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Nuclear S&T collab research taps BU

Bicol University (BU), with the Catanduanes State University (CatSU) and the Aklan State University (ASU), has entered into an understanding with the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute for academic cooperation and in the implementation of projects in Nuclear Science and Technology, signed at CatSU Auditorium, Virac, Catanduanes, on April 27, 2024. 

The collaboration aims to leverage the expertise and resources of the state universities and colleges (SUCs) through its faculty members, researchers, administrative staff, and students, to drive innovation, knowledge sharing, and practical applications. 

The partnership also includes the exchange of scholars; development of dual or double degree programs; exchange of academic information, documentation, materials, research, and publications; development of joint research of community service extension programs; creation/organization of other joint initiatives; assistance to laboratory and fieldwork procedure; and the technical assistance in the conduct of researches. | by Arnold C. Noda IO III-BUCPRO

📷: Mr. Michael Alagaban, BUCIT Faculty

BUeño is TOP 16 of Teen Universe 2024

Angel Brahms Malavega Bernaldez, a 19-year-old first-year student at Bicol University (BU), made it to the top 16 of the 13th edition of Teen Universe 2023 pageant in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on April 29, 2024. 

Teen Universe is an International pageant that serves as a platform for young Teens to showcase not only their external beauty but also their talents, intellect, and inner strength, emphasizing character, leadership, and empowerment among teens worldwide 

Reigning and breaking boundaries

Growing up in Brgy. Pawa Legazpi city, angel faced bullying in her elementary days, due to her morena skin tone and natural curly hair.

Driven by self- consciousness she never pictured being part of a big competition. 

In an interview with Ako Bikol, angel shares about her unexpected journey to international teen universe “hindi ko sya na picture out na life ko after a few years so unexpected sya pero at the same time masaya ako kasi nung nag start ako na gawin na siya parang mas marami din akong nainspire na mga bata”.

Bernaldez was her parents’ only child. She was supported by her family through her journey in the world of pageantry.

At her young age, she already has an impressive collection of titles, including Super Model International Philippines, Ms. Rapu-Rapu 2022, and Ms. Pacific Heartthrob 2023.

Adding to his achievements, she was crowned as the first-ever Ms. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) in October 2023.  

In an interview with Ako bikol TV, her mother said, “ako nag train sa kanya sa enot na pasarela hanggang sa namuyahan niya na, sige niyang adal sige niyang research ng Q and A aram ko man na gigibuhon niya ang best niya para i-represent ang country.” |  by Lea Loureen M. Kaibigan, BUCPRO Intern

Read the Transcription of the Interview Here:

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📷: Patrick Lee

2 BUenos in top spot for Electronics, Medicine board

Bicol UniversIty (BU) once again produced two world class professionals in the recently conducted April 2024 licensure examinations for  electronics technician and physician licensure exams. 

Engr. Andrie Maldo from BU Polangui campus achieved the 4th spot in theLicensure Examination with 90% rating. Meanwhile, Dr. Elicia Yem Arcilla, making history as the first topnotcher from the Bicol University College of Medicine (BUCM), secured the 10th spot in the Physician Licensure Examination (PLE)  with 86.92% rating.


Unexpected Paths

A student who discovered his potential through an unexpected decision is now inspiring others. Engr. Andrie Maldo, from a science-oriented high school to senior high, often found himself among the top 5 at the bottom of the rankings during his high school years. 

Taking the BUCET was his first challenge in college, and he did not get into either of his two program options, but his faith led him to his true course. 

Electronics engineering was not his initial preference. In an interview with Engr. Andrie, he shared that, “Si mama yung nagpilit sakin na i-try tingnan yung courses na nandito sa polangui. Yung dalawang choices ko is animation and electronics engineering. Electronics engineering Napili ko since andoon din yung mga senior high classmates ko. Align din naman yung electronics engineering sa other interest ko that time so I just tried to see where it goes nalang.”

Mathematics is one of the formidable challenges to students, but it is also an important building block for a solid foundation in engineering,  Engr. Andrie, like other students, admitted to having a fragmented understanding when they began calculus lectures. Driven by his professor and strict grading system, he decided to look into alternative resources like youtube videos, before he noticed math had already become his favorite subject. 

His compiled materials from professors since his first year, as well as his struggles and discovery of how to be more resourceful, helped him prepare for his upcoming licensure examination.


Battle before triumph

In his 4th year, Engr. Andrie faced the challenge of returning to onsite learning after dealing with the difficulties of doing laboratory work independently and relying on simulations during the pandemic. At that time, students and faculty members had difficulty with this mode of instruction.

Despite these challenges, he completed his capstone projects and graduated. Engr Andrie. Inspired by his college years said “Yung experiences in college and the lessons I have learned really shaped me and the friends I’ve made were the best part of my college years.”

When asked about his journey in the board exam and his struggles,  Engr. Andrie shared his experience and challenges he encountered.

“November I went to Manila with 3 of my college friends para mag review sa review center. Madalas may water interruption, slow wifi speed, pawala wala na internet connection, sobrang init sa tanghali since naka electric fan lang kami, but we stayed since yun ang kaya ng budget naming and somehow nagawan naman naming ng paraan. We persevered despite madaming obstacles.”

Reflecting on his path to passing the board exams, Engr. Andrie expressed gratitude to the people who supported him during the exam 

“I’m really thankful sa mga naging teachers and professors ko. They’ve provided me with the knowledge that I have now and I still remember some of their advice. Thankful din sa friends ko, talking and being with them made living in a boarding house away from home bearable  and syempre to my family. They were the ones that helped and guided me and nag provide ng emotional support during review. Everyone in our family did their part in their own way.”


Arcilla is 1st BUCM topnotcher

Dr. Elicia is a product of BU from her humble beginnings in elementary school to her pursuit of excellence in nursing and now in the BUCM, her dedication and commitment shine through. 

In an interview with Bombo Radyo, her mentor, Dr. Ofelia M. Samar-Sy, Dean of BUCM described Dr. Elicia, and shared her excellent achievement during her college years in nursing, “Si Yem ay hindi siya yung student na nagpapakita ng gilas, tahimik lang pero may track record siya na nasa top 11 sa nursing.”

It can be recalled that BUCM has been a consistent top performing school in the country. But this year, 19 newly licensed BUeno physicians were produced with one who made it to the 10th rank,  making her the first BUeño topnotcher. 


Pandemic Batch

In an interview question of Dr. Elicia in Bombo Radyo, the reporter asked  “Doc, gusto ko lang malaman, anong challenges po ba yung pinagdaanan nyo during the process meron bang times na parang gusto nyo na mag give up sa pag aaral o sa pagrereview anong mga challenges yung mga pinagdaanan.” 

Dr. Elicia shared what she passed through during her hard times and struggles during the pandemic review. 

“Online po yung set up ng sa review center po namin and mahirap ang sitwasyon sa bahay malapit sa mga temptation malapit sa kama and yun po kailangan lang po talaga ng disiplina everyday na kailangan mo matapos yung mga handouts yung mga videos na kailangan mo matapos for the day although yun nga po madaming time na parang what if i give up nalang  what if di ko nalang sila tapusin pero after few minutes na hinga few minutes na, madalas po ako matulog in between mga lectures and hands outs kasi hindi ko talagang kaya ituloy tuloy pero yun po kailangan matapos. ”

Despite facing personal challenges and the disruptions of the pandemic, Dr. Elicia remained steadfast in her faith and commitment to her studies.

Pandemic is one of the most challenging times for a student but that is not a reason for a BUeño to stop on their goal and pursue a dream. 

Reflecting on Dr. Elicia journey, Dr. Ofelia said ” I have been praying for this and lahat ng faculty ng college of medicine ito talaga ang dream namin kasi na achieve na namin yung consistent na mataas na passing rates pero, mabait si lord kasi mabilis nya binagay yung amin, yung aming pangrap yung aming minimithi talaga for the college of medicine.” | by Lea Loureen M. Kaibigan, BUCPRO Intern

Read the transctription of the interview with Engr. Maldo:

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Read the transctription of the Bombo Radyo interview with Dr. Arcilla:

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BU College of Nursing-Seinajoki University, Finland holds 3rd International Research Conference on Unifying Health Perspectives

In a significant stride towards global academic partnership and knowledge exchange, Bicol University College of Nursing (BUCN) and the Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) recently converged for the 3rd International Research Conference with the theme, “Harmonizing Research and Health Practice: Perspectives of Bicol University and Seinajoki University,” from April 18 to 19, 2024.

Using a blended platform, the conference seamlessly facilitated engagement with nearly 400 participants worldwide through live streaming on Zoom and Facebook.  On the first day, Xenia Clemeña and Terhi Haapala gracefully introduced delegates from BUCN and SeAMK, respectively, setting the stage for two-day enriching discussions and presentations.

The conference’s opening symbolized unity and collaboration, with renditions of the National Anthems of the Philippines and Finland. Esteemed leaders from BU, President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin Nebres III, and Dr. Jaakko Hallila, President and CEO of SeAMK, delivered the welcoming addresses, emphasizing the importance of cross-cultural collaboration in advancing nursing theory and practice.

The keynote speaker, Dr. Jessie Casida, Executive Director of the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, USA, set the tone with his address on “Harmonizing Research and Health Practice,” emphasizing nursing science’s pivotal role in driving innovative global health solutions. 

Dr. Sheila Bonito, Dean of the UP Manila College of Nursing, and Mika Uitto from SeAMK furthered the discourse with insightful sessions on nursing curriculum reorientation and health literacy in the digital era, respectively.

As the conference progressed into its second day, participants immersed themselves in breakout sessions, presenting research findings across professional and student categories. Outstanding presenters were duly recognized for their contributions. 

In the Professional Category, Prof. Carina B. Orden received the 1st Best Paper award for the study “Assessment of Acute Toxicity and Water Parameter Correlations in Nile Tilapia Exposed to Ferric and Ferrous Sulfate,” with Prof. Matthew M. Neo as co-author. 

Dr. Richard L. Bartolata was awarded the 2nd Best Paper for the study “Enhancing Basic Nursing Procedure Performance Checklists: A Comprehensive Review, Revision, and Validation for Outcomes-Based Education.” 

Dr. Alma S. Banua received a commendation for the 3rd Best Paper in her study “Health Risk Behaviors of Students of Bicol University: Basis for Promoting Healthy Lifestyle.”

Notably, the student category also saw remarkable achievements. Christine Denise Yap Cano and co-authors Alexandra Adelle San Diego Magno, Gianna Nicole Polo Odsinada, and Emmalyn Joyce Duazo Olitan received the 1st Best Paper award for their study titled “Lived Experiences of Persons with Disabilities Students on the Learning Modality Changes of Selected Academic Units at Bicol University-Main Campus.” 

Elijah Magana and co-authors Ma. Myziel Angelica Gianan, Jotham Lee, and Val Andrei Magtarayo received the 2nd Best Paper award for their study on “Usability of Teleconsultation and Barriers to its Implementation in Legazpi City, Albay.” 

The 3rd Best Paper was presented to Ma. Loren Julia Sales and co-authors Kristine Labanon, Kaye Margallo, and Hulaine Charcy Miguel for the study “COVID-19 Booster Shot Hesitancy: Determinants Affecting the Decision of the Residents of Barangay Gabawan, Daraga, Albay.”

During the afternoon, plenary speakers from the BUCN showcased their research findings. Dr. Richard Bartolata discussed his winning paper, which emphasizes the standardization of nursing procedures through performance checklists. This initiative aims to enhance student nurses’ performance by ensuring essential competencies for Level I and II nursing students

. Following Dr. Bartolata’s presentation, Dr. Mary Joy Sande shared insights from her study on “Antenatal Care Utilization of Mothers in Selected Cities in Bicol Region, Philippines: A Quantitative Study.” Her research highlighted challenges in implementing ANC services, including financial and personal issues mothers face. She emphasized the importance of government support in ensuring a positive pregnancy experience and motivated pregnant mothers.

From SeAMK, Dr. Tanja Hautala delivered a lecture on Client and Patient Safety in Social and Healthcare curricula, emphasizing Finland’s healthcare strategy grounded in a safety culture where every professional and organization’s responsibility for patient safety lies. The event culminated with a presentation by Marjut Asunmaa, who presented TopUP Education at Seinajoki University, offering Filipino nursing graduates the opportunity to receive a Registered Nurse Qualification through evidence-based education. This initiative opens doors to various job possibilities in Finland. Dr. Nera Galan and Prof. Frances Carmi D. Gonzales synthesized the IRC’s proceedings.

As the event neared its conclusion, Dr. Elmer Lorenzana, Director of the BU Research and Development Management Office and Dr. Paive Rinne, Dean of SeAMK Applied Sciences eloquently delivered closing remarks, emphasizing the importance of collaborative endeavors in advancing research and health practice. 

Dr. Alma S. Banua, the event’s overall chairperson, and Dr. Jean Annette Ibo, BUCN Dean were lauded for their instrumental role in orchestrating the successful collaboration between BUCN and SeAMK.

The 3rd International Research Conference served as a testament to the transformative potential of global collaboration in healthcare. Through shared perspectives, knowledge exchange, and synergistic partnerships, participants reaffirmed their commitment to driving positive change and innovation in nursing education and practice on a global scale. | by Frances Carmi D. Gonzales, BUCN Faculty


BU to help LGU Legazpi for S&T advancement

In view of establishing a connection to the community and the institution while providing access to science and technology, Bicol University (BU) solidified a joint effort with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Legazpi, at the Mayor’s Office on April 11, 2024.

Through the collaborative effort, the BU and the LGU-Legazpi will prioritize development in environmental and socio-economic initiatives to create an alliance of expertise and resources that will drive tangible impact and sustainable progress in Legazpi City.

BU is set to provide services including technical assistance and the conduct of technical assessments, research undertakings, watershed management, gender development, and livelihood programs, the university will also lead “Solid Waste Management Program (SWMP),”  addressing waste reduction, recycling, and disposal to create a cleaner, healthier environment. 

BU will also spearhead the implementation of the “Adopt-A-River Program” and “Adopt-A-School Program,” aiming to rejuvenate local waterways and promote environmental stewardship among residents.

Meanwhile, the LGU Legazpi will provide participants with essential resources and support necessary for conducting technical assessments, site development plans, water resource development, and various related activities.

The project was formalized through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed by BU President, Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III, and Hon. Geraldine B. Rosal, Mayor of Legazpi City. | by Jamaica Divina and Lea Loureen M. Kaibigan, BUCPRO Interns

📷: Cherry Grace H. Calisin, IO II-CPRO

BU inks agreements to host Institute of Environmental Governance; CAL expands education advocacy with Arimbay HS, LGU Daraga

For a more responsive environmental governance, Bicol University (BU) and Tanggol Kalikasan, Inc. will collaborate, through a Memorandum of Understanding, for the establishment of an Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG) in the province of Albay, signed on April 5, 2024. 

The IEG will serve as a strategic response to the rising need for capacity-building among local government units (LGUs) in promoting environmental stewardship. This will offer comprehensive training in environmental management, planning, protection, and conservation.

As host institution, BU will host IEG in Albay and offer its facilities, personnel, conduct of research, and offer technical assistance in the implementation of the program.

Tanggol Kalikasan, Inc. is a distinguished non-profit and non-governmental organization involved in public interest environmental advocacy in the Philippines and originally established in 1987 as the legal defense arm of Haribon Foundation, TK has evolved into a leading advocate for environmental protection in the Philippines, including partnering with state universities as host institutions. 

The partnership was formally signed by BU President Dr. Baby Boy Benjamin D. Nebres III and Tanggol Kalikasan, Inc. President Nolasco Ritzlee Santos III, at the new BU College of Arts and Letters (CAL)  building. 


CAL-Akbay program advances education in Arimbay HS

Meanwhile, BU and Arimbay National High School (ANHS) have entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will improve the academic performance, cultural development, and enrich the learning environment for students at ANHS.

The MOA outlines the collaboration to improve academic performance, promote cultural development, and foster a positive environment for ANHS students, under the agreement, BUCAL will spearhead various extensions services and projects, dubbed “CAL-Akbay program.”

CAL-Akbay is part of the community extension “Adopt-a-School program,” which is intended to improve students’ proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension. This will also address critical topics in arts and culture, climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction management, and sustainable development goals.

This was made official and signed by BU President Nebres and Dr. Belma N. Jimenez, Principal of Arimbay National High School.


CAL extends expertise to LGU Daraga 

The LGU Daraga has also partnered with BUCAL for educational, scientific, and cultural cooperation. 

BUCAL will conduct research and extension activities on language, culture, literature, communication, print and broadcast, and culture and the arts, spearhead special short-term training programs, and cooperate on academic materials. 

Present were the BUCAL personnel, with BU President Nebres and Hon. Carlwyn G. Baldo, Mayor of the Municipality of Daraga.

| by Lea Loureen M. Kaibigan, BUCPRO Intern & Arnold C. Noda – IO III, BUCPRO

📷: Madelyn Masarate, BUCAL Dean’s Office