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3 Thomasians emerge as Bar 2019 topnotchers

A Thomasian from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) – Legazpi led the 2019 Bar exams topnotchers, along with two others in the top 10, the Supreme Court (SC) released today.

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Vince Imperio/TomasinoWeb

A Thomasian from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) – Legazpi led the 2019 Bar exams topnotchers, along with two others in the top 10, the Supreme Court (SC) released today.

Mae Diane Azores emerged as the top one out of the 2,103 who passed, obtaining a score of 91.049 percent.

Myra Baranda, who is also from UST- Legazpi, placed third with a grade of 88.825 percent, while Kenneth Glenn Manuel from UST Manila landed in the sixth spot with a grade of 88.173 percent. 

All three Thomasian bar topnotchers are certified public accountants.

Photo from Rappler

2019 Bar results saw a 27.36 percent passing rate from the 7,685 examinees who completed the four-sunday test held in UST Manila.

SC Associate Justice and 2020 Bar Chairman Marvic Leonen welcomed the new lawyers and urged them to “strive for social justice” and  to “serve the people.”

“Remember that the profession is not all that you are. Be humble. Resist greed. Learn to sacrifice. Every privilege comes with responsibility. Address inequality…” Leonen said in a tweet.

The results, unlike from the previous years, were only announced online to prevent mass gathering at the SC grounds in Padre Faura.

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Architecture students bag bronze in 2020 ARCASIA; project to revive Pasig River transpo

“[T]he design aims to build resilient structures that connect us and improve our cities mobility to brace the unpredictable nature of our natural environment,” Arambulo, the group’s team leader, told TomasinoWeb.

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Fourth-year architecture students (from left to right) Thomas Benjamin Intal, Michelle Anne Tanieca, and Timothy James Arambulo.

A group of Thomasian architecture students bagged on Wednesday, Jan. 6, a bronze award for their proposed Pasig River project in the 2020 Architects Regional Council Asia (ARCASIA) Design Competition. 

In their project titled, “Bayanihan: The Filipino Spirit of Unity Working Together to Achieve a Common Noble Purpose,” fourth-year students Timothy James Arambulo, Thomas Benjamin Intal, and Michelle Anne Tanieca proposed to revive the Pasig river as a transport hub and an urban space linked with a biking infrastructure.

“[T]he design aims to build resilient structures that connect us and improve our cities mobility to brace the unpredictable nature of our natural environment,” Arambulo, the group’s team leader, told TomasinoWeb.

Their project includes building a facility with a disinfection zone, non-contact ticketing system, terminal area, foodcourt, ferry network headquarters, and a hyperloop biking infrastructure to encourage the use of cycling and ferry systems as an alternative means of transportation in the city. 

An architectural rendering of the commercial space of their project “Bayanihan: The Filipino Spirit of Unity Working Together to Achieve a Common Noble Purpose.” (Photo from Intal, Tanieca, and Arambulo)

These systems, according to Arambulo, are in place to help enforce social distancing and other pandemic regulations.

“Through creating resilient urban spaces with biking infrastructure and a revamped ferry system, it provides an alternative way to navigate the city. Keeping mobility is key to help continue the growth of [cities] under unpredictable circumstances,” Arambulo said.

This year’s ARCASIA design competition theme was titled, “Resilience by Design” which aims to address the social inequities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Pasig river 

The Pasig river connects Laguna de Bay, the country’s largest lake, and Manila Bay. It is approximately 27 kilometers long and flows through the cities of Taguig, Pasig, Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, and the municipality of Taytay, Rizal. 

According to Arambulo, they want Manila mayor Isko Moreno to consider their proposed project. 

“[This] can help improve their plans for PAREX (Pasig River Expressway), [which is] not necessarily a bad thing, but looking at it [from] preservation’s perspective, the skyway will ruin the Pasig river’s look,” he said.

The PAREX is a proposed elevated toll road which will be built along the Pasig river. 

This  joint project between the Philippine National Construction Corporation and the San Miguel Holdings Corporation aims to minimize travel time for motorists heading from Rizal to Manila and vice versa.

“The plans they were planning for the Pasig river was a skyway development; [And] I believe we commuters and Manileños have a chance to stop that from happening. Our design keeps the river intact and makes it super accessible to all bike riders and commuters,” Arambulo said.

Taking the challenge

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Arambulo shared that their team was at an “extraordinary position” to initiate new ideas for a better and resilient environment.

“[T]hrough the power of collaboration in web conferencing technologies, we have surfed the web and sat through a myriad of webinars across different continents searching for new ways to embrace the unpredictable,” he explained. 

Tanieca and Intal also highlighted the role of online platforms when they were crafting their project.

“Despite not having face-to-face interactions, I believe we were able to achieve our goal and our expected output with the help [of] online mediums,” Tanieca told TomasinoWeb.

Intal revealed that their brainstorming sessions were mostly done via Zoom, while they exchanged ideas through annotations.  

“[W]e took inspiration from the endless online resources we found as well as webinars related to our design problem,” Intal told TomasinoWeb.

“It was a difficult process but a rewarding journey,” he added.

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Accountancy junior among top 8 in int’l tax competition

Thomasian accountancy junior emerged as one of the top eight finalists in an international tax competition on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

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Screengrab from the UST Alfredo M. Velayo College of Accountancy official Facebook page

Thomasian accountancy junior emerged as one of the top eight finalists in an international tax competition on Saturday, Oct. 17. 

Rovi Vitug was among the 10 students invited by Accountancy Department Chair Albert Cruz to join the “Young Tax Professional of the Year 2020 (YTPY).”

Vitug was among the Top 17 contestants, along with two students from De La Salle University and Polytechnic University of the Philippines. 

According to him, competitions like YTPY serve as an advantage for accounting majors as it informs them of the current situation and issues in the international accounting and taxation arena. 

[J]oining this competition really made us aware of the challenges faced by multinational companies in different countries today and how these challenges are being addressed,” Vitug told TomasinoWeb.

The case studies given to Vitug enabled him and three other Filipino contenders to provide solutions to pandemic-related challenges faced by multinational corporations, which, according to him, could be utilized to advance the country’s national tax system as well. 

“[T]hey can greatly help in improving the current national tax system in the future, one that addresses the challenges faced by local business as well as well as the challenges faced by the government,” he said. 

The YTPY 2020 was organized by the Ernst & Young Global Delivery Services, which was joined by more than 3,500 students from 25 universities across Argentina, India, and the Philippines. Wendell Adrian Quijado

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SHS students bag awards in senior high research conference

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Photo grabbed from University of Santo Tomas' official website.

UST Senior High School (SHS) students from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics strand have bagged awards in the first SHS Capstone Experience Conference.

Arjay Julio, Wynsel Carven Tandoc, Hans Daniel Tipace, Yannah Franzine Vendivill and Zyrene Yanesa won Best Paper in Life Sciences, with their paper titled “Allelopathic effect of Lantana Camara and Chromolaena odorata leaf extracts on plant germination.”

“Looking back at the times when we would barely get any sleep just to finish revising, or rush to the nearest computer shop to print our output, we wouldn’t have thought that we would get to where we are now,” the participants said in an online interview with TomasinoWeb.

The group added: “We spent a lot of time, sleepless nights, and effort on our research, and we’re beyond grateful to be recognized for our work, knowing that there are others who are just as qualified as us. This achievement inspired us to give our best efforts not just in conducting a study, but also to contribute to the development of our country.”

The researchers conducted the study to institute knowledge on the allelopathic effects of the two “invasive” plants, lantana camara or big-sage and chromolaena odorata or Siam weed, on the growth of herbs in an “agriculture-dependent” country such as the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Leo Bert Orpilla, Jamie Marie Kalaw, Hannah Golpeo, Mary Joy Rodriguez and Jacob Casugbo grabbed the Best Paper award in Agricultural Sciences, with their study named “Optimization of Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (LAMP) assay in identification of Fasciola hepatica in goat samples.”

“[The study] has already given us a lot of insights and additional knowledge for our chosen field even at an early stage,” Golpeo said.

“We felt lucky and privileged enough to be chosen to represent the UST SHS […], but winning the best paper out of the many others that contended was an honor,” she added.

The paper of the latter group aims to prevent the spread of the parasite fasciola hepatica, commonly called “liver fluke,” in goats through the creation of LAMP kit.

Moreover, the study “would help decrease the mortality of goats, increase its livestock productivity, provide livelihood to more Filipinos, and increase the economy through the industry’s growth.”

Both groups expressed their foremost gratitude to their research advisers for the success of their papers.

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The research conference was held last April 28 at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.—with reports from Kyla Bascon

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