First-hand Testimonial of FEED Thesis Scholar’s “Passion for Research” – Elson Ian Nyl Ebreo Galang

"Sablay" Graduation Photo of Elson Ian Nyl Ebreo Galang

“Sablay” Graduation Photo of Elson Ian Nyl Ebreo Galang

5 April 2017, Los Baños.  “Passion for research had been the most significant legacy left to me by my high school alma mater, the Philippine Science High School. Thus, when I entered the University of the Philippines Los Baños, I was excited to reach senior standing to begin my undergraduate thesis. In fact, I have been conceptualizing a lot of possible research ideas as early as my sophomore year!

I finally entered my senior year and enrolled for my undergraduate thesis proposal. Through the guidance of my adviser, Dr. Blesilda M. Calub, I narrowed down my interests and ideas and eventually settled with a topic on social-ecological resilience of silvopastoral systems. However, it was not easy writing the proposal. Unlike the ‘silvopastoral component’ which I already had an extensive background with, I did not have any classes about ‘social-ecological resilience’. Thus, I needed to read journals, books, and other references for months!  I needed to email authors of related papers, chat with experts from abroad, and ask permission to adopt some technical tools by research institutions. Fortunately, my proposal was completed.

Vacation arrived. I reviewed my proposal and I knew that it would entail me a lot of expenses. The regular travel to my proposed study site in Rosario, Batangas will already cost me thousands!

I tried saving money the semester I was doing the proposal. Yet still, I knew it would only last for a short time. I also did not want to bother asking my mother for additional financial support. Since my father died when I was only a fetus, my mother had been supporting the whole family as a single parent. In addition to my college education, bulk of her salary goes for her maintenance medicines.  Thus, I felt like I cannot financially burden my mother further.

Classes began and the time was ticking for me to execute the proposal. With the savings I had the previous semester, I started preliminary site visits and consultations with community leaders. My money was running out fast and I really needed financial resources.

Like a sign from the heavens, I saw the call for applications for undergraduate thesis scholars of FEED Inc. I knew it would be a competitive screening but I needed to take chances. I submitted my application requirements, took the aptitude exam, and underwent the interview. Days passed and the next thing I saw was a congratulatory message informing me that I got the undergraduate thesis scholarship.

Through the generous scholarship of FEED Inc., I successfully gathered and analyzed all my data. I finished writing and printing my undergraduate thesis manuscript.  Hence, I completed all the requirements for my degree and became the first alumnus of the University’s Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Landscape Agroforestry.

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to FEED Inc. and all their people for trusting me with their scholarship.  My undergraduate thesis became one of the most important tickets to the many amazing opportunities life has to offer such as graduating cum laude, presenting in an international conference, and being part of a professional research team. I recognize that without FEED Inc.’s scholarship, I would not be able to achieve all these. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!”  – ELSON IAN NYL EBREO GALANG, FEED Inc. Thesis Scholar 2016

BIOGRAPHY of Elson Ian Nyl Ebro Galang 

Elson is the very first graduate (cum laude) of the Landscape Agroforestry major under the BS Agriculture program of the College of Agriculture, University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB).

He finished his elementary education (as class valedictorian) at Pigcawayan Central Elementary School in Pigcawayan, Cotabato. He finished his secondary education (with Proficiencies in Research and English Journalism) at Philippine Science High School- Southern Mindanao Campus in Davao City.

In his high school years, he conducted his precollege research on “Eco-fabric from Blended Cotton and Fragrant Screw Pine Leaf Fibers” through an internship at the Philippine Textile Research Institute. With this research, he was selected as one of the country finalists at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In his college years, he served as the Executive Vice-chairperson of the first UPLB University Freshman Council. He also became the youngest student-fellow of the UP Good Governance Initiative. He was also inducted as a member of the International Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.

Other than his activities within the university, he currently serves as the Head of the Network of ISEF Alumni-Philippines which already allowed him to train hundreds of teachers and students all over the country on concepts and skills for precollege research. He has also written a guidebook entitled “Road to ISEF: Practical Guide in Local Science Fairs” which was printed and distributed in Davao Region.

Survey-interview with one of the cattle raisers from Sitio Buslot, Brgy. San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas

Survey-interview with one of the cattle raisers from Sitio Buslot, Brgy. San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas

His undergraduate thesis on “Social-ecological Resilience of a Silvopastoral Agroforestry System in Brgy.  San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas” was funded by FEED through the Undergraduate Thesis Scholarship.

UNDERGRADUATE THESIS ABSTRACT: Social-ecological Resilience of a Silvopastoral Agroforestry System in Brgy.  San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas

“Social-ecological resilience of the silvopastoral system in Sitio Buslot was assessed in this study. Boundaries, elevation, slope, soil classification, and land cover of the site were analyzed using ArcGIS®10 and ArcView©32. Surveys on randomly selected households, transect walks, and focus group discussions were also conducted to document cattle-raising, crop-farming, non-cattle livestock raising, and off-farm and non-farm activities. Three patterns of silvopastoral systems were identified namely: crop-based pattern, orchard-based pattern, and grassland-based silvopastoral system. All these share common key system components which are (1) cattle, (2) trees, (3) grasslands, (4) secondary forests, and (5) the household.  In the panarchy of the silvopastoral system of Sitio Buslot, larger-scale systems identified were the Padre Garcia trading system and commercial feed market and mills. While the smaller-scale systems identified were the Lawaye River system, crop production system, and ground water system. Changes and significant differences across time periods from 2000-2015 on the different social-ecological indicators were identified. Fourteen trends in social-ecological indicators such as increase in forest area, increase in perceived market demand of cattle, and increase on perceived extension services received from non-government organizations, have positive implications to the resilience of Sitio Buslot’s silvopastoral system. However, 13 trends in social-ecological indicators such as decrease in perceived grazing and cut-and-carry areas, decrease on perceived population of some fodder tree species, and decreasing participation of youth in cattle-raising, have negative implications. Monitoring, policies, and interventions should be focused on these trends to maintain the current functional state of Sitio Buslot’s silvopastoral system.”

Preliminary discussions with community leaders of Sitio Buslot, Brgy. San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas

Preliminary discussions with community leaders of Sitio Buslot, Brgy. San Isidro, Rosario, Batangas

CONGRATULATIONS ELSON, MAY YOU ALWAYS SUCCEED AND BE HAPPY IN ALL YOUR ENDEAVOURS! @FEEDINC BOARD APRIL 2017

More Information

For more information or to contact Elson, reach out to FEED: info@feed.org.ph or text/call +63 (0)917 552 4722/30.

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