Friday, September 27, 2013

Crossing the thin red line of life


Dr Abe V Rotor
 How can you write terror with a smile?
Flower in her hair, feather on her pen  
 Hermit crab, hermit kid
 Cub-Boy Scout  

Surrender and Peace - two words for growing up 
 
 Helping hand takes a rest
Street view when the door is locked   
Dog is a girl's live doll
Flowers, flowers, anyone?

How time moves on, creeps or flies,
sweeping across the thin red line
never to return, never to retract, 
neither the unfinished nor sublime.

Treasure its essence in transience,
with the world going round and around,
unceasingly over its remaining time  
so with ours on this planet bound. 

It's across this line that we explore
by serendipity or discovery;
and glancing back at sweet memory
pushes us forward to be free.  ~

Master the Art of PowerPoint Presentation - you'll gain more trust and confidence from your audience.

UST-AB Finals (3CA1 2 3 4); PowerPoint Presentation Topics and Rules. Please read.
Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

For the finals, prepare a 50-frame PowerPoint Presentation about a topic of your choice, with preference to the following: . 
  • Successful UST Alumini in their respective fields of specialization, and community - at least five Thomasians.  They must have finished a course at UST.  They are looked upon as model, and practicing Thomasian values and principles.  
  • UST in action - events on-campus and outside that projects UST image as an ideal institution of learning.  Documentary  in nature, your work must speak well and true about UST and its alumni. 
  • UN campaign on reducing food waste which runs to billions of dollars a day.  When computed in relation to present need, savings on food waste would suffice supply, proper nutrition, improved health, and alleviating poverty.
  • Restoring integrity of government, upholding people's right to be governed by sincere, honest, and qualified leaders.  Restoring faith of people in their government, improving international image of the country.
  • True picture of the Filipino.  Who is he today in the face of tradition on the one hand, and globalization on the other - his regard to religion, family, career, commitment to community, his outlook to the future.  Does the Thomasian fit into the picture?    
  • "The Filipino is first," "Only in the Philippines," "The Filipino can." "Where in the Philippines?"  These and many more adages, motherhood statements, gimmicks, put the Philippines in the limelight.  Behind all these are disturbing issues: high infant mortality, birthrate, corruption, crime, traffic, cost of electricity, water, transportation, low productivity etc. Can the Thomasian do something?
  • Environmental concerns, area- and event-specific. 
  • University without Walls, Distance Education, E-Learning, on-line teaching
Topics of your choice must be first approved by the professor.   
  • Presentation is one-on-one with the professor starting October 4, Friday (3CA3 and 3CA4), and October 7 for 3CA1 and 3CA 2. Sequence to be arranged by the class officers.
  • Holistic presentation, i.e., inter disciplinary, functional, experiential, contemporary.  
  • Present objectively, with positive views and advocacy. Uphold values and Filipino culture, and code of journalism.  
  • Follow standard format for PowerPoint, with modifications as may be necessary. 
  • Work must be original and specific to the present  course of Photography.  Previously submitted work in other subjects not accepted.  
  • Sign each photo you actually took at the right side, bottom.  
  • Show your presence  in action.  Use photos not your own only when necessary.  Avoid downloading from the Internet. Be aware of intellectual property rights, laws and rules in journalism and publication.  
  •  Label CD, including case (front and back) with your own original design.
  • Print CD content, portrait, 6 frames per page. 
  • NOTE: Photo quality is a very important basis of grading. Edited work of others is Plagiarism.  It does not remove legal rights of the owner. 
  • Your work will be submitted to our Faculty of Arts and Letters as part of its reference materials and documentary, with signed endorsement by the author, noted by the professor. ~

WARNING: Plagiarism will be dealt with FAILURE grade. Photos and accompanying running story and captions must be the original work of the author (student). All photos must bear the hand signature of the author in permanent ink. Please read the case of Mark Solis of UP in today's news. September 25, 2013, and condemnation of his act of plagiarism  by the university led by its president Dr. Pascual (September 27 2013). 

Make your own Calcium Supplement from chicken eggshell.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature - School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio,
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Many people may not be aware that lack of Calcium is the main cause of poor bone and teeth condition, and may be the root cause of poor muscle tone and coordination of the nervous system. 

It is because Calcium nourishes our bone, teeth, muscles, and the nervous system. It is also important in the proper functioning of our various organs and tissues, and responsible in clotting of blood when we are wounded.

Getting enough Calcium is the best way to prevent steoporosis, a condition prevalent in older people, characterized by the thinning of the bone. Patients are not only predisposed to brittleness of the bone, but find it difficult for broken bones to heal.

A research team headed by Professor Eduard Quinto of UST College of Science discovered a practical source of Calcium supplement extracted from the shell of table eggs which the group presented in the the last convention of the Biology Teachers Association (BIOTA) at UST.

Here are the step in extracting and preparing calcium from eggshell.

· 1. Collect egg shells and wash clean

· 2. Dissolve egg shells in dilute 10% Hydrochloric Acid. Take note of the carbon dioxide bubbling.
· 3. Precipitate the calcium as calcium carbonate by adding 30% sodium carbonate solution until pH is 7.0.

· 4. Collect the cloudy liquid in a tall graduated cylinder.

· 5. Let the calcium carbonate precipitate to settle down which takes place in approximately in half an hour.

· 6. Decant the sodium chloride solution by product.

  7. Collect the wet calcium carbonate suspension in a dish and dry in an oven at temperature of 80 C to 100 C.

· This is now the pure precipitated calcium carbonate powder.
According to Prof. Quinto the purity of the product derived through this process is assured and that no bacterial contamination is possible. Unlike the conventional method. Which is by burning of calcium-rich materials like mollusk shell and corals, this method preserves the natural condition of the Calcium because there is no burning involved.
Advantage of Powder Calcium Carbonate
1. It can exist as white, fine powder

2. Highly insoluble in water

3. Odorless and Tasteless in small amounts

4. Easily blends with water

Methods of Extracting CaCO from Egg Shell

1. Physical Process – Powdering of Egg Shell by Pounding as in a mortar and pestle.
Problems: Impure Calcium Carbonate, High Probability of Bacterial specifically Salmonella contamination, maybe difficult to digest and absorb due to collagen binder.

2. Chemical Treatment
a. Heating in a furnace causing decomposition of calcium carbonate
     Egg Shell CaO + CO
     Heating Energy can come from combustion, CaO needs to be converted to
     calcium carbonate

b. Precipitation as Pure Calcium Carbonate

     Egg Shell + HCI CaCl + H CO
     CaCl + Na CO CaCO + 2NaClProcess of Calcium Absorption in the Human Body 

Calcium carbonate taken in is dissolved in the gastric juice which contains hydrochloric acid. Dissolved calcium exisst as calcium ions which are readily absorbed by the intestinal tract.
Foods that can be fortified with calcium

  1. Milk Powder
  2. Pancit Canton and Soup Noodles
  3. Rice and Rice Products
  4. Bread and Cakes
  5. Desserts like Leche Flan, Ice Cream, Candies etc.
  6. Snacks like cereals, crackers
  7. Milk and Chocolate Drinks
Remember always whenever we prepare and serve food, “Is Calcium sufficient to meet our body needs and our health?”

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

While time away

Dr Abe V Rotor
Whiling time away, a step from loafing,
       a leap away into idleness;
strange this life when time takes over
       life’s fullest in  emptiness. ~

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fine Arts: The Cycle of Contrast

Dr Abe V Rotor
A painting could be as rough and daring as a waterfall,
                                         ... or as soft and delicate as an orchid 
The Artist: Anna Rotor-Sta Maria


It's all in the inner eye of the artist,

sanctuary of the real and the ideal,
the ugly and the beautiful,
of water rising into clouds 
and pouring down as rain
in cadence with lightning and thunder, 
waking the summer stream,
roaring through the river of no return

Time passes, forgetfulness reigns,

how numbed, how lifeless ...
then rises a new life, peeping into a world
where once a waterfall was careless and supreme,
where once a river flowed,
where trees stood to reach the sky
and nurture life under their wings
unknown, unseen,
until immaculate white petals open
to greet the day - 
a new world, a new beginning. ~


Poetry as Prayer: Seeing through a Leaf

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

                Atop Mt Makiling, Laguna 

I see these holes
windows of the sky,
I see the stars
the birds that fly

I see the day
the darkness of night,
I see the universe
beyond the sight

I see these keyholes
the doors of life'
I see the way to heaven
in joy and strife. ~

Practical Art: Native Chandelier and Lampshade

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

I took this photo of a ceiling decor in a restaurant along Mindanao Avenue QC. I later realized its uniqueness from ready made chandeliers. A blend of warm and bright colors exudes an ambient air. To the artist, he sees stained glass; to the decor expert, lampshades; the jeweler, strings of a gems in pabitin or trellis arrangement. The ceiling is kept in the dark so that focus is given to the centerpiece with secondary lighting lending to such emphasis. 
Native ambiance by the sea or on the farm, ideal for a bahay kubo

Vinta lampshade sways with the wind, an optical illusion

Angel fish create a therapeutic atmosphere


These photographs were taken at Virac, Catanduanes, on the occasion of the First National Biodiversity Conference, October 21-22, 2010. Acknowledgment: Prof. Rico Masagca and Dr. Jimmy Masagca, conference convenors.

Autumn in Paintings, Verses and Song

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday
Autumn Leaves in acrylic by AVR                    
The Woods in Autumn acrylic by AVR
Autumn Moods

Meditate at sunrise
In kaleidoscope of colors
Weaving through the mist, 
With whispers of devotion.

Take a book and flip the pages,
Slowly with intent feelings,
As the early breeze brushes
Your forehead  and brawn.

Or walk down the lane
Trodden only by the unseen;
Before the season is over,
Let each one praise Nature.

Autumn Leaves 1
The falling leaves
Drift by my window
The falling leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall.


 A Walk in the Woods in Autumn acrylic by AVR
Autumn Leaves 2

The falling leaves drift by the window
The autumn leaves of red and gold
I see your lips, the summer kisses
The sun-burned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

C'est une chanson, qui nous ressemble
Toi tu m'aimais et je t'aimais
Nous vivions tous, les deux ensemble
Toi que m'aimais moi qui t'aimais
Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable les pas des amants désunis


"Autumn Leaves" is a much-recorded popular song. Originally it was a 1945 French song "Les feuilles mortes" (literally "The Dead Leaves") with music by Hungarian-French composer Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prevert the Hungarian title is "Hulló levelek" (Falling Leaves). Yves Montand (with Irene Joachim) introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 in the film Les Portes de la Nuit.  
The American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics in 1947 and Jo Stafford was among the first to perform this version. "Autumn Leaves" became a pop standard and a jazz standard in both languages, both as an instrumental and with a singer. Popularized by world famous singers like Frank Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013


UST-AB Finals (3CA1 2 3 4); PowerPoint Presentation Topics and Rules. Please read.

Dr Abe V Rotor
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

For the finals, prepare a 50-frame PowerPoint Presentation about a topic of your choice, with preference to the following: . 
  • Successful UST Alumini in their respective fields of specialization, and community - at least five Thomasians.  They must have finished a course at UST.  They are looked upon as model, and practicing Thomasian values and principles.  
  • UST in action - events on-campus and outside that projects UST image as an ideal institution of learning.  Documentary  in nature, your work must speak well and true about UST and its alumni. 
  • UN campaign on reducing food waste which runs to billions of dollars a day.  When computed in relation to present need, savings on food waste would suffice supply, proper nutrition, improved health, and alleviating poverty.
  • Restoring integrity of government, upholding people's right to be governed by sincere, honest, and qualified leaders.  Restoring faith of people in their government, improving international image of the country.
  • True picture of the Filipino.  Who is he today in the face of tradition on the one hand, and globalization on the other - his regard to religion, family, career, commitment to community, his outlook to the future.  Does the Thomasian fit into the picture?    
  • "The Filipino is first," "Only in the Philippines," "The Filipino can." "Where in the Philippines?"  These and many more adages, motherhood statements, gimmicks, put the Philippines in the limelight.  Behind all these are disturbing issues: high infant mortality, birthrate, corruption, crime, traffic, cost of electricity, water, transportation, low productivity etc. Can the Thomasian do something?
  • Environmental concerns, area- and event-specific. 
  • University without Walls, Distance Education, E-Learning, on-line teaching
Topics of your choice must be first approved by the professor.   
  • Presentation is one-on-one with the professor starting October 4, Friday (3CA3 and 3CA4), and October 7 for 3CA1 and 3CA 2. Sequence to be arranged by the class officers.
  • Holistic presentation, i.e., inter disciplinary, functional, experiential, contemporary.  
  • Present objectively, with positive views and advocacy. Uphold values and Filipino culture, and code of journalism.  
  • Follow standard format for PowerPoint, with modifications as may be necessary. 
  • Work must be original and specific to the present  course of Photography.  Previously submitted work in other subjects not accepted.  
  • Sign each photo you actually took at the right side, bottom.  
  • Show your presence  in action.  Use photos not your own only when necessary.  Avoid downloading from the Internet. Be aware of intellectual property rights, laws and rules in journalism and publication.  
  •  Label CD, including case (front and back) with your own original design.
  • Print CD content, portrait, 6 frames per page. 
  • NOTE: Photo quality is a very important basis of grading. Edited work of others is Plagiarism.  It does not remove legal rights of the owner. 
Your work will be submitted to our Faculty of Arts and Letters as part of its reference materials and documentary, with signed endorsement by the author, noted by the professor. ~

WARNING: Plagiarism will be dealt with FAILURE grade. Photos and accompanying running story and captions must be the original work of the author (student). All photos must bear the hand signature of the author in permanent ink. Please read the case of Mark Solis of UP in today's news. September 25, 2013 

Practical Art: Native Chandelier and Lampshade

Practical Art: Native Chandelier and Lampshade 
Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-Air) with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class Monday to Friday

I took this photo of a ceiling decor in a restaurant along Mindanao Avenue QC. I later realized its uniqueness from ready made chandeliers. A blend of warm and bright colors exudes an ambient air. To the artist, he sees stained glass; to the decor expert, lampshades; the jeweler, strings of a gems in pabitin or trellis arrangement. The ceiling is kept in the dark so that focus is given to the centerpiece with secondary lighting lending to such emphasis. 
Native ambiance by the sea or on the farm, ideal for a bahay kubo

Vinta lampshade sways with the wind, an optical illusion

Angel fish create a therapeutic atmosphere


These photographs were taken at Virac, Catanduanes, on the occasion of the First National Biodiversity Conference, October 21-22, 2010. Acknowledgment: Prof. Rico Masagca and Dr. Jimmy Masagca, conference convenors.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nature's Designs

Nature's Designs
Dr Abe V Rotor
A frond at birth questions the world, 
if it can by its rules afford;
and knowing not to decipher neither 
lose nor gain, sans to wither 
and die before its prime and its kind
all by chance and magic bind.
A veil it rises to meet the sun, 
every leaf a golden shield,
to catch its rays to build new life 
to other creatures shall yield.  
Tapestry in radial form like funnel,
living labyrinth, like Nature's bell. 
sans trunk, branches and flower, 
it's umbrella to catch the shower. 
It's a pathway, a cobbled walk,
the feet walks, none shall thrive,
grass may die but not the moss  
that keeps the bare walk alive.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Return to Herbal Medicine - Medicina Domestica, 1858 (821 pp) - Oldest known book on botanical medicine in the Philippines.

Dr Abe V Rotor
 Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with My Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday 
Acknowledgement: Cuevas Family, Amadeo Cavite 

Ginard's Medicina Domestica (literary, domestic medicine, is a very rare book on medicinal plants written in Spanish. The plants described in this book are as valid today as they were used during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. It precedes over a century the works of WH Brown (Useful Plants of the Philippines, 3 volumes), Merrill's (Plants of the Philippines), Eduardo Quisumbing (Mediciinal Plants of the Philippines ), among other works.

It inspired many well known botanists and pharmacologists like Dr Romualdo M del Rosario (ethnobotanist) , Dr Nemesio Mendiola (geneticist), Dr Fernando de Peralta (Plant Physiologist), et al.  

With the revival of safer medicine which plants offer in lieu of synthetic drugs, expensive medicine, and the resurgence of illnesses thought to have been eliminated (e.g. tubercolosis)
people all over the globe are yearning for alternative solutions. A return to herbal m,medicine is one of them.  It is in this field that Filipinos excel and are well known worldwide.    
Biographical sketch of Ginard and Foreword of his book 
 
 
 List of pharmacological formulations 
 Table of Contents
Handwriting of the D Rafael Ginard y Mas

The book and samples pages as photographed, unedited, by Matthew Marlo R Rotor


UST Graduate School students with their professor, Dr Rotor, in a field trip on Economic Botany, 2010. 






Part 2: A Tribute to Filipino biologists 

This article was written soon after the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) was announced by then US President Bill Clinton. Which in part, I said

"While the world celebrates the greatest discovery of the new millennium - the cracking of the genetic code - let us turn our thoughts to our own biologists. May their pioneering spirit in the development of biology in the Philippines be brought closer to our youth for them to look into the great potentials of biology as a career."

Updating this article will come a long way, and may not suffice, much less complete. Nonetheless it is a humble effort to give our due respects and honor for the achievements of great Filipinos.

More so today that we are facing a crisis in food, among other problems worldwide and locally, mainly the result of runaway population, environmental degradation exacerbated by climate change, and rising affluence of living. Governance is changing its face and conduct as shown in the current Arab Spring, worldwide low employment, global warming, increasing incidents of natural and man-made disasters.

To remember these great men and women of our own race - were they alive today - we would not hesitate to ask how they can possibly help? We ask the same to the living, and we pose it as a challenge to our youth today.

Our situation in the Philippines is a lament. It is irony because we have the resources - physical and human, yet we lag behind in food production on one hand, and the preservation of the environment, on the long term.  Maybe the next thing we ask is when will we be able to keep up with our neighbors, and with the world.

Originally these are the scientists mentioned in the original article posted in this Blog in 2009.

Eduardo Quisumbing
 is author of Medicinal Plants of the Philippines, still the most popular reference in this field. It is dubbed the “bible of medicinal plants.” It is used in schools, barangay and at home.


Leon Ma. Guerrero (1853-1935), the father of botany in the Philippines and one of the first Filipino pharmacists, formulated medicine and drugs from 174 plants in place of synthetic drugs which were not available then. When President Emilio Aguinaldo ran out of ammunition, he formulated an explosive derived from plants. It proved to be a good substitute of gunpowder. It was later named Guerrero Powder. One of the ingredients the author discovered is the hard seed coat of cashew (Canarium luzonicum).

Maria Y Orosa (1893- 1945) is well known in the field of food preservation. She introduced innovations in salting, marinating, and pickling, and the like, and made home economics and food technology household terms. So simple are her techniques that they can be adopted at the grassroots. They are also friendly to health and the environment.

Hilarion Lara (1994-1987), an epidemiologist, advocated environmental sanitation in the control of cholera, typhoid, measles, dysentery and diphtheria, and was awarded the title of National Scientist. His fame , but his fame gained international acclaim.

Manuel Ma. Guerrero (1877-1919) succeeded in controlling infantile beri-beri together with Dr. Juan Salcedo (1904-1988), then chairman of the National Science Development Board, who formulated a special vitamin against beri-beri for all ages. Their works contributed to saving millions of children all over the world down especially at the village level from this scourge.

Alfredo Santos (1900-1979), one of the founders of the National Academy of Science, and national scientist, discovered paheantharine from plants as treatment of high blood pressure.

Candido M. Africa (1895-1945) succeeded in determining the causes of heart failure and how it can be prevented.

Arturo B. Rotor (1908-1993), is the first Filipino allergist. He served as Executive Secretary of President Manuel L. Quezon, and President Sergio Osmena. Dr. Rotor discovered a rare disease of the renal system which was named Rotor Syndrome, now recognized in all medical schools and hospitals here and abroad. Dr. Rotor also wrote a column, “Confidentially Yours, Doctor,” written in simple and plain English for people to understand the doctor’s lingo. A number of orchids he discovered were named after him.

Antonio Ejercito spearheaded malaria control, while Sixto A. Francisco (1890-1959) fought tuberculosis with a method he developed with the use of BCG vaccine. 

Anastacia Giron 
Tupas (1890-1972) upgraded the nursing profession. She is our own Florence Nightingale, the founder of the nursing profession. 

Fe del Mundo
 (1907- ) institutionalized the treatment of children. Among her inventions are an incubator for babies, and a devise in relieving jaundice.


Nemesio Mendiola (1890-1983) is the country’s counterpart of the American “plant wizzard,” Luther Burbank. He was responsible in breeding high yielding rice, corn, sugar cane, and a host of horticultural crops, including fancy plants. Have you seen kamote (sweet potato) varieties with yellow, violet and blue tubers? He bred the spineless kenaf from the wild thorny native variety and became the source of fiber for commercial jute sacks.

Deogracias Villadolid was professor in zoology and served as critic of the author’s masteral thesis in freshwater ecology. Dr. Villadolid, a marine and fresh water biologist, is best remembered for introducing tilapia (Tilapia mozambica and T. nilotica) into the Philippines in the fifties. The fish became adapted to local conditions and is now the most popular fish, surpassing bangus, our national fish.

Julian A. Banzon (1908-1988) developed alternative fuel from coconut and sugarcane. With millions of cars running on alcogas in other countries, we have yet to tap Dr. Banzon’s formula for our local cars.

Felix D. Maramba Sr (1898- 1990?) harnessed biogas from animal waste. His project, Maya Farms in Rizal, is the most popular model in the country for small and medium size biogas generator. Like LPG, the gas collected and processed from piggery waste is used for the kitchen and in generating electricity. It became a model of its kind in the world.

Angel S. Arguelles (1888-1988?) developed fertilizers and pesticides to increase plant yield. These alternative farm inputs can save the country of precious dollars that is otherwise spent on imported farm chemicals, which by the way, are deleterious to health and the environment. His formulations set the foundation of organic farming.

Gregorio Velasquez is the father of phycology, the study of algae, which include the seaweeds. Today the culture of certain seaweeds, like Eucheuma, Gracillaria and Caulerpa, constitutes a multi-million industry. Seaweeds are used as food and raw materials in medicine and industries. Micro-algae like Spirulina and Chlorella are among today’s growing health food.

Gerardo Ocfemia is the father of plant pathology in the Philippines. He is best known for discovering the cause of cadang-cadang, a pandemic viral disease of coconut. He was responsible in the identification and control of many other plant diseases in the Philippines.

Dioscoro L. Umali (1922-1992) was dean of then UP College of Agriculture, before he assumed one of the highest posts occupied by a Filipino in the UN as regional head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) for Asia and Pacific. His works in plant breeding, education and research won him the National Scientist award.

Salvador M. Africa, a chemist, made glass from sugarcane bagasse.
Anacleto del Rosario discovered natural mineral water, better than the manufactured mineral water we use today.

Of course, we recognize the greatest Filipino who ever lived, the hero of our race, Jose P. Rizal. Rizal was a biologist, agriculturist and wildlife conservationist, even while he was in exile in Dapitan. Among his discoveries is a winged tree lizard, which was later named after him, Draco rizali.

Here is a list from the Internet our National Scientists affiliated with UPLB.

• Eduardo Quisumbing published the first ever book on medicinal plants in the Philippines and authored more than 129 scientific articles published here and abroad. While director of the National Museum, Quisumbing undertook restoration of the Herbarium which was completely destroyed during World War II.

• Dioscoro Umali specialized in rice, corn, abaca and mussaenda breeding. His research paved the way for the launching of programs of rainfed and upland agriculture, social forestry, environment conservation and rural poverty. He was appointed dean of the College of Agriculture in 1959. National Scientist.

• Francisco Fronda helped develop Asia's poultry industry, devoting over six decades of his life to teaching, research and extension. In recognition of his pioneering contributions, he was cited as the "Father of Poultry Science in the Philippines" by the Philippine Association of Animal Science in 1980 and "Father of Thai Poultry Industry" by the Crown Princess of Thailand in 1982.

• Julian Banzon was among the first to do research on coconut as a renewable source of fuel and chemicals. He also devised novel processes, noteworthy among these is the extraction of residual coconut oil by chemical, rather than by physical processes.

• Clare Baltazar discovered eight types and one subgenus of Hymenoptera. She also published the first authoritative book on Philippine insects which laid the groundwork for future biological control in the country.

• Benito Vergara is a rice scientist and author of "Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice" which has been translated in over 40 languages. He also developed IRRI’s Rice World Museum during his term as director for Administration.

• Bienvenido Juliano authored or co-authored over 370 scientific papers on rice chemistry and quality and edited and contributed to several chapters of the 2nd edition of the American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC) monograph "Rice Chemistry and Technology" in 1985, wrote "Rice Chemistry and Quality" for PhilRice in 2003, "Rice in Human Nutrition" for FAO in 1993, and compiled IRRI quality data on world rice. He is the only Filipino on Thomson/ISI's list of highly cited researchers.

• Carmen Velasquez discovered thirty-two new species and one new genus of digenetic trematodes from Philippine food fishes, two from birds and five from mammals; nine life cycles of trematodes of the family Transversotrematidae, Echinostromatidae, Notocotylidae (2), Plagiorchidae, Heterophyidae (2), Microphallidae and Philophtalmidae. She also discovered two new species of nematodes from Philippine fishes and a new species of Capillaria from the intestine of man, as well as a new species of parasitic copepod in Glossogobius giurus (Goby). Her works are archived at the College of Veterinary Medicine.

• Dolores Ramirez is known for her work on the genetic systems controlling the makapuno endosperm of coconut, the genetics of chemical resistance factors against Cercospora kex leaf spot and the cytogenetics of the hybrids of rice with related wild species.

• Jose Velasco did research on various areas of plant physiology such as mineral nutrition, photoperiodism, chemical weed control and plant growth in general, which served as the basis of crop production management practices and has set the direction for future research. He is also known for his research on cadang-cadang disease of coconuts.

• Pedro Escuro helped develop, isolate and release nine Seed Board rice varieties: Milpal 4, HBD-2, Azmil 26 and C-22 (upland) and C-18, C4-63, C4-137, C-168 and C-12 (lowland).

• Gregorio Velasquez, known as the "father of Philippine phycology", made the first intensive study of the local Myxophyceae or the bluegreen algae and devoted at least 30 years of productive work in the study of Philippine algae.

• Ricardo Lantican's research on southern leaf blight saved the American corn industry in 1969. He also helped develop a new plant architecture in mungbean combined with resistance to Cercospora leaf spot, which increased yield levels in Asian farming systems and initiated varietal improvement of legumes in the Philippines in the 1960s, producing more than 20 varieties of mungbean (CES and Pag-asa series), soybean and peanut, some of which are commercially planted and used as parental types in international breeding programs.

• Asuncion Raymundo conducted studies on microbial genetics and implemented numerous research projects or studies funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, UNIDO and the Australian Centre for International Agriculture. She has published over a hundred technical articles in refereed journals and proceedings, both local and international. She is currently dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

 Teodulo Topacio, Jr. did research on leptospiral disease of domesticated animals, which may provide the foundation for institutional control measures for these ailments. His studies on the transmission of the disease from pigs to humans have enabled veterinarians to produce antibiotic therapy that also reduced spontaneous abortion caused by the disease among pregnant pigs.

The author had the opportunity working or knowing the following scientists who belong to the "old school." It is indeed a rare and distinct privelege.


  • Fernando de Peralta – Botany
  • Fortunato T. Basilio – Animal Science
  • Juan P. Torres - Agriculture
  • Santiago R. Cruz – Agriculture
  • Jose Capinpin - Agriculture
  • Juan Aquino – Soil Science
  • Domingo B. Paguirigan - Agriculture
  • Fortunato T. Basilio – Animal Science
  • Romeo Rejesus – Entomology
  • Ricardo P. Sevilla – Veterinary Medicine
  • Eulalio P. Baltazar - Agronomy
  • Romeo Alicbusan – Mycology
  • Francisco Fronda – Animal Science
  • Martin S. Celino – Agronomy
  • Francisco B. Claridad – Genetics
  • Alfredo D. Dean – Entomology
  • Vito F. Del Fierro, Jr – Animal Science
  • Leopoldo T. Karganilla - Entomology
  • Emiliano Roldan – Plant Pathology
  • Rufino Gapuz – Animal Science
  • Emil Javier – Genetics
  • Clare Baltazar - Entomology
  • Ramon Valmayor – Agriculture
  • Gavino Trono - Agriculture and Phycology
  • Juanito Reyes - Agronomy
  • Fortunato Basilio - Veterinary Science
  • Vicente Villegas- Animal nutrition 
The author also expresses his gratitude to the following Filipino scientists in the academe, research institutions and in the field. Together with other scientists, they belong to the “contemporary school of biology.” Among them are Reynaldo A. Tabbada (botany), Paciente Cordero (marine biology), Romualdo M. del Rosario (Botany), Ruben Umaly (Genetics), Crisanto Escaño (agriculture), Carmen Kanapi (Genetics), Mamerta R. Rocero (ethnobotany), Alice Claustro (Botany), Anselmo S. Cabigan (Biology), Irineo Dogma (Microbiology) and Lydia Joson (microbiology), Delia Ontengco (microbiologist) Lilian J Sison (chemistry), Peter Ng (medical doctor and biologist), Carlos Garcia (chemistry). The author likewise expresses recognition to scientists in the other fields of natural science, particularly in chemistry and physics.

These ten major biological research areas pose a challenge to the youth of today who may take interest in becoming scientists mainly in the field of biology.

1. Biotechnology
2. Marine biology
3. Climatology
4. Human longevity
5. Effects of pollution
6. Endangered ecosystems and species
7. Exobiology and Space biology
8. Natural food and medicine
9. Pandemic human diseases
10. Gene therapy

Now that the genetic code has been broken, we are embarking into new fields of science and technology heretofore unknown to man - and into the mystery of life itself, a subject that has long defied man’s knowledge.

The mapping of the 46 chromosomes of the human species and the 50,000 or so genes that they hold may have taken us a leap forward into knowing the key to life. But even if we shall have finally identified the specific role of each gene in relation to health, behavior and intrinsic qualities, we would still be in quandary whether this discovery will make life any better, happier and well-lived.

As we look back, our pioneer biologists may not have cracked the gene, but definitely they have in their own quiet and humble ways brought honors to their race and profession. Most important of all, they have improved the lives of millions of not only Filipinos but other people around the world through their genius, efforts, dedication – and selflessness.

May this article serve as a simple expression of our respect and gratitude to these and many other great Filipinos who equally deserve recognition.

x x x

NOTE: We'll be happy to receive more names of famous Filipino biologists. AVR

A short list of Filipino Botanists
Some names have already been mentioned in this article)
  1. Baldomero Olivera, Jr.
  2. Filomena F Campos 
  3. Romualdo M Del Rosario
  4. Edwin Tadiosa
  5. Francisco Claridad
  6. Eduardo Quisumbing
  7. Anselmo S Cabigan
  8. Reynaldo Tabbada
  9. Gregorio Velasquez
  10. Dolores Hernandez
  11. Gavino Trono Jr
  12. Consuelo V Asis
  13. Benito S Vergara 
  14. Jose V Santos 
  15. Julie Barcelona
  16. Wilfredo Vendivil
  17. Leonardo Co
  18. Pedro Escuro
  19. Ignacio de Mercado
  20. Asuncion Raymundo
  21. Alfredo Santo
  22. Jose Velasco
  23. Hermes Gutierez 
  24. Marcos Vega 
  25. Ramon Valmayor
  26. Prescillano M. Zamora
  27. Angel C. Alcala
  28. Quirino O. Navarro
  29. Evelyn Mae T. Mendoza
  30. Jose O. Juliano
  31. Bienvinido O. Juliano
  32. Edgardo Gomez
  33. Mario O San Juan 
I take this privilege to acknowledge our own Filipino scientists particularly in the wide field of botany .  This is a random list and therefore cannot account for many more in a single article. The same recognition is however given to them, as well as the countless unknown practicing botanists - herbolarios, farmers and gardeners.  May this article serve as inspiration to the young to take up a career in this field.  AVR