Remarkable National Scientists from Bulacan

Last Updated on July 8, 2021 by OJ Maño

Bulacan is home to many brave national heroes, artists, beauty queens, and servant-leaders. As we continuously promote our beloved province, we found out that we also have Bulakenyo national scientists. Yes, we have genius scientists among our fellow kababayan.

Read 13 Brilliant National Artists from Bulacan

The word kababayan means “fellow Filipino, countryman, or townmate.” It is used throughout the Philippines. Literally, the prefix “ka” means “co,” and bayan means “town.” In the narrow sense, kababayan means a fellow from the same town or province.

We celebrate the life, achievements, and scientific discoveries of our National Scientists. We hope to see more Bulakenyos to be given such recognition in the future. #ProudBulakenyo

Order of National Scientist of the Philippines

The rank and title of Order of National Scientist of the Philippines, or Pambansang Alagad ng Agham ng Pilipinas in Filipino, is the highest award accorded to Filipino scientists by the Philippine government.

On September 22, 1976, former President Ferdinand Marcos enacted Presidential Decree No. 1003 or “Creating the National Academy of Sciences.” On December 16, 1976, former President Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 1003-A, which expanded Presidential Decree No. 1003 and renamed the National Academy of Sciences to the National Academy of Science and Technology.

According to the law, a scientist is defined as “an individual who has earned a doctoral degree in any field of the sciences” and “has demonstrated and earned distinction in independent research or significant innovative achievement in the basic and applied sciences, including agricultural, engineering, and medical sciences, in mathematics and the social sciences as manifested by published works in recognized scientific and technical journals.”

In 2003, EO 236 was signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It elevated the standing of the National Scientists into the Order of National Scientists.

It is the National Academy of Science and Technology task, which is composed of Filipino scientists, to recommend not more than 10 scientists annually to the President of the Philippines for conferment of the rank of National Scientist. It is the President of the Philippines who makes the ultimate selection, which is based on “distinguished individual or collaborative achievement in science and technology.”

Awardees have conferred the rank and title of “National Scientist,” with an accompanying medallion and citation. They are also given a financial gratuity with the amount determined by the National Academy. In addition, they are entitled to the same privileges enjoyed by National Artists of the Philippines, which include a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits, and a place of honor, in line with particular precedence, at national state functions. They are likewise by law entitled upon death to a state funeral conducted by the National Academy and the Armed Forces of the Philippines, befitting their recognized status as heroes of the Philippines.

National Scientists from Bulacan

Dr. Geminiano Tiongson De Ocampo (Malolos) – Ophthalmology

National Scientists
Dr. Geminiano Tiongson De Ocampo (Malolos) – Ophthalmology

Dr. Germiniano Tiongson De Ocampo was born on September 16, 2011 in Malolos, Bulacan.

Dr. De Ocampo helped establish the Philippine Eye Bank in 1950, where he served as a consultant. In 1951, he was made associate professor in UP and later became a professor in ophthalmology at the UP-PGH Medical Center while serving as head of the EENT department. He was chairman of the First Board of Ophthalmology. He also served as a consultant in ophthalmology of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

In 1952, he established the first eye hospital, De Ocampo Eye Hospital, in the Philippines and, in 1958, founded the Philippine Ophthalmologic Society, serving as its president until 1964. As early as 1954, he was already known and acknowledged as the father of modern Philippine ophthalmology.

Dr. De Ocampo worked for the passage of Republic Act No. 4593, which established the Philippine Eye Research Institute, and for the passage and amendment of Republic Act No. 343, the law that covers the donation of eyeballs for corneal transplantation. He was the first chairman of the Eye Research Foundation and was instrumental in creating the National Council of Blindness.

Dr. De Ocampo received the Jose Rizal Medal in Ophthalmology from the Asia-Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) and was named National Scientist of the Philippines in 1982. He died on September 02, 1987.

Gregorio Tiongson Velasquez (Calumpit) – Phycology

Remarkable National Scientists from Bulacan 1
Gregorio Tiongson Velasquez (Calumpit) – Phycology

Dr. Gregorio Tiongson Velasquez was born on September 2, 1901, in Calumpit, Bulacan. He is a well-respected botanist and recognized as the Father of Philippine Phycology.

Phycology is the scientific study of algae. Also known as algology, phycology is a branch of life science. Algae are important as primary producers in aquatic ecosystems. Most algae are eukaryotic, photosynthetic organisms that live in a wet environment.

Dr. Velasquez obtained his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees, major in Botany, from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 1925 and 1931. He also studied later at the University of Michigan. He finished another Master of Science degree in 1937 and a Ph.D. in 1939, major in Phycology, under the supervision of the renowned American phycologist, Dr. William Randolph Taylor.

Upon returning to the Philippines, he joined the Department of Botany of the University of the Philippines as an assistant instructor and gradually rose through the ranks and eventually became its Department Chairman.

Remarkable National Scientists from Bulacan 2
Carmen Camacho Velasquez – Fish Parasitologist

He was married to Dr. Carmen Camacho Velasquez, a fish parasitologist and also a National Scientist, with whom he has three daughters. Velasquez Street, inside the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, was named in honor of the couple who resided in one of the older houses located on the same street.

Dr. Velasquez, who was conferred the National Scientist in Tropical Phycology award by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1982, pioneered research in phycology or the study of algae in the country. He died on July 21, 1989.

Francisco O. Santos (Calumpit) – Human Nutrition and Agricultural Chemistry

Remarkable National Scientists from Bulacan 3
Francisco O. Santos (Calumpit) – Human Nutrition and Agricultural Chemistry

Dr. Francisco O. Santos was born on June 3, 1892 in Calumpit, Bulacan. Dr. Santos earned his AB and MS degrees at the University of the Philippines in 1912 and 1919, respectively. Later in 1922, he earned his doctorate in Biochemistry from Yale University, USA. He was given the prestigious National Scientist Award in 1983 by being an outstanding educator and eminent scientist in the field of human nutrition and agricultural chemistry.

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One of Dr. Santos’ most important discoveries was his study on sweet potatoes, including their shoots and leaves. He found that they have properties that may combat beriberi, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by vitamin-B deficiency. The vitamin B and C content of common fruit, like local duhat or avocados, were also explored in his work.

Through a long and fruitful career in Human Nutrition and Agricultural Chemistry. His work was predominantly focused on improving the condition of nutrition and diet in the Philippines. The relationship between social class and dietary patterns also featured prominently in his work. As such, many of Dr. Santos’ studies explored the nutritional value of Filipino food and, in particular, the materials and ingredients used in its preparation.

Dr. Francisco O. Santos spent forty-five years at the University of the Philippines Los Banos. He initiated and led the Institute of Nutrition in 1948, known as the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). Dr. Santos’s passion for the health of the Filipinos transcended his work in the lab. He died on February 19, 1983.


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