VIP CORALS 1st Anniversary

In celebration of Verde Island Passage Center for Oceanographic Research and Aquatic Life Sciences’ (VIP CORALS’) 1st Anniversary on February 14, 2019, the center conducted a seminar series entitled “Waves and Ripples at the Heart of the Coral Triangle”. The event tackled about the importance of the different marine-related topics by invited speakers from different institutions.


Left to Right: Dr. Jayvee A. Saco (Center Head, VIP CORALS), Joseph Ascalon (SEA Institute), Dr. Dexter dela Cruz (Southern Cross University), Emilia Sabban (VIP CORALS), Talna dela Cruz (PM-TMEM), Dr. Vanessa Baria-Rodriguez (UP MSI), Dr. Emma Ballad (BFAR Reg II), Nero Austero (National Museum), Dr. Wilfred Santiañez (UP MSI), Dr. Renan Bobiles (Bicol University), Najeen Rula (VIP CORALS) and Joshua Vacarizas (VIP CORALS)

The seminar was commenced by Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo, Batangas State University’s President, with his welcoming remarks who conveyed his acknowledgement of the existence of the center in protecting and researching in the Verde Island passage. It was followed by Dr. Renan U. Bobiles from Bicol University, who discussed about the importance of marine protected areas. Dr. Emma Ballad, from BFAR Region II, incorporated the connection between socio-environmental economics and the marine protected areas in the Philippines. Dr. Vanessa Baria-Rodriguez, from the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute (UP MSI), highlighted the significance of coral reefs to the oceans, its inhabitants and even to us, humans. While Dr. Wilfred Santianez from the same University emphasized on seaweed farming ecological and economic value. Southern Cross University researcher, Dr. Dexter Dela Cruz’s main discussion was concerned on coral reef restoration and some of its consequences. SEA-VIP personnel, Mr. Joal Ascalon, share up some of their institution’s work-related activities in engaging citizens to the science world and the importance of their contribution in battling climate change. Meanwhile, Ms. Talna de la Cruz, from UP MSI, tackled the input of science and communication. Moreover, National Museum of the Philippines’ staff,  Mr. Nero Burner, opened his discussion on maritime archeology.

Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo (top) commencing the event and Dr. Jayvee A. Saco (bottom) concluding the  anniversary

The event was then concluded by Dr. Jayvee A. Saco, Center Head of VIP CORALS, with his warm message towards the invited speakers as well as to the students, faculty and others that have attended to the said event.

Meeting with Dr. Shan He of Ningbo University

The VIP CORALS expands its network with a meeting with Dr. Shan He (person in middle wearing blue), Associate Dean of College of Food and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo, China last February 11, 2019. He presented the different colleges in Ningbo University; programs offered, international collaboration, funding and its connection with the Philippines.  He also discussed the importance of the scientific diving training, different marine drug discovery and marine healthcare products where he is affiliated. Lastly, he offered future collaborations between Ningbo University and Batangas State University through collaborative agreements, students exchange and recruitment, marine drug discovery and healthy food development and exploring twilight zone resource by scientific deep diving.

Kick-Off the Year with VIP CORALS

On the 18th of January 2019, VIP CORALS launched a kick-off event for its 1st anniversary on February 14, 2019. The kick-off event was a seminar about “Biological Activity and Marine Biodiversity.”

Dr. Armin Coronado of Polytechnic University of the Philippines discussed his study entitled “Biological Activities of Sulphated Polysaccharides from Brown Seaweeds and their Potential Applications in Pharmaceutical and Related Industries.” In his study, Dr. Coronado highlighted the potential applications which include the antimicrobial activity of Crude Ethanolic Extract (CEE) against Staphylococcus aureus, and the Crude Sulfated Polysaccharide (CSP) as natural anti-cancer compound.

Dr. Noel Saguil of University of Utah played a 12-minute video presentation about the cone snails, its diversity, and the various researches done on cone snails. Dr. Saguil later discussed about Conus geographus, the ocean’s most venomous and deadliest cone snail, and recounted his experiences with C. geographus. However, on 2017, there was a breakthrough on drug development which involve the utilization of C. geographus’ venom as treatment for hormonal cancer.

Asst. Prof Ruthela Payawal from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines was also present in the seminar.

At the conclusion of the event, Dr. Jayvee Saco announced that VIP CORALS will be celebrating its 1st founding anniversary and invited the guests to come and celebrate with the center.