University of the Philippines Los Baños
Horizon online
The UPLB Horizon is a newspaper/magazine that features articles on instruction, research and public service initiatives and programs, as well as information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. Some articles that are featured in it appear on the UPLB website. For contributions, email [email protected].


Her researches have helped us build our defenses against environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, and increased vulnerability to environmental risks and hazards.

Hence, for Dr. Damasa “Demi” Magcale-Macandog, professor at the Institute of Biological Sciences, the 2014 Environmental Science Award of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) is well deserved.

In particular, Dr. Macandog was recognized for leading a multidisciplinary research program that looked into various issues on the linkage between environmental degradation of the country’s largest freshwater body, Laguna de Bay, and food and human health.

The Laguna LakeHEAD Program on Managing Environmental Risks for Sustainable Food and Health Security in Watershed Planning in Laguna Lake Region found that pollution caused by urbanization and development have degraded the environment in Laguna Lake. Hence, she and her team have recommended strategies to rehabilitate the lake and to address the problem to prevent dire impacts on public health and food security.

Currently, a project component of the nationwide program “Detailed Resources Assessment Using Light Detection and Ranging (Phil-LiDAR-2)” is keeping Dr. Macandog busy.

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Four years ago, Dr. Fernando Chinte Sanchez, Jr., associate professor of landscape horticulture at the College of Agriculture (CA), designed and decorated the stage of Quirino Grandstand in Manila for the then inauguration of Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III in 2010. Fast forward to Oct. 29, 2014, and Dr. Sanchez found himself standing on a beautifully designed stage at the Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Pavilion where he took his oath as the ninth chancellor of UPLB.

By holding the turnover and his oath-taking ceremony at the MBG, Chancellor Sanchez was paying tribute to the memory of his grandfather, Dr. Felix Oraa Chinte, Sr. Dr. Chinte started the teaching vocation in the Chinte-Sanchez family as a pioneer faculty member at the then College of Forestry.

In his first official address as UPLB Chancellor, Chancellor Sanchez recalled how he accompanied his grandfather to Mount Makiling during the latter’s field works. In these trips, he witnessed the old man’s dedication, perseverance, and commitment to the University.

Who would have thought that by inspiring teachers in his family, one of them would rise to the highest position in UPLB? Dr. Chinte would have been proud of how Chancellor Sanchez enjoined the UPLB constituents to perform their roles towards making UPLB a globally competitive research university.

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(Screengrab from Bandila News Program, ABS-CBN)


“Creativity is to see what everybody else has seen but to think what nobody else has thought.” -Albert Einstein

This favorite quote of Dr. Ramon C. Barba, newly conferred National Scientist of the Philippines, describes his lifework.

His colleagues in the scientific community attest to “his ability to perceive simple solutions to complex problems and to produce results with minimum expenditure and gadgetry.”

Take the case of his major research – the discovery of mango flower induction by potassium nitrate (KNO3). This discovery, according to mango expert Nestor Bondad, “is considered internationally as the most significant breakthrough in mango research” and “a milestone in the study of tropical tree physiology”. Hence, Dr. Barba is known as the “Mango Hero.”

The mango technology is important because the few research breakthroughs in the past 50 years with far-reaching implications in agriculture concentrated on breeding new plant varieties of major cereals.

Dr. Barba’s discovery of KN03 was on the neglected area of systematic plant growth control, that is, to alter plant behavior in order that they can be more productive under existing farming technology.

From a PhP500 research budget in the 1970s, Dr. Barba’s solution to mango’s seasonal, biennial and erratic fruit-bearing habits provided the main stimulus for the development of the now multi-billion peso mango industry in the Philippines and in tropical countries.

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Year 1918 is such a distant year for many, transcending historical memories of today’s EDSA People Power participants, Martial Law victims, and World War II survivors. Because it took place during the American colonial period, it is an episode in our history that most of us can only imagine through reading and research.

During the said year, the legislative branch of the Philippine Islands had been enjoying the fruits of the Jones Law for two years already. The said law is a milestone in 20th Century Philippine politics because it conceived the Senate of the Philippines. Filipino leaders were given bigger roles in administering the country. In particular, future Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon was gradually and surely making a name as the foremost Filipino leader of his time. 

At the local scene in Los Baños, Laguna, particularly at the UP College of Agriculture (UPCA), the academic atmosphere was almost as fresh as the established colonial government.  Only degree programs in agriculture and forestry were offered. In terms of leadership, Dean Charles Fuller Baker was at the helm of the College one year after the retirement of first dean Edwin Bingham Copeland. Also, the campus was yet to see the entrance of female students.

CAMP-BOUND: UPCA faculty and student volunteers to the Philippine National Guard on their way to Camp Claudio in Parañaque for their training.
(Photo taken from "The Philippine Agriculturist" Vol 43, No. 1 published in June 1959)

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Dr. Fernando Chinte Sanchez, Jr. has been elected UPLB chancellor at the 1301st meeting of the UP Board of Regents on Sept. 30, 2014. As the ninth Chancellor of the University, his term of office takes  effect on Nov. 1, 2014-Oct. 31, 2017.

A certified arborist and a licensed agriculturist, Dr. Sanchez is a landscape horticulturist/planner/arborist by profession. He obtained his BS Agriculture and MS Environmental Science both at UPLB and his Ph.D. in Landscape Architecture at the Tokyo University of Agriculture in Japan. He is the first in the Phillippines to graduate with a Ph.D. in landscape architecture.

To strengthen his academic preparation for more challenging roles in the University, he attended a number of continuing professional education courses. Among these are the Programme for Leadership in University Management, sponsored by the Tamasek Foundation and National University of Singapore; and the Executive Development Program for SUCs: Workshop on Revisiting and Enhancing the SUCs’ Strategic Plans sponsored by the Commission on Higher Education and Development (CHED) Academy of the Philippines in partnership with the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC).

He has been part of the faculty of the Department of Horticulture since 1988 and has served the University for 26 years.

Dr. Sanchez is recognized as one of the pioneers in the development of the landscape horticulture profession in the Philippines. He is currently an Associate Professor 7 at the Crop Science Cluster, and is responsible for teaching 19 undergraduate and graduate courses on ornamental and landscape horticulture and adviser to more than 80 BS Agriculture (landscape horticulture) and two MS students.

His involvement in the research and technology promotion of edible landscaping earned overwhelming interest among individuals representing various sectors. In addition, he has also completed eight research projects that generated five technical publications in refereed journals, five technical publications in conference proceedings, and several technical papers presented in national and international conferences.

Dr. Sanchez has served as Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development (Nov 1, 2011-Oct 31, 2014) at UPLB after serving six years as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development.

In the presentation of his vision paper as UPLB chancellor, entitled “UNITY IN DIVERSITY: A Forward Looking Globally Competitive Research University,” he envisioned mobilizing the many untapped minds of faculty, researchers, staff, and alumni who are enthusiastic and willing to share ideas and experiences in creating alternative approaches towards the betterment of the University. According to him, the diverse constituency with different viewpoints and beliefs within UPLB is a strength that should be maximized.

Through this gathering of minds towards one goal, Dr. Sanchez aims to enhance UPLB’s status as a national center of excellence in agriculture, forestry, engineering, veterinary sciences, environment, biotechnology, and culture and arts in the Southern Tagalog region.

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