University of the Philippines Los Baños
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The UPLB Horizon is a newspaper/magazine that features articles on instruction, research and public service initiatives and programs, as well as information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. Some articles that are featured in it appear on the UPLB website. For contributions, email


Dr. Perlas

Photo from Dr. Perlas' Linkedin account

He lived a life raging, raging against the lack of medical services for people in the fringes of society. Until his very choice saw him go into that good night.

Dr. Dreyfuss B. Perlas. UPLB mourns his death as it would a son, a brother, and a friend because he spent a good part of his life here in this University where, one likes to think, he may have partly learned and imbibed the culture of service.

Dr. Perlas was a medical doctor who was shot to death by an unknown assailant on March 1 in Lanao del Norte. He served the people of the province’s Sapad town, a fifth class municipality as a volunteer rural health physician under the Doctors to the Barrio (DTTB) Program of the Department of Health.

As if lured by the siren’s song, he stayed to become its municipal health officer, where he lived a life well lived in service, but sadly died a senseless death in a place he had evidently grown to love. For how else could one explain his decision to stay longer in Sapad?

Dr. Maria Dalisay G. Maligalig, associate professor at the UPLB Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) and Dr. Perlas’ undergraduate adviser, expressed shock upon learning the news about his demise. She recalled that in December 2016, she received a message from Dr. Perlas saying that he wanted to meet her and his other professors when he visits UPLB.

“Like the rest of the members of the faculty, I am so saddened by the loss of a young man at the prime of his life and career,” Dr. Maligalig said.

Dr. Maligalig remembers Dr. Perlas as a quiet student and a very tall lanky man with a ready smile. “His face still flashes through my mind,” she said, recalling how a sheepish Dreyfuss would smile and apologize to her every time she would tell him that a fellow faculty member reported him for a minor misdemeanor such as sleepily nodding off in class.

Dr. Maligalig said that she was not surprised when Dr. Perlas chose to work as a doctor in the far-flung town, after all, IBS professors always tried to instill the virtue of service to their students.

In a published statement on its Facebook page, Philobioscientia: The UPLB Life Sciences Society, of which Dr. Perlas was a member, said that the organization did not only lose a brother but a modern-day hero as well.

“It is of great sadness to lose someone who has dedicated his life to our underserved countrymen. He is truly an unsung hero, who has lived by his principles and embodied the essence of being a true iskolar ng bayan, para sa bayan,” the statement read.

The death of Dr. Perlas cries out for justice to be done. It cries out for society to rage, rage against his senseless death that is wrapped in the darkness of night. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria, with reports from



Mas gusto ko po na tawagin ninyo akong ‘Danicon’ (I prefer to be called ‘Danicon’),” said President Danilo L. Concepcion to the UPLB community at the welcome program tendered in his honor by the University on March 10 at DL Umali Hall. This puts an end to questions asking how he would like his constituents to call him.

Wala po sa akin ang titulo na itatawag ninyo sa akin. Mas mahalaga po sa akin na ako ay ituturing ninyong kaibigan at kasama. Kapag tinawag po ninyo akong ‘Danicon,’ ang ibig sabihin po niyan, tinuturing ninyo akong kaibigan (Titles do not matter to me. What matters to me is that you will consider me as a friend and a colleague. Therefore, if you call me ‘Danicon,’ it means that you consider me as your friend),he said.

Faculty development, quality students, contractual employees

In his first message to UPLB as UP’s chief executive, President Concepcion recognized the importance of providing an enabling environment to its faculty members, whom he believes to be one of the pillars of the University. “Let us give them an environment that will allow them to grow, that will make them happy with what they are doing, and that will give them time to write, to research, and to be productive,” President Concepcion said.

He said that he will strive to expand the University’s resources to support faculty members’ advanced studies, not only in Philippine universities but also abroad. He said that their new learnings would be crucial not only to their profession and to the University, but to the nation as well.

President Concepcion also articulated the importance of maintaining UP’s high admission standards, but at the same time giving equal opportunities for everyone to be admitted to the University. “We will not lower the quality of education simply because we want to target a particular sector of our society. We have to keep the quality of our education in the University, and therefore we have to keep the quality of students that we are molding to be useful for the country,” he said.

He bared his plan of having new graduates who received free education from UP to teach at provincial high schools for one year with pay. “We have to improve the quality of instruction in the public schools in the provinces, upang tumaas ang tyansa ng mga estudyante nito na makapasa sa UPCAT (to increase the students’ chances of passing the UPCAT),” President Concepcion said. UPCAT refers to the highly competitive UP College Admission Test.

President Concepcion also noted the need to address labor policies, particularly on its contractual employees. After recognizing the latter’s contributions to the University, which he said are comparable to regular employees, he said that he will fight for them to secure item positions during his term.

Moved by UPLB’s welcome

Musical performances from UPLB’s performing artists and chorale groups, both made up of students and teachers, marked the welcome program for President Concepcion. Some of the original Filipino songs rendered were President Concepcion’s own favorite, such as “Sinasamba, minamahal,” “Kahit magtiis,” “Forevermore,” and “You.”

UPLB performers also did a Batangas ritual called “Puttungan” as a way to honor and welcome President Concepcion. They danced while hoisting palm leaves and then placed a sampaguita garland around President Concepcion’s neck.

President Concepcion was also treated to audio-visual presentations showing testimonials about him by his family and chief of staff, well-wishes from UPLB’s sectoral representatives, one entitled Boses ng mga Kaagapay (Voices of Partners) that had sectoral representatives express their hopes under the new UP president’s term, and on public service and compassion in UPLB through its public service programs.


“Hindi ko po inakala na ganito pala kainit tumanggap ng isang bisita ang UPLB. Halos ako po ay maluha nung nakita ko ang ginagawa ninyong pagtanggap sa akin ngayon. Hindi ko po akalain na ganito pala kalaki itong seremonya ngayong umaga (I did not expect this warm welcome from UPLB. You almost moved me to tears while watching the program. I did not expect this grand ceremony this morning),” said the grateful President Concepcion.

President Concepcion also gamely answered the questions asked by Assoc. Prof. Jeanette Angeline Madamba of the College of Economics and Management. This portion revealed more of the President’s personality and background.

In one of the questions, President Concepcion disclosed that he was supposed to pursue BS Agricultural Engineering in UPLB after passing the UPCAT and the then National Science Development Board scholarship examination, which is today’s Department of Science and Technology scholarship. However, due to financial reasons, he had to choose the nearer De La Salle Araneta University, where he graduated summa cum laude.

The UPLB constituents filled the university theater, led by Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. who gave the welcome remarks. Joining him were UPLB officials, faculty members, staff, students, and alumni.


Also present were UP Regents Francis Laurel and Alexis Mejia; Dr. Teodoro Herbosa, UP executive vice president; Dr. Elvira Zamora, UP vice president for development; Dr. Wendell Capili, UP assistant vice president for public affairs; and former UPLB chancellors, namely: Dr. Ruben Villareal, Dr. Luis Rey Velasco, and Dr. Rex Victor Cruz.

Atty. Gabriela “Gaby” R. Concepcion, wife of President Concepcion, also witnessed the event.

The program was directed by Asst. Prof. Jeremy dela Cruz, with creative ideas from Asst. Prof. Romeo dela Cruz, Jr. and Assoc. Prof. Jerry Yapo, all of the Department of Humanities. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria)


Convo and awarding

A College that is integral to national development and a University that contributes to the growth of Mindanao – this is how Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. described the two major "harvests" of the University in his welcome remarks at UPLB's 108th Foundation Day Convocation and Awarding Ceremonies on March 6 at the Charles Fuller Baker Hall with the theme "Harvest 2017."

On the first, Chancellor Sanchez was referring to the shift in paradigm of the College of Agriculture and Food Science (CAFS) from primary production to a value chain perspective that was the substantial aspect of its restructuring and renaming from the College of Agriculture to CAFS.

On the second, he was referring to the establishment of the UP Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE), UPLB's extension campus in Panabo City, Davao del Norte.

These are two of the milestones that the Chancellor said are expected to bring the University to a wider scope of influence in the country's agriculture agenda.
The five clusters of the then CA have been restructured to nine units to support the country's thrust to modernize the agriculture sector.

The initiative to establish UP PSAE is aimed at providing a UP education within the reach of students, accelerate human capital formation, and serve as a catalyst for development in the Davao Region.

On its first five years, UP PSAE will be under the UPLB Graduate School and will offer off-campus graduate programs and short training courses starting the First Semester of Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018. Anna Floresca Firmalino, a faculty member at the College of Economics and Management shall serve as its first program director.

The creation of UP PSAE and restructuring of the CA into the CAFS were approved by the UP Board of Regents 1322ndmeeting on Nov. 24, 2016 and 1323rd meeting on Dec 16, 2016, respectively, in UP Diliman, Quezon City.


More harvests

Every Foundation Day celebration is an opportunity for UPLB to recognize and honor the personnel and research and extension teams that exhibited exemplary service to the University and its stakeholders.

UPLB honored 17 individuals and a research team this year. One of its exemplary alumni and now UP Regent Francis C. Laurel (BSA '69, magna cum laude) gave the keynote address during the program. In his speech, Regent Laurel talked about how he imbibed the culture of excellence.

"My grandfather planted the seed of excellence in my young mind, and it was in UPLB where the seed blossomed into reality," shared Regent Laurel. The grandfather whom Regent Laurel was referring to was Dr. Jose P. Laurel, former Philippine president. "As a young boy, my grandfather would always tell me that If I wanted to succeed in this world, I would have to do things well; to be the best in all the things I do.

Leading successful businesses for the past years, such as YKK Philippines, Inc., Toyota Batangas City, Inc., and Toyota Camarines Sur, Inc., Regent Laurel underscored the value of perseverance, dedication, and commitment to one's success.

These qualities are, in fact, the common characteristics that nominators used to describe the 17 outstanding personnel and research team, who completed UPLB's harvest this year.

This year's awardees are the following: 


OUTSTANDING TEACHERS. Flanked by Dr. Portia Lapitan, vice chancellor for academic affairs (leftmost) and Chancellor Sanchez and Regent Laurel (1st and 2nd from right) are: (from left to right) Asst. Prof. Aldo Gavril Lim (social sciences and humanities, junior faculty); Asst. Prof. Mark Anthony Rabena (biological sciences, junior faculty); Asst. Prof. Nicolo Masakayan (social sciences and humanities, senior faculty); Dr. Editha Jose (physical sciences, senior faculty); Dr. Aimee Lynn Dupo (biological sciences, senior faculty); and Ramoncito Cambel (physical sciences, junior faculty). 

researchers etc

OUTSTANDING RESEARCHERS, EXTENSIONIST, RESEARCH TEAM, AND ARTIST. With Dr. Susan May Calumpang, assistant to the vice chancellor for research and extension (leftmost) and Chancellor Sanchez and Regent Laurel (1st and 2nd from right) are: (from left to right) Dr. Edwin Alcantara (researcher, natural sciences - REPS); Guillerma Valencia (extensionist); Dr. Desiree Hautea (researcher, natural sciences - senior faculty); James Alvarez (researcher, junior category); Dr. Zenaida Sumalde (researcher, social sciences and humanities – senior faculty); Asst. Prof. Elmer Rufo (artist); Dr. Menandro Acda (researcher, natural sciences – senior faculty); and Dr. Jose Hernandez, representing the Rice Varietal improvement Program (research team).


OUTSTANDING ADMINISTRATIVE PERSONNEL. Flanked by Asst. Prof. Genaro Cuaresma and Dr. Crisanto Dorado, assistant to the vice chancellor and vice chancellor for administration, respectively (first and second from left) and Chancellor Sanchez and Regent Laurel (1st and 2nd from right) are: (from left to right) Sancho Lanao (blue collar); Nicolas Despues (technician); Paciencia Dela Peña (office personnel); and Elizabeth Casabuena (supervisor). 

Casabuena, an administrative officer at the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food of the College of Human Ecology, delivered the response on behalf of all the awardees. By way of encouragement to her fellow awardees she said that the recognition is in appreciation of their work and an answer to the call of duty. "Narito tayo upang tuparin ang ating misyon: ang pagsilbihan ang unibersidad at ang ating bayan (We are here to fulfill our mission: to serve the University and the country)."

Present during the ceremonies were Staff Regent Alexis Mejia; For. Leo Ballesfin, president of the UPLB Alumni Association, Inc.; members of the UPLB management and executive committees; and some of the University's professor emeriti. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria and Jessa Jael S. Arana)



UP and the Anflo Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA)  that will pave the way for the physical development of the UP Professional Schools in Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE) in Agriya, Panabo, Davao del Norte. The MOA signing took place at 10 a.m. on Jan. 30 at the UP BOR Room in Quezon Hall.

The MOA formalizes the donation of 31,000 sqm of land by ANFLOCOR to UP and for the former to design, develop and construct buildings and facilities on the donated land. Its signing follows on the heels of the recent approval by the BOR of the establishment of UP PSAE in Agriya, Panabo City in Davao del Norte at its 1322nd meeting on Nov. 24.

UP President Alfredo E. Pascual and Ricardo Luis Mateo F. Lagdameo, vice president of Damosa Land Inc., an affiliate of ANFLOCOR,  signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.

In his message, President  Pascual shared how the formation of UP PSAE adds to the other efforts of the UP System to bring UP education to other parts of the country, with previous initiatives seeing the establishment of UP professional campuses in Cebu, Pampanga, Tacloban, and at the Bonifaco Global City in Taguig.

Lagdameo said that the project is in line with ANFLOCOR’s vision for the Davao del Norte land use master plan in which they hoped to include various components of  agriculture. According to him, UPLB was the ideal educational institution to partner with to achieve this vision and improve agriculture in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, UPLB Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, who signed the agreement as a witness, said that with the opportunities and challenges presented by the ASEAN Integration, it is  “crucial and timely that an educational institution that specializes in agriculture be established at the heart of the center of agriculture in the Philippines.” He added that this partnership is an opportunity to bring UPLB’s expertise closer and make it more accessible not only in Panabo City, but the rest of Mindanao.

Establishment of the UP PSAE is an initiative of UPLB that is anchored on UPLB’s proven capacities in agriculture and environmental science.

The UP PSAE will progress in two phases. The first, covering five years, starts on the First Semester of Academic Year 2017-2018. UP-PSAE will offer off-campus graduate programs and short training courses under the supervision of the UPLB Graduate School through a program director.

On its Phase II,  UP PSAE will become a new school of UPLB and will have its own dean and residential graduate programs. A budget of PhP271 million shall be allocated for UP PSAE’s first 11 years.

(JJA Arana & MJE Gloria, with excerpts from the UP PSAE Proposal)

UPLB will soon have a presence down south, in the country’s banana capital.

This is through the establishment of the UP Professional School for Agriculture and the Environment (UP PSAE) in Anflo City, Panabo, Davao del Norte, which the UP Board of Regents (BOR) approved at its 1322nd meeting on Nov. 24.

This UPLB extension campus aims to provide UP education within the reach of students, accelerate human capital formation, and serve as a catalyst for development in the Davao Region.

“With its proven capacities in agriculture and environmental science, UPLB is positioned to contribute immensely to development efforts in the Davao Region and neighboring communities,” articulated by the document explaining the rationale of the newly approved UP PSAE.

The UP PSAE will progress in two phases.

The first phase covering its first five years will see the offering of off-campus graduate programs and short training courses starting the First Semester of Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018 ,with the formal opening of the campus the AY after. The UPLB Graduate School shall supervise the UP PSAE, through a program director, during this phase.

The second phase, on the other hand, will start on its sixth year. This would be a time when the UP PSAE shall become a new school of UPLB, with its own dean and residential graduate programs.

A budget of PhP271 million shall be allocated for UP PSAE’s first 11 years, while the Anflo Management and Investment Corporation (ANFLOCOR) will donate about three hectares of land and capital outlay for the infrastructure.

ANFLOCOR’s donation of land and construction of relevant structures for the future school are articulated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UP and ANFLOCOR dated Nov. 20, 2014. The MOU also provides for a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) which shall detail the partnership between the two institutions, and which will be signed early next year. (Mark Jayson E. Gloria, with reports from the UP PSAE Proposal written by Assistant Professors Anna Floresca F. Firmalino and Arlene C. Gutierrez)