“Chem-Back,” UST Chemistry Department Celebrates 80 Years

Carlos P. Garcia

A walk around the campus, reminiscing and creating new memories at the same time, permeates in that crisp Saturday afternoon last January. The College of Science, in the grand old Main building of University of Santo Tomas, opened its doors to welcome back its sons and daughters to celebrate the Chemistry Department’s 80th Anniversary. It was a delightful opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the graduates of the Chemistry program during the 80 years since the initiation of the Department of Chemistry’s graduate program. Graduate and undergraduate alumni, current students, and past and current faculty have been invited to the event to share their experiences and their current activities. It was in 1931 since the four-year B.S. in Chemistry program was introduced to respond to the country’s need for more technical experts for which a government recognition was obtained in June 1934 and in July 1961, a B.S. in Industrial Technology was offered.

A short-lived three-year course for chemical technicians was introduced in 1974, and then the five-year curriculum in the mid 1970’s was reorganized and condensed to a four-year program. Dr. Jose I. Del Rosario (AB Ateneo, 1901; MA Chemistry- University of Chicago, 1908; Phar.D.–UST, 1905) headed the department in the post war era when the field of chemistry was undergoing important evolution both in teaching and research. He steered the department towards receiving a citation from the Bureau of Education, as one of the most equipped and competitive departments in the country. The Department is a thriving center for teaching and research at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Its long tradition in excellence made it department in the University to be recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as a Center of Excellence (COE) in 1997.

A choice of activities started in the morning with 25th reunion of Class ’86 and a campus tour of the other returning alumni. The afternoon program opens with a solemn mass concelebrated by former rector Rev. Fr. Norberto M. Castillo, O.P. (main celebrant) with former Regents Fr. Pompeyo F. de Mesa, O.P. and Fr. Florencio Testera, O.P. A dinner reception on is followed by a recognition banquet. “We are excited about the return of our many distinguished alumni to help us celebrate this important milestone in the department’s history,” said Department of Chemistry Chair Dr. Bernard Tongol.

Part of the evening program includes the unveiling of the Periodic Table Fundraiser. The fundraising idea was conceived from a series of alumni reunions in the United States from the period 200809, attended chemistry alumni, covering the Class 1963 to 1995. A proposal to provide scholarship funds to Chemistry students and help the Chemistry department through a foundation evolve. The Periodic Table Fundraiser was suggested by Maria Erlinda Co-Sarno (Class 1966/1967) after the reunion. Planning on this endeavor
immediately began in consultation with the Thomasian Chemistry Alumni Association (TCAA) and some key persons from the US-based Thomasian chemistry alumni cluster. Current UST College of Science Dean, Prof. Maribel Nonato remarked, “I know you are also returning to the university carrying the dreams of our financially challenged chemistry students with the formal launching of the noble project “Elements for a Cause: Periodic Table Fundraiser”. A project that will affirm indeed that there is chemistry amongst our alumni and they are strongly bonded! I commend all the people who have worked hard to get this project into shape. We at the administration of the College of Science believe that your initiatives will serve as seed for other alumni to act now and assist the Science students.”

Moving ahead with the experiences of the past 80 years, the Department long-time commitment to develop professionalsthat will occupy positions in the academe, industry, and government and
non-government organizations continues. Four alumni were honored with the following citations;
Ramon Aguillon Llenado, Ph. D.(Class 1967): is recognized for his significant contributions in Analytical Chemistry and their applications in industry, particularly, in the chemistry of detergents,
surfactants, modified silicates and shampoos, as evidenced by his numerous U.S. and foreign patents, research articles, review articles, and book chapters; for the honors and awards granted him by the American Chemical Society, U. S. White House, Soap and Detergent Association, and Chemical Specialties Association; and mostly, for having the highest corporate achievement among Thomasian chemistry alumni in the U.S.A., having risen to the position of Senior Vice-President and Chief Scientific Officer of S.C. Johnson Professional Inc.

Hon. Lucila Peñaflor Payumo (Class 1960): In recognition of her outstanding achievements as Municipal Mayor of Dinalupihan, Bataan, from 1986 to 1995, where she made significant contributions to the national economic recovery program, the restoration of peace and order not only in Dinalupihan, but Bataan in general, thus, meriting recognition from the AFP, and awards as Outstanding Municipal Administrator in 1987, Outstanding Municipal Mayor in 1989, and subsequently, gaining the respect and admiration of other mayors in Bataan by electing her President of the Bataan Mayors’ League.

Maria Erlinda Co Sarno, Esq. (Class 1967): In recognition of her significant contributions in the field of human plasma fractionation, which earned for her patents and technical achievement awards; her genuine commitment to the cause of entrepreneurs in California, as evidenced by her inspiring leadership in the Advisory Council for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship, thus, enabling the state government to formulate policies leading to an increase in number of small businesses as well as their unqualified success, and earning for her the recognition as Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year 2005, given by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Business Association of Orange County, and the Director Emeritus by the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County.

Frederick Aman Villamena, Ph.D. (Class 1990): Presently connected with the Ohio State University, is honored in recognition of his significant contributions in the chemistry of free radicals in biological systems, and in particular, his pioneering research in the field of spin trapping for radical detection and therapeutics, having published in various outstanding chemistry journals, authored book chapters, review articles and patents in the field of free radicals.

The tradition of excellence in instruction, research and student activities continue to permeate in theDepartment’s vision of “performance excellence” which looks ahead confidently to the next
eighty years, recognizing thatlearning from its distinguished past serves as the foundation for an outstanding future. 

50th PACT National Convention

More than 200 delegates from 11 regions joined the
three-day Golden Jubilee edition of the PACT National
Convention that started on October 27, 2011. It was an ex-
traordinary celebration as it also coincided with the host Uni-
versity of Santo Tomas’ Quadricentennial Anniversary and
UNESCO’s International Year of Chemistry. Workshops and
lectures covering a wide range of conventional and non-con-
ventional topics were all well-attended and participated in;
matched by UST’s well-equipped facilities. Celebrity musi-
cian Noel Cabangon made a special guest appearance to
show support for chemistry educators by rendering them in-
spirational songs he originally composed. Raffle prizes were
also given to quite a number of delegates, courtesy of gen-
erous sponsors. The event was co-organized by the UST
Chemistry Department and the College of Science.
The themed for this year national convention was “Strength-
ening Bonds, Catalyzing Change: From the Chemistry
Classroom Promoting Public Understanding of Chemistry”
Source: https://www.pinoychemteacher.org/

27th Philippine Chemistry Congress

You are cordially invited to the 2012 Asia-Pacific Conference
on Analytical Science (APCAS) and the 3rd Regional Elec-
trochemistry Meeting of South-East Asia (REMSEA) which
will be held jointly with the 27th Philippine Chemistry Con-
The Philippine Chemistry Congress (PCC) is the annual
conference of chemists in the Philippines. First held in 1984,
the PCC has since served as one of the biggest agglomera-
tions of chemists and researchers from academe, industry
and other sectors, where new knowledge in chemistry and
allied fields are brought to the forefront.
The APCAS provides a platform to showcase recent devel-
opments in research and innovation in the field of analyti-
cal science in the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, REMSEA
brings together chemists and researchers specializing in the
field of electrochemistry.
The joint conference aims to forge and strengthen region-
al cooperation and collaboration among chemists and re-
searchers in Asia and the Pacific. It is organized by the
Division of Analytical Science (DAS) of the Kapisanang
Kimika ng Pilipinas (Chemical Society of the Philip-
pines) in cooperation with the Philippine Federation of
Chemistry Societies (PFCS).
The joint conference will be held from 11 to 13 April 2012
at the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City,
Metro Manila, Philippines.

31 January 2012 Last Day for the submission of abstracts
1 March 2012 Notification of acceptance of paper
7 March 2012 Last day of early registration discount
15 March 2012 Deadline for registration fee payment by presenting author

For more details visit the website:

Materials Science Program: Advanced Nanomaterials, Sensor and Energy Research (ANSER)

Institute of Chemistry, UP Diliman
The ANSER program outlines the multi- and interdisciplinary activities aimed at enhancing and advancing national scien tific and engineering expertise on polymers, crystalline and nanostructured materials, as applied to sensor and analytical methods, advanced energy and engineering materials.

There are currently five projects under the ANSER program funded by DOST-PCAS-TRD .This program was developed and directed by IC-UPD, the lead institution, in close collaboration with UPD’s sister university – the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, University of Houston (UH), USA. The project proponents are Florian R. del Mundo, Rigoberto C. Advincula, Arnold Guloy. Susan D. Arco, Florentino Sumera, Portia Sabido and Gerry Nuesca. This program was benchmarked from the R&D in advanced polymers and nanomaterias in the US.

Potential and specific outcomes:
-New polymer and hybrid nanomaterials with high specificity and sensitivity for sensor applications.
-Polymers from Philippine coconut oil that can compete economically with conventional fossil-based polymers.
-Training of B.S., M.S., and Ph.D students with world-class skills and knowledge who will emerge as future leaders in the areas of advanced polymers and nanomaterials.
-ISI publications of research findings and intellectual property portfolio development.

ISO 17025 Accredited Analytical Services Laboratory and DENR Accredited Chemical Waste Management System

Institute of Chemistry, UP Diliman
IC established a quality system in its Instrument Room and ana-
lytical services laboratory which gained an ISO 17025 accredita-
tion in 2009. In addition to this IC have established and maintains a
DENR accredited functional chemical waste management system.

IC continues to maintain and upgrade a state of the art, well-
equipped Analytical Instrumentation Laboratory that is able to
support teaching, research and extension services through the
help of various research funding agencies and the university.
Benchmarked from the ISO 17025/DENR.

For more inquiries, please contact either Florian R. del Mundo, Li-
libeth dlc Coo or Irene Rodriguez. 

PACT now Fifty

As part of the year – long celebration of its 50th anniversary,
“Gold! Bounty, Economy, Ecology” was the theme of the
seminar-workshop conducted by the Philippine Association of
Chemistry Teachers, Inc., during this year’s Chemistry Week. More
than 60 chemistry teachers attended this event last 19 February
2011 at the FUSE Learning Center for Teachers, Pearl of the Orient
Bldg., Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila.
Engr. Edwin Domingo, Overall Director FAPSO, DENR who enti-
tled his talk “Where is the Gold?” and Engr. Gabriel Pamintuan, Se-
nior Lecturer, Department of Engineering, UP Diliman who talked
on “Protecting the Ecology” were the speakers in the morning ses-
sion. In the afternoon, faculty members from the Centro Escolar
University and the College of the Holy Spirit, Manila, facilitated the
workshop “Laboratory Activities on Metals” involving gold.

The PACT President, Dr. Myrna Rodriguez of UPLB and the Chair
of the Organizing Committee, Prof. Emmanuel V. Garcia of DLSU
led the association in this endeavor. 

51st PACT National Convention

The Philippine Association of Chemistry Teachers (PACT) Inc., in cooperation with the San Beda College of Arts and Sciences, recently held it 51st National Convention last October 25-27 at the San Beda College in Mendiola. Basic and tertiary education teachers representing schools from all over the country, from Tuguegarao to Sultan Kudarat, participated in the event.  With the theme  “ChemS3: Society, Sustainability, Safety”, the gathering featured lectures and fora addressing critical issues such as National Development, the K-12 Initiative, Water Quality, Chemistry and Law Enforcement, and Boons and Banes of Technology in the Classroom.

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Proposed Chemistry Law

The Chemistry Law (R.A. 754) was promulgated on June 18, 1952. Because of the significant changes brought about by the rapid developments in Chemistry, science and technology, the rise of international standards, global competition, as well as concerns for the environment, climate change and sustainable development, there is an urgent need to reformulate the Chemistry Law so that it will be more responsive to these modern developments. Today, for example, sophisticated chemical design, synthesis and analyses are required in a wide variety of applications, such as environment, water, food products, pharmaceuticals, forensics, plastics and polymers, materials, and many others.

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