Ateneo Physics faculty and staff to be honored in the 37th University Service Awards


Ateneo Physics Department personnel who shall be honored during the 37th University Service Awards on 12 February 2015, 3:00-5:00 pm at the High School Covered Courts. (Poster design by Quirino Sugon Jr)

The 37th University Service Awards will be held tomorrow, 12 February 2015, 3:00-5:00 pm at the High School Covered Courts.  The following personnel of the Department of Physics shall receive the University Service Awards:

  • Mr. Numeriano Melaya, Laboratory Technician (35 years)
  • Dr. James Bernard Simpas, Department Chair, Assistant Professor (20 years)
  • Dr. Benjamin Chan, Associate Professor (20 years)
  • Mr. Patricio Dailisan, Assistant Professor (20 years)

Congratulations to the awardees!

Dissecting Disasters: Climate Change, Development, and Impacts forum with Dr. Gemma Narisma

The Ateneo Institute of Sustainability invites everyone to a forum entitled


Dr. Gemma Teresa T. Narisma

Wed, 18 Feb 2015, 4:30 – 6:00, Faber Hall Function Room


The disaster risk framework in the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (SREX; IPCC 2012) illustrates the importance of both weather and climate events and the role of non climatic factors in determining disaster risk to the impacts of weather and climate hazards. This talk will delve into this risk framework and its components as applied to coastal cities in the Philippines. It will discuss the changing characteristics of weather and climate extremes in light of human-induced climatic changes. It will also show the evolving patterns of exposure, focusing especially on land use and urbanization and how these patterns of development can potentially change the complexity of the disastrous nature of coastal flooding due to extreme weather events.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Gemma Teresa Narisma is the Associate Director for Research and Head of the Regional Climate Systems Program at the Manila Observatory, Head of the Climate and Disaster Program of the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability, and is an Associate Professor at the Physics department, Loyola Schools.

Admission is free.

You may still register at

For inquiries, please contact Deo Estanislao at 426-6001 loc 4851 or email us at

Ateneo Physics Department participates in the 32nd SPP Physics Congress at UP Diliman

A group of people at SPP Physics Congress

Group photo of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas 32nd Physics Congress last October 17-20, 2014 at the National Institute of Physics, UP Diliman Quezon City, Philippines. (Photo courtesy of SPP)

The Department of Physics of Ateneo de Manila University participated in the 32nd SPP Physics Congress of the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas (Physics Society of the Philippines) last October 17-20, 2014 at the National Institute of Physics (NIP) Auditorium (Intel Center for Science Innovation), College of Science, UP Diliman.  The theme of the Congress is “Towards Enhanced Physics Research and Education”. There were a total of 120 accepted papers and 14 invited talks in pure and applied physics, and one physics education workshop. Of these, the Physics department made 6 oral and 6 poster presentations:

A. Oral Presentations

  • L. Palma and E.C. Cuansing, “Phonon transport across a two-dimensional region with time-varying spring constants”, Parallel Session 1A – Condensed Matter 1, iCSA-1A, October 17, 2014, Friday, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon.
  • J.R. Batiller and R. Guerrero, “Tunable fluorescence emission from an electrowetting droplet”, Parallel Session 1C – Optics and Signal Processing, iCSI-2, October 17, 2014, Friday, 10:30 am – 12:00 noon.
  • E.M.D. Dumayaca, M.P. Jallorina, O.S. Castaneda, and I.B. Culaba, “Synthesis of optical thin films by co-evaporation of copper and aluminum”, Parallel Session 2A – Condensed Matter 2, iCSA-1A, October 17, 2014, Friday, 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm.
  • C. Laurio and E.C. Cuansing, “Incorporating electron-photon interactions in the transport of electrons in a linear chain subjected to a time-dependent light source”, Parallel Session 2A – Condensed Matter 2, iCSA-1A, October 17, 2014, Friday, 1:45 pm – 3:15 pm.
  • E.C. Cuansing, “Transient dynamics of non-interacting electrons in the channel of a nanotransistor with a time-varying gate potential”, Sub-Plenary Talk, Parallel Session 3A – Condensed Matter 3, iCSA-1A, October 18, 2014, Saturday, 10:15 am – 11:45 am.
  • C. Cease, A.K. Ang, and R. Guerrero, “Diffraction performance of an elastomeric grating coated via oblique-angle deposition of Cu”, Parallel Session 3C – Optics and Signal Processing 2, iCSA-2, October 18, 2014, Saturday, 10:15 am – 11:45 am.

B. Poster Presentations

  • J. Lee, M.P. Jallorina, and I. Culaba, “Thermally deposited aluminum thin films on etched PCB dielectric for application as capacitive humidity sensor”, Poster Session A, NIP Veranda, October 18, 2014, Saturday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
  • J. Gallardo and B. Chan, “Testing impact resistance of auxetic-transformed foams”, Poster Session A, NIP Veranda, October 18, 2014, Saturday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
  • J.M. Indias, R. Guerrero, M. Scarpa, and P. Bettotti, “Fluorescent nanocellulose paper”, Poster Session A, NIP Veranda, October 18, 2014, Saturday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
  • A.D. Pascua, I.O.S. Castaneda, and B. Chan, “2-Dimensional auxetic structures in filtration applications”, Poster Session B, NIP Veranda, October 20, 2014, Monday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
  • J. Manigo and R. Guerrero, “Volume holography using Bessel-like reference beams”, Poster Session B, NIP Veranda, October 20, 2014, Monday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
  • S.J. Park, M. Jallorina, and I. Culaba, “Space-resolved gas temperature and optical emission spectroscopy of nitrogen atmospheric plasma jet”, Poster Session B, NIP Veranda, October 20, 2014, Monday, 8:00 am – 9:30 am.
A group people around the dinner table

32nd SPP Physics Congress 2014 Fellowship Dinner. From left to right: L-R: Alexis Pascual (AdMU), Cindy Cease (AdMU), Francis Bayocboc, Jr. (UPD), Christian Laurio (AdMU), Carlos Baldo (NIP, UPD), Lean Palma (AdMU), Jethro Gallardo (AdMU). (Photo courtesy of Carlos Baldo)

Fresman Merit and Director’s List scholars for SY 2015-2016 of the Ateneo Physics Department

Ateneo de Manila University Scholars for SY 2015-2016, Department of Physics

Ateneo de Manila University Scholars for SY 2015-2016, Department of Physics

Ateneo de Manila University has released the list of scholars for SY 2015-2016: Freshman Merit Scholars, San Ignacio de Loyola Merit Scholars, and Director’s List Scholars. The Ateneo Physics Department has 3 of the 40 Freshman Merit Scholars (7.5%), 0 of the 10 San Ignacio de Loyola Merit Scholars (0%), and 7 of the 203 Director’s List Scholars (3.4%).

A. Freshman Merit Scholars

The Ateneo Freshman Merit Scholarship (AFMS) is an academic distinction awarded yearly to outstanding freshman applicants who have excelled in the Ateneo College Entrance Test, have distinguished themselves in their respective high schools, and who also show great promise for the future. This award includes a full tuition and fees grant for any undergraduate degree of the awardee’s choice.

  1. Katsuya O. Akamatsu, Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Alonzo Mason C. Co, Jubilee Christian Academy, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Michael Jacob N. Rosenthal, The Beacon Academy, BS Physics

B. Director’s List Scholars

Of the thousands who apply to the Loyola Schools of the Ateneo every year, a select few clearly stand out, the TOP 200, undeniably standing out head and shoulders above the rest. These are students who have done very well in the Ateneo College Entrance Test (ACET) and have distinguished themselves academically as well as in co-curricular activities in their respective high schools…. As part of the Director’s List, the awardee shall enjoy an annual P50,000 scholarship grant for any undergraduate course of his or her choice.

  1. Willard Roy D. Alzate, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  2. Sarakiel Ysabel P. Domingo, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  3. Sean Pierce E. Parado, St. Louis College, La Union, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  4. Marco Alfredo J. Barrientos, University of the Philippines Integrated School, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  5. Karl Angelo Gabriel R. Reyes. Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, BS Physics
  6. Nathan T. Salud, St. Stephen’s High School – Manila, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering
  7. Jes David Adriel R. Buaron, Philippine Science High School – Main Campus, BS Applied Physics/ BS Materials Science and Engineering

Homily of Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ for Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ’s wake mass

Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ giving a homily

Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ giving a homily during the wake mass of Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ last 28 October 2014 at the Oratory of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Loyola House of Studies, Ateneo de Manila University. See Manila Observatory’s Facebook page for more photos

Feast of Simon and Jude, Apostles and Saints

We are told that we know almost nothing of Simon and Jude, except that they were apostles- those chosen and sent by Christ- to proclaim the Good News. It is fitting that this last wake Mass of Fr. Victor be held on their feast day. Very little is known of him , for most of us. When I put the notice of his death on the bulletin board of our Jesuit residence in Davao , I was usually asked : “Who is he?”.

So let me try to give some answers to that most difficult question. I first met Fr. Vic when I was assigned to live in the Manila Observatory Community in 1966. He was then leading the Ionosphere Research group in which he was the only Jesuit and only Ph.D., the other members of the research group being lay workers. In his typical quiet way he went about his work ,24/7, maintaining the instruments which searched the upper atmosphere of our planet. This was a research project in support of the basic research that the Observatory had been doing ever since its inception some one hundred years before.

Since its founding in 1865 the Observatory had been doing basic geophysical research for the country to better understand itself as an island nation on the geographical equator, the volcanic “equator” or “ring of fire”, and the magnetic equator. The immediate impetus then had been the dangers of typhoons but soon a better understanding of earthquakes became an obvious desire. After the destruction of all the instruments and records of those first years were destroyed in World War II the Observatory came back into existence in the 1950’s with the same desire to better make use of its unique position on planet earth for the sake of the country and then in the new world after WWII for the world at large . Hence the MO moved into areas not usually studied yet ,such as the influence of the sun on the atmosphere of the earth. Thus ionospheric studies became a new division for research in MO. And so Fr. Badillo returning from his Ph.D. studies in Physics in the US was assigned this work, in 1967.

This was a new area of study for the world and for Fr. Vic. But he launched into it and produced published studies in the course of time. As he often shared, this kind of quiet, persistent, pain-staking attention to detail as a lifetime commitment required deep faith in the judgment of others, his Jesuit superiors and through them in God. Only a man of faith could sustain the daily threading of the needle of analysis needed to patch together data gleaned from the stars, in his case, the star we call the sun. He was creating a tapestry portraying the embrace of the mighty Sun on our Mother earth. But he was also creating another Story , that of a boy from Taal, Batangas, and the Son that embraced him in his Jesuit vocation. His first act of faith and trust in that calling came when he answered the call by entering the Jesuit Novitiate at Novaliches in 1949. It took acts of trust ever growing more fruitful when superiors called upon him to teach but one year and then go for Doctorate studies in Physics in the US. That was 1956. Finishing those studies he went on in his Jesuit formation to study Theology at Woodstock, Md. And then Tertainship and thus now fully formed returned to the Philippines in 1967.

Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ

Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ

His quiet life as a research scientist took another turn in the 1972 when he became Director of the Observatory, a position he would hold for the next almost twenty years. With this new thread, this new color added to the tapestry, Fr. Vic was called upon to grow yet again in his faith life. These were times of transition for the Observatory and for him personally. In these years he helped the Observatory reach out to the larger community of young enthusiasts for astronomy in his helping the PAS, the Philippine Astronomical Society. He himself showed them how to make Newtonian telescopes with , literally, his own hands as he ground the mirrors patiently. As an Administrator this patience was all the more needed as the Observatory needed to redefine itself yet again in a country undergoing political and economic chaos. This redefinition, this dedication to weaving the same tapestry of a scientific appreciation of the archipelagic nature of the country was finally realized when a new Director was appointed in1992 and the focus of the research became the unique Environment of the Philippines. For Fr. Badillo this transition and new vision setting called for new energies in his life of faith. The transition of the Observatory was also a transition for himself.

He approached me one day in the 90’s sharing that blood was appearing in his stool and he needed a physical checkup. This was in December and for the rest of that month we visited the hospital three times, the first two times hearing from the doctors that no source for the bleeding was found. Finally I told Fr. Vic that this two week coming and going to the hospital had to stop and so the third time we went in I said he had to stay until they found the source. This turned out to be a rare kind of grow in the upper reaches of his stomach which is why it has not been found previously. With this discovery the life of Fr. Vic changed from that of a researcher to that of the Researched. He himself was asked if he would want to be the subject of a medical research so that a newly discovered drug that would shrink the tumor could be clinically tested. He rather told me he wanted the tumor out. Thus we prepared for the operation only to find that his heart was not strong enough to undergo the procedure. Thus a series of medical trials entered the life of Fr. Vic. First there was the heart bypass and having recuperated somewhat from that , the removal of the tumor. These procedures took months which grew into years as time and the excellent care of the Jesuit residence Health Center did not seem able to restore the energy of Fr. Vic. But I feel his faith life was still sustaining him in the midst of these trials .

Thus just as faith gives us that inner realization that we are valued by the One who has Loved us, I think Fr. Vic ,relying on the Son’s strength in the last few years of his life, again entered His service in the only way now he could , using his technical skill to still serve others. Thus those of us in his address book have seen him offering now not now a new synthesis, a new picture on the tapestry of Philippine geophysics but a new vision of the church and modern society through the threads of contemporary religious and inspiring PC based news.

So the life of my fellow faithful Jesuit which scientifically began with a service of the world through a study of the tropical Sun ended with a faithful service of the brothers and sisters of the Son of man using his technical skills at the service of the Faith. Let me end with the Scripture summing up for Fr. Vic:

Ps 19A The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.

2Day to day utters speech, and night to night shows knowledge.

3There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun,

5Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race.

6His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit to the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.


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