On 03 March 2017, the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA) of the UP Open University (UPOU) held the third of its series of Friday Research Conversations about UPOU’s 12 Flagship Programs. Prof. Ricardo Bagarinao, Dean of UPOU Faculty of Education and Chair of the UPOU Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committee (DRRM), was invited to speak about Climate Adaptive and Resilient UPOU (CAReUPOU) and share some possible research areas under this flagship program. In his presentation entitled “CAReUPOU: Concepts and Researchable Areas,” he mentioned that CAReUPOU is composed of two components – the (1) Green UPOU which aims for resource conservation, environmental education, ecological waste management and the use of renewable energy; and (2) the DRRM which is composed of disaster prevention and mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

With disasters claiming more lives and creating irreparable damages, the whole of the country and the world has engaged in widespread campaigns related to DRRM. At UPOU, where students are dispersed all over the world and much of its operations depend on e-systems, matters regarding DRRM are addressed through CAReUPOU. CAReUPOU is UPOU’s initiative to actively integrate the principles of sustainability and responsible resource utilization in its operation. It is also UPOU’s program to actively establish resilience and adaptive mechanisms against climate-related risks, geohazards, fire, and information security risks.

Prof. Bagarinao mentioned that in CAReUPOU, the researchable areas include baseline condition, criteria and indicators, modelling, and behaviour and response. He also gave examples of potential studies such as

  • UPOU Disaster Preparedness: A Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice Survey or Institutional Climate Change
  • Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts Among UPOU Offices
  • Developing Sustainability Criteria and Indicators for an ODeL Institution
  • Risk Reduction Initiatives: Balancing Costs with Benefits
  • Modeling Behavioural Responses to Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiatives

Faculty and staff of UPOU actively participated in the discussion and volunteered some creative research suggestions. Prof. Jean Saludadez, UPOUs Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration, suggested opening the research topics to all UPOU employees and even to UPOU students who are doing their special problems. Prof. Melinda Lumanta, Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, agreed that a system can be developed to disseminate research interest and allow people to sign up and form into groups. Assoc. Prof. Joane Serrano emphasized the importance of e-resiliency and in investing in servers in the cloud. She also mentioned that the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) initiated the Green UPOU program a few years back and she is happy that the program has been elevated to include the effort of the whole university. Asst. Prof. Lacaste, the UPOU Registrar, suggested the evaluation of UPOU’s current practice of waste segregation including the disposal of e-wastes.

Prof. Lumanta thanked Prof. Bagarinao for sharing about CAReUPOU and presented him a certificate of appreciation. The activity was livestreamed via UPOUNetworks. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) joined the annual “Walk for a Cause" as the kick-off program in celebration of Women’s Month and International Women’s Day last 8 March 2017.

Led by the UPOU Office of Gender Concerns (OGC), sixteen (16) faculty and staff members joined the walk. The parade started at 6 o'çlock in the morning from Olivarez Plaza Mall to Paciano Rizal Park in the Old Municipal Compound of Los Baños. Different barangays of Los Baños as well as government and non-government institutions also joined the parade. A short program followed after the parade.

Fundraising for cancer prevention in women

The “Walk for a Cause” is a fundraising activity for cancer prevention among women organized by the local municipality of Los Baños. Proceeds from the activity will be used for the health program of the Municipal Health Office primarily to provide financial support for diagnosis and treatment of cancer in women.

“UPOU joined the Los Baños Walk for a Cause because our academic community is an active part of the community at large. As the impact of UPOU’s work continues to extend throughout the nation and in the global arena, we are still very much rooted in the local community. The Walk was for a great cause – prevention of cancer in women, and the provision of health and entrepreneurial assistance that benefited local women. It was an event that exemplified UPOU’s own commitment to equality, well-being, and opportunities for all,” said Asst. Prof. Rameses De Jesus, OGC OIC-Director.

After the walk, the participants were entitled to avail the Serbisyo para kay Juana where free medical services such as pap smear and breast screening, nutrition counselling, social welfare services, free legal assistance, and enterprise development coaching were provided in the covered court of the Old Municipal Compound.

Women’s Month upcoming activities

Besides “Walk for a Cause”, OGC has three more activities lined-up in celebration of Women’s Month. "Let's Talk It Over: Kababaihan. Kalikasan. Komunidad.", a lecture series will be held on 21 March 2017. This will be followed by "Women in Art: Kulay, Galaw, Pinta", a painting exhibit to launch on 28 March 2017. Finally, "Hilot: Understanding and Experiencing a Traditional Method for Women’s and Men’s Reproductive Health” will be held on 30 March 2017. (Rica Mae Valencia)

Prof. Flor at the book launch on 01 March 2017. (Photo by Emely Amoloza)

The University of the Philippines Baguio Cordillera Studies Center (UPB CSC) has published a book of readings edited by Dr. Alexander G. Flor, professor and dean of the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS), Dr. Alejandro N. Ciencia, Jr., UPB professor of political science and Dr. Cecilia Fe L. Sta. Maria-Abalos, UPB professor of communication.

The book “Resilience and Sustainability: Fourteen Narratives,” launched by the UPB CSC on 01 March 2017, is a selection of papers covering the entire spectrum of disciplines involved in the climate change and disaster risk management discourse. These papers were presented at the International Conference on Building Resilience and Developing Sustainability (ICBRDS) held at the Baguio International Convention Center in January 2015. The book highlights best practices in DRRM, promotes resilience vis-a-vis disasters and the effects of climate change, and highlights the development of sustainable communities. The fourteen chapters in this book went through a double blind review process before their publication.

Prof. Flor teaches development communication, knowledge management and environmental communication at the UP Open University. He has been designated as UP Scientist I and awarded a One UP Professorial Chair on Knowledge Management (KM4D). He is one of UP’s top researchers garnering an H-index of 8 with 282 citations (Google Scholar, 2017).

Another book edited with Prof. Melinda F. Lumanta entitled Conversations on Openness: An Engagement in Discourse Capture, was launched during the 22nd Anniversary of the UP Open University on 24 February 2017. Additionally, Prof. Flor recently published chapters titled “Knowledge Management for Development (KM4D),” Encyclopedia of Information and Communication Technology (Pour, 2017), “eAgriculture,” International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society (Ang Peng Hwa and Robin Mansell, 2016) published by Wiley-Blackwell and a chapter titled “Dysfunctional Digital Demeanors:Tales from eLearning’s Dark Side” in the book Developing Successful Strategies for Cybertransparency in eLearning (Eby, Yuzer and Atay, Eds, 2016) published by IGI Global Academic Publishers.

Prof. Flor is a member of the Editorial Board of the Scopus and Thomson Reuters indexed International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education (IJICTE). At UPOU, he authored several volumes used as the main resource for course offerings under the Master of Development Communication program. These include Introduction to Development Communication, Development Communication Praxis, Developing Societies in the Information Age: A Critical Perspective, and Environmental Communication. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

Through lines, curves and strokes
Banhay Kulay artists revealed their souls
Life lessons carved on wood
Oil on canvas as soul food

Eleven members from the Paete Artist Guild
Showcased their works-of-heart to build
A lasting legacy at Galeria SinAg
SINing at AGham na nagbibigay liwanag”

Graced by UPOU Chancellor Bandalaria
Supported by the UPOU Foundation and administrators in full regalia
Sponsored by the UPOU Cultural Committee
February 24-25, 2017 twin launch was held successfully

It was an honor to interview the Maestros
Trace how their ideas fueled their gustos
Made one proud to be a Filipino citizen
Like them think and dream at a higher realm

“Luzviminda” by Kid Baldemor
Forges into the future with one’s family to explore
“The Joy of Living” by Bayani Ray Acala
Makes one skip a beat: fa-sol-la

"Blossom 1,2,3" of Lito Baldemor
Realistic sweet-smelling flora de amor
“Angelica” of Joseph Bañez
Irresistibly imaginative tree with houses

“Huli Ka” of Phaern Afurong
Fun moments of childhood fish-along
Odette Cagandahan’s glow-in-the-dark
Made “Marilyn Monroe” and “Steve Jobs” spark

“Best Teacher” of Danilo Cads
Salutes moms, like Jayson Bañez' "Pure Love"

Edward Dave’s “Ark of the Covenant”
Testifies to Christ’s commitment which is constant

Nestor Cagayat’s “Panalangin”
Encourages one to have faith in Him
Glenn Cagandahan’s “Transcrucifix”
Transcends death in a matrix

So what are you waiting for?
Visit the exhibit now!
It runs until March 24, sundown (Susan Janette G. Ealdama)

The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) renewed its annual institutional membership to the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) last 15 February 2017 as part of its efforts to widen UP Open University’s network through partnerships and linkages. Membership to the organization is seen as beneficial in learning about the current professional practice and trends in social work education thus enriching the faculty’s Diploma in and Master of Social Work curriculum.

The IASSW office is located at the Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Milano- Bicocca, Italy and is the global association of social work schools and social work educational programs at the tertiary level. It advocates for the development of social work education in the world, creates standards to improve social work education, boosts international exchanges, offers a venue for creating discourse on social work research, and conducts policy and advocacy activities to support human rights and social development. IASSW aims to engage social work educators in the whole world for the exchange of knowledge and expertise. IASSW has been granted consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as an NGO since 1947 and represented at the United Nations in Geneva. The association shares studies and research in social work through the International Social Work journal and conferences and seminars organized.

Besides IASSW, UP Open University through FMDS’ Social Work program is also a member of the Asia Pacific Association for Social Work Education (APASWE), the National Association of Social Work Education, Inc. (NASWEI), the Social Welfare Development Learning Network, and the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children-CALABARZON Region. Through these linkages, FMDS hopes to reach prospective Social Work students and contribute to the development of the Philippine social work curriculum through open and distance e-learning. (Paula Grace Muyco)

The Master of Public Management (MPM) has successfully concluded its first activity under the UP Academic Program Improvement (API) project entitled: “Planning and Training to Establish Collaboration with the Local Governance Resource Institutions through Externship of Faculty Members in relevant sites” on 15-17 February 2017. The program was organized in collaboration with the Nueva Vizcaya State University, Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Office and Nueva Vizcaya Provincial Tourism Office. The activity aimed to make the faculty members and staff grounded and updated on what is going on in the field through the first-hand insights and experiences and to establish collaboration with local governance resource institutions towards the enhancement of the delivery of the courses under the Program. There were 13 Faculties-In-Charge (FICs) and staff members who participated in the three-day activity which included a courtesy call and interview with Hon. Carlos M. Padilla, Governor of Nueva Vizcaya; a visit to the local government unit-managed Lower Magat Ecotourism Park; and a “Let’s Talk It Over” cum Public Forum on Federalism and Local Governance. The courtesy call and interview with Governor Padilla provided the participants a glimpse on thirteen-point agenda of the province labelled as PRAYERS N FAITH: Protect the environment; Reform the provincial government; Agriculture and food safety; Youth and sports; Education and skills training; Rural development and electrification; Social services, safety and security; Networking for development; Farm-to-market roads and infrastructure; Arts and culture; Indigenous people; Tourism; and Health and housing services. The faculty members were given the opportunity to ask questions about the relevant issues in the province such as mining. The visit to the Lower Magat Ecotourism Park showcased how the provincial government maintained and further developed the park after its management was transferred from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to the provincial government of Nueva Vizcaya. The activity was highlighted by the conduct of the “Let’s Talk It Over” cum Public Forum on Federalism and Local Governance at the Nueva Vizcaya State University. This was participated in by over a hundred students and local government officials. This was also accessed by graduate students from Ateneo de Naga through webstreaming via the UPOU Networks. Dr. Danilo Dela Rosa Reyes of UP-National College of Public Administration and Governance, Dr. Benjamin N. Muego of Ateneo de Manila University – Loyola Schools, and Governor Carlos M. Padilla served as resource speakers. (Joana Marie delos Reyes)

The UP Open University (UPOU) published three books which are licensed under creative commons.

To share experiences and learning in the operation and implementation of open and distance eLearning (ODeL) in the Philippines, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) published the books “Conversations on Openness: An Engagement in Discourse Capture” and “From Centers to Hubs: Reconceptualizing UPOU Learning Centers.”

“A Conversations on Openness: An Engagement in Discourse Capture,” encapsulates the university’s dominant narrative on openness in its pre-MOOC (massive open online courses) phase. It features the talks delivered by UPOU officials and faculty members in the series of roundtable discussions on the openness of open universities held in 2012 at the university headquarters in Los Banos, Laguna. The book also introduces “discourse capture,” an experimental technique cum format and a knowledge-sharing device that presents an exposition of ideas along with context and processes of spontaneous collective thought. Dr. Alexander G. Flor, Dean of the Faculty of Information and Communication Studies, and Dr. Melinda F. Lumanta, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs edited this book.

"From Centers to Hubs: Reconceptualizing UPOU Learning Centers," edited by Dr. Lumanta and Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Director of the Information Office and Multimedia Center, features the following narratives of the university's Learning Centers as seen through the lenses of its coordinators:

  • Beginnings of the UPOU as it shared space in UP campuses.
  • Role of the Learning Center Coordinators.
  • Effects of technological advances on student support services.
  • Experiences of the Learning Center Coordinators in dealing with the distance learners and their needs.
  • UPOU’s investments and efforts to make its services of accessible to its various publics.
  • The UPOU Virtual Learning Center

The third book, “AGCOM-DEVCOM Crossover: A Participant-Observer’s Journey,” is by Dr. Felix Librero, a UP Professor emeritus, a former UP Faculty Regent, and the second UPOU Chancellor. The book contains stories about the Dr. Librero's journey as a development communication professional and academician. The articles included in the book were each written for specific purposes, time, and audiences.

All the three ebooks are available for free. Copies can be downloaded from UPOUNetworks. (Luisa A. Gelisan, Multimedia Center)

On its 22nd anniversary, the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) inaugurated its Multi-Purpose Hall (MPH), recognized its employees who have served for 5-20 years, and launched its Health and Wellness activities last 24 February 2017 in its headquarter in Los Baños, Laguna.

The MPH, located between Instruction Material and Development Printing Office (IMDPO) Building and the Centennial Center for Digital Learning (CCDL) Building, also served as the venue of the of the anniversary. The inauguration of the new infrastructure was followed by the presentation of the Service Awards to UPOU faculty and staff members.

Service Awards were given to those who have rendered 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service to the University. Awardees for 5 years of service were Jennifer Belen, Rubielita Gata, Roel Cantada, Rhodora Pamulaklakin, and Consuelo Habito. The awardees for 10 years of service were Ricardo Bagarinao, Isagani Bautista, and Raymond Lapis.

The 15 years of service awardees were Margaret Suarez, Primo Garcia, Jimmy Fermin, and Jennifer Pareja. Finally, the awardees of the 20-year service awards were Victoria Belegal, Percia Secreto, Victorio Maligalig, Rhona Marie Verena, Marie Estorel, Dominador Ramos, Elvira Lalap, Edelina Yap, Nida Pavia, Carlota Yoingco, Luisa Gelisan, and Alvie Simonette Alip. Chancellor Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Melinda Lumanta and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Jean Saludadez handed out the plaque of service to the awardees.

The awarding was followed by the inaugural activities of the Health and Wellness Committee. Asst. Prof. Rita Ramos, chairperson of the committee, led the program promising well lined-up health and wellness activities every month. Right after, an intermission number was presented by V-force, a dance group composed of the committee members and some staff.

The dance number was followed by another round of dancing routine with the participation of the audience. Finally, the anniversary celebration was concluded by the singing performance of the Tempo Band.

All these initiatives were done as part of the Team Approach and Youthful Outlook for UPOU (TAYO) Flagship Program of UPOU. (Rica Mae Valencia)

In line with UP Open University's vision for “Pamantasang Bukas Para sa Magandang Bukas” and its mandate in RA 10650 (Open and Distance Learning Act) as the lead institution to promote best practices for open and distance learning in the country, the UPOU Multimedia Center has revised and updated its UPOUNetworks -- the university’s window to the world where communal interaction happens in real-time.

The UPOU Networks 3.0, the university's online hub of multimedia resources now has a new logo, new design, new layout, and more features. Users can access a plethora of knowledge in multimedia formats. It now features the following facilities:

UPOU Live, it features lectures, fora, research presentations, seminars, and other university events that are web-streamed on real time. It enables the university to communicate/reach out to it various publics scattered all over the world. Online viewers are also given the chance to interact with the presenters/speakers through an online chat.

UPOU Commons, a repository of the university-produced open educational resources (OER) that can be used and accessed by anyone for free.

UPOU Mix, contains learning materials on various topics and in various formats, i.e., video, podcasts, animation. Speakers/lecturers in these multimedia materials are known experts in their fields.

UPOU OnRecord is an internet radio and also a repository of podcasts produced by UPOU.

UPOU Featured Program showcases UPOU program offerings on a bi-weekly basis.

The UPOU Networks 3.0 was launched publicly during UPOU’s 22nd Anniversary Celebration last 24 February 2017 at its headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna. The anniversary program became the first event livestreamed on the new site. In addition, a mobile app for UPOUNetworks 3.0 is being developed and will be available soon. The original UPOUNetworks was launched in 2010.

Faculty members of UP Open University (UPOU) presented papers during the Third Philippine/Japan Workshop on Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems(GIAHS) Twinning for Human Capacity Building and Sustainable Development, Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) Forum, at the Fourth High School Memorial Museum of Cultural Exchange, Ishikawa, Japan on 2 February 2017. The forum was attended by representatives from the Philippines, specifically from UPOU, Ifugao State University (IFSU), Benguet State University (BSU) and Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC). From Japan, the representatives were from United Nations University Operating Unit Ishikawa Kanazawa (UNU-IAS), Information Media Center, Kanazawa University (KU), Noto Satoyama Satoumi Meister Training Program, Ishikawa Prefectural University, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Hokuriku, Think Locally, Act Globally, and Fujitsu. Professor Koji Nakamura of Kanazawa University delivered the opening remarks afterwhich were the paper presentation of different speakers. From the Philippines, Prof. Napoleon Taguiling from IFSU presented the “Progress of the ISMTP from 2014-2016”; Prof. Romeo Gomez of MSU on “Challenges in Ecosystems in Benguet, Philippines”; Assoc. Prof. Melanie Subilla of MPSPC on “Challenges in Agriculture and Forestry in Mt Province, Philippines.” Three faculty members presented their papers at the workshop, namely, Assoc. Prof. Joane Serrano of UPOU on “Developing Multi-media materials towards Sustainability and Resilience: the UPOU Experience”; Prof. Consuelo dL. Habito on the “Cost of Creating Open Educational Resources (OER) for Philippine Biodiversity”; and Asst. Prof. Aurora Lacaste (UPOU) on “Students’ Experience in Conducting Biodiversity Studies in Selected Disturbed Areas and Critical Habitats in Laguna and Metro Manila, Philippines.” Speakers from Japan included Prof. Akiharu Morimoto of KU on “Recent Information and Communication Technology Infrastructure and Services in Kanazawa University”; Mr Michio Kojima of JICA Hokuriku on “JICA project update on ISMTP”, Mr. Koji Ito of KU on “Place-based training in Team Maruyama”, and lastly Miss Mikiko Nagai of UNU-IAS Operating Unit Ishikawa/Kanazawa on “Satoyama initiatives in Ishikawa and Kanazawa.”

A doctoral student from Kanazawa University (KU), Japan presented partial results of her dissertation during the Research Forum organized by the Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UP Open University (UPOU) on 28 February 2017 at the Audio-visual Room, UPOU Headquarters, Los Baños, Laguna. The forum was also aired live at

Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Officer-in-Charge Dean of FMDS, opened the activity explaining that FMDS Research Forums are venues to share research initiatives in various areas.

Ms. Sakiko Kawabe, taking the Doctoral Degree in Cultural Resource Management in KU, presented her doctoral dissertation entitled “Investigation of the Change of Relationships Between Local Residents and their Traditional Farming Tools by Modernization in Ifugao Rice Terraces, The Philippines.”

She shared the results of her data collection in Japan which focused on “Mingu and the Collecting Movement after WWII in Japan.” Mingu, defined as “things that were created with technical means out of need in daily life” were donated in a number of museums in Japan when it went through the Rapid Economic Growth (1954-1973). Folklorists in Japan became aware of the loss of mingu and campaigned for their preservation. Her study involved determining how two museums in Japan was able to collect mingu, specifically traditional farming tools, the change of relationship between people and their tools, and what processes mingu goes through from being a tool in the daily life to being a museum collection.

She then explained how she proposes to conduct a similar study in the Ifugao Rice Terraces, where she aims to elucidate how people recognize things from their daily life as heritage or historical records in terms of two elements of modernization: agricultural development and heritage management. Her study aims to answer the questions “What causes the government and local residents to collect and preserve things from daily life in the context of modernization?” and “How do things from daily life change value into heritage or historical artifacts?” In particular, she wants to investigate the process and result of agricultural development and the change of lifestyle of local farmers; investigate the policies and projects to educate and encourage local residents to appreciate and protect their own culture; and investigate the history and current state of collections of farming tools and other folk artifacts of individual residents, communities, local museums, research institutions and the government.

With the forum being a venue to share research insights, members of the audience, such as Prof. Jean Saludadez, UPOU Vice-Chancellor for Finance and Administration; Prof. Ana Quimbo, Faculty member of the UPLB College of Public Affairs; and Prof. Consuelo Habito, Program Chair for UPOU’s Master of Environment and Natural Resources Management program, commented and suggested several points to consider for dissertation proposal. It was suggested that she partner with a faculty or researcher in a local university to address the issues on plausibility given the language challenges since part of her study entails interviewees with the locals. Other suggestions were given like and exploring the blend of old and modern tools, and taking note of the physical structure of the Ifugao Rice Terraces which may not allow the use of some machinery.

Ms. Kawabe noted the suggestions well and were grateful for the contributions to her study. She was presented a certificate of appreciation for sharing her research. Ms. Jeniffer de Pasion-Guevarra was the forum’s emcee. (Anna Cañas-Llamas)