todays top stories

Xavier Ateneo Chemistry prof ranks second in inter-regional research paper presentation tilt 

November 16, 2019

    Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan Chemistry professor Dr Dorothy Caminos-Peruelo won second place in the inter-regional competition for oral research paper presentation (professional category) during the 13th Philippine National Health-Related Research System’s (PNHRS) Week celebration held recently in Cagayan de Oro City. Her winning paper was titled “Preparation, Characterization of Chitosan bamboo charcoal/poly(methacrylate) Composite Beads for the Capture of Creatinine.” This research involves the preparation and elucidation of the chemical properties of composite beads for future biomedical applications. The beads can be used as a column adsorbent in a kidney-assist device like in blood dialysis to remove blood toxins. Caminos-Peruelo represented not just Xavier Ateneo’s Department of Chemistry, but also the Northern Mindanao Consortium for Health Research and Development in the said tilt. Other presenters were from the University of the Philippines - Manila (NCR), Western University Philippines (Region 4B), Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (CAR), Bicol University (Region V), and University of the Immaculate Conception (Region XI). The Department of Science and Technology Region 10 invited Caminos-Peruelo to attend the closing and awarding ceremonies of the 2019 Regional Science and Technology Week (RSTW) last November 13 in Valencia City, Bukidnon.  The RSTW bears the theme “Science for the People: Enabling Technologies for Sustainable Development” and will dedicate the celebration for the recognition of exemplary contributors to the advancement of science, technology, and innovation in the region.∎              

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Glan emerges as raptor watching site

November 16, 2019

The town of Glan, Sarangani has emerged as a raptor watching haven with the recent Raptor Festival which launched the watching season in southern Mindanao.  At the Raptor Festival (from left) are Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon, Region 12 tourism council chairperson Michelle Solon, Raptorwatch Network Philippines representatives Teresa Cervero and Alex Tiongco, and ECPC director Cornelio Ramirez. Birds from Taiwan and Japan fly long distances and cross oceans to find suitable tropical feeding environments during the fourth quarter of year. As they head to Indonesia, they pass by southern Mindanao to rest and feed before continuing their journey. They arrive from September to October and March to April, and feed on rats and insects, thus serving as a natural pest control. The site is a major flyway of migratory birds as observed in their flight patterns for the past four years, and is a vital indicator of the ecological balance of the roosting area.  The Sarangani Provincial Government’s Environmental Conservation and Protection Center (ECPC) has set up the Raptor Hill as a research monitoring post and a tourist viewing area for the migratory birds. The monitoring season includes a five-year reforestation initiative at the roosting sites in Mt. Taltak, in partnership with Raptorwatch Network Philippines and the Japanese Society for the Preservation of Birds. Up to  the third week of observation, the team accounted for 101,882 raptor sightings composed mostly of Chinese sparrowhawk, grey-faced buzzard, peregrine falcon and western osprey species.  The monitoring and study aim to generate scientific data that will help authorities understand raptor biology, migration behaviors and help identify critical sites for conservation. According to Sarangani governor Steve Chiongbian Solon, the Provincial Government will improve the area to become an additional tourism site in Glan which is known as beach, culinary and heritage destination in the Soccsksargen region. (LGU Glan)    

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Xavier Ateneo McKeough Marine Center conducts underwater resource monitoring training 

November 15, 2019

    TEAMWORK IS KEY. The participants were divided into groups during fieldwork and data processing where each member is given a task to either lay the rope transect, identify the lifeform, write the data, or reel the rope. Supplied photo.  Report by Maria Jordana A Olano, MSC   The McKeough Marine Center of Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan recently conducted Community Coastal Resource Monitoring Training (CCRMT) at the XU Marine Station in Solana, Jasaan, Misamis Oriental. This training formed part of the Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) component of the project “Coastal Resource Assessment and Marine Debris Audit” also dubbed as CoReMar funded by Pilipinas Shell Foundation Inc.  The IEC was designed to train 12 dedicated “bantay dagat” or fisherfolk members from barangays Bayabas and Gusa of Cagayan de Oro City to monitor the health of their own coral reefs by generating data using the Coral Point Intercept Assessment Method. This method involves laying a 50-meter nylon rope parallel to the shoreline where coral lifeforms will be identified at every five-meter interval.   During the first day, the fisherfolks were given a series of lectures on coral reef biology and ecology to further understand the role of reefs and seagrass beds in the ecosystem focusing on coral reef lifeform identification. A series of exams were given to ensure mastery of the subject matter. On the second day of training, the participants surveyed a 300m-long coastline during Coral Reef Assessment Field Work in Jasaan and Barangay Bayabas Marine Protected Area. They identified 66 coral lifeforms from chosen points along the reefs of Jasaan where they then proceeded to calculate for the coral reef percentage cover and understanding the implications of the data that were generated. On the third and final day, the participants proceeded to the eight-hectare Marine Protected Area of Barangay Bayabas and established 400-meter permanent assessment transects. It was proposed by the barangay that their coral reef monitoring would be quarterly.∎   MORE PHOTOS   SHARING OF KNOWLEDGE. The fisherfolks of Brgy Bayabas read the provided module on coral reef lifeform identification. Supplied photo.  DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS. Facilitator and research assistant Sweetzel Neri discusses the results of the data collected by the fisherfolks. Supplied photo. GATHERING OF LOCAL LEADERS. A final gathering was held at the Barangay Bayabas office where each of the three groups presented their findings after the assessment was done on the Bayabas MPA. Supplied photo. 

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Theater Actors for National HIV Testing Day

November 14, 2019

LoveYourself, Inc. and the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), together with 10 community-based organizations nationwide, will conduct a national HIV testing day on November 23, in advance of World AIDS Day on December 1st. Dubbed Know Your Status (KYS) and Play (#KYSandPlay2019) this national HIV testing day entails a free, fast and confidential HIV test at 19 test locations nationwide.   This collaboration with PETA aims to strengthen the awareness campaigns of community-based organizations through highlighting the #ActingOnHIV drive of the theater institution. Theater performers who are primary ambassadors for the #KYSandPlay2019 inlclude Topper Fabregas, Jimi Marquez, Gio Gahol, Gerhard Krysstopher, Iji Ampil, Eko Baquial, Chamyto Aguedan, Bene Manaois, Dylan Talon, Rhenwyn Gabalonzo, Lygie Carillo, Cheeno Macaraig, Carlon Josol, Mico Esquivel, Miguel Almendras, Jarred Jaicten, and Ian Segarra.   “It's so important to have HIV represented in theater, hopefully in all art platforms. I remember when we did Normal Heart, you'll be surprised at how so much people don't know [about HIV],” Fabregas shared.   Marquez explained, “When you're getting tested, it's a win-win situation if you think about it. If you're negative, you know you're practicing safe sex correctly. If you're positive, then you get to know what to do next.” Gahol said, “There is strength in knowing the changes you need to face, to make good of whatever your status is. Know your status and you get to choose your next step. If we let fear take over, we allow the virus to choose for us.” The Department of Health (DOH) reports there are around 1,111 newly confirmed cases of HIV cases for July alone. 51% of the cases were aged 25-34 years old. There will be five test locations in the National Capital Region – (1) LoveYourself Anglo in Mandaluyong, (2) LoveYourself Uni and (3) Victoria by LoveYourself in Pasay, Lily by LoveYourself x DIOSSA in Parañaque, and (5) LoveYourself Welcome in Manila. For Luzon, there will be four sites, including (1) Hero by LoveYourself in Bacoor and (2) Aves Love and Light in Brgy. Bayan Luma 4 in Imus, Cavite, (3) Lakan Community Center in Brgy. Lakandula in Mabalacat, Pampanga, and (4) Amos Tara in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.   In the Visayas region, there are seven testing areas – (1) LoveYourself White House along Llorente street in Capitol Site, Cebu City, (2) Atma Prema Community Center in Banilad, Cebu City, (3) Watever KTV in Lapu-Lapu, (4) Sunflower KTV in Parkmall, Mandaue, (5) Barangay Poblacion Park in Talisay, and (6) Rajah Community Center in Brgy. Maria Clara, Iloilo City, and (7) kNOwTell Health and Wellness Lounge in Robinsons Place, Iloilo City. Meanwhile, Mindanao region has three testing centers, (1) Oro Pia Community Center in Cagayan de Oro, (2) #36 Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, Poblacion District in Davao City, and (3) Mujer Community Center in Brgy. Tetuan, Zamboanga City. #KYSandPlay2019 is the fifth of its kind HIV testing movement from various community organizations that is supported by Pilipinas Shell Foundation Incorporated, and AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The community-based organizations that have joined this movement include Aves Love and Light, Bangaw Federation, Bisdak Pride, Decent Image of South Signal Association (DIOSSA), Family Planning Organization of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapter, Juan Positive Movement, Kagay-an PLUS, LoveYourself, Inc., Mujer-LGBT Organization, Olympus Society of Davao, and Project H4 (Health. Help. Hope. Happiness).   Those interested to avail of this free testing can register at this link: bit.ly/KYSandPlay2019.    

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Public, Private sectors optimistic on Gwangyang City sisterhood

November 14, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO - Both public and private sectors are optimistic the recent signing of a sisterhood agreement between Cagayan de Oro and Gwangyang City, South Korea bodes well for both parties. Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar S. Moreno and Gwangyang City Mayor Jeong Hyunbok signed a Memorandum of Agreement for Substantial Exchanges between Cagayan de Oro City and Gwangyang, Korea last November 6, 2019 at a local hotel. “Sisterhood relations encompass many areas of common interests (such as tourism, culture and educational exchanges, trade) but these also manifest a city’s respectability in the domestic and international fronts,” Moreno said. “To me, the more important angle is not what to expect (although improved relations produce many reciprocal benefits), but rather what the sister cities can do together.” Gwangyang is a city in South Jeolla Province, South Korea. It is the home of POSCO's Gwangyang Steel Works, the largest facility of its kind in the world. Gwangyang is at the center of development for the Gwangyang Bay Area Free Economic Zone (GFEZ) which hosts port container handling, steel production, and shipbuilding as well as leisure facilities. The Cagayan de Oro City Council earlier enacted an ordinance authorizing Moreno to enter into and sign the Memorandum of Understanding for substantial exchanges with Gwangyang. In his endorsement, Mayor Moreno said the collaboration further enhances the policy of the city to promote sisterhood with other local government units here and abroad which have been determined to be beneficial in the delivery of services to its constituents. Both cities have agreed to carry out cooperation in various fields to further promote friendly relations and jointly make efforts for improved friendship between both cities’ citizens and better economic development. Exchanges will be in various areas of local governance such as, but not limited to economic trade and investment, education, culture and tourism for the promotion of friendly relations of the two cities and their people, Moreno said.  “We expect more robust programs in education, tourism and investments,” said Local Economic & Investment Promotion Officers (LEIPO) Eileen E. San Juan. “Before the signing of the MOU on Education, Gwangyang officials met with local private schools on accommodation of Korean students. Gwangyang is inviting Cagayan de Oro to their Plum Festival next year,” she added. As a further sign of goodwill and friendship between the two cities, San Juan said the Gwangyang City Government has designated one of their roads as “Cagayan de Oro Road.” The private sector led by the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc. (Oro Chamber) expressed similar sentiments. “Thank you very much to all who participated in the weeklong preparation and work for the successful visit of the delegation from Gwangyang City, Republic of South Korea,” said Oro Chamber President Irene Floro. Floro said among the matters being considered for mutual cooperation between the two cities are technology transfer from both countries related to steel manufacturing, product exchange, the setting up of businesses in Economic Zones and a planned outbound trade mission to Gwangyang on March 2020. “To the local Government of Cagayan de Oro, our gratitude and thanks for paving the road for this partnership. The business sector will benefit from this partnership as we work closely with the Gwangyang Chamber,” Floro added.    Although Gwangyang and Cagayan de Oro have been sister cities since October 29, 2012, it was only last year when a delegation from the city visited Gwangyang to explore how the sisterhood agreement could be further substantiated. City Councilors Suzette Magtajas-Daba and Jay Roa Pascual, were joined by Oro Chamber President Robert Pizarro and former Vice Mayor Antonio Soriano visited Gwangyang last September 18, 2018. In his terminal report to the city council, Councilor Pascual, chair of City Council committee on tourism,  said the Oro delegation attended the sisterhood conference with representatives from other sister cities of Gwangyang from Indonesia, Japan, and China, among others. Of the seven countries and twelve cities represented, Cagayan de Oro was the only sister city of Gwangyang in the Philippines. Pascual presented the city’s current status updates on tourism, financial, business, infrastructure projects, during the symposium. Aside from the booklets about the city, a video presentation featuring the latest Higalaay Festival was also screened. The councilor  said the business sector of Gwangyang was impressed with the presentation and expressed their intention to visiting Cagayan de Oro. City Councilor Suzette Magtajas-Daba, chairman of the committee on Education and also a member of the committees on tourism said the delegation met Gwangyang City Mayor Jeong Hyunbok and Gwangyang Chamber of Commerce President Lee Baekoo. “The purpose of our visit was to strengthen our friendship ties by bringing it to a new level of cooperation and widening it to various fields-education, culture, tourism, business and commerce,” Magtajas-Daba said. Mayor Jeong and Mr. Lee promised to visit CDO soon for the MOA signing, she added. Besides Gwangyang, Cagayan de Oro currently also has sisterhood agreements with the cities of Norfolk, Virginia in the United States; Harbin City in Heilongjiang, China and Tainan City in Taiwan.

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Lima: Paghanduraw, HIV Monologues Part 3 to be staged this November

November 13, 2019

After a two-year hiatus, Lima: HIV Monologues is back for its third installment. First staged in December 2015, Lima is a collection of five stories about real people – mostly Kagay-anons – who share their experiences about the challenges they had to face because of HIV and AIDS. The stories are also about people who are caught in the middle of the fight for HIV and AIDS awareness. This year’s show will focus on “paghanduraw” or reminisce. The five featured stories will take us back to significant events in the lives of Olivia, Billy, Divine, Ethan, and Aaliyah – events that somehow changed the course of life for them. Like the two previous HIV monologues, Lima: Paghanduraw aims to educate and inform – and to remind us that awareness is just as important as prevention, especially since Cagayan de Oro is considered one of the hots pots – or an area with a concentrated epidemic. Likewise, awareness will help people understand that a person Living with HIV (pLHIV) should not be discriminated or condemned. The Paghanduraw stories will be brought to life by actors Christy Bacoto, Christy Aboniawan, Benjie S. Manuel, Kale Alphe Ramons, Zilpha Ibañez, John Teves, Karl Owen Sayson, and  Reynards Abaloyan Tan under the direction of Maia Fortich-Poblete. Lima: Paghanduraw will be staged on November 29&30, 2019, 6pm, at Viajero Outdoor Centre along Domingo Velez and Aguinaldo Streets (across Echo Store). The show is free but donations starting at PhP50 are encouraged. Proceeds of the shows will be used for various HIV and AIDS awareness campaign. (MFP)

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