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CCCPET gathers Antequera basket weavers for capacity-building seminar –

The USTGS-CCCPET Director Assoc. Prof. Eric Babar Zerrudo and Technical Assistant Ms. Beverly M. Bautista gave orientation lectures to the newly elected local councilors and basket artisans of the interior municipality on creative economy on June 3, 2022, at the Municipal Tourism and Trade Center in Antequera, Bohol.

The activity was basket conservation advocate Ar. Jovie Ladura’s immediate response to the Uswag Artesano Leyte assembly on basket weaving networking and capacity building, which was held on May 23 and 24, 2022 in Villaba, Leyte.

Known as the Basket Capital of the Province, Antequera experiences innumerable issues and concerns regarding the traditional industry such as the lack of safeguarding mechanisms for the intangible heritage, unfair labor practices in the market, lack of capacity building and education for artisans, lack of facilities, equipment, and instruments, and the aging population of weavers.

The afternoon assembly was organized through the valuable support of Ms. Jadulco, the Antequera Tourism Officer, and the active participation of Councilor-elect Ar. Hector Balonda, Councilor-elect Johnny Coquilla, and Councilor-elect Edwin Cuenca.

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CD-Arki highlights community design towards service learning at AUN symposium –

Academic staff from the College of Architecture discussed community engagement in architecture education at the ASEAN University Network – Architecture Design Education and Research in ASEAN (AUN-ADERA) e-symposium on June 23 and 24, 2022.

Through a series of paper presentations and panel discussions, the event was an opportunity to share how community engagement was incorporated with architecture design education and pedagogy. On its first day, Architecture faculty members Asst. Prof. Henry Felix E. Herrera, Asst. Prof. Antonino N. Tobias IV, and Ar. Raymond P. Clarin presented their paper titled “CD Arki: Community Design towards Service Learning” under the first session “The Big Picture”. The presentation recounted the activities and involvement of the Architecture Community Development Office (CD-Arki), an arm of UST SIMBAHAYAN, in the municipality of Nagcarlan, Laguna.

CD-Arki presented the various infrastructure, livelihood, and community engagement projects as part of the community development efforts of the institution. The presentation showcased hands-on and engaged experiences that gave architecture students a deeper learning of architecture and community building. The presentation concluded with a recommendation that such activities be incorporated in the architecture curriculum as a service-learning approach.

On the same day, Architecture faculty and Pedagogy Lead Ar. Caryn Paredes-Santillan Ph.D. moderated the second session titled “Macro to Micro: Scales of Engagement”. The session involved presentations from Indonesia, Japan, and Malaysia.

Organized by the National University of Singapore and Chiang Mai University, the e-symposium saw participants from nine countries and 14 universities.

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Dunong Tomas holds year-long voter education, engagement advocacy named ‘Boto Pilipino’ –

The UST Simbahayan Community Development Office cluster responsible for advocating inclusive and equitable education, Dunong Tomas, promoted responsible voting to empower the voters through ‘Boto Pilipino: Boto mo para sa Pagbabago’, a year-long voter education and engagement advocacy campaign. The webinar series with the theme ‘The ABCs of Voting’ ran from November 2021 until May 2022, with the official launch held last November 27, 2021.

In a series of five webinars, spread across the duration of the advocacy campaign, several resource speakers were invited throughout the webinar series to discuss various topics connected to the 2022 national and local elections. Topics included (a) basic voter education, (b) importance of the candidates’ environmental platforms, (c) history of voting in the Philippines, (d) responsible use of social media during the elections, (e) why our vote should be a holy vote, and (f) post-election call for electoral reform, vigilance, and social responsibility. In the last leg of the webinar series which was held after the recent national elections, the importance of remaining informed about political issues and being engaged in relevant discussions in the country were themes highlighted in the webinar.

Held last May 21, the need for post-election reflection and analysis were underscored by the resource speakers namely Faculty of Arts and Letters Secretary Asst. Prof Ma. Zenia M. Rodriguez, and UST Faculty Researcher Asst. Prof. Ronald M. Castillo.

Other speakers from the past webinars include, Greenpeace Philippines Communications Campaigner Mr. Maverick Flores and Living Laudato Si’ Philippines Executive Director Mr. Rodne R Galicha who both focused on the environmental effects of the election season; Rev. Fr. Virgilio A. Ojoy, O.P. from Colegio de San Juan de Letran who discussed the role of Philippine History and Social Justice; UST Creative Writing Program Coordinator Asst. Prof. Joselito D. De Los Reyes, Ph.D. who underscored the impact of social media responsibility during the elections; and Dominican Promoter for Justice, Peace, and Care of Creation Sr. Teresa Dagdag who spoke about the importance of choosing the “holy vote”. Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Director James B. Jimenez was also present during one of the webinars.

The cluster members who organized this year’s Dunong Tomas include the UST Junior High School, College of Education, College of Information and Computing Sciences, Senior High School, and UST Simbahayan. 

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NFT trends: Poetry’s resurgence through NFTs


Late last year, the poet Arch Hades joined forces with the digital artist Andrés Reisinger and the musician RAC to create Arcadia. The nine-minute video sold as an NFT for $525,000 at Christie’s, and it also revealed the ways in which NFTs (non-fungible tokens) could foster a new way of consuming poetry beyond the page. The poem defies the rules of space and time, taking us from imaginary bedrooms and auditoriums to fantastical cloudscapes and arid deserts; books fly from trees, and ripe apples fall, hovering mid-air.

It’s worth noting that the recent emergence of NFTs comes on the heels of a larger (and slower-brewing) surge in interest in poetry in the digital age. Arch Hades has been a key figure in a new wave of writers publishing on Instagram, along with pioneers like Rupi Kaur and Lang Leav. These poets went on to publish chart-topping books.

Modify the Day by Christopher Albanese on 500px.com

The idea was, in a way, revolutionary: by self-publishing online, talented poets could ultimately make a living and build a career rooted in creating their art. A few years ago, back when few of us had even heard of NFTs, research revealed that 12 of the 20 best-selling poets were “Insta-poets.”

What followed was a kind of “poetry Renaissance.” In 2018, a survey from the National Endowment for the Arts revealed that the number of adults in the US reading poetry had doubled over just five years, resulting in the highest readership in 15 years. Readers in the 18 to 24 age bracket more than doubled. Young women and people of color helped lead the charge.

intuition by helena azeredo on 500px.com

Meanwhile, research from Nielsen BookScan found that poetry sales grew by more than 12% in 2018. Then, amid the pandemic, traffic on Poets.org rose by 25%. For some, poetry became an outlet during turbulent and uncertain times. For others, “Insta-poetry” provided an accessible point of entry into a world that previously seemed exclusive or closed off.

While this resurgence predates the cryptocurrency/crypto art movement, it did help set the stage for more daring approaches to the written word. Earlier in 2021, Arch Hades and Andrés Reisinger created a poem that ultimately sold as an NFT for around $71,000 as part of a collection from RAC. Hades’s NFTs further underscore the importance of collaboration in this emerging space. Three different artists, each using a different medium, came together to create poems that had moving elements, 3D visuals, and audio.

Of course, collaborations between visual artists and poets aren’t new. Perhaps the most legendary is The Sweet Flypaper of Life, a breathtaking book of photographs by Roy DeCarava and text by Langston Hughes, set in 1940s and ’50s Harlem. Hughes wrote the story based on 141 photographs he selected from DeCarava’s oeuvre.

Much later, in 2015, Aaron Stern and Jordan Sullivan, both photographers, included words and pictures in their book, Dialogues: 36 Photographs & 20 Poems, pairing work by prominent photographers and poets—in conversation.

While these projects pre-date the rise of NFTs, they do provide a larger historical context for how visual artists and poets can work together to create something new. The sale of digital artworks, made possible by the blockchain, could mean we see moving images, audio recordings, and other uniquely digital elements combined in increasingly inventive ways.

writing down your dreams.... by Hara Sk on 500px.com

Writing on the blockchain has a relatively brief but intriguing history. In February of 2021, just as NFTs were about to explode into public consciousness, the author Blake Butler released a gif of his novel, DECADE, as an NFT. The collector of the gif, which scrolled through the book itself at lightning speed, would also receive a PDF. Butler added a stipulation: the novel would never appear in print. It sold for its list price (5 ETH) in less than a day.

One interesting aspect of publishing literature on the blockchain, from poetry to short stories and beyond, is that, as with visual art, NFTs disrupt traditional gatekeeping systems. If photography NFTs gave artists a way to earn money, even without the support of institutions such as galleries and museums, perhaps they could offer a platform for writers to get their work out there, without needing the backing of a big-name publisher.

Reading with Friends by Adrian C. Murray on 500px.com

Another draw is the smart contracts that run the NFTs themselves. These are agreements that can be automatically executed if and when certain conditions are met; for example, in the art world, many creators set it up so that they earn royalties (say, 10%) every time the work is resold on the secondary market. Writers and poets could do the same.

In recent months, start-ups like Book Token, an NFT marketplace for eBooks and audiobooks, have emerged. At the start of this year, they sold $100,000 worth of eBooks on their first day. One of the ideas driving the marketplace is that it could foster a secondary market for eBooks, which have traditionally only been sold once.

Guy Reading/Journaling by Kyle Kuhlman on 500px.com

Earlier this year, theVERSEverse, an NFT poetry gallery, made waves in the crypto space, outlining how poems could be collected like works of art. They’ve combined the work of well-known poets with crypto artists to create unique, collectible pieces. One of the co-founders is the poet Ana Maria Caballero, who envisions a world where poetry is valued as art—and where words aren’t limited to traditional formats alone.

Elsewhere, in May, Madonna and Beeple made headlines worldwide for their collaborative NFT project, the video series Mother of Creation. The videos, an ode to motherhood, included poetry by Madonna herself as well as Rumi, the legendary Persian poet. In the future, we can imagine poetry collections that sell as individual NFTs, with each collector owning a poem as part of a larger whole. Or maybe poems will be sold as audio files, with collectors hearing the author’s voice rather than reading their words on a page.

Alisa by Irfan Zaidi on 500px.com

Then there are the photographers who are pushing the art form into new directions. Sacha Dean Bïyan, for example, created Visceral, a stunning series of his photographs, each paired with haikus by the poet Dr. Shunkichi Baba. Bïyan made the photographs during lockdowns in Japan, making them documents of a truly unique time in global history.

Finally, it’s important to remember that we’re experiencing a moment of immense transformation and innovation. Take, for example, DALL-E, the artificial intelligence tool created by OpenAI. Users can imagine a scene and write a description; enter that description, and the AI will generate a photorealistic image. Photographers and photography-based artists have been among the early experimenters in the space.

What would happen if you took a poem, or even just a line of a poem, and asked an AI to generate an image? In the future, might photographers and poets collaborate with AI? theVERSEverse, the NFT poetry gallery, has already started experimenting with Sudowrite, an AI application, as part of their GenText series, which includes the work of artists, poets, and AI. We’re still in the very early stages of Web3, and the creative possibilities are just starting to reveal themselves.

Explore VAULT now. An NFT marketplace for creators, collectors, and art lovers.

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Filipino Dept., Simbahayan launch outreach program for Ayta Magbukon community –

The Department of Filipino rolled out its outreach program with the Ayta Magbukon community in Abucay, Bataan on June 27, 2022.

The initial talks and consultation were made possible in cooperation with University of Santo Tomas (UST) Simbahayan Community Development Office and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) Bahay Wika in Bataan.

The outreach program is part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by UST and KWF in 2018 as a joint agreement in promoting language programs in the country.

During the same year, the national institution built the Bahay Wika in the Ayta Magbukon community to support them in preserving the Magbukon language, one of the most endangered indigenous languages in the country.

Faculty members from the Filipino Department enjoined to volunteer for the said endeavor.

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Rekindling children’s rights through MAKIBATA –

The annual MAKIBATA project, led by the UST Student Organizations Coordinating Council (UST SOCC) in collaboration with the SIMBAHAYAN Community Development Office, Office for Student Affairs, UST Volunteers for UNICEF (UVU), and Artistang Artlets, held virtual sessions on storytelling and crafting last May 23 to 25.

The project which aims to advocate for children’s rights by means of a creative and strategic approach through various workshops and activities also aims to advocate for the rights of the children of the partner communities by promoting holistic formation and quality education within a safe and nurturing environment.

The first day of the project titled SINING, featured storytelling sessions where student volunteers read the winning pieces from UVU’s project titled MAHIWAGA: Ang Kwento ng mga Bata, a fairytale writing contest featuring talented Thomasian writers from different colleges and faculties. Featured stories include Si Marisa at ang Nayon ng Pag-asa written by Ms. Ana Lynel Anacan, Bakit Hindi Nawawalan ng Apoy ang Lampara ni Lola by Mr. Louis Andrew Panlaqui, and Si Ligaya at ang Mahiwagang Llanera written by Mr. Lor Jay Basbas. The storytelling sessions were followed by activities to process the themes relevant to the story. Both the children and their parents were encouraged to share about their learnings from the stories that were read that day.

LIKHA, the title and the theme for the second day featured arts and crafts making sessions which was done asynchronously and was held on May 24, 2022 through the Facebook Page of UVU. Various Junior Volunteer Coordinators, Division Heads and members of the said organization prepared recorded videos that include the materials and instructions for said arts and crafts projects. All the projects are related with the stories which were read during the first day.. The best arts and crafts projects were also awarded recognitions during the program.

The last day titled KAISA, was the conclusion of the three-day event. Partner communities who participated in the event were recognized for their participation. The MAKIBATA project was also a part of the celebration of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati Children’s Rights Week.

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BSEd students participate in ARAL 2022 International Congress, Dasas wins Best Paper –

UST Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSEd) students who major in Science, Social Science, and Religious and Values Education and their instructors presented their studies at the 6th International Congress on Action Research, Action Learning (ARAL 2022).

With the theme “Action Research in the New Normal: Navigating Technodependence,” the three-day congress was organized by the Lasallian Institute for Development and Educational Research (LIDER), in collaboration with the Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education (BAGCED) of De La Salle University-Manila.

Two groups composed of BSEd Major in Science students, under their research adviser Dr. Louie B. Dasas, presented their papers. Johanna Marie R. Nora and Eula Jane T. Cruz presented their paper titled “Using Home-Based Practical Activities (HBPA) to Improve Students’ Engagement and Science Attitudes in Online Distance Learning.” Utilizing the plan-do-study-act (PDSA) model as a guiding framework, Nora and Cruz’s study employed a concurrent mixed method design with Grade 8 and Grade 10 students as participants. Quantitative data was gathered before and after HBPA integration using the Attitude towards Science Measure (ATSM) and Student Course Engagement Questionnaire- Modified (SCEQ-M). J

ose Miguel Azul and Bianca Mae Tapat in their paper “Exploring the Impact of Science E-Learning Course Design on Student Academic Achievement and Engagement” underscored the importance of course design in ensuring student academic achievement and engagement in an online distance learning setting. Meanwhile, BSEd Major in Social Studies students Irish Jan Nohay and Ashley Clarice Yao, and their instructor Mr. John Christian C. Valeroso focused on students’ condition during the pandemic in their study “Are We on the Right Track? The Lived Experience of the Junior High School Students of Algeciras Street, Sampaloc, Manila.” Linking secondary schools with the community development framework, the study yielded concepts that define, enable, empower, and deepen (DEED) understanding of the community.

This is valuable in identifying sound policy measures and other restructuring efforts that could improve the quality of education in the urban poor community. The study was also conducted by Angeli Francesca Calilong, Gavin Joseph Cruz, Marie Francois Therese Manzano, Akihiro Marutani, Paul William Romano, Beatriz Joy Sacdalan, Erien Ailiana Teodosio, and Reycy Justice Joy Vasquez. BSEd students majoring in Religious and Values Education, Kathleen R. De Ramos and Jose Rafel A. Duro, presented “Addressing Academic Dishonesty among Laboratory High School Students through Supplementary Restorative Disciplinary Interventions.”

Initial findings show current disciplinary interventions have gaps in building the values formation of learners, which the researchers aim to improve by proposing alternative and restorative methods toward holistic development. Co-researchers also included academic staff Mr. Warren S. Maneja, Raven James O. Barrientos, Ingrid Nicole B. Bartolome, Anthony Allan J. Baun, John Marlou M. Briones, Lynus Oliver V. del Mar, Jorell U. Dizon, and Kristianne Marie C. Feliciano. Meanwhile, Mr. Louie B. Dasas, Ph.D., supervising teacher for Science, won 1st Place for the Best Paper Category with his study “Improving Student Engagement and Conceptual Understanding in Science using an Integrated Learning System (ILS).” His study used a teacher-developed ILS teaching science in a distance learning setting to determine its effects on student engagement and conceptual understanding. Since 2016, the ARAL Congress has been held every year to address a range of critically important issues and themes relating to action research and action learning.

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Kawasaki unveils 2023 KLX230SM supermoto in Japan

Kawasaki unveils 2023 KLX230SM supermoto in Japan

The KLX230 from Kawasaki is a rather reliable entry-level dual-sport platform. The KLX230 is well-liked by both novice and expert enduro riders and has won accolades for its use, unfailing dependability, and unquestionable adaptability. Numerous aftermarket enhancements, such as aftermarket wheel sets that turn the dual-sport into a supermoto, are readily accessible in terms of modifications.

Fortunately, Kawasaki will begin offering a supermoto version of the KLX230 in Japan starting with the 2023 model year, addressing the needs of customers searching for an entertaining, rowdy ride for the streets and supermoto courses. With the exception of the previously stated 17-inch front and rear wheels, the new bike, known as the KLX230SM, has almost all of the same components as the conventional KLX230. By October 15, 2022, it’s anticipated to be on the Japanese market. The suggested retail price for it is approximately P220,000.

Kawasaki KLX230SM

With an air-cooled single-cylinder engine producing 19 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 13.7 ft-lbs of torque at 6,100 rpm, the KLX230SM presents itself as a practical, if not agricultural, machine overall. A six-speed gearbox is used to transfer this power to the rear tire, giving the motorcycle a slightly higher top speed and improved road performance. Kawasaki asserts that the KLX230SM can achieve an outstanding 33.4 kilometers per liter.

The KLX230SM’s workhorse engine is complemented by a brand-new 37mm inverted front fork with 204 millimeters of travel. Kawasaki’s Unitrack rear suspension, complete with progressive springs and preload adjustability, is used at the back. Wheel travel on the back wheel is 168 millimeters overall. Last but not least, the front and rear disc brakes on the KLX230SM measure 300 and 220 millimeters, respectively, to bring the vehicle to a halt. Because of its relatively low 136-kilogram wet weight and reachable 845-millimeter seat height, the KLX230SM should be a reasonably simple motorcycle to ride—both aggressively and around town.

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Top 5 best beginner motorcycle upgrades

Top 5 best beginner motorcycle upgrades

Just like most things in life, we often like to personalize our motorcycles to better suit of tastes and preferences. As it would turn out, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to motorcycles, and manufacturers conduct intensive R&D to come up with the best compromise that ticks all the boxes when it comes to what people are looking for in a certain motorcycle. So, what if you get your new bike and find that there are a few things you want to change? Well, luckily, this is where the aftermarket comes into play. With that, let’s discuss what you may want to consider upgrading on your motorcycle, especially if you’re looking for a more satisfying and comfortable riding experience. 


Motorcycle tires

One of the most crucial components of your motorbike is the tire. It’s fairly alarming to think that only this small piece of rubber is in charge of keeping you rubber side down and shiny side up, despite the fact that it’s frequently disregarded. Having saying that, it’s crucial to constantly keep your tires in excellent condition. After all, the state of your tires may very well determine whether you live or die. However, if you recently purchased a motorbike on a tight budget, it’s likely that it came with low-quality tires that may be lacking in traction and general performance. It will be worthwhile for you to invest in a more expensive, performance-focused set in place of them.

Brake pads and lines

Motorcycle brake pads

The brakes on your motorbike are without a doubt one of the most important parts of your two-wheeled steed. It goes without saying that it is crucial to make sure your bike’s brakes are in excellent condition. Cheaper motorcycles have basic braking systems that are prone to early fade and wear, just like inexpensive tires. The performance of your brakes can be significantly enhanced by switching to a set of better performance steel-sintered or organic brake pads. The same goes for switching to steel braided brake lines for your bike, which often have less flex and higher heat tolerances than conventional rubber lines.


Motorcycle grips

One of the easiest, quickest, and least expensive methods to improve your riding experience is by replacing your handlebar grips. Riders have the option of replacing the conventional handlebar grips with ones made of a softer material, which will lessen friction strain on your skin and via your gloves while also reducing handlebar vibrations. Additionally, in order to fit your hand size, some manufacturers provide a range of sizes. Customizing the grip material and grip size to your needs can benefit your hands and arms and make riding for long periods of time much more enjoyable.


Motorcycle saddle

A touring seat will considerably improve your ride’s comfort if you’re riding for several hours or days at a time. Since the entire seat is frequently changed, touring seats are normally sold by the motorcycle’s manufacturer or by trustworthy third parties. Touring seats include a higher-quality cushion material and are developed with comfort in mind. The cost of purchasing a seat that is custom-made to fit your motorbike will be worth it even if upgrading to a touring seat is sometimes a more expensive choice.


Kawasaki ZH2 SE

The final improvement you can make to improve rider comfort is to update your suspension system. Because worn-out suspension components are unable to delicately reduce road bumps, they might provide the rider an unsettling and unsteady experience. Rear shocks may be repaired or replaced, and front forks can benefit from a new supply of premium fork oil. Assuring top-notch suspension quality will significantly improve your ride’s enjoyment and associated comfort.

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Next-generation Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is under development

Next-generation Royal Enfield Bullet 350 is under development

With its current model lineup, Royal Enfield has been dominating the classic-style segment. The Continental GT and Interceptor 650, which were first made available as worldwide models in 2017, helped make the once unproven Indian motorcycle maker a household name. Just half a decade later, the brand is already well recognized as being associated with affordable, retro-inspired motorbikes

The 350 family of bikes, beginning with the Meteor 350, has lately been revitalized in addition to the brand’s iconic 650 series. The Meteor, which makes use of the company’s J platform, is the ideal introduction to the cruiser lifestyle for riders who aren’t yet ready to spend the big money on hefty, high-displacement cruisers. The Classic 350, a model that was a contemporary resurgence of the bike that made Royal Enfield such a beloved brand in India, was released shortly after this bike.

Royal Enfield Bullet 350

Much more recently, Royal Enfield introduced the Hunter 350, reversing the narrative with its 350cc model line. Although it shared an engine with the Meteor and Classic, the Hunter stood out from the rest of the 350 class owing to its sportier ergonomics and urban-scrambler vibe. This time, Royal Enfield doesn’t seem to be slowing down; it’s widely believed that the business is developing the Bullet 350, a 350cc motorcycle that would represent yet another revival for the company.

The overall look and feel of the motorbike closely resembles that of the present model, however several small but obvious changes have been made. While the grab rail and seat designs are slightly different and seem more upscale, the circular tail lamp has replaced the angular tail lamp. Additionally, the circular headlight of the new model is flatter than the previous one’s bulging lens.

Undoubtedly, Royal Enfield’s new J platform, which features a redesigned dual-cradle frame and a 349cc air/oil-cooled engine that generates 20 horsepower and 19 ft-lbs of torque in the Classic and Meteor 350, will be used to construct the future Bullet. The wheels, suspension, and braking system are also projected to be improved from those seen in the previous generation to provide a safer, more comfortable ride.

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