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Students have a BLAST! with Astronomy Writen by: Isaiah Cabanero

The Philippine Society of Youth Science Clubs (PSYSC), in partnership with SM Exploreum, held the Beginners’ Learning and Appreciation of Science and Technology (BLAST!) last March 11, 2017, at the SM Exploreum, SM Mall of Asia, in Pasay City. BLAST! is a one-day activity that aims to immerse students in science learning experiences and to foster in them an early love for science and technology. A total of 65 elementary students, together with their teachers and science club advisers, participated in the said activity which focused on the topic of Astronomy. Primemont Science School, Bagumbayan Central Elementary School, Kalawaan Central Elementary School, and Navotas Central Elementary School were among the schools that participated. Dr. Aris C. Larroder, a multi-awarded Physics and Earth Science teacher from Philippine Science High School – Western Visayas Campus in Iloilo City, gave the special lecture on Astronomy that provided the participants an interactive opportunity to explore the night sky and identify several constellations through his presentation. Hands-on Galaxy Slime Workshop then followed where participants had the chance to make their own creative representation of the galaxy, helping them understand not just the concept of the universe, but as well the principles of how polymers work in simple demonstrations. Participants were also able to enjoy a film showing activity inside SM Exploreum’s Dome Theater for free and had the time to explore and tour around its state-ofthe-art Science Gallery. This activity was held for the second time by PSYSC and SM Exploreum. What’s Next Another BLAST! activity focusing on Chemistry will happen in March 2018. For more information about the upcoming activity and inquiries on how to join, interested schools in Metro Manila can send an email to or call (02) 332 8151. To get the latest updates and see the photos from its previous activities, visit the official Beginners’ Learning and Appreciation of Science and Technology Facebook page at


PSYSC strengthens community involvement and empowerment Firm on its thrust on public understanding of science, technology and environment (PUSTE), PSYSC pursues to expand their presence within communities to support local development. The organization ventures with projects, namely A Local Ocean Conservation Initiative (ALON) and Beginner’s Appreciation of Science Clubbing Outreach (BASIC-O), committed to this mission in 2017. ALON “When we start cleaning our communities at least one coast at a time, it ripples a positive change within the hearts of the people and society at large,” Mr. Nikko Angelo Dela Rosa, Vice President for External Affairs regarding ALON. On October, a group of 28 volunteers from PSYSC goes to Barangay Tawiran, Obando, Bulacan to hold the first-ever ALON. ALON is a coastal clean-up activity with the main purpose of removing and managing as much solid waste as possible in a community. Barangay Tawiran is one of the places identified by the Ocean Conservancy to be a site for coastal clean-up. It is part of the Collaborative Undertaking to Revive the Environment (CURE) Project Series which is a chain of activities by the Community Development team under the External Affairs Committee of the organization. The event is designed to tackle the alarming growth of trash in bodies of water that badly affects the health and state of marine and aquatic biodiversity. Aside from the clean-up, the volunteers hold an outreach program for the students of Tawiran Elementary School. The kids are introduced to several science workshops and interactive activities. In the end, they also receive DIWA books and kits to help deepen their understanding of the objectives of ALON and the greater call for environmental awareness and conservation. The community shows a positive feedback towards the event and a lasting reception of its goals. ALON further aims to garner support from the local government units of its beneficiary. The event is fortunately actively supported by the LGU in Barangay Tawiran, making the event easily and successfully carried out despite its first instalment. “Even though ALON is a small-scale event, it is different than other coastal clean-ups because it seeks to involve the community itself in the process,” Mr. Dela Rosa shared. “We want to impart to the people [of Barangay Tawiran] to maintain the cleanliness of the coastal areas within the neighbourhood. In the end, we seek to educate that we can be smart and sustainable with our wastes to avoid the necessity of clean-ups in the future. We want to empower the initiative of the people in the community.” ALON hopes to be introduced to more communities and have more support from LGUs and stakeholders. As of the moment, the team and the rest of the External Affairs committee are planning a second instalment within the first quarter of 2018.


China powers world’s largest floating solar power plant Written by: Leo Jaminola


ast June 2017, Sungrow Power Supply unveiled a 40-megawatt (MW) solar power plant situated in a former coal-mining region which has since been flooded. Located in the city of Huainan in Anhui province, the power plant can produce enough energy to light around 15,000 homes.

Filipino engineers to further aerospace engineering, builds 2nd PH microsatellite Written by: Lanze Magalona


fter the success of Diwata I, Filipino engineers are developing another microsatellite furnished with additional features and improvements over its predecessor. Through the initiative of the government in establishing the country’s own satellite program, the Philippines was able to launch its first microsatellite, Diwata I, into orbit. Diwata I is the brainchild of the Philippine Scientific Earth Observation Micro-satellite (PHL-Microsat) Program, a collaboration between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tohoku University, Hokkaido University, the Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the University of the Philippines. Since its launch on April 2016, the 50 kg-microsatellite enables the determination of damage caused by disasters and calamities, weather forecasting, and environmental monitoring. Satellite images are now available for public use thanks to Diwata I. With aid from Japanese aerospace experts, Filipino engineers (based both in Japan and in the Philippines) creates another microsatellite. Diwata II will also carry out the same functions of Diwata I, whilst monitoring heritage sites and providing alternatives for communication and transmission. Diwata II includes four cameras and a radio system specialized for these functions. Diwata II follows a sun-synchronous orbit system which improves the microsatellite’s ability to monitor. “With Diwata-2 being sun-synchronous, we get passes in a more periodic way. So, if we have an area, for example, experiencing drought, we can monitor the development on this specific area,” Dr. Gay Jane Perez of the PHL-Microsat Program explained during Diwata I’s launch anniversary. Diwata II must undergo structural development and testing before the engineering model is integrated, proceeding to the flight model. Diwata II is set to orbit 213 kilometers higher than Diwata I’s 400-km orbit to increase its operating lifespan. The microsatellite’s design is being developed in the University of the Philippines, while integration and testing is conducted in Japan. The team projects deployment of Diwata II in the second quarter of 2018, months before Diwata I is expected to cease operations in November 2018 due to decay.


Although floating power plants is not an entirely new technology, what made this floating power plant of great significance is the scale of the project. Previously, the UK built a 6.3 MW floating solar array plant on top of the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir. Next year, Japan will finish constructing a floating power plant which will produce 13.7 MW. Both of these pale in comparison to China’s 40-megawatt facility. According to Charlie Campbell of Time Magazine, building solar plants on top of bodies of water have great advantages over regular solar power plants on land. Water serves as a natural coolant for the electronics in the solar panel making the power plant operate more efficiently by up to 10%. Lack of dust and dirt in the area also helps in making the panels clean for a longer period. In times where the panels need cleaning, the water below can be utilized, minimizing waste and operational cost. Lastly, this prevents the conversion of agricultural land and terrestrial ecosystems to solar power plant sites. Projects like this would continue in China as they are now the top investor in renewable energy. The government aims to allot $360 billion on clean energy projects by 2020, creating 13 million new jobs. With this, China could produce 340 gigawatts of hydropower and 320 gigawatts of solar and wind power by 2022. China’s plans on renewable energy signals good news for the environment. Currently, the Asian superpower is the number one emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG). However, the affordability and effectiveness of renewable energy has driven China to work for a low-carbon future. Even though Chinese energy consumption increased to 1.4% in 2016, the share of coal in the total energy consumption decreased from 64.0% in 2015 to 62.0% in 2016. Studies suggest that using solar power plants is the eight best way to cut GHG emission. Currently, solar power accounts only for 0.4% of the world’s electricity production. But if this grew to 10% by 2050, 43.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide would be prevented from being released into the atmosphere.

Spray-on skin: new technology heals burns Written by: Louis Andrian Aninipot


pray-on skin? Skin gun? Sounds like an idea out of a sci-fi movie but now an actual form of treatment for burn victims.

Skin grafting has been the traditional method of treatment for burn victims for the past 30 years. It involves cutting a piece of skin from a healthy site on the same patient and transplanting it over the burned area via stitches. The procedure observes high success rates but, inflicts further pain on the victim as skin needed for grafting is in proportion with the affected – greater burned area requires more skin to be cut. Further, it leads to joint movement inhibition when transplanted skin fails to develop with the patient. Year 2017, painless and quick healing of burns is now a possibility with just a small patch of undamaged skin transformed into a suspension of skin stem cells called basal cells. The solution is then sprayed onto the area showing astounding results within a week and quality on par with grafting. Introduced by Fiona Wood, an Australian surgeon, the revolutionary technique uses skin progenitor cells and color-imparting melanocytes – cells for melanin production. The skin sample is retrieved by scraping off the epidermal and dermal layers. The surgeon then mixes it with an enzyme solution which loosens critical cells turning it into a mixture ready for spraying onto the wound. According to a study in the scientific journal Burns, the mixture is to trigger thousands of regenerative points within the burned area, serving as a catalyst for skin growth by repopulating basal cells. Hence, skin grows faster, “reducing healing time” and “minimizing risk of infections and complications” with “aesthetically and functionally satisfying outcomes” as stated in the text. Through this technology, a small piece of skin can suffice to almost 50 square inches of burns. As of this year, the discovery is limited to treatment of severe second degree burns only, as long as subcutaneous tissue is preserved. This is attributed to the failure of the mixture to affect already dead layers of skin caused by third degree burns. It can, however, work hand in hand with other methods. It also demonstrates a use on the field of cosmetics as it helps with addressing scars and marks.

Reference and photo sources: ( Edd K. Usman, Rappler) Charlie Campbell, Time Magazine Online ( Stephen Adams, The Mail Online (

Time Crystals: Patterns Through Time Written by: Lanze Magalona


time crystal is a newly discovered phase of matter with a structure that repeats through time (not just space) and can exist in non-equilibrium states, creating a buzz in the scientific community. Crystals such as salt, snowflakes, and common gems are substances which have internal 3-D structures wherein atoms or molecules repeat to create lattices in space. Moreover, crystals that have internal structures which can repeat through time were recently discovered. In 2012, the Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Frank Wilczek propositioned that time crystals appear to have movement even at their ground states (lowest energy state)! It is initially deemed theoretically impossible due to the concept that energy must be used in order for a material to go to its ground state. Wilczek suggested that an object is capable of movement in its ground state by regularly switching the alignment of its atoms. Also, crystals are capable of symmetry breaking – a concept which enables atoms to be oriented differently, making it asymmetrical in nature. This January 2017, different research institutions create a blueprint and demonstrate experiments on time crystals. Researchers from the University of Maryland used lasers and a line of 10 ytterbium ions with interconnected spins. One laser hits the chain of ions to generate a magnetic field, while another laser partially flips the atoms until a repeating sequence is created. Alternatively, physicists from Harvard University demonstrated the repeated flipping pattern through nitrogen impurities in a diamond (which turned black). These repeating patterns then defined the structure of the time crystal. Another breakthrough with time crystals is that these substances can occur in non-equilibrium phases, meaning particles can oscillate constantly even without energy. In the past, scientists were only able to study phases of matter in equilibrium (wherein atoms have the same amount of heat). “One of the holy grails in physics is understanding what types of matter can exist in nature. [N]on-equilibrium phases represent a new avenue different from all the things we’ve studied in the past.”, Norman Yao, physicist from University of California, Berkeley who came up with the time crystal’s blueprint, told in an article. Further studies on phase changes of time crystals and other opportunities for non-equilibrium materials are being conducted. The ground-breaking discovery of time crystals jumpstarts developments in quantum computing, which utilizes the power of atoms and molecules in storing and processing information through quantum systems. Quantum computers are a more advanced version of the classical computers we have today.

Neutron stars collide, NASA spots gravitational waves

Hydrogen turns into metal: is it alchemy?

Written by: Floredith Tan


cientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have observed light, tied to a gravitational-wave event. The phenomenon was caused by two merging neutron stars found in the galaxy NGC 4993, which is located about 130 million light years away from Earth in the constellation Hydra. Around 8:41 AM EDT on August 17, a pulse of high-energy light from a powerful explosion was picked up by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and was then reported as a short gamma-ray burst to the astronomers around the world. The detected gravitational waves which was caused by the collision of a pair of stars tied to the gamma-ray burst was dubbed as GW170817 by the scientists at the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitationalwave Observatory (LIGO). Different satellites and groundbased observatories of NASA later captured the fading glow of the blast’s expanding debris. Paul Hertz, the director of NASA’s Astrophysics Division at the agency’s headquarters in Washington said, “This is extremely exciting science. Now, for the first time, we’ve seen light and gravitational waves produced by the same event. The detection of a gravitational-wave source’s light has revealed details of the event that cannot be determined from gravitational waves alone. The multiplier effect of study with many observatories is incredible.” Neutron stars are the crushed, leftover cores of massive stars that exploded as supernovas long ago. The pair of stars, which likely had masses between 10 and 60 percent greater than the Sun, orbited around each other rapidly and produced gravitational waves at the same frequency. As the stars get closer and whirled faster, they eventually collided, producing both a gamma-ray burst and a “kilonova”. Gravitational waves was first predicted by Albert Einstein in his theory of general relativity and for the last century, astronomers have been trying to figure out how to detect these ripples. However, approximately two years ago, the first gravitational wave was detected when two black holes collided. Since then, three more detection have emerged from the death spiral of black hole pairs. But picking up the ripples is still difficult because these phenomena are smaller. Now, with the collision of the two neutron stars, a forceful impact creates gargantuan gravitational waves, it fades away along its journey but still reaches the Earth in a diminished form. This creates a new revolution in astronomy.

References and photo sources:

Written by: Lee Curias


arlier this year, a team of scientists from Harvard University have successfully turned hydrogen into metal. Isaac Silvera and Ranga Dias manage to create solid metallic hydrogen by squeezing in a tiny hydrogen sample in between two synthetic diamonds and subjecting it to pressures as high as 495 gigapascals, greater than the pressure at the center of the Earth. Composed of a single proton and electron, hydrogen is believed to be the simplest element in the universe. At standard temperature and pressure, hydrogen is in its gaseous state (H2), and is highly combustible, non-toxic, non-metallic, odorless, and tasteless. This element can also be liquefied by cooling it to cryogenic temperatures. In 1935, scientists theorize that if subjected to enough pressure, hydrogen could become a metal. For 80 years, several attempts were made to confirm this prediction, but no vices were created to withstand extreme pressures. Metallic hydrogen is considered to be the “holy grail of highpressure physics”, according to Silvera. It is believed to be meta-stable, which means that once it is formed, it retains its metallic properties even at normal temperature and pressures. This is similar to the formation of diamonds from graphite under extreme pressure and heat. Understanding the stability of this material is important, he added, because theories suggest that metallic hydrogen could act as a superconductor at room temperatures. His partner, Dias, says that this could improve transportation and the performance of electronic devices since superconductive materials, or superconductors, conduct electricity or transport electrons from one atom to another with zero resistance. The discovery of such material is also a huge step-up in energy production and storage, since energy can be stored by maintaining currents in superconducting coils. Silvera explains that it takes great amount of energy in order to make such material. In order to create metallic hydrogen, they use two pieces of polished synthetic diamonds mounted opposite of each other in a device called the diamond anvil cell. The diamond anvil cell, abbreviated as DAC, is a device used to create very high pressures by trapping a sample between flat faces ground on the pointy ends of two diamonds. The diamonds used are then coated in a thin layer of alumina to prevent the hydrogen sample from diffusing into their crystals structures.


Astrophysicist-turned-data scientist: passionate about data analytics & visualization Written by: Isaiah S. Cabañero

I seek to find then make the most out of all available data to find answers to questions of both practical and academic interest.” (Asian Scientist Magazine)

Aside from that, she also works as a data science consultant for several companies in the Philippines, such as Deal Grocer and Z-Lift Solutions, among others.

That, in 140 characters, would be how Filipina astrophysicist Dr. Reinabelle Reyes would describe her research pursuits, in summary.

“My hope for the next decade is to have the opportunity to continue to collaborate with scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, and experts from various fields, engaging in interesting and socially-relevant work.” (Asian Scientist Magazine)

Picking up her bio from her Twitter profile (@ reina_reyes), she describes herself as an “astrophysicist-turned-data scientist” who is “passionate about data analytics & visualization”. The 33-year-old Dr. Reina Reyes is known as the “Filipino who proved Einstein right” after leading a team of researchers back in 2010 that proved the applicability of Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity outside the confines of our solar system, and into around 70,000 galaxies more in the universe. Dr. Reyes graduated at the top of her high school class from the Philippine Science High School, excelling in Mathematics, and had liked the subject ever since. “Unlike in English class where if your teacher did not like your piece, she would just fail you; in Math, there was an objective answer and you could show it!” said Dr. Reyes, in one of her interviews published in (Garcia) She pursued a Physics degree in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and graduated summa cum laude. She then took up a year at the Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy, before she proceeded to Princeton University for doctorate degree in astrophysics. Now back in the Philippines, she is a part-time lecturer of data visualization at the Ateneo de Manila University, as well as in the faculty of Rizal Technological University, where the only astronomy program in the country is being offered.


A notable project where Dr. Reyes is proudly involved is the ReliefOps.Ph project, conceived after Typhoon Yolanda struck and damaged the Philippines heavily in 2013. The project was a collaborative effort that involved the Department of Science and Technology, the Department Social Welfare and Development, the Ateneo de Manila University, and IBM Philippines. In this steady growing movement of Filipino scientists making significant marks in the international community of scientific knowledge, Dr. Reyes involves herself further in hoping to “displace outdated and unrealistic stereotypes of scientists as ‘white men in lab coats’ or ‘lone geniuses’” through a website she moderates called The said site aims to show Filipinos doing all kinds of science in all kinds of places. From an article of CNN Philippines, entitled “6 Filipino scientists who are changing the world”, Dr. Reyes is quoted to have said, “I’m optimistic that we’ll become bigger. We’ll have a bigger role to play in the international community.” She continues, “what we’re doing is we’re contributing to international knowledge … We become part of the community of nations that contribute.”

Former PSYSC regional council chairperson bags gold in global science video contest Written by: Leo Jaminola


hile there are indeed many great scientists in the world, only a handful of them have the capacity to effectively communicate the story of nature to the greater public. One of them is Hillary Diane Andales, a budding scientist from Palo, Leyte. Andales, a former PSYSC Regional Council (RC) chairperson won the 2017 Breakthrough Junior Challenge (BJC) besting 11,000 students from 178 countries who registered and 3,200 video submissions to the contest. With that, she goes home with $250,000 worth in educational prizes while her teacher receives $50,000 and her school, a new science laboratory worth $100,000 from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In her three-minute video, the 18-year-old student explained the concept of relativity and the equivalence of reference frames. Similar to last year, her video entry made it straight through the finals by winning the popular vote making this the second year in a row that Andales is named a finalist in the contest. Now on its third year, the BJC is an “annual global competition for students to inspire creative thinking about science”. The contest is organized by the Breakthrough Prize Foundation which is founded by tech giants Mark Zucherberg and Priscilla Chan of Facebook and Sergey Brin of Google. In the awarding ceremony last December 3 at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, Andales encouraged Filipinos to engage in the study of science and technology. “May this inspire more young people, especially my dear Filipinos, to look up and become scientists themselves – the stars that we should all look up to,” Andales said. Andales is currently a senior in the Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus and dreams of becoming a cosmologist. To maximize the prize money, Andales is currently planning to study Physics in the United States.

Reference and photo source: Gary Coronado, Asian Scientist Magazine ( ) Julius Leonen, Inquirer ( Jesse Grant/Getty Images North America

Studies and researches announced as 2017 nobel prize laureates

produced by this technique are now used in different fields and provides a better way of picturing objects that are invisible to the naked eye.

Written by: Shai Leonida


ctober 2017 - The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced this year’s Nobel Prize winners in the fields of Medicine, Physics, and Chemistry.

The joint awardees for each field were Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young for Medicine, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for Chemistry, and Rainer Weish, Barry C Barish and Kip S. Thorne for Physics. Each trio was granted the prize sum of 9,000,000 Swedish kronor which they will be sharing among themselves. Nobel Prize in Medicine Hall, Young and Rosbash are awarded for their discoveries on the circadian rhythm of living organisms. By examining fruit flies, the trio were able to determine the period gene which controls the circadian rhythm, or the internal clock that governs an organism’s sleep-wake cycle, and the mechanism of how it works.

According to the Nobel Prize assembly, the team’s discoveries “explain how plants, animals and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth’s revolutions.” The study was critical for a person’s well-being since his/her overall health, such as reactions to medicines and diseases depend greatly on the program set by this internal body clock, as stated by Michael Hastings of the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. Nobel Prize in Chemistry For revolutionizing the imaging of minute biomolecules, Dubochet, Frank and Henderson receives the 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The trio developed the cryo-electron microscopy, a technology that allows biomolecules to freeze mid-movement and provides visualisations of processes never been observed in the past.

Nobel Prize in Physics Weiss, Barish and Thorne were chosen as this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics recipients for their observation of gravitational waves for the very first time. Along with the researchers of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO), gravitational waves, which came from two black holes that collided 1.3 billion years ago, were detected using a gigantic laser interferometers that measure changes smaller than an atom’s nucleus thousands of time.

According to Einstein’s the general theory of relativity, gravitational waves are created when a mass accelerates just like when two black holes go around each other, and fill up the universe at the speed of light. Only the most violent cosmic events can be large enough to measure and its amplitude so tiny that observations on these waves were thought to be impossible. This observation was groundbreaking for Albert Einstein himself stated that measurement of these waves is impossible. Explorations and studies regarding the cosmos and the universe have been done with the help of various cosmic rays and radiation. However, very little has been known about space-time and the mysteries that surround it. Gravitational waves, which are evidences of direct disruptions in space-time, if captured and further analysed can finally give an answer to the unsolved questions of space-time and the universe.

This new imagery technique paved the way for scientific breakthroughs in biochemistry and developments of pharmaceuticals. The images Reference and photo source:



2018 Kent Cadalin


ducational Background

Certificate in Professional Education, University of the Philippines Diliman BS. Entrepreneurial Management, Technological University of the Philippines-Manila (Cum Laude) Biography Faith Elona is a licensed teacher who spearheads the Career Awareness and Readiness Seminar (CARES) of which aims to help students make informed career decisions. Prior, she taught for four years as Entrepreneurship and ABM teacher in Multiple Intelligence International School. She mentored High School teams who were fielded out and bagged championships in various competitions here and abroad including International Science Enterprise Challenge (ISEC) last 2015. She is an advocate of innovation, holistic learning, non-formal and adult education. Educational Background Asian Institute of Management Masters of Business Administration Geologist Board Exam Topnotcher University of the Philippines Diliman Bachelor of Science in Geology



ducational Background

Certificate in Professional Education, University of the Philippines Diliman BS. Entrepreneurial Management, Technological University of the Philippines-Manila (Cum Laude) Biography Faith Elona is a licensed teacher who spearheads the Career Awareness and Readiness Seminar (CARES) of which aims to help students make informed career decisions. Prior, she taught for four years as Entrepreneurship and ABM teacher in Multiple Intelligence International School. She mentored High School teams who were fielded out and bagged championships in various competitions here and abroad including International Science Enterprise Challenge (ISEC) last 2015. She is an advocate of innovation, holistic learning, non-formal and adult education. Educational Background Asian Institute of Management Masters of Business Administration Geologist Board Exam Topnotcher

2018 University of the Philippines Diliman Bachelor of Science in Geology

Kent Cadalin





acts are universal truths or information that is perceived in reality. It has been a part of everyone’s lives. However, these pieces of information undergo changes in validity and truthfulness. After many years of development, people have accomplished a lot of things in science. These progressions include the strengthening of different studies, laws and theories which brings an end to a lot of theories and scientific ideas which were believed in for so long.

T H EN: Great Wall of China is the only visible man-made object from space It was believed that the Great Wall of China can be seen from space but the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) declared that the Great Wall cannot be seen in the Lower Earth Orbit which is the first 161 to 322 km of space. In 2003, Yang Liwei, a Chinese astronaut who is the first person to be sent by the Chinese Space Progam in space said that he could not see the Great Wall when he was sent to space.

T H EN : Pluto is the ninth planet of the Solar System 18

TH E N : Diamond is the hardest substance in the world For so long, diamond had been the hardest substance on Earth earning a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale until researchers from Australian National University had synthesized a harder form of diamond called Lonsdaleite. Samples of Lonsdaleite from meteorites originally register between 7 and 8 on the Mohs Scale but the compressed form of this material registers greater than 10. While both Lonsdaleite and diamond are ‘diamonds’, the difference in hardness lies in their crystalline structure.

From the time when Pluto was discovered, it was thought to be one of the Solar System planets but was demoted as a “dwarf planet”. Several rumors have spread about Pluto being reinstated as a part of the planets but according to NASA, it is still a dwarf planet.

References and Photo sources:

Here are some scientific facts that changed over the years.


ENGINEERING T he fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics offer us ways of doing more with less, breakthroughs which aim to improve our quality of life. From dumbfounding drones to protein partners, here are some innovations which have promising applications in our developing communities.

SpyTag/SpyCatcher The mechanism SpyTag/SpyCatcher involves a covalent peptide bonding, a link between protein units developed by SpyBiotech in Oxford, UK. The bond gives rise to a myriad of possibilities in protein architecture. Such assembly, more formally known as bioconjugation, allows fabricating biomaterials in many functions such as drug delivery. Vaccine generation may be improved and made more accessible in our country, which is ridden with problems on basic social services such as healthcare. Photo sources:


Sunny Clean Water

Spin is a dockless system of bikesharing sanctioned first in the city of Seattle, USA. This innovative set-up addresses the limitations of stationed bikesharing, championing genuine accessibility among commuters. There is also an app to cut the time of manual search for a docked bike. This mode of inclusive mobility has potential especially in our congested urban spaces, shying away from the dreaded average 45-minute commute.

A University at Buffalo startup, Sunny Clean Water, posts a cheap and efficient way of obtaining potable water. A nanocarbon material in an angled, acrylic housing is fabricated to absorb moisture. The water then evaporates and condenses when exposed to sunlight, leaving pathogens and other impurities behind. This prototype would be a boon when mass-produced in countries which have poor sanitation systems and high disaster risk like the Philippines.

AltitudeX and SkyEye


Altitude X and Skyeye are customized aerial drones independently developed by teams of geodetic and software engineers. These drones are hovered over a specific area to take aerial photographs which are then appended with geographical information, a process known as geotagging. Applications in responsible mining are envisioned in realizing the full potential of these startups in the Philippine setting.

A group of engineering students from MapĂşa University has developed a multi-functional appliance, Bathala. Its ingenuity lies in its capability of harnessing electricity from released heat energy in the cooking or boiling process. Indigenous peoples who face inclusivity problems with the national power grid can greatly benefit from this, shedding light on their plight.




ith each passing day, we get closer to living in the future. Just last October, a humanoid robot named Sophia has been granted a Saudi Arabian citizenship, which seems like the first step to an android integration to our community. Sophia and other artificial intelligence are just few of the countless inventions that were foreseen by science fiction. Such uncanny predictions by progressive writers bring about the question: which of the things I read about today will I be seeing in the future? Science fiction “predicting the future” is effective because they use science and technology as an attempt to solve contemporary problems and answer unsolved mysteries. When they ground their fiction on today’s state, sci-fi writers are able to imagine and explore concepts that were previously unthought of. Many inventions that are now commonplace were first conceptualized by forward-looking writers that usually do possess the required expertise to materialize their ideas. Although a bit rough at the edges, these ideas inspire the science community to turn them into reality. Much like a “chicken or egg” fiasco, fiction and reality intertwine as they both draw inspiration from each other, such that they create a continuous cycle of ideas being made into new technology. Some of our common luxuries now, such as iPad or video chatting, were once regarded far-fetched and futuristic, considering the technology of the time. The 1968 Arthur Clarke novel (and similarly named companion movie) 2001: A Space Odyssey introduced the concept of an electric “Newspad” which the astronauts use to read the news from Earth, its purpose and design not unlike that of the iPad. The Machine Stops by E.R. Forster in 1909 predicted the possibility of video chatting, almost a century before the onset of Skyping or Facetiming.


Science fiction inspired some of the most momentous scientific breakthroughs of the modern age. Years before the tragic bombing of Hiroshima and Photo Source: of-the- future

By: John Peter Himor Nagasaki, H.G. Wells’ The World Set Free predicted in 1913 the destructive power of nuclear weapons in warfare. This novel is thought to be physicist Leo Szilard’s inspiration for promoting the creation of atomic bombs during World War II. The prophetic Jules Verne is known for his works, From the Earth to the Moon (1865), when it accurately predicted some aspects of the 1969 lunar landing. Although a rough proposal still, some volunteers are being selected for a one-way trip to Mars due to depart in 2026. Because of the uncanniness of their foreshadowing, scifi ideas other than technological development must also be considered a possibility. Several sci-fi books and movies cover global phenomena caused by uncontrolled development or hyper-industrialization, such as a caste system (Brave New World), high surveillance (1984), or even the dominance of selfaware artificial intelligence (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). Although these concepts seem to be too far-fetched, so did our current technology seem before; these events may well occur if development takes a turn and diverts from its main purpose of building a better society. It is easy to get caught up in the appeal of the future, but we must remember to stay grounded and focus on the problems of here and now. More importantly, since some of these phenomena are already happening now, such as “frankenstorms” due to resultant global warming (The Day After Tomorrow), and Internet hacking (Neuromancer). We must be careful in furthering our technology such that it solves problems, rather than create new ones. The realm of science fiction is deeply engaging and immersive, but its appeal is clearly beyond its entertainment value. Sci-fi provides a source of inspiration to model their inventions on, as well as a mirror for the state of our future due to our technological advances. It is an active, predictive, and exciting type of fiction, which makes us ponder for what lies ahead. So, as we wait for the future to arrive, let’s all pick up a sci-fi book and ask: which of the things I read about today will I be seeing in the future?

How did the kids/your “mga anak” affect you until now? Although they cannot see it, my experience with my anaks has softened my heart, and changed me in many ways. Inquisitive, natural problemsolvers, critical, enthusiastic, and full of vitality, my anaks have an insatiable thirst for knowledge that is evident in their thoughts and actions.

Kwentong PSYSC

Despite only having spent a brief time together, my anaks have constantly reminded me to never let it be doused—that burning desire to keep on learning about the complexities of science and bringing into light the mysteries of the world. Being the facilitator of these kids is a challenge—some were a handful and kept me vigilant at all times, but these kids are ultimately the reason why I love and I do what I do: bring science and science clubbing closer to the Filipino youth. -NECAT

How did the kids/your “mga anak” affect you until now? It was 2008 when I joined the PSYSC Science Olympiad. Back then, I was astonished and inspired from the professionalism the NECATS shown despite the pressures of managing the grandeur and intellectual difficulty of the event. During my time as a NECAT, the headship of MathSciAKa was entrusted to me. I was able to design science experiments, and collaborate with personages from both local government and international organizations. I think the best part of the headship was being able to transform MathSciAKa into a venue of a friendly contest where what matters more is what the participants learn and experience; beyond the discounts, certificates, and trophies. That experience made me understand life better; being sympathetic in the face of adversaries and looking things in other perspectives where everybody wins. Being a NECAT also means being a facilitator. Living with kids with overflowing potentials gave me the reason to rise every day and escort them throughout the CAMP. Today, seeing their Facebook status makes me happy and proud of their achievements. Especially those who I got to see and chat with in UP and Ateneo. Yesterday, I was moving them; today, it’s the other way. So, for the kids out there, this one is for you. You all have different battles and you cannot compare yours to them. Hold on to your dreams, passion, and identity. Yesterday may not be your time but keep going. You may not be the best of them all but surely, you will be the best in your battle, and in your own way. Good luck! Sid Palardonio


REGIONAL COUNCIL Two regional council chairpersons, Chrisryl Faye Calamohoy and Gabrielle Charis Tagtag, of the Zamboanga Peninsula (Region IX) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), respectively, share their stories of championing active youth leadership.

Describe your Leadership Training Seminar (LTS) 2017 experience. Charis: When the first day of the series of talks commenced, I thought that the seminar would once again be restricted to typical topics on how to be a leader, but it proved otherwise. With the theme for this year’s LTS as, “Foregrounding National Identity through Critical Awareness,” it aimed to equip us, 21st century leaders with an essential skill set by providing talks that would revolve on the five topics that follow: Critical thinking and Problem solving, Communication and Collaboration, Analyzing information, Agility and Adaptability, and Initiation and Initiative. What I found interesting was that all the speakers and organizers for the event were also very promising leaders. I could see that they had passion and love for their work. Some of them headed various organizations outside their school that empower women, natives, and other marginalized sectors of the community.

How did your journey with PSYSC start? Chrisryl: Truth be told, PSYSC brought colors to my junior high school life. It was a different kind of happiness thinking that I would finally be able to experience first-hand the activities that my siblings had always been so excited about. I started joining PSYSC’s activities such as the National Science Club Month (NSCM) SUMMIT and the National Youth Science, Technology and Environment Summer Camp (NYSTESC) when I was just a high school freshman. These activities nurtured me to become more perceptive especially in the aspects of science, technology and environment.

How did PSYSC inspire you, and, in turn, help you to inspire others? Chrisryl: The experiences that I had with PSYSC opened my eyes to the bigger responsibility I have as a regional council chairperson, especially in promoting PUSTE to other young science clubbers. Every moment with PSYSC was worthwhile and one for the books. I am so blessed and grateful for the journey. I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to PSYSC for making me who I am today.

Charis: Curious, I asked one of our facilitators why do they do this, and for what? He replied, “We do this, simply because of you guys. Bawi ang pagod namin basta nakikita naming kung gaano kayo nag-eenjoy sa mga events.” This statement has struck me and has been inspiring me ever since. LTS 2017 was truly lifechanging.







By Isaiah S. Cabañero


riday afternoon.

It was a regular day at the National Office; and a perfectly ordinary working day for Mommy Linds. She spends her weekdays at her work desk, by the far left-end of the only considerable office furniture in the room, beside the fax machine with the water dispenser nearby. She was busily managing some administrative work for PSYSC, as usual, day in and day out, whether there would be student volunteers around to keep her company or not. At that time, she was starting to keep track and sort out all incoming participant registrations for the National Children’s Science Interactive Workshop come December. At 57, Ms. Rosalinda Morong Aber, who fondly goes by “Mommy Linds” among the student volunteers of PSYSC, has been with the organization for over 14 years now, as its Administrative Officer.


“Fourteen! Imagine, nag-survive ako. Diba?” said Mommy Linds. She first started with the job in 2003 after quitting her work at the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in the University of the Philippines (MBB) – Diliman, as a clerical staff in one of the institute’s laboratories. During her time there, she worked in the research laboratories being used and operated by Dr. Cynthia Hedreyda. But how exactly did Mommy Linds get into contact with PSYSC? According to Mommy Linds, Ms. Cathy Sobrepeña was the one who introduced PSYSC to her, who, at that time, was both the Finance Officer of PSYSC and R.A. (Research Assistant) of Dr. Cynthia Hedreyda in MBB. What Mommy Linds thought to be a joke coming from Ms. Cathy during one of their laboratory Christmas parties before in MBB, was eventually what led Mommy Linds to take the risk and grab the job opportunity in PSYSC, being casually presented to her by Ms. Cathy. “Kung ‘di pa kami nagbiruan pagka-gabi, kasi nakainom na kami noon or something.. sabi ko, ‘Ate Cathy, baka may alam ka namang ibang lab.. Doon mo na lang ako ipalipat; sa MSI, o kaya may ano ka pa doon.’” as she started telling the story. “Tapos bigla niya akong hinila, ‘Ate, ‘wag kang maingay ha. Naghahanap kami ngayon ng admin staff. Sa..’ Sabi ko, ‘Saan? Sa office mo?’ Sabi kong ganoon. Sa kanyang “lab” daw. Akala ko joke! ‘Hindi, ‘wag kang maingay! May org kasi ako.’ Sabi ko, ‘O? Org?’ Eh diba ang org naman sa UP, diyan lang ang tambayan sa ano eh.” At first, Mommy Linds thought that what Ate Cathy was referring to was just a typical college organization inside the university. “Wala namang opisina ‘yun. Akala ko ordinary org. … Sabi ko, ‘Weh, joke lang ‘yan.’ Tapos sabi niya, ‘Hindi! Mag-usap na lang tayo sa Lunes.’ Sabi niyang ganoon; pag-resume daw ng office. Tapos, ako, sineryoso ko talaga ‘yun.” And, indeed, they did. By the following Monday, they were exchanging addresses and giving directions on how to get to the PSYSC National Office which was then still located in the Katipunan Area. By Tuesday, Mommy Linds was ready with all her pertinent documents, and not just her biodata; has already drafted her letter of resignation from the laboratory; and just came in to work for half a day. All ready and prepared to apply for the prospect job, she hurried her way to the PSYSC National Office and expected someone to entertain her application for the job. “Pagpunta ko doon, kinabukasan, ‘di naman sinabi ni Ate Cathy na may RnR (Recreation and Relaxation) sila sa Tagaytay! Walang tao ang opisina!” She came back after that day and tried on the job again and got it. From that point on, she started her journey and years with PSYSC.

ang natutunan ko nang sobra; kasi ang gulo, madaling hanapin. Kasi ang pigil ng sarili mo, kailangan aralin ‘yun eh. Imagine, iba-ibang ugali ng bata.” Learning how to deal well, properly and professionally, with different characters and personalities of student volunteers in the organization, who normally just come and go after some years and after their respective university years, was what Mommy Linds sees as something to value as an important learning from her job. The mutual respect earned from that nurtured interpersonal interaction inside the organization, and the deeper relationships built with those student volunteers that she was able to deal well and good, have strengthened her character and grew her into this resilient and much reliable woman of the organization and its works. In 10 years, she hopes and dreams for PSYSC to have its very own office building perhaps. But, then she laughs at that thought warmly and seems to reconsider. The intimacy and friendly environment afforded to her and to the student volunteers by the current office unit of PSYSC at West Mansions Condominium in Barangay Nayong Kanluran, Quezon City, might have come into mind. Mommy Linds plans to retire from office in 2021—eighteen years after that sudden leap of faith she made with PSYSC long ago. By then, she feels every part of her as a person that has become related to PSYSC must have matured, definitely: her job track record, her relationships with the student volunteers—present and past, her retirement benefits. “Ay, keep the fire burning. Always.” The sun over West Avenue was slowly retreating by the horizon already. “‘Yun lang naman lagi; ‘wag lang burning talaga na literal. … Love each other.” Basta ‘wag lang daw sobra. “Oo. Tsaka kasi ‘family is always family.’ ‘Yun lang ‘yan.” Ahh, so love each other like family. “Oo.” Then she let out a laugh, “May ganoon pala?” And laughed again at it. “May ganoon talaga.”

We all know too well that no journey is without any difficulties. When asked what has been the most stressful encounter for her so far with her job, she answered, “‘Yung.. ang unang na-bother talaga sa akin ay ang financial (aspect). Ang second ay ang mga tao—kung paano maging kasundo. Pero kaya ko naman kasi.” Yes, if there was one thing Mommy Linds has gotten good at, it was in working to get along with people well. “Madali kong i-manage ‘yung tao,” she added. “Kasi ‘yung tao naman, ‘wag mo lang—although sensitive ako, pero pinipilit kong ‘wag ma-trigger. Kasi sensitive talaga ako. Ang ano ko lang is.. self-control. Oo, kasi ang iniisip ko, kung sasabog ako, ako rin ang magsa-suffer. Parang ganoon. ‘Yun talaga


Hated in the Nation’s message goes out to everyone who uses social media. Users must be as responsible in social media as they are in the real world.



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Be Careful What You Wish For A review on Black Mirror S03E06


ho knew a hashtag trend could kill you? Black Mirror, a Netflix sci-fi television anthology series, is known for its unconventional way of presenting dilemmas of the modern world. It showcases both the ups and downs of technology and the consequences that come along with it in the society. Black Mirror has become controversial with its dark themes which fueled its popularity for three seasons now. Black Mirror’s general theme of techno paranoia was explicitly shown on its Season 3 finale, Hated in the Nation. The episode has a detective vibe in its story set in modern London. It is set in the near-future in which certain species of animals were extinct due to drastic climate change. In the setting, technological advancements were made to intervene on ecological imbalances brought about by the phenomena. The British government in turn developed Autonomous Drone Insects or ADIs, which are essentially robot bees that aid in pollination to balance the ecosystem after the extinction of their species.

Words by: Pernelle Bruno

gained access to the government’s project and had full control of the thousands of ADI swarms. The robot bees, which were supposed to be agents of pollination, became agents of committing murder. The government’s secret was then exposed— the ADIs were capable of facial recognition which then, in turn, made them capable of killing a certain person. As they try to uncover the mastermind of the killings, they soon discover the hacker’s main purpose: kill the social media users who used #DeathTo. Hated in the Nation, being a season finale, made a solid impact with its controversial choice of topic. The incorporation of ecological motifs made it more timely and realistic knowing that today we are experiencing environmental dilemmas too. The commentaries about the environment in the episode made a stand on climate change’s root cause: human indifference. It also showed how drastic the change from natural species to robots would be if environmental destruction continues. On the other hand, the episode’s tap on social media behavior is also what made it so appealing to the audience. These days, users tend to be careless on how they act on social media because of the guaranteed “anonymity”. Hated in the Nation’s message goes out to everyone who uses social media. Users must be as responsible in social media as they are in the real world. With a click, you can virtually kill someone and in the story, their #DeathTo tweets came true. This then leaves a warning for everyone: be careful what you wish for.

The story started to unfold when a controversial journalist was found murdered. A team lead by Karin Parke investigates together with her new tech-savvy assistant, Blue. After another victim, their investigation leads them to tracking a hashtag “#DeathTo” on Twitter. The duo discovered that the “#DeathTo” tweets are somewhat votes for the next victim. What’s interesting is that the ADIs or the robot bees were the instruments for the killings. An anonymous hacker Photo sources: t


THE SCIENCE BEHIND “interstellar“ Words by: Carol Dianne Olivar


he 2014 film “Interstellar” was a blockbuster that grossed $47.2 million worldwide. The movie delves into black holes, wormholes, and alien planets. This movie is fiction, but it throws a lot of science on the screen for space enthusiasts to enjoy.

placing it firmly as a supermassive black hole).

The movie is said to be set in the 2070’s wherein Earth is in a global crop blight and a second Dust Bowl are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable. Professor Brand, a brilliant NASA physicist, is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth’s population to a new home via a wormhole. But first, Brand must send former NASA pilot Cooper (played by Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers through the wormhole and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind’s new home.

very fast, but is possible for the spin to be fast enough for a planet in the necessarily close, stable, circular orbit to not be ripped apart.”

The director, Christopher Nolan, ensured that the movie’s storyline was as close as possible to the complex physics that govern the universe by enlisting Caltech cosmologist and physicist, Kip Thorne, as the film’s technical adviser. So where did the movie get the science right and where did it take narrative liberty? Here are a few of the key plot points and the verdict from the scientists (Warning! Spoilers ahead. So for some reason you haven’t seen this movie, go watch it now before you continue reading) #1 A PLANET ORBITING VERY CLOSE TO GARGANTUA COULD ENDURE THE RESULTING GRAVITATIONAL FORCES Verdict: True One of the most interesting (and heart wrenching) parts of the movie was when the astronauts visited a planet orbiting Gargantua. The planet had an enormous difference with the flow of time back on our planet, wherein an hour there equates to seven years on Earth. But the part that got a lot of talk with the skeptics and scientists themselves was that the planet could somehow endure the resulting gravitational forces despite being very close to Gargantua (which was about 100 million solar masses,

Physicist Kip Thorne himself thought it was intuitively impossible, but after a few hours of calculations proved that it is in fact, possible. He explained,” The black hole needs to be spinning

#2 A WORM HOLE COULD OPEN IN SPACE, PROVIDING A SHORT CUT FROM ONE SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE TO THE OTHER Verdict: True Worm holes are theoretical passages through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. The idea is that if you think of space-time less as a void than as a sort of fabric—which it is—it could, under the right circumstances fold over on itself. Punching the necessary holes in that fabric so that you could make your universe-transiting trip would be a bit more difficult. That would require what’s known as negative energy—an energetic state less than zero—to create the portal and keep it open, says Princeton cosmologist J. Richard Gott. There have been attempts to create such conditions in the lab, which is a long way from a real wormhole but at least helps prove the theory. #3 GETTING TOO CLOSE TO THE GRAVITY WELL OF A MASSIVE OBJECT LIKE A BLACK HOLE CAUSES TIME TO MOVE MORE SLOWLY FOR YOU THAN IT WOULD FOR PEOPLE ON EARTH Verdict: True For this one, stay with space-time as a fabric—a stretched one, like a trampoline. Now place a 100kg. cannon ball on it. That’s your black hole with its massive gravity field. The vertical threads in the weave of the fabric are space, the horizontal ones are time, and the cannon ball can’t distort one without distorting the other, too. That means that everything—including

36 Reference and Photo Sources:

how soon your next birthday comes—will be stretched out. #4 IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO COMMUNICATE TO EARTH FROM WITHIN A BLACK HOLE Verdict: Maybe The accepted truth about a black hole is that its gravitational grip is so powerful that not even light can escape—which is how it got its name. But this was debunked when theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Stephen Hawking, showed that quantum effects allow black holes to emit exact black body radiation. When a particle falls into a black hole, the fact that it’s falling creates another form of negative energy. But in nature, there must always be balance. So the negative energy has to be corresponded with a positive energy. Thus, the black hole will emit a particle for it to stay neutral. Zillions of those particles create a form of outflowing energy—and energy can be encoded to carry information, which is how all forms of wireless communication work. #5 IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE TO SURVIVE A LEAP INTO A BLACK HOLE Verdict: False You may have wondered, at one point of your life, what would happen if one would jump into a black hole? A lot of early science magazines, speculated that you could make it to the other side of the black hole safe and sound, and maybe even be transported in a different century. But cosmologists have made it clear that this is not the case. A phenomenon, called “spaghettification” (sometimes referred to as the noodle effect) is the vertical stretching and horizontal compression of objects–or a person– into long, thin shapes (rather like spaghetti) in a very strong non-homogeneous gravitational field, caused by extreme tidal forces. Columbia University cosmologist and best-selling author Brian Greene said, “Most people would agree that a person who jumps into a black hole is doomed, but if the black hole is big enough, you wouldn’t get spaghettified right away”. In short, steer clear of blackholes.

Cost-Effective Phones at Different Price Points

Second Price Point : 10 000 – 15 000 PHP

Words by: Isabella Gabrielle Nunag

It can be hard to find a phone that is worth its price, on top of all the convincing you have to do to get your parents to buy it for you. Don’t fret, because there are.

First Price Point: 5000 – 10 000 PHP

Sony Xperia XA (10 690 PHP) With a big brand name like Sony, it’s hard to go wrong—and they’ve done it again this time. - MediaTek MT6755 chipset - 2 GB RAM - 16 GB Storage - 5-inch HD 720p display - 13 MP Back Camera; 8 MP Front Camera - 2300 mAh Battery


Good camera for selfies in low light Expandable storage (up to 200 GB)


Only 720p display Plastic construction Processor not meant for intense gaming

Asus ZenFone 3 Max5.5 (8995 PHP) If you’re on a budget, but want a highquality phone, then the Asus Zenfone 3 Max 5.5 may be the one for you. This phone has amazing battery life, with up to 38 hours of 4G standby time. What’s more, it’s battery can save your other gadgets as well, since this phone is also a power bank. You’ll never run out of juice with this phone.

Third Price Point: 15 000 – 20 000 PHP



Not suitable for high-end games


- MediaTek MT6750 chipset 4 GB RAM 32 GB Internal storage 5.5-inch HD 720p display 13 MP Back Camera; 20 MP Front Camera (+) 3000 mAh Battery Fingerprint Scanner Smooth gaming Dual SIM High quality camera (-) Non removable battery Only 720p display Mediatek MT6750T processor 4 GB RAM 64 GB Internal storage 5.5-inch HD 1080p display 13 MP Back Camera, Dual 16 MP, 8 MP Front Camera (+) 3 200 mAh Battery

- Snapdragon 430 processor - 3 GB RAM - 32 GB Storage - 5.5-inch HD 1080p display - 16 MP Rear Camera - Battery 4100 mAh Long Battery Life Can function as a powerbank Fingerprint Sensor Decent camera

Vivo V5 (12 990 PHP) This phone is perfect for your holiday selfies with your friends. Despite having a non-removable battery, this phone has a lot of redeeming qualities. It’s processor can handle gaming, and provides you with a smooth experience. It also features fast fingerprint unlocking in addition to its sleek design.

OPPO F3 (16 990 PHP) OPPO’s F3 was one of last year’s best selling and most well-received phones in this price range. Known for their superb cameras, OPPO is perfect for all your selfies and barkada-selfies.

Dual front-facing selfie cameras (16 MP, 8 MP Wide Angle Lens) Full HD Display Decent battery life Dual SIM Large internal storage (also expandable to (-) 256 GB) No front flash Non-removable battery

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Duolingo (Free: Android, Apple)

Are you itching to finally watch that K-drama you love without subtitles? Have you always just wanted to be able to speak a foreign language? Get the headstart you need with Duolingo. Duolingo and teaches you with both written lessons and dictation using your phone’s microphone, all with a sleek and easy-to-use interface. With 26 languages to choose from for English speakers, it’s a hard opportunity to pass up. And it’s free! With a few sessions a day, you’ll be able to speak basic phrases in your language of choice in no time.

Google Keep (Free: Android, Apple) When you’re running out of headspace for all the tasks at hand, google keep will keep you in check. For android phones, you can set up a widget on your home screen to oversee your tasks. You can tick off finished tasks, and archive whole virtual sticky notes for future references. You’ll never miss a task again with this app.

Habit Tracker (Free: Android, Apple [HabitBull on iOS]) Research suggests that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. Habit Tracker is the perfect app to keep you on course. Whether the goal is sleeping early, or learning a new skill, this is the app for you. It’s a fully customizable app that can help cultivate good habits, and help you eliminate the bad ones. How it works is that you set habits and how often they should be completed, and then you mark the days off as you go. You can also set reminders and place inspirational quotes for each habit category. Seeing that string of check marks is sure to keep you passionate and driven towards your end game.

Forest (Free: Android) Having trouble getting things done? Feeling stuck in a cycle of lack of motivation? Forest can help with that. It works by using a reward system that rewards users by planting a tree in their virtual forest every time they complete a 25-minute work cycle. The catch is that your virtual seed dies if you leave the app during the 25-minute period. Keep planting, kids!

Rocket Alarm (Free: Android, Apple) If you’re having trouble waking up for school, and traditional alarm apps don’t work for you, Rocket Alarm is here to jolt you wide awake. This app is one of cosmic proportions. It works by having you complete a short task or game before you can snooze it. There’s no place for those immune to alarm clocks here! The app also offers customizable wallpapers that are delightful to wake up to. Photo sources:



(Free!) Must-Have Apps for Kids

Camiguin: The hidden paradise that awaits Doing things repeatedly day after day, going through the unending cycle of life, sometimes, life itself makes you wonder: “Why do we have to go through these?” You wonder to yourself what would happen if you go out there for a while, leave whatever you’re doing, and do things you have never done before. You know, there’s a world out there that’s waiting for you. Waiting for people to let it show the beauty it has – it’s hidden treasures. In this country we call the Pearl of the Orient, a lot of gems are waiting to be discovered, waiting to be explored. Let us travel down south to the island of Mindanao, where yet another island is located. Recently, a video has gone viral showing the wonders this pear-shaped island has. Known for its Lanzones Festival and the astonishing 7 volcanoes situated in it, Camiguin is more than its festivities and geographical formations.

How to get there?

You can either fly from Manila going to Cebu then fly to Camiguin, or fly to Cagayan de Oro or Butuan, ride a bus going to Balingoan then a ferry to the island. If you’re coming from Bohol, you can take Super Lite Ferries which has daily trips from Jagna going to CDO then take a boat going to Camiguin. Upon arriving at this majestic island, few modes of transportation are accessible depending on your budget and plans. Habal-habal (motorcycle), motorela, multicab, jeep or van are among the choices you have upon taking this adventure of a lifetime. Choose wisely.

Where tobutgo? It is a small island, regardless of its size, it has a lot of surprises once you get to

discover the varieties of things you can do here. From its white sand beaches, to the old churches, and its geographical wonders, this island will not disappoint. First, head out to the White Island. This tiny floating paradise is just a boat away from the island proper. You’ll get to enjoy the bareness of the island as the tides morph with it’s simple form. It is also a perfect spot to take a selfie with the picturesque Mount Hibokhibok.


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Surrounded by its diverse wildlife forms, ferns, trees, vines, and tropical flowers, is the jaw-dropping view of Katibawasan Falls. Don’t forget to bring your snacks and treats with you because this spot is perfect for a picnic with family and friends. One falls is not enough to feed your craving for scenic destinations? Head to Tuasan Falls, but take note that it would need your endurance and strength for a little hike to see this majestic site. Nevertheless, the experience will surely be worth it. Camiguin, sometimes called the Island of Fire, was birthed by the raw flame, waters of the ocean, and the molds of the earth, which has grown into a green lush landscape surrounded by happy people living together that transformed the island to what it is now. Famously known by its seven volcanoes, Mt. Hibok-hibok along with the other six, is monitored by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS). A 3-5 hour hike will take you to the summit giving you a mesmerizing view of White Island to the north, Bohol to your east; and Eastern Mindanao and the island of Siquijor to your west. Reaching the summit will not only give you these, but also the breath-taking view of the crater of Mt. Vulcan, the parasitic cone of Mt. Hibok-hibok.

Why here?

You still might wonder why out of all the majestic island beaches and scenic mountain views right there, why choose Camiguin? Vacations like these are expected to cost a lot. From your transportation and food, your remaining budget might limit you to the journey that awaits. What sets Camiguin apart from any other places here in the Philippines is that the cost of living here is cheap. Even with a meager budget, you will get to enjoy a lot. Fares around the island wouldn’t cost you that much, even a 100 peso bill is more than enough to fill your empty stomach after a very long day trailing the island. The entrance fee of the attractions ranges from 30-100 pesos only, or sometimes it’s even free.

So what now? With Camiguin’s history of eruptions and seismic activities, it transformed the community into a beautiful narrative of their simple and nurturing life in the island. Its after effects gave birth to ruins that were once place of shelter and worship of the people. The Old Catarman Church Ruins is a symbol of the resilience of the community upon rising from the devastation it has endured for years.

You see, we know you feel that life has been tiring for a while now. We get you. We all have been there. You may sometimes think that going out might not be worth it. But believe us, you deserve this, so what are you waiting for? Grab your laptop now and plan out an adventure of a lifetime. Camiguin is waiting for you.

Although its name may sound a little bit eerie, Sunken Cemetery is a perfect spot to appreciate the beauty of the setting sun. Marked by a lone cross in the middle of the sea, you can ride a bangka to its beacon and dive deep underwater to witness the structures that were once risen but have now disappeared beyond the horizon. This site is a gentle reminder of the power of nature that has been part of Camiguin’s life throughout the years. After a very long day, your body will definitely feel exhausted and you might want to seek for a place to rejuvenate. Home to several hot and cold springs, end your day by plunging into the warm waters of Ardent Hot Springs. Let the warmth of the water cure the soreness of your body and recharge you for more adventures that await. Photo sources:


Sustainable Fashion in the Philippines Written by: Christopher Van Deita


extile waste is one of the biggest environmental effects of the Fashion Industry. In 2014 alone, the Philippines has produced 11.1 million tons of textile waste. Only 15% were recycled, while the rest ended up in our landfills. Textile wastes that go to landfills are mostly synthetic materials which are not biodegradable, thus they do not decompose and cause pollution. With the growing interest in sustainability issues within the fashion industry, Filipino modern society has agreed to develop the fashion industry in more sustainable ways. Sustainable fashion is about producing clothes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about creating sustainable patterns of consumption and use. Through sustainable fashion, not only are textile wastes lessened and more technologies being developed but also labor justice is provided to the persons behind your garments. Sustainable fashion has created new fashion trends such as “organic” or “green” fashion.


Here are some tips for being sustainable in fashion:

Green and Clean – green production and lifecycle

Make sure that the clothes you buy are ecofriendly. Buy organic textiles such as organic cottons. Patronage of organic and eco-friendly products which rejects the use of synthetic chemicals, saves the environment.

High Quality and Timeless Design

High quality and durable clothing might be a little costly, but they might be a great investment to consider. Fabrics made from organic long lasting materials lessen the amount of waste you produce. You may choose multipurpose and timeless designs wherein you can use them in different ways and occasions.

Fair and Ethical

You might want to consider researching the story behind the clothes you wear, how they were made and who made them. It will give you more confidence when these brands provide you with the details of materials, production details and the stories of the workers behind your clothes. Brands which tell us that they care about their factory workers and give them enough wages, brands which tell us that they care about the environment and deviate in pollution-creating production, and brands that tell us they care about humanity and support different foundations and causes will definitely give you not just a sustainable fashion but also a heart.

Repair, Redesign, Upcycle

“Upcycling” refers to recycling and transforming waste fabrics and accessories into functional items. Learn how to customize accessories or repair and redesign do-it-yourself clothes and accessories. It is a simple skill that would save the environment while fostering your creativity in transforming waste fabrics into new and more fashionable ones.

In the Philippines, sustainable fashion is slowly creating a mark on the country’s fashion industry. Besides H&M and Zara there are several local brands you might want to patronize as they also create eco-friendly fashionable clothes and accessories.

Rags2Riches is a social enterprise that creates handmade bags out of rugs for sustainability,

livelihood, and community development. Advocate owner partners with local artisans across the Philippines to create eco-ethical fashion and home accessories out of upcycled, overstock cloth and indigenous fabrics. Website:

Luntian Bags is an anti-plastic advocacy and livelihood project based in San Teodoro, Mabini, Batangas, It provides livelihood for stay-at-home moms and wives of fishermen and laborers by employing them to make recyclable canvas bags to be used for shopping instead of plastic bags. Website:

POSH Pocket Shoes

is known for its compact, foldable flats with a zip pouch that transforms into a tote bag. Currently, they are selling vegan leather sandals. Website:

Everyday Sunday uses organic linen for its minimalistic, handcrafted designs. Website:

Renegade Folk

makes comfy leather sandals, all locally handcrafted in Marikina City. Website:

Jacinto & Lirio, with a mission to empower affected families by the water hyacinth infestation

problem through livelihood generation, provides beautifully handcrafted plant leather goods made from water lilies which are impressively multi- functional yet stylish conversational-pieces with a lifestyle appeal for professionals, and companies who want to create a strong patriotic, environmental, and socio-ethical statement. Website:

Lumago Designs

is a social enterprise, committed to triple bottom-line sustainability: People, Planet and Promise. Located in Dumaguete City in the central Philippines, it enables skilled craftswomen to earn a fair wage while providing eco-friendly jewelry made from paper beads that is beautiful and handmade, turning trash into treasures. Website: With the world’s utmost effort in saving the world, as science clubbers, it is our duty to create an impact through little ways. As we buy clothes, we do not know that we pollute the environment with those synthetic materials and support social inequalities. Through sustainable fashion, we help eradicate these problems while promoting beauty and fashion among Filipinos. So take a step, revolutionize fashion and help create a better Earth.

Rent, swap and secondhand

Embrace secondhand shopping of clothes. You may also re-sale, rent or swap pre-loved clothes to your friends and family. The Philippine “ukay ukay” market is Filipinos a variety of cheap but highly fashionable clothes. This might be your chance to save more money while also being fashionable.

Green recycling

There are several stores such as H&M and Uniqlo which have recycling boxes in-stores. You can donate your worn out garments to these collection points to be recycled into manufacturing new clothes. ----










ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The Concerted Action Towards Active Leadership of the Youth in Science and Technology (CATALYST) is published by the Pambansang Kapisanan ng mga Kabataan Samahan ng Agham (Philippine Society of Youth Science Clubs), Inc. This year’s issue is one of the several benefits received by the science club affiliates. Printed in the Republic of the Philippines. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the formal consent from all the editors. All rights reserved.t

Unit 703 West Mansions Condominium, Zamboanga Street, Quezon City, Philippines | Telefax: (02) 332-8151 Landline: (02) 263-1358 | | | |


Catalyst xvii [FINAL]  
Catalyst xvii [FINAL]