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UPAA-MB grants bursaries to UP Baguio students

The UPAA-MB scholars
Scholars with UP Baguio administrators Crispina Facunla (Scholarship Officer), Dr. Corazaon Abansi (Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs), Dr. Raymundo Rovillos (Chancellor) and Erlinda Castro-Palaganas (Director, Student Affairs)

The University of the Philippines Alumni Association of Manitoba (UPAA-MB) recently awarded a total of $1,771 (Php 62,064) to undergraduate students of UP Baguio to support their theses preparation and writing.

Recipients – some in teams – were chosen based on their academic achievement, financial needs, and social impact of their theses.

The top team received $885 (Php 31,014), while the second placer and third place team each received $443 (Php 15,525). The recipients are mostly children of taxi drivers, sari-sari storeowners, construction workers, and housewives.

The top team is composed of BS Biology seniors Roselyn Solomon, Kimberly Paglingayen and Patrisha Kate Moises. Their thesis is a comparative analysis of copper contamination in Agno River and its ecological impact on the native fish species Terapon jarbua, known locally as Bogaong and its parasite Anasakis. Bogaong is one of the most consumed fish species in the Philippines.

Solomon, who represented the team, thanked the UPAA-MB saying, “It is not only the financial support which we are thankful for. The interest that you have shown gives us a boost of confidence and motivation to pursue other studies that give importance to our environment… we are thankful to you for believing in our capabilities and we promise to do our best and live up to your expectations.”

Meanwhile, solo second placer Jared Jeric Dela Cruz, a BS Management Economics major, sought to determine the regional economic variables that attract foreign investors to make Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in a particular country and region. Dela Cruz wanted to help local governments and organizations in their focus for improvement.

Dela Cruz said, “This means so much to me. It has inspired me further to pursue my research. My thesis topic is one that does not receive much attention from researchers, but its significance is undeniable. I hope not only to contribute to the growing body of knowledge, but also to make such knowledge applicable to benefit Filipino society.”

The third placer is another team of BS Biology seniors composed of Renren B. Barroga, Jericho Allain Kyle B. Vidad, and Leonard Q. Guerrero. Their thesis is about Quorum Quenching (QQ) potentials of various microalgae as a new and better way of treating bacterial infections. The study aims to identify which among the Philippines’ rich microbial resources can be developed into antibiotics in order to lessen the country’s dependence on expensive imported drugs.

Barroga said, “Having been selected as one of the recipients of this grant means so much to us. It immediately gave us a sudden surge of confidence and motivation to work even harder. The field that we have chosen as a topic for our research is one that is literally unexplored and gains little interest but shows great promise. We hope that the result of our research will not only contribute to the advancement of the field of microbiology, but will also improve the current status of health care for the Filipinos and the whole global community.”

Twnty-one applications were received from four UP campuses, namely UP Baguio, UP Cebu, UP Diliman, and UP Tacloban.

UPAA-MB members and friends raised the bursary money through a breakfast fundraiser held at the Canton Buffet Restaurant in May 2015. Mei Villafania and Dominique Mailom spearheaded the fundraising effort. UPAA-MB members Arwin Chua, Christy Domingo, Norman Garcia, Noel Generoso, Sarah Gonzales, PJ Failano, and Aiza Sola reviewed and evaluated the applications. Upsilon Sigma Phi facilitated the introductions and correspondences between the Bursary Committee and the participating UP campuses.

This is the second time that the UPAA-MB has extended its bursary project to the University of Philippines System students.