Mario A. Tan, PhD: 2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Research

Mario A. Tan, PhD
Professor, Department of Chemistry,
University of Santo Tomas

2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Research

Dr. Mario A. Tan obtained his B.Sc. (2000) and M.Sc. (2004) in Chemistry at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Chiba University (Japan) in 2010. He is currently a Professor at the Department of Chemistry, College of Science, UST.

Dr. Tan is a natural product chemist, engaging in the isolation, identification, and total synthesis of medicinal plant metabolites of biological importance. He is a productive researcher, having published more than 40 scientific papers in high impact indexed journals.

Foremost in his accomplishments are the significant studies on endemic Pandanus plants demonstrating the rich potential of this plant family as new source of therapeutics. He reported structures of novel alkaloids, some of which were isolated for the first time from some Pandan species. Furthermore, he is also exploring the identification of biologically-active plant metabolites from the endemic Philippine species of the family Rubiaceae. These chemical studies paved the way for the pharmacological understanding of the importance of these new Philippine endemic species which are just awaiting to be explored.

His works on asymmetric total synthesis allowed him to unambiguously determine the absolute stereochemistry of some of novel Pandanus alkaloids. This merited an invitation to write a book chapter from The Alkaloids: Chemistry and Biology (Elsevier), on the progress in the chemistry of Pandanus alkaloids (Tan and Takayama, 2019).

Dr. Tan has shown effective mentoring skills in motivating and guiding his undergraduate and graduate students to do good science in their research work. His students co-authored some of his publications in peer-reviewed indexed journals, both local and international. He has inspired several of his mentees to pursue higher studies and follow his footsteps as a natural product and synthetic chemist.

Dr. Tan further strengthen his research endeavors when he was awarded the Visiting Research Fellowship by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) in 2013, the 2017 Novartis Next Generation Scientist (Basel, Switzerland), and a fellowship grant at the Bionano Research Institute in Gachon University (Republic of Korea). He was also awarded the 2018 Outstanding Young Scientist in Pharmaceutical Sciences and the 2012 Talent Search for Young Scientists (First Prize) by the National Academy of Science and Technology. Currently, Dr. Tan focuses on the identification of compounds with neuroprotective effects on the aggregation and fibrillization of amyloid-beta as potential inhibitors against Alzheimer’s disease.

Geraldine A. Estacio: 2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Industry

Geraldine A. Estacio
President and CEO, DJM Grandeur Corporation

2021 PFCS Achievement Awardee for Chemical Industry

Geraldine “Dina” A. Estacio is a board-certified chemist who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas. She took up Applied Management in Business Administration (AMBA) from the Executive Development Academy. She is the current President of the Chamber of Cosmetics Industry of the Philippines (CCIP) and also served as one of the past presidents of the Philippine Society for Cosmetic Science (PSCS). During her term, she spearheaded the first Cosmetic Scientific Convention in the Philippines back-to-back with the exhibit of the Personal Care Ingredients Asia (PCIA). At present, she is one of the Board of Trustees as Treasurer in the ASEAN Cosmetics Association (ACA). She actively participates as industry observer in the ASEAN Cosmetic Committee (ACC) & ASEAN Cosmetic Scientific Body (ACSB) meetings to keep herself abreast with the latest on the ASEAN regulations. She was also featured as one of the beneficiaries of the DOST SET-UP program by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). Recently, she was awarded the National SETUP PRAISE award by the DOST as her company, DJM Grandeur Corporation, continued to excel in terms of Productivity, Resilience, Agility, Innovation, Sustainability and Excellence despite the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Her four decades of experience in the cosmetic industry has expanded her expertise in product formulation of cosmetics and drug-home remedies. Dina currently manages their family-owned company, DJM Grandeur Corporation, which provides toll manufacturing services or OEM/ODM services. They also offer assistance on Regulatory Compliance especially on Licensing and Product Notification/Registration to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), GMP Training, Preparation of Product Information File (PIF), Safety Assessment and Halal Certification.

Luciana V. Ilao: 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Awardee for Chemistry Education (Tertiary Level)

Luciana “Luchie” Villafranca Ilao, a distinguished alumnus of Adamson University, began teaching at her alma mater in 1977. By 1995, she became an affiliate faculty of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU). She later joined the Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics at the College of Arts and Sciences in UP Manila. She taught various Chemistry subjects from General Chemistry and Natural Sciences to Physical Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Biochemistry. She also mentored more than 40 undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry students involved in research studies on biosensors, natural products, and environmental chemistry.

Her passion for teaching inspired her to co-author two General Chemistry textbooks published by Rex Publishing. She was also part of a team of educators who developed a Chemistry textbook written in Filipino. This book, published by the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino, was used by students who took Agham Pangkalikasan as a general education course in UP. She was also instrumental in developing the curriculum for the BS Biochemistry program of UP Manila. She wrote several syllabi, learning modules, and laboratory manuals for General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, and Physical Chemistry. She also assisted and evaluated learning materials produced by the Department of Education.

Her “leading by example” leadership style has earned her much respect from various academic institutions and professional organizations. She served as Head of the Chemistry Unit for six years and was appointed Associate Dean for Planning and Development in UP Manila for two terms. In professional organizations, she became the President of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. (PACT) and served for seven years. She was also a Board Member and Secretary of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, and Director of the Philippine Alliance of Laboratory Equipment Users, Inc. (PALEU). She also led several successful national conferences, conventions, seminars, and teacher training workshops in various regions of the country.

Her laudable accomplishments in the field of Chemical Education earned her recognition from the Adamson University Alumni Association, Inc., where she was awarded the Outstanding Alumna in Education. She was also a recipient of the R. S. Benedicto Professorial Chair conferred by UP Manila.

Luciana V. Ilao
Associate Professor, Department of Physical Sciences and Mathematics,
University of the Philippines Manila
The 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Education (Tertiary Level) is co-presented by Shimadzu Philippines Corporation.

Jonathan P. Derez: 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Awardee for Chemical Education (Secondary Level)

Jonathan P. Derez’s journey in the field of chemical education started when he studied at Far Eastern University and earned his Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Chemistry in 1994. He began teaching at the Manila Science High School from 1995 to 2010, following the footsteps of his mother who taught at the same school. During this period, he became a DepEd NEAP Tan Yan Kee Scholar and pursued his Master of Science degree in Chemical Education at De La Salle University-Manila. He then moved to Antonio J. Villegas Vocational High School where he served as the Science Department Head from 2011 to 2015. Currently, he serves as the Public Schools District Supervisor under the Department of Education (DepEd) in Manila.

While teaching in high school, Mr. Derez inspired students to be more active and engaged in learning Chemistry. He mentored them to developing quality research and investigatory projects. He also encouraged them to join national and international science fairs. Their success in these prestigious events earned him awards such as the Outstanding Research Adviser Award given by INTEL-ISEF in 2002, 2004 and 2005.

His desire to impart knowledge continued when he became a district supervisor. He conducted several seminars and training for public school teachers on the special science curriculum, and research curriculum developed by DepEd. He also conducted workshops on the use of the Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) method to address challenges in learning Chemistry and other Science subjects.

Other than teaching and training, Mr. Derez serves as a National Writer with the Teaching and Learning Bureau of the Department of Education where he contributes to developing and updating the special science curriculum, and the research curriculum for public schools. He has also served as a Project Leader in DOST-SEI and DepEd-funded research projects which focused on the effects of the Spiral Progression learning model implemented in grade schools, and on the efficacy of POGIL in improving the performance of grade school learners in science.

Jonathan P. Derez
Public Schools District Supervisor, Department of Education, Manila
The 2021 PFCS-Shimadzu Achievement Award for Chemical Education (Secondary Level) is co-presented by Shimadzu Philippines Corporation.

PFCS Photo Contest 2021

The Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, Inc., with the hope of contributing to a greater public interest and appreciation of chemistry, particularly among the youth, organised the inaugural PFCS Photo Contest with the theme, “Chemistry in the Eyes of the Youth.”

The contest was open to Grades 7-12 students from both public and private schools nationwide. We received entries from students of different grade levels coming from all over the Philippines. They were judged based on creative expression and originality (30%), composition and technique (30%), and relevance to the theme (40%). 

This year’s winning entries are as follows:

Innocent Chemist
We are chemists, we extracted flowers and leaves that we picked every time we play “bahay-bahayan” to make different colors, we are, unknowingly, engaging ourselves in chemistry. We have learned to make our own experiments and discover reactions in the nature because of our childhood.

Reuben S. Palma
Pavia National High School
Teacher-Chaperone: Vicente P. Celestial

Burn it Up
Patterns of fire created by the combustion reaction of gas from a gas stove burner.

Rophi Denish B. Condor
Philippine Science High School – Central Visayas Campus
Teacher-Chaperone: Mary Joy Villamora

A soap bubble consists of a thin sheet of water between two layers of soap molecules, encapsulating a gas. The hydrophilic head of each soap molecule faces the water, while the hydrophobic hydrocarbon tail extends away from water. The increased distance between water molecules causes a decrease in surface tension.

Xyza Gaeia R. Cantallopez
Philippine Science High School – Central Mindanao Campus
Teacher-Chaperone: Jay Carl M. Agbay

The other participants in the PFCS Photo Contest 2021 are as follows:

Hart Drew T. Baking
Xavier School-San Juan
Teacher-Chaperone: Alicia Jane F. Peras

Karlsen Gerard A. Sagun
Santa Rosa Educational Institution
Teacher-Chaperone: Denmark I. Redimano

Kiev Franzel M. Adaza
MSU-IIT Integrated Developmental School
Teacher-Chaperone: Angel Jane A. Roullo

Jade V. Esclamado
Lyceum of Alabang
Teacher-Chaperone: Samantha Roe M. Auza

The winners received a Certificate of Recognition and a cash prize while other participants received a Certificate of Appreciation and a consolation prize. Their teacher-chaperones, on the other hand, received a Certificate of Appreciation. They were all invited to the recognition ceremony held during the 35th Philippine Chemistry Congress on 20 September 2021.

This year’s PFCS Photo Contest 2021 Committee is composed of Dr Voltaire G. Organo of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc. as the chair, together with Mr Elliard Roswell S. Yanza of the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies, Inc., Dr Fabian M. Dayrit of the Integrated Chemists of the Philippines, Inc., Dr Edwehna Elinore S. Paderna of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers, Inc., and Ms Mary Michelle T. Delas Alas of the Philippine Association of Chemistry Students, Inc.


Written By Mr Nick Tan
Edited by Dr Faith Lagua and Dr Jojo Andaya

The Philippines bagged two silver and one bronze medals from the recently concluded 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), held last 25 July to 2 August 2021 hosted by Japan. This edition of the IChO, the second one to be organized remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gathered more than 300 participants from a record 85 countries and regions.

Comprising this year’s Team Philippines to the 53rd IChO were:

  • Nathan Wayne F. Ariston (Philippine Science High School [PSHS] – Central Mindanao Campus)
  • Ron Angelo A. Gelacio (PSHS – Main Campus)
  • Aames Juriel B. Morales (De La Salle University [DLSU] Integrated School – Senior High School, Manila Campus)
  • Kristoff John F. Padilla (PSHS – Central Mindanao Campus)

The other members of the 2021 delegation are: Dr. Jose Andaya -PSHS-CALABARZON Campus (Country Coordinator and Head Mentor); Dr. Faith Marie Lagua – De La Salle University (Mentor and Head Coach).

The team was passionately trained for two weeks by a coaching staff composed of highly-skilled chemistry professors. The coaching team are comprised of the following:

  1. Analytical Chemistry Cluster: Dr. Ian Ken Dimzon, (Head of Cluster) (ADMU) and Dr. Raymond Malabed (DLSU)
  2. Biochemistry Cluster: Dr. Hilbert Magpantay, (Head of Cluster) (DLSU) and Dr. Maria Karmella Apaya (UPD)
  3. Inorganic Chemistry Cluster: Dr. Nestor Valera, (Head of Cluster) (ADMU) and Mr. Rob Jeremiah Nuguid (Paul Scherrer Institute)
  4. Organic Chemistry Cluster: Ms. Valerie Christie Miclat, (Head of Cluster) (ADMU); Dr. Virgilio Ebajo, (Head of Cluster) (DLSU); Dr. Irene Villasenor (UPD), Dr. Eric Punzalan (DLSU), Dr. Jose Paolo Bantang (DLSU) and Dr. Faith Lagua (DLSU)
  5. Physical Chemistry Cluster: Dr. Christopher Jay Robidillo, (Head of Cluster) (UPM) and Dr. Gil Claudio (UPD)

Guest coach: Mr. Michael Tantoco – last year’s Silver medalist also spent a few sessions with the delegates to give them problem solving strategies for the exam.

In its interactive virtual opening ceremony last July 25, participants transformed into their online avatar counterparts which was much appreciated given the current circumstances. They were all warmly welcomed by Dr. Kohei Tamao, president and chairman of the 53rd IChO Organizing Committee.

The examination proper of the competition was held last July 28. Contestants from around the world answered nine challenging problems for five hours in the comfort of their own homes with their respective parents or guardians serving as invigilators that monitored their conduct. Of course, it was not all serious work for the delegates. The organizers made sure that despite being a purely virtual event, videos and virtual tours promoting Japan’s Kansai region, where the in-person competition should have been held, were shared much to the delight of the participants.

In its virtual closing ceremony held last August 2, the 53rd IChO organizing committee awarded medals and citations to the winners. Mr. Ariston and Mr. Gelacio each obtained a silver medal, while Mr. Morales clinched a bronze; this is the Philippines’s best medal haul yet from the IChO. At the conclusion of the closing ceremony, Japan handed over the IChO flag to China, the host country of the next IChO in 2022.

First held in 1968, the IChO is the most prestigious annual competition in chemistry for high school students. It aims to generate student interest in chemistry through solving of creative yet challenging problems and to promote international friendship, scientific cooperation, and pedagogical exchange among delegates. Team Philippines’ participation was made possible by the sponsorship of ICP UNILAB chapter in partnership with the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS) through the efforts of Mr. Arjay C. Cubos, President of the ICP-UNILAB Cluster. The Philippines first sent competing delegates to the IChO in 2017; to date, it has proudly amassed four silver and nine bronze medals, and one honorable mention citation.

Call for Nominees to the 2021 PFCS Awards

The Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies recognizes outstanding contributions to Chemistry through the PFCS Outstanding Achievement Awards. The awards aim to:

  1. Inspire the youth to take up chemistry
  2. Recognize outstanding contribution of chemists to development of discipline
  3. Recognize outstanding and exemplary contributions to society through chemistry

The PFCS Outstanding Achievement Awards is given under four categories:

  1. Chemistry Education
  2. Chemical Research
  3. Chemical Industry
  4. Service to the Chemistry Profession

Click here for more information about the categories.

Guidelines for Nomination

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 35th Philippine Chemistry Congress (PCC).

The nomination will be evaluated by the PFCS Awards Committee which may consult experts as needed.

Prepare the following documents for nomination:

  • Letter of Nomination
  • Nominee’s Recent Passport-sized Photo
  • Nominee’s Comprehensive Resume
  • Nominee’s Acceptance/Written Consent to be Nominated
  • List of Nominee’s Publications (Include DOIs/URLs)
  • List of Nominee’s Awards (Include Dates of Awards and Award-Giving body)
  • Supporting Documents (Refer to the award categories for details)

To facilitate the review of the documents, please rename the documents as follows:

«Award Category»_«Lastname»«Intials»_«Document Filename».«Filetype»

e.gEDUCATION_AleaGV_Nomination.PDFChemistry Education
RESEARCH_AleaGV_Photo.JPGChemical Research
INDUSTRY_AleaGV_Publications.PDFChemical Industry
SERVICE_AleaGV_Awards.PDFService to the Chemistry Profession
DocumentDocument FilenameAllowed Filetype(s)
Letter of NominationNominationPDF
Recent Passport-sized PhotoPhotoJPG, TIF, PNG
Comprehensive ResumeResumePDF
Written ConsentConsentPDF
List of PublicationsPublicationsPDF
List of AwardsAwardsPDF
Supporting DocumentsSupp_«Description».«Filetype»
Description: Use a short description/keywords to describe the document
Filetype: Use commonly used filetypes for documents, spreadsheets, presentations, pictures/images, music or videos

Package the documents in a ZIP archive and name it as «Award Category»_«Lastname»«Intials».ZIP. For example, EDUCATION_AleaGV.ZIP

Please address all correspondences to:
Dr Glenn V. Alea
President, Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies Inc. (PFCS)
Unit 233 Cityland Pioneer Condominium
128 Pioneer St., Barangay Highway Hills
Mandaluyong City 1550

For more information, please contact Dr Glenn V. Alea at glenn.alea[at]

The deadline for nomination is 31 July 2021.

Postponement of the October 2020 Licensure Examinations for Chemists, Chemical Technicians

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), through a resolution, has announced that the 2020 Chemist and Chemical Technician Licensure Examinations are among those board examinations in October that will NOT push through.

Click here to view/download the said resolution.

For inquiries and concerns, please email the PRC’s Licensure Division at and

Please be guided accordingly. Thank you.


By Mr Nick Tan, Dr Faith Lagua, Dr Nestor Valera and Dr Jojo Andaya

Team Philippines 2020 took home one silver and three bronze medals in this year’s 52nd International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). This is the Philippines’s best performance in the IChO since the country’s initial participation in 2017.

The 2020 IChO was hosted and organized by The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey and was held on July 23-29, 2020. Originally planned to be held in Istanbul and attended by 235 students from 60 countries, this edition of the IChO was conducted online instead, for the first time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The victorious Philippine team is composed of silver medalist Michael Cole Tantoco (Philippine Science High School [PSHS] Main Campus), bronze medalist Nathan Wayne Ariston (PSHS Central Mindanao Campus), bronze medalist Ron Angelo Gelacio (PSHS Main Campus), and bronze medalist Stefan Marcus Ong (Saint Jude Catholic School). The four contestants answered nine challenging problems for ca. 5 hours on the evening of July 25 2020 in their own homes proctored (or “invigilated”) by their parents while being supervised by the Turkish IChO organizers via real-time video.

The other members of the 2020 delegation are: Dr Jose Andaya -PSHS-CALABARZON Campus (Country Coordinator and Mentor); Dr Faith Marie Lagua – De La Salle University (Head Mentor and Coach); Dr. Nestor Valera – Ateneo de Manila University (Mentor) and Dr. Hilbert Magpantay -De La Salle University (Mentor)

The success of this year’s team Philippines is also attributed to the shared expertise of its coaching pool. In the Organic and Biochemistry Coaching Cluster headed by Dr. Hilbert Magpantay, the members are: Dr. Irene Villasenor (UP – Diliman), Dr. Virgilio Ebajo (DLSU), Dr. Faith Marie Lagua (DLSU) and Mr. Laurenzo Alba (DLSU). The Inorganic, Analytical and Physical Chemistry Coaching Cluster is composed of Dr. Ian Ken Dimzon (ADMU), Dr. Raymond Malabed (DLSU), and Ms. Valerie Miclat (ADMU), and headed by Dr. Nestor Valera (ADMU).

The parents of the four students also played a major role in the competition by serving as the invigilators while the students are taking the examination inside their homes. This was the first time that this has happened in the 52 year history of IChO.

The competing team was assembled from the contestants who got the highest scores at the Philippine National Chemistry Olympiad (PNCO) held last February 1, 2020. The 2020 PNCO was hosted by the College of Science of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) under the leadership of Prof. Jennifer Sy (PLM) and PNCO convenor Dr. Eric Punzalan (DLSU).

First held in 1968, the IChO is most prestigious annual competition in chemistry for high school students. The IChO aims to stimulate student interest in chemistry through the solving of creative yet challenging chemical problems, promote international contacts in chemistry, friendships among young scientists of different nationalities, cooperation among students, and exchange of pedagogical and scientific experience in chemistry. Team Philippines’ participation was made possible by the Philippine Federation of Chemistry Societies (PFCS). The Philippines first sent its competing delegation to join the competition in 2017 where it initially took home two bronze medals.