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Philippine National Scientist Gelia Castillo passes away at 89


Philippine National Scientist Gelia Casitllo has passed away. The reason and date of her death are still unknown. She was 89 years old.

Castillo was given the rank and title of Philippine National Scientist in 1999 by former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

During her professional career, Castillo was able to share her skills both locally and  internationally, 31 provinces and 41 countries, to be exact. Dr. Castillo has served in more than 70 national and international boards, advisory committees, and more with multi-faceted topics such as agriculture, health, population, development policy, women-in-development, social dimensions of science and technology, rural development, nutrition, the family, employment, land-use systems, etc.

She was considered the "grande dame" of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

She was IRRI's visiting scientist during the mid-1980s as well as the institue's long-time consultant from 1994 onwards.

Gelia Castillo's passing was commemorated by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) through a Facebook post where they remembered notable moments with her.

One of these is Castillo's legacy of "asking piercing questions during seminars as well as making pithy on-the-mark observations during annual scientific reviews."

Despite her international involvement, she dedicated most of her scientific efforts in the Philippine setting.

Gelia Castillo was given the Outstanding Researcher Award in 1983 by the College of Agriculture in UP-Los Baños where she was also defined as a "practicing nationalist who examines the problems of society with the eye of a 'native'."

She also believes that the feminist movement has only helped professional women.

Aside from being Philippine National Scientist, Castillo was also a professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Dr. Castillo's body will be cremated on Aug 8 at 12pm. Her ashes will then be brought to the Diocesan Shrine of St. Therese of the Child Jesus inside the UPLB campus for a wake. — LA, GMA News

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