CDC alumnus awarded for his feature on pandemic remote learning

CDC alumnus and Rappler multimedia reporter Noli ‘Bonz’ A. Magsambol III won an award for the most outstanding online feature in the youth and education category in the 16th La Sallian Scholarum Awards (LSA) held by De La Salle University (DLSU) virtually on 26 March 2021.

His development-oriented winning piece, entitled No student left behind? During pandemic, education only for those who can afford, tackled the difficulties of the new blended learning approach that the Philippine education system has been compelled to adopt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The article highlighted the challenges experienced by poor public high school students, their parents, and teachers in making blended learning work for them amidst financial and practical constraints. These challenges were lack of gadgets, limited Internet access, and absence of conducive learning spaces. Another piece of Magsambol, entitled Distance learning: A looming crisis for students with special needs, was also a finalist in the category. It likewise tackled remote learning, but as experienced by persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Bonz is a lecturer at the Department of Development Journalism (DDJ). He was also one of the resource speakers in DDJ Seminar Series Bithayan: Finding and Telling Newsworthy Stories in 2018.

Bonz earned his BS Development Communication degree, major in Development Journalism, from UPLB in 2015. (Miguel Victor T. Durian, with reports from Photo from Rappler)

Dito Sa Laguna, DZLB Online! forge partnerships with local communities and institutions

The UPLB College of Development Communication (CDC-UPLB) continues to strengthen the engagement and participation of local communities through its local cable television program, Dito Sa Laguna, and DZLB Online!, the internet radio of the university.

Dito Sa Laguna (DSL), is a development-oriented community television program produced by the college in partnership with Royal Cable Corporation (previously Community Cable Vision Corporation or CCVC), a local cable TV provider. The program features the aspirations, accomplishments, and information needs of Laguna communities. Now in its 7th year and 29th season, DSL entered a new partnership with Royal Cable Corporation. Fresh episodes are being streamed live on Mondays, 11AM, through its official Facebook Page and Mondays-Saturdays, 11AM, via Royal Cable TV Channel 6. 

Photo (L-R): Mr. Christopher Sanji (Royal Cable TV Manager), Mr. Ryan Jay Galang (URA II & DZLB Manager), Dr. Maria Stella C. Tirol (CDC Dean), & Dr. Trina Leah Mendoza (DDBT Chair)

Dito sa Laguna as linker-facilitator

DSL continues to produce new episodes that feature resilience, creativity, resourcefulness, and passion of local communities amidst the pandemic. Serving as linker-facilitator, the program paved the way for community collaborations and livelihood opportunities. One of these collaborations is the establishment of a community garden in Cabuyao, Laguna. This community-led initiative started when DSL featured UPLB’s Hardin Kawingan (HK) last year that promotes backyard organic farming during the lockdown. After two months, DSL invited Debbie Bartolo, a UPLB alumna, to talk about the role of non-government organizations in helping vulnerable communities. HK reached out to Bartolo after watching the episode and connected HK to a community-led women’s organization Damayan ng Maralitang Pilipinong Api (DAMPA) in Cabuyao City. This partnership became BINHI ng Pag-unlad that aimed to gather resources to provide seedlings to DAMPA. The group now has its own community garden, Hardin Ni Nanay.

Photo Courtesy: Dito Sa Laguna & UPLB Horizon

DZLB online broadens its programs

DZLB Online!, the web counterpart of Radyo DZLB 1116 khz Ang Tinig ng Kaunlaran held several exploratory talks for new partnerships and programs. DZLB produced an online School-On-the-Air (SOA) in partnership with UPLB BIDANI Network Program, the BIDANI NutriLive. The program ran for two months in November to December 2020 to expand its reach in delivering nutrition education to its partner barangays in Laguna and other provinces. 

DZLB Online! has two regular programs: Galing UPLB and Leader Ka K!. Galing UPLB is a university-wide magazine program that promotes the university as a premiere research and public service university in the country. The program airs every Friday, 3PM. It provides listeners the latest news, events, research, extension, and public service initiatives of its constituents, including its alumni. This program is co-produced by CDC, Office of Public Relations, and Office of Alumni Relations. 

Photo: Galing UPLB interview with UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho Jr. 

The award-winning youth-oriented program Leader Ka K! (LKK) is back on air with its original hosts; UPLB Prof. Mark Lester Chico and Youth Development Affairs (YDA) head Ms. Pinky Almadin-Villasenor. LKK amplifies the voice of the youth and engages them to actively take part  in community development and nation building. The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society, a socio-civic organization in UPLB, co-produces the program.

To watch the episodes of these shows and for more information about Dito sa Laguna and DZLB online, like and subscribe to their Facebook page. (RJIGalang)

Department of Agriculture staff sharpen their skills on Communicating Research Results

Over the past decades, research has become more vigorous that it is necessary to make research results known to the public and technologies to be made available to its beneficiaries.  Communication is a necessary skill a researcher should have in order to fulfill this role.

Recognizing this need, an online training course entitled “Communicating Research Results” was conducted by IRRI Education, in partnership with the Department of Science Communication (DSC) of UPLB’s College of Development Communication. The training was held from March 16 to 19, with 22 participants from the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Offices. The training team from DSC and IRRI Ed crafted a training program to introduce principles and practical techniques on how to communicate agriculture research results. The training is part of the Department of Agriculture project “ Strengthening the Capability of the NARES partners for Research Development and Extension of Climate Ready Information and Technologies to Rice-based Farming Communities in the Philippines (SERVE)” funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and managed by the Bureau of Agricultural Research through IRRI

The DSC training team during their respective training sessions (from top to bottom) Dr. Elaine Llarena, Assistant Professors Avril de Guzman, Reianne Quilloy, and University Extension Specialist Charlene Mae Arkaina

The DSC Training Team is composed of Dr. Elaine Llarena, Assistant Professors Avril de Guzman and Reianne Quilloy, and University Extension Specialist Charlene Mae Arkaina. They designed and served as resource speakers for the training. The training team discussed  and facilitated activities on determining how to communicate research data for specific audiences or stakeholders. Techniques on clear and effective writing of research findings as well as data visualization were also discussed. The participants, in their worksop sessions, applied the techniques they learned on the principles of effective writing and visual design. They were provided with practical tips on preparing a writing plan, editing, and revising their work. Participants were also introduced to using graphic design and editing software tools such as Canva and Grammarly. The participants showcased their work to the training team and IRRI experts Engr. Calling Balingbing, Engr. Joseph Sandro, Beni Hardinero, and Donald Villanueva, who gave their feedback for the improvement of the communication material. The top three designs voted by the participants were recognized during the closing program. 

IIn one of the sharing sessions during the online training, participants reflected on how much they have learned about the importance of communicating research results to different stakeholders. Ms. Manilyn Mondejar of DA Region 10 expressed, “the training helped me become more productive, now that I know how to communicate research results. I am thankful for the resource speakers because of their help throughout the training program. They gave a lot of constructive criticism that is why I was able to develop this material. I was able to learn how to develop a writing plan. I’m in cloud nine. I’m thankful for IRRI for inviting me as one of the participants.”

Althea Joy Casareno from DA MIMAROPA also shared that she learned about new ways to communicate research results or output.  “Before, we used to produce the materials in a crude way (mano mano). I learned some of my colleagues are not yet familiar with Canva. Now that I learned how to use it, I can share to fellow researchers how to use Canva.” She also shared to fellow participants to not feel intimidated in creating communication materials. “Most importantly, think about your audience, before you write,” she said.

Jhumar Loreto, Agriculturist from Region 8, shared about the importance of writing: “writing is not that easy, but it is very important to plan what to do, especially for us on research, after conducting the project, what to do next , to relay results to farmers.” 

Dr. Madonna Casimero, Project Leader of SERVE project was pleased about the output of the training. She further expressed,  “I am happy how confident you have become as an effective communicator after this training course. It is our aim that you are able to communicate about the research and technologies you are promoting for our farmers and fisherfolks.“ (RMQuilloy)

Honoring Dr. Felix Librero: A Pioneer of Development Broadcasting and Development Communication

The UPLB College of Development Communication mourns the passing of one of its pillars, Dr. Felix Librero on March 16, 2021. He was 77. 

Sir Lex, as he was fondly called, was a pioneer in the field of development broadcasting and development communication. He was one of the first broadcasting staff members of Radyo DZLB, the country’s first educational and development-oriented radio station, and became its station supervisor in 1968 and manager in 1975.

Radyo DZLB, one of the milestones of the Department of Agricultural Information and Communications of the College of Agriculture in the 1960s, primarily aimed to broadcast research-based farm information and serve as a laboratory for agricultural communication students. The station later on won a KBP Golden Dove Award for Best AM Station in 1994 and a Catholic Mass Media Award for Best Educational Radio Program in 2010.

Dr. Librero worked with other pioneers in development communication such as Dr. Nora C. Quebral and helped establish the world’s first Department of Development Communication (DDC) in 1974. He became chair of DDC in the 1980s, and then served as the first director of the Institute of Development Communication in 1987, which is now the College of Development Communication.

As a pioneer in the field of development communication, Dr. Librero contributed much to the body of knowledge in development broadcasting and educational communication. He graduated with a BS degree in Agriculture, major in Agricultural Communications, and an MS degree in Development Communication from UPLB, and a PhD degree in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University, USA.

He taught and conducted research and extension projects at UPLB from the 1960s to the early 2000s when he became the Chancellor of the UP Open University. 

His legacy remains alive at CDC and UPLB. As we now rehabilitate the DZLB AM radio tower, his teachings and expertise in development broadcasting resonate, in carefully identifying target stakeholders before developing radio programs, in serving as a voice of the audiences, and a visionary in helping audiences to help themselves.

From the UPLB College of Development Communication, our deepest gratitude, Dr. Librero!

CDC’s Dr. Pam Custodio is new GS secretary

Dr. Pamela A. Custodio, associate professor in the Department of Development Journalism (DDJ), was appointed as the secretary of the UPLB Graduate School (GS) effective 01 March 2021. Her appointment is co-terminus with the new GS dean, Dr. Jomar F. Rabajante. 

When asked about her vision as the new GS secretary, Dr. Custodio said that she is looking forward to making the school’s strategic goal, dubbed #GS202x, a reality. 

She shared that GS is now gearing towards future-proofing its operations that is in line with Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr.’s vision. The GS would ensure that its programs are more flexible and ready for constantly changing conditions.Dr. Custodio also emphasized making GS’ services more accessible and humanized to stakeholders, a nod to her passion for qualitative research.

Concurrent with her appointment at the GS, Dr. Custodio is also a member of the UPLB Ethics Review Committee and the UPLB Academic Personnel and Fellowship Committee. At the CDC, she previously served as chair of DDJ from 10 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.

Dr. Custodio has been with the university since 1993. She started her career at UPLB at the then Office of the Director for Extension, which is now the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE). 

She is also an active faculty-volunteer at the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, the public service arm of the university. At CDC, she teaches courses on development journalism, communication theory, and qualitative communication research. Currently, she is the  managing editor of Media Asia, one of the international peer-reviewed journals of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC). (Miguel Victor T. Durian with Kabzeel Sheba G. Catapang, and Elaine DC. Llarena)

New UPLB admin appoints four CDC Faculty members to key posts

As the “future-proof” UPLB kicks off, the College of Development Communication (CDC) congratulates its faculty who will serve in the administration of Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. The three new appointees, namely Prof. Mark Lester Chico as Director of the Office of Public Relations (OPR), Dr. Edmund Centeno as Director of the Interactive Learning Center (ILC), and Prof. John Mervin Embate as Director of Office of Student Housing (OSH), began their duties effective November 1, 2020. Dr. Benjamina Paula Flor continues to serve as Director of the Learning Resource Center (LRC).

CDC faculty appointees up close

Dr. Benjamina Paula G. Flor was first appointed director of the LRC in January 2017. Dr. Flor will continue to spearhead the Center’s mandates, which include the expansion of academic-related programs and activities for local and international undergraduate and graduate students.

Affectionately called ‘Ma’am Benj’ by her students and colleagues, Dr. Flor is a member of the CDC’s Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication (DDBT). She obtained her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Development Communication at UPLB. A prolific scholar with wide array of research publications and extension projects in the country and abroad, she was conferred the title UP Scientist 2 under the UP Scientific Productivity System (SPS).

Aside from teaching in CDC, Dr. Flor currently leads the ‘Measuring awareness and perception on NEDA, AmBisyon Natin 2040, and Philippine Development Plan’ project, and is an eLearning facilitator and module developer for the eLearning course on Nutrition Program Management of the National Nutrition Council.

Prof. Mark Lester M. Chico, the new director of OPR, previously served as Head of the Student Organizations and Activities Division (SOAD) from 2011 to 2014, and director of LRC from 2014 to 2017. 

Prof. Chico is an assistant professor at DDBT. He is currently a PhD candidate under the Media Studies program of the College of Mass Communication in UP Diliman. He finished both his BS (cum laude) and MS Degree in Development Communication at UPLB. 

Aside from his academic duties, Prof. Chico is a broadcast journalist who is actively involved in various multimedia production projects, such as UPLB’s Radyo DZLB and CDC’s community cable TV program ‘Dito Sa Laguna’. He is also a community reporter for Fyt, an independent online media organization. 

Prof. Chico is known as the founder of ‘Gandingan: The UPLB Isko’t Iska’s Multimedia Awards’, an annual university-based media awards organized by The UP Community Broadcasters’ Society that highlights the value of development communication in the practice of traditional and new media in the country. He is currently the Vice President for Luzon of the Philippine Association of Communication Educators (PACE).

The CDC’s Department of Educational Communication (DEC) also has two UPLB administration appointees. First from the DEC is Dr. Edmund G. Centeno, appointed as director of ILC under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Prior to joining the administration of Chancellor Camacho, Dr. Centeno served as CDC’s College Secretary.

‘Sir Ed,’ as he is called by colleagues and students, is an associate professor who previously served as Chair of DEC from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2015 to 2018. He is also an Affiliate Professor at UP Diliman’s College of Education, and UP Open University’s Faculty of Information and Communication Studies.

Dr. Centeno obtained his PhD in Educational Communication and Technology at Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand, and he finished his BS and MS Development Communication in UPLB. A highly sought-after speaker and educator, Dr. Centeno specializes in topics related to learning technologies, instructional design, and ICT for development.

Second from the DEC is Prof. John Mervin L. Embate, who will serve as the director of the OSH, which is under the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs (OVCSA). 

‘Sir JM’, to students and his colleagues, started as an Instructor at the Department of Humanities, College of Arts and Sciences from 2012 to 2016. He is now an assistant professor at DEC. Aside from teaching, Prof. Embate is the current Secretary of the Association of Development Communication Educators and Practitioners (ADCEP) of the Philippines. 

Prof. Embate completed his MA in Communication from the College of Mass Communication, UP Diliman where he was also a recipient of the Best Thesis Award. He finished his BS Development Communication (cum laude) in UPLB. 

The CDC family, lead by Dean Maria Stella C. Tirol, wishes them well as they embark on instituting future-proof systems grounded on “effective communication, collaboration, and malasakit or compassion”.

(Renz Frances Abagat, Charlene Mae Arkaina, Ryan Jay Galang, Elaine Llarena, and Jyasmin Calub-Bautista)