Alumni Update February 6 – 12, 2023

Alumni Update February 6 – 12, 2023

As we bid goodbye to Dr. Angel Chua Alcala, Outstanding Sillimanian Awardee, Philippine National Scientist, a pioneer of marine biodiversity and marine conservation in the Philippines, and a pillar of Silliman University, we share with you, eulogies from alumni and friends who have been touched by his

love for Silliman. 


Dr. Ma. Louella Dolar-Perrin

Dr. Angel C. Alcala, one of the Philippines’ most illustrious scientists and conservation champions, passed away on Feb. 1, 2023, at 1:15 p.m., Philippine time, at the age of 93.

Dr. Alcala’s contributions to science, particularly Philippine herpetology and marine biology were tremendous. He has advanced our knowledge of Philippine frogs, snakes, lizards, and crocodiles discovered new species, and put the Philippines on the world map for possessing some of the most exotic animals found nowhere else. He shared all this knowledge through several books and numerous scientific publications and presentations. 

ACA, as we call him, was a bastion of environmental protection and a role model for many who aspire to make a difference. He pioneered marine conservation and marine protected areas in the Philippines, a model used and followed by many countries. Because of him, we have recovered a significant proportion of coral reefs lost through years of neglect and wanton exploitation and saved many from serious damage. He mentored, helped, and inspired many students and scientists, encouraged them to reach their full potential, and profoundly enriched their lives. 

His drive and energy, his quest for knowledge about biology, be it marine or terrestrial, and his earnest desire to protect our environment was contagious and awe-inspiring. Despite his amazing accomplishments, the numerous national and international accolades and awards, and the professional and scientific heights he reached, he remained humble and true to himself and the causes he believed in. He left an indelible mark, and he will be sorely missed. 

I feel incredibly lucky to have had him as my professor, mentor, and friend; I am forever grateful for everything he taught me and for opening the door to marine mammal studies for me. Without him, I would not be where I am today. We will miss you, Sir ACA.

Praying for peace, comfort, courage for his bereaved family, and warm memories to hold close to their hearts.


Dr. Laurie Hutchison Raymundo

My heart is with the Alcala family today. Dr. Angel C. Alcala, my mentor, and colleague passed away yesterday at 93.  ACA, as we all knew him, was a ferocious champion of Philippine coral reef conservation and one of the founding fathers of Philippine Marine Science. He gave me my first job as a marine biologist as a freshman Biology major (tracking growth in baby sea turtles).  He was my father’s friend and dive buddy and opened his world to the magic of coral reefs. He founded the Silliman University Marine Lab and pushed his students and faculty to publish. He was difficult, demanding, and exacting and he taught me that nothing less than the best you can do is acceptable. He will be missed and I wish him fair winds and a calm sea.


Dr. Crispin C. Maslog and Florita S. Maslog

Four years ago, I met my good friend Angel C. Alcala at the Silliman University Office in Manila. He proudly told me as soon as we met, “Cris, I am now 90 years old!” He spoke like it was an achievement to reach that ripe old age, a milestone in life.

I replied humbly then: “I am only 86 years old.” Today my good friend Angel has passed away, at the ripe old age of 93, to the next world, and I remain here at age 91. 

There were numberless memorable moments that I have shared with my good friend, Angel, dating back to when we were both administrators at Silliman University in 1967, under Dr. Cicero D. Calderon and taskmaster Quintin S. Doromal—Angel as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and I as Director of the School of Communication. Angel was an excellent administrator and I was not. I was more of a doer—would rather write, edit and teach, than manage people. 

It was during his time as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences that he co-founded with my wife, Dr. Florita S. Maslog, the Silliman Medical Technology Program, now the College of Medical Technology. Even from his sick bed last August he wrote a letter of congratulations to the big reunion of Med Tech alumni organized by my wife to honor the two Outstanding Sillimanians that year who were her former students.

I left Silliman in 1982 to venture into development communication at UP Los Baños. Angel remained until he was called to Manila by President Fidel V. Ramos, to render national service as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) and Head of the Commission of Higher Education (CHED). Because of his work there and his research and community service to save our marine resources, he won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1992. 

I would always see him at my activities in the College of Mass Communication at Silliman University every year for the last few years. I am grateful for his interest in the College that I started and nurtured over the years.

When he finally retired, he would go back to his roots in Dumaguete City and founded the Angelo C. King Centre for Marine Sciences where he worked until his dying day. To our most esteemed friend Angel, we say Godspeed, as you travel to the next world. We hope there are seas there where you can scuba dive and marine resources to research. Old scientists never die, they just fade away.


Engr. Emmanuel D. Abellanosa

I seldom post on FB. But today, I am posting these Words of Remembrance for a departed distinguished person and a colleague, a National Scientist. Delivered during the memorial service of Feb.3, 2023, at 7:30 pm, at Silliman University Church.…. It is with deep sadness that we bid goodbye to a revered icon of science and environmental protection. My interaction with Dr. Angel Alcala was short, but I would say, was profound. We occasionally sit side by side in the BOT of Silliman and the Silliman University Medical Center Foundation Inc. Board meetings and while we chat, I am just amazed by his brilliant intellectual discourses in science, the academe, and even in the medical field (especially on virology). His passion for environmental protection to mitigate Climate Change can’t be overemphasized. Some time ago, he told me he would be happy to see that both the University and the Medical center are doing something very important in mitigating climate change. 

And so, under Dr. Alcala’s inspired guidance, we are happy to inform you, just in case you don’t know, that Silliman university is now totally using green or clean energy on a day-to-day basis and is not any more dependent on electricity coming from pollutant conventional coal or diesel-fired power plants. Through a mechanism of the government called the Retail Electricity Supply scheme, Silliman is now using or buying electricity purely from the eco-friendly, clean, and yet cheaper renewable geothermal power from Palinpinon, Valencia, just right on our doorstep. Silliman has also an existing array of solar power panels on top of its buildings. 

Thanks again to the shared vision of Dr. Alcala to make Silliman University a leader in climate change mitigations and environmental protection. He also shared this same inspired vision with the Silliman University Medical Center Foundation Inc. We wish to inform you also that SUMCFI will switch likewise to renewable green, clean and geothermal power come Feb.26, 2023, under the same mechanism as Silliman University. SUMCFI has likewise signed a contract for the installation of 300 Kw solar panels to boast its adherence to mitigating the effects of climate change. 

All these initiatives were in line with Dr. Alcala’s dream of making these two institutions he so loved to be at the forefront of environmental protection and climate change mitigation. He confided to me recently how happy, fulfilled, and elated he was with these concrete steps we at the two boards are doing. Getting this beautiful comment from a brilliant, respectable, humble, revered person and a National Scientist no less, and a national treasure is truly humbling and an immensely inspiring experience. 

Thank you so much Sir for your guidance. We dedicate this clean energy to you as the lasting legacy of your compassion and love for the environment. Rest in peace, Sir! May you find the welcome words above saying “Well done my good and faithful servant, welcome to the joy of the Lord.”