19th -25th October 2009—Faculty of Biosciences and Bioengineering (FBB) lecturers, Assoc Prof Dr Fahrul Zaman Huyop and Dr Salehhuddin Hamdan had organized an academic delegation to the Philippines. The seven day program is part of the Global Outreach initiative undertaken by UTM to expose local students on the current advancement of biotechnology abroad. The group is also accompanied by nine post-graduate students and two undergraduate students. SAYANG BINTI BABA shares her experience in Philippine with BIOPOST.
Our delegation was welcomed by Dr. RV Pakingking of the South East Asian Fisheries Development Centre – Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC) and we spent three days and two nights at the Aquaculture Department (AQD).
During our stay, we were brought to tour around the different facilities and research centre there.
South East Asian Fisheries Development Center – Aquaculture Department (SEAFDEC) is a research centre located at Iloilo.
The centre consisted of extensive building such as freshwater fish/salt/brackish fisheries museum, brackish water fish ponds, and research laboratories, including the central "Hatcheries" fish, shrimp, crabs and Abalone.
Besides local researchers, there are few post graduate students from UTM currently doing their research at SEAFDEC cooperation.
Some 40 kilometres away from Iloilo, we were brought to an actual swimming fish farming in Dumangas. The site functions as a commercialisation hub for the fishing industry.
On the 21st, our delegation was invited to visit University of the Philippines (Visayas Campus). There, we were briefed by Professor Dr. Minda Chancelor on the university’s organizational structure and current research development. Besides a short tour at the university, our delegation also participated in an informal poster and oral presentation.
The next day, we were invited by the Philippine Society for Microbiology to present at the Annual Meeting &Regional Scientific Convention of Philippine Society for Microbiology.
During the convention, Prof Dr Fahrul Zaman Huyop and Dr Salehhuddin Hamdan presented a talk along with Azzmer Azzar Abdul Hamid a post graduate student.
On the same day, we were also invited to a cultural night organized by the Philippine Society for Microbiology.
The cultural night focused on the local folk dance that is largely influenced by Spanish culture that colonized the Philippines for more than 300 years.
Besides the knowledge gained, we are also intrigued by the hospitality shown by the researchers there.
In future, we hope this programme can be continued as it has left a great "impact" on us as students.
We also hope that our visit will spark the interest on others in the faculty to organize a Global Outreach trip elsewhere.