Before I start with this blog entry, allow me to first congratulate the UP Diliman Chemistry Team for bagging the first place of this year’s PACSiklaban (the biggest intercollegiate chemistry quiz bee in the country). However, please don’t rest just yet. Ateneo Chem will be back with hunger for bloody revenge next year. I daresay you prepare.
So there, PACSiklaban. An avenue for chem enthusiasts, wanna-bes, and geeks alike to meet. If you’re a non-chemistry major, you’ll be murdering your ears (and nose) with scientific terms you hate hearing from your instructor. As much as I was formerly part of the planning stages two years ago here, this project still makes me proud that I am a chemist (and materials scientist) — that I am a catalyst of change in the country, especially in the field of research (the same feeling I get in attending chemistry congresses).
The most difficult job in PACSiklaban as always is being part of the Board of Judges. You have to be super emotionally ready for rants of students the moment they start questioning how worthy you are of your PhD title. I salute those five brave souls who take on the challenge.
Allow me to just have some fanboy moments here in this entry. This year’s judge for Physical Chemistry was Dr. Ernesto del Rosario, a retired Professor 12 in UP Los Baños. At first glance, I saw how advanced of age he was already and for that he immediately became my idol. I admire scientists who dedicate most (most, not all) of their lifetime in pushing the field of scientific research to higher scales.
What made me idolize him more was when I found out that he was the undergraduate mentor of my thesis adviser, Dr. Erwin Enriquez. As in WOW. Look at how he shaped his mentee to where he is now: graduated from UPLB with honors (Summa cum Laude, I heard), Chemist Board Licensure Exams topnotcher (19xx), Associate Dean of Research and Creative Work, part of the Core team of the Philippine Nanotechnology Technical Group, and so goes the endless list of credentials (and scientific journals he published). Truly, Dr. del Rosario leads a really fantabulous life.
That really inspired the scientist in me. I will not fail my thesis mentor’s expectations. As much as he made his mentor smile the biggest grin. 🙂
And one day, I hope to be like Dr. del Rosario and Dr. Enriquez as well.
(And so, I and my thesis groupmates now call Dr. del Rosario as greatgrandmentor. Or call that mentor of the best mentor ever.)