HomeGood SchoolUP Diliman produces record-breaking number of new scientists

UP Diliman produces record-breaking number of new scientists

UP Diliman new scientists
The graduating batch of UP Diliman’s College of Science commemorates their hard-earned degrees. UPD-CS photo.

Filipino scientific excellence has reached new heights with the University of the Philippines Diliman – College of Science (UPD-CS) welcoming a record-high number of new scientists in over 40 years.

The number of science Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) graduates was the highest the college has ever had since its inception in 1983, declared UPD-CS Dean Dr. Giovanni A. Tapang during the CS Special Recognition Program last July 29, 2023, held at the UP Theater. There were a total of 19 PhD completers, twice as many as the previous year.

“UPD-CS is poised to make unprecedented contributions to Filipino science and the collective body of human knowledge,” the college further stated in its report published on the state university’s website. As of 2022, UPD-CS had 464 PhD enrollees. The college added that PhD enrollment is steadily increasing every year.

Dr. Bernard Alan B. Racoma was hailed as the Most Outstanding PhD Graduate from the college’s Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology (IESM). “Hindi naman natin naimagine na makakapag-aral tayong lahat sa napakahirap na panahon ng pandemya. And yet, despite the circumstances, nandito tayong lahat,” he said in his graduating speech at the college’s recognition rites.

(We never imagined that we would all be able to study during the very difficult time of the pandemic. And yet, despite the circumstances, we are all here.)

A bona fide meteorology scholar, Racoma likened his journey as a PhD student to the clouds. “Clouds are the manifestations of the invisible movements and conditions of the atmosphere,” he explained. “Just like clouds, we are the manifestations of our environment. Tayo ay nahulma ng ating mga pamilya, ng ating mga kaibigan, ng ating mga social circle. Tayo ay nahulma ng ating experiences, ng ating lipunan, ng ating mga institusyon, ng ating paaralan, ng ating mga mentors at guro.”

(We are shaped by our families, our friends, and our social circles. We are shaped by our experiences, our society, our institutions, our school, our mentors, and our teachers.)

At the graduation ceremony, Racoma acknowledged the students who dropped out and were delayed. “Sabi nga ng isang article na nabasa ko last week, ‘My PhD took a long time, and there’s no shame in that.’ Agree ako dun. There shouldn’t be shame when we take too long sa ating pag-aaral graduate man or undergraduate. There shouldn’t be shame when people don’t graduate at all,” he declared.

(An article I read last week said, ‘My PhD took a long time, and there’s no shame in that.’ I agree with that.)

“When this happens, more often than not, may dahilan. Katulad lang ng may dahilan kung bakit namumuo ang ulap at umuulan, may dahilan kung bakit ang mga estudyante ay natatagalan, bumibigay, sumusuko, tumitigil mag-aral, hindi nakakapagtapos,” he continued. He encouraged students to look at the bigger picture and be emphatic of others’ circumstances.

(When this happens, more often than not, there is a reason. Just like there’s a reason why clouds form and it rains, there’s a reason why students procrastinate, give up, stop studying, and don’t graduate.)

Racoma ended by challenging the graduating class to make a difference in their environments. “Like how water vapor can coalesce, condense, form clouds and eventually cause precipitation, we can all come together, to collaborate, to organize, to manifest, and to cause and influence the change that we want to see,” he imparted.


In its congratulations to the graduating batch, the UPD-CS Student Council proclaimed, “Hindi rito natatapos ang laban, dahil may higit na mas mabigat na hamon ang lipunan sa inyo, bilang mga siyentista’t iskolar ng bayan, at yun ay paglingkuran ang bayan!”

(The battle does not end here, because society has a much heavier challenge to you, as scientists and scholars of the people, and that is to serve the people!)

The pursuit of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) studies has historically met different hurdles in the Philippines. There are only 189 scientists per million Filipinos, BS Physics graduate Mary June Ricaña pointed out in her graduation speech. By international standards, there should be at least 380 scientists for every million people.

In an effort to make science education more accessible, UPD-CS houses several institutes in the discipline’s various fields. Broadly, these cover biology, chemistry, environmental science, geological sciences, mathematics, marine science, molecular biology, physics, and more. There are 11 doctorate programs in UPD-CS overall.

At the recognition rites, there were a total of 454 College of Science graduates. Alongside the 19 PhD completers, there were 108 MS graduates, seven MA graduates, three Professional Masters, five diploma recipients, and 312 BS graduates.

The Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology Balik Scientist program brought back overseas Filipino scientists to help find solutions to the Coronavirus pandemic and other community needs, including robotics scientist Rodrigo Jamisola Jr., a UP Diliman graduate who built underwater drones to protect Pasig River, Philippine Rise, and Verde Island.

SEND CONGRATULATIONS to the brilliant new Filipino scientists from UP Diliman!

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Summer Sanares
Summer Sanares
Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

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