s objectives is to promote and create awareness about the science of Genetics in the Philippines. This year, since we will be celebrating our 30th anniversary, we thought of extending this awareness to college students in the country , hence , the comeback of the NIGQC,” said Gelina Rose A. Bambalan, NIGQC 2013 committee head.

Other participating schools were: Central Mindanao University, University of the East, University of the Philippines-Visayas-Tacloban, University of Santo Tomas, St. Louis University, St. Scholastica’s College, and West Visayas State University.

The UST team uses the contest break to read materials and reviewers.

On celebrating Genetics discovery

Themed “DNA Goes Diamond: 60 years of Progressive Research and Development,” the quiz contest is in line with the celebration of the discovery of the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) structure by James Watson and Francis Crick. This year, 2013 marked the Diamond Jubilee of the elucidation of the structure of life’s blueprint –the DNA.

According to the website of the GeneSoc, sixty years ago, scientists Watson and Crick worked together in the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory which led to the discovery of a certain body of knowledge behind the concept of inheritance and biological information later called Genetics. Since 1953, “the elucidation of the DNA structure has also led to the development of other sciences like molecular biology and biotechnology.”

Meanwhile, Samuel Contosa, UP Manila coach and an alumnus of the Genesoc said that the event is good because it allows schools to have an awareness on genetics, though must go beyond competition purposes.

“We have the linkages already, and the people too. We could use that linkages to get those people who participated the competition to spread the science of genetics, make it more popular,” he added.

Students on the study of Genetics

“It’s interesting because genetics for me plays a major role in unlocking the mysteries of the living world. Its application is almost limitless had not for the ethical issues it raises. The current trends and developments in science are inkling nonetheless to the field of genetics. Thus, in order to be at par with the changing scientific world, students must be more knowledgeable, not just aware, of this subject,” said Uy from UP-Manila.

“Genetics is a trending field today. It’s so dynamic; it’s so changing. There are lots of field we can go after college so it’s very interesting,” said Canicosa from ADMU.

“Genetics is very interesting because it is connected to medicine. It offers lots of explanations for us to understand how things work especially for those who aren’t familiar with such stuff,” said Rose Angelica Amper of Central Mindanao University.

“We have to raise awareness on the field of genetics to students. The technology is really improving. And we need to learn something about genetics since we have modified genes , modified plants and etc. because I think it will help humanity,” said Ralph Labaclado from UP Visayas-Tacloban.

“Genetics is an emerging field of biology and it is now a widely explored avenue as researchers try to look for long term solutions to some of the pressing problems in the world. It is also becoming a fundamental element of other branches of biology. Genetics has always been a remarkable branch of science for research and development. Genetics is the science of the future,” said Jean Reni B. de Guzman, Education Committee head of the GeneSoc.

The National InterCollegiate Genetics Quiz Contest was sponsored by: Department of Science and Technology Region IV-A,Philippine Rice Research Institute ,Monsanto Technologies, and Philippine Society for the Advancement of Genetics (PhilSAGen) in partnership with the Genetics and Molecular Biology Division (GMBD), and the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Philippines Los Baños