Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Filipino Scientists

Jose R. Velasco
Early life and education
Velasco was born in
Imus, Cavite. After nearly flunking out of a vocational high school, he transferred to an agricultural high school (now the Central Luzon State University), where he graduated salutatorian.[1] Velasco enrolled in what was then the University of the Philippines College of Agriculture (now the University of the Philippines, Los Baños) in Laguna. He graduated at the top of his class in 1940 with a degree in Agriculture, major in Agriculture Chemistry.[2][3] Upon graduation, Velasco joined the faculty of the University of the Philippines and remained there for the duration of World War II, during which he endured a brief period of incarceration by the Japanese army.[4] After the war, Velasco pursued graduate studies in the United States and obtained a Ph.D in plant physiology from the University of California, Berkeley in 1949. He rejoined the faculty of the University of the Philippines and remained there until 1967.

[edit] Contributions to agricultural science
World War II, Velasco conducted research on the photoperiodism of the rice plant. Among his findings, which were published only after the end of the war, was that the Elon-elon variety flowered during short days when there was less than 12 hours of light.[5]
Velasco was also noted for his research on the physiology of the coconut, a common crop in the Philippines. He studied the mineral nutrition of areas planted to coconut, the development and utilization of coconut products, and the nature and cause of cadang-cadang, a disease that plagued the crop of small coconut farmers throughout the country.[6] With respect to cadang-cadang, Velasco was skeptical of the still-prevalent view that the disease was viral in nature, and devoted considerable effort to prove his thesis that it was caused by an element in the soil that was toxic to the coconut plant.[6][3]

[edit] Citations
In 1967, Velasco was appointed Commissioner of the National Institute of Science and Technology, a position he held for 10 years. Even though his duties were administrative in nature, he continued to work on various research projects using the NIST laboratories.
In 1998, Velasco was named a National Scientist of the Philippines by President Fidel Ramos. His official citation acknowledged, among others, his research in photoperiodism and on the physiology of the coconut plant.[8]

[edit] Notes
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 86
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 87
a b Carandang, Aristotle P.. "National Scientist Jose R. Velasco passes away, 90". National Academy of Science and Technology. Retrieved on 2007-12-30.
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 92
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 88
a b Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 89
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 90
^ Ongkiko, National Scientists of the Philippines, p. 85

[edit] References
Ongkiko, Ila Virginia C. (2000). National Scientists of the Philippines (1978-1998). Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing. pp. pp. 85-96.
ISBN 971-270-932-9.
Carandang, Aristotle P.. "
National Scientist Jose R. Velasco passes away, 90". National Academy of Science and Technology. Retrieved on 2007-12-30.
Antonio Luna

Antonio Luna y Novicio (October 29, 1866 - June 5, 1899) was a Filipino pharmacist and general who fought in the Philippine-American War. He founded the Philippines's first military academy.

[edit] Family background
Antonio Luna was born in
Urbiztondo, Binondo, Manila. He was the youngest of seven children of Joaquin Luna and spanish mestiza Laureana Novicio, both from wealthy families of Badoc, Ilocos Norte. His father was a traveling salesman of the products of government monopolies, who later became a prosperous merchant in Binondo. His older brother, Juan Luna, was an accomplished, prize-winning painter who studied in the Madrid Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Two other brothers, Jose, became a doctor and Joaquin a governor and later senator.
He was the youngest of the brood of Laureana Novicio, a Spanish mestiza, and Joaquin Luna of Zambales and Ilocos Norte, Antonio went to the Ateneo Municipal, like the two other brothers, Manuel and Juan who later traveled to Europe to learn music and painting, respectively. Still in Manila, Antonio studied

[edit] Education
His early schooling was at the
Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1881. He went on to study literature and chemistry at the University of Santo Tomas, where he won first prize for a paper in chemistry titled Two Fundamental Bodies of Chemistry. Aside from chemistry, he also studied pharmacy, swordsmanship, fencing, military tactics, and became a sharp-shooter. On the invitation of his brother Juan, Antonio was sent by his doting parents to Spain, to acquire a licentiate and doctorate in Pharmacy. He obtained the degree of Licentiate in Pharmacy from the University of Barcelona. He pursued further studies and in 1890 obtained the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy from the Universidad Central de Madrid.

[edit] Reform propagandist
In Spain, he became one of the Filipino expats who mounted the “Propaganda Movement” and wrote for
La Solidaridad, published by the reformist movement of the elite Filipino students in Spain. He wrote a piece titled Impressions which dealt with Spanish customs and idiosyncrasies under the pen-name "Taga-ilog". He fought duels with Spanish writers who wrote insultingly of Filipinos. He was rumored to be a ladies’ man. In Europe, Luna and José Rizal once quarreled over their interest in the same girl, a French mestiza.
Luna was active as researcher in the scientific community in Spain, and wrote a scientific treatise on malaria titled El Hematozoario del Paludismo (Malaria), which was favorably received in the scientific community. He then went to
Belgium and France, and worked as assistant to Dr. Latteaux and Dr. Laffen. In recognition of his ability, he was appointed commissioner by the Spanish government to study tropical and communicable diseases.
In 1894, he went back to the Philippines where he took the competitive examination for chief chemist of the Municipal Laboratory of Manila, came in first and won the position. He also opened a sala de armas, a fencing club, and learned of the underground societies that were planning a revolution, and was asked to join. Like and other leaders, he was in favor of reforms rather than independence as goal to be attained. His answer, that of an ill-informed ilustrado, he regretted all the rest of his life was: “And what shall we fight with? With these?” (baring his strong, white teeth). He considered an armed uprising a premature adventure which would deteriorate into an “armed riot” because “you cannot get two Filipino to agree on one opinion.”
Nevertheless, after the Spanish authorities discovered the Katipunan in August 1896, Antonio, Jose and Juan Luna were arrested and jailed in Fort Santiago for their participation in the reform movement. Months later Jose and Juan were freed. But Antonio was exiled to Spain in 1987, where he was imprisoned at the
Carcel Modelo in Madrid.
His more famous and controversial brother Juan, who had been pardoned by the Spanish Queen Regent herself, left for Spain to use his internationally acclaimed, prize-winning artist’s prestige to intercede for Antonio. With Juan's influence working, Antonio's case was dismissed by the Military Supreme Court and was released.
Antonio prepared himself for the revolutionary war he had decided to join. First, he went to Madrid and other cities in Germany and Belgium, studied field fortifications, guerrilla warfare, organization, and other aspects of military science. He studied military tactics and strategy under General
Gerard Leman in Beligium.
In Hong Kong, he was given a letter of recommendation to
Emilio Aguinaldo by the Filipino Junta. He returned to the Philippines in July 1898, his head filled with suspicions of American treachery.

[edit] Philippine-American war and death

Antonio Luna
Luna first saw action in Manila on August 13, 1898. Since June, Spanish Manila had been completely surrounded by the revolutionary army. Luciano San Miguel occupied Mandaluyong; Pio del Pilar, Makati; Mariano Noriel, Parañaque; Pacheco, Navotas, Tambobong, and Caloocan. Gregorio Del Pilar marched through Sampaloc, taking Tondo, Divisoria and Azcerraga; Gen. Noriel cleared Singalong and Paco, held Ermita and Malate. Antonio Luna thought the Filipinos should just walk in and enter Intramuros. But Aguinaldo decided to listen to Gen. Merritt and Commodore Dewey, who had gunships in Manila Bay, and sent Luna to the trenches where he ordered his troops to fire on the Americans. After the disastrous farce of the American Occupation, Luna tried to complain to US officers at a meeting in Ermita about the disorder, the looting, rape, mayhem by US troops.
To quiet him, he was appointed by General
Emilio Aguinaldo as Chief of War Operations on September 26, 1898 and assigned the rank of brigadier general. In quick succession, he was made the Director of War and Supreme Chief of the Army, arousing the jealousy of the other generals. Antonio felt that bureaucratic placebos were being thrown his way, when all he wanted was to organize and discipline the enthusiastic, ill-fed and ill-trained young indios into a real army.[2]
Luna saw the need for a military school, so that he established a military academy at
Malolos and recruited all those, including mestizos and Spaniards, who had fought in the Spanish army in the 1896 revolution for training. A score of veteran officers became the teachers at his military school. He devised two courses of instruction, planned the reorganization, with a batallon de tiradores and a cavalry squadron, set up an inventory of guns and ammunition, arsenals, using convents and municipios, quartermasters, lookouts and communication systems. He even asked his brother Juan to design the uniforms and insisted on strict discipline over and above clan and clique loyalties.
Luna proved to be a strict disciplinarian and thereby alienated many in the ranks of the soldiers. An example of this occurred during the "Fall of Calumpit" wherein Luna ordered Tomas Mascardo to send troops to beef up his defences. However, Mascardo ignored orders;an angry Luna left the frontlines to confront Mascardo. When he came back, Americans already defeated his defenses by the Bagbag River.[
citation needed] He fought gallantly at battles in Bulacan, Pampanga, and Nueva Ecija against the better equipped US forces. In the battle at Caloocan, the Kawit Battalion from Cavite refused to attack when given the order. Because of this, he disarmed them and relieved them of duties.
Knowing that the Revolution and the infant Republic were a contest for the minds of Filipinos, Antonio Luna turned to journalism to strengthen Filipino minds with the ideas of nationhood and the need to fight a new imperialist enemy. He decided to publish a newspaper, “La Independencia.” Manned by the best writers, the four-page daily was filled with articles, short stories, patriotic songs and poems. The staff was installed in one of the coaches of the train that ran from Manila to Pangasinan. The paper came out in September 1898, and was an instant success, a movable feast of information, humor and good writing printing 4,000 copies, many more than all the other newspapers put together.
When the Treaty of Paris (where Spain ceded the Philippines to the US) was made public in December 1898, Luna quickly realized that only decisive military action could save the First Philippine Republic. His military strategy was to bottle up the Americans in Manila before more of their troops could land, execute surprise attacks while building up Filipino armies north of Manila and, should the enemy pierce his lines, wage a series of delaying battles and prepare a fortress in the northern highlands of Luzon. But the High Command did not agree with Antonio Luna.
The Americans gained the time and the opportunity to start hostilities with the Philippine Republican Army at the place and time of their choice. On the night of Feb. 4, 1899, a weekend when they knew most of the Filipino generals were on furlough in Bulacan, the Americans staged an incident along the concrete blockhouses in Sta. Mesa near the San Juan bridge. An American patrol fired on Filipino troops, claimed afterwards that the Filipinos had started shooting first (thus ensuring that the US Congress would vote for annexation) and the whole Filipino line from Pasay to Caloocan returned fire and the first battle of the Filipino-American War broke out. It had become a war of conquest, occupation and annexation which Luna, Mabini, among others, had predicted and repeatedly warned Aguinado and his generals against.
Gen. Luna was at the front line, leading three companies to La Loma, to attack the Americans under Gen. Arthur MacArthur. Fighting went on at Marikina, Caloocan, Sta. Ana, and Paco. The Filipinos were subjected to a carefully planned attack with field artillery, using the guns from the US ships in the bay. Filipino casualties were horrific. At one point, Luna carried wounded officers and men himself to safety. At that battle, there were for every man with a gun, 50 other Filipinos, ready to take his place when he died.
On February 7, Gen. Luna issued detailed orders with five specific objects to the field officers of the territorial militia. It began “By virtue of the barbarous attack upon our army on February 4,” and ended with “War without quarter to false Americans who wish to enslave us. Independence or death!” Since the outbreak of war the US forces had continued bombardment of the towns around Manila, burning and looting whole districts.
A counter-attack by Filipino forces began at dawn on February 23. The plan was a pincer-like movement using the troops from the North and the battalions from the South, with the sharpshooters (the only professionally trained troops) at crucial points. The counter attack was only partly successful because at a moment of extreme peril, with some companies already bereft of ammunition, the battalion from Kawit, Cavite refused to move, saying they had orders to obey only instructions directly from Gen. Aguinaldo.
That kind of insubordination had been plaguing the Filipino forces. Most of the troops owed their loyalty to the officers from their provinces, towns or districts and not to the central command. The hostility of the Caviteños towards the Manileños was an old wound. The Manileño ilustrado, Antonio Luna, was resented by companies or battalions commanded by warlords and landlords from other provinces. At one point, Luna had to be restrained from shooting a Caviteño colonel.
Nevertheless, despite their superior firepower and more newly arrived reinforcements, the Americans were so compromised that Gen. Lawton, still in Colombo in Ceylon with his troops, received a cabled SOS, “Situation critical in Manila. Your early arrival great importance.”
And so it went, battle after battle, incident after incident until Gen. Luna proferred his resignation and, under pressure from his detractors and the enemies he had made enforcing discipline, Aguinaldo accepted his resignation.
Luna was absent from the field for three weeks, during which the Filipino forces suffered several defeats and setbacks. Swallowing his pride, Luna went to Aguinaldo and asked to be reinstated, begging for more powers over all the military chiefs, and Aguinaldo agreed. In May, during an encounter in Pampanga against Col. Funston’s troops, Gen. Luna, who was leading the charge, was hit in the gut and fell off his horse. Certain that he was dying, he told his aides to save themselves, grabbed his revolver and was about to shoot himself before the Americans could take him prisoner, when he noticed there was only a little blood on his uniform. He smiled. The gold coins in his silk money belt, a gift from his wealthy family, had apparently deflected the bullet and he had only a small flesh wound that needed a little treatment.
At the end of May, Col. Joaquin Luna, Antonio’s brother, warned him about a nefarious plot that was being concocted by “old elements’ of the Revolution (who were bent on accepting autonomy under American sovereignty to stop the terror of “the American rampage” that was ravaging the country) and a clique of army officers whom Luna had disarmed, arrested or insulted. Luna shrugged off all these threats and continued building defenses at Pangasinan where the US planned a landing.
June 2, 1899 he received two telegrams. One asked for help in a counter attack in San Fernando, and the other, “purportedly” signed by Aguinaldo, ordering him to come to the Aguinaldo headquarters at Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija to form a new cabinet. Elated, Luna thought that, maybe, he would be named Premier and Secretary of War. He set off, first by train, then on horseback and eventually in three carriages to Nueva Ecija with his main aides. Two of the carromatas broke down and he proceeded in the only one left, with Col. Francisco Roman and Capt. Eduardo Rustica, having earlier shed his cavalry escort.
When he arrived at the Cabanatuan Catholic Church convent on
June 5, the designated venue, Gen. Luna told his aides to wait in the carromata while he conferred with Aguinaldo. He went up the stairs of the convent, joyfully expectant, and ran into an officer whom he had previously disarmed for cowardice and an old enemy, whom he had once threatened with arrest, a hated “autonomist,” and was told that Aguinaldo had left for San Isidro in Tarlac. Enraged, Luna asked why he had not been told the meeting was cancelled.
As he was about to depart, a single shot from a rifle on the plaza rang out. Ooutraged, and furious, he rushed down the stairs and met Capt. Pedro Janolino accompanied by some of the Kawit troops he had previously dismissed for insubordination during a battle. Janolino swung his bolo at Gen. Luna, wounding him at the temple. Some soldiers in the party of Janolino fired at Luna, others started stabbing him, even as he tried to bring his revolver to bear. He staggered out to the plaza where Col. Roman and Capt. Rustica were rushing to his aid, but they, too, were set upon, shot again and again at close range while Luna, with his last breath, blood gushing from his multiple wounds, uttered his last imprecation, the worst he could think for any man — “Cowards! Assassins!”
He was hurriedly buried in the churchyard, after which Aguinaldo relieved Luna's officers and men from the field.
The demise of Luna, the most brilliant and capable of the Filipino generals, was a decisive factor in the fight against the American forces. Even the American enemy developed an astonished admiration for him. One of them, Gen. Hughes of the American Army, said, of his death, probably relishing the irony, “The Filipinos had only one general, and they have killed him.”
Subsequently, Aguinaldo suffered successive, disastrous losses in the field, retreating towards northern
Luzon. In less than two years, Aguinaldo was captured in Isabela by American forces led by General Fudston, and later made to pledge allegiance to the United States.


Paulo Campos

Paulo C. Campos (July 7, 1921June 2, 2007) was a Filipino physician and educator noted for his promotion of wider community health care and his achievements in the field of nuclear medicine for which he was dubbed as "The Father of Nuclear Medicine in the Philippines"[1]. The first president of the National Academy of Science and Technology, he was conferred the rank and title of National Scientist of the Philippines in 1988.

Contributions to medicine
Throughout the 1950s, Campos would pursue graduate studies in the
United States; particularly at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and at the Medical Division of the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.[2] [1] He developed an interest in nuclear medicine while at Johns Hopkins, and completed a training course on the field at Oak Ridge.[4] Two years after his return to the Philippines in 1958, he was named as the head of the Department of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, and concurrently, the head of the department's Research Laboratories.[5]
As head of the Department of Medicine, Campos established the first Medical Research Laboratory in the Philippines
[6] at the U.P. College of Medicine. The facility, considered as the country's premier research laboratory in the 1960s[6], furthered research in fields such as epidemiology, physiology and biology[6][7].

[edit] Nuclear medicine
Campos initiated the construction of the first
radioisotope laboratory in the Philippines. With funding provided by the International Atomic Energy Authority and other Philippine institutions[5], the laboratory was established at the Philippine General Hospital. As a result, it was made possible for the first time in the country to conduct such procedures as the basal metabolism test and radioactive iodine therapy [5]

[edit] Goiter research
In 1960, Campos also helped established the first
thyroid clinic in the Philippines, also at the Philippine General Hospital.[5][8] At the clinic, and with funding from the IAEA and later, the World Health Organization, Campos conducted considerable research on goiter, a common medical problem in the Philippines. His team first suggested the injection of iodized oil to goiter patients, a treatment later advocated by the WHO.[5]
Through the thyroid clinic, Campos likewise pursued research on whether there was a
genetic factor that contributed to endemic goiter. His findings, as contained in a paper that he published in 1961[9], proposed that the iodine intake deficiency thought to be the main cause of goiter was just one of the triggering factors of the disease, and that physiology and anatomy proved to be more important considerations as some people were born without the enzyme necessary to take in trace elements such as iodine even if it were present in food and water.[6]

[edit] Community medical outreach
As Chairman of the Department of Medicine, Campos began the practice of fielding medical interns for community service in
Los Baños, Laguna for one month a year[6]. In 1963, the program was institutionalized through the organization of the Comprehensive Community Health Program (CCHP), pursuant to an agreement between the University of the Philippines and the Department of Health. The CCHP, which was based in Bay, Laguna, served as a community health center that serviced several towns in Laguna. Until its closure in 1989, it became the community laboratory of the UP College of Medicine, and it was there that Campos conducted testing on the use of iodized oil for the treatment of goiter[10].
Campos also founded a hospital in
Ermita, Manila, the Medical Center Manila, where he executed several of his ideas relative to health care in urbanized centers.[11]


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