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March 13, 2009



CEB withholds official results
Nikko Angelo Oribiana and Estel Lenwij Estropia
The Central Electoral Board (CEB) is yet to release the official results of the 2009 University Student Council (USC) and College Student Council elections as the protests filed by contending political parties remains unsettled. Composed of the College Secretaries, Student Organization and Activities Division Head, Office of Student Affairs Director, USC and CSC chairpersons or representatives and UPLB Perspective editor in chief or representative, the CEB is responsible for the conduct of the elections, as well as hearing of election-related protests. BLACK PROPAGANDA SAKBAYAN Deputy Secretary-General Leo XL Fuentes filed a protest to the CEB, stating that SAKBAYAN found two black propaganda materials in buildings around the campus titled “Fusebox” and “Bakit hindi dapat iboto ang SAKBAYAN?” last Feb. 25 and 26. According to the USC-CSC election guidelines, “Black propaganda materials are prohibited and subject to confiscation.” Copies of “Fusebox,” which attacked candidates from both parties in a satiric way, were found scattered around the campus. The “Fusebox,” although claiming to be the “Opsiyal na Okray Station ng Yufielvi. Kabog. Sabog. Bugbog.” was unsigned. Another black propaganda material “Bakit hindi dapat iboto ang SAKBAYAN?” released by the Save the Youth against Communism and Terrorism and which labeled eight student leaders such as outgoing USC Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez, USC Chairperson-elect Pamela Pangahas and others as communists and terrorists, were disseminated in the campus. Bañez said, “Sa pinaka-esensya, hindi niya (black propaganda) tinatalakay ‘yung pangkabuuan na layunin ng isang eleksyon sa loob ng pamantasan, which is propaganda education”. She stressed that a propaganda should raise issues that would push students to participate in the elections and not stir confusion among them. The protest filed by SAKBAYAN also covered BUKLOD’s one-half lengthwise sample ballot, which allegedly violated the election guideline which states that “only sample ballots of the size should not exceed one fourth of a bond paper….” CAMPAIGN ANOMALIES Paul John Barrosa, BUKLOD-UPLB candidate for USC councilor, filed a protest asking for the disqualification of all SAKBAYAN candidates after the party distributed flyers titled “Strengthen our unity, Onward with our struggles” on Feb. 25 and “Biguin ang Pampulitikang Panunupil” on Feb. 26. The flyers contain SAKBAYAN’s clarification on the allegations stated in the said black propaganda. Similarly, Dr. Vivian Gonzales, Office of Student Affairs Director, reported that SAKBAYAN allegedly violated the guidelines set by the CEB to campaign only up to Feb. 24. Gonzales also submitted a sworn statement regarding her confrontation with Fuentes about the flyers. Barrosa also filed a protest against Bañez asking the CEB to inhibit her from participating in all its proceedings because of her ‘gross lack of professionalism and objectivity during the actual conduct of the USCCSC Election.’ The CEB counted as violations the release of SAKBAYAN’s flyers and BUKLOD’s sample ballot. Meanwhile, Barrosa’s protest against Bañez was dismissed by the CEB since the elections require the presence of the USC chairperson.

Due to election protests


COUNTED. Outgoing USC Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez tallies the number of votes in arguably one of the most controversial USC-CSC elections in recent years.


page 2

USC, Admin clarify Feb Fair issues

page 7

Deifying Hephaestus

page 8

Diliman Dreamers

page 12

Not just another EDSA


UPLB Perspective

VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

USC, admin clarify Feb Fair issues
Katrina Elauria
As the University Student Council (USC), together with student organizations, worked in pushing for the celebration of February Fair (Feb Fair), the disagreement between the USC and the administration regarding the conduct of Feb Fair left the USC with difficulties in organizing the event. The Centennial Feb Fair transformed into a protest fair as the administration’s late approval of the event resulted in various problems for the USC, which almost delayed the conduct of the Feb Fair. CSB BARS CONCESSIONAIRES Last Feb. 9 and 10, the administration ordered the Community Support Brigade (CSB) to check the receipts of the concessionaires as proof of their payments to the USC. Members of the CSB barred some of the concessionaires from setting up stalls at Freedom Park, while other vendors were stopped and were forced to show their receipts right at the UP gate. Meanwhile, the Office of the Chancellor (OC) released Memorandum No. 1 Series 2009 last Feb. 10 stating that “Feb Fair concessionaires are required to register with the Business Affairs Office (BAO) as per implementing rules and regulations set by the USC.” The memorandum further stated that concessionaires should pay P 2,000 for space rental and P 1,000 for other utilities. BAO Director Faustino Arienda said that after the dialogue between the administration and the concessionaires held at the OC, Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco pulled out the provision regarding the payment of the abovementioned fees. However, Velasco requested Arienda to monitor the USC on proper handling of funds by requiring the vendors to get permit from the BAO. Maricris Cynthia Ariz delos Santos, Finance Committee Head of Feb Fair and USC Councilor said, “hindi included sa rules namin (USC) ang pagpapa-register ng mga concessionaires sa BAO.” Conchita Nuñez, a Feb Fair concessionaire, said she thought everything regarding their participation in the Feb Fair has been settled between them and the USC weeks before the fair. She said she was surprised by the memorandum released by the OC on the first day of the fair. FINANCIAL REPORT FOR FEB FAIR Delos Santos said she, USC Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez and FebFair Ad Hoc Committee Head Aira Olivia Garcia were


REPS, admin staff to select first Staff Regent
Estel Lenwij Estropia
really knows their plight.” The guidelines for the StR selection were crafted by a System Ad Hoc Committee, which is composed of representatives of recognized organizations from REPS and AS in UP. Nominees should have rendered ten years of service in the university with at least three years of membership to any recognized REPS or AS organization. The selection process will start at the constituent university level with the nomination from REPS and AS sectors, followed by selection through election of three nominees. The top three nominees will then proceed to the systemwide, secret ballot election where the nominee who will get the highest votes from the REPS and AS will be declared Staff Regent. The results of the StR election will then be submitted to UP President Emerlinda Roman for appointment by April 8. The election for the constituent university level in UPLB is slated on March 13 where 6 precincts will be designated in the campus. Nominees for the constituent university level are Amorsolo Alcantara of the Organization of Non-academic Personnel in UP (ONAPUP), Zosimo Dimaculangan of ONAPUP, Leni Garcia of UP System Assembly and Alexis Mejia of All UP Workers Union.[P]

Feb Fair...ON PAGE 4
The CEB decided to hold first the proclamation of winners in the elections except for those under independent parties until all protests are resolved. The CEB is yet to discuss the unresolved protests and the result of the election on March 13.

PHOTO KARL SUMINISTRADO YOUr ThUmbmark hErE. A sheer drop from the historic 70.54 percent voter turnout last September council elections, this year’s 38.82 percent turnout might indicate students’ disillusionment with the ‘dirty’ political conflicts that mar the recently concluded elections.

A Staff Regent (StR) from the ranks of Research, Extension and Professional Staff (REPS) and administrative staff (AS) sector will be the new addition to the Board of Regents (BOR), the highest policymaking body in UP. Section 12h of the UP Charter of 2008 states that the Staff Regent shall represent two sectors, the full-time REPS and AS, for two years. The StR will be elected in a system-wide selection on March 31 by the two sectors he or she will represent. As per the new UP Charter, the BOR composition will now include 11 regents, three of which will represent community sectors of the university: the Student, Faculty and the Staff Regent. Dr. Daniel Mendoza, president of UPLB Research, Extension and Professional Staff Association (REPSA) supports the inclusion of an StR who would look out for their welfare. Mendoza added that issues regarding their promotions and the equality among employees of the university may be given more attention by the BOR through the StR. However, Erick Vernon Dy, a member of REPSA, said through a text message that most of the REPS still prefer having a REPS regent as “a representative who

Nagpapasalamat ang Textbook Exchange and Rental Center kina G. at Gng. Celestino “Boy“ Pisigan/IH Dorm Manager sa ibinigay na P 1,000.00 pambili ng libro para sa mga estudyante, gayundin kay Gng. Remedios Parala, concessionaire ng Purefoods Hotdog, na nag-donate ng P 500.00.

MOTION FOR RECOUNT Ligaya Vanessa Enriquez of BUKLOD-UPLB filed an election protest moving for a recount in the College of Arts and Sciences precincts because one of the volunteer allegedly did not read the names of all candidates from BUKLOD written on ballots even if the names are spelled correctly, and at one instance the volunteer allegedly misread the votes. Also, Enriquez claims that the counting of ballots in the said precincts started without administrative Table 1. Full unofficial results of the 2009 USC-CSC elections. volunteers and the counted ballots TOTAL NUMBER lack signatures of representatives CHAIRPERSON OF VOTES from any administration Pangahas, Pamela Angelie (S) personnel. 1975 Similarly three BUKLOD Calayag, Ernest Francis (B) 1486 candidates for College of VICE-CHAIRPERSON Development CommunicationCollege Student Council requested Alub, Odraude (S) 1903 for a recount in their college as Cruz, Carlo (B) 1366 the absence of voting procedure is COUNCILORS allegedly evident in cases where voters listed thirteen College Aguihon, Bhen (S) 1683 councilors instead of only ten, Dumlao, Luntian (S) 1651 thus the votes for the last three Berris, Joseph (S) 1602 councilors in the ballots were Zuñiga, Elvis Gerald (S) not counted. Also, the precinct 1576 allegedly does not provide privacy Carlos, Maria Elena (S) 1558 to voters as required by the Burgonio, Faith Jovy (S) 1495 CEB and counting of ballots still Pasyon, Bonifacio (S) 1483 continued even if the number Ayao, Angelo (S) 1480 of ballots did not tally with the Barrosa, Paul John (B) 1460 master list.

70.54 percent turnout, the highest since post-Martial Law period in the UP system. Bañez said the elections are supposedly held for students to know more about issues concerning them and to be able to choose leaders who will serve their interests. Furthermore, Bañez said, “Hindi siya (election) ‘yung pagpili ng mga personahe, mas siya (election) sa mas mulat na partisipasyon ng mga estudyante kung saan sila (mga estudyante) mismo ‘yung may alam sa rason kung bakit kailangan ng partisipasyon nila,” she said. Bañez added that “the USC had been busy in campaigning for the CRSRS, organizing for the

February Fair and spearheading the USC-CSC election that is why we (USC) lacked on inviting students to participate in the elections.” SAKBAYAN dominates USC Newly-elected USC officials cannot yet assume position. The outgoing USC is on hold over capacity until the declaration of the official results of the elections (see sidebar). Pamela Pangahas won over Calayag as chairperson while Odraude Alub won over Carlo Cruz as vice chairperson. SAKBAYAN dominates the USC with nine councilors while only one councilor from BUKLOD made it to the USC. [P]


LOW TURNOUT The Feb. 25 to 26 USC-CSC elections turnout dropped to 38.82 percent as compared with the previous elections and plebiscite last semester that recorded a

Quiambao, Severino (S) Ferraren, John Michael (S) Calderon, Maria Camille (B) Villegas, Wylee (B) Jovellano, Marlem Elect (B) Santos, Pamelyn (B)

1426 1383 1308 1227 1214 1203


VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

UPLB Perspective


Admin seeks to rebracket STFAP
coverage of benefits under the STFAP without compromising the Program’s basic principle, which Christian Escudero, is to allow those who can pay DevCom ‘08, has experienced more to do so, while ensuring visiting the Scholarship and that the state subsidy is targeted Financial Assistance Division towards poor students of UP” and (SFAD) almost every day for making STFAP more “responsive a month last semester with to present conditions”. The hopes of receiving his refund. review is in accordance with Ignoring his parents’ advice Roman’s administrative order to enroll in a private university last November. they could afford rather than In an email, Roman in UP, he was glad that he was confirmed that the UP transferred to Bracket C from administration is hoping to what was initially marked as “implement the rebracketing Bracket B in his Form 5, but proposal in June this year.” the reimbursement process has “This will cover all those who already cost him a lot of time and have been covered by the tuition effort. adjustment (ToFI) - therefore He would again undergo all those who came in starting the long and tedious application 2007 either as new students or process and he worries because transferees,” she said. the money he gets back is still insufficient for next semester’s ‘ToFI JUSTIFICATION’ registration. The review committee By June 2009, however, the proposed four options that can administration is set to once be used as bases for the STFAP again rebracket the Socialized rebracketing. Among these, Tuition and Financial Assistance Atanacio and Esguerra strongly Program (STFAP). recommended option 4 (see With this, Christian, sidebars). including thousands of UP In the present alphabetic students who have to bear STFAP, a student’s family income with the 300 percent Tuition would determine his bracket and other Fees Increase (ToFI), among brackets A to E. Bracket wonder: Will the rebracketing A has the highest tuition rate finally help? of P1,500 to P1,000 per unit depending on campus while REVIEW OF ALPHABETIC SCHEME Bracket E has a 100- percent Last January, the twotuition fee discount and a P member committee composed of 12,000 per semester stipend. Prof. Edgardo Atanacio and Prof. Student Regent Shahana Emmanuel Esguerra of the UP Abdulwahid said though there Diliman College of Engineering would be more students who and College of Economics, could avail STFAP because of the respectively, submitted to UP split Bracket E option, this is President Emerlinda Roman still not an assurance that it can the review of the current STFAP help majority of UP students. alphabetic bracketing scheme. Records of SFAD as of first The review has an objective semester of 2008 show that out of being able to “expand the of 1,623 grantees of STFAP in
OPTIONS BASED ON FAMILy INCOME Bracket and tuition per unit (Group I/II) ** A P1,500/P1,000 B P1,000/P600 C P600/P400 D P300/P200 D1 P300/P200 D2 Free tuition but with other fees E Free tuition with P12,000 stipend E1 Free tuition E2 Free tuition with P12,000 stipend P135,001 to P500,000 P80,001 to P135,000 Option 1 Current Option 2 Split C and Raise E ceiling Option 3 Split C and Expand D Option 4* Split C and Expand E

Rogene Gonzales with reports from Estel Lenwij Estropia

UPLB, only 4.56 percent, or 74 students are under Bracket E, while 64.81 percent or 1,042 students are in Bracket C. The Office of the Student Regent is currently studying the committee report and will update the ToFI policy review initiated during SR James Mark Terry Ridon’s term. In an interview in an ABSCBN News Channel program last December, Roman admitted that

Comparison of proposed rebracketing to current STFAP ·Bracket E will be split into E1 and E2 and will entail full tuition and other fees discount, but only students in E2 shall receive the P12,000 per semester stipend. ·The upper limit of Bracket E2 shall be adjusted periodically according to the official poverty threshold, but must not be lower than P80,000. ·Family income base for determining Bracket C students would be raised from P 135,001 to P 250,000. ·Family income base for determining Bracket D students would be raised from P 80,001 to P 135,001.

Students assess centennial feb fair
Nikko Caringal with reports from Kris Loren Dulay
Rock music of various bands, the sounds of speakers and the cheers of students were heard even from afar. Swarms of people hustled in the Freedom Park to bask in the festive atmosphere of this year’s Feb Fair. Who would have thought this yearly activity would not have been possible just a few days ago? The students, through collective action, had to protest just for this Feb Fair to continue. Iskolars ng Bayan were able to fight for this right, which reflects this year’s Feb Fair theme, “RAGE generation: Reliving and Reaffirming the Legacy of UPLB Student Movement.” RELIVING THE PAST THROUGH THE PRESENT Last Feb. 9, 50 organizations held a picketdialogue in front of the administration building. With an air of agitation, University Student Council Chairperson Charisse Bernardine Bañez announced that the Feb Fair will be a Protest Fair. Around 300 students, in protest to administration’s strict policies for the event, barricaded the UP gate. The protest paved the way for the continuation of the Feb Fair even without the assistance from the administration. This is what the students had done during the Marcos dictatorship. Marcos curtailed democracy through abolishing organizations, closing down the student councils and the publication all over the country. Students then conducted a Protest Fair as an expression of dissent against assaults on human rights. The Feb Fair, during that time, was held every September. FEB FAIR AS PROTEST FAIR IMPACTS The five-day Feb Fair event exposed students to realizations and calls to action regarding issues inside and outside the campus. These include repression of right to information and assembly, the farmer’s right to own a land, the abduction of activists and the plight of people in Sitio Kabute. Klarence Orjalo, BA Sociology, ’08 said, “mas naging mataas ‘yung level ng aking pagiging aware sa mga issues dito sa ating unibersidad pati na rin iyong mga issues sa labas [ng university] at mas nagkaroon ako ng initiative na parang mas alamin ang tungkol doon [sa mga issues].” For Rocky, not his real name, BS Applied Physics, ’01, said there was not much difference between Feb Fair this year and the previous years. When asked if it has impact to him and to other students, he said “Meron pero hindi ganung kalaki ang impact sa mga estudyante na hindi aware sa mga issues.” Denise Lachica, BS Veterinary Medicine, ’08, said “Bitin, kasi five days dapat, nung Tuesday hindi masabi kung iyong event ba ay matutuloy o hindi dahil hindi sure kung official. Kung mas maaga, nakapag-enjoy pa sana.” FEB FAIR AS AN AWARENESS DRIVE The Feb Fair served as a venue for students to know different issues. When asked what is the essence of Feb Fair, USC Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez said, “Isa siyang [Feb Fair] mechanism para makatulong sa pagpapataas ng pampulitikang kamulatan ng mga estudyante sa pinakamadaling paraan na tatanggapin nila.” The Feb Fair exhibited numerous shows and presentations in line with its theme. Famous bands like Itchyworms and Brownman Revival performed. Many students and organizations supported Star in Carillon, Gorgeous 20 and Class Distraction. The Kabute Kids sang a song with lyrics about their lives and the injustices committed by the Arroyo administration as part of the social and political presentations. Representatives from different political groups such as Anakpawis gave a brief talk about the situation of workers in present and called for actions to help these people. Ka Hermie, Chairperson of Organized Labor in Agriculture and Line Industries Association said, “Baguhin, bawiin natin ang sistemang mapagsamantala, ang sistemang hindi gumagalang sa tao sa kapwa tao sa kasalukuyang sistema sa ating lipunan. Ito’y



Greater than P1,000,000

P500,001 to P1,000,000 P250,001 to P500,000 P100,001 to P250,000 P250,001 to P500,000 P250,001 to P 500,000 P135,001 to P250,000 P150,001 to P250,000 P100,001 to P150,000 Less than P80,000 Less than P100,000 P80,001 to P135,000 Less than P80,000

* Recommended option for STFAP rebracketing by the review committee ** Groups I comprises of Diliman, Manila and Los Baños while Group II includes Baguio, Mindanao, San Fernando and Visayas. Source: Report and Recommendations of the Committee to Review the Current STFAP Income Ranges and Brackets by Prof. Edgardo Atanacio and Prof. Emmanuel Esguerra

PHOTO KARL SUMINISTRADO NIghT Of ragE. An excited crowd dances along with various music of bands that were showcased in the Centennial February Fair.


UPLB Perspective

VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

Sawa ka na ba sa [P]?

”Reunion” itinatampok sa Sining Makiling Art Gallery
Yves Christian Suiza
Isang taong nagmimistulang Kristong nakapako sa krus habang pinalilibutan ng labindalawang kataong kumakatawan sa kanyang mga apostol ang isinasalarawan ng isang painting na pinamamagatang “Reunion”. Isa ang ”Reunion” sa ilang obra ni Emmanuel Garibay na itinatampok sa exhibit sa Sining Makiling Art Gallery na nagsimula noong Pebrero 11 at magpapatuloy hanggang Marso 20. Si Garibay ay isang kilalang pintor na umani ng mga parangal tulad ng second Place sa Painting Category sa II Bienal del Baloncestoen Bellas Artes sa Madrid, Spain noong 2000 at Diwa ng Sining Award sa National Commission for Culture and the Arts sa Maynila noong 1994. Ayon kay Glen Cagandahan, iskultor at instruktor sa Department of Humanities Visual Arts and Music, “Salamin siya (paintings ni Garibay) ng nangyayari sa bansa natin ngayon... ginagamit niya ang canvas niya upang imulat ang sambayanan sa nangyayari sa Pilipinas.” Ipinaliwanag ni Cagandahan na isang expressionist artist si Garibay at ginagamit niya umano ang distortion upang magbigay diin sa damdamin sa bawat pinta na kanyang nililikha. Aniya, maraming laman, makabuluhan at may relasyon sa mga pangyayari ngayon ang mga likha ni Garibay. “Ipinapakita sa ‘Lupa, hindi bala’ na madalas nagiging biktima ng violence ang mga magsasaka para lang sa lupa... ‘yung nanay sa ”Pieta” walang bibig dahil hindi pinapakinggan ang kanyang tinig at hawak niya ang larawan ng kanyang anak na parang biktima” paliwanag ni Cagandahan. Ayon naman kay Czarlina Evangelista, organizer sa naturang exhibit, ang Reunion ni Emmanuel Garibay ay nangangahulugan ng tatlong bagay: ito ang kanyang pinakamalaking pinta sa



SR delibs set on May
Nikko Angelo Oribiana
Student councils (SC) from different UP units are now preparing for the Student Regent selection slated in May. In a memorandum released last Feb. 16, the Office of the Student Regent has already indicated the set of dates for the 2009 SR selection process. This year, the General Assembly PHOTO KARL SUMINISTRADO of Student Councils (GASC) will rEUNION. convene in UP Visayas Miag-ao Isa sa mga tampok na obra ni Emmanuel Garibay sa isang exhibit sa Sining Makiling campus to deliberate nominees for the Art Gallery, ang “Reunion” ay sumasalamin sa mga kasalukuyang isyu ng ating system-wide level and choose the next panahon, parrtikular sa relihiyon at politika. SR. The GASC is composed of all SCs naturang exhibit, alay niya ito pahayag naman ni Garibay. in the UP system and the current SR sa unibersidad bilang UPLB Maliban sa Reunion ay as the presiding officer. graduate at alay niya sa mga dati itinampok din sa naturing The newly-ratified Codified Rules niyang mga kasama sa kolehiyo. exhibit ang ilan sa mga likha ni for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS), Ayon kay Evangelista ang Garibay tulad ng Traffic Aide, rules governing the SR process, Reunion ay isa sa mga pinta Tibak at Mag-ina. na itatampok sa katapusan Si Garibay ay nagtapos din ng stipulates that the nominations for the SR is open to any bona fide UP ng taon bilang pagpupugay sa BFA in Fine Arts sa Unibersidad student, regardless of academic sentenaryo ng UP. ng Pilipinas Diliman noong standing, from any campus and unit. ”Ang gusto ko sana isama 1990, at MA Divinity sa Union Throughout the process sa centennial exhibit ay ’yung Theological Seminary Cavite noong nominees will follow different levels of Tibak... sinisimbolize ’nun na 1995. Sa kanyang pananatili screening. kailangan natin pag-igihin ang sa UPLB, siya ay naglingkod sa porma at postura ng aktibismo... UPLB Perspective bilang Art Editor At the last level of screening, isang side kasi dun ay hindi na noong 1981 hanggang 1984 sa the nominees are set to present their nagiging seryoso sa paglaban,” kursong BA Sociology. [P] Vision Paper and General Plan of Action before the GASC, after which the General Assembly will deliberate on who will take the SR post next. The GASC can choose nominees through hand raising or secret balloting. Autonomous units such as Baguio, Diliman, Los Baños, and Mindanao are entitled two votes. Meanwhile, regional units like the Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga and Cebu College in the Visayas, have one vote. The SR nominee who will be chosen through a consensus by the GASC, or if consensus is unattainable, at least two thirds votes of the SCs, shall become the SR subject to the approval of Malacañang. Incumbent SR Shahana Abdulwahid said the OSR are preparing for logistical needs and information dissemination about the SR selection process. Traditionally, the SR deliberations is held during December but the CRSRS was subjected to a referendum as required by the UP Charter of 2008. The CRSRS was successfully ratified last Jan. 26-30 after achieving 72.05 percent affirmative votes. [P] NO ELECTRICITY ON THE FIRST DAY Meanwhile, the Physical Plant and Maintenance Services Office (PPMSO) did not provide electricity to the Feb Fair grounds last Feb. 10 due to lack of permit, since it was only on Feb. 6 that Velasco informed the USC that they should ask for a permit from lower offices instead of directly from him, delos Santos said. Along with the lights and sounds the USC rented for the fair, they also rented a generator to provide electricity for the first day, she said. Garcia said they were fixing the permit on the use of electricity until the second day of the fair, which was granted by the PPMSO the same day. Janine Ruth Castanes, ‘07 BS Food Tech said “nakakainis lang kasi ang inaasahang masaya at maliwanag na FebFair ay nawalan ng kuryente noong first day.” [P] depending on how the Iskolars ng Bayan will take the struggle as their own. Like what Bañez said, “Marapat nating tandaan na anumang pakikibaka ng kabataan para sa karapatan sa edukasyon ay pag-ambag na natin sa pakikibaka ng mamamayang Pilipino para sa disenteng pamumuhay at ito’y ambag ng kabataang Pilipino para sa pagsusulong ng pambansang demokratikong pakikibaka.” [P]

supposed to attend the dialogue between the concessionaires and the administration but were told that the venue is the Operation’s Room of the Administration building rather than the OC, where they waited for almost an hour. On the other hand, Arienda explained that keeping the Feb Fair fund has never been at karapatan nila (vendors) na maaudit ng maayos ang pera nila,” he said. Arienda added that USC has to be transparent with the way it handled the Feb Fair funds by releasing a financial report of the Feb Fair. Delos Santos, however, said, “Maglalabas kami ng fin[ancial] report hindi para ipasa sa admin kung ‘di para i-publish sa either Perspective, Sanggunian, [ang] thereby earning profit for UP since opisyal na pahayagan ng UPLBUSC o [sa] proceedings ng CSL majority still pay base tuition. (Council of Student Leaders.)” She also said that if the ‘HALF-HEARTED’ ATTEMPT National Union of Students administration wanted to audit the Feb Fair funds, they should have of the Philippines - Southern hired an auditor to do that, and Tagalog Secretary General not the administration itself, to Rayan Brozula said that this ensure that the fund will be used move by the administration is for the conduct of the fair and not but a “half-hearted attempt for any other reasons. to aid students amidst the current global economic STUDENTS ASSESS...FROM PAGE 3 crisis.” binibigay namin sa ating mga “The real solution is higher kabataan na ipagpatuloy niyo state subsidy because as long ang laban ng mga manggagawa.” as the education sector is not prioritized, the government THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES will continue to impose antiEven now that the booths student policies on tuition,” in Freedom Park are gone and Brozula explained. the stage set up is removed, Meanwhile, Bañez said the spirit of student movement that if the administration is can still be felt inside the indeed sincere and it has a campus. Student councils genuine motive in providing and organizations continue to economic relief to UP students, campaign for securing student it should rollback the tuition rights. This legacy of reaffirming and over-all junk ToFI. [P] student movements will continue the administration’s reason for wanting to centralize the payment of concessionaires at the BAO, contrary to what the USC claims. “Gusto lang naming (admin) iaccount ng tama, kasi ‘yung perang ibinayad ng mga entrepreneurs (vendors) ay pera ng bayan, subject pa rin ‘yan sa batas ng gubyerno,

Tuition in UP may increase in the next three years. Abdulwahid said the STFAP implementation in 1989 and the STFAP rebracketing in 2006 were both done prior to a ToFI. “As we may fear, this STFAP rebracketing may serve as another justification for another tuition and other fee increases,” Abdulwahid stressed. Simultaneous with the approval of the 300 percent ToFI in the December 15, 2006 BOR meeting, the BOR already allows tuition adjustments based on inflation . Roman told Perspective, however, that the administration is “not inclined to adjust tuition this year.” ‘SMOKESCREEN’ FOR REVENUE The review committee recommends Option 4 because it has “moderate financial implications for the University” and the least increase in total subsidy to STFAP grantees. University Student Council Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez said in Filipino that the planned STFAP rebracketing is but a “smokescreen” to the “real motive of the administration” because it only “rationalizes the underprivileged to accept STFAP as a means to be able to study.” The report also indicated that “In terms of tuition revenue, Option 4 registers only a moderate decrease (9 percent) compared with Option 2 (7 percent) and Option 3 (11 percent).” “More than to provide financial assistance or increase the beneficiaries of STFAP, what the admin is really concerned about is revenue... iniisip pa rin niya kung papaano siya kikita,” Bañez said. She furthered that not even ten percent of the whole student population have full subsidy,


VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

UPLB Perspective



Ano sa tingin mo ang solusyon sa nakaambang energy crisis sa bansa?
“Ang magandang solusyon sa nakaambang energy crisis sa bansa ay pagba-bike.” - 0927446**** “Maghanap sila ng alternative sources of energy, like solar energy. Dapat maginvent sila ng mga bagaybagay para mautilize ‘yung mapo-produce na energy. At i-promote ‘to.” - Carling | BS Food Technology ‘07 “Magtipid. Kung hindi kayang mag-adjust ng krisis sa atin, tayo na lang ang mag-adjust sa kanya. Basahin ang likod ng Meralco bills para sa tipid kuryente tips.” - Chico | BS Industrial Eng’g ‘06 “Sa tingin ko, kailangan ng mas maraming campaigns para sa pag[co]-conserve ng energy sources ng ating environment. Masyadong matagal at magastos ang research sa pagdiskubre ng bagong energy sources though alam natin na inevitable ang depletion ng ating energy. Mas mainam na ituloy ng governing sectors ang kanilang advocacy para sa pagmi-minimize ng wasteful consumption.” - Mick Gammad | BS DevCom ‘07 “Sa tingin ko, dapat maging open ang government na magpondo sa mga energy sources na hindi pa masyadong nata-tap ng mga tao. Hindi tayo dapat maging critical at mag-doubt sa mga possible sources na maaring maging solusyon sa energy crisis natin.” - Zarah Mae | BA ComArts ‘08


Ano ang Valentine’s Day message mo para kay Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco?
“Chancy, Happy Valentine’s Day po! Sana malunod ka… sa pagmamahal… ng tuition. NO TO TOFI!” - Michi | comesky



Poems, short stories, essays, graphics and photos
Send your contributions to uplbperspective0809@gmail.com or hand carry them to Room 11 2nd flr Student Union building. Submission is up to March 27 only.

1. 2.

“Chancy, keep on loving us, students. Maaaring marami kang kinahaharap na problema pero kaya mo ‘yan! Kaya natin ‘to!! Pagbutihan mo ah, umayos ka! Labu labu (love you x2). Ingatan ang sarili at kain nang maayos.” - Isauro | BS Industrial Eng’g ‘06 “Happy Valentine’s! Sana iregalo mo na sa amin ‘yung pagbaba ng tuition fee. Tapos, doon sa nakaraang reg, sana ‘yung mga fees ay mapunta sa amin, hindi sa pagi-improve ng facilities para sa tourism ng school.” - Florante Martizano | BS APHY ‘08 “Chancy, wag kang mag-alala. May mga estudyanteng nagmamahal din sa’yo. But NO! Hindi kami ‘yun!” -“KatoRse” “Hello Chancy. Happy Valentine’s Day po. Sana masaya ka nung Valentine’s mo. Natuloy po ‘yung Feb Fair, mabuhay ka! Sana masaya ka sa buhay mo.” - Shiela Muñoz | BS Human Ecology ‘05

Mag-text sa 09174192496/09295085076
Ano ang iyong pagtatasa sa papatapos na termino ng UPLB Perspective? Ano ang iyong birthday wish para sa UPLB sa ika-100 niyang kaarawan?

mo’y mahalaga.


UPLB Perspective

VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

Clash with Zeus: Crippling the Workforce As if detestation from gods and goddesses is not enough, Hephaestus was thrown by Zeus from the Olympus to the no-man’s island of Lemnos after the former saved her mother Hera from being chained between the earth and sky. The said fall, which took nine days and nine nights, cost Hephaestus his legs and forced him to live reclusively in a desolate volcano. This detestation translates to labor-only contracting or contractualization in the Filipino workers’ experiences, where they suffer from limited opportunity to acquire regular status. Ateneo Center for Asian Studies refers to contractualization of labor as the short-term hiring of workers “and then re-hiring these same workers to perform essentially the same tasks for which they were initially hired. Scores of contractual workers multiplied when then President Fidel Ramos applied his economic policy Philippines 2000. Despite promises of increased jobs, the Ramos administration failed to produce enough employment that he allows companies to indiscriminately utilize labor-only contracting to accommodate hundreds of thousand of unemployed Filipinos in 1995. Contractualization and casualization were legalized after then Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) Secretary Leonardo Quisumbing issued Department Order (DO) No. 10 in 1997. The order explicitly provisioned that “contracting and sub-contracting arrangements are expressly allowed by law” guided by the principle of “flexibility and free competition” to “increase efficiency and streamlining operations essential for every business.” However, only a small portion of safety net was included in the DO as it gives only to the Labor Secretary the prerogative to restrict or prohibit labor-only contracting “to protect the rights of workers.” In 2001, DoLE Secretary Patricia Sto. Tomas issued DO No. 3 to revoke the previous one but retains the effectivity of DO No. 10 to companies that earlier implemented it, and issued DO No. 18-02 that essentially restored DO No. 10 the following year. A classic and widespread example of contractualization is best practiced by Shoemart (SM), one of the biggest department store chains in the country. Of the 20,000 workers that SM employs, only one percent or 1,731 employees are regular and protected by collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, among those who are hired under laboronly contracting is Mang Andres Batulot, 45, of Pasig City. He works for a fiberglass company where he installs window glasses on towering buildings in Makati City. In his job, he is prone to numerous on-site accidents whenever he climbs up to 70th floor to install glass windows. He complained, however, that despite these risks, health benefits and insurances are not reflected on his pay slip since he is only a contractual worker hired and re-hired to work for only three to six months. Expulsion from Olympus: Prolonging the Agony Asia-Pacific Research Network (APRN) Chairperson Antonio Tujan Jr. said the rampant contractualization in the country causes contract workers to “earn less than regular workers, they also are not entitled to benefits such as social security and year-end bonuses. Tujan mentioned that workers cannot defend their legitimate rights since they are barred from joining a union. According to IBON Foundation, contractualization of labor takes its toll on the state of union-formation in the country. As companies hire workers on a fixed term of employment, they do not only gain mandate to cut labor costs but are also allowed to “lower worker’s wages, strip their workers of their benefits and save on capital expenses.” Figures from the Center for Trade Union and Human Rights (CTUHR) show that from January to August 2007, union and human rights violations involving harassment, violent dispersal, illegal arrests and detentions, grave threats and enforced disappearances peaked to 59 cases with estimated 829 victims. This only means that workers nationwide do not benefit well from their labor contribution and is actually exposed to many human rights violation. ANAKBAYAN-Southern Tagalog (ST) Chairperson Paulo Bautista said that joining a worker’s union provides members the opportunity to safeguard their rights through the process of Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Inside CBA, workers can negotiate for their demands of regularization and entitlement to health benefits and insurances. Similarly, National Union of Students of the Philippines-ST Secretary General Leo “XL” Fuentes said every union aims to push for the lawful demands of their members through the CBA and also intends to contribute to the national call of the workers for their democratic rights. Slaying Zeus: Discontinuing Contractualization The sorry state of employment in the country illuminates the fate of hardworking god Hephaestus who toils and labors for the Olympus gods and goddesses but is still maltreated and ignored. Despite bringing ease and remedy to many problems and harms, the god of metal works bear a destitute and exploited life inside the volcano of Lemnos. Even with the ill-treatment he received from Olympus, Hephaestus wins the trust and support of craftsmen, sculptors, blacksmiths, and artisans on the land. Perhaps, workers nowadays must follow the course of mythology: Hephaestus holding an anvil, riding his self-made chariot, with eruptive fury, gloriously winning over Zeus whom, in one of the versions of the story, he killed. [P] *not their real names
References: Lindio-McGovern, L. Neo-liberal globalization in the Philippines: Its impact on Filipino women and their forms of resistance. Indiana University. Income and Employment Statistics Division, Household Statistics Department, National Statistics Office AM Remolino (2007. Contractualization and the State of Unionism in the Philippines. http://100roses.wordpress.com/2008/12/15/contractualization-andthe-state-of-unionism-in-the-philippines/ Tujan Jr., A. Globalization and Labor: The Philippines Case. http://www. geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/4677/index.html IBON Foundation Features

“Tin melts when heated by men’s art in channeled crucibles; or as iron, which is hardest of all things, is softened by glowing fire in mountain glens and melts in the divine earth through the strength of Hephaestus.” -Hesiod, Theogony


n Greek mythology, several deities earned high recognition because of their physical prowess, beauty, magnanimity and wisdom, which altogether push minor ones to the periphery, if not to oblivion. Among those who are damned because of unsightly appearance and lowly status, Hephaestus suffers the most in Mount Olympus and in the many pages allotted solely to chronicling his misery. Little do we know of Hephaestus or Vulcan in Roman myth, who is portrayed as an industrious god who bestowed not only to Olympus divinities but also to mankind many magnificent tools and implements that improve activities and labor. Instead, accounts of his exploits reduced him to a grotesque and lame god, finding abode in a forlorn volcano and aiding his disability with a walking stick. Much of the story seems parallel to the condition of workers in the Philippines, where those who toil are ill-treated and exploited. Filipino workers suffer from exploitative environment and abusive conditions brought about by the government’s economic policies that by and large favor contractors and businessmen. Like Hephaestus, laborers are compressed in unfavorable and hazardous working atmosphere. They are bound to endure eight hours or more of working time everyday with payment that is sometimes below the minimum wage, and with overtime that is sometimes underpaid or unpaid. Just as these workers are hired to toil, they are also employed with an unwritten agreement to tolerate the verbal and physical maltreatment of the “gods and demigods of the company” in order for them to earn a living while losing their morale. And while they make it possible for the economy to run — producing food and equipment, constructing infrastructure and creating technology and life systems — they are portrayed as unsightly and lowly, thus deserving low payment and job insecurity. Consort with Cyclopes: Toiling for Others Many of the origin of the finely-forged equipment of deities can be traced from the productive hands of Hephaestus and his Cyclopes assistants. These include Zeus’ thunderbolt and scepter, Hermes’ winged helmet and sandals, Aphrodite’s girdle, Helios’ chariot, Eros’ bow and arrow, Pandora’s Box and Achilles’ armor. Despite these contributions, he remained deprived of wealth and glory. Such situation corresponds to the fate of Filipino workers who labor for their employers but are still threatened by harsh labor schemes. These schemes were examined by Rana Forrohar and Tony Emerson of Newsweek, who said that workers worldwide experience “falling wages, reduced benefits and rising job insecurity,” which forced them to work “longer hours with little prospect of meaningful raise.” A case in point is Aling Linda Abolad*, 42, of Taytay, Rizal who works as a sewer in one of the RTW (ready-to-wear) companies in the locality for almost 20 years. In an interview with Perspective, Aling Linda said the company where she works now applies long working time, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., with only an hour allotted for lunch time and half an hour in the morning, afternoon and evening for break. In addition, workers in the company are pressured to work like automatons that cut, fold and sew textiles to meet the quota. Aling Linda shared that sewers need to finish 600-700 pieces of sewn cloth in order to get P200 wage per day, otherwise, they will keep working beyond 10 p.m. until the quota is met, or else face deduction on their salary.

he delay in the University Student Council-College Student Council (USC-CSC) elections last year caused the lag in addressing the repressions rampant in the campus. The centennial USC and their campaigns for student empowerment has not yet changed; but as the term gets closer to its final border, we’ll be looking into what-has-beens in the campus within almost seven months of representing the UPLB studentry. Campaigns for democratic rights Reestablishing the Council of Student Leaders (CSL) as the formal venue for students’ unification in facing their concerns, defending the 1984 USC Constitution, upholding the right to education and campus freedom, emphasizing UP’s role in pushing for significant social change and promoting the aspirations of the other sectors in the UPLB community were the concrete points that were pushed as the centennial USC moved forward with its aim to serve the students and the people. USC Chairperson Charisse Bernadine Bañez leads the centennial student leaders as they face a short term with the goal of serving the people. “Ito ýung term na ang iksi pero mistulang napakahaba dahil sa mga issue na kinaharap ng konseho. Naging mabilis ang peak and lull ng mga kinaharap na problema ngunit nanatiling matibay ang konseho sa tindig nito na pagsilbihan ang sangkaestudyantehan,” Bañez said. Unifying student organizations USC Councilor Mark Vincent Baracao said the present USC reinstated the CSL, an alliance of UPLB organizations, fraternities and sororities, to intensify student participation and encourage participatory leadership. “Dito naman namin, basically, pinag-uusapan ang [mga] issues na kinakaharap ng mga organisasyon, halimbawa na lang ang org recognition na nangangailangan ng kagyat na pagtugon mula rin sa ating mga estudyante,” Baracao added. The CSL usually meets not less than twice a month. They considered the need for a venue to address problems that directly affect all organizations in UPLB such as defending the Office of Student Regent (OSR), recognizing organizations and holding the February Fair were addressed through this alliance of student organizations.

VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

UPLB Perspective



choosing a student representative in the Board of Regents (BOR), UP’s highest policy-making body. The centennial USC believed that the best the student leaders and the studentry can do to uphold student representation is to vote “Yes!” in the referendum. In line with the campaign to ratify CRSRS, student council held kOnSyeRto and distributed statements that tackle the issue on student representation. After two days of marking ballots with ink and student participation, the CRSRS was ratified. Bhen Aguihon, College of Human Ecology-College Student Council Chairperson, related that it is not an issue of how the CRSRS was amended before, rather it is more an issue of securing the right to be represented. “Hindi natin maafford na walang katiyakan ang lone representation natin sa BOR,” he added. However, Julian Guerrero, BS Veterinary Medicine student batch ’07, said that the USC failed to fully disseminate information and educate the students about the pressing issues in the campus especially the issue on defending student representation. “Sa centennial USC, masasabi kong naging kagyat ang pagharap nila sa issues particular na rito sa campus,” he said.

Upholding student representation Student dissent continued as the UP Charter of 2008 set as requirement the ratification of the Codified Rules for Student Regent Selection (CRSRS). The CRSRS provides a guide in

Addressing sectoral and campus issues Along with the campaigns for democratic rights during the first quarter of their term, the council also served as a bridge between the administration and peasants from Southern Tagalog who held a cultural presentation in C-park last October 2008. The cultural presentation is part of the program that addresses issues on agrarian reforms. “Nairaos naman noon ang programang parte ng isang linggong welgang-bukid ng mga magsasaka ng TimogKatagalugan laban sa huwad na reporma sa lupa,” said Bañez. Despite the administration’s request to hold the program in the Jamboree, the USC asserted it be held in C-park. They believed that UPLB, as the center of excellence in agriculture, should help the peasants in upholding their rights to manage their own land. In February 2009, Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco suspended their request for holding the Febfair when the council failed to follow the bureaucracy before conducting an activity. However, Bañez said the council only followed what the previous USC terms did when holding the Febfair. A picket-dialogue led by the student council and college student councils was held last February 9, where 250 members from various organizations participated to call for immediate approval of the request of USC to conduct UPLB fair. The dialogue finally ended after almost eight hours of waiting and protest; then, clamor of success filled the campus. Other than mere campaigns for students’ welfare, there were also attempts to further address the issue of other sectors in UPLB community such as ambulant vendors and jeepney drivers, said centennial USC Councilor Jose Alberto Nuez III.

Facing questions The centennial USC, as it draws nearer to the end of its term, still faces the questions on financial statements and “transparency”. USC Councilor Maricris Cynthia Delos Santos said the allegations thrown at student leaders are just one of systematic attempts of the administration and other political group to hamper the students’ struggle for their democratic rights. “Tinitingnan naman natin ang kahalagahan ng paglalabas ng financial report; nakakalungkot lang na imbes na mapagtuunan ng pansin ang pagsusulong sa demokratikong karapatan ng mga estudyante, nahahati ngayon ang atensyon ng konseho sa pagitan ng teknikal at praktikal,” she said. The incumbent council leaves a challenge for the next term: that is to intensify the credibility and maintain the trust that has been established in the students by the previous USC terms of representation. Five months of an autonomous representation was hounded by matters such as org recognition, upholding the OSR, administrative intervention in holding February Fair and all other issues concerning their responsibility as student leaders. An autonomous and democratic council is already carved in the minds of those who shared the same sentiments for and with student empowerment. The swift peak and lull of issues and perhaps the delay of USC-CSC elections made their leaving faster. As Iskolars ng Bayan, students should evaluate more than review the feat or failure of the student leaders during their occupancy of seats in the fundamental student institution. Expression of dissent was important to the centennial student council as trampling of democratic rights continues taking its place throughout the term. On the verge of its end, the incumbent council remains firm – relying on the support of students whose common interests caused the peak of dissent and struggle. [P]


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UPLB Perspective

VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

s i l a n g m g a n a b i g o at n a g ta g u m pay s a Pagtapak sa Diliman
SaLITa Mark Angelo Ordonio | DIbUhO Kervin Gabilo | DISENYO Ng PahINa Aletheia Grace del Rosario
Napansin mo ba ang biglang tirahan gawa ng pangaraw- pag-asikaso ng mga requirements pagkawala ng ilan sa iyong mga araw na gastusin. Ayon kay sa paglipat. Pero hindi lahat sa blocmate at kaklase pagkalipas ng Mike Ranel Magboo, dating kanila ay nagtagumpay, mayroon isang taong pagdurusa kasama ang BS Mathematics ’07 sa UPLB at ding mga nabigo. Isa sa kanila si readings, research papers at lab reports? kasalukuyang kumukuha ng Clarisse*, kasalukuyang kumukuha Sumuko ba sila sa pagbabayad ng mataas BS Computer Science sa UPD, ng BS Dentistry ’08 sa UP Manila, na na matrikula nang walang natatanggap na “‘Yung tuition fee pa lang hindi naipasa ang kanyang talent subsidyo at walang nakikitang pagbabago sa kalidad ng edukasyon na mahirap na, paano pa ‘yung test sa papasukang kursong Music. “I assure na talagang kailangan mong kanilang tinatamasa? Hindi ba nila kinayang pagsabayin ang apat hanggang anim weekly allowance ko?” Mayroon ding mapatunayan na deserving ka sa na exam kapag “hell week” kaya pinili nilang lumipat sa ibang unibersidad? naimpluwensyahan ng ilang lilipatan mong course kaya mahirap kamag-anak o mga kakilala na ang buong process,” dagdag pa O baka naman itinuloy nila ang pakikipagsapalaran sa ibang UP campus nagsipagtapos o kasulukayang niya. – partikular sa UP Diliman. Sila ang tinatawag na Diliman dreamers. Ito ang bansag nag-aaral sa Diliman tungkol sa sa mga pumasa sa isang non-Diliman campus at binalak na ipagpatuloy ang anya kanyang kanilang pananatili doon, na kinukuhang larangan o kunin ang mas sinisintang kurso sa UP Diliman. napapangunahan ng ideyang agalIngan mas mataas ang kalidad ng mahe ng edukasyon sa Diliman. Kaugnay ng pangalan ng Bilang kabisera ng bansa, ang Binubuo ng pitong constituent universities na nahahati sa Maynila kung saan naruroon ang Diliman unibersidad ang salitang ‘Pilipinas’ 12 campus sa kalakhan ng bansa ang Unibersidad ng Pilipinas. ay ang sentro ng kapangyarihan. Mula dito dahil dala nito ang responsibilidad Napanatili ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ang kanyang reputasyon sa ay maraming oportunidad na naghihintay na pagsilbihan ang buong bansa sa loob ng isandaang taon bilang isang research at graduate university na kaya madaling makahanap ng trabahong pamamagitan ng edukasyon. Bilang umaani ng de kalidad na mga siyentipikong pananaliksik na nakatanggap ng pagkilala may kinalaman sa kursong iyong tinapos. “I think pagtugon sa pangangailangan sa loob at labas ng bansa. Sa kasalukuyan, wala pang ibang institusyong pang- mas may edge ka sa paghahanap ng work ‘pag sa isang campus na magsisilbi sa akademiko sa bansa ang makatutulad sa UP sa lawak ng mga kursong binubuo sa Diliman ka gumraduate,” ayon kay Frenchly Joyce kalinangan ng bawat rehiyon, ng 246 undergraduate at 362 graduate programs sa halos lahat ng sangay Caspe, dating BS Chemistry ’07 sa UPLB at kasalukuyang nagkaroon ng autonomous units: kilala ang Los Baños sa agrikultura at ng kaalaman. At sa marami pang dahilan, hindi pa rin matatawaran kinukuha ang kaparehong kurso sa UPD. pangungubat; eksperto ang Visayas ang malaking kontribusyon ng UP sa paghulma ng ating kasaysayan ang pangingisda at akwakultura, at pag-ukit ng mga larawang babago sa kasalukuyang mukha ng sentro ng kapangyarihan ang ng mga nagtagUmPay bansa. Manila sa agham pangkalusugan, Sa mga napagtagumpayan ng UP umuugat ang ideya agbangon sa PanIbagong bihasa ang Baguio ang kaunlaran na mayroon daw dalawang unibersidad sa Pilipinas: UP ng Cordillera, at iba pa. hInaharaP at “others”. Siguradong hindi na bago ang linyang ito na Samakatwid, hindi natin nagiging usapan hindi lang sa mundo ng blogs kundi maging sa mga pangaraw-araw na usapan ng mga Sinabihan man siya ng isang nasa katungkulan na ginagamit ng mga mailalarawan ang isang campus “pinakamagaling” Iskolar. Mula sa mga nagsusumigaw na UP statement shirts katulad niya ang UPLB bilang “stepping stone” para makalipat, lumipat pa rin bilang hanggang sa mga ipinapahayag ng media, bukas ang si Kim Agnes, dating BS Chemistry ’07 sa UPLB at kasalukuyang kumukuha ng BS dahil hindi ito ang sukatan ng kamalayan ng lipunan sa diskriminasyon sa pagitan ng UP Clothing Technology sa UPD. Ayon sa kanya, may mga sariling dahilan ang mga pinagmulan ng galing at talino at ng ibang unibersidad. lumilipat. “It’s not about [UP]LB being a lower standard university than Diliman,” ng isang Iskolar para sa Bayan. Sa halip, ito ay manggagaling Ngunit hindi nagtatapos ang pakikipagbuno sa pagitan dagdag pa niya. sa kung paanong paraan lamang ng mga unibersidad. Hindi rin maitatangging umiiral Matagumpay ring nakalipat si Rose Anne Ortega, dating niya naibalik ang ideyang dalawa lang ang campus sa UP: Diliman BS Economics ’07 sa UPLB at kasalukuyang kinukuha ang sa bansa at “others”. Maraming bagay ang maaaring sumuporta o kaparehong kurso. “I believe na mas competitive kasi ang anginaning sumalungat sa ideyang ito: mula sa mga napagtagumapayan UP School of Economics sa UPD,” pagdadahilan niya. talino bilang ng bawat campus hanggang sa mga nailuwal na lider na siyang tungkulin naglilingkod sa ating bansa. sa bayan at ng mga nabIgo PagbalIk hindi para sa gUnIt bakIt IlIman sa PInanggalIngan sariling kapakanan lamang. [P] Kilala ang UP Diliman bilang “flagship campus” at sentro ng Si JM*, BS Food Technology ’06, ay isa *hindi nila tunay na pangangasiwa ng buong UP System. Bilang tahanan ng maraming sa mga Iskong nagkaroon ng plano na pangalan kurso, napangatawanan nito ang pagiging “premier institution of higher lumipat sa Diliman pagkatapos niyang learning,” ayon sa website ng UP Diliman. mag-cross register doon nang hindi Nabanggit na mas maraming pagpipiliang kurso (at major para siya nabigyan ng Chem 17 (General sa ilang kurso) sa Diliman kumpara sa ibang campus. Ito ang naging Chemistry II) noong old freshman pa siya. dahilan ni Hanna Cantalejo, dating BA Communication Arts ’07 sa UPLB Kahit na hindi niya inasikaso ang iba’t at kasalukuyang kumukuha ng BA Linguistics sa UPD. “Ever since kasi na ibang application forms para makalipat, nag-[UP]LB ako, may intention na talaga [a]ko na lumipat... Hindi ko din kasi aminado siya na malaki ang impluwensya sa gusto ‘yung comm[unication] arts na course under CAS.” Patok ang mga kanyang plano ang paraan ng pagtuturo at kurso mula sa liberal arts tulad ng Fine Arts at Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino buhay sa Diliman. Aniya, “hindi ko na itinuloy ang at mga kurso sa agham at pangangasiwa tulad ng Molecular Biology and paglipat kasi matrabaho [iyon] saka nasimulan Biotechnology at Accountancy. ko na sa [UP]LB so tatapusin ko na dito.” Isinasaalang-alang din ng mga kumukuha ng UPCAT ang distansya. Dahil sa kagustuhang makalipat sa Diliman, Dahil malaking bahagdan ng mga pumapasa sa UPCAT ay mula o malapit sa marami ang nagkaroon ng lakas ng loob para National Capital Region, mas pipiliin nila ang Diliman na mas malapit sa kanilang lumipat, nawala ang hiya na dumaan sa iba’t tirahan. Mas magastos din ang pamamalagi sa isang campus na malayo sa ibang panayam at napatiran ng hininga sa

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VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

UPLB Perspective




*REIjI MITSURUGI Contributor

a pagdiriwang ng sentenaryo ng UP, magbalik-tanaw tayo sa mga karanasan nating mga nagiging bagong iskolar ng bayan --ang mga freshman. Ating halukayin ang mga natatagong kwentong nagpapatotoo sa samu’t-saring karanasan mula sa paghahanap ng TBA rooms, hanggang sa SU para sa diskwento sa matrikula.


ng kwentong ito ay para sa lahat ng naghintay, naghihintay, at hinihintay. Batay sa aking karanasan, ang paghuhukay sa nakaraan ay may kung anong kakabit na sakit o kamalasan. At katulad ng kahit sinuman, ayoko sanang malasin o masaktan. Ngunit sa kabila nito, susubukin ko pa rin ang paghuhukay. *** Mayroon akong pangarap, isang taon na ang nakalipas. Ninais kong pumasa sa UPCAT para maging kaklase ang crush at pen pal kong si Daphne hanggang gumraduate kami nang sabay. Pinag-uusapan naming dalawa ang buhay at kung ano ang maaring mangyari kung sakaling magkasama na kami nang malaman kong mayroon na siyang boyfriend. Hindi pa rin ako tumigil at sinikap ko pa ring makuha ang kanyang pagtingin. Dumating ang Agosto, buwan ng UPCAT. Sinagutan

ko ang pagsusulit habang tangan-tangan ang baon kong bote ng C2, ang pangarap kong makasama si Daphne at ang pagasang makapapasa ako rito. Pebrero noon, Araw ng mga Puso, nang may matanggap akong regalo. Isang regalo ng tadhana sa porma ng isang biro. Hindi umabot ang aking UP Grade sa cut-off ng unibersidad. Waitlisted ako sa madaling sabi. Naghintay ako nang naghintay hanggang sa mag-Mayo, patapos na ang bakasyon, umaasa pa rin akong makapapasok para sa unang semestre. Nabigo ako. Napahaba ang bakasyon ko ng anim pang buwan pero nailigtas ko naman sa mga panibagong bayarin ang aking mga magulang. Ginugol ko ang bakasyon ko sa mga gawaing bahay at kung minsan, sa pagbabasa ng mga libro. Ginawa ko ang mga ito para malibang at maging masaya sa gitna ng mahabang paghihintay. Dumating ang Nobyembre at sa wakas, nakapasok din ako sa unibersidad sa pangalawang semestre. Sobrang excited ako sa pagpasok dito. Na-miss ko ang eskwela at ang mga kalakip nitong mga trabaho.

Sa pagpasok ko, nakakita ako ng mga bagong mukha sa katauhan ng aking mga bagong kaklase. Sila ang mga nakasabay ko sa repeat exam at interview na pinagdadaanan kapag nasa waitlist. Iniabot nila ang kanilang mga kamay sa akin upang makipagkaibigan at nang maglaon, makipagkapatiran. Saglit kong nakalimutan si Daphne hanggang isang araw, nakatanggap ako ng isang paanyaya mula sa kanya. Sa muli naming pagkikita, ako’y lubhang nasiyahan. Iba na siya. Hindi na siya gaanong isipbata. Bukod pa doon, lumawak na ang kanyang natutunan at dumami na rin ang kanyang mga kaibigan. Nagkaroon na siya ng tiwala sa kanyang sarili. Noon din, naramdaman kong may nagbago na rin sa akin gawa na rin marahil ng matagal kong paghihintay. Sa mga oras na iyon, alam kong hindi na malalampasan o matutumbasan ni Daphne ang mga panahong kapiling ko ang mga bago kong kaibigan. Sa sumunod naming pagkikita, unti-unting nagsink in sa akin na hindi pala si Daphne ang dahilan kung bakit naghintay ako na makarating at makatungtong sa Elbi. ***

May hawig siguro ang kwento ko kay Nathan Algren, ang bida ng The Last Samurai. Sabi nga sa pelikula, “I think a man does what he can… until his destiny is revealed to him.” *** Ang paghuhukay sa nakaraan ay may kung anong kakabit na sakit o kamalasan. Dahil din siguro ang nakaraang ito ay pilit kong iniiwasan. Ngunit ngayon, alam kong kaya ko nang silip-silipin ang nakaraan sapagkat handa na akong umusad at yakapin ang dikta ng kinabukasan. Kung tutuusin, ang pagmamahal ko kay Daphne ay katulad ng mataimtim at mahabang paghihintay ko para makapasok dito sa unibersidad-matagal at kung minsan, nakakapagod. Ang pagkakaiba lang, narating ko na ang katapusan ng paghihintay kay Daphne, pero ang paghihintay sa pag-usad ng kwento ko bilang isang Iskolar ng Bayan ay nagsisimula pa lang. Mula sa lahat ng ito, napatunayan kong ang buhay ay isang mahaba, masalimuot at nakapanghihindik na paghihintay, at kasabay nito ay pagkatuto. [P]

Three Hours
*Buko pie

A faint sound of agony. A chair being moved several inches. My heartbeat. ***

A breakup. A heartbreak. Tears. *** Since that night, I’ve decided not to meet them for as long as I could. I know Sid’s death is still punctuated with questions for them, but for me, it’s becoming more of a difficulty than a resolved matter. I lost him – and along with him my sanity.

My relationship with the Backseat Kiss was like a rollercoaster ride. When I met Sid on one of their then unfamiliar gigs in Elbi, I knew for a while who I was looking for. Eventually, when we got together, I started hanging out with the group as much as I could. I wanted to be close to them. But the distance never narrowed. It just got wider and wider because of two people who couldn’t understand why I am committing myself to the group.

I lost them both that very night when I couldn’t Ian was a sweet boy as far as the others were even move my foot to take its first step and choose between my options – to save a life or concerned. We were formally introduced to each other, but we never spoke casually to spare my hands from sin. since then. He could make everyone laugh every time he would crack jokes, but I never I could not imagine how the third hour of my agony would match my one and a half years fell for one of those. I’m not saying that I have a “higher level” of sense of humor than any of contentment with Sid. of them, but I just don’t like the picture of him hanging out with the rest of the group while Memories flooded my head and soaked he never reached out for me. It was very my entire body. They pricked my pores with much obvious since then how he would glare mockery because of the indifference I’ve responded with the signs of betrayal fate had at me and how he would react negatively whenever Sid suggests to include me in their tried to show me before. group meetings. I tried to talk to Sid about this, but he would only say that ‘Ian was just ***

trying to be funny.’ I also tried to talk to Ian personally about his attitude towards *** me, but I only got a wry reply. After my I’m standing on this pavement for three hours attempts, I never bothered to even look at now. him whenever he’s around. And his jokes were not even worthy of my attention *** since then. I knew that something happened inside Sid’s Megan and Ian were just basically the pad. I knew that the man who went inside had same – sweet in the inside, but bitter on the something to do with whatever happened to outside. Everyone in the group, especially Sid. But I did not bother to look or even to think Glen, loved her. But what caught my twice on what to do. Maybe the reason my foot attention was Sid’s extraordinary affection didn’t take its first step was because standing still for her. They would laugh on the silliest would show what option I chose. I stayed. I stood jokes and bond longer than with any still on the ground which was 30 feet away from other member of the group, including where Sid and I ended our one and a half year me. Sid would always tell me that he show. would accompany Megan to her trips to different radio stations and recording I held my breath for as long as I could. I companies – which technically is not his managed to steal a look from the corner where job since Megan is the manager of the I was at the man as he quickly walked on band. My pondering suddenly turned 180 the long hallway of the apartment. I was not degrees after I saw both of them sleeping interested on who he was. I just wanted to know soundly inside Sid’s car with her head on what he did to Sid. And when I saw bloodstains his shoulder. It was the same night that Sid on his right arm, I felt the taste of gratitude right said he would not be able to accompany beneath my soul. [P] me to my mother’s house because he was going to be busy composing some *Buko pie silences her thoughts with laughter and new songs. I’m not being childish with my amplifies her thoughts with silence. assumptions, but I’m not stupid either.


Every unveiling has its final stage. Are you ready for it?

10 UPLB Perspective ISSUE 9 |

March 13, 2009 iyon para magkaroon kami ng pagkukusa na magsaliksik at hindi umasa sa kanyang lecture at handbook na kung titignang mabuti ay hindi talaga sapat kung iyon at iyon lang ang aasahan mo sa isang semestreng pagaaral? Tungkulin ba ng isang guro bilang isang responsableng alagad ng edukasyon para magbahagi ng kaalaman at hindi para pagkakitaan ang mga estudyante, o tungkulin ng isang estudyante para hanapin ang sagot sa kanyang mga katanungan sa tulong ng sariling pagsisikap at hindi para sanayin ang sarili na laging nakakapit sa bisig ng katamaran? Patapos na ang mga klase, at hanggang ngayon, tinatawanan na lang namin ng mga kaklase ko ang malabong transparency, at hahayaan na lamang itong pagtawanan at gamitin ng susunod pang henerasyon. *** Huwag mong sayangin ang iyong pagkakataon. Ang Baker Hall ang nagsilbing tahanan ng mga magaaral na nakalaan ang kalahati ng kanilang buhay sa pag-eensayo ng kanilang talento at hilig sa isports. Ngunit hindi ngayong Marso, kung saan ang mga hiyaw ng mga pagod na manlalaro ng varsity ay nasapawan ng iba’t ibang uri ng katutubo at makabagong awitin para sa mga mag-aaral na nag-eensayo sa kanilang nalalapit na recital ngayong buwan. At saksi ako sa mga makapigil-hiningang galaw ng mga sumasayaw (isa ako sa kanila) sa tuwing papanoorin ko sila habang binubuhat ng lalaki ang kaparehang babae o nababaluktot ang mga binti at braso sa paggawa ng isang mahirap na galaw. Isang araw ay nagpaturo ako at ang kapareha ko ng mga step sa isang kaklase: iginiit ko pa na ituro niya sa akin ang

detalyadong mga lakdaw padyak, ngunit sinagot niya ako ng, “Basta ganoon na lang iyon.” Nagtaka ako sa kanyang sinabi. Pupunta ako sa isang posisyon na hindi sakto sa saliw ng tugtugin ang aking paggalaw at walang bilang na sinusunod para magkaroon ng harmonya sa pagitan ng mga indak at awitin. Pagkatapos nito ay ilang araw kaming hindi lumalapit ng aking kapareha sa kanya para magpaturo. Patuloy na mag-iimbak ng mga hinaing sa mga nakikita nang hindi gumagawa ng paraan para maresolbahan ito. *** Naiinis ako sa mga taong gumagawa ng mga hindi kapasya-pasyang desisyon na itinataya ang kanilang dangal para matugunan lamang ang pansariling interes. Naiinis ako sa mga magulang na imbis na ipalasap sa mga bata ang sandaling panahon ng kanilang kabataan ay ipinapasa sa kanilang mga anak ang kanilang tungkulin. Naiinis ako sa mga guro at mga estudyanteng hindi namamalayan ang kanilang mga pagkukulang (o hindi handa para buksan ang kamalayan) para mas magampanan ang kanilang tunay na gampanin bilang isang guro at isang estudyante. Naiinis ako sa mga taong hindi handang magsalita lalo na kung ito ay para sa ikabubuti ng karamihan at hindi para magpahayag lang ng damdamin. Ngunit hindi kaya’y higit na nakakainis alalahanin na may mga nasasayang na pagkakataon sa tuwing gumagawa tayo ng mga bagay na hindi natin napag-iisipang mabuti? Kailangan pa bang hintayin ang mga bagay na hindi inaasahan dahil sa mapusok na pagpapasya? [P]

Sinayang mo ang iyong pagkakataon. Kasama sa mataas na bilang ng mga nabubuntis araw-araw ang 16 taong gulang na panganay na anak na babae ng kumare ng nanay ko. Pagdadahilan ng dating dalaga ang pagiging mahigpit ng kanyang mga magulang kaya naglakas siya ng loob na makipagtalik sa kasalukuyang karelasyon. Hanggang ngayon, hindi pa rin mawari ng dating dalaga ang kanyang mga pagkakamali, at hindi pa rin matanggap ng kanyang magulang ang ginawang kahihiyan ng anak. Kung dati ay patuloy siya sa normal niyang buhay, hindi na ngayon na napapalibutan siya ng mga matalim na titig at matalas na dila - tila isang artistang nabigyan ng palabas na siguradong papatok sa panlasa ng mga manunood, ngunit isang kriminal na walang layang idepensa ang sarili sa nagawang pagkakamali. Sa ganitong panahon kung saan mas pinahahalagahan ng kabataan ang paghahanap ng pinagdadamot na kalayaan, hindi wasto na maging padalos-dalos sa iyong mga aksyon ng walang pagsasaalangalang sa mga tao sa iyong paligid, at higit sa lahat, ang iyong imahe, ang iyong pagkatao. *** Sayang ang iyong pagkakataon. Habang nagpapalipas-oras sa Square isang gabi pagkatapos ng madugo kong exam sa Ensc 11, lumapit sa akin ang isang pamilyar na bata - isang malusog na batang lalaking nagtitinda ng espasol. At katulad ng nakagawian, bubungaran niya ako ng kabisado niyang linya sa isang mabilis at

magaan na tono: “Kuyabilikanangespasolmuralan gsampungpisolang.” At katulad ng dati, tatanggihan ko lang siya, bubuhatin niya muli ang kanyang munting bilao na hindi pa nababawasan ng paninda, at lilipat sa ibang mesa upang manghikayat ng ibang naghahapunan. Pagkaraan ng ilang minuto, nakasalubong ko sa tapat ng Bugong ang ilan sa mga batang tinuturuan namin sa CWTS 2. Nakabigkis sa kanilang mga bisig ang ilang tali ng sampaguita. Tinanggihan ko rin sila bilang pagiging praktikal dahil, sa anong paraan ko naman magagamit ang sampaguita? Wala namang rebulto ni Hesus o ni Inang Maria sa apartment namin na maari kong pag-alayan nito. At nakita ko ang ilan pang batang palibot-libot sa Grove, bitbit ang iba-ibang paninda, na nagbabanat ng buto para mapakain ang nagugutom na pamilya bago sumapit ang alas-dose. *** Sinasayang mo ang iyong pagkakataon. Lumuluwa na ang aking mga mata sa tuwing magpapakopya ang aking prof sa isang subject mula sa isang transparency na hindi ko mawari kung undergraduate pa siya nang huli niya itong ginawa. Buradong mga titik, malabong mga larawan at nawawalang mga bahagi ng transparency. Nagkakaisa ang mga hindi maunawaang titik sa transparency at ang matining at mahinang boses ni Ma’am upang hindi sinasadyang ipagkait ang kaalamang dapat na ibinibigay niya sa kanyang mga pinaglilingkuran - kaming mga estudyante. O hindi kaya ay sinadya niya talaga

Pupunta ako sa isang posisyon... walang bilang na sinusunod para magkaroon ng harmonya sa pagitan ng mga indak at awitin.

After Arroyo’s three unsuccessful (and shameful) chasing of US President Barack Obama, we should be more than happy that Obama doesn’t take Filipinos and Arroyo as one. He may have scampered away from meeting with our president three times (and counting), but he did all he can do to meet the plans he has for the Philippines — at least for a thing that should’ve been done six decades ago. Last Feb. 17, US President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or more commonly known as the Economic Stimulus Plan, which includes a provision for paying $198 million to Filipino soldiers who fought alongside Americans during the Word War II. Some considers it a delayed payment for Filipino World War II veterans. It should’ve been given long before, when many Filipino soldiers were still alive and could have enjoyed the compensation for their bravery. Earlier, the US government promised to grant Filipino soldiers US citizenship and give them the same privileges given to American soldiers after the war. But the US government reneged as the US congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946, stripping off the US citizenship of

To be a victim of a promise unfulfilled has now served as a concrete bridge between US being the culprit, and the Philippines as the victim.

Filipino soldiers and thus denying them of the promised benefits. After their 60-year campaign for recognition as US soldiers, Filipino veterans residing in the US will each receive a one-time lump sum payment of $15,000 while those residing in the Philippines will get a $9,000 as military compensation through the Economic Stimulus Plan. It would have been an exasperating battle for these physically weak veterans who have endured five years in the concentration camp with the hundredday Death March during their younger years, but took decades just to fight for their rightful claim to the war. Though it’s troubling to figure out how sending $198 million to Filipinos would stimulate America’s economy, it would all the more be troubling if America won’t make amends to a mistake that has been existing for years and has made even its own ally a victim of its irresponsibility. True enough, when we all know that US can’t risk offending even a small country, especially today when they are experiencing economic turmoil and need good foreign relations for support. It is actually our historic relationship with America that sustains the support

we get from them until now. To be a victim of a promise unfulfilled has now served as a concrete bridge between US being the culprit, and the Philippines as the victim. Many consider the compensation bill a reaffirmation of the friendship between America and Philippines. But do we really want it to happen now with Arroyo still in position? Do we want Obama to be just like Bush, with Arroyo as his sidekick in fighting terrorism and upholding human rights when they did otherwise as proven by the increased extrajudicial killings in our country? And for eight years, Bush and Arroyo were together in fighting economic crisis, when in fact poverty heightened in our country. It is undeniably true that during Bush’s term, we were compelled by our own circumstances to hate America. For eight long years of his partnership with Arroyo, many Filipinos’ lives have been risked just to satisfy his hobby of meddling with internal problems of other countries with his “war on terrorism.” He may have been able to bear the guilt of being held responsible for thousands of American troops who died in Iraq, but to include Philippines in his antiterrorism policy was not what we opted for. Arroyo should’ve realized that Obama is way out of her league after having been subtly chided in his inaugural speech. If she wanted a deep relationship with

Back off

America, she should start by rectifying the damaged tie she has with her own country and prove that she, being the president, needs not to be backed up by the US government just to meet the needs of the masses. But with the irrevocable corruption and dishonesty she undoubtedly commits until now, one can only hope she’ll step down from presidency at once, which is the very least she can do. Obama has never fallen short of reminding the guilty that “corruption, deceit and the silencing of dissent” won’t be tolerated during his term - which is enough reason for him to stay away from Arroyo who, after rigging the 2004 election which led to her winning as president, continues to intensify her misdeeds with her involvement in many corruption scandals. Victims of extrajudicial killing also increased during her term, which seems to be her desperate attempt to remain in position and get rid of those who might put an end to her illegitimate presidency. Though it is noticeable how Obama wanted to attain real change, and started by atoning for a mistake done in the past, he should also consider another step, which I think is the best for change to take place: not to repeat the mistake of making a tight bond with a corrupt and illegitimate president. [P]



VOLUME 35 | ISSUE 9 | March 13, 2009

UPLB Perspective


y definition of freedom of expression has never taken the form of blogging, or letting the rest of the world know my thoughts. To me it has always been easier to privately write my opinions on notebooks without intending for it to be read or edited. In that paper, I can write thoroughly without considering anybody else’s feelings. I do not need to mind the values or views of my future readers, and nobody will get offended if I write anything unpleasant since it’s just between the paper and I, and nobody else. In addition to that, I carry the pride of writing well for no one. Yet due to lack of time, I have currently resorted to blogging instead of private writing. I have abandoned the good old pen and paper for the laptop monitor and the whole blogosphere. I came up with essays and reviews. I came up with topics that would catch people’s attention. And things have never been the same since then. I no longer write in a devil-may-care fashion, and oftentimes I try to avoid negative feedback by sugar-coating my statements and being too careful. The former sharpness of my words grew blunt and senseless with the

hardest part
of it is that outside the

Yet the

newspaper columns, I am
still expected to be neutral in everyday life...

thought of satisfying others, and pretty soon I no longer enjoyed the freedom that comes with expression. Now my voice through my writing is hesitant, artificial and insincere – even to myself. I have tried several times to train myself to write openly while keeping my identity, after realizing that knowledge not communicated renders itself useless to society, and anyone who keeps knowledge to himself also renders himself useless. I did not want to be someone like that - like Emily Dickinson who shuns the public as she creates timeless masterpieces that a lot of people could learn from, but instead is hidden until her death, the only time when people started appreciating them. To keep wisdom to myself seemed a selfish and irresponsible thing to do. What’s your function in society if you don’t even speak up and stand by your statements? So once again, I dumped my notebooks and started typing at the keyboard. I started showing the pieces to other people even though deep inside I secretly die in embarrassment. Feedbacks were not good most of the time, but I was hoping it would

continue on until I am already numb and free again, publicly. And then when I entered UPLB, I became part of the school publication, which is a bigger challenge. This time, freedom of expression does not only mean you can write anything you wanted. There is an equivalent responsibility that comes with your position in the paper. As a writer for an institution, I aim to be objective as I work. Yet the hardest part of it is that outside the newspaper columns, I am still expected to be neutral in everyday life, even though I am human and am subjected to my own opinion as a student who is rational and evaluative. Sometimes I find it ironic that we, in the publication, advocate freedom of expression when we are not really free in the sense that taking a stand, even for appropriate institutional reasons, would be perceived by some as prejudiced. I used to wonder why there is that note that says: “Opinions of the writers does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the paper,” in national newspapers. Now I know why. The article of one, even though it is labelled as an opinion, is treated as the opinion of the whole institution, even in the news.


Students made history six months ago. The long-awaited election yielded a 70.54 percent voter turnout. During that time, both BUKLOD-UPLB and Samahan ng Kabataan para sa Bayan (SAKBAyAN) campaigned actively not only for students to vote for them but also for students to vote ‘yes’ in the plebiscite. The campaigning was proven effective with the ratification of the 1984 USC-CSC Constitution. It was not an easy campaign for in the first day of elections, only 32 percent of the students voted, not enough to ratify the said constitution. But after dorm hops and text brigades, the studentry was successful in assuring their right for representation. Fast forward to the recently concluded USC-CSC elections that registered a mere 38.82 percent voter turnout. One might ask, “What happened?” Just like in the last election, both parties campaigned but something was different this time. What happened between the two parties was not just a simple battle of words but also a battle of statements posted around the campus. These statements did not only involve BUKLOD and SAKBAYAN but also the publication that you are reading right now. But it did not stop there. Criticisms about Perspective did not stay posted in walls but also in blogs. It all started when BUKLOD declined the interview for the special elections


Worse, because of the attention the institution has received regarding the so-called “sacrificed credibility”, there are some students who begin reading with an end in mind that all we write are “biased”. However, unlike what I did before, we could not withdraw ourselves and resort to writing in private anymore. Of course it is easy to just go ahead and quit and mindlessly blog about our views indifferently. But we have roles to perform, and important ones at that. There are other people at stake this time, even the name of the aged publication is on the line. Fear of critical attention of readers should never be present in our hearts – and it has never been on ours, or at least, on mine. To me, these allegations are motivations to safeguard the students’ rights to correct information. I believe we have taken it as a challenge not to please anybody and to stay unwavering in our principles. As writers, the only side we take is the side of the students, and nobody else’s. Now I have learned that freedom does not come from apathetic writing. It comes from writing with a purpose, and that is to make one’s expressions truthful. [P]
If the publication is leaning to anyone, it would be leaning to the students — and only to the students. Commenting on the publication’s ability to be fair must be backed-up with strong proofs indicating that indeed the publication fails to write without being biased to SAKBAYAN. In the event that no proofs are presented for such claim, then it must be concluded that the allegation is nothing but mere rants with underlying political motives. As the official student publication, Perspective must not stop in the conclusion that such allegations are black propaganda. Instead, we encourage BUKLOD or any other student who shares their opinion to substantiate these claims by pointing out the specific instances, enumerating the articles and even quoting texts from the newspaper that will amount to such conclusion. And if ever it is proven that the publication is indeed leaning to one political party, Perspective will do its part in making things fair by reporting what is true (which is exactly what we are doing). Just for the sake of counting: BUKLOD was mentioned 12 times in this article while SAKBAYAN was mentioned only 10 times. For sure, this article will not be one of those enumerated to prove that Perspective is biased towards the other party. [P]

Buendia asked the party last miting de avance to enumerate specific articles that lead them to conclude that the publication is biased towards SAKBAYAN. Ernest Francis Calayag, BUKLOD’s standard bearer, answered that bias was evident in the headline “SCs slam BUKLOD’s vote ‘no’ campaign” published on our 7th issue (which to all purposes was only issuebased and was not published to demean the political party) and according to Mr. issue intended to introduce to students Carlo Cruz, also a BUKLOD standard the candidates vying for USC positions. bearer, in the As an explanation for the party turning “misquotation” down the interview, Faith Abigail Lumicao, of Cruz’s answer BUKLOD’s Vice Chairperson, said in a to the question letter: “we [BUKLOD] find the publication (that he himself leaning to SAKBAYAN, and we feel that admitted that the paper cannot relay our statements to the arrangement the student body without any bias toward of his statement the said political party.” It must be pointed was “technically out that BUKLOD, as well as any student correct,” so no in this university, has the right to criticize question on that) the publication given that such criticism on last September’s is voiced out to improve the publication’s special elections performance as vanguards of their right to issue. These information. instances are not What is questionable about this allegation though is the intent for which this enough to arrive at the accusation is being aired and, of course, the time it is that the publication being aired. Is it fitting that these long held grievances regarding issues that happened in is leaning to the past were only aired during the elections SAKBAYAN, which in turn challenges the when all throughout the year they have all ability of the publication the time to complain? As to what that may imply, we could only leave to the students to to be fair in its reporting. And in the first place, it does not follow that when figure out and to BUKLOD to answer. It has been a given fact that the publication accepts the publication criticizes one party, it automatically sides with the other. criticism in the form of letters to the editor It is but illogical to think that student and other means. Perspective has always concerns, which are being published in encouraged principled ways of expressing the paper, now equates to SAKBAYAN. opinions, but on the other end, it is the It is a given fact that Perspective, being responsibility of the one airing their opinion the official student publication, has the to clarify and substantiate claims so that primary responsibility to publish and make something constructive might yield from it. students issues its concern. And in no way So in the spirit of clarification, are these issues leaning to SAKBAYAN. Perspective’s Editor in Chief Christian Ray

In the event that no proofs are presented for such claim, then it must be concluded that the allegation is nothing but mere rants with underlying political motives.

12 UPLB Perspective ISSUE 9 |

March 13, 2009



Does our generation really reflect the reality that nothing is wrong with our country? Decades past from the tyranny of Marcos, is the EDSA uprising still the only way for us to stress that we no longer trust our leaders?
Empty pockets equate to empty plates and houses made of cardboards for the poor whose numbers are likely to rise by at least 4 million this year. Do we need not another EDSA during these times when we are in a state of political turmoil and severe socio-economic crisis? Debt-servicing comprises more than 20 percent while healthcare does not even reach 3 percent of the total budget. Do we need not protest when state defense rather than basic services is prioritized? Records of human rights violations since 2001 show that extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances escalated to 968 and 241, respectively – these numbers now compares with that of the Marcos regime. Alston’s report to the United Nations links most of these atrocities to the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Do we need not fear because one cannot be critical against the government without being tagged as a ‘terrorist’? The agriculture sector could have benefitted if only Jocelyn ‘Joc-joc’ Bolante has not used the P728 million for fertilizers as fund for rigging the elections. And the Arroyo government denies there is rice crisis, while the world says otherwise. Do we need not be troubled when our country is still import-dependent and our local farmers are still landless and reforms are still promises? While in today’s global economic meltdown our OFWs are at jeopardy of losing their jobs like the 235,000 workers laidoff last January. Do we need not more than object when we wanted stable jobs? A year after the $329.5 million dollar NBN-ZTE scandal, Mr. Jose Miguel Arroyo is accused of rig-bidding the $305.41 million World Bank fund. Do we need not investigate if signatures of “Jose Velarde’s” and “Jose Pidal’s” written in checks are connected to corruption cases? Illegitimacy and betrayal of public trust are enough reasons for leaders (who still have some dignity left) to tender their resignation. The “Hello Garci” scam in 2004 secured Ms. Arroyo’s presidency. Surveys already say that 7 out of 10 of us question her credibility and want her to step down. Do we need not repeat the history by which we replaced Estrada with Ms. Arroyo eight years ago? When we have more than just one reason for another EDSA uprising, why is she still in power? Do we need not march to the streets and put our lives in the forefront for the future of our country – like what the youth did twenty three years ago? Or has this EDSA gone obsolete and has sunk us even deeper into the mud? With the historical episodes of two EDSAs in 1986 and 2001, we have been blinded with the belief that “People power” only equates to an “extra-constitutional” way of changing a president and other

Not just another EDSA


will not forgive another EDSA
since everyone

an EDSA 1 and “tolerated” an


right in saying that the world

Is Ms. Arroyo

that the people could not tolerate a morally bankrupt government. Our yearning for another EDSA will continue to build up lest our clamors for genuine agrarian reform, higher wages to workers, elected officials. Isn’t people power affordable medicine for all the sick, supposed to be a accessible educational system, constant desire to fearless atmosphere for advocating become a watchdog to civil liberties, eradication of the state? corruption from the culture of Impeachment was politicians are addressed. the legal process to Is Ms. Arroyo right in saying which we manifested that the world will not forgive our desire to oust another EDSA since everyone a flawed rule – but “embraced” an EDSA 1 and yearly we had been “tolerated” an EDSA 2? consistently shunned But isn’t it the people who are by her protective cloak to decide if EDSA is or is not the of cohorts no matter means of spurring real change in how much evidence we this country? Countless lives have present. already been lost in trying to attain To allow Ms. Arroyo the real fruits of revolutions our to just exit in 2010 generations and that of the past without being held have dreamed of. accountable for every We need not just another allegation would be a EDSA. We need to call to bleak chapter in our history – even attention the transgressions of darker than an EDSA 2 that brought our government and equip every her to power in the first place. If struggle that would truly uphold there were lessons learned from the the interests of the Filipino people past EDSAs, these could only be - or the country may just well be that justice is never optional and fated to plunge in misery. [P]

the oFFiCial student puBliCation oF the university oF the philippines los Baños
Christian ray Buendia, Editor in ChiEf; aaron Joseph aspi, AssoCiAtE Editor; arJay GarCia, MAnAging Editor; Beverly ChristCel laGuartilla, BusinEss MAnAgEr; Faith allyson BuenaCosa, CulturE Editor; liBerty notarte, fEAturEs Editor; roGene Gonzales, nEws Editor; Chino Carlo ariCaya, ProduCtion Editor;

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