2012 DOST Scholarship Exam Results

A total of 3,400 high school students passed the 2012 DOST Scholarship examinations held last November 20, 2011.  The scholarship offered two (2) programs: RA 7687 and DOST-SEI Merit Scholarship Program.  There are 3,000 national qualifiers for RA 7687 and 400 for the DOST-SEI Merit Program.

Click the link below for the complete list of 2012 DOST Scholarship exam passers. The Merit Program result is on Page 67. Just zoom in to get a larger image.

2012 DOST Scholarship Passers

Those who qualified may avail of the following privileges:

  1. Tuition and other school fees not to exceed Php 6,000/semester/term.
  2. Allowance for prescribed textbooks and essential school supplies at Php 5,000/academic
    year.
  3. Outright grant for prescribed Military Science/Physical Education uniform of Php 500.00 for first semester, first year only.
  4. Free transportation for one economy-class round trip fare between permanent residence and place of study on reimbursement basis (for those studying outside of their home province).
  5. Monthly living allowance for a 10-11month duration depending on the awardee’s scholarships category as full, partial, or special which shall be based on certain socioeconomic indicators:
    • For those who will pursue BS Physics, BS Applied Physics, BS Physics for Teachers and BSE Physics Teaching, Geology and Mining Engineering, a monthly living allowance of Php 5,000/P3,150/P2,825; for full/partial/special scholarship, respectively.
    • For those who will pursue other DOST priority courses, a monthly living allowance of Php 4,000.00/Php2,400/Php 2,200 for full/partial/special scholarship, respectively
  6. Post-graduation clothing allowance of P1,000

Those who passed will receive an official notice from DOST. This site is not affiliated with DOST so additional questions to the details of the scholarship will have to be addressed to DOST. 

You may contact the nearest DOST office where you submitted your application for the scholarship exam for your inquiries. Here’s a link to the contact numbers of the different DOST Regional Offices.

You may also download the brochure below:


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The end of the world is not May 21, 2011

Is today,  May 21, 2011 the end of the world? Harold Camping of the Family Radio predicted based on his calculations that today at 6pm, the end of the world will occur. I guess it’s not yet Judgement Day for us but it is for Harold Camping. Nobody knows for sure when the world will end but only God, the one who created it.

Everyone who believes in heaven wants to go to heaven but you have to die first before that happens. All this end of the world predictions will not scare you if you live your life today as if it’s your last. Death, comes like a thief in the night so you don’t have to wait for the end of the world to be prepared.

God bless us all!

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Bacolaodiat 2011 Reaching New Heights

I thought Bacolaodiat has reached a plateau with the Bacolaodiat 2011 celebrations having almost the same events as in Bacolaodiat 2010, well I was happy to be proven wrong. I was at the Chopsticks Alley during the opening of Bacolaodiat 2011 and judging by the throngs of people at the North Capitol Road and along Lacson Street, Bacolod’s celebration of the Chinese New Year has definitely surpassed last year’s celebrations.

The Lantern Dance Competition is something that we should look forward to every year. Dancers wear colorful Chinese costumes and uses lanterns as they dance to the Bacolaodiat theme song.The theme song was very lively and I guess I was having an LSS after the Lantern Dance Competition as I was silently chanting… Ba-colaodiat-laodiat-laodiat…

The Chinese New Year is not only celebrated by  Tsinoys but also us, full-blooded Pinoys. You can say, we Filipinos have also embraced this celebration as our own. Hopefully the government can make it into a non-working holiday next year so that more people can experience and participate in the festivities.

See you next BacoLaodiat and until then …  Toto, Inday, Kiung Hee Huat Tsai!

For more photos, visit BacoLaodiat 2011 at ExperienceNegros

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At last, we are rabid!

We have been bitten by the Azkals and now acting like one rabid country for football. For the longest time, football has had no following on a national scale like basketball and boxing. Unlike us promdi from Iloilo and Negros, who have remained true and loyal to the game, other parts of the country have not shown the same enthusiasm for the world’s most popular game. We Ilonggos can even brag that Paulino Alcantara, one of the world’s best football players came from Iloilo.

Fans are going gaga over the Azkals who are composed mostly of Fil-Foreigners.  But they are not all about good looks, they do bite and thanks to the historic performance of the Philippine National Team at the AFF Suzuki Cup, football has become the country’s object of affection at the moment.

This coming February 9, the Philippine Azkals will be facing Mongolia for the qualifying series for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup. All roads will be leading to Panaad Park & Stadium as it is already ready for the game, tickets already reserved and  Phillipine Azkal players are already complete here in Bacolod City. Fans from Metro Manila and other provinces are expected to arrive for the game. It’s fortunate that Panaad Park & Stadium has passed the standards of the AFC otherwise our Philippine Azkals will not be playing in the country.

I hope this is not just another fad that we’re having. I hope this is already the break that Philippine football has been waiting for. We have the potential to make it big internationally. Unlike basketball, height is not that important in football. However, in order for the national team to reach their full potential, they need the support of the government and the fans. Let’s all become rabid and give our full support to the Philippine Azkals!

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Much Ado About Adobo at the 13th Adobo Festival

Adobo is perhaps the Philippine’s national food but there are as many ways to jazz up this Filipino culinary masterpiece as there are islands in the Philippines. In fact, with my limited culinary skills, I have also dabbled in cooking adobo (Adobo ala Gladita).  Thus it’s no surprise that Negros, a melting pot of culture with rich influences from the Europeans and Chinese, is also a culinary haven for various foods and of course, adobo.

For the past years, the Negros Cultural Foundation (NCF) brings together culinary experts, cooking aficionados and budding chefs every Cinco de Noviembre Celebration at the Balay Negrense. The challenge is to come up with the best adobo and muscovado recipes. This year’s 13th Adobo Festival and 5th Muscovado Cooking Contest was a resounding success, to say the least. Gracing the event were Silay City Mayor Jose “Oti” Montelibano and his First Lady Marissa and NCF President Lyn Gamboa.

It was a day of revolution… revolution against hunger as we ate all we can of panara, puto, mini piaya, fresh lumpia, and other local delicacies from the Silay manuglibod. The panara and piaya are cooked while you wait so you can eat them while they’re hot. Contrary to rumors, nobody gets hungry in a Silay party.

Not even famous restaurateur Margarita “Gaita” Araneta Fores can stay away from this gastronomic treat. She is a descendant of Juan Araneta of Bago City which also have their own Cinco de Noviembre Celebration. However, she said she technically invited herself in this year’s celebrations since she has wanted to come for the past years. She shared that our adobo is now known internationally because of our OFWs.

If you have doubts at how adobo easily assimilates into a foreign taste bud, consider this year’s winner of the adobo cooking contest, Bacolod-based British Robert Harland. His winning entry is  Adobo Crevette A l’Anglaise. Come to think of it, an adobo with a French name and cooked by an Englishman, it couldn’t get more cosmopolitan than that! For us lesser mortals, it was technically a shrimp adobo in curry sauce. We didn’t have the chance to sample his recipe but he promised us NITI tour guides that he would gladly cook for us.

Gaita Fores together with Sugarland’s Chef Datu Pendatun, Joe Chan of BISCOM, Gerardo Veloso and the festival’s originator Lynell Gaston judged the 17 entries for the Adobo Cooking Contest. Leanna Marie Severino’s Adobo Pasta placed Second and Cicero Bayle’s Angus Adobo with Sweet Ham was Third.

The judges for the Muscovado Cooking Contest were Kring Locsin of Sugarland, Felicia’s Chef Vincent Macasa and Institute of Culinary Arts De La Salle’s Chef Richard Ynayan. The judges probably had their sugar levels shoot up after sampling the 13 entries. Hailed winners were the Muscovado Sampler by Jason de Oca (First Prize), Cookies by Paul Benedict Castillo (2nd Prize) and Butter Cream Silvanas by Victor Dumancas (3rd Prize). The event is a great training ground for the budding chefs and also a venue for them to interact with the culinary who’s who in Negros Occidental.

We had our fill of adobo during lunch where we sampled several adobo dishes. Aside from the usual chicken and pork, almost anything can be cooked into adobo – squid, takway, shellfish, etc. If that’s exotic for you wait till you see what Chef Datu prepared for his cooking demo. Everybody was very attentive while he prepared his Bihud (fish roe) adobo with guinamos (shrimp paste), served with steamed rice grilled on banana leaves. For salad, he tossed together lettuce with bihud adobo and salted eggs in vinegar.

My friends Bambi and Betsy managed to take aside Ms. Fores and introduced us from NITI and what we do to promote Negros. Well, she was very enthusiastic and would gladly work with us especially in promoting food tourism. If all goes well with her schedule, we might have a chance to visit the Araneta’s hacienda in Maao, Bago City.

It was such a great time to spend with friends who share the same interest in history and culture and best of all, who love to eat. That’s how Filipino food evolved, it’s not just to nourish the body but as something shared among family and friends.

See you at the next Adobo Festival!

Original post from: Negros Occidental Online Mag – ExperienceNegros.com

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The Promdi That Put Inasal on the Philippine Map

Online social networks especially among Ilonggos have been buzzing with news that Jollibee Food Corp. will acquire 70% of Mang Inasal for a whooping P3Billion. Edgar “Injap” Sia II, CEO of Mang Inasal later confirmed the rumors.

People received the news with mixed reactions. Some people thinkit’s a bad decision for Mang Inasal while Most people think it’s the best decision considering the stability of Jollibee. Most people would agree the Jollibee will acquire Mang Inasal because it is a threat to the company. With 303 branches nationwide, Jollibee should have felt Mang Inasal eating away its market. If you can’t beat them, buy them.

Injap’s feat should serve as an inspiration to others. Here is a young Ilonggo entrepreneur, voted as this year’s Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Small Entrepreneur Category. And best of all, he has put Inasal, an authentic Ilonggo dish, on the Philippine map. Who would have thought that a young promdi could challenge well established brands in the country and actually win. I consider his selling the majority shares of Mang Inasal as a victory. It was the best decision for his 7 year-old company.

Injap was my batchmate at the University of San Agustin – College of Technology. Just like any typical Filipino-Chinese, he has a simple lifestyle. Though it was his cousin who was my classmate and we may not know each other personally, somehow I can feel pride in his achievements.

Even in college he already has the making of an entrepreneur. He had a photo developing, a laundry service, and a hotel (as partner) way back in college. Although it’s quite obvious he’ll go places, I didn’t have an inkling that he’ll get this far. His company Injap Land is currently constructing Iloilo’s first condominium. He’s only 33 and who knows what he’s going to achieve next.

Congratulations to Injap and Mang Inasal! May you continue to inspire others and keep the flame of entrepreneurship burning.

Image credit: www.sme.globe.com.ph

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Remembering My Days in the Field

I remember more than 6 years ago, I was very excited when I learned that I got the job at a government agency here in Negros Occidental. Even more exciting was the fact that I have to relocate to Bacolod from Iloilo. My job entails me to do a lot of field work assisting farmers’ cooperatives. I grew up in a farm so that won’t be hard. I was so naive to think that sugarcane farming would not be any different to rice farming.

There’s this unforgettable experience I had when we visited a cooperative in Sitio Patag Diotay in Guimbala-on, Silay City. We don’t usually use the office vehicle during field work, unless we are ready to push every time it got stalled. The area is far from the city proper so I went with a partner NGO for transportation and also for my safety since we have to stay overnight in order to get the data we needed. There were three of us, the NGO’s Executive Director, his Agriculture Technician and myself.

The place is located in the upland area of Silay City and the dirt road still passable to vehicles does not yet reach the place we’re going to so we have to walk several kilometers. It was my first time to visit the area and I was excited. I know my companions could have walked  faster if I was not with them. I took a lot of rests since I’m not used to walking that far and the terrain has rolling hills thus the hike was more difficult. Even though I’m tired I can’t help but admire the  breathtaking scenery. My companions pointed a mountain nearby and they said that’s where Patag is.

There’s no electricity yet in the village but I saw a basketball court turned into a bailehan along the way. Houses are hills apart so I asked my companions who would go there to dance. They told me I’d be surprised at the number of people who would turn up at these events. News of a baile can reach several villages away.

We reached the coop Chairman’s house way past lunchtime. We brought some rice and fish so the couple no longer have to worry for our food. The couple were nice and very apologetic to the state of their house. No need to worry, I said. I wasn’t born rich I can sleep on a mat quite easily. I am already very hungry but I tried very hard not to show it.

I learned from Mr. Chairman that his grandparents were from Antique. They came to Negros to work in sugarcane plantations. Mr. Chairman was born in Negros and he has never set foot in Antique and never met their relatives there. Unfortunately, the NGO’s Executive Director has to return to Bacolod with the vehicle, leaving his staff and me after our lunch.

I interviewed Mr. Chairman and some of the coop officers. Most of them are beneficiaries of the Agrarian Reform Program and their only source of income is their farm. Off-season was really a challenge since work is scarce and some go to the city to find contractual jobs. Do the children go to school? Yes, school is several kilometers away and some kids had to leave their house at 4 am in order to attend class at 7am. Classes end earlier than regular to let the children in far flung areas go home early. I wonder if the children weren’t too tired to study after all the walking they do everyday.

We visited some of the coop memebers’ farms. The partner NGO introduced organic farming technologies to them and gave carabaos to the coop. Politics has already shown its ugly face even in this small cooperative.  Trouble was brewing among the members as to who should get the next carabao and who gets the sales from the communal farm. I’m observing and absorbing all the inforamtion I can get. Whatever assistance we can give will depend on their needs.

We prepared to leave the next morning and I washed my face, changed into clean clothes and did not take a bath.  I do not want to bother my host to fetch water for me and I’m not prepared to take a bath by the river. I would not die of it anyway. This little discomfort I’m prepared but the walk back to the main road, I’m not.

It seems we’ve been walking for hours. I was having trouble keeping pace with my companion but everytime he asked how I was, I would always reply I’m ok. I don’t want to be a bother and the faster we get home, the better. At last, we reached the main road aftar about two hours walk but there were no jeepneys on sight. We walked towards where there are houses and waited at a sari-sari store.

At last, a private pick-up passed by and we signaled to hitch a ride. There were only two passengers. I recognized the face of the one driving the pick-up but couldn’t remember his name so I did not hesitate in boarding the vehicle. My companion sat at the back of the pick-up while I sat at the backseat where I have to move some stuff to find space.  I prayed I do not smell as bad as I feel.

I learned that the good samaritans were installing solar panels at a hacienda near the dead end of the main road. The one driving was an engineer from a company selling solar panels and the passenger was the owner of the hacienda. I now remember the driver from his visit to the previous agency I worked with. From their line of questioning I gathered they thought of us as some kind of leftist organizing the folks at the area. So I told them where I worked and the reason why we’re there. It was kind of them to have stopped for us despite what they thought of our identity.

Mr. Hacendero was kind enough to take us to his home in Silay City for some cold drinks and snacks. My companion did not go with us but I really needed something to eat so I went with the good samaritans. We talked for a while mostly about sugarcane, his family and some politics. He gave me his card and told me to contact him should we have projects that can help their sugarcane workers. Mr. Engineer dropped me off at the apartment I’m sharing with a friend since he also lives in Bacolod.

I have never been that happy to take a bath. When my housemate came home early evening from the hospital (she’s a second courser nursing student), she found me on the sofa, already snoring. She asked me how I was since she noticed I was too tired to get up and go to bed. I replied, I climbed several mountains and I don’t think I can walk again. I was joking of course. After a few days, my right thumb toenail got purplish in color. It died from having uncomfortably squeezed in my rubber shoes from all the hike I did.

Mr. Hacendero may not remember me but I will always remember him with respect. I met Mr. Engineer in few occasions after but I don’t hink he remembered me. I must have looked so bad after several hours of walking under the heat of the sun.

I never went back to the cooperative. The reason of which I have also discussed with our partner NGO. Our assistance is not what they need yet and I am not going to give them false hopes. They need help in order to be the best farmers they can be. They need assistance to be productive in their farms. They also need the basic social services from the government. They don’t need to be confused and told that they can be involved in business and become successful like the hacenderos. Not now, but probably someday.

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PNoy Declared September 10,2010 a Non-Working Holiday

PNoy signed Proclamation 26 declaring September 10, 2010 a Non-Working Holiday. This is to give way to the celebration of the Eid’l Fitr or the end of Ramadhan which fall on September 10, 2010. The proclamation was signed by the President on September 2.

WHEREAS to promote cultural understanding and integration, the entire Filipino nation should have full opportunity to join their Muslim brothers and sisters in the observance and celebration of Eid’l Fitr; – Proclamation 26

I’d like to greet our Muslim brothers and sisters an advance Id mubarak.

For us Christians, it’s another long weekend to spend more time with family and friends.

Read full text here.

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Delectable Uhong (Wild Mushroom)

I never thought I’d find uhong (wild mushroom) while cleaning my backyard. There’s only one mature and another sukol (young mushroom). I know it’s edible because back in Iloilo we have them from the farm or sometimes buy them from the farmers and mushroom gatherers.

The rainy season is usually the time when wild mushrooms germinate. Have you noticed that when there’s lightning there’s usually mushroom growing the next day? Lightning causes high accumulation of nitrate compounds in the atmosphere which triggers the sprouting of wild mushrooms.

Mushrooms grow in decaying organic matter such as wood, leaves, animal manure, and decaying anthills and termite hills. The variety I found belongs to the genus Termitomyces (thanks to  A Scientist in the Kitche)since they grow on anthills and termite hills. The subdivision where I live used to be a sugarcane plantation. I presume there used to be an anthill in the area in my backyard where I found the mushroom.

Wild mushroom is a  personal favorite so my mother would always buy some for me  whenever they’re in season and if I happen to be in Iloilo. She usually cooks it together with laswa (Ilonggo vegetable stew) or simply sauteed in tomatoes, onions and pork fat.

Unlike Volvariella volvacea (straw mushroom) variety which is easily cultivated, the Termitomyces mushrooms are quite difficult to cultivate thus they are only available during the rainy season.  This is why they can sometimes be expensive. Farmers and mushroom gatherers usually keep their source a secret since they know there are also other people looking for them. Unless the anthill is inside your backyard, you cannot claim it as your own. It is a race of who gather the earliest after a thunderstorm. So far, there has been no serious fighting over the mushrooms. Caution should be observed by those who are not familiar since not all mushrooms are edible.

It’s such a waste to leave it to rot so what so what did I do with my one and only mushroom? I added to binagoongang baboy. It added its distinct flavor to the dish. I hope more mushrooms will sprout in my little backyard.

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Imortal: Twilight Filipino Version

The Twilight Filipino Version is not going to be titled Takipsilim as what’s been going around the net in the past two years.  This time it’s for real and it’s entitled Imortal with Angel Locsin and John Lloyd Cruz in the lead roles. Although it’s not the same story as Twilight, it’s quite obvious the concept is the same as Twilight.

ABS-CBN is jumping in he bandwagon of vampire movies and TV programs. Imortal is said to be a sequel to Lobo and Angel Locsin will still play the role of a wereworlf  leading man John Lloyd Cruz as the vampire. Imortal will be directed by Chito Roño.

A lot of fans of Angel and John Lloyd are already excited for the airing of this fantaserye on September 1, 2010. A different story from Twilight is a good decision since basing on the comments when rumors of Takipsilim came out two years ago, a lot of people are not too excited to a Twilight Filipino Version. Lobo already has loyal followers and Angel has earned an Emmy Nomination for Best Actress for her performance Lobo. Hopefully, the viewers will give Imortal the same enthusiasm.

Watch the teaser-trailer below.

Image credit: imortal.abs-cbn.com

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