Archive for 2009



28
Sep
09

Ruben L. Villareal

Ruben L. Villareal

Ruben L. Villareal

Farmers are responsible for planting and harvesting crops while technicians and researchers provide the appropriate knowledge or technology that modernizes farming methods and eventually increases productivity.  There have been breakthroughs in agricultural research, especially in rice.  In fact, foreign universities have acknowledged the significant contributions of Philippine-based research Institutions in this field.

Dr. Ruben L. Villareal is part of the growing number of agriculture-based researchers.  He finished bachelor and masteral degrees at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos.  He obtained his doctoral degree at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey.

Dr. Villareal’s efforts greatly contribute to the development of farming methods.  His attention is focused, among others, on the development of crops with better quality and on vegetable and food processings.  These complement the efforts of research institutions and may be considered a timely response to the needs of the food processing industry.

A team player, Dr.  Villareal organizes projects which help the education sector.  He works with educators and specialists in agriculture.  This Filipino scientist authored books and technical papers widely recognized in his field.

Nothing that is good passes unnoticed.  For all this efforts.  Dr. Villareal was chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) in 1971.

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24
Sep
09

Dr. Marcos P. Vega

Dr.Marcos P. Vega

Dr.Marcos P. Vega

Dr. Marcos P. Mega is an Educator, Scientist, and a Researchers.

“Be the best of whatever you are.”  This philosophy has guided Dr. Marcos P. Vega throughout his life.  Upon graduating with honors at the University of the Philippines, Los Banos (UPLB), he immediately joined the faculty of the State University.  It did not take long for him to earn the reputation of being one of the best faculty members in the UP College of Agriculture.

Dr. Vega left for the U.S.A in 1956 to take a master’s degree in Weed Science.  After year, be returned to UPLB and launched the university’s Weed Science Program.  He was appointed as the Director of Research in 1970.  He formulated the development strategies for the country’s rice and con program.  This greatly helped in boosting the country’s production of rice and corn.

Dr. Vega’s contributions to the study of weed science did not end there.  he gained international recognition as an expert in his field.  In 1972, he joined the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), based in Los Banos, Laguna.  He was the first Filipino to be appointed as director IRRI.  After five years, he was promoted to Deputy Director General, the second highest position in the institute.  As an IRRI administrator, he involved national scientists in strengthening and accelerating rice improvement programs in the Philippines and in other countries.

17
Sep
09

Let the Healing Begin

Carmelo A. Alfier

Carmelo A. Alfier

Running the country’s largest hospital is not an easy task—it takes more than courage and an unbendable perseverance.  Being the director of the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) requires optimism, vision, and courage in the face of seemingly impossible odds. When Dr. Carmelo A. Alfiler took on the challenge of being the UP_PGH director in 2004, he outlined five areas of improvement of the institution—manpower, money, materials, machinery, and management systems.  Recognizing that not every Filipino has access to quality healthcare, Dr. Alfiler’s game plan included modernizing, upgrading, and reinventing PGH.  Slowly and surely, PGH has been gaining the much-needed makeover, under Dr. Alfiler’s leadership.

Among Dr. Alfiler’s projects for reinventing PGH, the most notable include a training and continuing education unit and staff development unit for PGH employees;  a research development and dissemination program “run by a dedicated coordinator and committee for peer-reviewed, nationally impacting, world class studies”;  the PGH medical foundation that functions as the hospital’s main support foundation; and fully computerized operations that facilitate faster and more efficient transactions.

Dr. Alfiler is the winner of several prestigious awards including:  most outstanding pediatrician award from the Philippine Pediatric Society (2005);  Dr. Jose Rizal memorial award for government service (2005); and most outstanding physician award from the Philippine Medical Association (2005).

Source:

► New PGH director raises hopes for improvement  http://newsletter.up.edu.ph/previous/2004jan07.htm

► PGH Director Alfiler is reappointed serves another 3 years.  Wwwlpgh.gov.ph/v2/?fid=pghnews111

15
Sep
09

The Coconut Savior

Dr. Jose R. Velasco

Dr. Jose R. Velasco

Did you know that platnts can “sense” seasonal changes in terms of day length?  Yes, plants have chemicals that allow them to do this.  This characteristic of plants is called photoperiodisn.

Photoperiodism is one area where Dr. Jose R. Velasco, a Filipino plant physiologist, focused on during the World War II.  He conducted research on the photoperiodism of the rice plant.  He found out that the Elon-elon variety of rice flowered during short days when there was less than 12 hours of light.

Dr. Velasco is also known for this research on cadang-cadang, a coconnut disease that plagued the crops of small coconut farmets throught the country.  He found out that the disease was caused by an element in the soil that was toxic to the coconut plant.

Dr. Velasco was honored as a National Scientitst in 1998.  Other awards he received include the Guggenheim Foundation fellowships (1963), UP Alumni Association Dingstinguised Alumnus award (1971), Planters Production Achievement award for crop science teaching (1974), and PCCP Distinguised award on pest management (1974).

He grad uated with a degree in Agriculture in 1940 from the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture, which is now UP Los Banos.  He was a professor at UP for the duration of World War II.  After the war, he studied at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States where he obtained his doctoral degree in 1949.  Then, he returned to the Philippines to teach at UP and share his knowledge with his fellow Filipinos.

Source:

► Jose R. Velasco.  http://www.famousfilipino.com/agriculturist/jose-r.velasco.html

► Jose R. Velasco.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_R._Velasco

► Velascom Jose R.  http://www.nast.dost.gov.ph/pro_velasco.htm

10
Sep
09

The Buggyman

Eduardo C. San Juan

Eduardo C. San Juan

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the Moon, and his company learned a great deal about the Moon when they used the moon buggy, a four-wheeled exploration vehicle technically known as the Lunar Rover.  The conceptual design of this ingenious vehicle was by a Filipino named Eduardo C. San Juan. 

San Juan, a Mapua Institute of Technology graduate who studied nuclear engineering at the University of Washington in the United States, started as troubleshooter for US-based Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles in the 1960s.  When he learned of a national invitation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to design a space exploration vehicle, he submitted his design.  His design bested other entries up to the final tests so that it was the one fabricated for subsequent use by the Apollo series. 

Not only that, the very creative San Juan also conceptualized other designs for NASA like that of space shelters as well as jet propulsion and missile trajectory control systems, ground lasers, and space-based platforms for private firms.  Despite what was definitely a very good life abroad, he thought that our country has a greater need for his talent so that he decided to go back here in the late 1970s where he worked as a university professor and spoke at school science fairs and to children in economically challenged areas.  He always told his audience to reach for the stars like he did.  He passed away in 1988, but his legacy of exemplary scientific innovation and unquestionable love for country will never wane. 

Sources: 

► The Lunar rover and Eduardo San Juan.  25 February 2007.  http://hownow.brownpau.com/arcchieves/2007/02/the _lunar_rover_and_eduardo_san_juan/

►  Who are the famous scientists?  http://ph.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070616015024AAJ5fZv

31
Aug
09

A Gem in the Forest

Dr. Gem B. Castillo

Dr. Gem B. Castillo

He loves to jog, take a dip in the pool, or spend some time in the gym as most men his age do.  but not many Filipino males will consider managing forests resources as a career.

While people were busy doing their job as engineers, lawyers, or doctors.  Dr. Gem Belarmino Castillo was a busy tending the wild as a forester.

Dr.  Castillo is a man with an unusual name for a rather unusual area of work.  Currently, he provides technical assistance to The Philippine Environmental Governance Project funded by the United Stated Agency for International Development (USAID).  His expertise extends from resource economic-related tasks (coastal resources management, forest and forestland management, and solid waste management) to development of bio-economic model for fisheries.  His line of work is crucial in the projects and policy-making for our natural resources and their future sustainability.

Dr. Castillo is equipped for this work by his graduate training from Michigan State University in the United States, and capped by his doctoral degree in forest economics.  He was also awarded a post –doctoral research (W.B. and Candace Thoman Fellows Program), from the same university, on market analysis for forest products trade in the US.

His work required frequent traveling all over the Philippines, yet he was able to come up with scholastic outputs, including several international publications (International Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry and Conservation Ecology), he contributed and served as member of the editorial board to the Philippines Recommend Series.

Dr, Castillo obtained his baccalaureate and master’s degree (forest resource management) from the University of the Philippines Los Banos.  Before pursing studies in the US, he served as a research specialist at the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) for almost 15 years. – Bato Balani




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