PhilRice info hub now open

By Elsie E. Reyes

The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) Los Baños opens its one-stop information shop or OSIS to the public.

OSIS or the one-stop information shop opens this November. Located within the PhilRice building, UPLB campus, it houses a mini library or the Palay-Aklatan and the PhilRice database. (Photo by Elsie Reyes)

OSIS is PhilRice’ new project which aims to provide information on rice research to students and other stakeholders.

Inside the one-stop information shop

The one-stop information shop has two basic components: the mini library or the Palay-Aklatan and the PhilRice database.

The first component houses books, magazines, brochures, and publications from PhilRice and other R&D institutions.

A designated computer can also be used for online research through PhilRice websites such as www.pinoyrice.com and www.philrice.gov.ph. An E-lib system also makes the library use more convenient. Readers can search their preferred publication and will be alerted of its availability. Audio-visual presentations of the latest rice technologies, meanwhile, can be viewed through a television.

The second component is the PhilRice database. Stored here are documents, reports, photos, and videos of PhilRice. Readers will need to ask for assistance from the OSIS’ personnel-in-charge to access the materials.

Accessing the collections

The Palay-Aklatan adopts an open access system. Users can directly get the publication they need straight off the shelves. However, all the publications will be for room use. According to Ms. Jacqueline Lee Canilao, one of the proponents of the OSIS, the institute is looking forward to allowing the patrons to bring out publications and materials in the future.

 Not your typical rice information hub

In a way, OSIS is different from other rice information hub. For Canilao, what sets it apart is that it is a mini-library set-up that would soon incorporate “museum artifacts, paintings, and others that can give the area a more modern and sophisticated feel.” She added that visitors can further expect visually-engaging mini-exhibits in the future.

Aside from the OSIS’ refreshing theme, Canilao also encourages people to visit because of what the hub holds. The mini-library houses a wealth of information on rice and rice technologies. “Since rice is the major staple in our country, it’s but important that the public increase awareness on the many aspects and functions of rice”, shares Canilao.

OSIS will be fully launched by the first quarter of 2016. OSIS is open to the public from 9:00am to 4:00pm. It is also open during lunch break.

LB couples join family planning seminar

By Jann Adriel N. Nisperos   

A family planning seminar was conducted at the Los Baños municipal hall last November 10 for couples who will participate in the upcoming mass wedding.

The seminar was organized by the Los Baños Gender and Development (GAD) office. According to GAD’s head, Karen Mercado, the seminar aims to equip future husbands and wives with knowledge on family planning before they join the annual mass wedding celebration, dubbed Kasalang Bayan 2015, on December 11.

“…kasi minsan hindi equipped yung ating mga kababayan [sa family planning] lalo na may mga ikakasal na 18 years old pataas. Hindi pala nila alam yung konsepto ng family planning,” Mercado said. She furthered that there are more younger couples applying for marriage license this year compared to the previous Kasalang Bayan. According to municipal records, the youngest couple is 18 years old while the oldest is 45 years old.

In the seminar, different aspects of family planning were discussed such as the dynamics of fertility, pregnancy, how to properly care for the baby, and breastfeeding.

Aside from family planning, the seminar also tackled population control, household management and budgeting, as well as different sources of livelihood like organic farming.

Speakers from different government agencies were invited in the seminar namely Hannah Ericka E. Lavina from the Municipal Social Welfare and Development office (MSWDO), Leticia P. Acedillo from the Municipal Health office (MHO), Genevieve J. Casabuena from PPO-Outreach, and Fe M. Banasihan from the Municipal Agriculture office (MAO).

One of the participants, Alexandria Gulfo, 21 years old, said that she and her fiance learned a lot from the activity. “Maraming naitulong [ang family planning seminar]. Yung mga hindi namin nalaman noon sa pagpapamilya, nalaman namin ngayon…’tsaka ma-apply namin sa buhay namin.” Gulfo said.

Attending the family planning seminar is one of the requirements for taking part in the mass wedding along with attending a pre-marriage counseling session and seminars on population control and livelihood. For more information on Kasalang Bayan 2015, please contact the Gender and Development Office at (049) 536 2818.

2k Pakil locals to receive free healthcare services, meds

[PRESS RELEASE] Free healthcare services, medicines, and eyeglasses will be offered on Saturday, November 14, at Brgy. Kabulusan in Pakil, Laguna. The service is open to 2,000 residents of barangays Banilan, Dorado, Casa Real, Matikiw, Casinsin, and Kabulusan.

The activity is led by Upsilon Sigma Phi in collaboration with the Provincial Government of Laguna. Volunteer doctors and healthcare professionals will deliver free medical, dental, optical, and surgical services, including lab test procedures.

Indigent residents have been pre-selected as beneficiaries. However, locals who are interested to avail the services are also encouraged to coordinate with their own barangay units. For more information on the project, please send the queries to [email protected]

The activity is part of Upsilon’s 97th anniversary. A UP-based organization, Upsilon was founded in 1918 and is considered the oldest fraternity in Asia. (MRFSRolle)

Negosyo Center tungo sa paglago ng maliliit na negosyante sa Los Baños

Ni Clarisse Mae N. Abao at Irven Spence S. Bustamante

Si Barangay Tanod Mila Reyes ay isa sa mga mamamayan ng Brgy. Bagong Silang sa bayan ng Los Baños. Isa siya sa mga maliliit na negosyanteng nakikinabang sa pangunahing produkto ng kanilang barangay – mga prutas tulad ng lansones at rambutan.

Ang Brgy. Bagong Silang ay kilala sa mga tanim nilang gulay at prutas na hindi ginagamitan ng mga komersyal at kemikal na pataba. Ayon kay Gng. Mila, maipagmamalaki ang mga produktong prutas at gulay ng  kanilang barangay dahil sila mismo ang nagtatanim, nag-aalaga, at nag-aani bago dalhin sa pamilihang bayan at karatig-barangay.

Isa lamang ang Brgy. Bagong Silang sa mga pamayanan sa Los Baños na maaaring umunlad kung mabibigyan ng oportunidad ang mga maliliit na negosyanteng maipakilala ang kanilang produkto sa merkado.

Ang “Go-Negosyo Act” para sa MSMEs

Ang mga micro, small, medium enterprise (MSMEs) ay may malaking kontribusyon sa pag-unlad ng ekonomiya at turismo sa isang bayan. Ito ay dahil sa mga produktong kanilang ibenebenta ay sumasalamin sa kanilang kultura.

Kaya naman noong ika-15 ng Hulyo noong makaraang taon, ipinanukala ang Republic Act 10644 o mas kilala sa tawag na “Go Negosyo Act”. Sa tulong ni Senador Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino katuwang ng Kagawaran ng Kalakalan at Industriya (DTI), hangad nitong bigyang importansya ang mga MSMEs at palawigin ang kanilang kaalaman upang lalo pang mapalago ang kanilang kabuhayan.

Isa sa mga layunin ng batas na ito ay ilapit ang merkado sa mga MSMEs sa pamamagitan ng pagtulong sa magsisimula at nakapagsimula, ng kanilang sariling kabuhayan at ituro sa kanila ang iba’t ibang aspeto nito. Mula sa pagpapakilala sa publiko ng kanilang mga produkto hanggang sa pagpapayaman ng kaalaman at kakayahan nila ay papatnubayan sila ng pamahalaan. Ito ay maisasakatuparan sa pamamagitan ng pagsasagawa ng pagsangguni sa mga eksperto at pag-oorganisa ng diskusyon upang mabigay ang mga impormasyon at solusyon na nararapat ayon sa pangangailangan nila.

Ang pagbubukas ng Negosyo Center – Los Baños

Bilang pakikiisa ng munisipalidad ng Los Baños sa nasabing batas, inilunsad proyekto kung saan ipinatayo ang ikaapat na Negosyo Center sa rehiyon ng CALABARZON sa publiko sa tulong ng Center for Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship (CTTE), University of the Philippines Los Baños, Association of Laguna Food Processors Inc. (ALAFOP), Laguna Chamber of Commerce, at San Pablo Chamber of Commerce.

Ito ay naganap noong ika-14 ng Setyembre sa munisipyo ng Los Baños. Pormal na binuksan ang Negosyo Center sa pamamagitan ng isang isang “ribbon-cutting ceremony” na pinasimulan ni Senador Bam Aquino, mga kinatawan ng DTI, at mga institusyong nakibahagi upang maisakutaparan ang pagbubukas ng Negosyo Center.

Ito ay sinundan ng isang programa na dinaluhan ng mga nagsasanay sa Philippine Employment Services Offices (PESO) na isang proyekto ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), mga negosyanteng pangunahing benepisyaryo ng Negosyo Center, at mga taong sumusuporta sa Negosyo Center.

Nagbigay rin ng mensahe ang Senador sa mga dumalo sa programa upang hikayatin silang maging bahagi ng Negosyo Center.

Ani nya, maraming mga negosyante sa bayan ng Los Baños at malaki ang potensyal na maging matagumpay ang proyekto sa pagsasakatuparan ng mga adhikain nito.

“Kung tulung-tulong po tayo, kaya po nating mailabas ang kaunlaran na hinahanap po natin… This Negosyo Center is now open for business, lahat po pwedeng pumunta diyan – kung kayo po ay estudyante, nanay sa mga barangay, sa aming Women’s Brigade, government worker, o maliliit na negosyante, pwedeng-pwede po kayo, and it can provide the right support and right programs para po sa inyong patnubay at kaunlaran.”, wika ng Senador.

Sa pagtatapos ng programa, nagkaroon ng press conference para sa pagtanggap ng mga katanungan ukol sa bagong proyekto ng bayan ng Los Baños.

Ang Negosyo Centers sa iba’t-ibang panig ng Pilipinas

Ang Negosyo Center – Los Baños ay ikasyamnapu na sa isang daang layuning itatag ng Go Negosyo Act sa buong bansa sa kasalukuyang taon.

Ang unang mga Negosyo Centers sa bansa ay binuksan sa mga lungsod ng Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, Quezon, at Batangas.

Negosyo Center para sa lahat

Dahil sa Go Negosyo Act, hindi lamang si Gng. Mila ang maaaring umunlad sa Brgy. Bagong Silang at sa bayan ng Los Baños. Ang mga maliliit na namumumuhunan tulad niya ay maaaring mabigyan ng oportunidad upang mas lumago, hindi lamang sa larangan ng pagne-negosyo kundi pati na rin ang kanilang kakayahang makipagsabayan sa mga negosyanteng matagal na sa industriya.

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon ukol sa proyektong ito, maaaring magtungo sa Negosyo Center Building sa Municipal Hall ng Los Baños o tumawag sa (049) 576-7927, (049) 530-2818, o sa 0917 504 6533.

Civic Parade, dinaluhan ng higit sa 12k na katao

by Krischen Balberan and Haezelyn Ragodon

Bilang bahagi ng pagdiriwang ng Bañamos Festival at ng ika-400 taon ng pagiging munisipalidad ng Los Baños, idinaos ang Civic Parade noong Setyembre 17, mula alas sais hanggang alas nuwebe ng umaga.

Ayon sa Civic Parade Registration Committee na pinamumunuan ng LB-COPS, itinatayang 12,210 hanggang 13,000 na katao ang nakilahok sa parada kasama na ang 14 na barangay ng Los Baños at 142 na ahensya ng gobyerno.

Nagsimula ang parade sa Olivarez Plaza at nagtapos sa lumang munisipyo ng Los Baños. Nagtipon-tipon ang mga mamamayan ayon sa kanilang barangay, ahensya, at paaralan. Nanguna sa pila ang hanay ng mga opisyal ng pamahalaang bayan sa pamumuno ni Mayor Ceasar Perez. Sunod sa pila ang mga barangay, mga ahensyang pangkalahatan, at ang mga paaralan. Huli sa parada ang mga float ng iba’t-ibang establisyamento at institusyon sa bayan.

Kasama ang mga volunteers mula sa opisina ng Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management (MDRRM) sa pagpapanitili ng kaayusan sa naturang parada.

Suporta sa parada

Karamihan sa mga mamamayang dumalo ay sumusuporta sa pagdaraos ng Bañamos Festival katulad na lamang ni Annie Lantican, 59, na miyembro ng isa sa mga NGO sa Los Baños. “Siyempre, bilang mamamayan ng Los Baños, dapat talaga ay maki-isa kami. Kahit na anong haba pa ng pila n’yan, at kahit anong aga, gigising kami… kumbaga obligasyon namin na maki-isa sa ating bayan”, ani niya.

Ayon rin sa mga miyembro ng Association of Senior Citizens, “Siyempre, mahalaga ito dahil mas mapapatibay ang relasyon naming mga senior citizen, bonding baga.” Samantala, may ilan ring nakapanayam na sumama sa parada upang hindi mamarkahang liban sa eskwela o opisina.

Pinagmamalaking aspeto ng pagiging residente ng Los Baños

Mula sa mga grupong nakiparada, ilang komentaryo ang binaggit ukol sa aspeto ng Los Banos na pinaka-ipinagmamalaki nila. Isang masigabong “Buko Pie!” ang tugon ng mga kawani mula sa Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

Ayon naman kay Randy Banzuela, Election Officer, mula sa opisina ng COMELEC, ipinagmamalaki niya ang payapang eleksyon sa Los Baños, sino man ang tumakbo mula noon hanggang sa kasalukuyan. Ipinagmamalaki rin niya ang pamunuan sa munisipalidad sapagkat bagamat maliit na bayan lamang ang Los Baños, ito ay napapanatiling maunlad ng mga tao.

14th Banamos Festival

Ang pagdiriwang ng Bañamos Festival na nangangahulugang ‘pagpaligo’ o to bathe ay naglalayon na ipagbunyi ang mga natatanging maiinit na batis at bukal na isa sa mga ipinagmamalaki ng Los Baños. Ito na ang ika-14 na pagdiriwang ng Bañamos Festival ng Los Baños at inaasahan pang ipagpatuloy ang pagdiriwang sa mga susunod na taon.

Notable citizens awarded in LB’s foundation anniv

by: Daryle Kayele Mendoza, Christine Joy Aranzanso, Jann Adriel Nisperos, Aila Monica Flores, with reports from Cybelle Basa and Harry Bernardino

With the theme Pagkilala sa Kasaysayan, Pagpupugay sa Kasalukuyan, Pagtanaw sa Kinabukasan, Los Baños held its annual foundation anniversary program to commemorate the town’s 400th founding anniversary last September 17.

Looking back and moving forward

Atty. Jennylyn Bagon-Soriano, the program’s event organizer, shares that since Los Baños has existed for 400 years, there is a need to recognize what the municipality has achieved since its establishment.While acknowledging the town’s humble beginnings, it is also important to keep the future of Los Baños in mind to improve what the town has yet to offer. “Kailangan tanawin mo rin kung ano ba ang magiging Los Baños in the future”, she furthers.

The program at the old municipal covered court opened with a doxology by the choir of The Church Among the Palms followed by Tunog Acapella’s rendition of the Los Baños hymn. Among the notable guests in the program were Mayor Caesar Perez, Vice Mayor Procopio Alipon, Governor Ramil Hernandez, Cong. Joaquin Chipeco Jr., and Hon. Mark Lapid. Ms. Mackie Cao, The Voice of the Philippines finalist, also indulged the audience with a special number.

Notable through the decades: town’s movers and shakers

The highlight of the program was the awarding of the town’s outstanding citizens and notable residents of Los Baños. Ten winners were named as outstanding citizens, a result of the search which opened on April this year.

Apart from the winners of 2015’s outstanding citizens, other notable individuals and institutions were also recognized. Their contributions in the development of Los Baños has made the town stronger through the decades.

In the category of Arts and Beauty, Leren Mae Bautista was recognized for winning the 2015 Mutya ng Pilipinas Asia Pacific International. The Umali matriarch, Zenaida L. Umali, was awarded for her generous contribution and development of land and real property, the Umali Subdivision. Michael O. Concio, Jr.  got the award for his talent in playing chess. Winning local and international tournaments at a young age, he brings great pride to Los Baños. Because of his leadership, Eladio M. Baradas bagged the award for leading baseball players into competent players. Maj. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. is another recipient for his outstanding achievement, being promoted as Brigadier General and Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army. Dr. Mario M. Labadan and Mrs. Eva Labadan were awarded for advancing science and business through their enterprise, Ave Science & Technology Co., Ltd. Also, Mr. Rodelo DL. Pabalate and Mrs. Janeth B. Pabalate were also recognized.

Strength in numbers: town’s model groups, organizations, and institutions

A familiar institution and even a landmark to many locals, PCAARRD was awarded for funding research projects on organic vegetable production that benefit low income families. PCAARRD stands for Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development.

For environmental protection, Asean Centre for Biodiversity (ACB), Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO), and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) were recognized.

Other institutions also received awards and these are the Laguna Water District, City of Springs Resort and Hotel, Community Cable Vision Corporation, Kabalikat Civicom, iHELP Los Banos, Philippine High School for the Arts, University of the Philippines Los Baños, Bureau of Plant Industry, Makiling Medical Society, 564th Engineer Construction Battalion, Mer-Nel’s cake house, Alalay of Los Baños Inc., and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) respectively.

Through Presidential Proclamation No. 349 on August 7, 2000, Los Baños was recognized as a “Special Science and Technology City” for the development of agriculture and preservation of  the environment. Apart from the foundation anniversary program, several activities marked the town’s quadricentennial celebration in the week of September 14 to 20.