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Development News Farmers to manage future Benguet Marketing Cooperative | 4 Puguis, La Trinidad constructs 50K garbage cage | 5 DOST-CAR to man PTRI; BSU to focus on mitigation and adaptation | 6 BSU promotes apitourism | 8 Environmental activists conduct relief mission | 9 Strawberry festival showcases more activities | 11 LT uses siren for waste segregation campaign | 12 LTVTP Post undergoes renovation | 14


Multi-cropping lessens farmers’ burden | 16 BSU introduces bamboo as substitute for trees | 17 Local scientists push soilless agriculture for quality crops | 18 BSU conducts farmers’ forum | 19

Science News

Camote, cassava and gabi found to be effective in broilers’ feed | 20 Chayote in its rediscovey as “the hanging green gold of Benguet” | 23 Study says mixing bacteria with chicken dung produces high crop yield | 24

Feature Checking your bowels: what does your stool tell? | 28 The special wonders of camote | 29

People On poverty and education | 31 The world of the unnoticed| 34 Local business man dares proverty| 35 Blood, sweat and tears | 36

Environmental Report

Climate change and global warming: worsening threat to earth BSU to focus on mitigation and adaptation | 38 Photo Essay: The struggle for a healthy environment| 40


Salidummay releases new album | 43 Who is an Igorot? | 44 Benguet’s traditional seasons of the year | 46 Ifugao on focus: Ifugao’s cultural beliefs and practices | 47



MIRROR. The man depicts the current status of the country despite the fact that he is being isolated in the society. Development Communication serves its purpose as the voice and identity – and representation of the grassroots, the ordinary people, through articles that elevate the status of the grassroots in the society where they seem unnoticed.

Photo by Crislyn Balangen

Photo by Grace Bengwayan of OUBS

GRASSROOTS EDITORIAL BOARD Ronalyn Banaken Editor-In-Chief Crislyn Balangen Associate Editor Gema Donna Calabson Finance Manager

Rubyloida Bitog Rose Budas News Editors

Claire May Tuazon Culture Editor

Jennilyn Julian Rowena Law-agey Feature Editors

Analyn Adamag Precy Montes Lay – out Artists

Zandra Claire Bang-ngit Science Editor

Filmore Awas Adviser



Farmers to manage future Benguet Marketing Cooperative by Crislyn Balangen and Claire May Tuazon

Farmers of Benguet wills soon be given the opportunity to manage a marketing cooperative to solve the growing marketing problem in the province. According to Nestor Fongwan, Benguet provincial governor, farmers nowadays must link themselves to the market to improve the marketing scheme; thus, this Marketing Cooperative Program. He also encourages the farmers to join and strengthen the federation of the Benguet Marketing Cooperative that is gradually built. Benguet Marketing Cooperative is a project set by the province to combat the fast-growing marketing problem that is slowly drowning the farmers. It aims to create an effective marketing and improve the marketing system and the prices of the commodities. “But the bottom line is to help the farmers gain enough and fair for their needs and also to meet the increasing demand of the market,” said Fongwan. “This cooperative under Benguet Agricultural Industry is a centralized

marketing that will regulate the pricing of vegetables. This is to ensure profit for farmers and also to ensure that the consumers will have the capacity to buy,” said Mr. Dominador Dongla, Trading Post Market Inspector. The said cooperative would also help the farmers to market their own produced commodities direct to high end markets. But according to Fongwan, this does not mean that the middlemen will be eradicated, rather, they will still be transacting to the cooperative wherein they will serve as the ones determining high demanding markets, thus, balancing the gains for the farmers and the middlemen. “Global competition means that we must access to high-end markets such as supermarkets,” added Fongwan. Mr. Dongla also added that this will assure sustainable farming industry for the province. Moreover, this will be a gradual production to sustain the market availability of vegetables at a given time, not over producing but just producing enough commodities to meet the just demand of the consumers. And one of the ways to attain is

the off-season production of vegetables. Prior to the on-going development of the said project, the profiling of the vegetable industry in Benguet, which is the first step, has already been conducted and they are now on the process of strengthening the cooperative through inviting farmers to join. After the project will gradually be developed and is already settled to build the cooperative, the farmers will be the stockholders or owners but for the starting point, they will be assisted by the provincial capitol until they could already manage it themselves. After which, the cooperative will be turned over to them and thus making them the managers of their cooperative.

Development News | 5

Buyagan drainage canal nearing completion by Analyn Adamag and Rose Budas

The Provincial Government of Benguet allocated a fund worth Php 498, 110.48 for the construction of a drainage canal in Buyagan, La Trinidad. Provincial Engineer Alejandro Telio said that the amount was funded for the completion of a drainage canal along the Pico-Stockfarm road starting from Poblacion Junction towards Buyagan, La Trinidad. The said project, headed by Governor Nestor Fongwan and was implemented by the Provincial Engineers Office, is now on its completion stage with its target of 50 days. The construction started on the first week of January. According to Telio, floods and sewage problems triggered by the past heavy rains prompted the Buyagan Barangay Council to propose the said project. “Luckily, the provincial government responded,” he said. Kagawad Bruno Siadto Jr., Head of the Committee in Social Services, said in an interview that turn to page 14

Photo by Analyn Adamag and Rose Budas

50K GARBAGE CAGE. The garbage cage in Puguis, La Trinidad, prevents dogs from scattering uncollected garbage. Photo by Analyn Adamag and Rose Budas

Puguis, La Trinidad constructs 50K garbage cage by Analyn Adamag, Rose Budas and Rowena Law-agey

Waste management is now being promoted in Barangay Puguis, La Trinidad, as a newly constructed garbage cage amounting to Php 50, 000 is now in use. The garbage cage serves as an impounding cage for the wastes which are not collected. “The garbage cage is constructed so that the dogs will not scatter the uncollected garbage,” said Kagawad Osburn Visaya, Chairman of the Committee on Peace and Order, Public Safety and Civil Defense. The project was headed by Barangay Captain Evelyn Ramos. According to Visaya, the Puguis Barangay Council allocated the fund from the barangay’s fund in accordance with its implementing waste management measures. Garbage is one of the problems of Puguis. “Since the

barangay lacks garbage can, we decided to put up two garbage cages, one placed along the wayside and one at Puguis Proper,” added Visaya. “Waste management is being implemented in the barangay, however, there is still a problem in the cooperation of the residents,” said Visaya. The wastes in Puguis are being collected every day except Sundays. “Napintas piman. Maiwasan nga iwara ti aso dagijay basura ngem maymayat nu nayunan da jay garbage cage karkaru ta adu ti maiproduce nga basura ti maysa a residente ti maysa nga aldaw (The construction of the garbage cage is a good idea. The dogs will be prevented from scattering uncollected garbage, but it will be more effective if another garbage cage is constructed, since more wastes are being accumulated in a day),” said George Punasen, a resident of Puguis.

6 | Development News


PTRI to focus on technology promotion by Ronalyn Banaken

The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) - Benguet will no longer be operating independently from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). This was disclosed during the PTRI turn-over ceremony held at the DOST-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) compound in Km. 6, La Trinidad, Benguet on February 19. According to Mr. Arnold Inumpa, PTRI-Benguet information officer, PTRI will not be doing and focusing on researches anymore. Instead, they will be promoting technologies developed by other institutes of DOST. “Before, PTRI focused on researches particularly on silkworm breeding, but now our duty is to promote technologies since we are already under the

management of DOST,” said Inumpa. The technologies they will be promoting cover the fields of agriculture, medicine, electronics and other related fields. Inumpa added that PTRI-Benguet will be supporting interested users of the technologies by lending amount needed to promote the technologies. Though under the DOST, the PTRI Technology Center located in Km. 6, La Trinidad, Benguet, has been independently managing itself for the past 35 years. For years, PTRI-Benguet has been supplying majority of hybrid bivoltin silkworm egg needs of Luzon – Kapangan, Sablan – including Ilocos Norte and Aurora Province in National Capital Region (NCR), according to Inumpa. The silkworm breeds are being given freely. “Since we will not be supplying

Sports Complex construction seized by Crislyn Balangen

La Trinidad, BENGUET- Due to lack of financial budget, the construction of the Sports Complex situated at Wangal will only be developed gradually while soliciting funds from high officials and other agencies. Hon. Nestor B. Fongwan, Benguet provincial governor, explained that the construction of the said project could not be speed up due to the said reason. The project started on the later part of 2007 and for the meantime, the construction will be stopped while waiting for the fund. The said complex was part of the plan of the governor when he was still the mayor of La Trinidad. During the Adivay Festival Celebration held November last year, the provincial government was able to collect funds from high officials who visited the province. Senator Manny Villar,

who donated Php 2 million earlier, had committed to donate another Php 5 million. Also, Senator Loren Legarda promised to give another Php 5 million. As of press time, the said donations were not handed on them. Gov. Fongwan exclaimed that they could not approximate the project would cost yet; however, according to him, a huge amount would be needed to complete the infrastructure. The Sports Complex is purposely for activities that could develop the youth especially in sports-related. Other major infrastructure projects planned to be constructed and developed this year include a new provincial capitol building; overpass somewhere in Benguet General Hospital (BeGH); comfort rooms along Poblacion, La Trinidad, Asin, Kapangan and other strategic areas; and improvement of irrigation and water approach within the province.

silkworm eggs anymore, orders will now come from the PTRI Technology Center in Misamis Oriental in Mindanao and PTRI central office in Bicutan, Taguig,” noted Inumpa. PTRI was able to produce 89 silkworm strains, making it the highest germ plasm collection in the country. The latest silkworm breed PTRI-Benguet has processed was the four-strain breed: PTRI silkworm 1, 2, 3 and 4. Meanwhile, as a result of PTRI advocating silkworm breeding, the Kapangan, Benguet local government adapted silkworm breeding as their One Town, One Product (OTOP) project. The project was granted by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Barangay Pico now produces its own yogurt by Rubyloida Bitog

La Trinidad, BENGUET - The Rural Development Club of sitio Bayabas, Pico is now producing home - made yogurt. This activity is a joint project of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of La Trinidad and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) together with the Office of Municipal Agriculture (OMAG). According to Geraldine Mendoza, President of Rural Development Club (RDC), turn to page 15

Development News | 7

BSU turnovers books to Cordillera library hubs by Crislyn Balangen


n celebration of Benguet State University’s (BSU) 23rd Charter Week, the Department of Extension Education and Development Communication of the College of Agriculture (CA) turned over 100 books of the “Stories of Alapu- Mountain Province Edition” to the seven provinces of Cordillera at BSU Strawberry Hall on the afternoon of January 13. The researchers of the said project handed their finished product to Benguet, Baguio, Kalinga, Abra, Mountain Province, Apayao, and Ifugao library hubs though not all have their library hubs as of now. The Department of Education (DepEd) intends to build each province a library hub for further improvement of the region. The project was headed by Dr. Maria Luz Fang-asan and Betty Listino. The researchers were Angelita T. Acdang, Filmore Y. Awas, Stephen P. Bulalin, Patrick W. Depolio, Edward C. Magalgalit Jr., Corazon C. Pagaduan, Christine Grace Sidchogan, Jennyline S. Tabangcura and Annaliza B. Wakat. Dr. Maria Luz Fang-asan introduced the project and its objectives to the participants in the beginning of the program. She enumerated the three objectives of the project: to gather, package and disseminate it. “It is a tangible way to communicate our intangible culture,” exclaimed Dr. Caridad Fiarod, representative of the office of the Governor of Mountain Province, in her turnover speech during the said event. She encouraged everyone especially the students to go to school and learn about their culture and not to unlearn it. Furthermore, “Stories of Alapu” is a compilation and documentation of folk stories from Cordillera. “Alapu” is a Kankana-ey word meaning elder. “Stories of Alapu” is a joint project of BSU, Bontoc-Ifugao-Benguet-Apayao-Kalinga NETS (BIBAKNETS) and the Overseas Cordillera Workers in Taiwan. The project aims to preserve the folk stories and the culture bound in it. It intends to gather stories from elders, package it as a book, disseminate it and especially bring it back to where it came from. The project team is still conducting Information Education and Communication (IEC)

campaign in selected elementary schools in La Trinidad as well as in other provinces in Cordillera. Also, book-reading activities were done in BSU-Elementary Laboratory School and Puguis Elementary School. These are part of their objective to disseminate the stories of Alapu especially to children. Moreover, the Benguet Edition of the “Stories of Alapu” is on the making.

Cordi music magazine soon to be published by Jennilyn Julian

Good news to all music lovers! A new music magazine will be commercially distributed all through out Cordillera. The magazine revolves in the fields of music and arts. Specifically, its content is focused on Cordillera music, the composers, performers, local bands and other single artists. It also highlights the music of the highlands. Though the said magazine’s emphasis is on music, it also covers different areas of arts such as paintings, handicrafts, sculpture and other creative works originally made here in Cordillera. The main objective of the publication is to give acknowledgement to Cordillera musicians who were not given attention by the public. As to the field of arts, its goal is to recognize the hidden artists of Cordillera whose works actually promote much of our unique creativity. The organizers of the new music magazine are Nomar Simeon and Marcelo Sibal who are both musically-inclined and are members of the Psychovibes Band. Their passion for music and arts motivated them to push through the said magazine. Students from Benguet State University (BSU) grabbed the opportunity to be pioneers of the publication. As writers, they are Crislyn Balangen, Zandra Bangngit, Pamela Buasen, Josephine Dao-anis, Alexander Dolin, Jinky Rose Justo, Jennilyn Julian, Mayflor Magciano and Sharon Wakat. Through a screening done by the organizers, Kerwin Jake Padilla, an employee of Saint Louis University (SLU), was chosen to be the Editor-InChief (EIC). The music magazine will be first published on February 2009 and will be circulated covering quarterly issues which will approximately cost Php100.00 - Php150.00.

8 | Development News

BSU promotes apitourism

by Ronalyn Banaken

As part of being an agricultural school, Benguet State University (BSU) is introducing a new attraction – apitourism.

Apitourism (bee tourism) is the latest attraction in BSU’s Nature Park at Bektey, La Trinidad, Benguet. It is one of the fields of ecotourism, a science that deals with the management and conservation of the environment. It focuses on bees to let people, especially children, understand and appreciate the importance of honeybees in biodiversity, plant resource conservation and crop production, according to Dr. Lita

HUMAN POLLINATORS. Children ‘pollinate’ flowers. Photos courtesy of Mr. Johnny Corcha of CA - Department of Entomology

Colting, the pioneer of the project. The apitourism project features models and representations of the activities of honeybees. It includes mock-ups of ways on how honeybees produce nectars and pollinate flowers. “Anyone who wishes to experience how honeybees work especially in producing nectar and pollinating flowers can practice such activities of the honeybees by dressing as honeybees and doing the pollinating and nectar thing,” said Colting. “Tour guides are always available to teach and guide interested visitors,” she added. The apitourism project started in 2001 with a honeybee show at Nature Park. In 2005, a natural museum was established to house bee products and other flora and fauna here in the Cordillera. An apiary bee and insectarium were then developed in 2007 to make the learning on bees more attractive and extensive.

Now, the apitourism in Nature Park has been expanded and well-developed. “It is mostly visited by children and it’s a good manifestation that they are not afraid anymore of honeybees after visiting the project,” noted Colting. Aside from BSU promoting apitourism, she added that other institutions in the country have also created bee tourism projects. “If there are live bees shown in observation hives, many are afraid to get near them because of the fear of being stung. There is then a need to design a tourist – friendly bee tourism, one which shall convince both children and adults to learn about bees without being stung,” Colting ended.

Development News | 9

LT- SB approves chicken dung ordinance by Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

The Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of La Trinidad, Benguet, finally legalizes the Chicken Dung Ordinance governing and regulating the sale, disposal, storage and transportation of chicken manure. The Chicken Dung Ordinance, also known as the Ordinance No. 7-2008, aims to prescribe the right manner of selling, disposing, storing, transporting and handling of chicken dung and similar products that may be introduced. It also seeks to ensure governmental supervision to minimize the nuisance effect of wrong selling and disposing of chicken manure. According to Hon. Jerome Salda and Hon. Thomas Chamos, councilors of the municipality, the reason for the demand of farmers for the sale of the product is that it is convenient to them. The SB said that the community would benefit from the chicken dung trade. However, some residents disputed the claim saying that the passage of the ordinance was not subjected to the usual public consultation. As stated in the ordinance, trucks carrying chicken manure shall be permitted to enter the municipality only between 7 pm - 6 am. All persons or entity transporting chicken dung and animal manure must secure a Handler’s and Livestock Transport Carrier’s License, issued by the Bureau of Animal Industry-Marketing Development Division (BAI-MDD). The ordinance also allowed standardizing the weight of the chicken dung at 50 kilos per sack. The sacks exceeding the weight limit would be charged with additional fee by the municipal government. Any violations of the ordinance shall be punished by a fine of Php1, 000.00 for the first offense while succeeding offenses shall be punished by a fine of Php 2,500.00 and/ or imprisonment of not less than one month and one day to six months upon the discretion of the court.

Environmental activists conduct relief mission by Claire May Tuazon

Young environmental activist organizations in Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet, conducted relief mission and community integration to the victims of Barangay Loacan, Itogon, Benguet, on December 21, 2008. The mission aims to help the landslide victims of Loacan, Itogon Benguet, to educate the community regarding environmental protection and to empower them on possible actions against such tragedy. The Dessert Band, Progressive Igorots for Social Action (PIGSACYC), Asia Pacific Indigenous Network (APYN), Benguet State University (BSU)Salidummay, together with the Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC) Student Affairs and the College of Social Work were the organizers of the said mission.

Furthermore, the said organizations collected and gave clothings to the community. They facilitated an open forum on the bad effects of large-scale mining and a sharing of community’s experiences on small-scale mining. Kagawad Maura Almoza accompanied the students to see the areas that were destroyed brought by typhoon Nina on September 22-23, 2008. She explained that the destruction is one of the long-term effects of the Benguet Corporation, a mining company, and the open pit mining. “We fought for our community to the extent that we were even put to jail,” said Almoza as she encouraged the youth to continue the struggle they have started.

BVPC prepares for inauguration by Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

The Benguet State University’s (BSU) Benguet Vegetable Processing Center (BVPC) went busy these days in preparation for its inauguration this March 16, 2009. The inauguration will be initiated by her Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The project worth Php 10 million was acted upon as a grant to the university which was funded under the Special Project Fund of PGMA. As of now, the center is ongoing to massive finishing touches which include the repairing of damages in the roofs that may cause the raindrops when it rained hard. Moreover, the cementing

of the other portions of the building was being rushed for the inauguration. The facilities, however, is still on the process of follow-up through the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) passed. The said inauguration will be attended by the inter-agency group which include the Cordillera Agricultural Research and Extension OrganizationMarketing Incorporated (CAREO-MI), local government unit (LGU), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), among others. The project leader, Dr. Violeta Salda, and other members of the project, turn to page 15

10 | Development News

Campaign for the environment – environmental activists by Claire May Tuazon

“No more tragedies, protect and safeguard our natural habitat.”


his was the theme that concluded the SURVIVORS, a benefit concert for the landslide victims of Barangay Loacan, Itogon Benguet. The said concert was successfully done at the Cordillera Career Development College (CCDC) Gymnasium last December 6, 2008 at 5 pm - 9:30 in the evening gathering more or less 700 youth, students and young professionals. The concert is a campaign for the continuous protection of the environment against any kind of destruction specifically government projects such as mining, dams, and logging. It was sponsored by the Progressive Igorots for Social ActionCordillera (PIGSA-CYC) and the Asia Pacific Indigenous Youth Network (APIYN) with the CCDC Student Affairs and the College of Social Work. The concert featrured the DESSERT Band, Benguet State University (BSU)-Salidummay and University of the Cordilleras (UC) with the special participation of Dean Joseph Bernal of the Student Affairs Office of CCDC. The different performers rendered their songs as a form of solidarity in support of the campaign against the destruction of the environment. According to the organizers, the proceeds of the concert will be used for the relief mission, educational field trip and community integration for the victims

of the landslide at Loacan, Itogon, Benguet. Last September 22-23, 2008, typhoon Nina brought disasters and trauma to the community of Loacan, Itogon that caused destruction and lost of properties, lives and source of living of almost 50 families. At the same incident, there were 16 small scale miners trapped at the 700 level when the twin tunnels of the Benguet Corporation, a mining company, collapsed causing the death of six small-scale miners. According to Chester Mark Tuazon, spokesperson of PIGSA-CYC and a member of the DESSERT Band, the tragedy was a result of the continuous destruction of the environment particularly the result of the long years open pit mining operation of the Benguet Corporation. “The operation of big mining corporation did not bring development to the Ibaloi Communities, instead a miserable life irony to the propaganda of big mining firms that it will bring development for the people,” Tuazon said. “What for is that development if it will eventually destroy the lives, properties, land and the source of living of the indigenous communities?” he added. The SURVIVORS concert served also as a venue for the massive campaign to surface James Balao, one of the founding members of the Cordillera

Peoples Alliance (CPA) who was abducted last September 17, 2008. Balao is an active environmental activist and a fighter for the rights of the indigenous peoples (IPs) of the Cordillera. As of press time, the whereabouts of Balao is still unknown. “We condemn the government troops who were the main perpetrators of Balao,” said the organizers as they rendered songs for him. Tuazon stressed during his privilege speech that Balao is a role model for the youth of today as he challenged the audience to become participative and be advocates of pro-environment programs. “Since December is a Human Rights Month, we therefore seek justice for James Balao. We demand his immediate release and we seek justice for all the victims of environmental destruction due to the government projects that were detrimental to the indigenous peoples like the operation of large-scale mining, dams, logging and the like,” Tuazon exclaimed. Honorable Crescencio Pacalso, Vice-governor of Benguet, also gave his inspirational message. “I salute the organizer of the SURVIVORS. I encourage them to continue the campaign for the protection of the environment for the future generation. I also challenge the youth to strengthen camaraderie in times of disasters like what happened in Barangay Loacan,” he remarked.

Development News | 11

Strawberry festival 2009 showcases more activities

Photo by Crislyn Balangen

by Crislyn Balangen and Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

After the celebration of Baguio City’s Panagbenga Flower Festival, the municipality of La Trinidad now drives the celebration of Strawberry Festival with more activities this year. The celebration started on March 8 and ended on March 23 bearing the theme, “Sustaining Our Gains and Looking Beyond.” Atty. Miller Quintin, municipal administrator, said that La Trinidad has fruitful economic gains during the past years and this should be sustained. “Aside from the usual activities set every strawberry festival, this year’s festival offered more activities like the 24-hour photo shoot competition, an event showcasing the town of La Trinidad for a day through pictures. Likewise, there are some changes that are made. These include the separation of the Agro-Trade fair from the “tiyangge” or sari-sari store,” said Quintin. Quintin also mentioned that the Agro-Trade Fair was located in front of the municipal building while the “tiyangge” or sari-sari store was moved beside the new public market. “This is to well organize the

event and to separate other products from our own products,” he explained. The Agro-Trade Fair was launched during the first day of the festival. It displayed agricultural products like fertilizers and seed, at the same time serving as an advocacy for organic farming. Moreover, the festival also covered the launching and distribution of One Town, One Product (OTOP) seal, a seal given by the municipal office to major products of each town. OTOP is a program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) that was also featured during the Adivay Festival last November 2008. Moreover, other activities included the Barangay Night, a time offered to different barangays of the municipality where they conducted their own program and activities. There were also local and foreign job fairs. The “Battle of the Bands” would never be off placed. It was followed by a “Night of Sound and Music.” Likewise, the booth competition would always be a part of the yearly festival. Along with it were several strawberry contests like strawberry-eating contest,

“pinaka-sweet” and large strawberry, and “pasalubong” package. In March 18, the civic and float parade took place and as well as the main highlight of the event, the “Strawberry Festival Main Program.” After the program, the “2009 Strawberry Cake Slices” was featured where 2,009 first comers were served with free cakes in celebration of the year 2009. This was followed by a cultural presentation and the “Owik,” an Ibaloi term which means “offering of pigs.” The day ended with a fire work display at the public market grounds. The remaining days of the halfmonth long festival covered the following events: Saint Joseph Feast, Flower Arrangement competition (open category), essay-writing contest for high school students, “Benguet Battle of the Country Western Bands,” “Dumba Ni Kabajo” (horse race). The event as well held parlor games on horses. Aside from these, the “Search for Ms. Strawberry Festival 2009” and “Search for Mr. La Trinidad” were also held.

12 | Development News

LT uses siren for waste segregation campaign by Ronalyn Banaken In its efforts to campaign for proper waste segregation and disposal, the local government of La Trinidad, Benguet is using siren as one of its measures in implementing the program. The siren is being turned on at 4 o’clock in the afternoon daily at the municipal hall. “It is mainly for waste segregation,” said Jefferd Zambrano, Community Affairs Officer of La Trinidad. “The siren serves as a reminder that it is time for waste segregation. However, the segregation is not mandatory because we believe that the time will come that the people of La

Trinidad will properly segregate their garbage at their own volition and they are protected under the constitution of the Philippines,” explains Zambrano. Aside from being a sign for waste segregation, the siren also serves as a signal for packing up things, cleaning and getting ready for dismissal – business establishments, institutions and homes alike, according to Zambrano. He added that there are La Trinidad residents going to the municipal hall asking about the siren. “As a result of the playing of the siren, people come and ask about it. Therefore, they are informed,” he said.

“The siren will stop when the people are already accustomed to waste segregation”, he said. Moreover, the municipality printed handouts, posters and streamers on proper waste management. They are being distributed. “Whenever there are speeches, we see [officials] to it that the campaign on the program is included. We made ads and commercials in radios too,” Zambrano said. In addition, he disclosed that the biodegradable wastes being collected are turn to page 22

DA sets off veggie in-flow monitoring program by Crislyn Balangen, Zandra Claire Bang-ngit and Jennilyn Julian

No way for another misconduct on data monitoring! Hoping to solve problems regarding inaccurate data on vegetable deliveries in La Trinidad, the Department of Agriculture, Regional Field Unit, Cordillera Administrative Region (DARFU-CAR) and the Local Government Unit (LGU) of La Trinidad, Benguet, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) regarding the implementation of the Vegetable In-flow Monitoring project at the Betag-Puguis (Swamp) Road November last year. Vegetable In-flow Monitoring or survey is an inventory of the daily average volume of daily temperate vegetables being delivered to the La Trinidad Trading Post. The survey will include volume and other related data of each commodity coming from the different production areas in Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province.

“The main purpose of this program is to gather correct data on the volume of vegetable deliveries at the La Trinidad Trading Post including private trading post adjacent to the public trading post,” said Mr. Dominador Dongla, Trading Post Market Inspector. “Questionable data including volume of vegetables at La Trinidad Trading Post has always been the dilemma for farmers who deliver their crops here. The loss of approximately 12 million from misconducts on forging data for vegetable deliveries at the trading post alerted the municipal government,” said Dongla. The said program was undertaken by the DA through AMAD. AMAD-DA provided the fund for the program that finally set off on February 15. Vehicles that will deliver vegetable crops will have to pass from the Vegetable In-flow Monitoring at the Strawberry

Fields Road,Betag. Traffic or supervising personnel under the municipal government will fill up the form based on the answers of the farmers of what the commodity is, how much the price is and what municipality the vegetable came from. Mr. Dongla said that it is not necessary that only Benguet farmers will pass through the said monitoring. Other regions who deliver their vegetables at the La Trinidad Trading Post will also be inspected. However, during implementation, some farmers clamor due to its long process. Farmers argue that the monitoring process takes too much time. “Nabayag jay process, umabot 1-2 nga oras (The process is too long, it takes about 1-2 hours),” said Mr. Esteban Segalon, a farmer. “Tumaktak jay monitoring, maymayat nu awan na lang (The monitoring

Development News | 13

BeNHS presents first variety show by Crislyn Balangen and Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

For the first time, Benguet National High School (BeNHS) advocates student development through coming up with a variety show featuring a stage play of the “Beauty and the Beast” and displaying different presentations that will be played by students of the said school. The show will be staged at the Benguet State University (BSU) gymnasium on March 28. This was organized by Mr. Henry M. Kipas, Parents Teachers Community Association (PTCA) president of BeNHS with the help of Melissa Reilly, American Peace Corps Volunteer from Florida, USA and director of the show. With the theme “BeNHS, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” the event will serve as a family day for students, parents and teachers of the said

school. Also, this is a tribute for graduating students. The show entails a unique program and will be a continuous entertainment show that will take for about an hour and 30 minutes. It would include solo, “balagtasan,” combo, ethnic dances, hiphop/modern dance and gymnastics. “I came to know that there is a stage play in the school coordinated by the Peace Corp volunteer and it came to my mind to develop these lines or venue for the skill and talent development for the students,” said Kipas. He added that the variety show will be a stepping stone of BeNHS in becoming a developed secondary school in the province. “Through this, students will have the opportunity to display and develop their Photo by Crislyn Balangen

is delaying our time, it is better if there’s no monitoring,” a farmer said when asked about his opinion. On the other hand, Atty. Miller Quintin Jr., municipal administrator, explained that the data are important basis for policy and will help to gather more accurate amount of vegetable from the existing data at the Bahingawan Area and the municipal market. It will also serve as an evidence to be given to agencies that are helping the municipality. “We cannot feel the need to add more supervising personnel because there are already three people who are shifting in conducting the said monitoring. And this is a project of DA, thus, they are the ones funding the project which includes the honorarium of these supervising personnel. Unless they will give additional fund for the honorarium, then we could add more personnel for that matter,” he added. In addition, the project aims to determine daily volume per commodity; come up with appropriate strategic action plans and policy directions for the development of the temperate vegetable industry leading to

the solution of production and marketing problems. This will identify and assess the different production gaps as basis of possible recommendations to increase farmers’ income, while ensuring food security. It will likewise strengthen the partnership of the different stakeholders.

talents and skills,” remarked Kipas. In connection with the stage play, students have gone through auditions. Thirty eight talented and skilled students were chosen to participate in the famous Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast.” However, Kipas said that there are a lot of students who will be performing in the whole variety show. He mentioned that they also invited the Rondalla Group of Barangay Betag, La Trinidad, to perform on the said event. “We’re trying to expand programs and projects for the discovery of new talents,” added Kipas. The show is funded by the the school’s Parents, Teachers and Community Association (PTCA). The initial fund is about Php 50,000.00 for the costumes and props. Meanwhile, Reilly was assigned at the BeNHS Main last August 2007 and is expected to leave August this year. She is here to help improve the English proficiency of teachers and students.

14 | Development News

LTVTP undergoes renovation by Crislyn Balangen and Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

The municipal government of La Trinidad through the Office of the Engineering and Planning Development (OEPD) finally pushes the long-awaited plan of improving and renovating the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP).

The improvement of the trading post include the construction of the overhang shed, portland concrete cement pavement, construction of four units catch basin, carpentry works, painting works, repair of gutter and down sport and concreting of sidewalk. “Our trading post already exists for about 18 years in service for us and it’s high time that we should take care of it since it is where we get our bread and butter,” said Atty. Miller Quintin, municipal administrator. “The renovation would make our

trading post more presentable and functional for the farmers and for the visitors. Trading Post has its economic potential,” added Quintin. According to Mr. Dominador Dongla, trading post market inspector, the project is conceived to solve the dilemmas regarding the already old and tarnished trading post buildings and facilities. “The fund from the renovation came from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and from Sen. Manny Villar who donated Php 2 million. OEPD added Php 121,000.00 for the completion of the said project,” explained Bernie P. Manuel, engineer. “The project would be in preparation for the rainy season and this

FACE - LIFTING COMPLETED. The renovation of the La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP) gives way to a more comfortable vegetable packing among the traders.

Photo by Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

project that most benefited our farmers is indeed worth appreciating,” noted Rodolfo Kitab, market supervisor. The renovation started last January 15 and is expected to be completed within 7O working days.

Buyagan drainage...from page 5 the project will serve as a passage of water coming from the upper part of Western Buyagan and Stockfarm. Kagawad Daniel Taltala, Chair of the Committee on Peace and Order, Public Safety and Civil Defense, noted that the drainage will be routed then to the Bolo Creek connected to the Balili river going to Cruz. “The construction of the drainage canal will prevent the odorous smell

given off by the unscreened wastes. It will promote cleanliness as well,” said Taltala. “Napintas piman jay proyekto ta maiwasan ti aksidente karkaru kadagiti uubing (The drainage canal is a good project because accidents will be prevented especially among children),” said Eufrosina Naoe, resident of Western Buyagan, when asked on the project. She added that they are thankful because floods will be minimized in their area. “Last typhoon, all our things floated

as the water penetrated our houses because it seemed to be a sea,” she recounted. Meanwhile, the Provincial Engineers Office is implementing another construction of drainage canal and sidewalk from Stockfarm Junction towards Poblacion, Buyagan. The project costs Php 598, 230.36 and will be finished at around 54 calendar days, according to Taltala.

Development News | 15

LT launches OTOP seal by Jennilyn Julian

The Municipal Government of La Trinidad is set to distribute seals to manufacturers of processed strawberry products to help them safeguard their commodities.

BVPC prepares... from page 9

emphasized that processing vegetables into convenient foods is the best way to convert perishable and bulky crops into stable and acceptable food forms. Accordingly, the center aims to produce value-added products from fresh vegetables, legumes, root crops, cereals, spices and sea foods such as veggies, noodles, breads, meatless, powder mixes, sweetened chips, fresh cuts; to formulate food products appropriate for specific nutrient requirements and to generate additional income and preserve the employment of agricultural products involved in the chain. “This project is an important facility to help produce nutritious food for our community. It also aims to help our farmers have a new market for their products, thereby increasing their income. Likewise, the establishment of processed food would help employment and provides opportunity for new farmers to grow new crops such as carrots, squash, etc. that can be used as raw materials for processing,” Dr. Rogelio Colting, the project supervisor, said.

Municipal Agriculture Officer Fely Ticbaen said that the prime purpose of the seal is to give accreditation to strawberry processors of La Trinidad. The said seal will bear the image of the strawberry fruit, which the town adopted as its One-Town-One Product (OTOP), OTOP is a program of the government to encourage local communities to package their available natural resources into product that would create business activities. “The OTOP seal will give awareness to consumers that what they are buying are genuine strawberry products,” Ticbaen said. Mayor Artemio Galwan added the OTOP seal is one of the measures being used to protect the town’s strawberry-based products from individuals who might imitate and come up with fake commodities just like what is happening now with wines mixed up with water, alcohol and other unnecessary materials that bring ingenuity to the wine. The distribution of the OTOP seal will be done on March 10 at the municipal grounds as part of the celebration of the town’s Strawberry Festival. Strawberry processors in La Trinidad are being assisted by the local government to help them come up with improved and quality-processed goods. Meanwhile, Ticbaen said that the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation has been helping the strawberry processing industry by funding conduct of workshops and training for the processors. Officials also assured that the growing demand of strawberry for processing is not a threat to the supply of the fruit.

Brgy. Pico produces... from page 6

housewives of the barangay make the yogurt. The activity started last 2008. The home-made yogurt has variety of flavors like strawberry, blueberry, buko pandan, mango, ube, melon and cookies. Its ingredients include cultured yogurt, milk, water, sugar and flavorings. Yogurt is well known because it prevents osteoporosis, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, discourages vaginal infections and aids in vowel movement, according to Mendoza. “It helps maintain good health all day and it is the number one source of calcium,” noted Mendoza during an

interview. In general, yogurt lowers cholesterol, aids healing after intestinal infections, decreases yeast infections, boosts immunity and contributes to colon health. Considered as “grow food,” it is also one rich source of calcium and protein, according to Mendoza. DOLE produces soybeans, one of the product’s ingredients. Other products of the said organization are the carrot juice, soya milk and tahong.

Development News | 9




Multi-cropping lessens farmers’ burden

by Rose Budas

Farming has been the source of income to most Cordillerans particularly here in Benguet. Yet, our farmers are too much in burden with the unstable production costs of vegetables in the industry. Thus, problems from planting to production have been a great trauma to most farmers. According to experts, to lessen those burdens, multi-cropping system is very much ideal for farmers. Multi-cropping, as defined, is the planting of two or more species in the same year. Multiple-species systems are used by the majority of the world’s farmers, especially in developing countries like the Philippines. Multi-cropping, usually ignored by most farmers, proved to be a blessing for those who already experienced the benefits multi cropping brings. Indeed, such system is a big help for farmers as it is an effective method of precluding the income loss for them. In case one crop fails, farmers need not to worry but can easily tide over the financial crunch through income from the other crops. Another thing is that the system maintains a green and growing canopy over the soil through much of the year, whereas the total season depends on rainfall and temperature. Systems with more than one crop frequently

make better use of total sunlight, water, and available nutrients than is possible with a single crop. According to Sustainable Agriculture Extension Manual, there are lots of benefits in multi-cropping. The system helps eliminate insects and other parasites. One crop repels the pests that are attracted to the other crop, hence, may reduce the need for insecticides. For example, a field will contain tomatoes, onions and marigolds; the marigolds repel tomato pests. This decreases the possibility of crop failure. Another is it promotes healthy soil. The crops are paired such that they can “feed” off each other - a nutrient that one crop uses is replenished by the other crop and vice-versa. Most importantly, multi-cropping increases crop yields. It optimizes production from small plots, so can help farmers cope with land shortages. Meanwhile, when used in conjunction with mulching, multicropping is a useful way of controlling weeds, therefore, may reduce the need for herbicides. The major downside to multi-cropping is that it is very labor intensive. It requires a substantial amount of labor and effort to plant, tend and harvest the crops. In addition, it necessitates significant planning coordinating crops. Dr. Danilo Padua, one of the agriculturists of the College of

Agriculture (CA), is one of those who practice multi-cropping system. According to him, he has been a helper in their farm since his elementary years in San Juan, La Union, where he planted some agronomic crops like rice, sorghum, peanuts, cotton, and other field crops in one season. He said that the system is beneficial in a way that there is more diverse food supply and more than one source of income. “There is a more stable and assured income,” he said. Silvestre Kudan, faculty of CA, is also a practitioner of such system. He tried to plant Chinese spinach, tomato, strawberry, red lettuce, broccoli, pole bean seeds, bush bean, garden peas, bell pepper, lettuce, cabbage, carrot and other vegetables where he applied the system. He too believes that the practice of multi-cropping system gives one assurance of good income. “If the price of one crop in the market is low, then the other crops would tide over the financial crunch, thus, it doesn’t lead to bankruptcy like what most farmers experienced,” said Kudan. Indeed, multi cropping can bring the best social, economic and ecological benefits, increase product yield and farmers’ income and promote sustainable development of agricultural production.

Agriculture | 17

“ It’s very challenging, we are generating interest for those who finds interest in it,” says Dante S. Chichioco, Dean of the College of Forestry (CF) of Benguet State University (BSU) and Program Management Officer of the Cordillera Bamboo Development Program (CorBamDev), when asked about the program.

In an interview, Dr. Chichioco explained what CorBamDev is all about. According to him, CorBamDev aims to develop a vibrant bamboo industry in the Cordillera sustained by ecofriendly producers and manufacturers for better life and environment. It also advocates for the wider use of bamboo for ecological and economic purposes promotes propagation and planting of bamboo on available areas including marginal and degraded landscapes, manufactures quality bamboo products through the use of environmentalfriendly technologies producing environmental friendly products. Forester Chichioco added that the program aims to conduct research, development and extension including appropriate, innovative technology on bamboo processing and adaptability trials of different varieties of bamboo under various climatic ecosystems in the Cordillera. Bernardo Pablito, CorBamDev’s Nursery Aid, said that as of January, there was only 50% survival of the 5000 seedlings planted. The seedlings consist of 32 varieties. Unfortunately, there were no survivals for the Kimono or the square bamboo species due

BSU introduces bamboo as substitute for trees by Jennilyn Julian

to environmental stress during its transitional period. With further development, they are expecting 7500 available bamboos to be distributed over Benguet, Buguias, Tublay, Tuba, Itogon and Baguio after two years. “Bamboos are good alternative of trees since they are fast growing. It takes five years for a bamboo to be fully developed compared to a tree which takes 10-15 years for it to be fully grown,” said Dr. Chichioco when asked why they chose bamboo for the program. Bamboo is a perennial grass that can thrive almost any where in the world. There are about 1200 known species of bamboo distributed in the tropical, subtropical and temperature regions. In the Philippines, there are about 48 native and introduced species belonging to 12 genera, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Cordillera Administrative Region (DENR – CAR) report. A c c o r d i n g l y, bamboo lends itself to multiple uses. It is the most utilized non-timber forest product today. It is now looked upon not only as a reforestation species and for soil erosion Photo by Crislyn Balangen

control but also in the demand for the manufacture of various products that cater both to the needs of local and foreign customers. It is also widely used in the placed of timber for housing, housing furniture and domestic facilities. The DENR – CAR report further noted that with its unique features, bamboo is also used in making various agricultural implements, packing materials for vegetables, transport devices and as fodder. Furthermore, young shoots are made as pickles, eaten as salad, or boiled and mixed with leafy vegetables as viand delicacy. Lately, the use of bamboo for ornamental purposes is also being recognized.

18 | Agriculture

Local scientists push soilless agriculture for quality crops by Crislyn Balangen

B Soilless agriculture combines the use of greenhouses and scientific principles of fertigation (use of irrigation water in spreading fertilizer on land) and hydroponics (growing of plants in water with essential mineral nutrients rather than in soil). Fertigation is derived from the words fertilization and irrigation. This is how the process works: nutrient solutions and soluble fertilizers are diluted and mixed with water and placed in big and hard plastic containers. These are fed into the mapal beds through dripping hoses. A computerized fertilization helps develop the correct nutrient management for each type of vegetable or crop. Thus, even the crops are not planted on soil, it is ensured to gain same nutrients from soil through fertigation. Hydroponics, on the other hand, is a technology which uses pure liquid solution. Since the use of sand is applied in the project, the technology is not purely hydroponics but more appropriately as soilless agriculture. Soilless agriculture is a technology developed in Israel and is practiced in some parts of the country. Though not really new, the technology promises to be the best alternative

enguet State University (BSU) soil scientists are now on their verge of developing soilless agriculture to produce higher quality crops that can boost the province’s vegetable industry.

for upland vegetable farming that has been criticized from depending on soil that has become toxic. Soilless agriculture is one of the university’s major development thrusts under its Semi-temperate Vegetable and Research and Development Center (STRDVC). “This is one way of producing good quality crops, minimizing soilborne diseases and this regulates the nutritional program of a crop and the fertilizer application through the computerized system,” said Mario Marquez, project leader. Vegetables are said to be cultured through alternative mediums such as the volcanic cinder (quarried volcanic igneous rocks), coco coir dust (extract from coconuts) and rice hulls mixed and replicated in varying combinations. These media, however are not available in our locality. “The volcanic cinder is taken from Laguna while coconut quarried dust is from the lowlands. Thus, scientists here tried other alternative which is the mountain sand (white soil found along mountains) and these are highly available in Benguet,” Marquez said. Crops will be laid on the medium prepared on what the

scientists call mapal beds. Mapal beds are laid on the ground or suspended in air as hanging pots under controlled conditions. Greenhouses will provide the controlled condition to minimize soil or airborne diseases. “This is to come up with nutrient management for our local crops,” added Marquez. This project of BSU started last 2007 and is expected to end this March. The research is being conducted at the school’s 400-squaremeter soilless farm and the greenhouse in Barangay Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet. Crops that were cultivated in the said project are tomato, bell pepper, lettuce, honeydew and watermelon. The result has been very encouraging. Since such crops are of high quality, they are expected to be sold at high prices in the market. “Compared to crops cultivated under normal farm soil, soilless agriculture has shown bigger and better crop qualities, however, you need a higher input to put up the structure and materials of the said technology,” Marquez noted. The project was funded by BLIR-PIUC through the Belgium government.

Agriculture | 19

BSU conducts farmers’ forum

by Crislyn Balangen

To set off the awareness of the farmers of the province, a daylong forum on farmer’s information and technology was conducted at the Benguet State University (BSU) Chrysanthemum Hall on January 14. “Gone are the days that we compete with our neighbors, now, we compete globally,” said Governor Nestor Fongwan, the guest speaker of the activity as he challenged the participants to be very active in our industry. He added that there is a need for us to advance information and technology for global competition. Furthermore, he introduced ways to help the farmers meet the increasing demand of the people and the goal of global competition. The first step that he said is to conduct a profiling of the vegetable industry in Benguet so they would know what to do next. After which, they could already build the Farmers Marketing Cooperative. Also, farmers will solely be the stockholders. For it to be successful, they would add value to their crops and products and they will also resort to minimal processing like post harvest programs. This minimal processing center should then be used by the farmers and not by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Lastly, they would turn it over to the farmers for them to manage it themselves. The cooperative will be owned by the farmers and will be run by them. On the other hand, other activities include the presentation of Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center to the community, ribbon-cutting for FITS

Center and Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)-signing between BSU and Tublay Local Governement Unit (LGU). A discussion on vegetable noodles and cookies by Dr. Violeta B. Salda, project leader on vegetable noodle project followed next. Other discussions include lowsugar strawberry preserve and spread by Jane K. Avila, manager of the Food Processing Center; discussion on NSICapproved vegetable varieties for the highlands by Dr. Leoncia L. Tandang, manager of BSU IPB Highland Crops Research; the wet method of postharvest processing Arabica coffee for world-class coffee green beans by Prof. Valentino L. Macanes, director of the Institute of Highland Farming Systems and Agroforestry and organic agriculture and the BSU Internal Guarantee System (BIGS) by Pres. Rogelio D. Colting. The forum also intends to promote organic agriculture to the farmers especially on vegetable production. As of press time, researchers are on their way to researching better ways in farming like the research on off-season strawberry that could be propagated on green houses. This activity is in celebration of BSU’s 23rd Charter Anniversary and the community day. Local farmers, staffs and students attended the said event.

Controlling pests the natural way by Ronalyn Banaken

Among the rice pests that extremely ruin farm crops in the region is the rice black bug. Various management practices are available in controlling such pest. But did you know that doing it the natural way is still the most economical way of eliminating rice black bug? The use of botanicals is one of the most practical ways of pest management. Botanicals are natural insecticides derived turn to page 23




Camote, cassava and gabi found to be effective in broilers’ feed by Ronalyn Banaken

Without adversely affecting their growth performance, feeding broilers with camote (Ipomea batatas), cassava (Manihot esculenta) and gabi (Colocasia esculenta) will reduce cost of production and increase return on investment. This was found out in the study, “The Effect of Ground Camote, Cassava and Gabi Tubers as Energy Source on the Performance of Broilers” conducted by Roger Bastino, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) at Benguet State University (BSU). Conducted at the BSU-Poultry Experimental Project, the study used 160 day-old Starbro chicks as the experimental broilers. They were subjected to the same management for the first two weeks. On

the third week towards the end of the study, the four feed treatments were distributed into four treatments of feed: pure commercial feed, formulated ration (feed) with 20% cassava meal, formulated ration with 20% camote meal and formulated ration with 20% gabi meal. The camote roots, cassava roots and gabi tubers were peeled, sliced and sundried for three week before being mashed and mixed with the formulated rations. Each treatment was replicated four times with ten broilers for each replicate treatment, making a total of 40 chicken per treatment. According to the data obtained, the feed with 20% camote meal had the highest return-on investment (ROI) or profit, which is 23.16%. The feed added with 20% cassava meal was close at 23.13%. Gabi meal, however, was not that effective as camote as cassava were. This is because,

according to the study, “the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) recommends that the optimum level of gabi in broilers’ diet is 12.5%.” Moreover, results showed that the inclusion of camote, cassava and gabi in the broilers’ feed reduced the cost of feed expense. Pure commercial feed has the highest feed expense. As far as economic value is concerned, those who have abundant supply of camote, cassava and gabi can formulate their own broiler feeds using 20% proportion for camote and cassava and 12.5% gabi, given that the inclusion of such feeds does nor harmfully affect the growth performance of broilers.

Science News | 21 Snout beetle, a limiting factor to citrus prod’n in Cordi by Analyn Adamag

Applying pesticides doesn’t kill snout beetle attacking citrus; they just fall to the ground. This was revealed in the study conducted by Maritess A. Alumiring, a researcher and scientist from the Department of Agriculture (DA). In the study, it was proven that adult beetle feeds on buds and emerging shoots from the budded rootstock of citrus. They also feed on the leaves starting from the margin until the leaves are consumed. Thus, resulting to defoliation and stunting of affected plants. Furthermore, snout beetles are more destructive on seedlings. Accordingly, grubs or larvae feed on the roots resulting to stunted growth and yellowing due to severe root feeding. Meanwhile, in a research conducted by the Agriculture Commission of Santa Barbara County in the US, snout beetles adult can defoliate the whole plant causing malformation of branches and eventually may kill branches and the entire plant. It also stated that both larvae and adults feed on foliage. The young larvae mine tender tissue; mature larvae chew on leaf edges creating irregular notches. Alumiring stressed that adult beetle is difficult to control so other stages are targeted for better control of the pest. She added that immature stages are easier to control because they are stationary in the soil. Thus, she advised the farmers to monitor their plants regularly to detect early infestations.

IK Practices, ways of preserving Banaue Rice Terraces by Rubyloida Bitog


knowledge (IK) practices are still the best way to preserve the deteriorating Banaue Rice Terraces.

This was proven in a study conducted by Vicente Dinundun Jr., a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) major in Extension Education at Benguet State University (BSU). In his study, Dinundun enumerated three cultural practices that farmers of Banaue are executing. These are ahi – gafut (cleaning the pond fields); ahi – lofah (wall cleaning time) and ahi – lamun (weeding, treading and wet mulching time). Others include the planting period, ahi – hopna (rice panicle planting time) and ahi – foge (seedling transplanting time). Another is the harvesting period that include ahi

– pilih finongleh (choosing the good quality seedlings before harvesting) and ahi – folo (rice bundling time). Moreover, most of farmers use the traditional farming practices such as the use of organic farming; the use of indigenous farming; non-use of chemical; water management and cultivation; repair of damaged paddies; prevention of soil erosion and building of new terraces. However, according to the study, despite the strong move to preserve the terraces, farmers are also encountering some problems as influenced by social, natural and political factors. The main problem regarding social factors is the lack of interest in preserving the terraces because of the great influence of tourist - related jobs. Natural factors include erosion of the terraces, worms’ destruction and diseases of the soil.

22 | Science News

Predatory mites: alternative solution for strawberry pest by Analyn Adamag

Predatory mites (PM) are effective bioagent against two spotted mites (TSM) on strawberry. Higher release rates of PM resulted to very low TSM population at shorter period of time. This was revealed in the study, “Field Infestation of Predatory Mites (Amblyseius longispinosus) Against Two Spotted Mites (Tetranychus uritacae Koch) on Strawberry” conducted by Maritess A. Alumiring, a researcher and scientist at the Department of Agriculture (DA). Alumiring noted that PM starts decreasing TSM population at twothree weeks after PM release. In the study conducted by Lucille B. Mang- oy, a researcher from Benguet State University (BSU),

she discussed that PM are promising phytophagous (herbivores) mites in the early years of the century. They are described as the most effective and widespread predator of injurious plant feeding mites. The study also cited that extreme green house temperature and chemical effects are the two major factors affecting the capability of PM to control TSM.

Alumiring explained that the releasing of PM depends on the number of TSM that are present in strawberry plant. “If the population is low, then PM can be released to control the TSM,” she said. She also advised the farmers to water the plants before releasing PM. “This is to prevent PM from being washed out,” she noted. Farmers are not also advised to spray synthetic chemicals. As of now, DA is conducting researches on how to control other pests attacking strawberry plants.

LT uses siren... from page 12

processed as organic fertilizer in Alno processing center in La Trinidad. They are sold to Benguet farmers at affordable price. “However, vegetable wastes that come from La Trinidad Trading Post are the only ones being processed because almost all of the collected garbage are not segregated. Thus, the wastes which are not segregated are directly dumped at Buyagan dumping site,” noted Zambrano. Furthermore, last February 14, the municipality’s barangay officials, police officers, volunteer residents including Benguet State UniversityNational Service Training Program (BSU-NSTP) members conducted a clean-up drive in the three major creeks of La Trinidad - the Toyong Creek, Balili River and Bolo Creek. “Actually, the mayor [Galwan] and governor [Fongwan] even went to South Korea recently to observe some of their waste management practices. Some practices which suit the municipality could be adopted,” added Zambrano. “As La Trinidad is close to being a city, it is necessary to make it clean and waste-free,” ended Zambrano.

Science News| 23

Chayote in its rediscovery as “the hanging green gold of Benguet” by Rose Budas

The ever-neglected, underutilized crop known as the “hanging green gold of Benguet” is now on its hat in the research industry! Locally known as “sayote,” the ever-ignored crop strain has now been utilized, evaluated and characterized in the highlands. It plays an important role not only as a food supplier in the local, regional and national level especially during calamities but as well as in sustainable production system and genetic diversity. Significant Roles of Chayote The crop thrives best in the locality and can produce year round with minimum farm inputs or without the application of inorganic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, unlike other vegetables. It is commonly used as an ingredient of “pinikpikan,” “tinola,” and “chopsuey.” Chayote has many other uses. The fruits, top shoots as well as the tuberized roots are consumed as vegetable or animal food. Because of its stem’s flexibility and strength, it is good for manufacturing of baskets and hats. For medication purposes, it has a significant role in dissolving kidney stones and assisting the treatment of arteriosclerosis and hypertension, according to the Updated and Latest List of Medicinal Plants Manual. The crop has been also manufactured as wine, pie, cake and candy. Rediscovering Chayote To further characterize and evaluate the existing chayote strains in the highlands, a study titled “Survey, Germplasm Collection, Characterization and Evaluation of Chayote (Selium edule) in the Highlands” was conducted by the

Bureau of Plant Industry-Baguio National Crop Research and Development Center (BPI-BNCRDC). The researchers surveyed about five hectares chayote growing areas of Tublay, La Trinidad, Benguet and Baguio City home gardens. During the survey, matured and young chayote strains were collected, labeled and brought to the experimental station. From the accessions, six were planted in the open field, characterized and evaluated. Cultural practices such as watering, fertilizing, cultivating, cleaning or pruning of dried and old chayote leaves, and weeding were employed regularly during the growing period. According to the results, one to two accessions remarkably produced the highest marketable yield. High marketable yield of the said accessions resulted to greater number of fruits and bigger fruits. Results showed that the chayote strain having the lesser or no spines and with smooth skin is more preferred in the local markets and consumers. This is because of its easy handling and peeling. The study further revealed that the different accessions were very resistant to insect pests like whiteflies, mealy bugs and aphids. Likewise, they were very resistant to diseases such as powdery mildew, leafspot and virus. Now, chayote is not only taking its toll in the research industry but also in the production sector. Indeed, the “hanging green gold” of the province is now on its rediscovering stage!

Controlling pests... from page 19 from plat extracts. According to BAR R&D Digest magazine, they are effective and safe way in controlling black bugs. When processed and concentrated, these botanical insecticides are similar to synthetic insecticides but are safer to use. This is because botanicals degrade more rapidly than most conventional pesticides. Thus, they are considered relatively environment-friendly and less likely to kill beneficial insects, according to the magazine. In a study conducted by Rizalito C. Mallorea of Central Mindanao Agricultural Research Center (CEMIARC) as published in BAR R&D Digest, results showed that botanical plants are not only effective and economical against rice black bug but are also readily available. Mallorea identified three botanical plants that are found effective. These are neem seeds (Azadirahta indica), wild carrot/kayos (Dioscorea hispida) and makabuhai (Tinosphora rumphii). Such botanicals are found convenient, applicable and acceptable to farmers, the study says. Furthermore, according to the study, results showed that rice crops treated with botanicals increased in grain yield while low-grain yield was observed in the untreated plots. Parameters used to determine the effectiveness of the botanicals were population count of adult and nymph of rice black bug, extent of damage and grain yield. Aside from their effectiveness, botanicals are not bought so the return on income is greater.

24 | Science News

Study says mixing bacteria with chicken dung produces high crop yield by Ronalyn Banaken

Mixing bacteria with chicken dung as fertilizer effectively produces high yield of potato. This was proven in the study by Allano Sican, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) at Benguet State University (BSU) titled “Influence of Effective Microorganism on Potato Production During Dry Season.” Results revealed that potatoes of the Granola variety applied with different rates of chicken dung added with bacteria recorded high rates of the crops’ height, canopy cover, weight of marketable tubers, yield and profit. The bacterium used in the study is a kind of effective

microorganism (EM). It is a photosynthetic bacterium which is self-nourishing, able to synthesize nitrogen compound, sugar and other bio-active substances. Such bacterium speeds up the growth of plants by taking secretions from rocks, organic matter and harmful gases. Five treatments were used in the study: plots applied with no fertilizer, six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140-140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer, six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM, eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM and six tons of chicken dung. The four rates of chicken dung were thoroughly incorporated into their respective plots seven days before planting. After seven days, EM was added to each of the two rates of chicken dung. The potato seeds were then planted. Farming cultural practices like irrigation, weeding and proper disease and pest management were uniformly employed in the study. According to the results, the plants applied with eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM had the highest weekly growth height mean, followed by those treated with six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer, six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM, eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM and six tons of chicken dung and no fertilizer, respectively. In crop canopy cover, the plots applied with eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM had the highest percentage rate. Those fertilized with six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer, six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM, six tons of chicken dung and no

fertilizer, followed respectively. In terms of weight of marketable tubers, the application of eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM obtained the highest percentage, followed by the use of six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140-140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer, six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM, six tons of chicken dung and no fertilizer, respectively. Furthermore, the plots applied with eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM had the highest computed yield (25.07%), followed by that of six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140-140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer (19.50%) and six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM (18.90%), respectively. In addition, the highest occurrence of bacterial wilt was observed in plots treated with no fertilizer. The other four treatments registered the lowest wilt incidence. Moreover, those fertilized with eight tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM obtained the highest return-oninvestment (ROI), which is 69.18%. The treatment of six tons of chicken dung plus 140-140-140 kg NPK inorganic fertilizer had 58.33%. Meanwhile, the use of six tons of chicken dung had 53.08%, followed by the application of six tons of chicken dung plus 20 litres of EM with 49.91%. Those applied with no fertilizer registered the lowest rate which is – 1.26%. The study, conducted at Lamut, Beckel, La Trinidad, Benguet, further revealed that the acidity of the soil was neutralized after the application of the different rates of chicken dung with EM. Indeed, the application of mixture of chicken dung and EM is recommended to those who want to have high potato yield.

Science News | 25

Dilemmas brought about by frost bites by Rose Budas

One of the frustrations gardeners have to endure is spending money on a plant and pampering it all through the season, only to find out in summer that the poor thing went “missing in action” during the cool season. Frosting, triggered by extreme cold temperature due to climatic changes, has proved to be a problem for most crops. It has turned out to be a nightmare for the marginal farmers as their vegetable crops have been damaged. As written by Robert Domogen in his article on the December 21, 2008 issue of Sun Star Baguio, in the highlands, the unusual cold temperature and soil moisture that are collected on the leaves of plants during the night freezes the air. The frozen moisture appears as thin ice flakes that melt early in the morning through the heat of the sun. This phenomenon leaves a burning effect on the leaves of matured cabbage. Because of the condition, some vegetable plants continue to wilt or die Meanwhile, in the article of Dexter A. See published in the February 2, 2008 issue of the Manila Bulletin, it was said that assorted vegetables worth at least Php10 million were damaged by the frost bites that hit the vegetable-producing province in just four days. Among the municipalities and provinces affected are Atok, Buguias, Kibungan, Mankayan in Benguet, Bauko, Sagada and Besao in Mountain Province. Most of the crops affected are cabbage, potato, radish, celery, carrot, garden pea, cauliflower, green onions, bell pepper, tomato and Chinese cabbage, according to the article. In addition, according to Ottawa Start RSS Feeds, even if there are no 100% reliable solutions for the problem, there are few things we can do to prevent the damages that frost bites may bring. Here are some suggestions on how to do so,

according to Ottawa Start RSS Feeds: First, make sure how hard a plant is before you buy it. You need to know how risky it is to plant a certain crop on what would be the possible problems that might face in terms of climatic changes. Second, make sure your crops

are protected after planting. Hard frost and wind are your crops’ worst enemies, which is the reason that experienced gardeners rely on materials such as burlap to help the more upright of their green friends (conifers, rose bushes, etc.). Farmers might know some mitigating strategies on how to treat the unwanted phenomenon. Another good way to avoid the problem is to cover the base of the plant with a layer of mulch (compost is great for this purpose) in the summer. Straw or gathered leaves are good too. Forget about tidiness. Do not cut your crops back in the summer. turn to page 33

Wood vinegar: beneficial for plants and humans by Analyn Adamag

Wood vinegar is a by - product from burning fresh wood, found beneficial for plants and humans.

This result is based on a study conducted by Takara Body Detoxification Foot Patches. In the field of agriculture, wood vinegar is sprayed over plant shoots. As a result, the plant will be stronger and the leaves will be greener and resistant to pest and diseases ( According to the studies and researches done by Takara Body Detoxification Foot Patches, it is traditionally used as an insect repellant, deodorizer, antibacterial agent, sterilizer, alkaline bath and wash and food additive.

A group of researchers posted some of the health benefits of wood vinegar at * Wood vinegar can help reduce acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion * It neutralizes foul odors * Aids in the body with colitis, Crohn’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome * Helps in slowing Colic (a general disorder that mostly affects babies), although, one has to consult first doctors before administering the procedure * Aids in liver diseases like hepatitis, neonatal jaundice and liver cancer * Aids in blocking diarrhea, prevents vomiting, reduce peptic ulcer, eliminates dental infection and lowers cholesterol * Helps in lessening the effect of pink eye (dreadful eye infection) turn to page 29

26 | Science News

Spotted spider mites, commonly found in Benguet crops by Analyn Adamag

BSU presents lowsugar product by Claire May Tuazon

The Benguet State University (BSU) Food Processing Center is introducing the low sugar strawberry preserve and spread product. The production of the product aims to response to the changing consumer behavior from conventional to a healthy lifestyle. The product was presented and discussed by Dr. Jane K. Avila, Manager of the BSU Food Processing Center, during the farmers’ forum conducted in connection with the university’s celebration of its Charter Anniversary on January 14, 2009. “Since diabetes is one of the rampant diseases in our community today, the low sugar preserve and spread addresses the problem,” Avila said. “We continue producing the product as long as the materials to be used would be available,” said Avila.

The Two- spotted Spider Mites (Tetranychus uritacae Koch) (TSM) as cited in the study of Lucille B. Mang- oy from Benguet State University (BSU), are the most prevalent in commercially-grown roses, chrysanthemum, other ornamentals, strawberry and other important crops in Benguet. The field infestation usually starts during the onset dry season and high population during flowering and fruiting stages resulting to poor production, according to the result of the study conducted by Maritess A. Alumiring of the Department of Agriculture (DA) - Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). As cited in both studies, mites’ colors range from red and brown to yellow and green depending on the species and the seasonal changes. Adult female of TSM are usually oval in outline, plump in profile and with skin which may appear wrinkled or pitted. Their skin is soft or leathery and the hairs are visible under a hand lens. On the other hand, the male is lighter in color, considerably smaller and more slender that the female. They are teardrop in shape with body and legs which are proportionately longer. Mang- oy further explained in her study that both nymphal stages cause damage by piercing and sucking the sap of the leaf, flower, bud and fruit with their two sharp slender lances attached to the mouth or by transmitting virus disease to the plant. Damaged leaves show yellowing or browning at the upper surface, stifling, wrinkling or cupping while buds and flowers are curling. Damaged fruits show yellowish or brownish spots and are cracked and distorted. Moreover, according to the study, during the dry- hot weather, the leaves of the plant infested by TSM become blotched with pale yellow and reddish brown. The spot ranges from small to large areas on both upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, which appear pale; afterwards, the leaves gradually die and drop. The under surface of the lower leaves appear lightly dusted with fine white powder. As the infestation develops, stomatal closure increases, thus, reducing photosynthesis so the leaves appear desiccated. Based on her study, Mang- oy recommends the use of predatory mites (PM) to combat TSM, as it is stated that PM are the most effective predators of injurious plant mites.

Science News | 27

Use of sponge prolongs span of carrot storage by Rowena Law-agey

The use of washing implements does not significantly affect the incidence and severity of bacterial soft rot in carrots especially when the washwater contains 0.5% chlorine like the water coming from the La Trinidad Water District. However, for non-chlorinated water, the addition of ordinary table salt is sufficient to decrease the disease’ incidence and severity. This was revealed in the study, “Postharvest Washing Practices: Their Effect on the Incidence and Severity of Postharvest Diseases of Carrots (Daucus carota), conducted by Rachel Law-agey, a plant pathology graduate of Benguet State University (BSU). In her study, she collected newly-harvested carrots and tested them for washing simulation. The

usual washing was done with the use of nylon brush, nylon sponge and net bag. After which, the carrots were rinsed by a solution of washwater additives prior to drying. They were then packed in clear polyethylene plastic bags for storage and regular observation for symptom development. Results of the observation showed that the use of net bag hastened the incubation period of the bacterium Erwinia carotovora, the lead pathogen causing soft rot. On the other hand, the use of nylon sponge gives the longest incubation period at 3.7 days. Meanwhile, the use of net bag does not efficiently remove the dirt and inoculum and create bruises on carrot surface, thus, allowing entries of the bacteria. Furthermore, mixing table

salt to the washwater prevents the development of Erwinia carotovora within seven days of storage but may not be salable after three days. Within this range of time, Fusarium rot, a fungal disease caused by Fusarium carotovora, may have developed. In addition, combining alum with nylon sponge and net bag also prolongs the incubation period of Erwinia carotovora at five and 4.66 days, respectively. On the other hand, alum combined with the LTWD water inhibits the growth of the fungus Fusarium sp. for as long as eight days; but also can be true even without the use of alum, The use of sponge with chlorinated water in washing carrots before packing is therefore suggested.




Checking your bowels:

r u o y s e o d t a h w ? l l e t l o o st

by Precy Montes

It’s amazing how many people don’t even look at their stools in the toilet. Stools can reveal a lot about your health if you’re going to read them. Many people believe that the definition of a normal bowel movement is having one movement each day, but that is not true for everyone. There is no rule for frequency of bowel movements, but the general range is from tree times a day to three times a week and the urge to defecate is often strongest in the morning and after meal. A normal bowel movement is different for each person and may vary in consistency and may be the sign of a more serious problem. A change in bowel habits includes any constant change in bowel frequency, color, consistency, or shape of stools. The color of your stool can reveal the diet you have and may indicate unknown intestinal problems if only you have to read it.

According to Dr. Denice Moffat as posted in www., a normal stool should be brown to golden brown, formed but not hard or too soft, cylindrical but not flattened on any side, fairly bulky and full bodied but not compact, easy to pass, and it shouldn’t have an extremely foul smell. In an article written by Amber J. Tresca posted at www,, it noted that black and tarry stools with a foul odor can be the result of eating certain foods, taking iron supplements, or possibly from internal bleeding. In addition, red or maroon stools could be from something benign, such as eating red colored foods or it could be caused by several different conditions including hemorrhoids, anal fissures, colon polyps or colon cancer, inner bleeding or inflammatory bowel disease. There are also green stools which may be caused by green or artificiallycolored foods, iron supplements, or decreased colonic transit time, according to the article. On the other hand, stools that

appear pale or look like clay could be the result of lack of bile of salt (which give the stool a brownish color), antacids, barium from resent barium enema test, or hepatitis. Moffat also added that frank blood in the stool is never normal and could be a result of several conditions that range from mild, such as hemorrhoids to serious, such as infection or colon cancer. Bloody stools should always be evaluated by a physician. Moreover, oily or greasy looking stools that usually float can mean that your pancreas or small intestine are not functioning well enough and not releasing well digestive enzymes. This is called steatorrhea. High fat meals can cause this to happen but should be temporary. In addition, mucous in the stool can also reveal gut inflammation due to allergies or parasites. turn to page 33

Feature | 29

The special wonders of camote by Precy Montes

Most of us may be not be eating sweet potato because after eating, it keeps us farting. It is oftentimes frowned upon by many people for it is branded as the “poor man’s crop”. But did you know that camote has many special characteristics? Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), locally known as camote or tuge, is an important crop grown in most parts of the country. It is a tender, warm weather vegetable that requires a long growing season to mature into large, useful roots. It is also an income sustaining livelihood a particularly to farmers. It is also beneficial as livestock feed and source of sugars and starches for industrial processing. A truly survival crop, sweet potato is usable from its leaves to its roots either as food or feed. Both the roots and tender shoots are eaten by humans as vital source of nutrient. According to the magazine The Philippine Panorama, its tender leaves are good source of vitamin A, while the roots are excellent source of carbohydrates whether boiled or fried. It is easily grown and stored including its vines and roots that are being harvested regularly. Moreover, camote is one of the most nutritious foods in nature, and a complete food because of its richness in nutritional contents such as protein, lipids, carbohydrates, calcium, iron, phosphorous and Vitamins A and C, The Philippine Panorama reports. It is also said that it has antioxidants useful in maintaining not only a healthy but young and beautiful body. Furthermore, BAR R&D Digest notes that “the antioxidants in camote are higher in their leaves, no fat and are rich in beta-carotene, having five times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin a in one sweet potato, as well as loaded with potassium. These nutrients help to protect against heart attack and stroke, and the potassium helps maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body cells, as well as normal heart functions and blood pressure.” In addition, a research conducted at Kansas University in the US suggests that having Vitamin A like sweet potatoes as part of a healthy way of eating may save life especially to smokers or second hand smoke. Indeed, having sweet potato in one’s diet is a key to live a life with less medicine.

Wood Vinegar...

from page 23

* Helps in soothing large number of plant poisoning such as poison Ivy * Can help relieve the symptoms of cellulitis, an acute inflammation of the connective tissue of the skin caused by bacteria * Absorbs uric acid, an acid that caused gout, a type of arthritis * Cures diabetic ulcer, ear infection, snake bites, prostitis and also used as pain reliever Want to make your own wood vinegar? Here are simple procedures from To come up with at least twoseven liters of home-made wood vinegar, 68- 83 kgs. of fresh wood is needed. Cure the wood for five- 15 days. Then pile the wood in the kiln (enclosed structure heated for processing a substance by burning, firing or drying) made from a 200-liter oil drum and 120 cm-tall concrete chimney with a four-inch diameter. After that, close the kiln and cover every hole. Make sure also that the burning temperature is at 120 - 420 degrees centigrade. After one hour, put a tile on the top of the chimney. If brown or dark brown drops appear on the tile, allow the smoke to flow through a bamboo pipe so that the hot steam may be condensed into liquid then place a vessel to collect the vinegar drops from the bamboo pipe. Afterwards, leave the raw vinegar for three months to become silted. The vinegar will turn yellow like vegetable oil. After which, it will turn light brown and the tar will become silted. The top content will be alight clear oil. Remove the tar and light oil as well as the brown translucent oil and the remainder will be sour vinegar.

30 | Science News

Combating potato pest the simpler way by Rowena Law-agey

Potato is one of the major crops farmed in the Benguet Province. In fact, 62% of the whole countrywide potato supply comes from the province according to the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) statistics. However, in the past few years until these times, farmers are in trouble because of this certain disease that greatly affects the potato yield. This is the bacterial wilt (Ralstonia solanacearum), locally known as “kuyos”. According to the Northern Philippines Root Crops Research and Training CenterBenguet State University (NPRCRTC-BSU), bacterial wilt is an endemic disease of the soil caused by the soil-borne bacterium Pseudomonas solanacearum. Furthermore, Mrs. Grace Backian, a plant pathologist working at the NPRCTC-BSU Crop Management and Seed

Production specializing in crop protection, said that the bacterium is the most destructive and widespread bacterial disease of solanaceous plants which include potato, tomato, eggplant and others. Accordingly, it is more expressed in farmlands within warmer areas and can be transferred to uninfected soils when infected potato seeds are planted therein. It can destroy as high as 50-100% of the whole potato yield. When a potato plant is infected, there is an initial wilting in only one side, which eventually results the darkening of the stems and leaves. As a result, the tubers produce an ooze of grayish, mucous-like substance. The plant may bear tubers but stunted and it will no longer grow normally, especially in severe infestation. To address the problem, NPRCRTC-

BSU came up with strategies to prevent the severity of the disease. They encourage farmers for soil testing. Here, they test the soil for latent infection of bacterial wilt through the Elisa test. They also produce clean potato seeds for planting which they advise to plant in uninfected soil. They also suggest that farmers abstain from planting solanaceous crops. Strategies also include field sanitation like burning or burying plant debris and controlling weeds; crop rotation, rouging or removing weeds; fallowing or allowing the field to rest for a given period of time; shallow planting of 2.3 - 3.5 inches deep. They also suggest soil amendments that include 10 tons or 9,070 kg of compost per hectare; 12 kg of powdered bleach or calcium hypochlorite per hectare and 14,512 kg of agricultural lime per hectare.

Local businessman...from page 35 fault if he died poor. According to him, if you really want to be successful, start economizing your money. “Economize your money, don’t spend too much,” he noted. In fact, he shared his practical experiences in saving. He said that when he started to rent and live on his own, he only cooked once a day - that is only during morning. He would already cook for his breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thus, he could save gas and work. He worked in the garden with his short pant and short sleeves, rain or shine. He was then called “Jack Short Pant.” This saved him from buying detergent soap and thus lessened his work. Also, when he visits place and when he is hungry, he would only buy a piece of bread. Rather than buying soft drinks, he would generously ask for a cup of water for free.

Through this, he saves money. “Don’t spend too much on food and clothes. Don’t buy foods when you’re not hungry, don’t buy unnecessary things,” he emphasized. He was inspired by his former Chinese boss who told him not to pocket his money for he might just spend it for unnecessary things. He applied it before putting up his business. “Be thrifty as much as possible,” he advised. Now, the fruits of his hard work bore lavishly. For those people who are aspiring to build a business, he advised them not to put up a business with loaned or borrowed money. Rather, earn money for the capital on your own. That way, you would not think of paying the borrowed money when in case your business is corrupted. He added that when you are borrowing money, always be a man of your word. Pay on

time you said you are going to pay. That way, you will earn trust and respect from money lenders and the next time around, they will lend you again for even a bigger amount without a doubt. These pieces of advice from a successful man who was once poor are pieces of wisdom to incur in one’s thoughts and heart. These will serve as your instrument to build and achieve your dreams. Mr. Jack Dulnuan is just one of the “rugs to riches” stories in the world filled with colors of dramatic struggles, great challenges, dreadful failure and blissful success. May this story be an inspiration to you. Just remember, he dared poverty and became rich. If he was able to do it, why can’t we? Why not dare to challenge poverty, too? Yes, we can, indeed!

31 21 by Ronalyn Banaken


On poverty


and Educa

“Rudy, let’s go hang-out at your place.” “We can’t be there, my brothers are drinking. How about you, Darwin?” “I’m sorry, we have nothing to eat there. Our LPG has just been consumed to the last drop.” Looking closely at the conversation, there are two problems that emerge, and these problems are among the common, if not the m o s t

rampant, crises in the country: poverty and family problem. Rudy, 15, is a third year high school student. His parents got no established job. His sister, working as an overseas contract worker, supports his studies. His ten older brothers and sisters did not finish their studies completely. He frequently goes home with his brothers drunk. Whenever they fight, they yell at each other – always, showing no respect for each other. Darwin, on the other hand, is a year older than Rudy. He does not go to school; likewise his older sister due to poverty. His family is happy enough to see their father go home with a bag of bread in his bag. Darwin’s father does not have a permanent, full-time job. He looks for whoever has a heart to let him work for whatever kind of labor. Rudy and Darwin are my acquaintances. Their situations are actually not different. The baseline of both circumstances is, as simply put, education. It is not said that education is the only major answer to poverty and family problem. But the fact that it (education) plays a major role in establishing right relationships with others and in acquiring good life makes it significant for it to be given importance. No one has ever achieved comfortable life without education. Photo by Paul Joseph Nuval


No one established good relationships with others without learning. There could be people who succeeded in life without education, there could be people who have harmonious relationships with other people; but the fact remains that there are still more people who are comfortably and happily living their lives and dreams because they learned, because of education. According to V.A. Ponmelil, a human rights advocate, education “dispels ignorance and boosts moral values of the individuals. It is the only wealth that cannot be robbed. It builds character, provides strength of mind and increases knowledge. It also enhances the ability of individuals to manage health problems, improve nutrition and childcare and plan for the future. It is essential for eradicating poverty and it allows people to be more productive playing greater roles in economic life and earning a better living. The researchers have shown that the life expectancy rises by as much as two years for every one percent increase in literacy. The education is the key which allows people to move up in the world, seek better jobs and ultimately succeed in turn to page 32

32 | People

On poverty...

Agricu his Hea

from page 31

their lives. So, education is very important.” Former US president John F. Kennedy once said, “Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation.” In one study conducted on the relationship between education and poverty posted at, simple comparisons between children in poor families and children in non-poor families using national datasets indicate that poor children are more likely to do worse on indices of school achievement than nonpoor children are. According to the study, poor children are twice as likely as non-poor children to have repeated a grade, to have been expelled or suspended from school, or to have dropped out of high school. They are also 1.4 times as likely to be identified as having a learning disability in elementary or high school than their non-poor counterparts, the study says. If we combine these two facts poor children do less well at school, and under-educated adults have lower salaries then we can conclude that there’s a vicious circle between poverty and low education. A child in a low income family on average gets lower grades and education levels. When this child is an adult, it will get paid less. When it starts a family, this will be a low income family. When it has children of its own, these children will be under-educated etc. But rather than a trap or a vicious circle, education can be the best means to escape poverty, hence the enormous importance of investments in education. But we shouldn’t forget the many other causes of poverty, and the many other means to fight it. And we shouldn’t reduce education to an anti-poverty tool. Let’s face it: Rudy’s family could be having [just] the right, if not harmonious, family relationship if their parents had proper education. Darwin’s family could be eating properly and sleeping comfortably if his parents are learned people. Plus, his older sister could have been working as a professional if their parents had stable job. As UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said, "Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.”

THE AGRICULTURE MAN, Mr. Dominador Dongla

Who would have known that the voice we listen to at the radio was once a shy, passive guy?

In school, he just sits, listens and when called to recite, he just stares at the teacher, smiles shyly and stands up reluctantly. In high school, he was a drop-out during his junior years since he was not that motivated and interested enough to enter into a four-walled room daily. Yet believe it or not, through perseverance and a changed perspective in life, he graduated valedictorian. In college, he shifted from Commerce to Mass Communication. What made him do such decision? He realized that serving people through the use of the media is what is really close to his heart. He continually learned to develop his own personality. He overcame his shy personality through actual practice and learned to deal with

people from all walks of life. At 19, while still studying, he volunteered as a reporter of DZWT, a station based in Baguio City. Since he had been at work, he has not focused much on his studies. On the other hand, since he was still a fresh communication student and worked immediately on the actual field, he lacked the basic skills of being a reporter and found a lot of difficulties and adjustments. He then realized the importance of the basics. So, after graduation, he underwent for reviews. He tried his best to learn what he needed to learn. In 2002, he worked at the La Trinidad Municipal Hall as the market inspector of Trading Post. He observed the problems and concerns of the vegetable industry. He saw the need for the farmers to shift to new practices of farming from their traditional ways. With his work as a Market Inspector, he involved himself into the agriculture industry and realized the

People | 33

ulture in art by Jennilyn Julian

importance of information dissemination especially to the farmers for improvement as well as to the development of the agriculture industry particularly here in Benguet. Persistent and well-motivated, he conceptualized the radio program, “Boses ti Farmers.” Specifically for farmers, the program aims to give additional information and knowledge on new ways of farming for better harvest and profits. At first, he was just given three minutes to air the program. Due to the need of more updates and since he observed that the program really benefits many,”Boses ti Farmers” was extended up to two hours. As a result, he was entrusted two other programs. The “Awag ti Amianan” and a health program with Victoria Sturch. “I know I am helping in the advocacy for the development of the agricultural industry and the promotion of organic farming,” said Dominador Dongla, Trading Post municipal inspector and a radio broadcaster. “Through my profession, I do something for the benefit of the community,” he ended. Indeed, this man has a heart for agriculture.

Checking your bowels... from page 28 Some people feel that if the body is absorbing all the minerals from the food that the stool will float. Others believe that the stool should sink. But the important thing is that there are no air bubbles in the stool and that it doesn’t drop like a buck in the toilet. It should be somewhere in between. Air or bubbles in the stool can mean that we have a gut or flora imbalance and that gas producing bacteria are overgrown and competing with the healthier flora. Normal bowel habits not only improve the quality of life, they help avoid several common diseases such as internal bleeding, fecal impaction and colon cancer. Gall stones, appendicitis, hiatal hernia, diabetes and heart diseases have also been related to the quality of bowel movements. So, how are your stools?

Dilemmas... from page 25 Third, if you have crops that you know are “iffy” during our cold season, give them a sheltered spot (up against the house wall or next to a fence) rather than an exposed one. It is all about the microclimate. the southern side of your garden will receive more direct – warming – sunlight than the northern side. As a result, the snow will have melted there, while in shaded areas it is still on the ground. By the same token, a wall, a tree or even a rock can make a difference to the temperature. Rock, concrete or brick collect heat from the sun during the day and slowly release it at night. Do not get it wrong – it is a 10 degree difference, but it can be enough to help your tender plants make it through the cold season. With such simple tips, you can now avoid, if not decrease, the damages of frost bite.

Climate change... from page 39 Moreover, College of forestry (CF) Dean Dante Chichioco disclosed that BSU will be introducing bamboo species this June as alternative to reforestation trees that are being planted. “The bamboos will be planted along with pine trees to address the watershed denudation in the region,” said Chichioco. Indeed, the prevention of the terrible effects of climate change and global warming lies within our hands. “Let us be aware of our surroundings,” reminds Robeniol. After all, you and I deserve a healthy environment.

34 | People


WOrLd oF tHe

unNoticED Photo by Xavier Daniel

by Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

He is a vendor – a proud vendor. A vendor, who usually sells different goods to different people, plays an important role in our community. He maybe only a vendor, usually unnoticed and unheard, but his simple story can serve as an inspiration. Being a vendor is not that easy, sometimes you have to suffer in the hands of your costumer, walk for kilometers on the busy streets, endure the scorching heat of the sun and expect more disadvantages. He is a father to three children and is working hard for his family needs. He is a native of Pangasinan but his family preferred to stay here in La Trinidad since his childhood. He grew up like his parents who are vendors, too. Like anyone of us, he too had his downfall. This was during his first year college when he was negatively influenced by his peers. This led to his engagement into illegal activities. The worst is that, he did not value anything during his teenage life. For him, there was nothing important. But now that he is a married man, that belief vanished in the air. Everyday, he stays in Tabanda Park, Km. 5 La Trinidad, Benguet, where he usually sells his goods, specifically peeled mango, guava, pineapple, santol and other fruits available during

the season. Despite of the problems that he encounters as he pursues his daily routine to win bread for his family, he still thanks God for being able to earn a minimum of Php1000 a day. He is even more thankful when his gain reaches as high as Php 3,000 - 3500, enough to support the needs of his family. “Mapalad nga ako at nagkaroon pa ako ng ganitong trabaho, kung saan ikaw ang boss, walang nagagalit at nagagawa mo ang iyong nais” (I am fortunate for having this kind of job, wherein I do it on my own and I have the freedom to do whatever I like without anyone demanding anything),” he shares.

“Ang pagtitinda ay isang marangal na trabaho, masaya ako at proud ako sa trabahong ito (Being a vendor is a descent job, I am happy and I am proud of it),” he said. Indeed, Douglas Diaz is an inspiration for us to continue to persevere and never give up to life’s challenges and struggles.

People | 35

Local businessman dares JACK DULNUAN: “Challenge poverty!”

“I dare to challenge poverty!”

Poverty, as the leading problem in the world’s history, is not a reason for the poor to fail. For a man of hope who was born poor, poverty is not an inch a hindrance to reach his utmost dream. Challenging poverty instead is his very first stepping stone to be on the top, not a rope to pull him down. April 4, 1935, at the strike of the World War II, a man witnessed life behind the world of poverty. The hope to see a brighter tomorrow challenged him to dare and fight this dreadful dilemma. This man of hope and honor could sum his long winding story with this short avowal. “If I’m poor today, why can’t I be rich tomorrow?” A native of Asipolo, Ifugao, he belongs to a family that was not educated and barely dependent on farming to live. He built his young dream. They may be only four siblings but their parents could not still feed them well. As eldest, he took the responsibility of working for the family. He had to work hard. Their province, far from civilization has no school, no hospital, no establishment. How could a little boy reach his big dream? His dream lightened up when his uncle brought him out of their uncivilized province, and went to La Trinidad to pursue his dream in 1945 right after the country’s liberation. He was 10 years old then. Young as he was, he had to serve as a houseboy in his uncle’s house so he could attend school. While working, he attended his elementary classes actively. He studied at La Trinidad Central School. With patience, hard work, and determination, he graduated with flying colors. Proud and grateful that he became the second best, the salutatorian, he slowly established his future. Since he was working for his uncle

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by Crislyn Balangen and Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

who handles various businesses like piggery, sari-sari store and stable farm, he grasped the idea of having a business as his dream. Working regularly as a helper of his uncle, he started to learn how to manage a business. As he continued working, he pursued his secondary education at Saint Louis University (SLU) in Baguio City. Penniless, he attended high school with his head humbly bowed down. He only carried his fare and a lunch bag. Since he was poor while the rest of his classmates were rich, he did not befriend any of them. Each of his day run with only one routine, school home - work. Lonely but not hopeless, he was able to finish his secondary education. Though he did not receive any award this time, at least he finished his high school. Without a doubt, he did not enter college anymore. He no longer could afford to pay for his education. But he did not waste any time, he started to make his dream come true. Immediately, he applied as a delivery boy at Pines Bakery run by a Chinese business man. At the same time, he stepped off from his uncle’s house to be on his own. He rented a room and worked real hard to feed himself. He was paid Php 50.00 a month. Though it was small, he still managed to save until he was able to raise Php 600.00. He used the amount to start his own business. Since he needed a total of Php1000 to start the business, he advanced the Php 600.00 and paid the rest while working. After two years and 10 months of working as delivery boy and two months at Dangwa Station, he stopped working and concentrated on his business. The very first business that he put up was a sari-sari store. At the same time, he found the pair of his heart. The lucky woman, the former Lolita Pal-a, was working as a clerk at Dangwa Station then. They married on April 1959. They gained few from his business. He never lost hope that one day, someday, his business will grow. Her wife once told him to stop the business but he never did. Rather, he

used his small gains to expand his business. They did not have new clothes but at least they were able to expand their business. He never handed the money to his wife. In 1964, when they already had bigger gain, he handed it to her with full trust. From then on, his small sarisari store branched out to piggery, aggregates, restaurant, hollow block-making, repair shops, garden and a whole lot more. Since then, his name was recognized. He became an inspiration and a successful businessman not only in La Trinidad but in Baguio City and other places as well. As their business grew, their family likewise grew. They had ten children and nine of them were all educated. All those who were educated were now successful in their chosen fields. There is a teacher, a pharmacist, a lawyer, three engineers, two doctors and a commerce graduate. Despite of his large family, he never forgot to help his parents and siblings. He called them to stay with him. He sent his brother and sisters to school. He let his parents breathe in a comfortable home, stopping them from working. All of his three siblings were well-educated. One graduated as a teacher, the other a commerce graduate, while the other as a doctor. Today, his business undeniably grew tremendously. Two of his children own and manage two branches of his restaurant. He continues to build and establish his name and business. He does not manage these but lets his people do it. He laid his full trust on them. His dream when he was a boy turned to reality through his hard work, patience, determination and self-discipline. Indeed, he is now rich but he never changed his lifestyle. Dressed as an ordinary person, he is always humble and true. He indeed proves the statement that it is not a man’s fault to be born poor, but it is his

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36 | People

“It is not actually poverty that hinders

BLOOD,sw by Precy Montes and Rubyloida Bitog

DR. SILVESTRE KUDAN’s blood, sweat and tears served as his stepping stones to success. “It is not actually poverty that hinders education; it is the lack of interest,” firmly states ‘bassit nga lakay.’ By God’s grace, Silver or bassit nga lakay puffed out and received his share of sunshine on September 23, 1952 at Badang, Sudipen, La Union. As early as six, he was orphaned because his father, Kudiman Kudan died. Just after the wake, his mother, Cristina Ligod, ran away and went to Maria Aurora. She never returned to her family and he found no news about his mother since then. His brother, Catalino Kudan, took the responsibility of being a father and a mother. Bassit nga lakay studied at Kayapa Bakun Elementary School from 19601966 but after graduation in grade six, he went to Madaymen, Kibungan, Benguet, to earn money. He worked for four years from 1967-1970 with a salary of thirty-five centavos per day. During the decade that former President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, Silver and his siblings heard

that their mother died. In May 1971, Silver came here at Benguet State University (BSU) to continue his education in high school. BSU was Mountain State Agricultural College (MSAC) that time. He was 20 years old when he started his first year in high school. He did not take his age against his education; instead, it served as a challenge to pursue his education. He was awarded as first honor from 1st – 3rd year. In 1975, he graduated as valedictorian. He dreamt of becoming a priest but he did not know how to start since he was suffering from financial problem then. So, he planned to study to be free from financial burdens when he finished his studies. Full of courage and determination to continue his education even though he did not have enough money, he enrolled Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (BSA) major in Horticulture. BSU’s fee that time was four pesos per unit. While studying, he worked as a gardener at the Strawberry Farm in order to earn for his education. He then finished his degree within five and a

half years. They were the last batch of the five-year curriculum of BSA before. In October 1980, bassit nga lakay graduated with award as “Researcher of the Year” in Plant Science. His thesis titled “The Effect of Hydroization on the Growth and Yield of Carrot” won the Regional Science Fair and Quiz so he went to compete in the National Science Fair and Quiz held at Tacloban. This gave him the opportunity to go to New Zealand wherein he took a Certificate in Seed Technology for three months of training. BSU saw Silver’s talent so he was sent back to New Zealand for the second time. But as he finished his Diploma in Agricultural Science in March 1993, he met a car accident that broke his leg. He returned home during the summer of May 1994 after a year of stay at New Zealand. Bassit nga lakay was employed just after graduation at Tokmo, Itogon, in the Green Mountain Farms with its Minister Roberto Ongpin as his supervisor. He did not last there because of the vices of his co-workers that he did not like. So he came back here and applied as a research assistant at Highland Agricultural Research Center, now HARDEC, and luckily got the position in 1981 and served for three

People | 37

education; it is the lack of interest.”



months. To further enhance his skills and broaden his knowledge, bassit nga lakay took his Masters Degree in Horticulture in 1982 and finished in 1989. He later enrolled his Doctorate Degree in Horticulture in 1996 and finished it in 2006. In 1984, when Horticulture and Agronomy was still combined as a department, he was promoted as Instructor during the administration of Dr. Fortunato Battad when the 77 assistant instructors of BSU were promoted. While teaching, he met one of his students from the College of Teacher Education (CTE) named Rosita Batokil who was a second year college that time. This girl caught Silver’s eyes and felt different as he looked into the pupil of Rosita’s eyes. Their eyes spoke a thousand words that only their heart could understand. They were amazingly in love with each other. Since then, they got married. Rosita was 11 years younger but their age did not matter. They got married on December 24, 1983. Silver supported his wife in her education until she graduated in college. They were gifted with four children. Nova, the first child, graduated


here in BSU with her degree course B. S. in Development Communication (BSDC). She is currently taking a second degree, Tourism and Hospitality Management in London, United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Still, the second, took his degree course B.S. in Agriculture (BSA) major in Entomology here at BSU and presently working as a call center agent. Mana is a third year college student pursuing Bachelor of Science in Home Economics (BSHE). The last child, Yang, is in grade four at the BSUElementary Laboratory School (ELS). Meanwhile, Dr. Edwin T. Balaki, Director of Extension Education of BSU, established the program “BSU on the Air” in 1997. He recommended bassit nga lakay as the anchor of the program from 19992004. In 2007, bassit nga lakay returned as the anchor of the program until now. During the 2002 Professional Media Awards in Broadcast Category, “BSU on the Air” got the 2nd place with an award of Php10, 000.00 cash and a plaque. “I finished my education on my own,” bassit nga lakay proudly told us in an interview. At present, the Deputy Director of the University Business Affairs (UBA),

Silver, is now 57. His designation will end this April 2009. Looking at today’s youth, bassit nga lakay assesses students today as students with no respect to their parents, not serious in their studies. “Sabali ti estyudante tadta, sabali pay ti makmakan tadta, puros nabalsamo, isu siguro jay utak da nabalsamo met. Puros ada ‘iro’ na amin tadta nga panawenadda kadta nga bartekiro, adda kadta nga babaero, adda katda nga sugadero, intun kwan nagbalin daytan nga sairo! (The students today are different. Most of the foods they eat are added with preservatives and additives, that is why their brains are ‘put with preservatives and additives’ also, making them to do stupid things),” remarked bassit nga lakay. “I don’t believe that poverty hinders education as what the popular proverbs say, because in my experiences, as long as you have the interest and determination, you can stay away from poverty and be successful. More importantly, faith in God helps a lot,” advised Dr. Silvestre Kudan. “Be inspired. Study hard. Don’t forget to ask God for His guidance. Read James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault, and it will be given to him,” Dr. Silvestre Kudan ended.


Climate change and global warming: worsening threat to earth BSU to focus on mitigation and adaptation by Ronalyn Banaken, Zandra Claire Bang-ngit, Gemma Dona Calabson, Jenniyn Julian and Precy Montes

The earth is definitely warming. Signals of a changing climate, including increasing trends in temperature, sea level rise and extreme climate events, are already evident. As the warming continues, the effects will become more catastrophic. Actually, such phenomenon is not a new issue. Liwliwa Robeniol, Chief Meteorological Officer of Benguet State University (BSU)-Philippine Astronomical, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA), explained in an interview that global warming has been happening for the past years. “It’s just that humans do not usually take a clear look at their environment. They don’t bother noticing the changes in their surroundings,” she related. True enough, the effect of such happening has been so evident that the world starts to focus on it only now. The warming, or the so-called global warming, is caused primarily by too

much accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels for transportation and electricity produces much of the carbon dioxide. Global warming and climate change are two related concepts. Dr. Rogelio Colting, an agricultural expert specializing in soil fertility and plant nutrition and also BSU president, said in a conference that global warming involves the change in temperature while climate change is the change in temperature, rain fall pattern and biodiversity. As experts explain, globally, “earth's natural processes do not follow a linear pattern, so the global average temperature may be slightly cooler or warmer from one year to the next. Accordingly, different parts of earth's ecosystem also respond to the greenhouse effect (and global warming) in different ways. The oceans, for example, hold

Photo by Grace Bengwayan of OUBS



more heat and respond to atmospheric changes more slowly than land masses do. Average temperatures of the land, oceans, and atmosphere also vary from year to year as well as from each other, according to the article “What Can We Do About Global Warming” posted at "The amount of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere is already above the threshold that can potentially cause dangerous climate change. We are already at risk," warns Tim Flannery, climate change expert, in his article on climate change posted at www. Report from the United Nations (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also says that “two years ago, only half the international disasters dealt with by the office (OCHA) had anything to do with the climate. This year, all but one of the 14 emergency appeals is climate - related.”

Environmental Report | 39 In addition, the article “Climate Change Could Devastate Philippines: NASA scientist” posted at http://news., Josefino Comiso, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) physicist and senior research scientist warns that “the Philippines is a country that is among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Climate change could have a devastating impact on the Philippines, leading to widespread destruction of the country's flora and fauna and flooding the capital Manila.” Comiso was part of the United States Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former US vice president Al Gore. He noted that the country's fish stocks would be depleted and many species of plant and animal life would die because of the change in ocean temperatures caused by climate change. "Slight changes in ocean temperature will lead to coral bleaching which will impact on the coral reefs on which the country's fishes feed," Comiso added in the posted article. Here in Benguet, apparent effects of the global warming are already being felt. According to Robeniol, “there was an unusual rise of temperature, sudden change of rainfall pattern and abrupt change of cloud development during the late afternoon.” “This February, the amount of rainfall is below normal; and it is likely that the rainy season will come as early this March,” she said. BSU-PAGASA is still conducting further researches on the event. Additionally, Robeniol revealed that as a result of the rise of temperature, hypertensives (those with heart-related condition) are more at risk. High temperature causes the blood pressure to rise. High temperature also causes heat stroke and severe headache, according to her. Oppositely, when the temperature suddenly drops, like what is happening now as effect of climate change, “people could experience cough and colds. When it is cold, mosquitoes, particularly denguecarrying, flock – this could cause dengue,” told Robeniol, “and animals cannot normally breathe too. All of these could lead to death.” Unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to

350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. What can we do then with such climate phenomenon? According to the website www., there are two basic types of response to climate change: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation, as defined, is reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, so that less change occurs. Mitigation is happening on the personal level (buying a fuel-thrifty or hybrid vehicle, for instance, or installing energy-saving light bulbs) and in private industry (a growing number of businesses and organizations have pledged to become carbon neutral) (IPCC). Practically, one has to simply lessen the use of carbon dioxide-releasing materials such as perfumes, sprays, colognes and the like. Plugging off the refrigerator when not in use can also help. This is because refrigerators release toxic gas, specifically chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), that contributes to global warming. The use of biodegradable bags, instead of plastics and cellophanes, is also effective. Garbage disposal is a related concept too. Robeniol said that proper garbage disposal helps a lot in reducing the effects of global warming. “Undisposed wastes emit toxic substances that poison the environment, adding to global warming,” she stressed. “Separate biodegradable from non-biodegradable wastes. Sell those that can be sold; fertilize those that are biodegradable – this gives nutrients to the soil. Conserve energy,” Robeniol reminded. Furthermore, the use of pasteurized chicken dung is also an issue. According to Robeniol, the fertilizer should be applied only when the wind is blowing calmly. This reduces the possibility of spread of pollutants contained in the fertilizer to the nearby environment. Adaptation, on the other hand, according to, is dealing with the consequences of warming and other aspects of climate change, such as changes in extreme weather events. Since loss of trees decreases the level of absorption of carbon dioxide, planting of trees is a necessary action. “Trees absorb carbon dioxide. This helps

in diminishing the level of accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” Robeniol said. As impacts on natural systems are being felt, human adaptation is already happening on some fronts. Many insurance companies are examining their practices and taking climate change into account in setting their rates and their policies. Air conditioning is becoming more widespread in North America and Europe. Some communities on small islands are already making plans to abandon their homes due to rising sea levels. Because some amount of climate change has already occurred, and more change is inevitable based on the greenhouse gases already emitted, society will need to adapt. Yet in order to prevent even more-extreme climate change from happening, mitigation will be required. Policymakers are now examining these two types of responses, including how much attention and what resources to devote to each one and how to find a balance between mitigation and adaptation. "Business as usual" is also a choice. Experts say that this option saves expenditures for mitigation in the near term, but risks higher adaptation costs to wildlife, human populations, infrastructure, and economies later on. It also increases the odds of unforeseen consequences from unchecked climate change. BSU on Mitigation and Adaptation BSU in its 23rd charter anniversary focused on adaptation and mitigation as measures in preventing the effects of climate change and global warming. In a press conference held for the charter celebration, President Rogelio Colting stressed the role of adaptation and mitigation in countering the effects of climate change and global warming. During the conference, Dr. Sonwright Maddul, Vice President for Research and Extension, said that organic farming plays a great role in preventing the effects of the climate phenomenon. He mentioned some of the crops that are adaptable of climate change. Among such crops are root crops such as potato and legumes like beans and garden peas.

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Itogon, Benguet: land of fertile soil and rich gold. With your beauty and richness, aliens came to conquer you; Slowly, with their deceiving words, they captivated you with promises of great wealth and peaceful living You welcomed them openly and shared your soil and gold. For a century now, you stayed as a captive, thy wealth fleeing in their hands and promises unfulfilled. You’re the host of these venture, likewise the host of these destruction and calamities Let not your voice be trapped Let it echo in their ears.


ining has been the main source of most people of Itogon, Benguet. The Benguet Corporation, a mining company, stopped the large-scale mining operation in 1997, yet the residents suffer from the longterm effects brought about by such large-scale mining. Last September 22-23, 2008, typhoon Nina brought disasters and trauma to the community of Loacan, Itogon, Benguet that caused the destruction and loss of millions of properties and source of living of almost 70 families. At the same incident, there were 16 small-scale miners trapped at the 700-level

when the twin tunnels of the Benguet Corporation collapsed causing the death of six small-scale miners. It is believed by the residents that the landslide is just one of the long-term effects of the mining. Also known as the ‘land of gold,’ the province of Benguet has been a haven for large-scale mining operations of several multi-national and transnational mining companies for over a century. “By 1902, prospectors like John Reavis, William Knouber, Nelson Peterson and Peterson’s Partner, Henry Clyde, had begun registering claims of mining locations in Antamok. From this site, prospecting extended towards other adjacent parts of Loacan and towards adjacent parts of Tuding and Ucab. By 1903, Peterson, Clyde and Metcalfe Clarke were ready to put their Antamok mining locations in operation. They thus organized the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company. In 1906, they started having the mines and milled work.” This statement from the published manual entitled “On the Basis of Custom and History” by Lulu A. Gimenez presents the history of the Benguet Corporation that entered the municipality affecting adjacent parts. One of which is the Barangay Loacan.

RUINS OF THE MINES. The mining activities in Loacan, Itogon, Benguet, caused destructions which the residents now experience and suffer.

Photos by Analyn Adamag, Crislyn Balangen, Rubyloida Bitog, Rose Budas, Rowena Law-agey and Claire May Tuazon




Salidummay- BSU joins national theater play

by Claire May Tuazon

Salidummay - Benguet State University (BSU) Chapter dazzled spectators from different theater groups in the Philippines with their superlative stage-acting dramatic scenes that were based on the societal issues and rich culture proliferating Cordillera. The play was held in DL Umali Hall of University of the Philippines - Los Baňos (UPLB) during the third day of Tanghal Productions, February 12. Salidummay Cultural Organization showcased Cordillera’s rich culture through the play “Matakho Takho Nan Umili,” directed by Mary Carling. The play portrayed how the ancestors of Cordillerans fought for the natural resources like land and water. It showed the importance of these elements to the highlanders as extension of their lives

and as part of their culture. Various theater performing arts group from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao joined the said activity. Representatives from Luzon are the Tanghalang Saint Luis University (SLU) - Baguio and Salidummay - BSU. Meanwhile, Tanghal delegates were amazed on the cultural dance, indigenous instruments and traditional music integrated in the play. “We appreciate how Salidummay Organization combined the different elements of theatre in the play. They were very creative making it to a point that the elements used are based on their cultural instruments,” said Dianne de la Pena from Samu’t Sari of Colegio de San Juan de Letran - Calamba Laguna during the open forum.

Furthermore, “Sinangag sa Ekspreso” tackled the issue of post-colonial mentality and death of tradition and moral values. There were three characters: the well-dressed man who symbolized the postcolonial mentality; the nursing student who symbolized Filipino youth and the man wearing camisa de chino who symbolized the faltering tradition, moral values and patriotism. The epilogue and climax of the play centered on a heart-wrenching scene where the blood from the girl’s miscarriage was wiped with the national flag. The play was written and directed by Marco Antonio Regala Rodas of Ang Sining Playhaws of Envarga University-Lucena. Portraying the trauma experienced by Muslim children in war-ridden provinces in Mindanao, “Dula Ta” (Let’s Play) baffled audiences with the actors’ realistic

Culture | 43 rendition and portrayal characters. Written and directed by Romeo F. Narvaez, the playwright was a product of numerous workshops and researches that took into account experiences of Muslims living in war-affected areas. There were several striking scenes: one of which shows Datu, Mang Carlos arguing over Poknat’s (daughter) allegiance to the military and to the rebels. The play mixed suspense, horror and heart-wrenching truth to depict the Mindanaoan plight for peace. Another play entitled “Kahulugan” is an interweave of two small plays performed through the collaboration of Maskara Theater Ensemble and Bohol Theater Consortium of St. La Salle University Bacolod, Bohol University and Holy Name University. Written and directed by Tanya Lopez, the play comically manifested how the new generation of young adolescents views social issues. Giorgos Neophytou, a speaker in the International Conference from Cyprus said, “Theatres here in the Philippines tackle about the political and social and cultural issues of the country and I think that this is a good idea.” “It’s good that the Philippines has these kinds of plays. You make everyone become aware of the issues present in your country. You engage others to fight against problems like poverty,” added Neopytou. The Tanghal National University Festival was organized by the National Commission for Culture and the ArtsCommittee on Dramatic Arts (NCCACDA) in relation with the celebration of the 2009 Philippine International Arts Festival. This was hosted by Colegio de San Juan de Letran- Calamba on February 10-14, 2009. Rica Saturay Palis, Festival Director of the Tanghal, strongly ended the festival with the statement, “We differ in culture. That’s a fact, but it won’t end there. We encourage all Tanghal delegates to bring home and apply what the learned from the different culture here in the Philippines.”

Salidummay releases new album by Claire May Tuazon


he Salidummay, a founding member of the Dap-ayan ti Kultura ti Kordilyera (DKK), presented its new set of songs in its 6th album during the 24th Cordillera Day held at Poblacion Licuan, Baay, Abra last April 23-24, 2008. The Salidummay repertoire, like many of its previous albums, is based on the rich musical tradition of Cordillera. It is about the life and struggles of the Cordillera people, a fitting complement to the activity’s theme, “Resist Mining Plunder and State Terrorism.” The singers were inspired by the different situations that the Cordillerans are currently facing, including the challenges that their ancestors have paused to them. In this case, music plays its greatest role by informing not only the peoples of the Cordillera but also the rest of the nation and to bring it to the attention of other concerned people in other countries. The titles of the songs give a fruitful idea to the listeners on what the contents are all about. These are Bakir (forest), Lubong Ko (my world), Malamangmangged (semi-proletariat), Tinawid a Funufun (inherited rice seedlings), Kullilipan ni Kaigorotan (song of Kaigorotan), Agom (greed), Welga (strike), Hustisya (justice) and Which Side Are You On? Upon listening to rhythm and by simply understanding the lyrics, one could catch the message being instilled. The song Bakir speaks on the protection we must give to our forest. Lubong Ko elaborates the impact of the operation of Lepanto Mining Company to the environment sinking of Colalo, Benguet, the pollution of the Abra river

affecting the rice fields along the river and its hazardous effect to the residents and the workers. Meanwhile, the song Welga is an inspiration of how the workers were tempered by the strike asserted their rights as workers. Hustisya is a very powerful song demanding justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings in the Cordillera. The Kulilipan ni Kagorotan is a song from the mime and verse of Noni, a story of how Kaigorotan representing the indigenous peoples of the Cordillera, defended their territory and asserted their identity amidst opportunists and grabbers. Malamangmanged is the situation of the urban poor or the people from the rural areas who migrated to Baguio City in search for better opportunities like goodpaying jobs. Aside from the odd jobs and how pordiya (daily wages) are being given for the job that they entered into, they are threatened by demolition. Tinawid a Funufun is all about protecting our traditional seed for economic self-reliance. It talks about getting rid of the high yielding-variety or geneticallymodified organisms (GMO’s). Underground is about the seeds of change that were panted in the forest. With the worsening issue of corruption in our country as testified by Jun Lozada and many others, Salidummay came up with a song entitled Agom (greed). Aside from the concert, the artists of DKK presented a very inspiring play leaving a good lesson to the viewers. The play depicted how the Cordillera region is being threatened by mining, plunder and state terrorism as manifested by the entry of mining corporations despite the resistance of the people.

44 | Culture Igorots are highland people living in the Northern part of Luzon, particularly in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). This region composes different tribes which include the Ifugao, Bontocs, Kankanaeys, Ibalois, Kalingas,Isnegs and Kalanguyas. According to the website www., here are the ethnic groups in which Igorots are defined and described:

Photos by Jennilyn Julian

Igorot Ethnic Groups Ifugao in the southern part of the Cordillera region is best known for its famous rice terraces, which in modern times have become one of the big tourist attractions of the Philippines. They made these terraces with the use of only their hands and simple tools. The Ifugaos typically build their houses at the edge of their fields. A distinctive aspect of these houses is the post just below the floor beams to keep rats from climbing into the house. Aside from their rice terraces, the Ifugaos are known for their literary traditions of the ‘hudhud’ and the ‘alim.’ The Ifugaos’ highest prestige feasts are the “hagabi,” for the wealthiest; and the “uyauy,” a feast for those immediately below the wealthiest. Bontoc people live on the banks of the Chico River. They were once well-known because of their head-hunting practices in the olden days but not today. In the previous time, the most distinctive body decoration of the Igorot was

the tattoo. The Bontoc describe three types of tattoos: the chak-lag′, the tattooed chest of the head taker; pong′-o, the tattooed arms of men and women; and fa′-tĕk, for all other tattoos of both sexes. Women were tattooed on the arms only. In the past, the Bontoc engaged in none of the usual pastimes or games of chance practiced in other areas of the country, but did perform a circular rhythmic dance acting out certain aspects of the hunt, always accompanied by the gangsa or bronze gong. There was no singing or talking during the dance drama, but the women took part, usually outside the circumference. It was a serious but pleasurable event for all concerned, including the children. Present-day Bontocs are a peaceful agricultural people who have, by choice, retained most of their traditional culture despite frequent contacts with other groups. Benguet is home to the Ibalois. They are the butt of jokes among the more aggressive tribes for their perceived timidity and shyness according to observers. The Ibaloi language belongs to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian languages family. The Ibaloi language is closely related to the Pangasinan language, primarily spoken in the province of Pangasinan, located southwest of Benguet. The Ibalois’ major feast is the pesshet, a public feast mainly sponsored by people of prestige and wealth. The pesshet feast can last for weeks and involves the butchering and sacrifice of dozens of animals. One of the more popular dances of the Ibaloi is the bendiyan dance, participated in by hundreds of male and female dancers. The Kankana-eys have difference in the way they dress. The soft-speaking Kankana-ey woman’s dress has a color

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Culture | 45

orot Zandra Claire Bang-ngit

combination of black, white and red. The design of the upper attire is a criss-crossed style of black, white and red colors. The skirt or “tapis” is a combination of stripes of black, white and red. The women hardspeaking Kankana-ey’s dress is composed of mainly red and black with a little white styles, as for the skirt or “tapis” which is mostly called “bakget” and “gateng.” The main wore a g-string as it is called but it is mainly know as “wanes” for the Kanakanaeys of Besao and Sagada. The design of the “wanes” may vary according to social status or municipality. Kankana-ey’s major dances include “tayaw,” “pattong,” “takik,” a wedding dance, and “balangbang.” The “tayaw” is a community dance that is usually done in weddings. “Balangbang” is the modernized word for “pattong.” There are also some other dances that the Kankana-eys dance like the “sakkuting,” “pinanyuan” (wedding dance) and “bogibogi” (courtship dance). Inhabiting the drainage areas of the middle Chico River, the Kalingas are noted for their strong sense of tribal awareness and the peace pacts they have made among themselves. They practice

both wet and dry rice farming and have developed an institution of peace pacts which has minimized traditional warfare and head-hunting practices. The peace pacts, which they call “bodong,” serve as mechanism for the initiation, maintenance, renewal and reinforcement of kinship and social ties. The Kalingas are divided into Southern and Northern groups; the latter is considered the most heavily-ornamented people of the northern Philippines. Ikalahans or Kalanguyas, known as the ‘gentle people’ of the region, inhabit the eastern side of the Cordillera mountain range. Isneg (or Apayao) inhabit the banks of the Apayao River and its tributaries in Northern Luzon. Like most erstwhile headhunters, they are slash-andburn farmers who have recently, under the influence of their neighbors, begun to practice wet-rice agriculture. As a dry rice farmer, the male head of a household annually clears a fresh section of tropical forest where his wife will plant and harvest their rice. Isneg women also cook the meals, gather wild vegetables and weave bamboo mats and baskets, while

the men cut timber, build houses and take extended hunting and fishing trips. Often when a wild pig or deer is killed, its meat is skewered on bamboo and distributed to neighbors and relatives. Nearly all Isneg households also harvest a small grove of coffee trees since the main cash crop of the area is coffee. As Jose Dulnuan, a columnist remarked, “I am an Igorot. Let me be treated as I deserve—with respect if I am good, with contempt if I am no good, irrespective of the name I carry. Let the term, Igorot, remain, and the world will use it with the correct meaning attached to it.”

46 | Culture

by Rose Budas

Benguet’s traditional seasons of the year Rich with beliefs and traditions, Benguet inhabitants follow a seasonal pattern as a system of reckoning their time due to seasonal changes.

According to the book “Beliefs and Home Rituals of Benguet’' by Wasing Sacla, this seasonal pattern called Mata-on, which occurs 12 times in a year, corresponds to the two months of the Gregorian calendar. Here is the seasonal pattern followed according to the book: January is a cool month for the Northern folks of Benguet. Libteng is what they believe to correspond in the said month and designated by the folks during the cold period of the year. This cold belt extends from Mt. Data in the North to Mt. Sto. Tomas in the South. Thick blankets, clothings, fuel and other healing conditions are brought out or secured. People even devise a way of smiling to central sudden stretching of the lips and sudden burst of laughter brings on lip cracking during the period. On the other hand, as the cool begins to subside, the air gets warm, which the Kankana-ey folks call as man-atong or atong-atong. It corresponds to the month of February. Farmers by this time prepare their farm by clearing the mountain sides. In some places, plants start to wither for

lack of water. Opok, which comes from root word “tapok”, dust, usually corresponds to the month of March. This is characterized by the gradual intensification of worm air. As many grazing plants lands dry up, unwatered rice field hardens and cracks, foot trails and roads get dusty. Farmers also burn their cleared farms at this time because the fire aided by the hot weather burns every dirt to the ground. Dry season extends to this month. However, isolated rains and thunderstorm occur. In some areas, trees and even shrubs wilt and dry up producing crackling sound. This crackling sound of drying weeds and plants is observed in April of every year that led the people to call it “ketiketi”. Some areas are almost dry at this stage so that frogs hop to marshy places and to rivers. With this, people go to the rivers and creeks to catch frogs for food. At the peak of the long dry season, food gets scarce. In anticipation of the lean months, people store food and supplies. Informants say that, at this stage, people only walk few steps, “sinkikiang,” which means short distance or “kiang,” and feel hungry, because of less food intake. Heavy rains start to fall which signals the start of wet season called “dean” by the people. At this season, which corresponds to the month of June, people are expected to have good harvest. Animals get robust, “mataba,” from which the people called the season as manaba. Misingadan or wawa-o or lala-o corresponds to the month of July. At this season, dragon flies emerge from their cocoons and appear in great numbers. This is called by the Kankana-ey folks as midsingadan, wawa-o or lala-o. When these insects grew in number, it is believed

Culture | 47 that a typhoon will follow called wa-o. The appearance of “tiway,” “tiwtiwiddan,” or “jajaran” signals the coming of strong typhoon during the month of August. The seasonal bird “tiway” is seen in yards, roads, roofs, tops farms and river banks. It is easily distinguished by its yellow belly, light-blue feather and when it alights to the ground or perches an object, it clashes with its tail moving up and down. “Adog,” on the other hand, following the tiway, is another seasonal bird that appears in the early part of September. These birds are seen in pairs or more and love to perch in tall, dried trees or fences. When they chirp, “ka-a-at,ka-a-a-at,’’ the people expect that another typhoon is coming. To mark this period, the Kankanaey folks called this month adog, by referring to the bird to identify the season. As typhoons come and go, the people expect the coming of another succeeding migratory bird called tigwi/ gayagey. These birds fly high in the air in groups and their coming are usually accompanied by strong typhoons. These high flying birds squeal, “tigwi-i-i,” from which the people derived its name, thus, corresponding the month of October. The squeal of the bird “kiling” is often heard during the month of November. It warns the coming of a typhoon. The presence of the “kiling” also marks the end of the rainy season and signals the beginning of dry season. Another seasonal bird called siyet emerges in the month of December. This season is characterized by the beginning of the cold season, andap or angchap. As a tradition, the young people take advantage of trapping these birds because of their high nutritional value. They cook the birds the traditional way, linagitan. Linagitan is done by burning the hairs of a pig and feathers of the chicken and birds before boiling. It is pinicpican, an Ilokano term. By this system, following a seasonal pattern such as dry season, wet season, weather changes, appearance of seasonal birds, “awini,” emergence of seasonal insects and lean months characterized by the scarcity of food, people can readily approximate events or happenings.

Ifugao focus: Ifugao on on focus Ifugao’s cultural beliefs and practices

by Gemma Dona Calabson

Ifugao culture marked a big account in the eminency of the Cordillera as its Ifugao Rice Terraces is known all over the world attracting tourists to enter the country. Ifugao is reach in superb rituals and beliefs. It is located in the heart of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Inhabited with hospitable citizens and blessed with natural wonders and spots, Ifugao’s rituals and ceremonies include gods and deities known to bring wealth and blessings to the people. It has been accounted that there are 1, 500 deities in various ranks from gods to demons, monsters, imps and spirits dwelling in the natural resources. According to Clyde Pumihic, an Ifugao native, in Ifugao rituals, bulul is the most common and traditional figure. The bulul is a carved wood usually made of narra. This is used in rituals seeking for a bountiful harvest, revenge and healing for a sick person. It is also a symbol of wealth, happiness and well-being. Accordingly, when bathed with pigs or sacrificial blood, bulul is believed to assume new powers and will grant the owner or the family wealth and prosperity. After the offerings and prayers done by the mumbaki, the Ifugao native priest, it is placed next to the first bundle

of harvested rice. Pumihic added that Ifugao is also rich in literature that includes songs, chants and epics. Alim is one of the major epic of Ifugao that has been recorded as the second longest epic in the world. According to him, Ifugao songs are classified into ritual and non-ritual songs. Ritual songs are sung in religious occasions. Non-ritual songs are sung in gatherings, celebrations and other festive occasions. These include liwliwa, salidummay and others. On the other hand, Ifugao religious beliefs are expressed in numerous rites and prayers (baki) that comprise the main body of Ifugao myths. The myths and folktales tell of the people’s gods and goddesses, related supernatural beings, ancestors and forces of nature. In prayers and sacrifices, the invocations which are accompanied by animal offering and drinking of bayah (Ifugao rice wine) are meant to bribe the gods and win their favors. Prayers and sacrifices are mediated by the mumbaki who has the power to intercede and talk with the gods and unseen spirits. These are among the wide range of cultural practices of Ifugao which are markers of the rich and sacred Cordillera culture and tradition.

Development communication is all about organized efforts to use communication processes and media to bring social and economic improvements, generally in developing countries. Development journalism provides people with information on change in their society, and works at the local level to advocate change. Where mass media is now employed in developing societies, community newspapers and radio prove far more accessible and useful than television. The emphasis has shifted from economic growth to meeting basic needs. – Chris

Paterson, The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC)

Grassroot Magazine  
Grassroot Magazine  

Official magazine of the 2nd Year Development Journalism students of Benguet State University, Bachelor of Science in Development Communicat...