Category Archives: up diliman

Dulaang UP presents ‘Ang Nawalang Kapatid’ by Floy Quintos

Dulaang UP (DUP), the official performing group for theater of the University of the Philippines, will close its 38th theatrical season this coming February with Ang Nawalang Kapatid (ANK), a musical based on The Mahabharata, an Indian epic considered to be the longest poem in the world.

The Mahabharata tells the story of Karna, a brave young man who must choose between loyalty to his family or to the state which made him a prince. A key subplot here is the fierce competition between the Kaurava and Pandava families.

Ang Nawalang Kapatid is developed by acclaimed playwright Floy Quintos, with original score by Ceejay Javier. Javier’s previous works include “Isang Panaginip na Fili,” “Astig,” “Alex in Wonderland,” and “Break Away Antigone.” It will be directed and choreographed by Dexter M. Santos (“Maxie the Musical,” “Collection,” “Orosman at Zafira”).

ang nawalang anak dulaang UP

Dulaang UP will present ‘Ang Nawalang Anak’ from February 5 to 23, 2014

“’Ang Nawalang Kapatid’ was originally written as a children’s play for the Ateneo Children’s Theater and was first produced for their 2011 season. This new version allows for many more of the complexities of the original material to be dramatized,” Dulaang UP said in a statement.

Quintos’s adaptation, the group added, will highlight the theme of family and blood ties as well as the conflicts that these bring about. Karna, originally portrayed in Indian literature as an anti-hero, will now be seen as a young man searching for his dharma, his truth and destiny, while unaware of his true blood ties.

With ANK, Dulaang UP seeks to bring the timeless story of The Mahabharata to a more diverse audience.  It will also underscore how the said epic mirrored strong values like loyalty to family, a trait particularly associated with Filipinos and other Southeast Asians.


Official poster of ‘Ang Nawalang Kapatid’ (click to enlarge)

Initiated by multi-awarded actor and director Antonio Mabesa in 1976, DUP’s objective is to “stage original and translated versions of classics by master playwrights as well as mounting powerful and incisive masterworks by professional and promising Filipino playwrights.”

Ang Nawalang Kapatid will run from February 5 to 23, 2014. All performances will be at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre in University of the Philippines-Diliman (Palma Hall, 2nd floor).

Contact the office of Dulaang UP at 926-1349, 981-8500 local 2449 or 433-7840 (look for Samanta Hannah Clarin or Camille Guevara) or email them at for sponsorship and ticket inquiries.

PS: Dulaang UP began its current season with ‘Adarna,’ which ran last July.



UP Cesar Virata School of Business?

The recent renaming of University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman’s College of Business Administration (CBA) into the Cesar Virata School of Business has received flak from various quarters.

The move was approved by the UP Board of Regents (BOR) during their 1287th meeting last April 12. “Virata has served UP, the Philippine government and the country for many years and with clear distinction,” it was noted during the deliberations.

In officially announcing the “rebranding” of CBA, the college administration stressed that “Virata’s career can be an inspiration to aspiring managers.” “It is fitting that the business school of the University of the Philippines should carry his name,” the college said in a statement, citing Virata’s extensive experience in the academe, private sector, and in government service.

Virata most notably served for 16 years as the finance minister during the administration of Ferdinand Marcos. He also became a figurehead head prime minister during the regime’s final years. Given this background, it is not surprising that known anti-Marcos figures like former Senator Rene Saguisag and martial law era journalist Rigoberto Tiglao have spoken out against CBA’s renaming.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Saguisag said that the UP administration may be violating a long-standing law in pushing through with the renaming. He is referring to Republic Act (RA) 1059, which bars the naming of cities, municipalities, parks, plazas, public schools, public buildings, and the like after living individuals. RA 1059 came into effect in 1954, during the time of President Ramon Magsaysay.

cesar virata school of business

The UP College of Business Administration has been renamed as the Cesar Virata School of Business (Credits: University of Pennsylvania Website)

In the above cited Inquirer article, Prospero de Vera, UP Vice President for Public Affairs, argued that no law was violated since “it was the educational component that was named after Virata, not a building or a facility.” What exactly does De Vera mean?

The claim of CBA Dean Ben Paul Gutierrez that it is common practice in the United States to rename their schools of specialization after famous personalities was thoroughly debunked by Tiglao, a former spokesperson during the Arroyo administration, in a column for Manila Times last June 6. In his piece, Tiglao accused Gutierrez of lying and misrepresenting facts to support his proposal.

According to a report in CBA’s official college newspaper, Gutierrez first brought up his plan last August. After that, he pulled all the stops to make sure that his proposal is passed, including the distribution of signature sheets for students to support the move.

What are Gutierrez’ motivations for doing this? Did Virata or his family bring up the idea? Is it true that there are no financial considerations that led to this decision? Were consultations with all the stakeholders even held?

Virata’s credentials in the finance industry is beyond doubt, and his inclusion in the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School’s most influential alumnus list can attest to this.

However, the fact that he is still alive gives the renaming of an institution in his honor a bad taste. Virata also remains closely associated with the Marcos dictatorship. This Facebook note by University of Asia and the Pacific history instructor Alvin Campomanes explains how exactly Marcos and Virata managed the Philippine economy during their time.

Needless to say, interested parties should challenge the legality of this move before the proper venues to settle the matter once and for all.

UP wins 2012 UAAP cheerdance tilt

UP Pep Squad wins 2012 UAAP Cheerdance Competition

For the fifth time in six years, the University of the Philippines Pep Squad won the first place in the UAAP cheerdance competition. Far Eastern University (FEU) and National University (NU) won the second and third place, respectively. Prior to this year, the Diliman-based cheering squad also won the crown in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. Meanwhile, this is the first time that NU placed in the top three.

UP’s Nicolette Erika Ambulo was declared as the “Samsung stunner” for the 2012 cheerdance competition. The final ranking of schools for this year’s contest are as follows:

UP, FEU, NU, University of Santo Tomas (UST), De La Salle University, Ateneo De Manila University, Adamson University, and the University of the East.

nicolette erica ambulo

UP’s Nicolette Erica Ambulo won the “Samsung stunner” award for the 2012 UAAP cheerdance competition (credits: Facebook)

Here are the rankings for the group stunts category:

1st – UP Pep Squad

2nd – FEU

3rd – NU Pep Squad

The annual UAAP cheerdance competition began in 1994. However, no such event was organized in 1997. The UP Pep Squad and UST’s Salinggawi Dance Troupe won the tilt eight times each while FEU has bagged the crown twice. UP has placed within the top three since the cheerdance competition’s inception.

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UP System website attacked by pro-China hackers

Hackers proclaim: “We come from China! Huangyan Island is Ours!” 

The two-week old standoff between the Philippines and China in the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal located in the West Philippine Sea has spilled over into the cyberspace. The website of the University of the Philippines (UP) has been defaced early Friday morning by suspected pro-China hackers. UP is the national university of this Southeast Asian country.

Hackers uploaded a map of the West Philippine Sea (or South China Sea) and its nearby countries in the landing page of the UP website. The map has labels in Chinese characters. The screenshot below was taken by Lawrence Velasco, accounting and finance instructor at the UP College of Business Administration:

The screen grab of UP's defaced website (credits: Mr. Lawrence Velasco)

Velasco discovered the website defacement at around 4 AM. He promptly tweeted certain Philippine media personalities and organizations about the matter, explaining later on that he asked the media to contact UP since he was in France and “didn’t know how to contact the university aside from Twitter.

Mr. Lawrence Velasco promptly alerted media persons via Twitter about the website defacement

Danilo Arao, the University’s Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs, denounced the attack, describing it as “an attempt to deprive the UP community of vital information, particularly the schedule of commencement exercises in nine UP campuses and the April 2012 issue of the UP Newsletter which was uploaded last April 17.”

A downtime notice has since been posted on the UP system website: “The University of the Philippines System website ( is currently undergoing maintenance. The UP Computer Center is conducting an evaluation of the website and its contents. This website will be restored to its operational status as soon as the maintenance checks have been completed. Thank you.”

In a phone interview, Arao explained that the website’s security is a “shared concern” of the UP System Information Office and the UP Computer Center. “We’re trying to check the vulnerability of our content management systems,” Arao said.

He added that although the hackers “merely uploaded a JPEG file in the landing page,” they will also look for possible malicious files embedded in the system. He reiterated that the hacking incident is isolated to the UP system website. Arao teaches journalism in the UP College of Mass Communication.

Related news:

China, tumangging dalhin ang isyu ng Panatag Shoal sa international court (GMA News Online)

China summons PHL envoy over standoff at Panatag Shoal (GMA News Online)

Personal: Professor Arao maintains his own website. This blogger enrolled in his online journalism class during his undergraduate days at UP CMC.

Recognition Day Speech at Juan Luna Elementary School

Mr. Renato Jarabese, the school principal, the teachers, students, parents, and other members of the JLES family, good afternoon.

The school where I finished my elementary education 10 years ago

I want to greet all of you young achievers who are here right now. Yes, you heard me right. You are young achievers. Consider yourself extremely lucky because you are among the honorees today out of the several hundreds of JLES students for the past school year. You did a great job, that’s why you’re part of this year’s cream of the crop. Congratulations to your teachers and most importantly to your parents. Alam natin na kung anong saya ng mga mag-aaral sa kanilang tagumpay na nakamtan, doble pa roon ang kasiyahan ng ating mga magulang.

A glimpse of the attendees to this year's JLES recognition rites

It is a great honor to be invited to speak before all of you this afternoon, exactly 10 years after I graduated here back in 2002. Ang sampung taon ay mabilis na dumaan. Dati, gumagamit lang kami ng Internet kung may school projects. Ngayon, hindi na kumpleto ang araw natin nang hindi nag-oonline sa Facebook at Twitter.

Ang ilan sa mga dati kong guro ay nataas na ng tungkulin, mayroon namang gaya ng aking tagapayo noong Grade 4 na si Bb. Daisy Falucho ay namayapa na, mayroon ring ngayon ay retirado na samantalang ang ilan gaya ni Bb. Rosemarie Villamor, tagapayo ko sa unang baitang, at Gng. Myrna Genovate, tagapayo ko noong ika-limang baitang ay nandito pa rin sa dakilang paaralang ito upang patuloy na manghubog ng kaisipan ng kanilang mga magiging mag-aaral sa mga darating pang taon.

Miss Rosemarie Villamor (Filipino) and Mrs. Myrna Genovate (English)

Hinding-hindi ko malilimutan ang lahat ng aking mga naging guro sa bawat artikulong aking naipalathala, sa bawat parangal na natanggap at matatanggap pa, at sa anumang landas na aking tatahakin pagdating ng panahon. I will forever owe what I am today and what I will be in the future to everyone who has been my teacher, whether here in JLES, in Ramon Magsaysay High School, or in the University of the Philippines.

Taong 1996 nang ako ay pumasok sa Grade 1. Section 2 ako sa ilalim ni Bb. Villamor. Naaalala ko pa noon na madalas, sumasali lang ako sa pila kapag paakyat na ang mga kaklase ko. At sa tuwing magpapaalam na ako kay mama at isasara na ng guwardya ang gate, naiiyak ako. May isa ngang pagkakataon noong Grade 1, pasado alas 5 na ng hapon. Sinabihan ako ni Bb. Villamor na “puwede na akong umihi.” Ang pagkakaintindi ko, pwede na ako umuwi. Buti hinarang ako ng nagbabantay doon sa main gate dahil kung hindi, baka naligaw na ako.

Waiting for my turn to speak during last March 28's JLES recognition rites

It is funny to think about this now, but at that time, I am so afraid to be separated from my mother although we’ll be together again after six hours. This is one lesson I want to impart to you this afternoon. You will never achieve personal growth unless you’re willing to get out of your comfort zone. Paano natin matutuklasan ang hiwaga ng daigdig kung tayo ay takot na maglakbay rito?

Kagaya ng ilan sa inyo, nagkaroon rin ako ng pagkakataon na maging kinatawan ng aking paaralan sa mga panglungsod na kumpetisyon. Noong 2nd year ako sa Ramon Magsaysay, naging pambato ako ng paaralan sa isang division level quiz bee. Matinding pressure ang nakalaban ko, and to cut the long story short, I finished last in the top ten. I was so ashamed of myself. I let my trainers and the whole school down. Hindi nga ba’t kapag tayo ay lumalaban, dala natin ang pangalan ng paaralan? After skipping my classes for almost a week, how will I answer my classmates if they ask me about the contest? The future looks grim, or so I thought.

While giving the keynote remarks during the event

I was attending my Technology and Livelihood Education (TLE) class one afternoon when my then Asian History teacher Ms. Precilla Manaloto asked me out of our class. Since the contest loss happened just a few days before, I was expecting her to admonish me. That was the natural thing to happen, right? But I was wrong.

She treated me to a lunch of rellenong bangus and fresh lumpia at a nearby restaurant instead. She said she also bore some responsibility for the debacle, and offered me golden words of wisdom. She reiterated her trust in me, saying that I can surely do better next time, and given my age (I was only 13 then), there’s still a long way for me to go (“malayo pa ang mararating mo”). Nine years later, her words are still with me.

Receiving the plaque of appreciation from Mr. Jarabese and Ms. Sanchez after my speech

Right now, I guess some of you have doubts about what lies ahead in the future. “Makakaya ko ba ang mga problemang aking haharapin,” you may be asking yourself. Two weeks ago, I had the great privilege of interviewing Ms Gina Lopez, the managing director of Bantay Bata and Bantay Kalikasan. She shared to me this wonderful quote: “As you think, so you become.”

Regardless of the barriers, and believe me, you will never run out of those, as long as you believe in yourself and stay committed in achieving what you really want, there’s no way you can fail. Roselle Ambubuyog became blind at age 11, yet she graduated valedictorian in RMHS in 1997 and finished her college degree at the Ateneo de Manila University summa cum laude.

The school is announcing my presence during the event through this. I can't feel more honored. 🙂

A young boy named Artemio Panganiban, meanwhile, supported his studies here at JLES and in V. Mapa High School by selling newspapers and cigarettes and shining shoes. He later on became the Chief Justice of our country’s Supreme Court. If Artemio Panganiban and Roselle Ambubuyog didn’t let poverty and disability hinder their path to success, will you let anything block your way to the future? As the song goes, “there’s not a star in heaven you can’t reach, if you’re trying.”

Sa kabila ng mga papuring inyong natanggap ngayong araw na ito, alam kong alam ninyo na hindi dito nagtatapos ang lahat. Ika nga sa Ingles, never rest on your laurels. Dahil kayo ay mga young achiever na, hindi na kayo kailangang habilinan na mag-aral pa ng mabuti. Ipagpatuloy lamang ninyo ang mahusay ninyong nasimulan.

Picture with some JLES teachers at the principal's office

Ang karunungan ay parang isang pananim na nararapat parating diligan upang mas mapayabong ito. Laging tandaan na sa huli, hindi lamang kayo ang makikinabang sa inyong edukasyon. Maaari itong maging susi para magkaroon ng mas magandang bukas ang inyong mga pamilya. At dahil sa inyong karunungan, nasa posisyon rin kayo upang makatulong sa ikauunlad ng ating mahal na bansa sa malapit na hinaharap. Sana ay hindi ninyo sayangin ang magandang pagkakataong ito.

The plaque of appreciation that I received from my alma mater. 🙂

*This is the full text of the speech I gave during the recognition rites of the Juan Luna Elementary School held last March 28, where I was the guest of honor. Apologies for non-Filipino readers of this the speech is mostly in Filipino, in recognizance of my audience that afternoon.  

My special acknowledgments to Mr. Renato Jarabese, the school principal, Mrs. Alicia Sanchez, the one who invited me to be the guest speaker, and former advisers Ms Rosemarie Villamor (Grade 1) and Mrs. Myrna Genovate (Grade 6).

UPCAT 2012 RESULTS NOW OUT? (and some reminiscing)

Breaking news as of 4PM, January 18, 2012:

The results of the 2012 University of the Philippines College Admission Test are out! To view the results, please here.

*Word of warning – the website is loading excruciatingly slow at the moment. This is like prolonging the agony, but you’ll surely feel triumphant once you confirm that you’ll soon be an iskolar ng bayan.

According to GMA News Online, results can also be accessed on the following mirror websites: Stickbread Solutions, Creative Point Online and Preginet. The article also mentions that over 10,000 examinees aced the UPCAT.

But, why do I still see this statement on the official UPCAT page?

I’ll never forget the exact circumstance when I phoned the UP Admission Office to ask about the results of the UPCAT for school year 2006-2007. That was February 26, 2006, a Sunday. It is a significant date in our country’s recent history.

Earlier that day, Major General Renato Miranda, commandant of the Philippine Marines, was unceremoniously relieved from his post after urging his subordinates to withdraw their support from the government of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I made the inquiry late in the afternoon. Here’s what’s happening during that time, as chronicled by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism:

As news of (Miranda’s) resignation made the rounds of text messages in an edgy city, members of civilian groups like the Black and White Movement, Sanlakas and Brother Eddie Villanueva’s Bangon Pilipino Movement rushed to the Marine headquarters in Fort Bonifacio to support what they believed were embattled Marine troopers.

By 5 p.m., scores of civilians had gathered at the Marine chapel and were subsequently joined by Marine Col. Ariel Querubin, who is said to have been involved in the failed attempt to withdraw support from the Arroyo government last Friday. ‘We are asking the people to support us from aggression,’ Querubin told ANC.”

I will forever associate Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Ariel Querubin, and Renato Miranda to the day UPCAT Results 2006 was released

The results were posted later that night, and I was informed of it by a high school friend early morning of the following day. She asked her sister (who is a student in UP Manila) to look for my name among the passers. You see, I am not the type who swoops in into a university to look for my name in the list of qualifiers posted in the school wall/board.

Although I didn’t find the UPCAT particularly tough, I was not expecting to pass it. Even though I have heard all the harrowing tales about how tough it is to qualify, I chose not to enroll in a review center. A number of my high school batch mates did, and they failed to make it to UP ultimately. Prior to the release of the UPCAT results, I am already set to take up Political Science in the University of Santo Tomas. Has six years passed that fast?

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