At the Research Conversations organized by the UP Open University (UPOU) Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA) on 28 July 2017, Dr. Diego Maranan, Assistant Professor at the UPOU Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS), discussed part of his PhD research -- a device called Haplós. His research draws from philosophy, somatic practices, neuroscience, and technology design, and culminated in the creation of a device for facilitating body awareness. Haplós is a novel, wearable, programmable, remotely controlled technology which uses vibrating motors. Dr. Maranan developed this as part of his research at CogNovo, a 4.1 million EU-funded project at Plymouth University, United Kingdom, that focused on interdisciplinary research on creativity and cognition.

Dr. Maranan opened the talk with the question “Do you know yourself?”, pertaining to the knowledge of our bodies as physical parts of ourselves as opposed to the typical response about mental or behavioral state. This underlined the concept of body awareness which deals with the connection between the way we organize our bodies and our disposition, the malleability of our concept of our bodies, and the understanding of our body as part of a space.

Dr. Maranan mentioned that his research has shown that Haplós can increase body awareness by enhancing the user’s perception of the body part that has been exposed to the device. In addition, Haplós has also shown to decrease food cravings with statistical significance. Because the sensations provided by the Haplós system have been described as highly unusual, pleasurable, and engaging. Haplós is theorized to interrupt the elaboration of intrusive thoughts associated with food cravings, as predicted by the Elaborated Intrusion Theory of desire.

Potential and speculative future applications of Haplós were discussed after his presentation which included inquiries (1) on the study’s application for mental issues and other medicinal purposes, local fashion and production, and (2) for the study’s possible continuation at UP Open University in collaboration with other campus units in the country.

This article is based largely on the abstract of and with permission from Dr. Maranan. (Rosette San Buenaventura)

The UP Open University (UPOU), Local Government Unit of Mauban, Quezon, Quezon Power (Philippines), Inc. (QPL), the UPOU Foundation, Inc.(UPOUFI) and the Department of Education signed the memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the establishment of the sixth phase of the Teacher Development Program, Phase 6, which has been renamed to “TDP/Enhanced Continuing Education Program for Mauban” (TDP/eCEP4Mauban) to expand its reach. The MOA signing and program launching was held on 3 August 2017 at the Audiovisual Room, UP Open University, Los Baños, Laguna.

UPOU Chancellor and TDP Program Leader, Dr. Melinda dP. Bandalaria; Mauban Mayor Fernando “Dingdong” Llamas; UPOUFI President Felix Librero; QPL Community Relations Manager Chuckie Rivera; and representative from the Department of Education-Quezon Province, Dr. Felipe Malabaguio led the MOA signing and program launching.

The TDP, which started in 2005, was initially established to provide scholarship grants to public school teachers from Mauban, who shall pursue graduate studies in UPOU. From TDP1 to TDP5, 164 elementary and high school teachers have been awarded scholarships and 110 have graduated. The sixth phase of the program will cover other professions and areas deemed important to achieve a holistic development for Mauban, Quezon.

Dr. Bandalaria said that the TDP6-eCEP4Mauban project will be implemented for 36 months, from August 2017 to July 2020 and will have two major components — scholarship grants to relevant degree programs offered by UPOU, and scholarship to short-term training programs.

Dr. Felix Librero appreciated the people behind the project. He reminded them to continue with the program for “the progress of the community and people through education.” Mayor Fernando "Dingdong" Llamas, announced that he is already planning to institutionalize the funding support for TDP through municipal ordinances to ensure the continuity of the program. On behalf of QPL, Community Relations Manager Chuckie Rivera also conveyed their never-ending support and indebtedness, “let us not stop, let us not be static.” He also challenged everyone to "pursue individual and holistic growth."

Two of the graduates of TDP’s earlier phases, Ms. Mharlee V. Derecho (Phase 1) and Mr. Wilson S. Martinez (Phase 3) shared how TDP has become a big help in their journeys as learners and as teachers. The sacrifices and hardships became beautiful experiences when they graduated and began to see the fruits of their hard work. They are now both Principals in their respective schools and are also encouraging their teachers to be a part of the TDP.

During the program launch, the 12 TDP6-eCEP4Mauban scholars of were introduced. Aside from the scholarship grants, each one received a "technology package" consisting of a laptop computer unit and a pocket WiFi.

The TDP6-eCEP4Mauban scholars are the following:

  1. Ms. Cristine G. Alpajora (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  2. Ms. Roxanne C. Apostol (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  3. Ms. Rianne Karla M. Gandia (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  4. Ms. Charlen Joy R. Geguinto (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  5. Ms. Loisy Grace A. Lorena (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  6. Ms. Hyayella S. Mandrique (Diploma of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  7. Mr. Edwin L. Reyes (Master of Arts in Social Studies Education)
  8. Ms. April Joy E. Urciana (Master of Arts in Social Studies Education)
  9. Ms. Amy Shierle L. Barnes (Master of Social Work)
  10. Mr. Peter Orlan Catalla (Diploma in Science Teaching)
  11. Ms. Dennise A. Gabo (Master of Arts in Language and Literacy Education)
  12. Mr. Kenneth T. Caliwanagan (Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Studies)

(Lara Bonifacio and Luisa Gelisan)

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) has endorsed the 5th National Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (NCODeL 2017), set to happen on 22-23 November 2017 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Manila, Philippines.

The CHED endorsement encourages all officials, employees and students from all Higher Education Institution in the country for voluntary participation. Officials and employees of State and Local Colleges and Universities are advised to obtain permission from the Head of the Institution and use government funds properly.

Organized by the UP Open University (UPOU), in collaboration with the UPOU Foundation, Inc. (UPOUFI), and the Philippine Society for Distance Learning (PSDL), NCODeL provides a venue for administrators, teachers scholars, practitioners and policymakers to learn from each other as they explore spaces and possibilities for ODeL for development.

As part of UPOU’s implementation of RA 10650, or the Open and Distance Learning Act (ODL Act), the NCODeL 2017 aims to introduce participants to the concepts, principles, and methodologies of and recent trends in open learning. With the theme “Philippine Higher Education in the Age of Openness,” NCODeL 2017 hopes to build upon the outcomes of the conference held in 2015.

Submission of abstracts for the conference is open until 15 September 2017. More details about NCODeL 2017 may be found at, and inquiries may be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) calls for the submission of abstracts for the upcoming 5th National Conference on Open and Distance e-Learning (NCODeL) to be held at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Metro Manila, Philippines on 22-23 November 2017. The submission is open to all practitioners and scholars from all higher education institutions and technical and vocational institutions. With the theme “Philippine Education in the Age of Openness,” the 5th NCODeL aims to serve as a venue for educational institutions involved in open and distance learning in the country to share their experiences, practices, and research on ODeL.

Abstracts for panel and paper proposals, conveying this year’s conference theme and the sub-themes, must be written in English of no more than 350 words, research-based, and have not been presented or accepted in any other professional meetings nor currently being reviewed for presentation at any other professional meeting.

Abstracts will be accepted online until 15 August 2017 through First authors of the accepted abstract will be notified by 15 September 2017. Authors with accepted abstracts are required to register and attend the conference for their paper presentation, and must submit their full paper by 15 October 2017. Paper presenters and participants can avail of the early bird registration until 31 August 2017. For more information about the conference, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

On 07 July 2017, Assistant Professor Rita Ramos, Faculty Secretary of the UP Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), and Chair of the UPOU Health and Wellness Committee, served as the speaker for the Research Conversation on the Flagship Program: TAYO or Team Approach and Youthful Outlook for UPOU. TAYO is UPOU’s Flagship Program that focuses on health and wellness and aims to provide and/or establish healthy work spaces for a healthier workforce.

Prof. Ramos started the talk by sharing an integral part of the TAYO program which are UPOU’s existing groups who are involved in activities such as volleyball, basketball, pilates, dance, band, bikers, and photography groups. These informal groups help with fitness, relaxation, and socialization – conditions theoretically ideal for increased work productivity.

She also gave a preview of other programs that can be included in the future such as ergonomics which can be beneficial to the UPOU employees. At the moment, TAYO’s structure is fluid and flexible for the purposes of recreation and relaxation; however, the health and wellness committee aims for the program to be more empirical and theory-driven as it progresses. Although still open for further suggestions and comments, Prof. Rita discussed possible variables to consider in determining the effectivity of the program such as measuring work productivity, fitness level, and vital signs. In an effort to address the lack of empirical data, the committee conducted an assessment survey of the health and wellness program. With 25 respondents for the initial survey, she hoped that more will participate in both the activities and assessment survey.

Prof. Rita also lightly grazed on existing studies in health and wellness such as Ammendoila et al’s (2016) inquiry on using the intervention mapping framework for designing a health and wellness program in the workplace, Macdonald and Westover’s (2011) study on decreasing employee obesity and increasing overall health, and Losina et al’s (2017) paper on the relation of physical activity and decreased work absenteeism.

To cap the talk, Prof. Rita raised two points to consider in the continuation of the health and wellness program: (1) should the program continue as unstructured/flexible or should it be structured? and (2) should the program remain voluntary or should it be obligatory? These points attracted many comments and suggestions from the participants who were mostly UPOU faculty and staff members. The session ended with the giving of a certificate of appreciation to Asst. Prof. Ramos and a salo-salo over extended conversations among the employees.

UP Open University (UPOU) Chancellor, Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, talked about sharing and empowerment in the message she delivered during the launch of the 2nd Phase of the Ifugao Satoyama Meister Training Program (ISMTP) on 28 June 2017 at the Ifugao State University (IFSU) in Lamut, Ifugao.

ISMTP is a three-year project funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), collaboratively implemented by Ifugao State University, University of the Philippines Open University, Kanazawa University, Ifugao Provincial Government, and the Ifugao Municipal Local Government Units. The first phase of the project started in 2013 and concluded last 26 January 2017 with the graduation of the third batch of trainees. As the first of its kind in Ifugao, ISMTP is firm to its commitment in helping capacitate stakeholders in the GIAHS Ifugao Rice Terrace landscape

ISMTP Phase 2 aims to further strengthen the capacity building activities of the project and to expand the exchange program by immersing participants from Japan to the rich culture present in the Ifugao Rice Terraces region.

“Talk of what we do, share in virtual space, share about the processes and results... Announce to the world that this is what we are doing, tell them that they can replicate and share this with everyone. Because we believe that sharing is empowering.” Chancellor Bandalaria was one of the key partners of the project to give messages during the launch, along with IFSU, represented by its President, Dr. Serafin Ngohayon, who also delivered the welcome remarks as the host of the launching program; Atty. Pedro G. Mayam-o, Governor of Ifugao; Mr. Masuhiro Izumiya, Chairman of the Ifugao GIAHS Support Committee; and Mr. Suzumo Ito, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperating Agency, which funds the project. Prof. Koji Nakamura, Kanazawa University Visiting Professor and Executive Director of the ISMTP-Phase II shared what second phase is all about including the expected outcomes for this second run.

Chancellor Bandalaria is thankful for the opportunity of serving the people and the country through this project. According to her, “This is our malasakit para sa susunod na henerasyon ng Filipinos.” She declared UPOU's commitment from beginning to end “para sa Pilipinas nating mahal.” (Anna Canas-Llamas)

Dr. Primo G. Garcia, Dean of the UP Open University (UPOU) Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS) led the Research Conversations about Mission RA 10650, UPOU’s Flagship Program dedicated to fulfilling its lead role mandated by RA 10650 or Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Act. The session started with a brief introduction of the ODL Act and the roles of UPOU in the law such as providing technical assistance in curricula development forODL program and sharing innovative ideas and research for other ODL institutions. Moreover, UPOU’s share in the fulfillment of the ODL Act includes the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) for ODL, provide and design quality learning materials for ODL institutions in the Philippines, and capacitate teachers and practitioners in ODL.

Dean Garcia also reported some of the activities that UPOU has done to fulfill the mandate like organizing conferences and other academic assemblies where educators and administrators of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and Technical and Vocational Institutions (TVIs) acquire and advance knowledge about ODL; offering Massive Open Online Courses on Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL); conducting specialized training workshops on blended learning and sharing educational resources with Philippine HEIs.

To help UPOU continue and strengthen these initiatives, Dean Garcia shared the researchable areas for Mission RA 19650, classifying them into four groups -- capacity building where training needs assessment and training course evaluation can be done; technical assistance where research can include the crafting of a quality assurance framework, ICT infrastructure policy or accreditation policy; instructional models where examples can include ODeL-based curriculum research, learning materials evaluation and research and innovative technology for ODeL; and lastly, innovative research in ODL which will cover the issues and concerns of institutions on distance education (DE) and combining traditional and new media in ODL.

The Research Conversations provided a venue to discuss and share these researchable areas. Participating faculty, REPS and administrative staff members also shared their thoughts on the matter. Several suggestions, issues, and possible research methods to use surfaced. The UPOU Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (OVCAA), which spearheads the Research Conversations, encouraged research collaboration among UPOU faculty and staff members. The Research Conversations on Mission RA 10650 was held on 16 June at the Sandbox, CCDL Building, UPOU, Los Baños, Laguna.

The UP Open University, through the initiative of the Information Office, conducted a Business Writing Workshop on 13-14 June 2017. The workshop was organized to enhance the skills of employees in writing effective correspondences, memos, emails and other communication collateral related to the conduct of their work at the university.

Dr. Paz H. Diaz, Communications Expert, and Former Dean of the UPOU Faculty of Management and Development Studies, was the resource person for the two-day event held at the UPOU Centennial Center for Digital Learning Auditorium. Dr. Diaz started with an overview of what effective communication is and the skills needed in writing effectively. She emphasized the importance of placing context in all writing works, especially in technical writing. To properly plan and organize the content of of communication collaterals, Dr. Diaz provided the details on how to prepare outlines and organized ideas especially in writing letters and memos.

The workshop had face-to-face lecture sessions, and exercises that were available on UPOU’s online course site. Sixty-one members of the administrative and research, extension, and professional service (REPS) staff participated in the workshop. The participants found the workshop very informative, refreshing and useful for their work at UPOU.

Dr. Serrano, Director of the Information Office and the Multimedia Center, thanked all employees for their participation, hoped that their expectations were met, and the workshop contributed to the improvement of their writing skills. She promised that more professional development programs on communication-related skills are being calendared to be held within the year for all the employees.

Mr. Pol Oliveros, UPOU Research Assistant, was the workshop's master of ceremonies. (Anna Canas-Llamas)

A UP Open University (UPOU) student of Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Ms. Janeth Morata-Fuentes, was awarded the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) Achievement Award for Chemistry Education (Secondary Level) at the 32nd Philippine Chemistry Congress held at Puerto Princesa, Palawan in May 2017.

Ms. Morata-Fuentes has a bachelor’s degree in Education (Chemistry) from UP Diliman and a Master’s Degree in Education (Teaching and Curriculum Studies) from the University of Sydney. Ms. Morata-Fuentes has a long list of awards in her name – 2010 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award, 2010 Natatanging Guro Award (Natural Science Cluster) by the Philippine Science High School Foundation’s Dr. Cleofe Bacungan Endowment Fund, 2011 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award and 2012 Outstanding Educator in Residence by the Academy of Singapore Teachers (Ministry of Education).

Despite her many achievements and awards, the PFCS Achievement Award for Chemistry Education this year came as a wonderful surprise. In an email interview with her, she mentioned being happy that the award affirmed the significance of her contribution to advancing the chemistry profession. She also acknowledged the responsibility that came with the award. “It would mean better performance as a teacher and as a teacher-leader. It means sharing in the responsibility of improving the quality of education in the rest of the region and across the country where and when it is needed.”

Since she is based in Palo, Leyte as a Special Science Teacher III at the Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas (PSHS-EV), she wanted to earn her doctorate without needing to relocate because her children are still young. “UPOU offered an option where one could complete a degree despite a busy workload.

Her experience at UPOU was a challenge especially that her master’s degree was not in Chemistry. She juggles her full work load with the demands of the courses, often needing to “double study” and read up on prerequisite knowledge “before I could go down to comprehending the materials required by the subject.” She mentioned that the skill set needed for distance education (DE) differs from the regular program. While doing her PhD with UPOU, she learned to make use of online lectures and libraries to better understand some of the topics, and is still learning to discipline herself in the efficient use of her time. Her experience at UPOU taught her to be more persevering, patient and resourceful. “I believe that my teaching practice and all the other tasks given to me at work have benefited from the knowledge and skills I picked from studying under this program.

Despite the general assumption that DE is easy, Ms. Morata-Fuentes says “It is as demanding as the course load of regular postgraduate programs.” Both DE and residential programs will include learning how to study independently, conduct proper research work and generate and make use of knowledge. She encouraged fellow UPOU students to “always take heart, enjoy the ride, and learn as much as we can. Isang araw, sasablay din tayo,” referring to the Sablay worn by UP graduates.

PFCS is a non-profit, non-stock corporation organized in 1988 to serve as an umbrella organization for chemistry societies of the Philippines, namely, Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas (KKP), Integrated Chemists of the Philippines (ICP), Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers (PACT) and Philippine Association of Chemistry Students (PACS). PFCS Awards recognize outstanding contributions to Chemistry which aim to inspire the youth to take up chemistry, recognize outstanding contribution of chemists to development of discipline, recognize outstanding and exemplary contributions to society through chemistry.

Other PFCS Awardees include former UP Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gisela Concepcion for Chemistry Research (2013), Dr. Lucio Tan for Service to the Chemistry Profession (2008), Former DOST Secretary Dr. William Padolina for Chemical Research (2000), and Former UPOU Chancellor, Dr. Ma. Cristina D. Padolina for Chemical Education (1997). (Anna Cañas-Llamas)

The Faculty of Management and Development Studies (FMDS), UP Open University (UPOU) organized a Tree Planting activity in line with the holding of “Ugat”, the 4th Wood Carving Competition and Exhibit, held on 20 June 2017 and the celebration of the 109th foundation of the University of the Philippines.

Fifteen native tree saplings from the UPOU tree nursery and handed over by Dr. Armand Palijon, UPOU Landscape Consultant, were planted by UPOU officials, faculty, and staff in front of the Centennial Center for Digital Learning (CCDL). The activity aimed to contribute to the “greening” of the UPOU headquarters as well as increase awareness and educate individuals on ways to contribute to sustainable development.

During the tree planting, Dr. Palijon also demonstrated how deep the saplings should be planted, how to create a basin, how to place a peg to secure the sapling, and other tips to ensure the trees’ health. The short discussion also served as a preview for his upcoming Let’s Talk It Over (LTIO) lecture in the afternoon about tree nurturing. Attended by the participating wood carvers from Paete, Laguna; Guagua, Pampanga; Hungduan, Ifugao; and Sofronio Española and Narra, Palawan, the LTIO focused on how to take care of trees, particularly in the urban areas.

The said activities are part of FMDS’ thrust to align its research, public service and instruction with advancing sustainable development. (Paula Grace Muyco)