UPLB unveils Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Carmencita David Padilla'

On Monday, 22 June 2015, the Institute of Plant Breeding of the UPLB College of Agriculture, presented its newest hibiscus (gumamela) hybrid to the public. Officially named as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Carmencita David-Padilla’, it is part of a collection of hibiscus hybrids known as the “Women in Science Series”. This series is named after outstanding women Academicians and National Scientists elected to the National Academy of Science & Technology (NAST).

This event is part of the week’s celebration of the Investiture of Dr. Carmencita David-Padilla as the 9th Chancellor of UP Manila.

This new gumamela hybrid has the following characteristics: "(a) Corolla is blood red in color with distinct white blotches on petal edges; (b) Flowers are thick, large, single, five-petaled, and cartwheel overlapped; (c) Eye is of the same color as the corolla, but waxy; (d) Floriferous, flowers all-year round especially on the cooler months of the year; (e) Leaves are dark green, glossy, hairless, cordate and entire; (f) Semi-erect and medium height." (from "How to Grow Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Carmencita David Padilla'" of the UPLB Crop Science Cluster)

The UPLB Crop Science Cluster - Institute of Plant Breeding (CSC-IPB) is continuously breeding hibiscus to generate new and stunning hybrids with unique flower colors and forms under the present leadership of plant breeder Agripina O. Rasco. Since 1994, when the program was started by researcher Mr. Reynold Pimentel, there are nine series, namely: Centennial, Millennium, Celebrity, Oblation, Women in Public Service, Women in Science, Women in the Arts, Women in Education, and Women Saints Series.

Below are the achievements and contributions of Chancellor Padilla based on the introduction made by Vice Chancellor for Research and NIH Executive Director Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco Dela Paz at the joint investiture and graduation rites of UP Manila held on June 26, 2015.

A rainbow after a downpour always brings a smile of joy and relief to its beholders. Such could also be the effect when a person with a colorful and vibrant career appears in the usually drab world of the academe. Thus, I have chosen to introduce our Chancellor through a spectrum of colors that create a web of excitement and inspiration among us.

White is the color that signifies new beginnings. For our Chancellor, her illustrious medical career began when she graduated from the UP College of Medicine in 1981. She finished her Pediatric Residency at the Philippine General Hospital in 1986 and became the Department of Pediatrics’ Chief Resident the following year. She was all set for a subspecialty training in Neonatology, but as fate would have it, she completed a fellowship training in a then new and emerging subspecialty of Clinical Genetics at the Royal Alexandria Hospital for Children in Australia. Another of her new beginnings upon her return in 1990 was setting up the genetic services at UP Manila and thus being named founding director of the Institute of Human Genetics, National Institutes of Health which currently offers services to patients from different parts of the country. In 2005, to equip her with the necessary tools for her advocacies, she took a Master of Arts in Health Policy Studies at the College of Public Health, UP Manila, which dawned another new beginning for her – the role of policy maker in medical education.

The color yellow is the color of the mind and intellect which inspires thought and inquisitiveness. These traits have corroborated to make her one of the most active researchers in UP Manila for which she has been awarded the title, University Scientist since 2006. She has produced over 150 publications and other works including books, book chapters, and scientific articles in the areas of pediatrics, genetics and newborn screening. She has served as an expert reviewer for newborn screening programs in countries with emerging economies in Asia. Her contributions to the country have been recognized through various awards such as the Outstanding Health Research Award given by the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, Department of Science and Technology. She was conferred the title, Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology for her numerous contributions to the academic growth of genetics in the Philippines.

The color green inspires hope and generosity of spirit which find expression in a passion to contribute to societal welfare. Chancellor Padilla set up newborn screening services in the Philippines in 1996 and she is responsible for crafting and lobbying for the Newborn Screening Act of 2004, the legal basis of the implementation of the comprehensive newborn screening program in the country. Among her many contributions to Philippine Society, newborn screening can be considered as her greatest legacy.

Blue is the color of the sky on a clear day or the deep sea when the sun is shining. It evokes trust, honesty and loyalty. My apologies to President Pascual -­‐ the color of loyalty is blue, not maroon. The color is very much akin to people who are reliable and responsible. Chancellor Padilla has served the University in various capacities for the past 28 years and among the most notable positions are as Director of the Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Founding Director of the Institute of Human Genetics and as well as the Newborn Screening Reference Center, National Institutes of Health. For all her hard work, dedication and loyalty, the UP Alumni Association has given her the Community Service Award and the Distinguished Award for Health Education, the UP Manila Gem for Outstanding Work in Newborn Screening and the Concepcion Dadufalza Distinguished Achievement Award for being an outstanding individual in the University who has excelled in her field.

Orange is any of the group of colors that is midway between red and yellow in hue and are medium lightness and moderate to high saturation. This description fits the orange hue in Dr. Padilla’s professional life . She has always promoted the assimilation of new ideas and freed the spirit of its limitations as Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center since 2011. This new research unit directly under the Office of the President of our University has the vision of using the new technologies in genomics for a better Philippines. Her advocacies reflect her love for the youth and for children with special needs which includes the Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Society for Rare Disorders.

The color purple is the color of nobility and power. The Chancellor is definitely in the league of powerful women of science in the country and in the world. A US based Female Women’s Network has chosen her as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World. In the country, she was recognized as a TOYM, The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Awardee for Medicine in 1994, Lingkod Bayan Awardee by the Civil Service Commission in 2004 and one of The Outstanding Filipino Physicians in 2007. Her specialty society in Pediatrics has also given her the distinction of being an Outstanding Pediatrician in 2013.

Red is the color of the revolution that inspires energy, passion, action and determination. Dr. Padilla possesses a great amount of these qualities, and more. For her pioneering spirit, trailblaizing leadership and unwavering determination, a new hybrid of gumamela, that belongs to the Women of Science Series of UP Los Banos’ Institute of Plant Breeding, has been named after her. The father is Hibiscus rosa-­‐senensis Cherry Apaloosa from California, colored pink and white while the mother is Hibiscus rosa-­‐senensis Vicky from the Philippines is orange in color. The child is, in the Chancellor’s own words, “bloody red”, and is now known as Hibiscus rosa-­‐ sinensis Carmencita David Padilla.