Maureen M. Pasciolco: 2015 PFCS Awardee for Chemical Industry

For Maureen Mitra Pasiolco, owner of Pasciolco Agri-Venture, coconut products have greatly changed her life. Her company manufactures coconut-based products such as virgin coconut oil, nata de coco, coconut vinegar, coconut jam, coco-nut sap sugar, coconut sap syrup and other coconut by-products.

She started her business in 1993, when demand for nata de coco picked up in Japan. Now they developed their own natural coconut vinegar, their very famous coconut jam, virgin coconut oil (VCO) and lately the coconut sap sugar and coconut sap syrup for diabetic people. The Agriculture and Trade Department as well as the Philippine Coconut Authority assisted Maureen in terms of marketing and promotion. The Department of Science and Technology gave them trainings making their products known not only locally but also in the international market.

Maureen is happy that her Virgin Coconut Oil and other products are now being exported to US, Canada, Japan, Europe and Asian countries. The goods of Pasciolo Agri-Venture got recognition as Kosher Certified and Organic Certified products. This gives her more reason to make sure that the good quality of the products is maintained.

At present, Maureen is happily married to Lito Pascioclo. They have four children, namely, Mary Anjaneth Pasci-olco, a secon year medical student of UERM, Marianne Pasciolco, a dentistry student at UP Manila, Michelle Pasciolco who is taking up Physical Therapy at UERM and Mark Joseph Pasciolco, a Chemical Engineering student at UP Diliman. Maureen says that despite her busy schedule, she makes sure that she spends quality time with her family.

William G. Padolina, PhD: 2015 PFCS Awardee for Chemical Research

Dr. William G. Padolina, professor and academician, is the current president of the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). His professional career is truly a rich convergence of his roles as scientist, teacher, researcher, administrator, and policy maker. His career began when he entered the BS Agricultural Chemistry program from which he graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), became a licensed chemist immediately after. He earned his Ph.D. in Botany/Phytochemistry from University of Texas in a straight Ph.D. program as a Fulbright-Hays scholar and pursued postdoctoral studies at the world famous carotenoid chemistry laboratories of Prof. Synnove Liaaen-Jensen, Norwegian Institute of Technology (now the Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Trondheim, Norway.

He rose from Instructor to full Professor of Chemistry at the UPLB, where he mentored numerous students, headed research groups, and held various administrative positions, including being Director of the Institute of Chemistry, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Director of the National Institutes of Microbiology and Biotechnology (BIOTECH), and Assistant to the President of the University. He was appointed Secretary of Science and Technology by President Fidel V. Ramos from 1994 to 1998 and was retained by President Joseph Estrada until 31 January 1999. He was former President of the 40th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency; Di-rector for External Relations of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), and later the Deputy Director General for Operations until his retirement. He continues to serve as consultant and senior advisor of IRRI. He served as Chair of the Technical Panel for Food and Agriculture of the Joint Philippine Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering from 2008 to 2010. He became a member of the Executive Board of the National Academy of Science and Technology and currently the President of the National Academy of Science and Technology. He was member of the Board of Directors of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (2001-2012) and the Philippine Rice Research Institute (2002-2011). He is currently also Senior Fellow at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), member and at present, manager of the CHED Technical Working Group for PCARI, and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Euromed Laboratories, Inc.

The leadership and wisdom that Dr. Padolina brought into his various roles earned him numerous awards, including the Tree of Life Award for Research in Coconut by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Award of Excellence in Science and Engineering by the Philippine Development Foundation USA, the Merit Medal “For the cause of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam” , awarded by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the ASEAN Meritorious Service Award in Science and Technology, Philippine Legion of Honor (Rank of Officer) by both President Fidel V. Ramos and President Joseph Estrada, Philippine Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Outstanding Professional in Chemistry, Outstanding Alumnus Professional in Chemistry by UPAA in 1995, UP System Out-standing Administrator in 1988, Pantas Award in Research Management by PCARRD, Ten Outstanding Young Men Award in the field of Science and Technology in 1985, and Outstanding Young Scientist in Phytochemistry in 1982. In 2010, he was named one of UPLB Centennial Fellows, and was also given a special award of recognition as an Outstanding Citizen of Los Baños.

His research interests include the chemistry of the coconut — production of novel derivatives of coconut fatty ac-ids; medicinal plants chemistry – isolation, identification and biological testing of novel active constituents of Philippine medicinal plants, particularly those with anti-allergy and anti-diabetic properties; acetone-butanol production from molasses using Clostridium acetobutylicum, and biogas production from cellulosic wastes like coconut coir dust and fiber and rice straw. Due to the various positions he has held, his research has widened to those needed in policy making, hence his interest in Science Policy and Food Security.

As Director of BIOTECH and Secretary of DOST, he had exhorted the need to continuously improve products of research, and often chided research personnel on the attitude of “puwede na”. At DOST, he promoted a development agenda that made use of technological advances in agriculture, manufacturing and services, education pro-gram for improvement of technological and research management system. He pushed STAND (Science & Technology Agenda for National Development), identifying specific commodities, products and services as export winners. He aimed for the development of S&T human resources through the Engineering and Science Education Project (ESEP), which provided support for scholars in science, engineering, science education, and technology management. The Science and Technology Scholarship Act was implemented alongside parallel programs of the Science Education Institute and other DOST councils. He also implemented the PhNet project, which linked the country to the Internet. The Magna Carta for S&T Personnel became RA 8439 in 1997 through the efforts of Dr. Padolina. It was during his time that IRRI acted as the coordinating institution for the golden rice network, for the development of rice varieties containing significant amount of beta-carotene, as a response to findings of increasing Vitamin A deficiency in the world population.

Today, in many of his speaking engagements as president of NAST, Dr. Padolina continues to emphasize that importance of the role of science and technology in nation building. Science and technology, he stresses, could significantly “contribute to national development by providing the country the tools and means to meet the challenges of globalization and empowerment while responding to the needs of the economically disadvantaged”.

Ronaldo C. Reyes: 2015 PFCS Awardee for Chemistry Education (Secondary Level)

Mr. Ronaldo C. Reyes is currently serving as Master Teacher I of Tabaco National High School. He has diligently and consistently displaying all the time a high level of performance as a classroom Chemistry teacher for almost 11 years and a winning coach in various Chemistry, Science & Research competitions. He also served as demonstration teacher, organizer, facilitator, resource speaker and trainer in Chemistry and Research.

Mr. Reyes served as key teacher/ subject coordinator in Chemistry and a division test constructor in Chemistry. He also served as the Science Club Adviser and YES- O adviser in the school and the division and an officer in various professional organizations.

Mr. Reyes has devised various instructional materials in Chemistry and other science subjects like Strategic Intervention Materials (SIM), ICT materials, activity sheets, and modules. He also mentored other teachers especially when it comes to Science content and strategies and usually opens himself for service to colleagues who needed his assistance both in ICT and Research.
Mr. Reyes has various Chemistry articles published in professional and educational magazines from national to international circulations. He also authored the National Achievement Test (NAT) Reviewer used in the school and the whole province of Albay. He conducted action researches in Chemistry Education and became research presenter in various international conferences. He also served as DepEd scholar for the one month training course in Science abroad.

Mr. Reyes didn’t confine his profession in the four walls of the classroom. He also reached out with the community and initiated various projects like seminar- workshop on global warming, climate change, disaster prepared-ness as well as the Community Agri tech Project. Another significant project he implemented is the Chem- Connect Project, which was adjudged as the National Most Innovative Classroom Management Award conferred by the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST- SEI) last August 15, 2014. The said project, which was evaluated, validated, and monitored by various experts nationwide, is a school and community- based project, which aimed to enhance inquiry skills of the students regarding Chemistry concepts and promote practical applications of Chemistry in daily life activities. One of the features of the project is the Chemistry Promotion in the Community/ Barangays in which during weekends, Mr. Reyes, together with the TNHS students, promoted the various practical applications of Chemistry, especially those concepts that can serve as means of livelihood of the people in the barangay. The teacher- nominee generated additional funding source and linked with the Local Government Unit of Tabaco, barangay officials, General Parents-Teachers Association and the school administration in the implementation of the project.

Because of his achievements in various fields, Mr. Reyes emerged as winners in various competitions in Science. He was declared as the Champion in the Strategic Intervention Material Contest in Chemistry as well as in the Science Investigatory Project- Teacher’s Category during the 9th National Science Quest in Baguio City. In addition he is also a recipient of various awards. Some of the awards he received were the following: Federation of Asian Chemical Society awardee in Taipei, Taiwan, Outstanding Science Teacher in the Philippines, Outstanding Science Club Adviser of the Philippines, Outstanding National YES- O Adviser, Outstanding Teacher of Albay, Outstanding Teacher of Tabaco, and Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Science Teacher Award in the City of Solo, Indonesia.

Fortunato B. Sevilla III, PhD: 2015 PFCS Awardee for Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)

Fortunato Sevilla III has a proactive role and productive involvement in research (particularly in the field of chemical sensors and biosensors), in chemistry education, and in chemistry organizations: his presence alone thereby invigorating scientific education and research in the country.

Fortune (as he is called by colleagues) applied his expertise in instrumentation and brought great enthusiasm in chemistry education through his low-cost instrumentation and micro-scale experiments. He pursued work in the area of low-cost instrumentation, after it was introduced by Prof. Krishna Sane, Chair of the IUPAC Committee for Chemistry Education, with the support of UNESCO and the IUPAC. As an extension of his research involvement, he conducted training workshops on the development of low cost instrumentation, such as colorimeters, potentiometers and conductimeters, in different parts of the country, as well as in countries in Asia and Latin America. This became the core material and group linking Filipino analytical scientists with the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC).

He also focused his research efforts towards providing solutions for problems facing chemistry education in the country. To address limitations of the laboratory facilities in high schools and colleges in the country, he espoused and developed microscale chemistry experiments. His research group designed low-cost instrumentation for microscale chemistry experiments, enabling high school and college students to carry out chemical measurements at very low cost. He networked with the UNESCO Microscience Program and microscale groups in different parts of the world.

He established the Chemical Sensors and Biosensors Research Group in the UST Research Center for the Natural and Applied Sciences, and pioneered chemical sensors research and development work in the Philippines. Through the years, his involvement in the development of chemical sensors and biosensors research in the Philippines. ranged from the basic sensing materials to the use of present-day nanomaterials including electronic noses.

He served as the chair of the Technical Committee for Chemistry of the Commission on Higher Education. He led the committee in revising the policy standards and guidelines for the undergraduate and graduate programs on chemistry. He networked with the Committee for Chemistry Education of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry to facilitate the updating the chemistry curriculum.

He was president of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies, the Philippine Federation of Chemical Societies, the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, the Kapisanang Kimika ng Pilipinas (Chemical Society of the Philippines) and the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science. He is a Fellow of the International Union for Pure and Applied Chemistry and of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies.

Sir Fortune is “a living catalyst,” one who enhances potent reactions for our junior academic and research staff to pursue higher degrees and research breakthroughs. He is “the transducer”, formulating great ideas and trans-forming these into something tangible and measurable in the classroom and in the laboratory, for the use and advancement of students and colleagues. His battle cry is “Excellence”; and he gladly assists in lowering the resource- and time-barriers in school and in the field so as to heighten the success of others. Against all odds, nothing has so far deterred him from doing meaningful and purposive scientific research. For many, he is considered a sage of a mentor, a gentleman leader, and a thoughtful friend, who would by turns challenge and cajole you to flying higher and accomplishing greater than you would have ever dreamt possible.

St Jude Catholic School Defends Championship Title in the 16th DLSU Chemistry Challenge

By Nick Andrei Tan

The Chemistry Department of De La Salle University (DLSU) once again played host to sixty-eight Grade 9 student-contestants, their respective coaches, and guests from thirty-seven high schools in and around Metro Manila for the 16th edition of the Chemistry Challenge, held on 23 January 2016 at the Natividad Fajardo-Rosario Gonzalez Auditorium of the Bro. Andrew Gonzalez FSC Hall. They were warmly welcomed by Dr. Robert Roleda, DLSU’s Vice-Chancellor for Academics, and Ms. Faith Marie Lagua, overall coordinator of the Challenge.

As the student-contestants were busy in answering the Challenge’s Elimination Round, their teacher-coaches and other guests attended the Prof. Richard F. Heck Chemistry Lecture Series, named after the late 2010 Nobel Chemistry Laureate who also served as an adjunct professor in DLSU’s Chemistry Department. Distinguished faculty members of the department gave captivating and relevant lectures. Dr. Rodolfo Sumayao talked about the roles of lysosomes in cells other than being a garbage disposal system. Meanwhile, Dr. David Peñaloza, Jr. enticed everyone about the opportunities in nanotechnology research and its numerous applications. After the two lectures, the audience was treated to a DLSU campus tour courtesy of the DLSU Chemistry Society.

The quiz-bee type final round consists of three parts — easy, moderate, and difficult rounds — each having ten questions. Student-contestants with the top ten scores from the elimination round are qualified in the final round. The battle for the top spot was not smooth at all, as there was a two-way tie between Jinger Chong and Adriel Jeremy Gaw, both hailing from Saint Jude Catholic School. After their intense clincher round, Chong was declared the champion, with Gaw settling for second. This marks the first time since 2008 that a school won on a one-two finish. Also, with Chong’s win, Saint Jude Catholic School successfully defended their championship title for the second consecutive year. It wasn’t the only clincher round, though: Christine Sagun (Sisters of Mary of Banneux, Inc.) and David Ethan Hwang (Xavier School) also fascinated the crowd in their battle for third place, which Sagun eventually conquered. In addition to winning a cash prize and trophy as champion, Chong also received an additional cash prize as the elimination round topnotcher.

The other finalists were: Etienne Joaquim L. Cancio (De La Salle University – Integrated School); Jan Reynald M. Melchor (San Beda College, Alabang); Christian V. Novicio (Sisters of Mary Schools-Adlas); Jilliane Clare N. Lu (Immaculate Conception Academy); Adrian Thomas G. Bandong (Learning Links Academy); and Sherwin John Y. Navarro (Xavier School).

Dr. Glenn Alea, Chair of the DLSU Chemistry Department, and Dr. Derrick Yu, Vice Dean of DLSU’s College of Science, were at hand to congratulate the finalists and their coaches.

The DLSU Chemistry Challenge is the longest-running inter-high school chemistry quiz bee contest for private schools in and around Metro Manila. Its main aim is to identify and recognize students with exceptional talents in the field of chemistry.