A global Filipino-A A +A
The “S” Factor
Saturday, October 19, 2013
SINCE I started writing on how excellent Filipinos are, I guess I have to continue this.
I didn't know that I was talking already to a mother of excellence, an accomplished Filipino-American here at North Carolina.
I would like to share her story globally.
I call her a mother of excellent Pinoys.
With generosity and public service an inherited tradition from her parents, Dr. Eumelia “Nini” Bautista de Garcia in still working for the community and those in need here in US and back home. She is a woman of substance to me.
The lady has a Ph.D. on nuclear chemistry from the University of the Madrid, cum laude, highest honors, and a post-doctoral studies (UN/IAEA Fellowship) on Plutonium Monitoring at the Argentinian Atomic Energy Commission, Buenos Aires.
It is interesting that during her time she was already on the field associated only with men.
Most amazing is that she is a chief of Nuclear Chemistry Research and director of the Nuclear Training Institute of the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission.
She has been advising atomic energy establishments in Asia and the Pacific region to comply with the non-proliferation treaty specifically on using nuclear fuel cycle in her work with the United Nations.
To friends she is simply Dr. Nini, a term that endears her to the young Filipino-Americans.
This year 2013 she received the Global Leader Award from the Charlotte international Cabinet and the mayor's office for her dedication in strengthening the cultural diversity of the region.
This dedication was shown in her untiring leadership among the Filipinos here at the Carolinas.
Her being a nuclear scientist intrigues me most as her field of work represents her tough, professional side while her numerous roles in the Filipino community show her compassionate, accessible side.
After passing the Chemical Engineering Licensure Examination from a chemistry degree at the University of the Philippines, she was employed as a research chemist for the National Science Development Board and did a study working closely with the farmers in Pampanga and Bulacan.
She helped the farmers when to use salt water content without causing salinity damage to the crops.
Personally, I couldn't imagine how a good-looking woman worked at the boondocks and soil.
This chairman emerita and past president of the Carolinas Asian American Chamber of Commerce was then taken in by the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission based in Vienna, Austria where she worked for more than 14 years.
Every Sunday we meet here at the Asian Library for the Eskwelahang Munti project which is under the auspices of the Filipino American Spirit that she founded and organized.
I find her quite simple and serious in teaching the Filipino-American students.
The exchange of quick questions and long answers through email was incredible. I began to have cold feet reading the dossier.
I have interviewed people in the course of their work including former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for an hour live on TV and my hands feel cold sweat every time before a live telecast.
But with Dr. Nini, my hands and feet are cold while reading her answers.
Why? Because I have to use the data gathered and put that on writing and I fear I may not do justice writing about a lady who nearly organized all Filipino-American organizations here at North Carolina for events like the Asian Festival for May 17, 2014 which include the Miss Asia Carolinas (recruitment, training and orientation of qualified candidates) and the Dragon Boat Festival which is drawing active interest and participation in the community.
She is also into social work with refugees and those applying for asylum as well as immigrants needing government services.
Dr. Nini spends time teaching them marketable skills so they can enter the job market along with ESL classes and community gardens for added income.
She does not tire and has still many projects in the pipeline. She lives on the adage of living well but responsibly which explains the roles she enjoys doing.
You find here laughing most of the time with the students at Eskwelahang Munti.
Dr. Nini confided that one influential character to her is General Florencia Medina, who like her is a chemist from UP and is considered the Father of atomic energy in the Philippines.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 19, 2013.