SJI Researchers win 3rd Negros Student Biodiversity Symposium

Junbert Pabon and Norman Pollentes II, Grade 12 STEM students of St. John’s Institute, won 1st and 2nd places, respectively, in the 3rd Negros Student Biodiversity Symposium at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall, Wednesday, last November 15, 2017.

Pabon was together with his partner, Franz Anthony Alejano of Negros Occidental High School (NOHS), on their research output entitled, “Endoparasite of Selected Captive Endemic Threatened Wildlife Species in Negros Island, Philippines.” He was also Pollentes’ partner on their runner-up case investigation entitled, “Detecting and Identification of Vegetation Surrounding Akle (Serialbizia acle) Tree at Mt. Kanlaon Natural Park.”

18-year-old Pabon said he was motivated to study the Negros-endemic endangered species to understand them further and help them preserve from extinction. After a third place win two years ago, he pursued in doing the investigation to make an impact in the community on the seriousness of these species’ parasitic problems. Junbert encourages fellow young researchers to be brave and never be afraid to try a new thing especially if it helps create a cleaner and safer environment.

Also, research neophyte Pollentes, 18, said he was driven to take the opportunity of doing a research after attending summer camps and activities held by the Provincial Environment Management Office (PEMO) and the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO). He chose to study the Akle tree or best known as the Cherry Blossoms after seeing social media posts stating that the trees were naturally invasive in the area given the fact that the trees were not originally from Mt. Kanlaon. In their research, Norman and Junbert defended that the trees were not invasive, hence, were not a threat in the area.

Meanwhile, research veteran Alejano, 18, won the 2nd place together with fellow NOHSians, Kyle Ohen Cepeda, Jonel Desoyo, Shaira Camille Abergas, Jastine Agles and Donna Belle Apoyon, on their case report with the title, “Endoparasites of Island Flying Foxes (Pteropus vampyrus) in Mambukal, Negros Occidental.” He shared that his inspiration in working hard in his researches is his adaptation of his alma mater’s motto which is, “always have the Culture of Excellence.”

Ten high school entries joined the competition while three college student groups presented in the event. Ramon Torres National High School and Himamaylan National High School also sent two and one delegates in their category, respectively, while two outputs John B. Lacson Colleges Foundation, Inc., and a case report from students of Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology were presented for the undergraduate program.

The symposium is one of the events of 13th Wildlife Month Festival with the theme of “Kabukiran Tuburan sang Kabuhi.” Other events are bird watching, tour of the fireflies – a cycling contest – and many others. Visit PENRO Negros Occidental Facebook Page for more details of the events.

This year’s gala is partnered with PEMO, PENRO, Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Inc., United States Agency for International Development, STI West Negros University, Department of Education, Virginia Zoo, Chester Zoo and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


Jhun Paul Alacre

STI West Negros University

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