Aloysius "Ochie" Baes, 1948-2006: Scientist for the People

Aloysius "Ochie" Baes,: Scientist for the People

At this time when extrajudicial killings of activists happen left and right, Dr. Aloysius U. Baes-- Ochie-- quietly passed away at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute on December 21, 2006. It is not the manner of death, a poet once wrote, that makes someone a hero, it is the meaning drawn from the struggles against the foe, serving the people to his very last breath.

Despite our deep sense of loss over the death of Ochie, we celebrate the life of a man who has contributed much in the service of the oppressed and exploited people, full of significance and relevance to the Filipino people's struggle for national liberation and democracy.

A scientist through and through, he studied chemistry not only of elements and compounds but also the chemistry of society-- the complex interaction of Philippine society, working hard to change the current situation towards a better future for the oppressed majority. As an activist during Martial Law, he was one of those who faced incarceration in Marcos' jails. Afterwards, he went to the US where he obtained this Ph.D. while continually working among the Filipino community there in support of the struggle here in the Philippines. He continued this even when he transferred to Japan.

We were fortunate in AGHAM to have Dr. Aloysius Baes as one of our founding members and as the convenor of the AGHAM Laguna chapter in 2000. He was key in formulating the five concerns that a scientist could work in order to make science and technology serve the people-- in the environment, public utilities, food security and self-sufficiency, scientific and mass culture and national industrialization. He also clarified that the people themselves are the primary advocates of making science and technology for the people. He has also deepened our sense of environmental awareness driving home the point that the struggle for the environment is the struggle the people.

He never faced the dilemma of "scientific neutrality" because he never ceased to be a genuine scientist: objective and inquisitive, and yet clearly knowing where he stands in the objective reality of our society. He carried this standpoint in clarifying scientific issues through his expertise and his insightful explanations: in the toxic waste issues at the Clark Air Base, the Marinduque mining spill, in the Rapu-Rapu commission, and the Guimaras oil spill-- always explaining the effects to the people's livelihood and welfare despite the frequent obfuscation of the wrongdoers.

Ochie serves as an inspiration for all of us to take the standpoint of the people in our daily practice as scientists-- to always make science and technology serve the people. His memory will always be cherished and his life always worthy of emulation: Ochie Baes, Scientist for the People.###


It's not the manner of death
That makes someone a hero.
It is the meaning drawn
From the struggles against the foe.

There is the hero who dies in the battlefield,
There is the hero who dies of hunger and disease,
There is the hero who dies of some accident,
There is the hero who dies of old age.

Whatever is the manner of death,
There is a common denominator
A hero serves the people
To his very last breath.

Siyentista ng Bayan: Aloysius "Ochie" Baes, 1948-2006

Aloysius "Ochie" Baes: 1948-2006
 Environmental chemist, professor, commissioner, consultant,
 former Martial Law detainee, writer, poet, composer, musician,
 Center for Environmental Concerns Philippines board chairman,
 AGHAM founding member and AGHAM-Laguna convenor,
 environmental advocate and scientist for the people.

He died of heart failure before 4:00 pm today, December 21, 2006.
His remains were brought to the Baes residence at Los Banos.
Interment date will be announced later.


Posting via phone

Im doing this post in my phone via google blogger


Mobile blogging in the room

The previous two posts are my attempts to post to this blog through my cellphone via wifi. Apparently, mail-to-blog (at least the blogger flavor) would not allow images to be attached. The most recent post was done using Google Documents and it seemed ok-- until I tried it out using different browsers in the phone. It would not load correctly since the browsers I have are not supported (Safari-based according to Nokia and Opera). There is a hack (putting "&browserok=true" at the end) but it is so slow and unreliable.

I tried also different applications-- Picoblogger, Shozu, Azure and Nokia's lifeblog. They would not let me log on to blogger so at the moment they are just software junk on my phone.

nb. I also had my first junk multimedia text with an application attached sent to me today. As with junk email, deleting the text is the best way to avoid a virus.

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Testing the limits of moblogging...

Moblogging images

Testing the limits of email blogging. :-)

Christmas poem

Randomly I took a book on our bookshelf and got Tudla at Tudling of Ka Amado V. Hernandez. It is an anthology of all his poems from 1921-1970. Amazingly, his poems ring as if they were written in our times. I picked this Christmas poem for AGHAM's Christmas party.

Ang Lungkot Kung Pasko

Ngayon ay Pasko na. Aking napapansing
kung may maligaya ay may malungkot din,
may gusaling tuwa ang tumataginting,
may dampang himutok ang nakikisaliw.

Kung may masasayang nagsisipaglakad
na laging may ngiti at bago ang gayak,
marami rin namang lumuluhang magdamag
at wala munti mang ligayang nalasap.

Talagang ang bawa't isa'y may katimbang,
pagka may liwanag, may dilim din naman;
kahit na ang pasko ay ukol sa tanan,
may natutuwa rin at may nalulumbay.

Sa isang mag-anak na wala ni tutong
ang lungkot sa Pasko'y lalang buhul-buhol,
habang nag-aaliw ang tanang mayroon,
lumuluha sila sa pagkaparool.

Nakita na natin kung anong himala
mayroon ang pilak sa bawa't nilikha,
kahit alam nating ito'y parang bula
Diyos ang malimit na nakakamukha.

May kawikaan ngang naririrnig ako
na siyang lagi nang nagkakatutoo:
"Pag-may salapi ka'y maningning ang mundo,
pagka naghihirap, walang Pasku-pasko."

Disyembre 25, 1930
Amado V. Hernandez
Tudla at Tudling sa "Kalendaryo ng Panahon"
Mga arawang tula sa kolum ni Hernandez
"Sariling Hardin" sa pahayagang Pagkakaisa.

We are the words who tell us who we are

I think it's Galeano but I cannot find the book I gave to Lisa. I guess as we all try to look for the right words to best say what we want, we need not look far, for what we do, who we are, tell everyone where we stand.

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Lisa in Japanese

Nice! This is the name of my wife in Japanese

Posting by email

Of course you might have known about this feature already. However, I think we spend more time in front of our email client (and do most of our "writing" there) making this blogger feature a real treat.

I found about it while browsing instructables (www.instructables.com). Check it out at http://www.instructables.com/id/EFSBSB273CEP287GDF/