Dr. Kent Carpenter’s Lecture-Forum

Committed to protect our marine ecosystems, the Batangas State University has partnered with the United States Embassy to host Dr. Kent Carpenter, a Professor in Biological Sciences at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia for a lecture-forum on November 20, 9:30 AM at the Lecture Room, CITE Building, Batangas State University Pablo Borbon Main I, Rizal Avenue Extension, Batangas City.

The program started with an invocation and the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo gave his welcome message followed by an AVP presentation of the VIP CORALS. Dr. Romel U. Briones introduced the resource person, Dr. Kent Carpenter. The lecture of Dr. Carpenter entitled “Environmental Damage to Coral Reefs in the South China Sea and International Arbitration Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” provided insights and raised awareness about the detrimental effects of human activities to the coral reefs. Students from different colleges were present during the lecture-forum.


ARMS Training

Dr. Miguel Azcuna and Ms. Jovy Ann Valera participated in the Training on Retrieval and Processing of Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS) for Reef Cryptobiodiversity and Ocean Acidification last October 5 to 7, 2019 in Seas Spring Resort, Mainit, Mabini, Batangas.

International Training on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM)

Najeen Arabelle Rula, Jovy Ann Valera, and Dr. Jayvee Saco attended the International Training on Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) last August 12-15 and October 1-4, 2019, respectively.

The said training served as an international framework for efficient fisheries management using the ecosystem approach. The training also ignited meaningful discussions about the challenges in sustainable management of our fisheries resources.

Saknungan sa VIP 2019

Last September 20, 2019, De La Salle University, in partnership with Batangas State University, VIP CORALS, Oscar M. Lopez Center, California Academy of Sciences, SEA Institute – VIP, Pusod, Inc., Smithsonian Institution, and Old Dominion University, organized Saknungan sa VIP 2019 with the theme ” Building a Sustainable Verde Island Passage through Citizen Science.”

Saknungan sa VIP 2019

Infographics and video presentations about Verde Island

Infographics about Philippine Reefs

Fish Identification Guide

Signing of MOU between DLSU and BatStateU; MOA between CAS and BatStateU

Dr. Tirso A. Ronquillo delivered his opening and welcome remarks for the Saknungan sa VIP 2019. Afterwards, Dr. Ronquillo presented the VIP CORALS as the National Center for Marine Biodiversity Research in the Verde Island Passage.

Dr. Wilfredo Licuanan, Dr. Meg Burke, Dr. Terrence Gosliner, and Dr. Jeff Williams discussed the Citizen Science in Coral Reefs: The 4M Methods.

Glenn Mariano of Pisces Project talked about “Scaling Up Beyond the Three Communities.”

Pacifico Beldia from Malampaya Project shared the lessons and challenges from basic coral reef monitoring for biodiversity conservation.

Photos from Batangas State University Public Relations

EcoCamp by the Sea for Teachers

SEA Institute – Verde Island Passage and VIP CORALS organized the first-ever EcoCamp by the Sea for Teachers held at Cerca Parola Beach Resort, Lobo, Batangas last July 11-12, 2019. The participants were the Grade School and High School teachers of Batangas State University Integrated School.

During the first day of the EcoCamp, the teachers were introduced to the marine environment, habitat, ecosystems, different marine plants and animals, and basic field equipment.

On the second day of the EcoCamp, there were discussions about threats to the marine environment such as marine pollution. They also conducted a coastal clean-up.

Photos from Joal Ascalon of SEA Institute

VIP CORALS attended the 15th National Symposium on Marine Science (PAMS15)

VIP CORALS attended the 15th National Symposium on Marine Science (PAMS15) held at Aklan State University, Banga Aklan last July 4-6, 2019.

VIP CORALS Focal Persons, Research Faculty, and Research Assistants (OJT)

On July 3, VIP CORALS attended the Telemetry Workshop organized by LAMAVE (Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines).

On July 4, Dr. Jayvee Saco shared the vision, mission, and mandates of the marine research center of Batangas State University, the Verde Island Passage Center for Oceanographic Research and Aquatic Life Sciences (VIP CORALS).

Najeen Arabelle Rula presented the results of the study entitled “Preliminary Assessment of Seaweed-Seagrass Communities at the Southern Part of Verde Island, Batangas City, Philippines.”

The following day, July 5, Joshua Vacarizas and Jovy Ann Valera presented the results of their research entitled “Hard coral cover diversity of Isla Verde: result of first assessment and plan for establishing monitoring stations,” and “Draft linkage map for the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra generated from ddRAD sequencing,” respectively, during the Poster Presentation session.

The VIP CORALS’ research assistants also presented during the Poster Presentation session.

Alvin Tabuga presented the results of their undergraduate research about the seagrass community structure in two selected areas in Calatagan, Batangas.

Jade Symon Binay presented the research entitled “Phytoplankton Composition of Selected Shallow Marine Ecosystems in Verde Island, Philippines.”

Leah Mae Sanchez presented the research entitled “Preliminary Inventory of Fish and Invertebrates in Verde Island, Batangas City, Philippines.”

Donalyn Ellysa Gamier (left) and Danica Abigail Velasco (right) presented the results of their undergraduate research entitled “Geometric Morphometric Analysis on the Shell of Green Mussell (Perna viridis) from Two Culturing Sites in Cavite Province”.

Alecs Persia presented the research entitled “Beach forest characterisation in Barangay San Agapito, Verde Island, Philippines.”

Dr. Jayvee Saco also presented the study about building the capability of high school teachers on doing marine biodiversity, which is an initiative of Batangas State University during the Oral Presentation session.

Dr. Jayvee Saco was also elected as the Vice President for Luzon.

Oathtaking of the newly elected officers of the Philippine Association of Marine Science (PAMS)


VIP CORALS attended the 8th National Symposium and Scientific Meeting of the Philippine Phycological Society Inc. (PPSI)

Last June 20-21, 2019, VIP CORALS attended the 8th National Symposium and Scientific Meeting of the Philippine Phycological Society Inc. (PPSI) with the theme “Convergence of Algal Research Innovations for Nature and Human Utilization.”

Left to right: Dr. Miguel Azcuna, Dr. Jayvee Saco, Jovy Ann Valera, Najeen Rula, and Joshua Vacarizas

Dr. Jayvee Saco, Joshua Vacarizas, and Najeen Rula presented their researches during the oral presentation.

Dr. Jayvee Saco presented his study entitled “The Dependency of Photosynthetic Characteristics to Chloroplast Position in Ulva conglobata (Ulvophyceae).”

Joshua Vacarizas presented his study entitled “Insights on Phytoplankton density and occurrence of Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species in Verde Island.”

Najeen Rula presented her study entitled “Culture of Halymenia durvillei (Rhodophyceae) Under Different Combination of Light, Stocking Density and Water Motion.”

For the poster presentation, Jade Symon Binay, Jana Abigail Soriano, and Alecs Persia presented their undergraduate researches.

Dr. Jayvee Saco and Najeen Rula were also awarded as the 3rd and 2nd Best Oral Presenters.

Left to right: Dr. Jayvee Saco, Ella Beringuela (Microbial Oceanography Laboratory), and Najeen Rula

Before concluding the program, an election was conducted. In the said election, Dr. Jayvee Saco was elected as one of the officers of the Philippine Phycological Society Inc. (PPSI)

Oathtaking of the newly-elected officers of the Philippine Phycological Society Inc. (PPSI)

Dr. Jayvee A. Saco receives the Best Paper Award

On March 16, 2019, the Japanese Society of Phycology awarded Dr. Jayvee A. Saco the Best Paper Award for his study “Chloroplast position and photosynthetic characteristics in two monostromatic species, Monostroma angicava and Protomonostroma undulatum (Ulvophyceae), having a shared ecological niche.”

The study was also featured on the Japanese Journal of Phycology on July 10, 2019.

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.