University of the Philippines Los Baños

The UPLB Horizon is issued quarterly and features news, feature articles, research and extension updates, literary pieces, and information of general interest to UPLB and its publics. For contributions, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


We all are familiar with barcodes. In fact, we encounter them every time we pay for items that we buy in the supermarket. With the barcoding concept in mind, Dr. Orville L. Bondoc, an animal breeding and genetics expert/faculty member at the Animal and Dairy Sciences Cluster of the College of Agriculture, came up with a proposal in 2010 to conduct the “UPLB-Department of Agriculture DNA Barcoding Project-Agricultural Sub-sector on Animal Production and Health.”

The project, funded by the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program of the Department of Agriculture aimed to analyze evolutionary relationships, genetic diversity and distances among common breeds, strains and crossbreeds of important livestock and poultry species.

Carrying on the initiative further, Dr. Bondoc wrote the book entitled “DNA Barcoding: Livestock and Poultry Breeds and Strains, Going Beyond Taxonomic Classifications.” The book was given the 2014 Outstanding Book Award by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST), the third time that a book written by Dr. Bondoc received the same award from NAST.

The book highlights the use of DNA barcoding as the molecular procedure to monitor, record, and image biodiversity of domestic animal genetic resources relevant to the genetic improvement and conservation in the Philippines. DNA barcoding can be used to assign specimens to known species and distinct livestock breeds and strains of buffaloes, goats, sheep, and pigs, but not for cattle and dogs.


His work as research scientist and an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign would have been the launching pad for a successful career in the US. But the desire to help livestock farmers back home proved very difficult to resist, and soon, Dr. Rommel Sulabo was on a plane back to the Philippines.

Within just a year after his recruitment to the UP Balik PhD Program, he has already accomplished much as a teacher and as a researcher. His contributions to knowledge on livestock nutrition and production are affirmed by the 2014 Outstanding Young Scientist Award that he has just received from the National Academy of Science and Technology - Philippines.

Through his research on applied monogastric nutrition, specifically on feed ingredient evaluation, feed processing and safety, animal growth modeling, and feed management, Dr. Sulabo has provided livestock producers with information on practices that will improve the management, profitability, and sustainability of small and large livestock operations. He has also written 26 articles that have been published in ISI-indexed journals, 20 research reports, 31 research abstracts, 4 book chapters, 13 technical modules, 11 conference proceedings, and over 50 popular articles.


UPLB is a university known for its numerous contributions to science, so much so that UPLB has become the go-to institution when it comes to scientific know-how. This has been ingrained in UPLB’s image for as long as we can remember.

However, within the walls of UPLB lie gems in the field of the arts. Artists inspired by the refreshing environment of Mt. Makiling thrive within the University. If you are an arts enthusiast and frequenter of exhibits and plays in campus, chances are you have encountered the ‘artsier’ side of the UPLB crowd. Among these gems, none probably shines brighter than Prof. Layeta P. Bucoy, associate professor V at the Department of Humanities of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS).

Teaching full time does not seem to slow her down; she manages to write at least one play per semester. In addition, her plays have been part of the Virgin Labfest – an annual showcase of new plays that have not been run or entered in any competition.

Prof. Bucoy has been awarded the prestigious Palanca Award for Literature many times and in multiple categories for works such as the “Ang Repleksyon ni Miss Trajano (2nd place, Teleplay category, 1998), El Galeon de Simeon (2nd place, Dulang May Isang Yugto category, 2011), and Doc Resurreccion: Gagamutin ang Bayan (1st place, Dulang May IsangYugto category, 2009).



UPLB College of Agriculture’s Institute of Plant Breeding (IPB) awarded its two newest breeds of Hibiscus to two exemplary women. These included the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Pia S. Cayetano’ to Philippine Senator and lawyer Pia S. Cayetano (Women in Public Service) and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Patricia B. Licuanan to Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education, on Aug. 28 at the UP Executive House in UP Diliman, Quezon City.

The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Pia S. Cayetano, has fuschia-colored flowers that are simple and regular with dark purple eyes. The leaves are simple, discoid, ovate and glossy, and arranged alternately. The plant is shrubby, vigorous, semi-erect, and tall. It is also a fast grower and very floriferous, blooming all-year round, peaking from May to December.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Patricia B. Licuanan has simple and regular flowers that have solferino purple color and ruby red eye surrounded by gray halo. The leaves are simple, ovate and glossy, and arranged alternately. The plant is shrubby, vigorous, and erect. It is a fast grower and very floriferous, with the bracts blooming all-year round, peaking from May to December.


Pages of history of both the University and the country were revisited when UPLB officials welcomed the members of the prominent Laurel clan on Sept. 2 for the launching of the Jose Sotero Laurel III Professorial Chair in Agribusiness.

The 1.5 million-peso grant is named after Amb. Jose Sotero Laurel III, the second child of the late president Jose P. Laurel (Second Philippine Republic, 1943-1945). Mr. Francis C. Laurel, son of Amb. Laurel and president and chief executive officer of YKK Philippines, conceptualized of and sponsored the said professorial chair in honor of his father on his centennial birth anniversary. The chair, which recognizes his father’s contribution to business and management, aims to support lectures on persistent and emerging issues in agribusiness development.

According to Dr. Dinah Pura T. Depositario, chair of the Department of Agribusiness Management and Entrepreneurship of the College of Economics and Management (DAME-CEM), the professorial chair is open to issues in agribusiness such as the need to integrate small farmers into local and global supply chains; business resilience strategies amidst disasters and other climate change manifestations; and strategic options for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the light of the ASEAN Economic Integration. The professorial chair will boost DAME-CEM and one of the newly established interdisciplinary studies centers of UPLB, the UP Agribusiness Center for Entrepreneurship.