Environmental Awareness

A monthly publication of U.P. BETA SIGMA INTERNATIONAL





      January  2008

          Brod Gerry Abenes, UPD'66, DVM, MVSc, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Division of Infectious Diseases School of Public

          Health, University of California Berkeley tests your Environmental Acuity.


       February 2008

          Brod Gerry Abenes elaborates on some points in his quiz last month. "Trouble in Glacier Land" discusses the destabilizing

          effects of the meltdown in the Arctic and Antarctic that could cause sea level to rise 230 feet.              


       March 2008   

           Brod Popoy Castaneda, UPLB'55 is an environmentalist and an expert on marine protected areas.  He was a former dive

           master and dive guide who served on board the "Calypso", the research ship of Jacques Cousteau.  His article, "A Primer

           on Philippine Coastal and Marine Ecosystems" describes the fragile coastal resources of the Philippines and highlights how

           human activity has contributed to their rapid decline.


       April 2008   

           Brod Gerry Abenes in "Plastic: Convenience at the Cost of Blight" explains how plastics is affecting our fragile environment

           including the release of toxic pollutants, greenhouse gas, ocean litter, and other costs.


       May 2008

           Brod Willie Vergara in "Garbage: Excrements of Industrialized Societies", on an official mission to provide data to finance

           Smokey Mountain scholars, came face-to-face with the squalid and toxic conditions in this "monument of shame" in Manila.

           The photos he took at the site and of the people who breathed and lived in this garbage dump will be difficult to forget.            


       June 2008

           Brod Vic Ramos, former Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources from 1995-1998, in "Primer on

           the Philippine Environment: What Beta Sigmans Can Do" writes about the deteriorating fragile ecosystem in the country and

           what we can do to help in improving the existing conditions.  In conclusion, Vic says we should think globally, but act locally. 


       July 2008

           Brod Popoy Castaneda in "The Case of the Damaged Coral Reefs" warns on the alarming 30% of coral reefs in the world

           that remain healthy, down from 41% a few years ago.  He also describes the displacement of subsistence fishermen in the

           Philippines who depend on the sea to provide food for their families.


       August 2008   

           Brod Pogs Gaspay in "Climate Change in the Philippines" discusses the different climate change elements in the country

           including rising sea levels, increasing occurrences and intensities of cyclones and changing rainfall patterns; and importantly,

           how we should respond through prevention, mitigation and adaptation.


       September 2008   

           Brod Vic Battad in "Tips on Plant Nursery" offers expert tips on plant care with the hope that every Betan may become an

           enthusiastic partner to a greener earth that the heavens will delight in listening to.


       October 2008

            Brod Popoy Castaneda in "The Coral Triangle" describes the world's center for marine biodiversity.  It encompasses the

            seas of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Timor and the Solomon Islands.  The Verde Island Passage,

            which separates the island of Mindoro from Luzon, has the highest diversity in reef species all over the world.


       November 2008

            Brod Jun Battad in "Geographic Information Systems and its Forestry Applications in Victoria, Australia" focuses on the

            use of this technology to enhance the judicious use of the earth's fragile resources. 


       December 2008   

            Brod Rene de Rueda writes about the very touching way in which the U.P. Visayas Beta Sigma Fraternity Alumni Association

            (UPVBSFAA) pooled its membersĺ creative juices to come up with a mind-blowing centennial ôthank youö gift to our beloved

            institution, our alma mater U.P. - the Centennial Forest.


       January 2009  

            Brod Popoy Castaneda, in his article "Trouble in Paradise: The End Days of Coral Reefs", warns of the threat of global

            warming that threatens the most beautiful and productive of marine ecosystems, the coral reefs, particularly the warm water

            corals or Sclerectinian corals.


       February 2009  

            Ms. Rose Veridiano, a friend of the UP NorCal Chapter, in "The California Academy of Sciences, Lessons in Going Green",

            describes her memorable visit to the world's greenest museum at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco which went through a

            10-year, $500 million renovation. Among its many breathtaking exhibits is the Philippine Coral Reef in the Steinhart Aquarium.


       March 2009

             Brod Bernie Bacosa in "Getting to the Yosemite" describes his trip to Yosemite National Park, 95% of which is wilderness

             and boasts of the highest waterfalls in America, with his wife Nancy and offers tips on lodging accommodations and how to

             optimize your photography experience.


       April 2009

              Brod Johnny Regadio, a professional forester, in "A Journey Into the Ancient Redwoods", after twenty years of living in the               the U.S. finally took his first trip at the inspiring Avenue of the Giants, of towering and majestic California Redwoods, with Brods

              Rene de Rueda and Manolo Banzon in scenic Highway 101 in Mendocino County. 


       May 2009

              Brod Willie Vergara in this pictorial article "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally" shows that residents, in partnership with

              the government and the private sector, can preserve and promote the beauty and eco-friendliness of their community.  


       June 2009    

              Brod Rene de Rueda explains the concept and strategy and updates us on our very own Beta Sigma Heritage Tree Park,

              the Centennial Forest Project that is supported by the UPBSFI with the UP Visayas Beta Sigma at the forefront.   


       August 2009    

              Brod Johnny Regadio visits and makes an ocular inspection of the UP Visayas Betas Sigma Fraternity Alumni

              Association Centennial Forest (CENFOR), a 3-hectare area of rolling hills in centennial celebration of the UP.


       September 2009

               Brod Vic Battad in "Greenhouse Best Management Practices" (Part 1) are activities, procedures, systems, processes

               and management initiatives that can serve as a guide for the UP Beta Sigma Visayas Centennial Forest project.

               *Note: Part1 has been combined with Part 2 in November 2009 issue.


       October 2009

               Brod Jun Battad in "The 2009 Black Saturday Fires in Victoria, Australia" describes the bushfire in the state of Victoria

               resulting in the biggest lost of life, destroyed thousands of houses and structures, and left thousands of people homeless. 


       November 2009

               Brod Vic Battad in "Greenhouse Best Management Practices" (Parts 1 and 2 combined) are activities, procedures, systems,

               processes and management initiatives that can serve as a guide for the UP Beta Sigma Visayas Centennial Forest project.


       December 2009

               Brod Philip Chua in "Destroying Our Planet" warns of the imminent grave risk of our planet being destroyed if Global

               Warming continues unabated and man's abuse of his environment will certainly doom the world he lives in.


        January  2010

               Brod Willie Vergara spent his New Year's weekend enjoying this 400,000 square foot museum/planetarium/aquarium

               located inside San Francisco Golden Gate Park in "The California Academy of Sciences: A Fabulous Visual Experience".


        February  2010

               Brod Willie Vergara explains in "Xeriscaping: Eco-Friendly Gardening" the advantages of this water-wise landscaping

               that is most useful where water conservation is desired, promoted and/or legislated and where drought is imminent.


        March  2010      

               Brod Joel Artajo, Grand Princep of UP Beta Sigma Visayas gives a brief update of the UPV Centennial Forest Project in

               Iloilo with support from UPBSFI and local alumni brods. Despite the drought, 50-60% of the trees planted remain.


        April  2010

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda in "Shall We Start Building An Ark?" dissects the cause of the recurring flooding problem in Metro

               Manila as witnessed by Typhoon Ondoy that dropped 18 inches or rain in 24 hrs. in Sept. 2009 causing massive devastation.


        April  2010 - Earth Day (special article)   

               Brod Willie Vergara writes this special edition in time for the 40th Earth Day celebrations at the City of Roseville and

               Placer County, California on April 17, 2010. The green movement is a way of life that promises a better future for humanity.


        May 2010

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda in "Shall We Start Building An Ark? (Part Two)" explains why one critical solution to the flooding

               problem in the Philippines is our rainforests that influence the climate and is useful in the conservation of water.


        June 2010

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda in "Shall We Start Building An Ark? (Part Three)" goes historical and traces the loss and

               exploitation of our forest cover. He explains the details that occurs in over-logging.



       July 2010

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda in "Shall We Start Building An Ark? (last of series) explains how the destruction of our rainforests

               also causes damage to our coastal fishery resources, mangroves, sea grass beds and coral reef ecosystems.


       September 2010

               Brod Vic Battad in "Aquaphonics", the integration of aquaculture and hydroponics, explains how plants and fish are grown

               together in one integrated recirculation system and how the wastes of one biological system becomes the food of another.



       December 2010

               Brod Willie Vergara in "Comeback of the Chinook Salmon" explain how environmentalists have scored a big win with

               the return of the salmon in California and Oregon rivers and streams in impressive numbers.



       2010 Year End Special Edition

               Brod Rolly Reyes, former RP Undersecretary of Tourism for Marketing and Promotions, in "A Teardop in the Sand"

               describes the natural beauty of Boracay and summarizes the environmental issues confronting this jewel island.



       March 2012

               Brod Willie Vergara in "An Enormous Salmon Comeback" says the salmon will be jumping off the coast of California

               and this coming summer season, for the first time in years, anglers will be allowed to catch them in large numbers.



       May  2012 - Earth Day (special article)   

               Brod Willie Vergara writes this special edition for the 42nd Earth Day celebrations at Placer County, California with local

               government agencies, vendors, green clubs and associations.sharing information, products and services to the public.



        March 2013

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda describes the physiography and beauty of the Tubattaha Reef in Palawan. Recently the reef

               was damaged when the USS Guardian ran aground and destroyed more than 4,000 square meters of the atoll.



        March 2013 - "Lolong" (special article)

               Brod Joe Diaz, DVM, who served as director of the Palawan Crocodile Institute, writes about the largest crocodile in

               the world, 20-foot "Lolong", captured in Agusan del Sur in 2011 and the lessons learned in managing large crocodile..



        May 2013

               Brod Willie Vergara hails the success of the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Reserve which is a floodway that controls the

               Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta..It has restored the natural wildlife habitats and is a popular recreational area..



         June 2013

               Brod Popoy Casta˝eda writes about our National Bird, the Philippine Eagle - "Haring Ibon", the world's 2nd largest eagle..



         July 2013

               Brod Willie Vergara reveals the beauty of a small park and a community-driven environmental program near Sacramento,

               The Fair Oaks Bluffs and The Cliffhanger, that is home to several species of birds in a bucolic and peaceful surroundings. 


         October 2013

               Brod Judge Rey, traveling with his wife Mely and co-Prepiam Macky Brod Llamarca, captures with his camera the fauna -

               iguana, land tortoise, lizards and reptiles, various bird species, etc. - at the Galapagos Islands.



          November 2013

               Brod Willie Vergara captures with his camera the fall migration of the Sandhill Cranes in the vast lands of Walnut Grove

               and Lodi, near Sacramento. These big, powerful birds thatt fly in a "V" formation also give us some lessons in life.



          March 2015

               Brod Willie Vergara takes an hour and a half drive with his family from Sacramento to admire the beautiful daffodils in an

               estate, now popularly known as Daffodil Hill, that was established in 1887 during the early days of Gold Rush.



          April 2015

               Brod Ramon Paje, the DENR Secretary and a multi-talented, multi-degree forester, embarks on an ambitious National

               Greening Program that spearheads the reforestation of hundreds of millions of  hectares of Philippine land by 2016.





               Our Authors



                      Dr. Gerry Abenes                      Popoy Casta˝eda                     Willie Vergara                 Vic Ramos



                     Dr. Pogs Gaspay                      Vic Battad                      Dr. Jun Battad                  Rene de Rueda



                 Ms. Rose Veridiano               Bernie Bacosa                 Johnny Regadio                   Philip Chua



                         Rolly Reyes                           Joe Diaz                            Judge Rey                       Ramon Paje







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