Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IYA 2009 Regional Olympiad Schedules

[Region;Date of Olympiad; DepEd Focal Person or Coordinator;Contact Number; Location; Test Administrator

Region 3
Jan 21;Rose Luna;(045)9613219;Teacher Center San Fernando Pampanga;
Rhodora Gonzalez,UP Engineering

Region 4A;
Jan 15; Marissa; 09274308661;Cainta National High School;
Ceril Maramag,Sc Edu Spe, UP-NISMED

Region 4B;
Jan 15; Jeanette Martinez; -- ; Holy Infant Academy, Calapan Mindoro;
Rochelle Derilo,Member, UP Astro Soc

Region 5;
Jan 22; Leticia Bustamante;09189347307; DepED RO Legaspi City;
Rochelle Derilo, Member, UP Astro Soc

Region 6;
Jan 15; Verano; DepED RO Iloilo City;
Evelyn Josue,Sc Edu Spe, UP-NISMED

Region 7;
Jan 21; Jocelyn Canto;09173222460; Applied Nutrition Center Banilad, Cebu;
Evelyn Josue, Sc Edu Spe, UP-NISMED

Region 9;
Jan 15; Mila Arao; -- ; DepEd RO Pagadian City;
Amelia Punzalan,Sc Edu Spe, UP-NISMED

Region 10;
-- ;Rose Cang; -- ; DepED RO Cagayan De Oro;

Region 11;
Jan 15; Luzminda Honor; -- ;DepEd RO Davao City;
Dr. Aida Yap,Sc Edu Spe, UP-NISMED

Region 12;
Jan 15; Ruth Estacio; -- ;National Education Academy Building, General Santos City;
Frederick Gabriana, Member, IYA2009 Olympiad Com

Jan 15; Juanita Ferido; -- ;Quezon City Science High School;
Eligio Obille Jr./Ivy Mejia,

Friday, January 1, 2010

Flashback - The Philippine scene in IYA 2009

Here are just a few highlights of what transpired in the Philippines for the IYA 2009 that I compiled from different posts of Astronomical organizations in the Philippines:

The opening ceremony of IYA 2009 Philippine celebration was held on February 16 2009 at the SM Mall of Asia, coinciding with the National Astronomy week.

  • Approval of the RTU Diploma in Astronomy. The first Astronomy program to be offered via Distance Learning Education (DLE).
  • Pauline Pearl Divinagracia, a student at the Rizal Technological University (RTU) taking up BS
    Astronomy Technology, has been chosen to represent the Philippines at
    the opening ceremonies of the International Year of Astronomy 2009
    (IYA2009) in Paris, France on January 15-16, 2009.
  • Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP) uploaded a page for the RTU Department of Astronomy  in the ALP website
  • ALP began the Philippine Journal of Astronomy, the first astronomical journal in the Philippines. The first issue was released in March and the second in June.
  •  The 1st Philippine Astronomical Convention. The PAC was held at RTU.
  • Jan 26, 2009 - Partial Solar Eclipse (which was mistakenly reported by the media as an annular solar eclipse). ALP and Sidewalk Astronomers - Philippines observed successfully at the Manila Bay. Cloudy weather conditions for Visayas and Mindanao.
  • IYA-PAS Educational Campus Tour. Over 1000 Philippine Science High School students and faculty members attending Engr. Dacanay's lecture.
  • The first Philippine Astronomical Society's PASilip. The viewing of the moon at the Manila Observatory roofdeck on February 1.
  • ALP's establishment of the Philippine Sunspot Number Program.
  • The Mindanao State University- Iligan Institute of Technology Astronomical Society Activities:
    Lantaw Luna: View the Moon on Feb 11
  •  The Astronomical League of the Philippines and the Rizal Technological University signed a historic Memorandum of Agreement which will bolster each other's activities and projects, specifically in formal astronomy education.
  • The 3rd Philippine Messier Marathon on March 28, 2009 at the dark skies of Caliraya, Laguna.
  • 100 Hours of Astronomy. A four day activity from April 2-4.
  • Dr. Armando Lee or 'Doc Lee' - first Philippine produced MS Astronomy graduate.
  • Ordinary people came to enjoy IYA such as the following:
    • "Dinumog kami ng mga street children d2 sa Malibay overpass! Ang saya d2!" - Doc Lee
    • 100HA in the Seven Suites Hotel Observatory in Antipolo. A group of about 60
      Dumagats came (The first time these natives saw a telescope). Alaga sila ng isang NGO based in Rizal Province.
  • The BusinessMirror released an article about the 100 Hours of Astronomy entitled, "Knowledge comes through the telescope"
  • Partial Solar Eclipse of 2009. ALP and UP AstroSoc sent teams to China to Observe totality
  • Integration of Astronomy in the Rizal and History courses through a book by Prof. Jose Fadul.
  • Establishment of a Philippine Astronomy Social Network.
  • Inclusion of the Philippine Journal of Astronomy in the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (SAO/NASA ADS).
  • IYA 2009 National Astronomy Olympiad, organized by the IYA 2009 NOC in cooperation with UP NISMED
  • ALP page on Facebook :)
  • International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) in Taiwan. The Philippines bagged its 1st silver (Lance Co Ting Keh of PSHS). The other awards were 2 bronze (Ralph Ugalino and Gio Elegado of the PSHS-main and Bicol, respectively), best presentation for the international team field investigation (Emmanuel Codillo of Catanduanes National HS).
  • StarPeace - Indonesia and Philippines: construction of peace bridge on South China sea (Dec 4-5), public viewing and general live webcasting with StarPeace ambassadors Dr. Armando Lee and Avivah Yamani 
  • Galilean Nights - An extension of 100 HA on Dec 22-24
  • Beauty without Borders - telescope viewing sessions in Antipolo
These are just some of the few activities in the Philippines conducted in observance of the IYA. Astronomy related orgs have many other activities that transpired during the duration of the year. I hope we can continue to promote Astronomy in the country beyond the celebration of IYA 2009.

Clear Skies for 2010!

Update on IYA 2009 National Olympiad

The IYA 2009 National Olympiad was put on hold after the calamities brought about by the continuous typhoons that hit the Philippines. This 2010, the Olympiad will push through. The regional elimination is scheduled on January 15. There are still regions with no participants, and so they are given the chance to register until January 8. The DepEd and the IYA-NOC are still working on the venues for the event.

Interested applicants can avail of the registration form via the IYA Philippines website

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A look into Astronomy through the days of Rizal

A book review on The Integration of Astronomy in the Rizal Course, by Jose A. Fadul, PhD

Professor Jose A. Fadul of Della Salle University, in line with the observance of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, presents to us the astronomical foundation in which Rizal experienced. He brings us back to the time of Rizal by integrating the subject astronomy into the timeline covered under the Rizal course.

Despite Rizal’s not being an astronomer, Prof. Fadul presents to us the background of Rizal in astronomy; such as the naming of planets and their mythological association with gods from Ateneo, Dr. A. B. Meyer, & T. Pardo de Tavera; his reading of the Historia Universal; and even the mention of items in his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which may pertain to the context of astronomy, such as the burning of Copernicus’ work in the Noli. Also, Prof. Fadul describes the account of Rizal with the Great September Comet of 1882 (C/1882 R1). He also mentions the naming of tektites in honor of Rizal - rizalites. In Rizal’s letter to his sister from Madrid, he mentions the sighting of the comet on their way home from Don Pablo’s. It was then believed, by superstitious Filipinos, to have caused cholera. Likewise, Rizal’s visits to some observatories are also mentioned.

The book, The Integration of Astronomy in the Rizal Course, is a creative astronomy text in which Filipino history (specifically Rizal’s history) provides the flow of discussion. It is amazing how Professor Jose Fadul brings up discussions in astronomy from the context of Rizal’s history and works – such as Bluementritt’s inference of Rizal to a comet. The book is very informative, providing basic facts in astronomy while relating it to the Philippine context. Works such as this like Dr. Ambrosio’s Mamahi (ethnoastronomy), are quite interesting since we get to experience astronomy through our heritage and unique experiences as Filipinos. His explanations are supported with clear images, presenting facts from the timeframe of Rizal and supporting it with the current context.

Personally, I would have loved to have had this book incorporated to my history 41 (Rizal) class last semester. A lot of my classmates and some friends who took the Rizal subject are interested in astronomy. As a matter of fact, some of us sat down the beach of Dakak, during our field trip to Dipolog, and observed the unobstructed view of the night sky. Relating the lessons of the course to astronomy would have been very interesting.

This book will certainly come recommended to Filipinos interested in having a background in astronomy.

Reuel Norman A. Marigza, Jr.
BS Physics, Silliman University

Monday, September 7, 2009

IYA 2009 Philippine poll results

The IYA2009_Philippines yahoo group had a poll on ways to develop Philippine astronomy. The result for the poll was posted on September 8, 2009.

Here are the top 5 choices:

Greater cooperation among astronomical organizations, institutions and individual astronomers (14.29%)

Support for astronomy education in the undergraduate and graduate levels (14.29%)

Use of various media to promote astronomy, i.e. internet, television, radio (14.29%)

Establishment of local and international linkages (12.24%)

Creation of an astronomical union in the country, composed of astronomical societies, institutions and agencies (10.20%)

The rest of the choices were:
*Inclusion of separate astronomy courses in the primary and secondary levels
*Establishment of scientific research programs in astronomy and astrophysics
*Scholarships for students with majors in astronomy or astrophysics
*Establishment of local and international linkages
*Publications, such as books, journals, newsletters, and conference proceedings
*Astronomical conventions/ conferences/ congress

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

IYA 2009 National Astronomy Olympiad

The National Organizing Commitee of the IYA2009, in cooperation with UP NISMED, will be holding the first IYA2009 Philippine Olympiad. The Olympiad is open to both secondary and collegiate level, both competing in their respective levels. The Olympiad will be conducted in two stages: a regional and a national.

The regional eliminations will be held simultaneously in 17 regions of the country. The eliminations has been postponed to November 7. The finals will be held at UP-NISMED, Quezon City on 11 December 2009

You can download the registration form here:

For more details visit the IYA2009 Philippines Official Website.

For queries please contact Dr. Merle C. Tan, Director of UP-NISMED and Chairperson of the IYA2009 Olympiad at telephone numbers 981-8500 loc. 3901 to 3910, 927-4276 and 928-1563 or through Email.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

100 Hours Astronomy

One of the cornerstone projects of the IYA is the 100 Hours Astronomy. The objective of which, is to let as much people as possible look through a telescope as Galileo did for the first time 400 years ago. The duration of this world wide event is from April 2-5 (16 days from now).

If you own a telescope, be involved and set it up for viewing. Invite your friends to take a look, and appreciate the beauty of the heavens.

For more information, visit: