Speech of Dr. Coke Montaño in 2012 PRC Licensure Exams Oath-Taking

Hon.. Ramon Magsaysay Jr., former senator; Commissioner Alfredo Po of PRC;; Dr. Adoracion P. Resureccion (Chairman, Board of Chemistry); Dr. Soledad S. Castañeda (Member, Board of Chemistry); Academician Dr. Fabian Dayrit and other officers of the ICP,  KKP and PACT; our honored guests; fellow chemists and mentors; ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, let me congratulate you for your achievement of passing the Chemistry Board Examinations. This feat is indeed a life’s milestone. Let me also greet your individual families for the moral, spiritual, and material support, and also your mentors who molded you to become achievers.  Passing the board exams is a major step in the pursuit towards our individual goals.

I am happy and honored for being given a chance to talk to you and for having this rare opportunity of establishing an intimate relation with each one of you in the audience. The chemists should understand what I am referring to. For the non-chemists: the molecules that I inhale and exhale goes to the air in the room, which in turn gets inhaled by each one of you. Isn’t that intimacy?

My talk is short, as the late Carlos P. Romulo likened a short speech to a bikini – scanty but enough to cover the vital parts.

I am here to talk to those of you who are planning to go into the academic track. In the academe, teaching and research are equally important. Preferably, one must get a graduate degree: MS, Ph.D., and preferably, a Post Doc. Of course , there are growing pains.

When you get into the academic track, you become a part of the solution in terms of science and technology. Data taken in 2008 from the World Bank reveals that Singapore has 5,900 researchers per one million members of the population; Japan has 5,400, Thailand has 600, and the Philippines has 78. Kawawa ang Pilipinas.!

After graduate training ,you may also take the other tracks of the Chemistry profession such chemists in industry , business and in government.

On your way towards obtaining a Ph.D., there will be several distractions. They may be likened to flowers along the way – you may tend to pick them up, but be sure that you don’t get lost while pursuing the path towards your goals. Many students take consultancies and other jobs on the side while in graduate school. However, a number of these students did not finish their degrees.

Staying in this country or returning after training to eventually work in this country: we consider these as acts of heroism. Yes, it is true that the OFWs are keeping our economics up. However, we must also remember that Philippine education prepares us for life either locally or globally. With Filipinos in the sciences, in chemistry, and in other professions, we will be able to uplift our country’s economy, literacy, and well being.

Being a teacher in this country is like taking a vow of poverty. Academics may not be financially rewarding compared being in the industry and other business, but the rewards are nevertheless far-reaching and immeasurable.

Meanwhile, in conducting research, one must be careful with the experiment design so as not to commit errors. It is a good practice to examine results as a whole. More importantly, you must publish your results. Your research results give credibility to your teaching and work. In my experience, I have come to know that it is best to work on science and technology-related problems of our country. When you publish in journals with high impact factors, you can be immortalized in chemical abstracts and international databases. Also, sometimes, you can get mileage if you work with members of a different specialization or if you use chemistry in answering research questions under the other fields of science.

 To cite examples, many of the renowned Filipino chemists owe their claim to fame to their work on Philippine problems: NS Lourdes J. Cruz on conus, NS Banzon on coconut, Prof Dayrit on coconut oil and lagundi, NS  Ben Juliano on  rice, NS Clara Lim Sylianco on mutagenicity studies, Dr. Mae Mendoza on the biochemistry of Philippine fruits… the list goes on. My instant fame with the Seaweed Industry locally and international was because, I wrote about the properties of the PNG carrageenan a commodity which, during that time, is being produced only by the Philippines.

On a different note, in order to prevent occurrence of dishonesty in science, it is best that you practice the guide outlined in the Ethical Principles and Guidelines for Filipino Scientists by the National Academy of Science and Technology. You might also want to read the article “On Being a Scientist” by the National Academy of Science of US.

To end, I’d like to leave everyone of you with these pieces of advice:

Vladimir Prelog (23 July 1906 – 7January 1998) was the 1975 Nobel chemistry Prize winner for his work on making the absolute rule on handedness of the molecule. Together with Cahn and Ingold they devised the CIP sequence rules. He said:

“The world is chiral and clinical, enjoy the symmetry wherever you find it.”

Also, perhaps the most important advice he gave during his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the Rectus and Sinister

“If you want to be happy for an hour, buy a bottle of wine,
If you want to be happy for a week, roast (slaughter) a pig,
If you want to be happy for a year, get married.
If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, love or enjoy your work.”

Finally, before I leave the stage, here is a story I usually tell my Natural Science I (Chemistry Portion) class:

One sunny day, Helium and Hydrogen atoms went strolling in the park. Hydrogen atom said “I lost an electron”.
Helium inquired, “Are you sure?”
Hydrogen replied “Yes, I am positive.”

Enjoy your celebrations and the tsug tsug music tonight.

Congratulations!!!

Thank you.

International Conference on Natural Products 2013

For the year 2013, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) has been given the honour to host the International Conference on Natural Products 2013 (ICNP 2013), which will be held on 4-6 March 2013 in Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia. On behalf of Faculty of Applied Sciences, and Atta-ur-Rahman Research Institute for Natural Product Discovery, Universiti Teknologi
MARA together with Malaysian Natural Products Society (MNPS), it gives us great pleasure to invite you and your colleagues to participate in ICNP2013 which is an annual event of MNPS.

The theme of the ICNP2013 is Science and Nature with the following relevant research topics:

  • Ethnobotany and ethnopharmacology of medicinal plants
  • Advances in spectroscopy for structure identification of natural product
  • Chromatography and separation science
  • Discovery of lead compounds for drug development
  • Synthesis of bio-active molecules
  • Computational and structure-function studies
  • Biological activities, pharmacology and toxicology of natural products
  • Pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry
  • Analysis and development of herbal products
  • New technology platforms in natural product research
  • Microbial metabolites as a new source of pharmaceuticals

This conference will be attended by most natural product scientists fromall over Malaysia as well as many other countries. Please visit the conference website for more information: https://icnp2013.uitm.edu.my/

Calling for Nomination of FACS Awards 2013

Dear FACS Member Societies:

I am reminding you that FACS is now receiving the recommendations of the possible candidates for the FACS Awards and FACS Citations from member societies. The deadline is extended to March 31, 2013.

I would like to inform you that the Federation of Asian Chemical Society will be presenting the following Awards at the 15th Asian Chemical Congress (15ACC) that will be held in Singapore, from August 20-23, 2013. So far, I have received only one recommendation from Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies.

 

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UNESCO IYCr 2014 Open Lab

UNESCO IYCr 2014 Open Lab

7-3 December 2014
Venue: TBA

Invitation

As you may be aware 2014 has been designated as the International Year of Crystallography. On behalf of UNESCO and the International Union of Crystallography I would like to invite several young Philippino scientists to attend the upcoming Open Lab on chemical crystallography that we will hold in Hong Kong in December 3-7.

The workshop is free and I will also waive accommodation fees for Philippine participants. There is also a limited budget to provide bursaries for travel support. 

This will serve as a workshop or tutorial school on the technique of single crystal X-ray diffraction. The idea is to give them experience of the powerful analytical tool for organic and inorganic chemistry, and also an opportunity to meet other young scientists from around the region.  If they would like to bring samples from your research for study we will be happy to work with them on this.

The attached files also contain a Registration Form as well as some initial information about the workshop. Please feel free to contact me for more details if required. Space on  the workshop is limited, but I am happy to guarantee one space to a participant from your department, and with one reserve, depending on how other registrations proceed over the next month. Although the course is aimed at young scientists we would like the participants from Philippines to already hold an academic appointment, to best ensure the value of the training is maintained within your university system.

Ian Williams
Professor of Chemistry
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Chair IYCr2014 Open Lab Hong Kong  

PS: The course is now 50% subscribed and there are about 15 places left; if anyone is interested please have them apply to me as soon as possible.

Attachments

OpenLab Poster
OpenLab Info
OpenLab Registration Form

Sampling for Chemical Analysis

Sampling for Chemical Analysis
Facilitated by: Edgar F. Paski, Ph.D.

April 26, 2013 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Venue: Social Hall, PNP, EDSA cor. Bonny Serrano

Workshop objectives

To give participants an understanding of the critical influence of sampling on the quality of analytical results, especially for geological, environmental, and agricultural materials. Participants will gain familiarity with the principal topics covered in the Eurachem / CITAC Guide: Measurement Uncertainty Arising from Sampling (2007).

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2013 Children’s On-the-Spot Poster Making Competition

A Better Life with Chemistry
Children’s On-the-Spot Poster Making Competition

February 11, 2013 8:00-12:00
Venue: TBA

Background

As we celebrate the Chemistry Week on 11-17 February 2013, the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies in cooperation with ten Philippine Universities is holding the third Children On-the-Spot Poster Making Competition on the theme “A better life with Chemistry”. This contest will highlight children’s view of the role of chemistry in our life. This is the first time this activity will be conducted nationwide. This activity aims to contribute to a greater public interest in and appreciation of chemistry, particularly among the youth.

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Preparing Your Institutional Chemical Safety Manual Training Workshop

The Integrated Chemists of the Philippines
is pleased to invite you to attend the 2-day
Continuing Professional Education Training-Workshop on:

Preparing Your Institutional Chemical Safety Manual

Venue: Makati Palace Hotel, Makati City
Date: February 11-12, 2013

A Safety Policy needs a Safety Manual.

The ICP is pleased to invite you to this two-day training workshop which teach and assist participants on the preparation of their institution’s chemical safety manual. This training workshop will discuss regulatory requirements on safety and the benefits of having a manual. Each participant will conduct a chemical safety gap analysis in order to determine the status of their own institution regarding their safety practices, documentation and infrastructure.

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Awardees

31st Phlippine Chemistry Congress
Iloilo Grand Hotel, Iloilo City
April 13-15, 2015

Dr. Rochelle T. Papasin Chemistry Education (Secondary Level)
Dr. Myrna S. Rodriguez Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)
Dr. Relicardo M. Coloso Chemical Research
Ms. Ludivinia B. Avendaño Chemical Industry
Reps. Florencio Gabriel G. Noel and
Victoria Isabel G. Noel
Service to the Chemistry Profession

30th Phlippine Chemistry Congress
Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City
April 15-17, 2015

Ronaldo C. Reyes, Tabaco National High School Chemistry Education (Secondary Level)
Fortunato B. Sevilla III, Ph.D., University of Santo Tomas Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)
William Padolina, Ph.D. Chemical Research
Ms. Maura M. Pasciolco, Pasciolco Agri-Ventures Chemical Industry

29th Phlippine Chemistry Congress
Villa Caceres Hotel, Naga City, Camarines Sur
April 9-11, 2014

Dr. Merle C. Tan Chemistry Education
Dr. Erwin P. Enriquez Chemical Research
Philippine Alliance of Laboratory Equipment Users (PALEU) Chemical Industry

28th Phlippine Chemistry Congress
Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
April 10-12, 2013

Dr. Marlene B. Ferido Chemistry Education
Dr. Gisela P. Concepcion Chemistry Research
Dr. Alumanda M. Dela Rosa Service to the Chemistry Profession
Dr. Elma C. Llaguno Lifetime Achievement Award

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Guidelines for Nomination

  1. The following are excluded from the nominations: members of the PFCS board, members of the PFCS Awards Committee and the members of the National Organizing Committee and the Steering Committee for the 28th Philippine Chemistry Congress (PCC).
  2. The nomination will be evaluated by the PFCS Awards Committee which may consult experts as needed. 
  3. Submit three (3) copies of all documents including recent passport size picture of the nominee.
    • Comprehensive Resume
    • List of Publications
    • List of Awards, Dates of Awards and Award-Giving body
  4. The deadline for submission is on or before 15 December 2012.