In mid-2020, while communities continued to grasp the severity and longevity imposed by the “new normal,” a small program started broadcasting on the internet to bring the latest news on research breakthroughs, acts of “bayanihan,” and other relevant activities happening on the UPLB campus.
This program is Galing UPLB, an initiative of the Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication of the College of Development Communication (DDBT-CDC), in cooperation with the Office of Public Relations (OPR) and the Office of Alumni Relations.
Galing UPLB is a play on the Filipino words “gáling,” meaning “from,” and “galíng” which means “ability” or “excellence.”
The program is streamed live every Friday at 5PM via the Facebook page of DZLB 1116 AM Ang Tinig ng Kaunlaran, and is composed of three segments – UPLB Balita, Usapang UPLB, and Tatak UPLB.
UPLB Balita is a segment that chronicles UPLB-related news. Usapang UPLB tackles a topic, with the host interviewing expert guests. Finally, Tatak UPLB features conversations with prominent and successful UPLB alumni. The program runs to over one hour and is full of news, information, stories, and insights about the UPLB community.
For the past six months starting July 3, a set of 22 episodes of Galing UPLB have already been produced and aired. Each episode tackled various topics about UPLB’s activities, and sparked conversations that dwelled on research, student struggles, the latest technological and scientific breakthroughs, updates about the university’s administration, and the various programs and protocols that UPLB is rolling out to cope with the pandemic.
Galing had been especially valuable in introducing and promoting important university initiatives to a wide audience, among them “Oplan Hatid” and “Oplan Kawingan” of the then UPLB Office of Student Affairs (now Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs) which aimed to help UPLB students who were stranded after the lockdown.
It also talked about the operations of the UPLB COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory when it opened to receive test samples from partner hospitals in Laguna and increase the testing capacity in Southern Luzon. Another pandemic-related discussion ensued on Galing’s last episode for 2020, where it highlighted the health protocols implemented in UPLB to prevent virus transmission on campus.
Galing UPLB also became a platform for researchers to talk about relevant research topics in an open and informal environment where they were able to share new developments and their implications on the community.
Informative discussions that would usually take place in classrooms and conference halls were broadcast on Galing UPLB, such as understanding projection models of the COVID-19 pandemic with Dr. Jomar Rabajante from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics, and exploring facilitated community development in rural areas with Dr. Emilia S. Visco, program leader of the S&T Community-based for inclusive development program.
But perhaps one of Galing UPLB’s most notable milestones this year was its exclusive interview with Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr. mere hours after his election by the UP Board of Regents.
In a time of limited face-to-face interaction, Galing UPLB has served as a way of reaching out to the wider online UPLB community, including its students and alumni, and keeping them updated and connected with the goings-on in the campus.
“Galing UPLB is an important platform through which we update the public about the various academic programs, research undertakings, and public service initiatives of the University,” said Mark Lester Chico, production consultant of Galing UPLB and director of OPR.
“It is also through which we provide our stakeholders a time to enjoy the company of their ‘batchmates’ and get to know our successful alumni,” he noted.
As the program ends its first season, the Galing UPLB team feels very positive about future directions that the program can take.
“For next year, Galing UPLB plans to strengthen the participation of the UPLB community in the program,” said Ryan Jay Galang of DDBT-CDC and Galing UPLB’s executive producer and host. “Currently, we are in talks with the different colleges, units, and offices to explore partnerships where we invite them to serve as segment producers, talents, or resource persons of the program. We are also encouraging them to produce their own programs via DZLB Online.”
“The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension (OVCRE) has already expressed its intent to partner with us to showcase the research, technologies, and extension activities of the university. To widen its audience reach, especially among alumni, the Alumni Relations Officers (AROs) will also be involved in the production, featuring the activities, programs, and outstanding alumni of the different colleges in the university,” added Galang.
With the on-going construction of the new DZLB transmitter tower, Galang said that DZLB intends to purchase a new transmitter to resume its broadcast operation and is planning to hold a training workshop for potential partners of the station in the coming year.
“I am excited for the many other things that Galing UPLB would offer our UPLB community starting next year with our growing number of partners including OVCRE and hopefully other units, too,” said Chico. (JJS Arana & AGB Peralta)