Tropical Storm Sendong (Washi): Manila Observatory’s Report No. 1

The full report is given by Manila Observatory dated 27 December 2011. Below is the text version with some occasional pictures:

TRMM 3-hourly rainfall from 16-17 December 2011

TRMM 3-hourly rainfall from 16-17 December 2011

Tropical Storm Sendong was an extreme weather event, rare in the past but, according to the IPCC, with climate change, could become more frequent. This analysis may serve as part of decision support systems which will need to be modified in order to prepare and plan accordingly.

Between December 16-17, 2011, Tropical Storm Sendong made landfall and crossed Northern Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City was hit directly by the storm, with the eye of Sendong passing at approximately 12MN on December 16. About 180mm of rainfall was recorded in the PAGASA Lumbia Station according to PAGASA.

This brief report analyses the meteorological impact of the storm in terms of wind strength and associated rainfall, the geographical path of the storm, and the time of occurrence by looking into the following three questions:

  • How extreme were the wind and rainfall associated with Sendong?
  • How often do tropical cyclones cross Mindanao?
  • How often do tropical cyclones cross Mindanao in December?

These questions will be tackled in brief on this web page. Links to a more detailed report, as well as slides to accompany the analysis, are available at the end of this page.

How extreme were the wind and rainfall associated with Sendong?

Sendong was a weak tropical cyclone, with 1-min average maximum wind speed of 100km/hr, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). With this wind speed, Sendong was a tropical storm according to the Saffir-Simpson Tropical Cyclone categories.

Technically, then, according to current wind-based typhoon warnings, Sendong was a “weak” storm. But similar to Tropical storms Ondoy and Pepeng, the rainfall amount associated with Sendong was extreme and resulted in severe flooding.

PAGASA has a weather station at Lumbia, Cagayan de Oro (see Figure 1), which has been operational since 1977. Available data from 1977-2005 show that within this 29 year period, the maximum recorded daily rainfall in Cagayan de Oro was 142mm in 1999. This is shown in Figure 2, which plots the heavy 24-hour rainfall events, with a lower bound cutoff threshold of of 75mm. (Note that a 1977-2011 data analysis is very much ideal and preferred if data are available). Figure 2 also shows that from 1977-2005, daily rainfall that is greater than 125mm happened only three times in Cagayan de Oro: in 1985, 1998, and 1999.

The histogram of these heavy rainfall events, given in Figure 3, show that heavy rainfall amounts of 50-100mm are more frequent for Cagayan de Oro. Rainfall amounts greater than 125 do not happen often. The 180mm rainfall of Tropical Storm Sendong is then considered very extreme and is higher than any of the recorded 24-hour total between 1977-2005. This 24-hour rainfall is also much higher than the average total monthly December rainfall, which is 117mm (see Figure 4). Hence, similar to Ondoy in Metro Manila, more than 1 month’s worth of rainfall happened in Cagayan de Oro within just 24 hours in December 16.

The weather station at Xavier University recorded lesser amount of rainfall compared with the readings of the PAGASA station, with an accumulated rain of about 85mm between 2pm and 12MN (see Figure 5). This heavy rainfall occurred before the eye of the storm passed the city at 12MN (as indicated by the red line, denoting a drop in pressure drop).

The weather station at Dahilayan Adventure Park (courtesy of Engr. Elpidio Paras) recorded a total of 119mm of rainfall, with very heavy rainfall of about 40mm/hr occurring from 10-11pm of December 16 (Figure 6).

Despite the differences in the recorded amounts, all stations show that heavy rainfall happened between 8PM to 12MN on December 16. This is also consistent with the timing of rainfall occurrence derived from the TRMM satellite-based rainfall data shown in Figure 7. NASA analysis of satellite data anticipated this extreme rainfall, with precipitation rates of 20-40 mm/hr associated with the storm, as shown in Figure 8.

Figure 9 shows the progression of rainfall accumulation as the storm passed through Mindanao. Figure 10 on the other hand shows the 3-hourly rainfall associated with the storm. Hence Figure 10 captures the dynamic movement of the storm and the accompanying rainfall, while Figure 9 shows the steady progression of accumulating precipitation.

How often do tropical cyclones cross Mindanao?

Typhoon track of December 16-17, 1920 over Cagayan de Oro

Typhoon track of December 16-17, 1920 over Cagayan de Oro

Data from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) show that most of the tropical cyclones that make landfall in the Philippines pass through Luzon and Visayas. Figure 11 shows that around 35 cyclones crossed Mindanao in the last 65 years (from 1945-2010), an average of one tropical cyclone every two years. However, in the last 15 years, tropical cyclones have been less frequent in Mindanao, with only six (6) tropical cyclones making landfall in the region during this time.

Based on a historical analysis of typhoons from 1883-1900 by Garcia-Herrera and colleagues (from the Manila Observatory Archives), however, there used to be more frequent typhoon crossings in Mindanao. Figure 12 shows that around 21 typhoons made landfall in Mindanao in the 17 year-period of 1883-1900, averaging 1 typhoon a year.

How often do tropical cyclones cross Mindanao in December?

It is interesting to note that there was a typhoon in 1920 that crossed Mindanao, which occurred on the same dates (of 16-17 December) and roughly had a similar path as Tropical Storm Sendong (Figure 13). Figure 14 also shows another typhoon in 1930, with a similar path as Sendong.

More recently, from 1947-2008, tropical cyclone tracks from JTWC show an average of one typhoon crossing in December in Mindanao for every 10 years as shown in Figure 15.

Conclusion/Discussion

Tropical storm Sendong was an extreme weather event, especially in terms of 1-day total accumulated rainfall. Precipitation associated with Tropical Sendong is much higher than normal. Cagayan de Oro City had a total of 180mm of rainfall in one day according to the PAGASA Lumbia station data. This is higher than the monthly average of 117mm (average based on 1977-2005 data). This is also the highest 1-day rainfall amount recorded in Lumbia station from 1977-2005.

Most of the heavy precipitation fell from 8PM to 12MN in Cagayan de Oro City.
Tropical cyclones cross Mindanao less frequently than Luzon and Visayas. Between 1883-1900, there were more typhoons that made landfall in the region (an average of 1 typhoon per year). In the last 15 years however, there were only 6 typhoons that crossed Mindanao.

Data from JTWC show that roughly one typhoon in December crosses Mindanao every 10 years.

Climate change? It is difficult to attribute one extreme event to climate change and we cannot make a definite conclusion about whether Sendong is part of climate change. Further, attribution is a complex topic that is still being addressed by the IPCC. However, the scientific consensus is that extreme weather events are going to be more likely and frequent with climate change. What Sendong has shown us is how serious and disastrous the consequences are of extreme rainfall events, especially in the light of exposure and vulnerability dynamics. In the future, we will analyze these dynamics and show how these, combined with the rainfall Sendong brought, resulted in the deaths and destruction we have seen.

Acknowledgments

The following people contributed valuably to this report:

Manila Observatory
Faye Cruz
Genie Lorenzo
Julie Dado
Raul Dayawon
Emil Gozo
Toni Loyzaga
Celine Vicente
Gemma Narisma

Special thanks to Engr. Elpidio Paras for the data from the Dahilayan Adventure Park weather station.

Fr. Jett Villarin, SJ: Jesuit, scientist, and musician

from Ateneo de Manila University:

date posted: 2011-06-10 09:32:26
By Julie Javellana-Santos

When Fr. Jose Villarin, or Fr. Jett, was a student in second year college, Fr. Nebres, the college dean, began recruiting him. He would take him to Antipolo to drink and discuss being a Jesuit,

Years later, before his final vows, he went for Physics studies at Marquette University in Wisconsin, known for its strength in science.

Fr. Ben was the Provincial although Fr. Jett wanted to stay in Manila and take part in protests alongside his classmates, Fr. Ben gave him a physics book and said, “Go to Marquette University and study.”

“Had I not gone, I would have lost my interest in science,” Fr. Jett says for he wanted to join his classmates who were rallying People Power Revolution in February 1986.

Fr. Jett obtained his MS physics in 1987 and went home knowing that four years later, he would again be sent out to study.

Armed with a master’s degree, Fr. Jett completed his theological studies and was ordained a priest at Sta. Maria Della Strada in April 1991. Then he went to Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia where he obtained a Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics in 1997.

In 1997, Fr. Jett returned to Loyola Heights and worked his way up in the hierarchy in the Manila Observatory. He eventually became Associate Director for Research before the Provincial, in 2005, named him president of Xavier University.

Fr. Jett served in Cagayan for almost 7 years. He was elected Ateneo de Manila University president last June 29, 2010 and his term is from June 1, 2011 to March 31,

Early life and education

Fr. Jett was born in Manila on January 30, 1960. He started at Lourdes School in Sta. Mesa Hts, QC and went to the Ateneo for high school in 1972.

In 1980 received a BS Physics at the Ateneo, graduating magna cum laude. He was also voted the class valedictorian.

Fr. Jett as a Jesuit

After a year as a Jesuit Volunteer Philippines, he entered the Sacred Heart Novitiate in Novaliches in May 1981, where he spent the next two years. He returned to the Loyola Heights campus in 1983 where he obtained an AB Philosophy and a bachelor of Sacred Theology degree, summa cum laude, in 1985. He was ordained priest in April 1991. He then did graduate work in the Marquette University and completed his master’s educations in 1987.

Fr. Jett the scientist

Fr. Jett served in various capacities throughout his career as a scientist. He worked in Georgia Tech as a graduate research assistant and once was a researcher in the Laser Laboratory of the Ateneo.

But it was his work in global warming and climate change which won him acclaim. He was the Global Change Scholar at Georgia Institute of Technology even before he got his doctorate. He had the distinction of winning in 1997 Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences’ Best Graduate Student Research Award.

In 2000, Fr. Jett was awarded National Outstanding Young Scientist by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST). In 2007 NAST also awarded him its Outstanding Book Award for “Disturbing Climate.”

Fr. Jett later joined the intergovernmental panel on climate change, a team which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

He is also an active member of several local and international environment and climate committees, such as the United Nations’ Consultative Group of Experts for Developing Countries, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change, among others.

Fr. Jett the musician

Fr. Jett is also a musician. In an unobtrusive part of his temporary office at the Ateneo de Manila sits a keyboard, under wraps just like his penchant for singing and playing the guitar.

In fact, Fr. Jett played the guitar and sang with the *Sanustraba* band at the Xavier University’s Students Assembly in July 2010 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXQDQL2or1U&feature=related). He has also been filmed playing the piano (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cr8yS1_nkQo) in a relaxed moment while at the helm of Xavier University.

Fr. Jett – Jesuit, scientist, musician, dreaming of great things.

“This is the place where I learned to dream, to dream of greater things, to do greater things. I honestly believe this is the place where heroes are made, where our heroic desires are nurtured. And so I plan to just build that environment and continue to nurture those great dreams for ourselves, for our people, and as we say, for the greater glory of God.”

Inauguration of Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Research Center) Subcenter at Manila Observatory

by Quirino Sugon Jr.

MO-SERC Subcenter logo

MO-SERC Subcenter logo

Last 8 March 2011, Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto of Kyushu University’s SERC (Space Environment Research Center) and Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. of Manila Observatory inaugurated the Manila Observatory’s Ionosphere Building as the Kyushu University’s SERC subcenter.  The Subcenter houses two SERC instruments: (1) the FMCW (Frequency Modulated Continuous Wave) radar for studying the ionosphere and (2) computer server with three monitors for viewing solar activity and real-time data from MAGDAS (Magnetic Data Acquisition System) II stations all over the world.  The task of the SERC subcenter is to be the seismoelectromagnetics research hub of the six Philippine MAGDAS stations: Tuguegarao, Muntinlupa, Legazpi, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, and Davao.  Seismoelectromagnetics is the branch of physics which studies anomalous electromagnetic precursors to earthquakes.

I. Klima Conference Room

The inauguration started at 3:00 p.m. at the Klima Conference Room of Manila Observatory.  The welcome remarks were made by Director Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga of Manila Observatory.  Prof. Dr. Kiyohumi Yumoto, the Director of SERC, then made his presentation.  He was followed by representatives of Philippine MAGDAS stations:

  1. Dr. Rogelio Matalang of Cagayan State University, Tuguegarao (TGG)
  2. Commodore R. Ho (represented by CPO Alex Algaba) of Coast and Geodetic Survey, NAMRIA, Muntinlupa (MUT)
  3. Dr. Mutya Paulino of Divine Word College of Legazpi (LGZ) (was not able to come)
  4. Dr. Roland Otadoy of University of San Carlos, Cebu (CEB)
  5. Fr. Jett Villarin of Xavier University (represented by Engr. Dexter Lo), Cagayan de Oro (CDO)
  6. Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. of Ionosphere Building, Manila Observatory (MNL)

The closing remarks were made by Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. of Manila Observatory, the Principal Investigator of the Philippine MAGDAS project, who is also the representative of Manila Observatory-Davao Station (DAV). 

Also present in the ceremony are scientists and staff of Manila Observatory, scientists from SERC, administrators from Kyushu University.  The scientists from SERC are Dr. Akihiro Ikeda who specializes on FMCW radar and Dr.  Shuji Abe who specializes on the MAGDAS network.  The administrators from Kyushu University are Mr. Osamu Kajiwara, Director of Finance and Planning Division, and  Mr. Takashi Nakayama, Assistant Director of Finance and Planning Division.

In his talk Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. outlined the history of Manila Observatory from the time Padre Federico Faura predicted the first Philippine storms about 150 years ago. Fr. McNamara said that today, the Manila Observatory comes in full circle to where it started: the study of the sun’s influence on weather and climate. Fr. McNamara believes that the weather in the troposphere is affected by the weather in the ionosphere and magnetosphere, which are in turn also directly affected by the solar activity such as solar wind and coronal mass ejections. This is a radical proposal, as radical as Padre Faura’s idea that Philippine storms are similar to those of Indian ocean and in the Americas, as radical as Prof. Kiyuhomi Yumoto’s belief that earthquakes, which are due to lithospheric storms, have magnetic precursors. This is because Manila Observatory, in fidelity to its Jesuit missionary character, has always been into frontier physics: to go where no man dared to go for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of souls.

II. The Road to the SERC Subcenter

After the talks, the group went down through the back door of the Manila Observatory’s Administration building.  This building was designed to align along the East-West direction to minimize the solar heating during sunrise and sunset.  The back door opens to a wide field of grass flanked by mango trees marking the boundary of the Observatory with the Ateneo grade school.  The group followed the footpath leading Southwards to the Solar Building.  This building houses the spectroheliograph which was used before to take images of sunspots–the best images in the world 50 years ago.   But because of poor visibility due to air pollution, the spectroheliograph was redesigned to study air pollution.  The work languished for a decade because of lack of funding.  This summer the Solar Building will be renovated and repainted to its former glory.  Many of the observatory’s research programs will be transferred there from the Main Building to create more space at the main building for student research.

Before the group reached the Solar Building, the group turned East.  The footpath leads to a rectangular brick building and an imposing black sphere.  Tolkien fans may like to have their picture taken beside the black sphere: it looks like the Stone of Erech where Isildur cursed the army of the hills to linger long until his heir (Aragorn) pardons the oathbreakers for not aiding Isildur in his war against Sauron.  Actually, the black sphere used to be a white sphere made of fiber glass, designed to withstand sand, storm, and snow.  Inside the sphere is a rusting telescope-like instrument that somebody said was a radiosonde.  The radiosonde is still mounted on a lofty pedestal, awaiting the dawn of a new day amidst a heap of metal scraps.

The group went to the Ionosphere Building. This building was constructed about 1962.  This is a one story building with a floor area of 22 ft x 33 ft.  The walls are made of a layer of bricks (outside), an inch-thick black fiberglass foam, and 10 inches of pure cement and bricks composite; there are no hollow blocks.  The roof is made of 5-inch thick cement slabs.  The ceiling used to be marine plywood with fiberglass cushion as insulation.  These were removed and replaced with acoustic board with T-runners.  The room with kitchen sink and wash room was a later addition.  This room was painted black before because this was where ionogram films were developed.  Now, the room and the whole building was painted with light cream color.  The wash room was retiled.  And the whole electrical system of the building was rewired.

III. Inauguration of the SERC Subcenter

When Prof. Yumoto and Fr. McNamara, S.J. arrived at the Ionosphere Building, Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr., the SERC Subcenter coordinator, gave them the sign of the SERC Subcenter in plexiglass which contains the logos of the Manila Observatory and SERC.  Prof. Yumoto and Fr. McNamara, S.J. screwed the SERC Subcenter sign in the front door.  Their picture was taken.  Then the rest of the MAGDAS representatives gathered at the door together with Prof. Yumoto and Fr. McNamara, S.J.  to have their picture taken.

Dr. Sugon opened the doors of the SERC subcenter and invited everyone to come in.  The doors opened to a wide room.  Before them is a table with caps and mugs.  The caps are those of Manila Observatory.  The mugs contain the SERC subcenter sign with the MO-SERC logo.  Across the table is another table containing three computer panels showing solar activity and magnetic field plots.  Above them are two posters for the MAGDAS network.

Dr. Shuji Abe described the MAGDAS-CPMN (Magnetic Data Acquisition System-Circumpan Pacific Monitoring Network).  This is a network of more than 50 magnetometers around the world with a magnetometer chain along the 210 degree longitude which goes from Japan to Philippines and Australia.  The other chains are along the equator  and the Europe-Africa longitude.  This magnetometer network is important for determining the effects of solar wind and coronal mass ejections on the earth’s geomagnetic field.  During geomagnetic storms, the ionosphere becomes agitated, resulting to signal loss in intercontinental radio communications and global navigation systems.

The Jesuits of Manila Observatory has been doing magnetic monitoring for more than 100 years primarily to understand the effects of the sun on the geomagnetic field.  Analysis was done by hand and magnetic anomalies were recorded in tables published in the Philippine Weather Bureau’s (Manila Observatory in the American Period) Monthly and Annual reports which can still be found in the Manila Observatory’s Library and Archives.  Now, with SERC’s magnetometer network, Manila Observatory would be able to obtain magnetic data with 1 second resolution with an error of about 0.06 nT.  The earth’s magnetic field, by comparison, is about 30,000-60,000 nT.

Next, Dr. Akihiro Ikeda gave another talk about the FMCW (Frequency  Modulated Continous Wave) Radar.  This radar takes two kinds of data in a 30 minute interval.  The first 28 minutes are for the Doppler measurement of the vertical electron velocities in the ionosphere.  By assuming that the magnetic force balances the electric force on ionospheric charges, and using the predicted value of the magnetic field in the IGRF (International Geomagnetic Reference Field) model, the ionospheric electric field can be computed.  On the other hand, in the next 2 minutes of operation, the radar shifts to the ionosonde mode and sends triangular wave pulses to the ionosphere and waits for the signal to come back.  The total travel time of the wave is divided by two and multiplied with the speed of light in order to determine the virtual height of the ionosphere as a function of radiowave carrier frequency.  From the virtual height vs frequency plot we can determine the how the electrons are distributed in the ionosphere.

After the two talks, the group held their MO-SERC mugs and put on their MO caps for pictorial. It’s their official induction to the SERC subcenter research team. The group then left the building and proceeded to the Manila Observatory’s lobby for snacks.  The whole program ended at exactly 4:30 p.m.

IV. Epilogue

The following day, Dr. Sugon visited Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J. at the Jesuit Infirmary. Dr. Sugon showed Fr. Badillo some pictures of the SERC subcenter inauguration in Manila Observatory’s Facebook page.

“Ang galing, a,” he said. “It’s wonderful!”

Fr. Badillo at 86 is now retired from ionosphere and astronomical work. He was once the Director of Manila Observatory and head of the Upper Atmosphere Division. Now, he spends his days in wheelchair but keeps his mind busy by blogging and praying for more Jesuit vocations.

Kyushu University's SERC Subcenter at Manila Observatory

Kyushu University's SERC Subcenter at Manila Observatory

Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto of SERC and Fr. Daniel J. Mcnamara, S.J. at the Klima Conference Room, Manila Observatory.

Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto of SERC and Fr. Daniel J. Mcnamara, S.J. at the Klima Conference Room, Manila Observatory. On the background from left to right: Dr. Roland Otadoy (CEB), Dr. Dr. Akihiro Ikeda (SERC), Dr. Rogelio Matalang (TGG), Deanna Marie Olaguer (MO/Klima), Engr. Alex Algaba (MUN), Dr. Celine Vicente (MO/Geomatics), Director Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga (MO), Clint Bennett (MO/Ateneo Physics), and Dr. Felix Muga (Ateneo Math)

Prof. Kiyuhomi Yumoto of SERC and Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. installs the sign of the SERC subcenter

Prof. Kiyuhomi Yumoto of SERC and Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. installs the sign of the SERC subcenter

Inauguration of the SERC Subcenter with the Philippine MAGDAS station representatives

Inauguration of the SERC Subcenter with the Philippine MAGDAS station representatives: From left to right: Engr. Dexter Lo (CDO), Alex Algaba (MUN), Dr. Rogelio Matalang (TGG), Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto (SERC), Fr. Daniel J. Mcnamara, S.J. (MO and DAV), Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. (MNL), and Dr. Roland Otadoy (CEB)

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. welcomes everyone to the SERC Subcenter

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. welcomes everyone to the SERC Subcenter

Inaugurating the SERC Subcenter with caps and mugs

Inaugurating the SERC Subcenter with caps and mugs. From left to right: Nino Uy (MO Instrumentation), Osamu Kajiwara (Kyushu University), Randell Teodoro (MO Seismology), Engr. Dexter Lo (CDO), Takashi Nakayama (Kyushu University), Dr. Shuji Abe (SERC), Dr. Akihiro Ikeda (SERC), Dr. Roland Otadoy (CEB), Alex Algaba (MUN), Prof. Kiyohumi Yumoto (SERC), Dr. Rogelio Matalang (TGG), Clint Bennett (MO/Ateneo Physics), Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr. (MO/Ateneo Physics), Dr. Felix Muga (Ateneo Math), and Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, SJ (MO/DAV/Ateneo Physics)

Ateneo Physics professor Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. at the Second Fr. Miguel A. Bernad Memorial Lecture in Xavier University: “Faith, Science and Religion”

from the Xavier University website:

A second memorial lecture in honor of Fr Miguel A Bernad, S.J took place at the Xavier University Little Theater on January 25, celebrated along with the 400th anniversary of Fr Matteo Ricci, SJ

The event started off with the launching of the Fr Miguel Bernad Memorabilia Collection held at the 5th Floor of the XU Library. The ribbon cutting was done by the guest speakers Fr Daniel J. McNamara, SJ and Professor Emmanuel Luis Romanillos, assisted by XU President Fr Jose Ramon “Jett” Villarin, SJ and the South East Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute former director and former dean of the College of Agriculture Dr Anselmo B Mercado.

True enough, Fr. McNamara’s lecture titled “Faith, Science and Religion” dealt with Physics, Mathematics and theological reflections on Science and Theology. Wit and humor made the lecture a fun, learning experience. Fr. McNamara shared that every time he asks the ladies what first comes to their minds when they hear the word cosmology, women almost always answer cosmetics. He related in his modulated voice that cosmos means order and, in a way, cosmetic could be a right answer because women use it to find “order that is not there in nature.”

(Read more here.)

Fr. Daniel J. Mcnamara, S.J. and Professor Emmanuel Luis Romanillos

Ateneo Physics News:

Fr. Daniel J. McNamara, S.J. and Fr. Jett Villarin, S.J. (BS Ps ’80) are professors-on-leave of the Ateneo de Manila University Physics Department.

Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J. is the new President of Ateneo de Manila University effective 1 April 2011

1 July 2010

MEMO TO : The University Community

FROM : The Secretary of the Board

SUBJECT : Appointment of Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, S.J. as New University President effective 1 April 2011


The Board of Trustees, at its special meeting last 29 June 2010, elected FR. JOSE RAMON T. VILLARIN, S.J. to be the next University President for an initial 3-year term from April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2014.

Fr. Villarin
FR. JOSE RAMON T. VILLARIN, S.J.

Fr. Villarin graduated B.S. Physics, magna cum laude and class valedictorian, Ateneo de Manila University, 1980; M.S. Physics, Marquette University in Wisconsin, 1987; STB Theology, summa cum laude, Loyola School of Theology, 1991. He acquired his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Physics from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, in 1997.

Fr. Villarin entered the Sacred Heart novitiate in May 1981 and was ordained priest in April 1991. He took his final vows in January 2005.

He received the National Outstanding Young Scientist award in 2000, and the Outstanding Book Award for “Disturbing Climate” in 2002. He is also an active member of several local and international environment and climate committees, such as the United Nations’ Consultative Group of Experts for Developing Countries, and the Inter-Agency Committee on Climate Change, among others.

He has held various positions as campus minister and faculty member in Physics at the Loyola Schools, Chief of Climate Studies in the Manila Observatory, member of the Board of Trustees of Ateneo universities in Manila, Davao, and Zamboanga; and currently as the President of Xavier University.

The Search Committee, in its report to the Board, stated that Fr. Villarin has “the academic stature, leadership experience, and a good grasp of the demands of the position” to be the next University President.

We thank Fr. Villarin for accepting this new mission to serve in the Ateneo de Manila University.


MARIA ROSARIO A. BANZON

Secretary of the Board

Source: Ateneo de Manila University

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