By Rose de la Cruz


With the launch last August 10 of the Philippines’ first nano satellite called CubeSat into the orbit above the Earth from the International Space Station, the country has come closer to joining the big players in the space age league.


This, as Rep. Salvador Belaro, 1 Ang Edukasyon partylist, congratulated recently the University of the Philippines, his alma mater and the Advanced Science Technology Institute of the Department of Science and Technology on the historic achievement for UP, the DOST and the Philippines.


Special commendation goes to the Filipino scientists who worked hands-on with the Maya-1: Joven Javier and Adrian Salces who are taking their masters and doctorate, respectively, at Kyutech (Kyushu Institute of Technology).


Two Filipino graduate students under the PHL-Microsat program developed Maya-1 in Japan: Joven Javier is taking his master’s degree while Adrian Salces is taking his doctoral degree, both in Kyutech.


Maya-1 was launched together with the CubeSats of Bhutan and Malaysia. All three CubeSats are part of the 2nd Joint Global Multi-Nation Birds Project or BIRDS-2 Project of Kyutech.


As a proponent of the creation of the Philippine Space Agency (HB 6413), I see this moment in Philippine science history as a pivotal, catalytic event that will capture the imagination of my colleagues in Congress and will inspire thousands of Filipino youths interested in pursuing science and technology careers.


This milestone augurs well for both UP and DOST because the budget hearing process is underway and we in Congress will soon come across the budgets of UP and DOST.


This deployment of Maya-1 brings us one step closer to the creation of our very own Philippine Space Agency and onwards to the new frontier of Filipino innovation, genius, imagination, and determination.




There are currently five bills in the House creating the space agency: HB 3637, HB 4275, HB 4367, HB 4623, and HB 6413. I am the author of HB 6413 (AN ACT ESTABLISHING A PHILIPPINE SPACE DEVELOPMENT AND UTILIZATION FRAMEWORK AND CREATING THE PHILIPPINE SPACE AGENCY (PhilSA), DEFINING THE SCOPE OF ITS POWERS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES).


Over at the Senate, there are three bills on the same matter: SBN 1572, SBN 1259, and SBN 1211.


Space exploration can be cost-effective but it will still entail huge capital requirements. It is for this reason I suggest to the DOST and the DOF that they consider issuing Science Bonds for the long-term financing of our space science efforts and the development of our country science, technology, research, as well as education programs on science and mathematics.


I suggest the issuance of Science Bonds because our national budget simply cannot fund all of our science needs given our many development priorities.


While the release of Maya-1 from the International Space Station marks a milestone in space technology for the Philippines, the members of PHL-Microsat program remain focused and committed to the hard work that remains ahead. In particular, the few days after its release, the team members from the Philippines, Bhutan and Malaysia have been working together to establish contact with the CubeSats through the BIRDS ground station network and to perform initial measurements and characterizations, said the press release of the Department of Science and Technology.



By Boy Villasanta


Both bride and groom had arts in their veins and true nationalism as well in their choice of garb for both sides—the bride and the groom’s. They planned everything to the last detail, even though they hired a wedding planner, who ended up executing their every plans and designs.


For all these efforts, the wedding of JR Arella to long-time fiancée Merean Roca—both of them are from Quezon province—ended up like a piece for both history and art books.


Their Filipiniana-inspired motif organized by the Arella family of JR Arella has been a tradition. When his younger sister Jacqueline Arella married Raymond Palad some years back, the setting of the wedding was the historic Intramuros and most of the guests came in their Filipino dresses—Barong Tagalog in many colors, shapes and styles among men and Maria Clara-influenced cut among women and the reception was every inch in local color.


            So when JR got engaged to his fiancée Merean, they both planned the nuptial and march down the aisle early this month at the Cathedral of San Diego de Alcala in the Diocese of Gumaca in Quezon Province.


The Filipiniana-themed ambience was always the centerpiece of the special day. More than the wedding preparation, the 10-year romance of JR and Merean was the evolving factor of adapting a nationalistic fervor in the final touches of the matrimonial ceremony.


Arella is an artist. He paints and sculpts since he was a young boy. In high school, he went to the Philippine High School for the Arts (PHSA) in Los Baños, Laguna but later moved to a school nearer in Lopez, Quezon where his mom and dad resided. In Gumaca, he went to the Holy Child School inside the parochial church of the town, where he met and fell for Merean, also an artist.


Both loved the arts so much that they always talked about music, literature, film, visual arts, theater, architecture and anything on humanities.  Their patriotism was anchored in the arts.

            After college, both JR and Merean taught the arts. But since he got employed by the National Museum in Manila as museum guide, he left the teaching load to his girlfriend.


           JR’s cousin, another artist and cultural worker-- Gemma Arella Suguitan San Jose—said both JR and Merean were the wedding planners apart from the official wedding planner they hired.


“They wanted a personal touch to the wedding preparation,” informed San Jose. The wedding planner was the one who executed the concept while the bride and groom were the think tanks. Among the things the planner was in charge of was the food which was also personally chosen by JR and Merean and the venue decoration which they also conceptualized. Materials were advised by them and were bought and prepared by the planner.

            “But of course, even if they were busy with their respective jobs in Manila, they still managed to come home to Gumaca to personally attend and oversee the wedding preparation,” recalled Gemma who was one of the sponsors during the ecclesiastical wedding ceremony and one of the emcees during the reception.


JR and Merean are from Lopez and Pitogo, both municipalities of Quezon, respectively.


On the eve of the wedding, the Cathedral of San Diego de Alcala was transformed into a colorful village without desecrating the event. The church entrance was bedecked with assorted blooms and foliage especially white roses for the arch and horizontal panels with native hats made of indigenous materials like buri and anahaw tacked on both sides. A long twine of white laces with intermittent pots of various flowers in each corner like sampaguita, roses of various hues and daisies cordoned off the aisle up to the altar. The façade was decked with flowers.


The bride and groom wore Filipiniana (JR in a heavily- embroidered jusi barong and Merean in an off-shoulder Maria Clara white gown with a long train). An after party change costume came with Arella in a shade of silk blue Barong Tagalog and Merean still in a white Maria Clara-cut top over a blue flowing skirt).

The bridesmaids donned local textiles/tapestry on their butterfly sleeves of their ternos and the men’s barong. Most of the members of newly-weds’ families and some guests came in Filipiniana although it was specified in the invite that well-wishers are requested to come in their Filipiniana-inspired attire though the couple did not impose any dress code as they are happy to see their well-wishers in national dresses.

The Diocese of Gumaca auditorium where the reception was held was decorated with as Gemma  echoed: “elements like baybayin (the native alphabet), lingling-o (types of flowers), Tayabas (now Quezon) products particularly the Lopenze siete colores abaniko (seven colored hand fans).”

Gumaca’s landmark, a castle (locally called kastilyo, located on the seaside northeast of the town) a trademark of its township was reproduced and perched onstage with matching twinkling little stars. “The details were perfect,” complimented Gemma.

In postscript, there was lyrical poetry in the vernacular written by JR to his wife which summed up their Filipiniana-type wedding: “May ngiti sa aking labi sa tuwing ika'y nakikita...mula sa pagsikat ng araw buhay ko'y sumigla...tunay na pag-ibig may taglay na ginhawa…(There’s always a smile on my lips whenever I see you…from sunrise to vitalize my life…true love has some kind of relief”)—free verse translation mine.




Have you had days when you lacked focus - or felt unreasonably grouchy? Perhaps it was because you didn't get enough sleep the night before. Nowadays, it's commonly called the 'low-batt' syndrome. 

If you think that's something to laugh about, go through this simple checklist. You might be in more danger than you think. 

Lack of sleep can lead to:

1. Poor work/school performance 

2. Absent-mindedness

3. Road accidents

4. Skin problems

5. Headaches

6. Irritable mood

7. Lack of sex drive

Do NOT take sleep for granted. Find immediate solutions if neighbors like these are robbing you of your basic right to sleep.

* Loud and boisterous karaoke addicts. (Worse, if they sing out of tune.)

* Ignorant and uncaring condominium dwellers that lack GMRC: Good Manners and Right Conduct. (They drag furniture and fixtures throughout the night.)

* Construction companies that run their equipment despite barangay regulations. (No noise /construction at night.)



Sleep interruption and deprivation are serious matters. Why suffer? File complaints with authorities if your health is at risk. Make sure that city / municipal orders and barangay ordinances are enforced.

It is impossible for you to perform well at work, school or home (and even at sex) when you don't get the right amount of quality sleep.



A good night's rest and deep sleep can improve your body-mind wellness and enhance your quality of life.

• Less stress

• More energy

• Happier mood

• Clearer/smoother skin

• Sharper focus and memory

• Better decision-making

• Increased sex drive



When you feel 'low-batt' from lack of sleep, Body-Mind Wellness Consultant and Clinical Psychologist / Psychpreneur Dino Ubalde's advice is to take all-natural food supplement Imuregen as an easy and convenient way to recharge your immune system and reboot your mental alertness. (

Take corrective action. It is your right to be happy and stay healthy in body and mind. Hay naku!


Vivien Mangalindan is available for trainings on Public Speaking and Customer Service. * She is also a Broadcaster. Be entertained as you get informed every Monday at 3:00 p.m. Tune in to SHOW AND TELL RADIO on DWBL 1242 AM radio - with video LIVE streaming on YouTube and Facebook: Show And Tell Radio. * Read her column online in Facebook: Hay Naku Pinoy. * Do you want your products and services to be featured? Text 0918-521-5400



Today's fast-paced lifestyle often takes its toll and leads to stress. Are there times when you feel that you simply need a quick-fix to shift your mood into a more relaxed and less anxious state?



Music is one of the quickest ways to put you in a healthier and more positive mood. Try listening to my favorite and most effective 'mood-reboot' music. It is found in YouTube: "Pure Clean Positive Energy Vibration". 

• Sit comfortably. 

• Close your eyes. 

• Take three slow and deep breaths. 

• Listen and focus on the peaceful, soothing and relaxing music.

• Keep breathing slowly and deeply as the music calms you.


Feel refreshed after this powerful energy-boosting reboot for body, mind and spirit.



Here are some effects and health benefits of mood-enhancing relaxation music:

1. Calm your nerves

2. Reduce anxiety

3. Slow down breathing

4. Lower blood pressure

5. Increase ability to focus

6. Improve attention

7. Enhance creativity 

8. Fall asleep more easily

9. Improve quality of sleep



AT WORK: Were there times when you felt that your stress level was making it almost impossible for you to think straight? When you feel the pressure of work getting on your nerves, take a music break. It can alter your mood and give you a fresh start.

AT HOME: When your noisy kids are driving you nuts at home, go to your room. Take a five-minute break. Put your headset on and reboot.



Flute music produces one of the most soothing sounds effective for mood enhancement. It's a great stress-buster. Surprisingly, the flute is so easy to play that children use it in their music subject in schools. The Philippine bamboo flute has even become a gift of choice to bring back home by foreigners and balikbayans. (Facebook: Kingflute Philippines Since 1981)



When you find yourself in an undesirable mood, take a break. Reboot! Remember that music can change your mood. Hay naku!

Vivien Mangalindan is available for trainings on Confidence, Public Speaking and Customer Service. * She is also a Broadcaster. Be entertained as you get informed every Monday at 3:00 p.m. Tune in to SHOW AND TELL RADIO on DWBL 1242 AM radio - with video LIVE streaming on YouTube and Facebook: Show And Tell Radio. * Read her column online in Facebook: Hay Naku Pinoy. * Do you want your products and services to be featured? Text 0918-521-5400




Now there is a simple, inexpensive yet accurate coffee moisture meter for green coffee beans and coffee parchment made and funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).


Coffee farmers, buyers, and processors need not employ the traditional, subjective, slow, destructive and costly way of moisture content measurement. Researchers from the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech) have developed a better alternative, through the PCAARRD-funded project “Development of non-destructive moisture meter for green coffee beans and parchment coffee.”


The research team led by Engr. Arlene C. Joaquin of PhilMech, in partnership with a local electronic company, made a prototype unit coffee moisture meter using a capacitive sensor oscillator circuit for both green coffee beans and coffee parchments.


Joaquin, in a project report, indicated that the prototype moisture meter is sufficiently accurate for three coffee varieties:  Coffea arabica, Coffea liberica, and Coffea canephora for both green coffee beans and coffee parchments. This was the result of calibration experiments and validation tests conducted at PhilMech, Nueva Ecija.


t is important to know the amount of moisture content in coffee parchment and beans to maintain high cupping quality. Green coffee bean with high moisture content (greater than 12 percent wet basis), can deteriorate due to bacteria, mold, and yeast. On the other hand, coffee beans with less than 9 percent moisture will shrink and become distorted, making them appear as low quality beans. To ensure the best quality in coffee, monitoring its moisture content at all times after it is dried is necessary to command a better price at the time of sale. (Ofelia F. Domingo, DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Service)


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Monday, 20 January 2020
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