DOST-STII Director Richard P. Burgos (far right), former DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Pena (far left), and the family of Dr. de Ocampo. (Photo: DOST-STII)

A National Scientist’s legacy lives on!

The family members of National Scientist Geminiano T. de Ocampo donated the entire collection of his books and memoirs to the Department of Science and Technology-Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST – STII) Library located at the DOST Complex in Taguig City last September.

According to Victor Geminiano de Ocampo, the eldest son, his father wrote and collected his works in the span of 50 years, from 1934 to 1984. Included in his collection are his memoirs where he wrote about his family ancestry, family chronicles, childhood years, professional career, and all of his life’s journey.

The good doctor also wrote about the life of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, who is also a national hero, and his role model as an ophthalmic surgeon. Aside from ophthalmology, he, too, included his socioeconomic and political views and vision for a progressive Philippines.

“The thrill of collecting and sharing knowledge with the joy of discovery about the human eye sustained my desire to achieve excellence in this field of my chosen career,” de Ocampo shared a portion of his father’s memoir. “And the motivating factor and inspiration to work harder to be of service to our countrymen, particularly to the poor and underprivileged Filipinos.”

Knowing his father too well, the younger de Ocampo shared more of his father’s testaments that reflected NS de Ocampo’s dedication to his profession as a true man of science with a vision and admirable aspiration.

“I realized that they could be benefiting the succeeding generation of students and ophthalmologists. The thought of they are worth preserving confronted me. The thought that national scientists have the obligation of leaving a legacy has made me zealous in arranging my collections,” he added.

NS de Ocampo was the leader and pioneer in the modern Philippine ophthalmology. A maverick during his time, he introduced corneal transplantation in the Philippines and designed a corneal dissector which was later manufactured by Storz and Co., USA. He also conceived and helped establish the Philippine Eye Bank (1950); the De Ocampo Eye Hospital – the first eye hospital in the country (1952); and founder and first president of the Philippine Ophthalmological Society (1958).

Meanwhile, aside from the turnover ceremony of NS de Ocampo’s collection, DOST – STII launched the Science and Technology Augmented Reality (STAR) Library App or STARLib.

It is a mobile application that adds a new creative dimension to the experience of DOST – STII library clients and visitors. This app also serves as a personal guide and map for library clients and visitors navigating DOST – STII, which is especially useful for first-time DOST – STII clients.

Augmented reality is a technology that adds computer-generated enhancements into a real environment in real-time to make the experience more meaningful by interaction.

DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr., former secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña, and Taguig City Mayor Maria Laarni Cayetano attended the back-to-back event. “I’d like to use this opportunity to thank DOST – STII for your efforts in developing technology, to help us improve our learning methods making it easier for our students to learn through your innovations.” Mayor Cayetano said. “We are one with DOST and we fully support this campaign to provide our country with the best learning experience possible.” (By Jerossa J. Dizon, DOST-STII)

The marker of the STAR Library App was unveiled by Department of Science and Technology Secretary Renato U. Solidum Jr. (3rd from right) that will create a new library experience for students, researchers and S&T advocates in just a click of the button. Others in photo were officials of the DOST-Science and Technology Information Institute led by Director Richard P. Burgos (far left). (Photo: DOST-STII)