Dr. Romulo G. Davide is often referred to as the "Father of Philippine Plant Nematology."
He is a Filipino agricultural scientist who recently won the Ramon Magsaysay Award. Other awardees this 2012 came from other countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Taiwan. The award is given yearly to organizations or individuals in Asia who exemplifies Magsaysay's sense of selfless service. The award will be given on August 31 in Manila. Winners will receive a cash prize each worth $50,000 (USD) with certificate and medallion. Ramon Magsaysay is Philippine's late country president that died in a plane crash in 1957. The Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's version of the famous: Nobel Prize.
"There is no such thing as barren soil, only barren minds." The inspiring words from Dr. Davide's father which continues to resonate in his heart and mind throughout his growing years.
Romulo Davide was born on March 14, 1934 in Argao, Cebu. Born to parents, Hilario P. Davide Sr. and Jose L. Gelbolingo, he is the 5th of 7 children. His younger brother, Hilario G. Davide, went on to become a Chief Justice (term of office: November 30, 1998 - December 20, 2005) of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.
He acquired his Bachelor Degree in Agriculture at the University of the Philippines - Los Baños (UPLB) in April 1957. He specialized in Nematology acquiring an MD in Nematology from Oklahoma State University in 1962 and PhD in Nematology and Plant Pathology from the North Carolina State University in 1965.
Dr. Davide is a retired professor of UPLB. He led the Nematology undergraduate and graduate courses in UPLB. He pioneered the research and the development on the nematode causing plant diseases resulting to an environment-friendly nematode trapping fungus called Paecilomyces lilacinus.
Dr. Davide conducted a 16-year research on nematode survey, identification, host-parasite relationship and interaction with other plant pathogens. This led to the development of Biocon, the first Philippine biological control product that can be used against nematode pests attacking vegetables, citrus, potato, pineapple, rice and other crops. He also discovered various nematodes including Tylenchulus semipenetrans, a major cause of citrus disease in the Philippines; Radopholus similis, which destroys cavendish banana plantations in Davao; and Meloidogyne incognita, which attacks tomatoes, bitter gourd and eggplant.
Dr. Davide's numerous awards and recognitions include the following:
• Distinguished Award in Agriculture from Gamma Sigma Delta International Honor Society of Agriculture in 2007
• Lingkod Bayan Award from the Civil Service Commission in 2006; Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture Development in Asia from the Asian Agricultural Research Development Fund Ltd. in Hong Kong in 1995
• Jose Rizal Pro Patria Gold Medal Award, and Presidential Citation as Outstanding Agricultural Scientist from the Department of Agriculture and Pres. Fidel V. Ramos in 1994
• Outstanding Scientist in Nematology-Plant Pathology from DOST Region 7 in 1994
• ASEAN Achievement Award for Research and Development from the ASEAN Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand in 1993
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