M.S. Physics offshore program of Ateneo de Manila University and Angeles University Foundation, Pampanga

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

Angeles University Foundation

Angeles University Foundation

Every Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m., Jerry Barretto and I arrive at the carpark facing the Science Education Complex A.  There is a van waiting not only for us, but also for two other teachers from Chemistry and Biology Departments.  We are all going to Angeles University Foundation in Pampanga for our offshore graduate program.

The Ateneo-AUF Offshore M.S. scholarship program was proposed by Dean Fabian Dayrit and was funded by CHED.  The students should finish within two years or less.  CHED shall pay all their tuition and fees and allowances.  The lectures are only during Saturdays, so that the teachers can still teach in their classes during weekdays.

We have seven M.S. Physics students in this batch:

  1. Alejo, Sherlyn Ambida–Central Luzon College of Science and Technology (Olongapo City)
  2. Calugay, Melvin–Lyceum of Subic Bay (SBMA-Olongapo City)
  3. De Leon, Analiza–Philippine Science High School, Central Luzon Campus
  4. Forteza, Rex–Philippine Science High School, Central Luzon Campus
  5. Herrera, Ireneo–Angeles University Foundation
  6. Saingan, Ryan–University of Baguio
  7. Syhuat, J-Lyn Anicete–Pampanga High School, San Fernando City, Pampanga

These are the only students who passed the post-bridging program exam.  The bridging program started last 2nd Semester of SY 2010-2011, with Jerry teaching Ps 101 Mechanics and me teaching Ps 171 Electromagnetics; we team teach the Ps 121 Vector Analysis.  Last summer the students studied in Ateneo and their teachers were Mr. Joel Maquiling for Ps 113 Statistical Mechanics, Mr. Patricio Dailisan for Ps 122 Matrices and Differential Equations, and Dr. Raphael Guerrero for Quantum Mechanics.  Of the original eight students who entered last November, one shifted to M.S. Biology, two did not pass the qualifying exam.  Last summer, two students from Philippine Science High School-Central Luzon joined the program.  This makes the total number to seven.

Even if the Physics Department has to go to AUF, it is still a long way for some students.  One of them was from University of Baguio.  He leaves his home at 2:30 a.m. in order to reach school by 9:00 a.m.  Others have to take several rides–tricycle, bus, jeep.  It is difficult to reimburse their transportation because, except for buses, there are no formal receipts.  A solution has been proposed: let their own Barangay certify that this such and such amount is their transportation cost.  This shall then be considered by CHED for reimbursement.

The road to Pampanga this past two Saturday’s is unusual.  The great plains of Luzon has become the great flood.  Water, water everywhere, but water mixed with mud.  The white herons or the tagak are gone–perhaps they already migrated.  On a good day, you can see them dotting the rice fields or nesting on the trees.

We passed the long bridge spanning a great river–more like a little stream, but gauging from the distance from bank to bank, this little stream was more than ten times larger at the peak of its tide.

We usually arrive at 8:30 a.m. in Angeles University.  We pass by the graduate school office and get our attendance sheets.  Then we proceed to the cafeteria for our breakfast.  It’s Pampanga, so we get the best of Pampanga specialty: tocino, bacon, longganiza–at least one of them per meal.  Then the waiter shall ask us what we wish to drink.  I get to sample all sugary drinks to the diabetic heart’s content.

Jerry teaches Ps 201 Classical Mechanics from 9:00-12:00 a.m.  I teach Ps 271 Classical Electrodynamics from 1:00-4:00 p.m.  Our friends from Biology and Chemistry asked us why we do not wish to teach for six hours instead.  Our standard reply: we do wish to get tired.  So we’d rather go to AUF every Saturday teaching only 3 hours per meeting, than to go half the number of Saturdays but teach 6 hours.  While waiting, we read our mails, check our papers, and prepare our lessons.  Sometimes, along the way, he would ask me questions regarding the revision of his dissertation on matrix optics and aberration theory, which he successfully defended last March 2011.  Dr. Raphael Guerrero of the Photonics is his adviser and I am a member of his panel.  Time flies fast.

At 4:00 p.m. we leave AUF.  Last two Saturdays, it was drizzling.  And we beheld a rainbow arching over the heavens.  For a moment, all physics of ray tracing, dispersion theory, and wave interference vanished.  And all I hear is a poem by William Wordsworth in our En 14 Poetry class years ago under Dr. Jonathan Chua:

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky :
So was it when my life began ;
So is it now I am a man ;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die !
The Child is father of the Man ;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.


The flood plains of Pampanga

The flood plains of Pampanga


Rainbow in Pampanga

A rainbow after a rain in Pampanga


Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo in AUF

Dr. Fabian Dayrit talks about the Ateneo-AUF Offshore graduate program


Dr. Fabian Dayrit of Ateneo in AUF

Dr. Fabian Dayrit talking to the students of the offshore programs in M.S. Biology, M.S. Chemistry, and M.S. Physics


Ateneo MS Physics students in AUF

The M.S. Physics students in the Ateneo-AUF offshore program in one of the classrooms in Angeles University Foundation


Ateneo Faculty in AUF

Some faculty of Ateneo de Manila University in Angeles University Foundation. From left to right: Dr. Quirino Sugon (Physics), Dr. Christine Lagunzad (Biology), Dr. Rene Macahig (Chemistry), and Jerry Barretto (Physics).

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About ateneophysicsnews
Physics News and Features from Ateneo de Manila University

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