How Women’s Month came to be

The beginning of the celebration of Women’s Month can trace its roots in the socialist and labor movements in the United State of America. The first ever Women’s Day happened in New York City on 28 February, 1909 as a national observance which is organized by the Socialist Party. This was done to commemorate the one year anniversary of the strikes by the garment workers in New York, where a large number of women went and marched through lower Manhattan to Union Square to fight for economic rights, the same strike was also done to honor the 1857 protest, where garment workers fought for equal rights and a 10-hour day.


UPLB takes part in the advancement of the Philippine Mango Industry

Mangoes are one of the most important fruit crops in the Philippines, along with banana and pineapple. Aside from an already established market here, it has a lot of potential in the international market. Foreigners and tourists remain to be impressed with our export variety, called the “Carabao” mango which is known all over the world.

In 2011, the Philippines had a production area of 187,073 hectares and produced 788,074 MT. That same year, mango production dropped by 5.38%. There were fewer fruits harvested in some provinces, as well as reduction of flower induction.

S & T for the mango industry

With the ASEAN integration, demand for quality mangoes is expected. Backed by scientific research on integrated crop management (ICM) and postharvest quality management (PQM), the Philippines’ mango industry is seen as a strong competitor.

ICM and PQM make use of traditional and modern techniques that complement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for mango. ICM includes practices that help improve plant health and fruit yield through the reduction of the pests and diseases as well as through the promotion of plant growth and development. It involves cost-effective and need-based pesticide spraying programs and other interventions such as bagging, pruning, and canopy development.

Meanwhile, PQM focuses on postharvest handling practices to ensure that the mangoes are safe and fresh as they are brought to the consumers. PQM is also involved in meeting trade requirements and ensuring that buyers’ specifications are met from harvest to transport.

Because of ICM and PQM, there has been an increase in volume of harvest, quality fruits, and even income of mango stakeholders.

UPLB’s role in the upscaling of the mango industry

The University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) was one of the state colleges and universities that took part in a project funded by the Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD).

Seven clusters of mango growers were organized in Regions I, II, III, IV-A, VI, and XII. There were 69 members and the total area covered was 69 hectares. The members were trained on different ICM technologies like pruning, fertilizer application, fruit bagging, and postharvest practices. A team was assigned to each region for direct technical assistance and monitoring of orchard activities.

The program ended last July 2015. Of the 69 cluster members, 29% were able to reach their target yield. While the cost of production increased by 46%, the gross income also increased by 21%. Net income increased by only 8% from PhP 68,512 to PhP 74,142 per hectare though the partial budget showed a higher overall increase in net income of PhP 19,328 per hectare, indicating that adopting ICM technologies is economically viable. Before ending the program, a Mango Care Manual was developed using the 13 leaflets on the ICM technologies.

The clustering strategy has enabled experts to effectively guide the cluster members in the implementation of ICM and PQM. Because of this, the members were able to share their experiences on production and postharvest techniques.

Aside from UPLB, DOST-PCAARRD has partnered with other state universities and colleges all over the Philippines to promote the adoption of ICM and PQM to the mango farmers.

Through this program, the advancement of the Philippine mango industry is seen to reach new heights, especially now that it is backed up by science and technology.


Partnerships: Key to Reviving our Forests

Forests comprised 57 percent of the Philippines’ total land area in 1934 according to the 2015 publication by the Philippine Senate, Philippine Forests at A Glance.

In 2010, the Philippines’ forest cover dropped to only 23 percent or about 6.8 million hectares. The publication attributes this decline to increased agricultural and housing needs, intensified commercial and illegal logging, kaingin, and forest fires.


Reimagining Landscaping: Combining Form and Function

Growing organic fruits and vegetables is a continuing trend as more and more people are becoming more health-conscious. Because of this, people have already started growing their own crops right in their own gardens! Why so? It is because growing your own food gives you the assurance that they are healthy and fresh.


Descent into the Summit: The Benham Bank Seamount Project

“Upon seeing the bottom, you will be placed in a dreamy state. It is as if time has slowed down.” Those were the words of Dr. Hildie Marie E. Nacorda, Assistant Professor at the UPLB School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM), when asked about her first time descending Benham Bank – the shallowest portion of Benham Rise.

Benham Rise is the country’s newest territory, a 13M hectare submarine plateau which rises from the seafloor off the coast of Aurora province.

Around 3,000 meters deep, Benham Rise is a seamount--an underwater mountain. Its biological richness depends on its steep slope which forces seawater to carry nutrients upward, providing food for various marine life.


Is the Philippines Food Secure?

“Anytime that one would need food, food is there.” That is how Interdisciplinary Studies Center on Food Security (ISCFS) chair Dr. Domingo Angeles exemplified food security. He said that food should be accessible, healthy, and nutritious—being able to meet the daily demands of one’s body. Dr. Angeles added that food security also means that food can be used in the long run.


Mohicap Lake Needs Your Help!

Imagine standing behind a crowd full of people who are taller than you. There is a person speaking in front. You want to ask something to that person but he cannot see you—the people in front are blocking his view. You cried your way through those people and finally the person notices you. Finally, you are able to ask your question and luckily, you get your answer.


Recipes from UPLB: Korn Polvoron, Korn Pastillas, and Korn Champorado

Recipes developed by Dr. Wilma A. Hurtada (College of Human Ecology) and Dr. Felicito M. Rodriguez (College of Human Ecology) in coordination with Dr. Artemio M. Salazar (Institute of Plant Breeding, College of Agriculture)


1 cup corn flour
½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar (white, brown, or muscovado)
1 cup powdered milk
6 tablespoons melted butter


The Magic of Bees

Bees are one of nature’s wonder insects. They play a bigger role in our lives than we perceive. Bees are the only source of honey. Honey, the most common among bee products, provides a number of different uses from adding flavor to your breakfast to curing various ailments such as burns and sore throats. Honey is also being used as a natural alternative to beauty products. It can be used as a moisturizer, pore cleanser, and, when mixed with coconut oil, as hair conditioner. Bees are also active pollinators. Many crops benefit from bee pollination like eggplant, lettuce, and coconut.


Rise of the Bt Superwoman

Heroes come from different races and places, and they fight for different causes. Today, amidst the ongoing issues concerning the current state of biotechnology in our country, a Superwoman continues to stand strong.


Threatened Land, Threatened Lives: The Bagobo-Klata of the South

Datu Danny walks ahead of us, with a confident gait, on a narrow path and stops. The 26-year-old Chieftain of the Bagobo-Klata tribe points to a fenced area where a religious sect lays claim to a portion of the tribe’s ancestral domain. He then waves his hand to the eastern side where a larger part of the land is now occupied by a private banana plantation. Up on the slope, he says, is his meager land where he and his family grow abaca and other crops for their daily subsistence.