Alumni News

PhD degree program launched, 2015

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

DSC 0122     University of the Philippines President Alfredo Pascual was in U.P. Mindanao on 11 September for the Launching and Inaugural Lecture of the U.P. Los Baños PhD Development Studies degree program offering in Davao City.
     President Pascual, in his message, described the day's event as a turning point for UP and the country for seeing the partnership of the two U.P. constituent universities working in new and creative ways in the spirit of "One UP". He acknowledged the presence of Mr. Ricardo Lagdameo of ANFLOCOR, a private sector group helping develop another UP campus in Panabo City, and further informed the audience of the existence of the UP Manila School of Health Sciences in Koronadal that he hoped would produce doctors who will stay to serve their home communities.
     He recalled that in his grade school geography, Mindanao was already called "The Land of Promise". He proposed to call Mindanao "the land of great promise" and a promise which the country needed to honor. The reasons, he stated, were that "more than 21.5 million people, or more than one-fifth of the Philippine population, including 27 indigenous peoples groups, live in Mindanao. As a 'food basket', one-third of the land area is devoted to agriculture, delivering 40% of the country's food requirement." He cited a 2010 study that said that mineral resources in Mindanao are valued at 312-Billion US Dollars, or 40% of the country's mineral reserves. "The people on Mindanao are literally sitting on a pot of gold" he said. In an aside, he added, "That is why we have to get going with responsible mining, but that is not happening." He said that efforts were needed to explain to people that the country needs these mineral resources and that "the children of the future might be ill-prepared to receive their legacy unless resources are generated out of these hidden treasures." He went on to enumerate the renewable energy sources of Mindanao from agricultural residues and biomass. He cited Siargao and Davao Oriental as ideal sites for ocean energy, and Surigao for wind power. He also mentioned a proposal for a solar farm in a U.P. Mindanao land reservation.
     Despite these, he noted that Mindanao was impeded by long-standing issues of poverty, inequality, corruption, and violence. He proposed that new solutions are needed that are innovative and inter-disciplinary.
     The UPLB Graduate School offering, he said, is ideal for its being comprehensive--bringing the rigor of the natural and social sciences, cutting across development issues--from the campus that is known for its expertise in forestry, agriculture, environmental science, culture,  ecology, and governance. He noted the possible contribution of UP Baguio for its similar experiences in the Cordilleras. The president reported that in  a recent world university ranking of 5,000 universities, the U.P. development studies program was in the 51st-100th-place.
     He predicted that the new degree offering, now made available in the Mindanao region, would make an impact in the Mindanao community, in research and by producing more  development experts who will create high-impact solutions that are sustainable and inclusive. He pledged that his office would continue to support similar initiatives from the UP constituent universities.
     He closed by congratulating the two constituent universities represented by UPLB Chancellor Fernando Sanchez and UP Mindanao Chancellor Sylvia Concepcion, the UPLB Graduate School led by Dean Jose Camacho, and the faculty members associated with the new program. The president, likewise, congratulated the 16 enrolled students in the PhD program--which includes faculty members from Xavier University, University of Mindanao, San Pedro College, and U.P. Mindanao--and that he looked forward to seeing the research proposals from the class.
     The president's talk was followed by the Inaugural Lecture titled, "Inclusive Development with Identity" delivered by Prof. Raymondo Rovillos, chancellor of UP Baguio. See more photos here, po!     

View the video of Pres. Pascual by testing this link, po!

BS Comp. Sci. alumnus is part of winning AngelHack team, 2015

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

     UP Mindanao alumnus Tim A. Duhaylungsod Jr. (BS Computer Science 2014) was part of the winning team of the 2nd Angel Hackathon in Davao City. Below is an excerpt from the news article from Sun Star Davao issue of 24 August 2015.    

     "Davao app developer off to Silicon Valley

     THE second Angel Hackathon (AngelHack) Davao 2015 winning mobile application, HopChat, will represent Davao City in the annual Global Demo Day in Silicon Valley.
     HopChat, developed by a group composed of Davao-based IT professionals, is an application where one can send SMS from one phone to the next without wifi, Bluetooth or even telecommunication intermediaries.
     The two-day AngelHack concluded last August 16 at the PLDT-Smart Business Center on Bangoy St. in Davao City.
     The group is comprised of Eric Clark Su as the product developer, Tim A. Duhaylungsod Jr. (technical lead), Inaki Narciso (Android lead), Mark Valles (IOS developer) and Kevin Ladan (Android developer).
     More than 20 competing teams participated in this year's AngelHack. The HopChat team will undergo the AngelHack Accelerator Program where they will be mentored for 12 weeks before bringing them out to Silicon Valley to raise investment and introduce them to incubators."

Alumnus Errol Merquita wins a 1st Prize in Palanca, 2015

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni

Picture3b     UP Mindanao alumnus Errol A. Merquita (BA Social Science 2002) won a 1st Prize in the 2015 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, the country’s most prestigious literary awards.  Mr. Merquita won in the Tula Para sa mga Bata Category for "Ang Iisang Paa Ng Tsinelas".
     This is Mr. Merquita's second Palanca Award, having won 2nd Prize in 2011 in the Short Story in Cebuano Category for “Isla Verde”, named after an area in Davao City populated by marginalized indigenous peoples. In 2010, he won 2nd Prize in the Bisaya Fiction Writing Contest of the Davao Writers Guild for his story “Kinsa ang Nagpatay sa Pari sa Calinan?” (in file photo).

New Medical Doctors, 2015

Written by Rene Estremera. Posted in Alumni


CSM PLE20152Eleven alumni of U.P. Mindanao are newly-licensed medical doctors after having passed the August 2015 Physician Licensure Examination. The new doctors are Raquel B. Agustin (BS Biology 2010), Modassir D. Calalagan (BSB 2010), Loradel Marbella S. Calio (BSB 2010), Ed Levi L. Camarillo (BSB 2010), Marcel Joshua L. del Fierro (BSB 2010), Donna Veda T. Escarlos (BSB 2009), Dannel Patrisha Grace H. Hiquiana (BSB 2009), Alfred Daniel M. Navarro (BSB 2010), Stephen Matthew B. Santos (BSB 2010, cum laude), Maria Sabrina A. Suaybaguio (BSB 2010), and Jude Carlo J. Muca (BSFT 2009).   [image/info from College of Science and Mathematics]

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