Anda di halaman 1dari 2

Joseph Rei Mark Co BS Civil Engineering 2007-01594 Revolutions and Revolutionary Thought

December 15, 2011 Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo STS

Did you know that some of our heroes who have died in the struggle for our countrys freedom are also scientists? They were learned not only in the arts, literature, and social sciences but also in mathematics, biology, physics, and chemistry subjects we have all undertaken! This is certainly interesting to hear and even heartening for us studying in the field of science and engineering. So lets take a moment and look at their less celebrated life as scientists. First up is General Antonio Luna who founded the first Philippine Military Academy and was also a pharmacist. His thesis during his undergraduate study was entitled Des Cuerpos Fundamentales de Quemica. He later on studied at Pasteur Institute in Paris and produced El Hematozoario de Paludismo which is equivalent to a doctorate thesis. He also pioneered the use of blood as evidence in trial courts. Next we have Trinidad Pardo de Tavera who is an incredibly versatile writer. He has published 16 books including Plantas medicinales de Filipinas in 1892 and Biblioteca Filipina. He paved the way for changing our use of c and u to k and w when writing in Filipino. Today, our countrys ever increasing population is one of our biggest issues. But more than a hundred years ago, Pardo de Tavera was already quoted saying, a civilized man should not have many children. Not to be outdone is our very own national hero Jose Rizal. His dedication to his studies is truly admiring. Imagine spending hours copying the contents of a book word for word, day after day, for several weeks. We all know that Rizal took up medicine to restore his mothers vision. But many of us probably didnt know that he did this while simultaneously mastering a degree on Philosophy and Letters, and writing the novel Noli Me Tangere! You probably have also heard that Rizal wasnt that good at medicine based on the grades that he attained. And yet we cant deny the fact that he was a well known doctor in many countries and was a sought after eye surgeon. Another remarkable story about Rizal was how he was able to identify different kinds of shells without having any reference at hand, but simply relying on his memory from 10 years back! The three persons I have mentioned are known for their role in the shaping of society. Rizal is an icon of the revolution against the Spanish rule. But at the same time, their work in science cannot be undervalued. From another perspective, we can also regard our scientists as heroes. If we take Wikipedias definition of a hero as a person who performs extraordinary deeds for the benefit of others, then many of our scientists are heroes in their own right. Leon Maria Guerrero was the Secretary of Agriculture in Aguinaldos rule. He is also regarded as the Father of Philippine Pharmacy. Salvador del Rosario was a researcher on public health and authored the first sanitary code of the Philippines. Candido Africa was a doctor and professor who specialized on tropical medicine. Salvador del Mundo became the first Filipino materials scientist. His sister Fe del Mundo achieved the distinction of being the first female who studied in Harvard Medical School. She specialized on pediatrics and was awarded National Scientist. Maria Orosa was a food technologist while Deogracias Villadolid was a marine biologist. Both of whom contributed their knowledge in fighting starvation during the war. And the list of notable Filipino scientists goes on.

It will be very beneficial to the nation if we Filipinos espouse a culture of science to be inquisitive and curious and to decide based on the results of analysis and observation. I think that in general, Filipinos are easily conquered by emotion and emotions can mess with our ability to think clearly and act sensibly. Filipinos are also quick to judge and say their opinion. I believe that it will be better if we first verify the facts before forming a solid view on any matter. A common dilemma of our society is the clash between politicians and experts. Politicians ask the help of experts to find solutions to social problems. But when elected officials do not like a proposed solution, they are quick to throw the idea out the window without taking time to study it. Another example can be when students compare their homework. If they dont have the same answer, both will right away insist that his answer is correct and that the other person is wrong. I think both will benefit if they discuss the process of arriving at their answer and see where they differed. This gives them the opportunity to learn and reinforce their understanding of a topic. My college (College of Engineering) has always been dubbed apathetic by other colleges since we rarely join in any mass movements that are political or social in nature. I myself was disappointed when other students did not rally against tuition fee increase during my first year in college. But later on, my activist side lessened and I have learned to blend with my colleges culture. In our defense, I think we have this kind of culture because we have many other concerns. First and foremost is to pass our subjects. Our teachers would not postpone an exam or suspend class even if there is a rally. Everything just goes on. Nevertheless, our revolution takes place inside the classroom with understanding complicated problems, analyzing behavior and properties of materials, programming various phenomena, and so on. We cannot be too involved in socio-political movements because we risk losing focus. We may get too consumed by anger or frustration which will hinder creative growth. With all the innovations and improvements to the quality of life today, we are in a much better position to do what Rizal had only dreamt: to devote ourselves to science. In the end, it does not take bloodshed to have a revolution. All it takes is the work of the mind.