10866157_998469500182896_3749482698590583884_oJanuary 06, 2015 –  Before the 2nd semester officially opened, three (3) resident members of the Society of Exchange Students – University of the Philippines (SExS – UP) attended a first of its kind symposium hosted by the Association of Filipino Students in Japan (AFSJ) and Pinoy Iskolars sa Korea, Inc. (PIKO) in partnership with First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA) dubbed as “Experiences and Researches from Japan and Korea: Filipino International Researchers, Students, Trainees Symposium (FIRSTS)” in FPLA Rizal Hall, Antipolo City.

The program began at around 10:00 am with welcome remarks from Mr. Ace Victor Aceron, FPLA Head for Education. He highlighted the power of education and hoped that “Rizalian” spirit will be ignited among the participants to become the heroes that we need today. It was followed by an opening remark from AFSJ Vice President for Academic Affairs, Ms. Cherry Mae Mateo. She shared an anecdote about Japan’s bullet train and compared it to our very own transit to convey a very important message – “to see things differently”. To complete the opening ceremonies, Mr. Ronel Laranjo, PIKO President gave a very historical message highlighting how the “Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Iskolar sa ibang Bansa (ANIB),” a great alliance of international scholars was formed. He formally launched the newest alliance called ANIB, composed of AFSJ and PIKO members that aims to give back to the country through developing a research-based culture and network among the youth. He further stressed the role of Illustrados, an international students’ movement back then has played in order to achieve freedom of our nation. In the end, he posed a challenge to the participants especially those who are interested in studying abroad to use the education and experiences that they will gain overseas to contribute to the further development of our country.

The event was divided into two parts, the morning session was dedicated to the experiences of Filipino students abroad while the afternoon session was used to showcase the researches of Filipino students abroad.

Experiences of Filipino Students Abroad

The session started with the discussion of the career benefits one can get from studying abroad. One of the speakers was Ms. Karen Kay Mejos from PIKO who finished her MS degree in Nutritional Science and Food Management in Ewha Women’s University in Korea and now works in United Nations Food and Agriculture Organizations. She presented few reasons why study abroad and even shared tips to survive studying overseas. The next pair of speakers talked about differences in research, culture, educational system, perspective, values, etc. Mr. Ronald Muana (AFSJ) who studied in the University of Tokyo noticed that the Japanese were very organized and traditional while Filipinos have shallow happiness and more open to gender equality. On the other hand, Mr. Ador Torneo (PIKO) who obtained his PhD from Konkuk University revealed the South Korea is indeed more than Hallyu. Capping off the morning session was the exchange student’s perspective delivered by Mr. Rajiv Eldon Abdullah (AFSJ) and Mr. Kevin Florentin (PIKO). Mr. Abdullah summarized his experiences into three ideas: self-discovery, improvement and the sense of being limitless. While Mr. Florentin was fortunate enough to find a support group and a girlfriend in South Korea. The last speaker was Mr. Wilfredo Dumale, Jr. (AFSJ), a graduate of the University of Tokyo and now a professor in Nueva Vizcaya University, who shared valuable tips on how an international scholar can give to the country.

Researches of Filipino Students Abroad

In the afternoon, parallel sessions were held for researches in social sciences and engineering and technology. A total of eighteen theses/research studies and nine posters presentations were presented.

The event ended with a synthesis coming from Drs. Mylene Cayetano and Custer Deocaris and closing remarks from PIKO President Mr. Ronel Laranjo. It was followed by a networking party.

Lessons Learned 

After FIRSTS, I learned the importance of studying abroad and the endless possibilities it can give. I got valuable tips and advices, too in order to survive overseas, like one has to study the culture and language of another country and learn to respect others. Being open and receptive will also help you to integrate culturally. And the most important lesson I learned is to practice excellence and perform well during the duration of the scholarship and leave a good impression.

SExS UP Resident Members who participated in the FIRSTS: from Left to Right, Tommy TImog, Nicko Rodriguez, and Angelo Marasigan.

SExS UP Resident Members who participated in the FIRSTS: from Left to Right, Tommy TImog, Nicko Rodriguez, and Angelo Marasigan.

– Tommy Timog


SExS-UP First Major Activity: The parade in UPLB Loyalty Day

The members of the Society of Exchange Students-University of the Philippines  with the adviser Dr. Jean O. Loyola and some inbound exchange students from Japan and Korea.

The members of the Society of Exchange Students-University of the Philippines with the adviser Dr. Jean O. Loyola and some inbound exchange students from Japan and Korea.

 In October 10, 2014 as per the celebration of the UPLB Loyalty Day, the newly founded organization, Society of Exchange Students-University of the Philippines (SExS-UP), had its first major activity since its establishment on September 14, 2014.  SExS-UP joined the conventional parade in line with the Office of the Institutional Linkages (OIL) for its introduction to the UPLB community. The activity was led by the SExS-UP adviser and former OIL director Dr. Jean O. Loyola and the organization’s president Mr. Renerio P. Gentallan, Jr.


The staffs of Office of Institutional Linkages with the inbound students from Japan and Korea.

At around 7:00 am, the members of the organization prepared for the parade by applying face paint on one another. The face paints were applied on both cheeks of the members; the right cheek was painted with the Philippine Flag while the left cheek was painted with country where the member had been an exchange student. The face painting activity had been a fun-filled experience for all the 22 members that attended as it brought the members closer and it also showed the “artistic” side of our talented members.

Ms. Day Fidel's left cheek, being painted with the Korean flag by our talented secretary, Ms. Pritzy Ilagan.

Ms. Day Fidel’s left cheek, being painted with the Korean flag by our talented secretary, Ms. Pritzy Ilagan.

At around 11:00 pm, the organization cheerfully sang the song Ole Ole and danced in front of the D.L. Umali Auditorium as part of the performance for the UPLB officials and alumni. After the successful performance, the members took a rest and conducted a photo opportunity with the former UPLB Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz and this concluded the first Loyalty Parade of SExS-UP.


Members of SExS-UP with the former Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz.

Members of SExS-UP with the former Chancellor Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz.

– Ian Panaga



It’s about time that we, the youth, learn about our neighbors and work hand in hand to a better future: the ASEAN integration.

Last November 15, 2014, the organization participated in the first ever blogging contest on ASEAN integration held at A Space Manila, sponsored by the US Embassy and YSEALI (Young South East Asian Leaders Initiative).

Together with other universities such as Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and a lot more, almost 20 teams listened to talks about the ASEAN integration and composed read-worthy blogs all in just a day.

Hosted by Jolly Estaris, a handful of speakers were able to impart some wisdom and learnings to the participants including Richard Heydarian on Politics and Economics, Kip Oebanda on Human Trafficking, Al Gabriel on Food and Security, Jonathan Yabut on Business and Career, Roy Cosico on Health, Ivan Henares on Travel and Heritage, Paul Rivera on Technology and Entrepreneurship and Lesley Cordero on Governance.

Proudly, the organization has sent in two groups to be part of this event. Teamon and Pumbaa, the team of Rio Gentallan, Tommy Timog, Pritzy Ilagan, Angelo Marasigan, Klariz Sadie and a special teammate from Ateneo, Andrew Cua. and Team Ambassadors composed of Vani Odsey, Axel Perez, Karla Ceguerra, Sandee Frigillana and Xam Buno.

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Cheers to upcoming activities and events!

Welcome Party (1st sem, AY 2014-2015)

On September 29, 2014, the Society of Exchange Students – University of the Philippines held a welcome party for six exchange students from Japan and Korea.


Hosted by SExS UP members, Nicko Rodriguez and Joy Dianne Gumatay, the program started at nearly 6 in the evening. SExS – UP senior adviser Dr. Jean Loyola gave her opening/ welcome remarks, and it was subsequently followed by the message of the then- Chancellor, Dr. Rex Victor Cruz. The six exchange students – Kosuke, Taisuke, Shuntaro, Shinichiro, Dong Chan and Hye Seul- were then asked to introduce themselves. Since the welcome party was also prepared for the SExS UP members and exchange students to know each other well, the former were also asked to share some personal information and about the subjects they took or activities they participated into in other countries. Many members came from Korea and Japan while there are some who attended seminars in other Asian countries or even in Europe and Latin America.


The CEC canteen was filled with noise and laughter as some groups from the organization executed their prepared games. To establish communication and camaraderie, games like Human Bingo and Blow The Balloon were carried out. There had also been some performances like the song and guitar presentation of Dr. Loyola, then ‘Sadie and friends’. Dinner followed after. As everyone had just finished their meal, Shinichiro, a Japanese student, took the guitar and amazed everyone as he sang not only some requested Japanese songs but also Filipino songs like Eraserhead’s Magasin. He was also the one who gave a speech, in behalf to the other exchange students. The welcome party ended shortly after the closing remarks of SExS- UP junior adviser Prof. Rose Collado and some photo opportunities.

– DJ Sangalang

Society of Exchange Students – University of the Philippines

established 2014.

The idea came from the former head of the Office of Institutional Linkages, UPLB, Dr. Jean O. Loyola. She said that there was a need to gather the exchange students of the University in order to share their experiences and learnings to the future exchange students and to also give back to the University for having this grand opportunity to go overseas and represent UP and the Philippines.

Thus, last year, exchange students from different countries including Korea, Japan, America, and other programs hosted by the University have put up a special meeting to establish an organization solely for exchange students, both foreign (those hosted by the university from other countries) and local.

The organization aims to be of assistance to both inbound and outbound exchange students by transfer of ideas and experiences. It also aims to promote exchange of culture throughout the UPLB community and promote the upcoming ASEAN integration. Lastly, it aims to uphold honor and excellence within and outside the organization.

Based on the OSA records, we have 40 charter members for AY 2014-2015. Currently there are 10 members of the executive committee, and they are as follows:

President: Renerio Gentallan, Jr.

Vice President for Internal Affairs: Vanayan Odsey

Vice President for External Affairs: Julius Ceasar Perez

Secretary: Priscilla Danielle Ilagan

Treasurer: Angelo Marasigan

Auditor: Sandee Lois Frigillana

PRO: Maria Shantelle Alexies Ambayec, Joy Dianne Gumatay

Project Manager: Axel Ross Perez

Liaison Officer: Emmanuel Bonifacio Timog

If you interested to join our family and our activities, please watch out for updates on our social media accounts.

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