Reference Studies on Disaster Management Developed from the DLSU-CCS

Papers Presented in the DLSU @ Research Congress 2013




Designing a community based early warning and mapping system for an urban barangayGonzales, Arnaldo, Marquez-Lim, Ongkiko, Pineda (2013)

Papers Presented in the Science and Technology Congress 2012

A Coral Reef Monitoring and Mapping System for Western Luzon Philippines SeasBarba, Ravago, Vicencio, Pineda (2012)

Community Profiling and Mapping for CRESTAguas, Villasenor, Ebora, Caunga, Pineda (2012)

A Simulation of Angat Dam Outflow Utilizing A Geographic Information System Roca, Abrantes, Marcelo, Punzalan, Pineda (2012)


1..       Sep. 26, 2010 – Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) anniversary, news write up on DLSU Flood Prediction System – Sawatain came out –

2.       Mar. 5, 2011 – Business Mirror news on CITe4D’s Quo Vadis event on Disaster Management

3. A community based disaster risk reduction system for BuklodTao of San Mateo, RizalCasas, Diego, Legaspi

Recent International Publications

Pineda, M. V. (2012). “Exploring the Potentials of a Community-Based Disaster Risk Management System (CBDRMS), the Philippine Experience,” International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology vol. 3, no. 6, pp. 708-712, 2012. Retrieved from

Pineda, M. V. (2010) “Local Government Unit (LGU) and Academe Partnership for Responsive e-Disaster Systems”. Proceedings of the Symposium IPKIN WOSOC KOMMIT 2010 International Conference, November 24-25, 2010, in Bali, Indonesia. ISSN: 1411-6286 Retrieved from

Pineda, M. V. (2009).  “Pragmatic Use of ICT for Effective Disasster Management Governance and Participation ,”  International Journal of eBusiness and eGovernment Studies,  2009, 1(2): 15-25. Retrieved from

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In this era of accessible information, content generation and knowledge exchange, there have been many ways of attempting to model how knowledge is created. This is my attempt to provide some baseline ideas on knowledge creation, represented as a rhizome, inspired by the two French philosophers, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari. who wrote A Thousand Plateaus.

According to Guattari and Deleuze the rhizome has no hierarchy and no tree-like (or root-like) structures and every node can connect to any other node in unpredicted and unpredictable ways.

With this basic model of the rhizome as a knowledge representation, we could deduce the following:

  1. Knowledge is not automatically generated.

A learner pulls (and pushes) various types of information, artifacts, metadata, content  and even abstract things that may be used to produce knowledge. The learner, on her own, is able to classify, filter or aggregate all of these to decide what appears to be useful to her. What appears to be useful becomes knowledge to her.

Along the way, the learner also uses a multitudes of tools at her convenience to be able to extract all these informations—these could be web tools, social networks, web sites or blogs, etc.

2. Knowledge that is useful may be long-term or short-term.

As the learner traverses in seek of acquiring or creating new information and new knowledge, there are the odds of putting more weight on pleasurable short-term knowledge over long-term priority knowledge. So an imbalance of time and effort is given to each of this type of knowledge.

If the learner is mindful of her learning conditions, she can have the idea of the need to manage her short-term or long-term acquisition of knowledge.

3. Knowledge may be also generated by the physical and virtual connections.

Information sources may go beyond what the web and other technologies can channel. Information that is filtered, classified or cleansed, consolidated or verified may also come from formal, non-formal or informal connections including teachers, friends, relatives, professional colleagues and recognized experts in the field.

This is enhanced by emerging technologies.

An example of rhizome connections influenced by social and academic interests.

An example of rhizome connections influenced by social and academic interests.

4. Knowledge creation is a rhizome process.

So if Nos. 1-3 are correct, knowledge can be generated in different rhizomic ways, in parallel, in multiplicity or intertwining (as Deleuze and Guattari explained).

5. But what makes it a self-regulating mechanism?

The learner, as supported by all the present technologies, is disengaged from the confined methods of classroom rules of learning, and in return, consciously or unconsciously decides on how she should perform her own knowledge “creation and use” processes.

Even with the many resources, tools and connections available to her, she finds time to choose, in reflexive or reflective mode, what is best for her (maybe what best knowledge is for her).

My proposition here: Build capacities and skills on managing a personal learning network. The dynamism of the present connections, resources and tools of a learner is enormous now unlike some decades ago.

An example of a Personal learning network, showing a snapshot of a learner's sources of information, facts and resources for knowledge formation.

An example of a Personal learning network, showing a snapshot of a learner’s sources of information, facts and resources for knowledge formation.

7. So if the learners in general are self-autonomous and eventually becoming self-directed in their learning, are we still in need of experts?

I believe yes, but the approach need not be centralized on one expert. We need to develop a crowd of experts. How do we do these?

When learners for instance, are part of larger group, they are there because of basic, common interests – to learn, to teach, to chat, to have fun.

Active learners must be pushed to promote their interests and expertise. Active, loud learners must find their silent active learners in the same field. It is like Batman finding Robin or the donkey finding Shrek.

At this point the rhizome, which has different nodes, some of the nodes become hubs—

But for the mature members, there must be a way to transform nodes of connections to hubs of expertise. There will still be overlaps or intertwining of interests and competencies. But the active learner must reflect on her expertise or specialization. At some point, she will have to choose—join a hub or start a hub.

8. What is next?

Not all hubs may become attractive. There must be strategies to create tipping points. But if the hub remains unattractive, it may become a sub-node of a hub.

What is the difference between the node and the hub? The node can be any form of knowledge representation that has a potential to become a hub. On the other hand, the hub is a special node that consists of other nodes that have fused together within that node. The hub has a collective expertise that makes it appealing and enabling.

An example of a crowd of experts creating a hub of common goals and interests.

An example of a crowd of experts creating a hub of common goals and interests.

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What is the state of Information Technology in our country?

I was invited last Saturday to a radio program, Vigattin Radio Program @ DZIQ Radyo Inquirer 990 AM. The topic is “What is the state of Information Technology in our country?”

So in preparation, I made a few notes. And these were my thoughts.

1. There are many Filipinos online but most have not matured on their technology practice.

Statistics show that there are 30million Filipino Facebook users. [1]



Philippines is #8 in Twitter in terms of #of accounts and #of Tweets in 2011.

But my observations tell me that most Filipinos will only be at the “use” mode. We download applications- play, discover and use. But there should be more to that. We should not stop. We should practice and bring up our usage to a higher level. We should create content, customize our tools, even develop our own applications. We have not  fully maximized the use of technology.

2. Many IT practitioners are now into freelance job contracting work.

Apart from our IT programmers leaving the country to seek better pay elsewhere, many young developers opt to do freelance or independent online work. Take for example,, a leading online contracting work. The top 7 countries in Odesk include the Philippines (10,900+), India (10,300+), United States (3,500), Bangladesh (2,200+), Pakistan (1,900+), Ukraine (2,400) and Russia (1,900). [3]

According to Prof Iperoitis of Odesk, “All other countries have very natural patterns of being awake and asleep; Philippines is an exception. We see that the minimum for Philippines rarely drops below 5,000 active workers! All other countries (combined!) in their downtime time cannot beat Philippines in their low time. The supply of work is very constant over time.” [4] This means that most Filipino IT practitioners could adapt to the schedule requirements of clients, ensure of delivery of service, and have natural knack for online work.

Is this good? Looking at the profile of the online contractors for instance in Odesk, it is sad to see that the Filipinos even with records of previous successful job contracts, still have low pay rates per hour compared to others from other regions of the world.

I came to the conclusion that many of them would simply accept the job even at a lower pay rate for the sake of having an online work. There is no government agency at the moment who would support their interest or even define the standard of pay for them.

3. I see the need to develop strong digital skills among our young citizens. Digital skills mean not just using a software or a tool but developing high level competency on the use of technology. The baseline requirement is to develop programming skills even among elementary students.

Our country has focused too much on producing graduates to serve our economy. We should go beyond this. We should produce intelligent graduates with great desire to learn more.

There should be a continuous desire not just to earn more but to learn more. There are many technologies and resources at the moment that are accessible to us. We need to become self-directed in our learning.

We also need to have strong foresight of what is to come, especially for our young generation. Hence, the development of strong digital skills and futures thinking should be part of the K12 program too.

4. How do we ensure a sustainable ICT program then in the country?

So I see the a great need to have a Dept of ICT that will manage all IT endeavors, regulate products and services, oversee the real local IT needs and support long term programs, in the educational and professional sectors, and empower collaborations between the HEIs, private and public agencies.

If we have a Dept ICT, there is going to be a clear direction—

  1. to realize the importance of teacher capacity building on ICT practice and personal development;
  2. to develop local educational content and materials on General Education, our History, languages and dialects, and address our own needs;
  3. to build and acquire digital skills among young people especially in programming, development of applications. So we will have our own tools and software and be self-reliant. Slowly we also breed intelligent and progressive aptitude towards learning;
  4. The Dept of ICT can also make our ICT endeavors and projects sustainable. We will have a voice to say to the government, we deserve better services and governance.

What is the state of Information Technology in our country?

I believe we have not matured yet. We are still in the discovery and try out stage.

Sources of data:

[1] Socialbakers (2012). Facebook statistics by country. Retrieved from last Jan. 26, 2012.

[2] Martin, R. (2012) Which are the top twitter nations? Retrieved from last Jan. 26, 2012.

[3] Yugatech (2012). Filipinos are top freelancers in Odesk. Retrieved from

[4] Olandres, A. (2012). Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Philippines Top Contractors on oDesk. Retrieved from last Jan. 26, 2012.

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SINULOG 2013, my first Sinulog epic

Because of the ambivalence of my former students, I was convinced to join and participate in this year’s Sinulog in Cebu. As early as September last year, I have booked already together with a close colleague in the office from Jan 17-21.

Sinulog is a Cebuano celebration of the Feast of the Sto. Nino in the month of January. As I have asked and inquired, Sinulog came from the word “sulog” that means water-like dance. This dance is  a local custom to pay respect to the Sto. Nino on His feast, to seek special favors, and an exhibition of gratitude to the Sto. Nino for the blessings enjoyed the whole year.


The Basilica of the Pit Senor with all red and yellow bannersSinulog2 Sinulog3  There is the novena in observance of the feast.

Viva Pit Senor! This is how the local Cebuanos would exclaim! “Pit Senor” is a common greeting everywhere, expressed with great and warm smiles. All homes, churches, even hotels and stores would have a special altar or place for the Pit Senor, adorned with flowers. Some would even make a small altar infront of their houses to express unity with the people in the procession who will pass by.

The Saturday feast is dedicated a day of prayers, offerings and procession to the Pit Senor. The procession is attended by thousands of people, mostly the Cebuanos. It is amazing to see persons of different ages, from all walks of life, paying tribute to the little Senyor. Some would even bring their own image of the Pit Senor.

It is also a custom to wave and say goodbye to the Pit Senor as you leave the church. It creates an aura of so much humility and faith among the Cebuanos that is very admirable.

The Sunday celebration is a whole day of a mardi gras parade with big floats, the image of the Pit Senor, those who are with the parade would be in grand costumes and dancing, and there is the princess (or maybe a representation of Queen Juana in 1521) holding the Sto. Nino gayly dancing. In the afternoon, the feasting continues with street parties in the major streets. Young people use different kinds of paints on their faces and their shirts and there is so much merry drinking. The street party is looked forward by many tourists, foreign and local too.

Here’s a short list of the things I have done in the 5day stay in Cebu:

1. Tried 3 kinds of lechon + tried local restaurants (servings are huge and prices are cheap). Lechon is commonly paired with the “puso“, the rice wrapped in banana leaves.2. Attended a Sinulog Party – had a fun night with friends, enjoyed so much Tuna sashimi from General Santos (all fresh!!) paired with good wine
3. Visited several churches — the Sto. Nino Basilica, the Perpetual Help Church, the Carmelite Monstery, the Saint Pedro Calungsod Chapel
4. Visited museums — the Museo Sugbo (this is a must for any Cebu visitor!), the Garordo museum
5. Witnessed (and walked in) the procession, watched the parade

6. Tried the local suman and Spanish chocolate (great!)

7. Watched a fireworks competition
8. Patched some fake tattoos, moved around in my Sinulog shirt
9. Tried to speak some local dialects — “Lugar” to tell the jeepney driver you’re going down or “Maayong buntag” for good morning

If you have not tried Sinulog yet, plan now for the 2014 Pit Senor Festival. Cheers! 🙂

Sinulog-museo sugbo

Museo Sugbo, a former carcel,  along Cuenco Ave is a worthwhile museum. It tells about everything about Cebu in a very modern way. It also paid tribute to the important people who helped Cebu become of what it is now. It also has a section on the past presidents of the republic.


With friends during the city tour

*Special thanks to Jan Casas and her family for the warm hospitality.

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The Tubbataha Reef Damage: a Silent Disaster

Tubbataha Reef is a marine sanctuary declared as “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO in 1992. Since then, the Philippine government made it possible to protect the said area. A Tubbataha Management Office serves as an oversight manager of any vessel passing or visiting the area.

Early this week, news reported the USS Guardian Minesweeper grounded in the Tubbataha Reef in Sulu Sea. The Minesweeper came from Subic Bay and was on its way to Indonesia for their next assignment. Unfortunately, the navy ship got stuck on the reef. They claimed to have had a navigational equipment error. The navy men left the vessel and the ship has to be carefully removed from the site to prevent the enormous damage it may cause to the Tubbataha Reef, tubbataha denoting “long reef”. The US Navy Vice Admiral had expressed his apologies to the incident.

Photo from Philippine Star.

But local news through GMA News, reported that the Tubbataha Management Office gave warnings to the USS Guardian that they were about to cross the reef. The navy ship did not heed the warning and instead told TMO to call the embassy. The TMO and its rangers could not do anything with the minesweeper in “battle-position”.

Why did the USS Guardian ignored the TMO warning? Why is the USS Guardian in this area? With the caution given by the TMO, they could have turned around & have taken another course.

Did they know that Tubbataha is the Best Dive Site in the world? Did they know that Tubbataha is a long and huge reef that appears during low tide? Were they in the R& R mode and simply wanted to see how beautiful this marine paradise is? Have they forgotten that they have just refueled their ship and any oil leak can cause a tantamount trouble to the Sulu sea?

Even if the USS Guardian has privileges under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the VFA has limits. The US government is very much liable to whatever damage this has caused to the Tubbataha reef.

Tubbataha is a haven of diverse marine resources. It is also a source of local livelihood and economy, a very significant part of the archipelago’s ecosystem. It also serves as a leading marine tsunami barrier. According to Palawan Governor Mitra and the Protected Area Management Board, it will take 20 to 100 years for a marine sanctuary to recover from this kind of damage.

This is an issue we have to take seriously. The USS Guardian can be replaced in probably 2-5years. But Tubbataha will take 20-100 years to recuperate. This is a silent disaster because it has a broad impact to the environment, livelihood, geo-social and economy of this region. Worst thing that could happen, Tubbataha may be stripped off of its title of “World Heritage Site”.

The US must not only pay damages. The USS Guardian must be liable to this silent, lingering damage they did and for deliberately ignoring Philippine authorities. This is blatant trespassing and disrespect to our authorities, our trust and our intelligence.

As plans to remove the USS Guardian is being done, I suggest the local Palawan divers and our leading concerned Professional Divers’ groups be part of this rescue operations. As the USS Guardian will be pulled or lifted and moved, consequent injury to the coral reefs may take place. The skills and knowledge of the area  of the divers will be needed here.

This is a critical rescue and response operations as Amihan cold winds and rains are across the area.

*This is my opinion to the recent incident of the USS Guardian navy ship grounding on Tubbataha Reef.

News link references:

New York Times.

CNN News.

GMA News.


Image/Photo of USS Guardian from Philippine Star

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Invitation to join Drama101 for the artists by heart

Dear friends and students,

In May 2010 I met this beautiful and cheerful lady in Sweden. Her name is Åse Eliason Bjurström (pronounced as U-zah). She has many nice projects in educating and supporting adult communities in the Africa, Bolivia and other parts of Scandinavia. Her medium and art forte is Drama.

She is now very much interested to interact and learn about our students in the Philippines. I would like to help her and to explore possibilities of virtual communication and engagement thru Skype.

And so I invite you to a Drama101 session on Sep. 10, 9pm, Manila time or Sep. 17, 9pm Manila time. It’s going to be a casual, informative and more of ideas exchange session. I hope you can join. I tagged you in Twitter. Please tweet me or email Ase ( her email is if you have other questions. I will also be in the session tonight.

Ase’s skype handle is ase.eliason.bjurstrom1 . Please add her.

Here is her short message.

Dear fellow Artists!

Thanks’ a lot for choosing to embark on this adventurous journey. Believe it or not but within two weeks’ time a groundbreaking production will have seen the light…

On Monday morning we will see each other with a bit of help from Skype. I have only one request or homework to be done before that. ON Your way to UNI on Monday morning please be attentive to what You meet. I would like You to pick up something on the way, I can be a leaf, jellyfish, someone’s lost teddy-bear, a broken plastic bag, feathers, flowers, pebbles well everything or anything.

We will gather some stories that are told around us and connect them to other stories from Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, Canada, Bolivia, Denmark, Norway, Australia, Tanzania, India, USA…

And all framed by a story by this particular late but fellow artist


Greetings from Åse presently sitting in a little cabin in the very North of Sweden at table where the others are talking about fish liver oil…

Hope to see you in the session. -Ms Mavic

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St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904 and revisiting the understanding of Filipino culture

Around fifty countries participated in what may be considered as the first human exhibit in the St. Louis World’s Fair of 1904. One of the participating countries was the Philippines occupying around twenty hectares of exhibit area to accommodate around 1,200 Filipinos and their dwelling places as part of the event. These were men, women and their children representing some of the dominant and indigenous Filipino groups such as the Visayan, Bagobo, Maranao, Moro and the Igorots. (Fermin, 2004)

Domestic arts of the Bagobos women, in the Philippine Village, St. Louis, Misouri, USA, 1904 World’s Fair
This is one picture from a stereo view card. On the edge of the card is printed, “High Grade Original Views, sold by Canvassers”.
This photograph is from the US Library of Congress collection

Many Americans had compared our local indigenous Igorots to their American Indians as “savages, headhunters and dog-eaters”. (ibid, p. 3, 27-28) Little did they know that these Igorots were highly knowledgeable of plants and animals (ibid, p. 152), that they were the most resilient among our aborigines with strong agricultural and foraging skills. (Seitz, 2004)

Igorot men from the Philippines, St. Louis, Misouri, USA, Worlds Fair, 1904
This photograph is from the US Library of Congress collection

Igorots resting after dancing, St. Louis, Misouri, USA, Worlds Fair, 1904
This photograph is from the US Library of Congress collection

The exposition had capitalized on our indigenous groups creating a portrayal of lack of civilization and culture. It was a painful exposition for many Filipinos that time, both for those who were in the fair and those waging independence from the Americans and for many literate Filipinos, some were excellent in science, arts and languages. As early as 1900s, Filipinos have already great awareness of the multi-culturality of the nation.

While many of the American spectators that time found the Filipinos as savages, the exposition itself had been more savage. The world fair led many people to perceive that the Philippines is an uncivilized nation in need to be tamed by the Americans. Instead, this is the American imperialist hegemony.  And even if the Americans perceive that the participation of the Filipinos in this fair is partly a form of reciprocity to the political endowment and freedom, it is still very much saying that culturality is hierarchical. This is not the way to understanding cultures. This is to adhere to the precept of Claude Levi- Strauss that while humans are diverse, they have also many things in common, and so it is wrong to grasp comprehension of cultures “in the hierarchy of progress or complexity.” (Levi-Strauss in Edgar and Sedgwick, 2002, p. 141)

Harold Innis posited that the key to social change is found in the development  of communication media. His conviction thrived that there is a strong connection between media and technology, that each influences the other. So it is pertinent to understand how new media took place. He also believed that social change is more proactive where new media plays a significant role to those who are at the margins of the society, opposing the central power or structure. (Soules, 2007)

It is incomprehensible the amount of damage or advantage brought by the Louisiana Exposition of 1904. But it led to the realization that human cultures are expanded and enriched by the media that they use, by the technology that capacitates them. Technology may be a media and media may be a technology.

Many Filipinos nowadays are very strong in technology, very aggressive in communication media, online and offline. But are we putting these capabilities in the right context– to preserve, cultivate and empower our culture (or whatever is left of it)? Can we use our media and technology competencies to bring constructive social changes?


Edgar, A. and P. Segwick (2002). Cultural theory: the key concepts.

Fermin, J. (2004). 1904 World’s Fair: the Filipino experience.

Seitz, S. (2004). The Aeta at the Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines: a minority group coping with disaster.

Soules, M. (2007) Harold Adams Innis: the bias of communications & monopolies of power in Retrieved from  on August 27, 2012.

Photos Acknowledgement: from John T Pilot Photostream collection

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