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at the Samahang Pisika ng Pilipinas (SPP) Physics Congress…

My first presentation in an SPP physics congress was in October 1998  at the Ateneo de Manila University.  It was about inverse pump beam depletion via two wave mixing in a Bismuth Silicon Oxide (BSO) crystal.  I still know what two wave mixing is but I can’t remember what I mean by inverse pump beam depletion. One of my co-authors is Paeng Guerrero (of the Laser Physics Laboratory, UP Diliman), now Dr. Raphael Guerrero (of the Photonics Lab of the Ateneo de Manila University), the next SPP President.

I certainly can remember the first but I am having a hard time remembering the last.  I think it was in St. Mary’s University, Nueva Vizcaya 2001.  I had 4 scheduled oral presentation then.  I was the first presenter in the first parallel session on the first day and the last presenter in the last parallel session on the last day.  After that congress, my students started presenting for me.  I had a change of state.

Reminiscing these congresses leaves a smile on my face.  But for the oldies, the physics congress started 1982.


Ministry of Education and Culture Memorandum 1982


Reading this memo again, I’d like to point out two things that strike me most:

1.  The SPP Physics Congress initially piggybacked at the convention of the Philippine Association of Physics Teachers (PAPT).  PAPT started their convention 2 years earlier. Since 1982, the SPP has strengthened its organization and had its own successful congresses independent of the PAPT.

The question is where is PAPT now? I have googled PAPT but it seems that it has been a relic of the past.  There is no current activity from the group. This is saddening because the PAPT is composed mainly of high school teachers, and most of the Physicists I know have been influenced/or have been motivated (in whole or partly) to take physics/science as a career by these teachers.

I believe that it is in the physics community’s interest to revive the association.

2.  That there is a disjunct in the Physics community even in the beginning.   One has a theme of “Physics – A Must for National Progress” and the other is “What’s new in Physics”.  Certainly, I can’t put it in its proper historical context because I was still in nursery school then, but why have a joint convention with two themes?

It has been a dilemma for organizers of the SPP congress on what is the best way to balance between drowning the teachers with technical research and diluting the ‘cutting-edge research’.  The solution was to make a separate meeting for the teachers.  I have no idea what happened to the May meeting (Physics Education Festival) but I know that it was successfully held for two consecutive years, 2008 :P and 2009.

I attended 7 consecutive congresses since 1997.  I missed the Iloilo congress in 2005 but was elected officer the following year in Davao.  The congress was a total headache, making me awake until the wee hours of the morning  in 2007 and 2008. But the headaches and sleepless nights is another story.

I’ll end this post with a picture of a poster session from Los Baños 2007.

Happy presentation everyone!


Poster Session Los Baños 2007