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Generosity of NZ School Children Raises $750,000 for the Philippines

New Zealand help to the Philippines

Schools help raise more than  750 000 for Philippines

I’m quite impressed how New Zealand has been relentlessly helping the Philippines.

Notwithstanding the monetary aid and relief teams that their government had sent, the Kiwis continue to generate more funds for the Philippines.

As their way of teaching kindness and generosity, New Zealand schools held a mufti day on 22 November.

The Campbell Live TV show spearheaded this campaigh.

Watch the the video coverage of the school children’s fund raising by CLICKING on the image above.

Thank you very much!

Mabuhay ang New Zealand!

If you haven’t donated yet, send your help now!

Join the Hopevale Trust in helping the Philippines.

CLICK on the link below for details on how you may send your donations:


Centralian invented Solar Night Light being used in typhoon-stricken areas

Solar Night Light by Silverio Navarro Jr.
Solar Night Light


Silver says:

It’s heart warming when I saw my invention being used to light up areas hit by Yolanda. Thanks to Shelter Foundation and TESDA for helping spread this technology.

It only started as a design challenge to light up at night the bottles on the roof that were promoted by Illac Diaz.

The design had to be simple using locally available parts and the device can be easily fabricated and repaired by local people.

After building the first prototypes, the interest to replicate this just spread like wildfire. Please sponsor the dissemination of the solar LED lamps to light up more lives. This is my contribution to humanity, galing sa Pinoy para sa mundo (from Filipinos for the world).

SOURCE: Facebook Wall of Silverio T. Navarro Jr.

Engr. Silverio T. Navarro Jr. graduated Electrical Engineering at CPU in 1989. During his student days, he designed the electronic bell of Central Philippine University that plays the Alma Mater song to signal the start/end of every class period.

For readers who might search in the Internet and read the article about the Solar Night Light being attributed to University of Sto. Tomas engineering students, here’s what Silver said:

“I taught the UST students how to build the solar LED lamps with an instruction manual and guided them to talk to TESDA to promote this nationwide. There are several parties claiming who started this but they know it was yours truly who designed and built the first prototype. It’s self glorification to fight for this claim, so I focus more in helping others benefit from this technology. Others will use this for financial gains with selfish ends, so be warned.”

Send your help now! Join the Hopevale Trust in helping the Philippines.

CLICK on the link below for details on how you may send your donations:



Why Civil Engineering Remains a Bright and Lucrative Course

civil engineering career

I read an article titled “Philippine Government Increases Infrastructure Expenditure to 5% of GDP in 2014 – Is This Enough?” and realised that Civil Engineering is a good course of choice.

Do you know why?

  • The Philippine Government has earmarked $9.24 billion (3% of GDP) for infrastructure spending in the 2014 budget.
  • Infrastructure spending will increase to 5% in the next two years or at $13.57 billion and $19.05 billion in 2015 and 2016, respectively

Now, this is only as far as Philippines is concerned.

Read this article “Why Infrastructure Management is Important“, and you will notice how much the countries in regions of the world will be spending annually for infrastructures.

According to the World Bank Infrastructure Strategy Update chart, the annual infrastructure spending of some world regions is 7% of GDP or between $45.3 to $207 billion dollars.

Also, with most developing and third-world countries struggling for integrity, the World Bank would be needing honest and skilled civil engineers who would supervise all these infrastructure program implementation around the world.

Now, consider this.

For all the infrastructures these countries will be building as they cope with population and development, the role of infrastructure management or infrastructure asset management experts are valuable.

CLICKING on the image below will direct you to a post that will provide snippets of infrastructure management learning in the Philippine context.

Philippine Government Increases Infrastructure Expenditure to 5  of GDP in 2014 – Inframanage

Study at Central Philippine University.

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Finding Solution to Flooding at CPU Lopez Jaena Street through Infrastructure Management


infrastructure management infrastructure managementIf you have studied and lived in Iloilo City, particularly at CPU, then I’m sure you have experienced the flood that’s been as perennial as when the rainy season comes.
When monsoon rains come, students anticipate the coming of the flood because they’re sure the Jaro River will overflow.

Classes would then be postponed for a day or couple of days depending on the amount of flood waters, debris and how fast the clean-up would be.

When there were few people around Lopez Jaena area and surroundings were cleaner, students just love to wade and walk the flooded streets and inside CPU campus.

The familiar flood scene would then be some female students wearing their shortest shorts walking while male students at their best spot watching and talking who’s got the hottest legs in campus.

It’s not advisable to do that nowadays.

The clogged drainage, old and leaking sewer and sewage systems (if there’s one), bad waste disposal and waste management practices make wading into the flood unhealthy and could even be fatal.

Flooding problem complications

Through the years, Lopez Jaena Street is not only beset with flooding that occurs annually (or biennially) courtesy of the monsoon rains.

The last time I was in the area, waste water seems to flow continuously onto the street from homes and business establishements. Also, a few minutes of raining would cause flooding in several portions along Lopez Jaena Street. I hope that the situation had changed.

infrastructure management

Checking the water level during the August 2009 flood.

Storm sewers are either dysfunctional or having been designed and constructed decades ago, it can’t convey the amount of runoff anymore.

At the onset, had the city government instituted water utility infrastructure management, they could have built the infrastructure design that meets future changes in population and public needs.

There are many factors being considered in sewer designs, let me mention two factors that could have been considered:

Student population growth

CPU student enrolment grew from 9,132 in 1997 to 13,506 in 2005. From then on, student population never went below the 10,000 mark. The 2013 enrolment is 13,000 students.

Of course, this is discounting the resident population along Lopez Jaena Street and across the Jaro river bank, which could number to several thousands.

Rise of businesses

Along with the growth of student population, hotels, dormitories, boarding houses proliferated.

Eateries, convenience stores and business establishments along Lopez Jaena Street have become the dominant sight.

Just imagine the implication of these two factors in water needs and waste water volume.

Ideal infrastructure management scenario

Perhaps decades ago, when there were more open spaces and a few hundred people living around CPU, our city infrastructure management services engineers should have given weight on the future changes.

Maintenance or even renewal of infrastructures could have been quite manageable fiscally and structurally.

Now, it would cost millions to construct and update the present sewer and sewerage system along Central Philippine University and Lopez Jaena.

Also, following best infrastructure management practice, holistic and not piecemeal solution to infrastructure problems must be emphasized.

Infrastructure management engineers might not recommend fixing the infrastructure challenges along Lopez Jaena Street and CPU areas without thinking of its implication to the total system of Jaro District in particular and Iloilo City in general.

Nevertheless, it’s not yet too late to get infrastructure management expert counsel save millions of infrastructure funds.

For more learning on infrastructure management and infrastructure asset management, please browse this resource site: INFRAMANAGE.COM

Student Independent Democratic Party – History of CPU Republic (1988-1990)

central philippine university republic

At first, the Independents thought that their entry in the CPUR political arena was only transitory. But their noble cause became the ideals of the next line of leaders both those we were and were not involved in the movement.

Gape-Corvera Administration (1988-1989)

Thus, Peter Gape who was a senator in the Salido-Plotria administration and Jonan Castillon, Salido’s executive secretary organized the Student Independent Democratic Party or SIDP. The party maintained the slogan, “I am Independent! I am Free to Serve!” to remind SIDP leaders to work for the interest of the students and not for the party.

Peter Gape, then a senior Political Science student became the standard bearer of the SIDP in the SY 1988-89 CPUR elections. Peter Corvera of the College of Commerce and Accountancy ran as Gape’s Vice President. Both won the CPUR top posts.

Gape who became popular in the campus for his oratorical skills and the former Red-Cross Youth chairperson did not have a hard time campaigning. He reaped what the “Independents”, the forerunner of SIDP had sown—a dynamic CPUR.

Gape’s greatest achievement was the installation of the electronic bell which plays “Central, My Central” during class period. Gape commmissioned Silverio Navarro, a fifth year electrical engineering student to design the electronic bell.

During his term, Gape was able to work out the establishment of a cheaper XEROX copying services, which was then located at the old library building. He initiated the establishment of the CPU postal station.

Perhaps, the House of Senate made a very unique move in the history of CPUR when it elected Artchil Fernandez as Senate President.

Ten SIDP senators dominated the 12-member Senate. Making true the SIDP principle to work for the interest of the students, the Senate elected Mr. Fernandez because he was the most experienced and qualified among the group.

Gensaya-Palabrica Administration (1989-1990)

The SY 1989-1990 marked the third year of the SIDP in CPUR as Joseph Gensaya became the next CPUR president.

Gensaya tried his best to work for a good CPUR. Despite the perception that he had very weak cabinet members, Gensaya was able to come up with significant achievements.

CPUR participated in the establishment of the CPU Postal Station. Senator Brenda Guevarra (SIDP) donated uniforms for the CPU Band.

The CPU Radio Station Proposal

Gensaya with the assistance of Senator Gilbert Longno (SIDP-Engineering) worked out the feasibility of setting up a radio station owned and managed by CPU.

Many students scoffed upon the idea of a CPU radion staion. They thought that Gensaya’s promise would be realized within a year.

[note note_color=”#ffd566″]NOTE: This account is not complete. Former CPU Republic officials are encouraged to provide additional information. Thank you very much.[/note]


Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

History of CPU Republic – The Reign of Independents (1987-1988)

The CPUR elections of 1987 resulted in the landslide victory of a group of independent candidates. With their slogan “I am Independent! I am free to Serve!” these batch of CPUR leaders captured the sentiments of the students.

Accomplishments of Salido and Plotria (1987-88)

The accomplishments of the Salido and Plotria administration were:

  1. The construction of the first CPUR freedom board beside Roblee Science Hall;
  2. Donated textbooks for the different colleges through the Council of Governors and Vice Governors;
  3. Putting up of the basketball court lights;
  4. Repair of the waiting shed near the first gate;
  5. Electric fans for the province of engineering; and
  6. The construction of a bulletin board at the high school province.

The problems and proposals which the CPUR presented to the Administration that they granted are the following:

  • Gate No. 1 was limited for traffic and Gate No. 2 for the pedestrians only;
  • painting of the Engineering building;
  • fifteen additional stools for the engineering drawing room;
  • installation of electric fans at Franklin dormitory’s study area; and
  • the repair of broken switches in the Old Valentine Hall, highs school, techno, and agriculture building.

Through the Salido-Plotria administration, the students were able to persuade the Administration to refund the students of their cultural fee payment.

The fee was collected by the Administration without proper consultation from the students.  Resolved with the good intentions of the cultural fee, it was then charged in the next semester.

The Salido-Plotria administration was able to conduct the first CPUR Day and homecoming of previous CPUR officials.

It was during the first year of the independents that student activism had regerated in a different approach.  

They had achieved so much that their campign propaganda in the next election was, “the astounding truth is the accomplishment of the PANGMASA and Koalisyon in five years of administration could not surpass the one-year administration of the Independents.”



Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

The Reign of the Independents/SIDP (1987-1990) – History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party

The Reign of the Independents/SIDP (1987-1990)

central philippine university republic

Independent candidates during their miting-de-avance parade in 1988.

The decision to boycott the school year 1986-87 election created disillusionment to some members of the USP.  According to them, they were not consulted about the party’s decision.  They said that only top USP officials made the decision whose pride in the “Constitution” issue was affected.

Meanwhile, some idealistic members of the Koalisyon were becoming restless because of the party’s failure to implement programs, which would make leadership impression to the studentry.

The polarization of the CPUR between USP and Koalisyon which deviated the CPUR from a real pro-student government, the failure of both parties to work in unity prompted other leaders both members and non-members of the two political parties to search for an alternative.

Right after the election in 1986, Val Salido, consistent honor student in the College of Engineering was challed by a classmate to make initial plans to organize an alternative group.

Salido was a former CPUR senator (USP) in 1984.  He and the classmate discussed their visions of a true pro-student CPUR.  They plotted palns for the SY 1987-88 CPUR election.

Immediately, the thought of forming a new party emerged.  However, the two realized that forming a party would not be a good solution because they perceived that the students might have negative impressions on political parties based on the present party polarization in the CPUR.

Later, Val Salido, Ryan Comuelo, a high school classmate; and the engineering student leader conceived the idea that instead of forming a party, candidates for all positions would be recruited.  They will be instructed to file their candidacy as independents.

This concept was later echoed to Rico Plotria, a classmate in college and in high school.  Plotria was a popular leader in the College of Engineering.  At that time, the Koalisyon as their next presidential bet was eyeing Rico Plotria.

In SY 1987-88, while the “independent concept” was silently being worked out by Salido, Plotria and their supporters, another group under the leadership of Roy Fajutrao, Jojie Roy Juarez, and David Mark Dominado who incidentally were high school classmates of Salido and Plotria, organize a party.

John Roldan, a fifth year EE student and the chairperson of the Work Student Organization became the standard bearer of this party known as the New Student Alliance. (NSA later became the Democratic Student Alliance).

Meanwhile, Koalisyon, the ruling party was preparing for the year’s election and with hopes to again capture the presidency.  However, the party’s popularity was at the ebb because most of the students were dissatisfied with the current CPUR leadership.

The students’ cry for a change in leadership was proven true when at the prelude of the election Koalisyon could not come up with a strong national and provincial line-up of candidates. Some of their leaders in the colleges who were Salido and Plotria’s batch in high school and whom they were counting on to recruit candidates defect to the Independents.

In the college of engineering, the Phi Beta Epsilon Fraternity, which was a PANGMASA and later Koalisyon’s avid follower, shifted its loyalty to the Independent’s cause.  Val Salido is a member of the fraternity.

To further strengthen the independent support in the college of engineering, Salido forged union with the Gamma Rho Upsilon, also an engineering-based fraternity.  In due time, Koalisyon’s machinery broke down with College of Theology as the only supporting college left.

As the deadline for application of candidacy drew nearer, the remnants of loyal USP leaders made a last effort to establish their presence and participation in the election by circulating printed statemen, “encouraging all USP candidates to run as independents”.  However, Amparo Barroma, another high school classmate of Salido and Plotria refrained from distributing such classmates as it would affect the “independent” stand of the group.

The slogan of the independent candidates was “I am Independent! I am free to serve!”.  In the election, all “Independent” candidates, except a candidate for representative in high school won the election.

Thus, for the first time in history of the CPU Republic a landslide victory was achieved not by a party but by a group of Independent candidates.


Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.


History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party (1982-1990) – The KOALISYON Administration

The KOALISYON Administration (1982-1984)

Central Philippine University Republic

As the next school year 1984-85 opened, the CPUR witnesses an event which was the first ever in the CPU Republic’s history—two parties coalesced to form a new party. The PANGMASA and the Alliance of Democratic Students joined and the party Koalisyon ng Demokratikong Mag-aaral para sa Sambayana emerged.

As described by Sherlito Deduro (Vice President 1984-85) in his article, “Koalisyon ng Demokratikong Mag-aaral para sa Sambayanan”, the moderation and militancy which characterized ADS and PANGMASA, respectively became the weapons of the KOALISYONin answer to the chaos which characterized the national government.

On the other hand, student political observers interpreted that one reason for the ADS-PANGMASA union was that the two parties felt weak against USP standard bearer Vitini Idemne who was the No. 1 senator in the previous year.

Having given no hand in the decision-making process, the ADS-PANGMASA coalition resulted into the division of the high school ADS leaders. Some were recruited by the USP while other went to the KOALISYON.

The split of the high school ADS was significant for they were the batch of leaders who became strong contenders for higher CPUR positions under their respective parties in their college years.

Among these leaders were Rico Plotria and Val Salido, who became a KOALISYON and USP, respectively. They later reunited in 1987 to lead the group of independents to a landslide victory.

The De la Fuente Administration

Perhaps the time when CPUR became the most active student government in Iloilo was during the presidency of Manuel de la Fuente (KOALISYON). Mr. De la Fuente was a student of the College of Theology.

It was the height of student demonstration against the Marcos regime and campus affairs focused mainly on national issues. It was the period when the legislative and the executive often met jointly and the active participation of the adviser, Atty. Jane Harder was observed.

The de la Fuente Administration’s general program of action of “sponsoring symposia, for dialogues, workshops, and other forms of discussion on critical issues” gave both the students and the Administration a very unforgettable year.

The accomplishments of the de la Fuente administration were the revival of Central Echo, which publication stopped for one semester. Their demand to purchase a good quality public address system was granted by the Administration.

Other accomplishments are as follows: readjustment of the sixth gate’s schedule for the students’ convenience, the creation of the student organization federation, and the adjustment in the hourly rate of the work student in proportion with the tuition fee increase.

Glenn Campañera, an engineering student headed the CPUR in SY 1985-86. A reticent type and very reserve person, Campañera was in a way opposite to de la Fuente’s personality.

Although for the succeeding years the Koalisyon party had succeeded in getting the top leadership, the USP had the majority of the legislative department. At this period, the CPUR had become a field of heated arguments and walkouts due to party interests.

This created prejudices between the Koalisyon and USP elected officials. The USP, which dominated the legislation branch, would not approve legislation by the Koalisyon and later, the USP dominated legislative will pass legislation with almost the same idea or provision authored by the USP.

The Campañera administration

It was during Campañera’s incumbency when the “Constitution” issue emerged. The congress had already approved a draft constitution. Immediately, ratification procedures followed.

Campañera being the chief executive facilitated the ratification in which the “yes” votes for the constitution won. However, the CPUR president did not approve the ratification. He passed a declaration, which stated that the constitution was not validly ratified.

One of the reasons was the low percentage of votes. The USP members in the CPUR headed by Senator Felice Garingalao, who was the Chairperson of the Constitutional Commission were not amenable to Campañera’s move.

The Upper House subjected the CPUR President’s decision into several debates. Protest was filed with the SOC. The complaint was deliberated until the next school year 1986-87.

Whether or not Campañera’s move was a political maneuver (as top level USP officials thought), being the president, he has the power to veto any legislative initiative with valid grounds. However, the USP leaders claimed that Campañera’s move was to prevent the USP from crediting to their accomplishments the “duly ratified” constitution.

The Campañera administration was able to conduct routine CPUR activities such as during the University Day, CPUR sponsored shows and symposiums.

The Baldago administration

Because of the “Constitution” issue, the USP boycotted the SY 1986-87 election and thus, Roosevelt Baldago of the college of commerce came out victorious with the rest of the Koalisyon candidate running unchallenged.

Koalisyon described the boycott option by the USP candidates as a “political suicide”. This was proven true for in succeeding y ears, the USP never recovered and was lost in the CPUR political arena.

Baldago’s one party administration was expected by most students to perform well because all officers of CPUR were Koalisyon party members. CPUR activities focused mainly on routine activities such as during University Days, CPUR sponsored shows and others. The students’ hope for a wholesome CPUR year did not materialize. The idealism of Koalisyon party failed to be manifested in a one-party administration.

Indeed, student activism, which was observed during the De la Fuente administration, waned. This could be attributed to the change in the political climate of the national government. School year 1986-87 was the year when the EDSA revolution occurred and the air of freedom it brought was very fresh in every student’s mind.


Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party (1982-1990)

CPUR Elections The imposition of martial law in 1972 suspended the annual establishment of the CPU Republic. The purpose in which the student republic was created in 1906, to educate the Filipino people in the democratic form of government, was temporarily disturbed as the clout of martial rule curtailed the liberties of the Filipino people.

When martial law was lifted in 1981, there were immediate moves to revive the oldest student republic in the country. The Student Organization Committee (SOC) announced the revival of the CPUR. The SOC encouraged the students to organize themselves into parties and have their parties accredited.

In answer to the SOC’s bidding, three parties applied and were recognized. They were the PANGMASA, Alliance of Democratic Students (ADS), and the United Students Party (USP).

In preparation for election, President Pulido together with the SOC gathered the student representatives from participating parties. The meeting paved way for the revision of the pre-martial law CPUR constitution.

The group adapted it for election purposes only. Here, the constitution was transitory in nature because the group agreed that the adapted constitution should be used until the elected CPUR officials could facilitate a duly ratified constitution.

The history of the revived CPUR could be divided chronologically in three regimes.

The PANGMASA party, which ruled from 1982-1984; the Koalisyon party in 1984-1987; and the Independents/Student Independent Democratic Party (SIDP) in 1987-1990.

The PANGMASA Administration (1982-1984)

The first president of the revived CPUR was an engineering student named Gerardo Sonalan of the PANGMASA party. His administration was strongly supported by the engineering student leaders. His administration could be considered as very militant because it immediately provided a venue for student sentiments on various national issues.

It was during his time when the Central Echo, the official student paper of CPU was revived. Four senators led by Senator Vitini Edhard Idemne (USP) pushed for the revival of the Central Echo. Sonalan tried to assert for an autonomous Central Echo but the group agreed to the guidelines that there will be advisorship by the administration.

The next PANGMASA president was Gualberto Cataluña, a law student. He finished an engineering baccalaureate degree in CPU also. His candidacy could be considered controversial because of the issue on grade requirement.

The SOC requires a 2.0 average grade for every student who files his/her candidacy. However, Cataluña whose grades fell below 2.0 appealed directly to President Pulido for reconsideration. The administration overruled the SOC’s decision to uphold 2.0 grade requirement. The decision allowed Cataluña to proceed with his bid for the CPUR presidency.

This decision resulted into the resignation of some SOC members. The other parties, ADS and USP did not react strongly on this issue as observed by SOC member (later Chairperson) Dr. Johnny Gumban.

During his term, Cataluña was able to provide benches in several areas in the campus. Concrete benches bearing the inscription CPUR 1983-84 could still be seen along half-moon drive, central and acacia roads, and University Church drive.


Source: Jonan Castillon, “The History of the Revived CPUR and the Emergence of the Student Independent Democratic Party,” Central Echo Summer 1999.

Infrastructure Management – Does CPU Teach This?

Infrastructure Management involves the prolonging of life and use of long-term assets for the common good.

Infrastructure Management involves the prolonging of life and use of long-term assets for the common good.

Does CPU teach “Infrastructure Management”?

I’m a Civil Engineering graduate of CPU 1989 and I can’t recall encountering the phrase “infrastructure management”.

Maybe I wasn’t listening or I was absent when it was lectured but was the topic ever brought up in any of our subjects?

Our curriculum at that time included nine units of management but they are more related to financial and business management.

I could recall two phrases that could relate to infrastructure management topics, “sum-of-the-years digits” and “cost-benefit ratio” but they were never emphasized in that context.

Is “infrastructure management” in the vocabulary of Central Philippine University? The easy and fast way to know is to do a search in CPU’s website. I made a quick search and it can’t be found.

Anyway, Centralians need not be dismayed for the absence of “infrastructure management” (maybe during our years at CPU only) in our curriculum.

I’m sure that some civil engineer alumni have practiced infrastructure asset management in their profession, courtesy of learning through experience or formal training through their company.

I learned recently that infrastructure management is integral in New Zealand local government practices.

The basic aim of infrastructure asset management is to create plans and implement best practice procedures to maintain and prolong the service life of long-term infrastructure assets.

This is very crucial to supporting and sustaining the quality of life in the community. When infrastructures or assets are managed well, it has implication in local and national economy, especially when resources are very limited.

Going back to the question, I also have the big suspicion that other top engineering schools in the Philippines might be touching lightly on ‘infrastructure management’ and related topics.

If Central Philippine University gives emphasis on “Infrastructure Management”, she will soon be graduating people who are apt and ready to gain career in this area, maybe in their local districts initially and take on jobs internationally.

For further information, please browse this –> INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT website.


PHOTO CREDIT: Yachts at Wellington Harbour by Ross Waugh