the region

Region X sericulture projects take off

June 2, 2021

A sericulture expert from Japan recently gave his thumbs up to the progress of sericulture/silkworm rearing houses in Misamis Oriental funded by the  Organization for Industrial, Spiritual and Cultural Advancement (OISCA) International, through the World Bank. OISCA Resident Representative Yukihiro Ishibashi recently visited two sericulture project sites in Sitio Saguing, Barangay Patag in the Municipality of Opol, Misamis Oriental and Barangay Balubal in Cagayan de Oro City, where silkworm rearing houses were constructed under the aegis of its Promotion of sustainable communities across the Philippines through silk production program. “They are very cooperative with our activities in OISCA so I’m very happy and satisfied with the performance of the staff of the government, at the same time [the] cooperation of the community beneficiaries in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental,” Ishibashi said. OISCA International contributes to Humanity's environmentally sustainable development through a holistic approach emphasizing the interconnectedness of agriculture, ecological integrity, and human spirit. To accomplish this, OISCA International implements and advocates hands-on experiential programs for world citizens of all ages, transmitting knowledge and skills, and cultivating spiritual qualities as dedication, self-reliance, and universal brother-sisterhood. One of OISCA`s four-pillars to development, Capacity Building is one of the cornerstones of Furusato Movement. OISCA`s 22 training centers located in 11 countries including Japan, aims to empower the youths through agriculture training, home economics, and technical skills training. Graduates of the program are expected to be the leaders and catalyst for change and help in the development of their own respective communities. The Japanese Embassy in Manila has allotted a total of USD426,168 or about PHP22.15 million to support sericulture business in the Philippines. The provinces of Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Aklan, Iloilo, Antique, and Negros Occidental are the identified beneficiaries of the project, through the transfer of similar sericulture business support that has been carried out in Negros Island. Through this grant, the beneficiaries will undergo leadership development seminars for spreading sericulture operations, short-term training for sericulture farmers, and mulberry field maintenance. While production of textiles is popular in the Philippines, Filipinos commonly rely on imports from other countries for its raw silk materials, including those used for traditional costumes such as the Barong Tagalog. The Philippines aims to achieve the domestic production of all silk threads used in the country, making Japan's support deployment project for sericulture an essential initiative. According to the Embassy, OISCA's assistance in the silk farming industry in the Philippines has come a long way, carrying out sericulture support business on Negros Island for more than 20 years. To further support the initiative, the Department of Science and Technology-Misamis Oriental (DOST-MOR) sourced P145,000 from OISCA for the silkworm rearing house. The agency then linked the farmers to the Philippine Textile Research Institute - Technology Center in Misamis Oriental (PTRI-TCMO) for training and technical assistance in silk cocoon production. Four members of the Sitio Saguing Community Farmers Association (SSCFA) in CNQ Farms completed a 3-day hands-on training on sericulture at the PTRI-TCMO, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental last 5-7 May 2021. Evaluators of the rearing house in Barangay Patag considered the facility to be suitable for silkworm rearing and functional for silk cocoon production. Meanwhile, the sericulture project in Barangay Balubal was made possible by the DOST Local Grants-In-Aid (LGIA) program in cooperation with the Local Government Unit of Cagayan de Oro City through the City Housing and Urban Development Department (CHUDD). As a result, the project's beneficiaries were successful in their first and second silk cocoon harvest last 14 February and 28 April of this year, respectively. Ishibashi expressed his great appreciation for the building of the rearing houses. He added that the setup was very ideal considering the distance between the rearing house and the mulberry field of the sericulture site in Barangay Balubal. After 50 years of working experience at grassroots level, OISCA adopts a new approach of integrating all its development and environmental conservation programs. OISCA coined the term Furusato Movement. The term furusato is Japanese word which means home.   The Furusato Movement is aimed at creating sustainable communities where its residents work together in a spirit of cooperation and self-reliance to achieve their common goals. It is also aimed at economic self- reliance, social security, environmental conservation and participation in policy formulation realized on the foundation created by various forms of capacity building.   To know more about the project, please contact Julie Anne H. Baculio, Science Research Specialist I at or mobile number 0917-709-3706. (Danielle Jeane Quilit, DOST-Misamis Oriental) (with reports from Japan Embassy, OISCA & DOST-STII)

Marawi Suicide Squad back in action vs. COVID-19

April 19, 2020

    These days they brave an unseen enemy to provide a decent burial for the dead and spare the rest of the population from infection.     They are employees of Lanao del Sur Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO).     On March 17, they conducted their first burial of a COVID-19 patient who died on that same day in Amai Pakpak Medical Center in Marawi City.     Amer Hussein Lucman, head of Lanao del Sur PDRRMO, said they had mixed emotions when they were told to bury the dead at Maqbarra Public Provincial Cemetery in Barangay Papandayan, Caniogan.     Maqbarra is the same cemetery where over 200 unidentified fatalities recovered from the Ground Zero battleground during the Marawi siege in 2017 are interred.     Lucman’s group was the same group, better known as the Suicide Squad, who retrieved the remains while the battle between government troops and the insurgents raged around them.     “We experienced mixed emotions because at first, we were told that the PDRRMO is there only to support, and that they (Marawi City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office) is supposed to lead but the APMC told us no one wanted to handle the deceased. We are ready anytime because we, in the PDRRMO, are here to help,” Lucman said.      Two immediate family members, with the help of two hospital personnel, helped carry the remains of the COVID-19 fatality from the hospital isolation room to the vehicle waiting at the back of the hospital.     “Noong malapit na sa vehicle, doon na kami nag take over, hinawakan na ng mga tao ko ang remains. We tried our very best to carry it kasi alam mo naman ang belief namin sa Islam, dinahan dahan namin ang pag-carry,” Lucman said.     (When the cadaver was near the vehicle, we took over, my colleagues held the remains. We tried our best to handle it carefully because you know our belief in Islam, we carry the deceased with care and respect.)     All team members were wearing protective suits which were all later properly disposed off according to the protocol mandated by the Department of Health (DOH). Lucman said it was his first time to assist in an Islamic burial so unlike the previous ones he attended.  While he and his colleagues tried to make the burial solemn given the unusual circumstances, they just smiled and tried to make light of it afterwards while disposing of their hazmat suits. In reality, they all were scared of getting infected. This battle was different. “Noong nagdadamit na kami, siyempre virus yan, mas delikado kumpara sa siege, idinadaan nalang namin sa tawa, nagbibiro na lang kami ng mga kasama naming na parang ‘eto, tayo na naman ang nagtatrabaho, walang tutulong’. Hindi na naming masyadong pinu-problema para hindi mawalan ng lakas ng loob ang mga members namin,” Lucman said. (When we were wearing our hazmat suits, of course we are dealing with a virus, more dangerous than the siege, we just laughed, we joked with our colleagues and I said “here we are again, working, no one will help”. We did not take it seriously so that our team members would not get discouraged).  “Sa siege kasi, maririnig mo ang putok ng baril, puwede kang magtago muna bago dumiretso. Unlike nito, hindi mo nakikita ang kalaban mo. Puwedeng anytime dumapo sa iyo kahit naka-protective suit ka, hindi 100% na hindi kakapit sa iyo,” he added. (During the siege, you could hear the gunfire and explosions, you could take cover before proceeding. Unlike now, you cannot see your enemies. Anytime, you could get infected even if you wearing a protective suit because it is not 100% you won’t get infected.) To make sure they are safe when they get back to their office, they disinfect  three times. The vehicle used in transporting the cadaver was also disinfected. Then they underwent quarantine until they were again called to bury another COVID patient on March 20. At the cemetery, no Islamic rites were conducted since the immediate family members already did these at the isolation room. They had to be very quick. “Sa normal na libing namin, lahat nga pamilya na nasa paligid ay hahawak sa bangkay bago ilagay sa hukay, pasa-pasa yan. Maraming mag-volunteer na maglibing. Hindi ka natatakot. Pero ito, kahit immediate family ay nag-aalangan na humawak sa bangkay. Masakit isipin na ganoon ang naging impact ng sakit na ito.” “Alanganin kaming humawak kasi baka mapunit ang PPEs namin,” Lucman added. For the March 28 burial, the PDRRMO decided not to bring along the immediate family members of the deceased because the nearest relatives were living in Iligan City. ILIGAN CITY ----- In 2017, they risked their lives dodging bullets to save those trapped inside the city by the siege. The Inter-Agency Task Force COVID-19 in Iligan City did not allow the relatives to go out from their house because they were classified as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM).  “On our end also, pinagbawal na namin na may family member na sumama kasi walang problema sa amin, we can always go on a quarantine. Pero mga family members, hindi natin alam kung may disiplina sa pag-quarantine. So imbes na mababawasan ang problema, baka mas lalong lumaki,” Lucman said. (On our end, we prohibit family members from joining the burial. It’s no problem for us because we can always go on quarantine. For the family members of the deceased, we are not sure if they have the discipline to undertake the mandated quarantine. Instead of easing the problem, it may only worsen the situation.) “We understand the weight of the problem. We are not sure of the other people because there many who are still in denial once they got infected  with the virus,” he added. It was hard for Lucman’s group to prohibit family members from burying their loved one, but the group prefers it that way rather than risk further spreading the virus.

6th BIG Bite Foodfest underway in Centrio

March 9, 2020

A Bigger and Better Big Bite Northern Mindanao Food Festival opened on March 5, 2020 at the Ayala Centrio Mall in Cagayan de Oro. Scheduled from March 5-8, 2020, the festival is a Centrio Mall marketing event promoting the food s scene in Cagayan de Oro City.     “This year there will be 71 food concessionaires, food exhibitors prepared with love,”said Centrio Mall Manager Hammer Roa during the festival launch held at the Centrio Activity Center.     “On top of that, all of our favorite food places are gathered here today at one venue for four days with the likes of Butcher’s Best and Aling Violy’s Humba, to mention a few.”     What is extra special about this year is that we have partnered with Liceo de Cagayan University who will be demonstrating the latest technical skills in kitchen set, competencies and techniques,” Roa added.     The launching program climaxed with the setting of what is probably the longest Seafood Boodle ever in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao, with VIPs from Centrio Mall and local tourism offices helping set up the 20 meter table with delectable grilled seafood favorites from Gerry’s Grill, after which all stakeholders joined in enjoying.     From 32 participating establishments last year, exhibitors to the 6th edition of the 3-day FoodFest this year more than doubled to 71, showcasing all kinds of food genres like organic, grilled, vegan, dessert and new for this year, packed food or take-outs (or takeaways).     “This year we added a new lane for packed food (take-outs) at H&M for desserts at the C.M. Recto entrance to accommodate food establishments specializing in pasalubong and similar foods,” said Itos Felesedario, Centrio Marketing Associate.     “Our rentals are friendlier which has enabled us to accommodate more entrepreneurs referred to us by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and more exhibitors from outside the mall,” Itos added.     “It’s also our way of pooling potential merchants such as Choleng’s Muron who started as an exhibitor in a previous Big Bite Food Festival but is now our full-time regular concessionaire,” Itos explained.     “Once we incorporate them in the mall, we teach them how the mall operates, which makes from a smooth transition from exhibitor to merchant,” he added.     Access to the main exhibition area at the Centrio Gardens will be during mall hours while the grilling area would remain open till 11o’clock for the festival duration.     Although the 71 slots for this year’s festival have already all been taken up, Centrio Mall remains on the lookout for trending food establishments in Cagayan de Oro.     While this year’s festival mainly still focuses on Cagayan de Oro, Centrio Mall is already receiving inquiries from merchants from areas outside the city like Iligan, and may consider including them in future festivals.     Besides the food exhibits, the 3-day program would also showcase star-studded events such as the Kapuso Meet-and-Greet on Sunday, March 8 at 4:00PM featuring GMA Artist Bejamin Alves and Gil Cuerva.

Sounding like a broken record: We badly need reforestation

July 22, 2019

There is a stark reality that we humans face today and as cliche as it may sound, changing that reality, is easier said than done.       Over the years, the problem in climate change and greenhouse gases spread like wildfire on a hot day. It continues to increase and it drastically affects our daily lives without us realizing it.       According to the recent study of British weather service body Met Office, carbon dioxide (CO2), which causes the climate-warming in the atmosphere, is dragging its near-record amount rise in 2019. Sadly, every year, this continues to increase even more.       In fact, over the past four years, it was recorded that the temperature of the Earth already reached its highest record.       Why is this happening?      One factor that majorly contributes to this massive environmental dilemma is the rising number of people and companies destructing forests. Deforestation is no longer new to our ears. We heard this word back in school and we are still talking about it today.      As recorded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 18.7 million acres of forests annually are being swept by various industries in the world. This is equivalent to 27 soccer fields that are being destroyed in every 60 seconds. And once the year 2030 comes, the percentage of endangered forests might jump as high as 47 percent.      In the Philippines, the country that owns two-thirds of the planet’s biodiversity, forests lose 24 percent of their covers each year over the past 100 years, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). This means that 47,000 hectares of forest covers are denuded per year or a total of 1.2 million hectares in the last century.       Deforestation causes a huge chain reaction of disasters and crises. For instance, the forestry industry accounts for a sizeable portion of our water supply. Without trees, we might find ourselves in the midst of another water crisis.       Forests are also our natural barriers for disasters. A mangrove forest helps stop tsunamis during thunderstorms and earthquakes. Forestries also help stop erosion and prevent flash floods and landslides.       Aside from this, they also help mitigate and even negate the negative impact of climate change. But most importantly, they help bring about growth for both the economy and ecology.       Hence, massive reforestation is key to addressing major problems, and this initiative should be done collectively and with the right tools. Funding could also be an issue for this endeavour.       Recognizing that it has the capacity to help champion causes, GCash created a program, called GCash for Good, that will provide individuals to donate money to non-government organizations (NGOs) to champion environmental causes, among others.        Through the GCash platform, users can express their generosity and their love for the environment by sending their donations to environmental protection organizations such as Bantay Kalikasan, Haribon Foundation, World Wildlife Fund for Nature, and the Forest Foundation Philippines.      Just like a normal donation program seeking to help the unfortunate and the environment, GCash for Good introduces convenience with a cause.       With GCash's 20 million users in the country, the option of sending donations to stop deforestation can be possible in just one tap on our mobile phones. And If these 20 million users sent one peso from their accounts, a total of P20 million will be raised in no time.       Now, there'll be no more excuse in promoting a greener world for the future generation. Just like the old saying goes, "Vision without action is a daydream and an action without a vision is a nightmare."       So, let's act now before its too late.

XUHS Batch 1980, Xavier Ateneo ink naming-rights agreement for SHS consultation room

July 21, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines — The Xavier University High School Batch 1979-1980 and Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan, through the Advancement office, recently signed a memorandum of agreement for the naming rights of a consultation room at the new XU Senior High School campus in Pueblo de Oro.       The signing ceremony was led by XU president Fr Roberto C Yap SJ and XUHS Batch 1980 representatives, namely, Architect Ernest Martin D Soriano, Reynald Z Recentes, Robert S Capinpuyan, Dr Renan B Arbellera, and Anthony Paul G Falcon.       XUHS Batch 1980, with their donation worth three hundred thousand pesos, has earlier expressed their desire and intention to “honor the memory of their XUHS batch by immortalizing their batch’s name in one of the facilities of the new XU Senior High School complex.”      In particular, one of the meeting rooms will be named “Batch ’80 Consultation Room,” containing a floor area of approximately 18sqm, located on the ground floor of the new XUSHS building, situated beside the Alumni Office and northwest of the Registrar’s Office.      Prior to the MOA signing, the batch had already turned over a facsimile check during an alumni homecoming at the XU Covered Courts on December 1 last year, in the presence of the XU Board of Trustees chairman Frank Guerra.      The XU Advancement Office opened the Naming Rights Program (NRP) last year to interested  donors and organizations who want to name a facility or space at the new XUSHS campus, thereby, sharing in the university’s vision of becoming the “Senior High School of Choice in Mindanao.”      The new campus will implement environment-friendly technology in its buildings and operations. Among its salient features are the following: a sewerage treatment plant, rainwater collection system, natural ventilation, and sky gardens. They are designed to reduce the overall impact on the environment and human health.

Xavier Ateneo, ADMU join forces to offer PhD in Economics offsite program in Mindanao

July 21, 2019

Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) and Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU), through their respective Economics departments, sealed an agreement to strengthen graduate learning on economics in Mindanao.      Xavier Ateneo is the only Higher Education Institution (HEI) in Mindanao that offers both an undergraduate and graduate programs in Economics. As proposed in 2020, AdMU will offer a PhD in Economics offsite program to be housed in Xavier Ateneo. An offsite scheme provides an opportunity for potential graduate students in Economics from Mindanao to avail an Ateneo education, right at the heart of CDO as students will be officially enrolled under AdMU but classes are to be conducted at Xavier Ateneo.      Part of the MOU is to develop Xavier Ateneo’s Master of Arts in Economics program, as its students are eyed to be potential enrollees in the PhD in Economics offsite program. There will be regular and certificate classes for both teachers and practitioners in Economics. Subjects are to be taught by faculty members of Xavier Ateneo and AdMU.      For the first semester of this school year, four regular and certificate subjects are being offered. All four are to be facilitated in mixed classes. Research Methods in Economics and Microeconomics are scheduled every weekday. Dr Catherine Roween C Almaden, dean of the XU Graduate School, is handling Research Methods. While junior faculty of Xavier Ateneo Economics, Jhon Louie B Sabal, is teaching Microeconomics.      Macroeconomics and Mathematical Economics, on the other hand, will be recited in the modular set-up as AdMU professors are teaching these subjects. Dr Rosalina Palanca-Tan, senior faculty of AdMU Economics, is scheduled to facilitate her face-to-face lecture on August 19-23 and September 16-20. Dr Philip Arnold P Tuano, chairperson of AdMU Economics, will conduct his lecture classes on October 7-11 and 28-30.


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