Today in Philippine History, January 21, 1853, Leon Ma. Guerrero was born Ermita, Manila

Saturday January 21, 2012 ()

On January 21, 1853, Leon Ma. Guerrero, nationalist scientist and the so-called "Father of Botany in the Philippines" was born in Ermita, Manila. He was also dubbed as the 1st Filipino industrial scientist, forensic chemist and "Father of Philippine Pharmacy."

   Leon Ma. Guerrero

Guerrero began his pioneering study on medicinal plants in the early 1900s where he experimented on substitute medicines when synthetic drugs are unavailable.

In 1918, he authored a study on "Medicinal Plants" on 174 types of plants with healing elements.

He experimented with explosive mixtures made from different plants known as the Guerrero gunpowder, which was tapped by Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo's revolutionary troops when their sulfur, charcoal, among others, ran out to fire their muskets.

Hence, Guerrero did not limit his duty to his country as just being a scientist as he held important posts in the revolutionary government - appointed as secretary of industry, agriculture and commerce during Pedro Paterno's term as president of Emilio Aguinaldo's cabinet and as a delegate to the Malolos Congress.

Also, Guerrero became professor at the Universidad Cientifica Literaria de Filipinas, which was established by the revolutionary government in the Barasoain Convent Malolos.

He died on April 13,1935

Reference: Philippine News Agency


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