Experiencing Subic Again: 25th Philippine Chemistry Congress

This is actually a late blog, but the happy experiences are still fresh in my mind.

So, everything began on Easter Monday, when all delegates of the Ateneo Department of Chemistry (and Materials Science and Engineering Program) were cramming their posters (or PowerPoint presentations, for the oral presenters). The drama was felt until the evening of Easter Tuesday when everyone’s posters were printed in glossy papers at last. (Tarpaulin is not an option since it pollutes the environment and human health.)

Once again, it’s the Philippine Chemistry Congress (PCC). This year is the twenty-fifth, and it is in tandem with the Fifth International Symposium on Microscale Chemistry. I have been to the twenty-fourth last year and I was given the opportunity to meet internationally-acclaimed chemists as well as to hear the research topics they are currently involved in.

And so, putting all the crammology aside, we went to Subic early afternoon of Easter Wednesday — one day early before the Congress formally started. We went there by batches. From the undergrads the following were the attendees: 1) Super Seniors – me, Steven, Tony, Gela, Kim, Hermund, Marlon, Evan; 2) Seniors – Elliard, Josh, Henson, Kacie, Annacee, Red, Margo; 3) Graduate Students/Junior Faculty – Lance, David, Garro, Joseph, Jackie, Ian Ken, Christian, Ate Lolit; and 4) Senior Faculty/Doctors: Docs Erwin, Joe, Reg, Nestor, and Toby. The road to the former American military base was a long one — we had to pass two major expressways and a minor one to arrive at Subic Bay Freeport Zone (SBFZ). The majestic scenery was worth all the gasoline though. Long roadtrips like this make me appreciate nature, as well as her synergy with technology.

Along the way Doc Toby’s and Doc Erwin’s car tires both gave up in the extreme summer heat. (This geekishly reminded me of my old lessons in Polymer Technology — particularly the mechanical behavior of rubber.) Nonetheless, we arrived at Forest View safely. There we stayed for three nights and three days. We originally planned to trek on Day Zero first, but the unfortunate events hindered us from doing so. Instead we just did some minor tour of the area, plus help in preparing a truckload of good (and healthy, mind you) food.

(Note: the kebab was made of epic win. Haha.)

Basically, Day Zero ended with a few sips of beer. We then went to sleep (as for my blockmates, after discussing election matters, haha signs of aging!) to prepare for the next day.

As poster presenter (I was oral last year in Bohol), my blockmates and I technically had nothing to do until the designated hour at 3:00 PM. What we did then was to eat food served at the hall as well as to tour company exhibits. As for me, I was lucky with golf and I got a free Tigger plushie from Shimadzu! ❤

Which my thesis mentor actually found cute as well. :p

Time flew pretty fast and well, we actually were presenting our thesis posters already. Thankfully, only a few people passed by to ask us questions.

We then went to hear a few oral presentations, after which we then headed out of the hall to do some photo-ops.

(Note my thesis mentor is actually camera-shy. But he has LOTS of cameras.)

We then went back for the banquet night, where there was a very wonderful Aeta presentation that made me proud as a Filipino. And well, there was this “surprise” raffle. Hahaha!

Day One ended with a casual night walk at the beach (we wanted to swim but it was soooo dark).

Day Two started with a rebellious plan of going to Tree Top to trek, as we had originally plan. There we were able to do some cable and zip line rides. It was an appreciation of nature as well and I loved it!

We still didn’t want to go to the Congress yet, so we decided to ride some GoKarts. 😀

And then (after some road policies issue) we went to the Congress after. Then we drank the night away. Basically, Day Two was the most fun day, not to mention the one with least amount of nerdiness.

Day Three was the shortest. It included the removal of our posters only. And well, some photo-ops at the now non-existent Bat Kingdom. 😦

And basically, that was just what my 25th PCC was about. All the geekiness and all the excitement of meeting new people. I hope to join again in my fourth one (the twenty-sixth) next year at Cebu City! But more than anything, this year made me appreciate nature more (since the theme is Creating Green Solutions through Chemistry), challenging me to think big in terms of coming up with innovations to aid the environment in a globalized period of technology.

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