The Partido State University Center for Partido Studies, directed by Dr. Danilo M. Gerona; Partido Institute of Economics (PIE), directed by Mr. Rolan Jon G. Bulao; Museo de Isarog through the Museum Curator Mr. Earl John C. Hernandez; and College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), headed by Dean Erlinda M. Basilla together with faculty members Ms. Vanessa Mae C. Romero and Ms. Liezel DC Atole; have collaborated to sponsor and organize a podcast series on COVID-19 Pandemic that gathered academic insights across disciplines of natural and social sciences.
Through the assistance of the Office of the University President, Dr. Raul G. Bradecina, and PSU Board Secretary, Ms. Leih Anne Odoño, the podcast was live-streamed via Facebook Live which gave access to more netizens within and beyond Partido District. The Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) Social Sciences Department and the Partido Student Federation for Cultural Preservation and Promotion also joined the endeavor.
Dr. Bradecina shared via an online message that Balangibog Talks “is a relevant and timely venue for dishing out meaningful and informative topics sourced from the fertile minds of faculty members of PSU… these podcasts have been graced by reputable scholars and academics from various universities, sharing their expertise and views to contribute in their own unique ways in helping us confront COVID calmly…” Dr. Bradecina encouraged the PSU community to “share similar insights and expertise on COVID-19 through these podcasts, translating their energies into a positive output that promotes understanding, inspiration, and hope amidst our current predicament”.
The Balongibog Talks COVID-19 Segment delivered a total of 19 local and international lectures from April 13 to May 13, 2020. The lectures were expected to deliver a profound and dynamic public understanding of the pandemic.
Balongibog Talks: Part I (April 13 to April 17, 2020)
The launching of the Balongibog Talks COVID-19 segment held five lectures from the faculty members of the Partido State University. The university’s resident international historian and expert, Dr. Danilo M. Gerona of the Center for Partido Studies, delivered a lecture entitled “A Glimpse of Epidemics in the Early Lives of the Filipinos” last April 13. Two lectures were given from the physical sciences, Ms. Liezel DC Atole of the Biology Program of CAS gave a lecture on “COVID-19: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, and Diagnostics” while Ms. Vanessa Mae C. Romero of the Mathematics Program talked on “Dissecting the Current Mathematical Models of COVID-19 in the Philippine Setting.”
The Director of the PIE, Mr. Rolan Jon G. Bulao gave a lecture on “’In or Out’ and other Tradeoffs Amid COVID-19 in Camarines Sur’ while Museo de Isarog Curator, Mr. Earl John C. Hernandez, lectured on “A Working Insight on the Use of ‘Social’ and ‘Physical’ Distancing on COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Balongibog Talks: Part II (April 21 to April 24, 2020)
The second week of the series invited experts from the ADNU and the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). Dr. Michael Roland Hernandez of the Philosophy Department of ADNU delivered a lecture on “Viral Aporias: On Pandemics, Acceleration, and Insights into Social Typologies”. This was followed by the “The Politics of COVID-19: A Multi-level Analysis” lecture of Ms. Mary Joyce Bulao, Chair of the Social Sciences Department of ADNU. Food Anthropologist, Josef Adriel De Guzman of the Department of Social Sciences, UPLB also delivered a talk titled “Food for Thought: Eating in the Time of COVID-19”.
The first lecture on mental health and emotions during the COVID-19 was given by Ms. Jenina Boromeo with a focus on “Coping and Navigating through Our Emotions During a Pandemic”.
Balongibog Talks: Part III (April 28 to May 1, 2020)
The third week of the Balongibog Talks COVID-19 segment, expanded the series with lectures from five international scholars and experts. Renowned Filipino scholar, Dr. Patricio Abinales of the Asian Studies Program of the University of Hawaii at Mānoa gave a lecture on “Rethinking Local Histories” on April 28. A lecture on mental health with the title “How to Overcome Stress During Pandemic/ECQ” was given on the same day by a Bicolana and mental health advocate, Dr. Maria Jolit Angeline Malaya of St. Mary’s Catholic High School, Dubai in UAE.
Another prominent Bicolano scholar, Dr. Stephen Acabado of the Department of Anthropology of the University of California Los Angeles joined the talks with his lecture about “Transoceanic Exchange in the Last 500 Years: People, Plants, and Pathogens”. The University of San Carlos faculty and President of the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management of the ICOMS, Dr. John A. Peterson, gave a lecture with the title “Heritage in the Time of Coronavirus”.
The third week ended with the fifteenth lecture of the series with a lecture title “Urban History, Cities, and their Development: Linking Past and Present” by Dr. Ian Morley of the Department of History of the Chinese University of Hongkong.
Balongibog Talks: Part IV (May 5 to May 8, 2020)
Dynamic conversations on history, philosophy, and archaeology were the topics of the 4th week of the Balongibog Talks COVID-19 segment. Javier Leonardo Rugeria from the Department of History of the Ateneo de Manila University delivered a lecture titled “Romantic Diseases or Disease of the Romantic? Jose Ma. Panganiban’s Untimely Death and the ‘White Plague’ in Late Nineteenth-Century Europe”. Moreover, a lecture on ‘Normalizing the population: the Biopolitics of the ‘New Normal” was shared by Dr. Federico Jose Lagdameo of the Department of Philosophy of the Ateneo de Naga University.
Linking history and science and technology, Mikhail Garcia Echavarri of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Washington talked on “Under Quarantine: thinking about Video Game Archaeology”.
Balongibog Talks: Part V (May 11 to 13, 2020)
The 5th week of the Balongibog Talks COVID-19 Segment ended with its 18th and 19th lectures. The last week navigated the regional and multipolar responses of Southeast Asian and the International communities in the time of COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Darren Ramon Avestruz, former College of Arts and Sciences faculty and currently in ASEAN Studies Program of the University of the Philippines Open University, gave a lecture on “The Politics of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Southeast Asia”; followed by another lecture with a title “A Leadership Vacuum: Multipolarity in the time of Coronavirus” delivered by Dr. Chester Cabalza of the Department of Anthropology, University of the Philippines Diliman.
The organizing committee and sponsors expressed their profound thanks to the lecturers, colleagues, and participants for their valuable participation in the Balongibog Talks five-week series on COVID-19. New forthcoming panels are currently being organized to deliver more conversations in this “new normal”.
The Balongibog Talks COVID-19 segment team are Dr. Danilo M. Gerona, Rolan Jon G. Bulao, Liezel DC. Atole, Vanessa Mae C. Romero, Earl John C. Hernandez, and students Noel Jay Roxas, and Vincente Bayrante. Special thanks to Dr. Stephen Acabado of UCLA for sharing his networks.