As we embark on a new chapter, the VIP CORALS proudly presents the highlights of our first quarter of 2024. From groundbreaking research awards to enlightening interviews, immersive fieldwork experiences, and impactful educational initiatives in marine conservation, our journey continues to be marked by dedication, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to our mission. Join us as we celebrate the milestones and accomplishments that have illuminated our path towards a sustainable marine future.


The VIP CORALS have again, woven together a narrative of innovation, collaboration, and impact, setting the stage for even greater achievements in the chapters to come. As we conclude our journey through the fourth quarter of 2023, let’s take a moment to revel in the array of achievements that adorned our journey through innovation and collaboration.


Amidst the dynamic third quarter, the VIP CORALS has achieved numerous achievements, navigating through the wonders of marine science and conservation with enthusiasm and resolve. These accomplishments serve as mere building blocks toward a future where oceans thrive, and nature’s wonders endure for generations to come. Here’s a peek into the VIP CORALS as we propelled through the third quarter of 2023, sparking fresh waves of advancement and creativity.


Our team at the VIP CORALS has been making waves and leaving a lasting impact on various fronts in the 1st half of the year. From diving into the depths of coral restoration to navigating the murky waters of environmental advocacy, we’ve been on a thrilling journey of discovery and action. Here’s a glimpse into the dynamic world of VIP CORALS as we kickstarted the first quarter of 2023.


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.

STEM-2-STEM v2.0: BTBox

In collaboration with the BS Biology program, VIP CORALS extends their help to 12 senior high schools offering STEM who participated in the workshop entitled “STEM-2-STEM v2.0: Support and training for enhancement of mentoring (STEM) to STEM Academic strand in the k-12 curriculum for biotechnology.” This workshop involves the use of classroom-ready kits developed by Biotechnology in a Box (BTBox) and a lecture on the basic concept of Molecular Biology methods.

The workshop was held last November 23, 2018 at the Biology Laboratory-2 (under the VIP CORALS), 2nd floor, CIRTC Building.