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Showing posts from April, 2006


The entry to the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City is lined by sunflowers in full bloom in mid April at about the time when the university sends out its latest graduates into the world. Not surprisingly not a few commencement speakers in the various colleges and the university as a whole commented on the appropriateness of the metaphor that these flowers represent the graduates themselves. One unusual touch this year is that the commencement speaker Professor Emeritus Edgardo D Gomez, a scientist who almost single handedly raised the marine science academic department from academic mediocrity to world class scientific excellence, wore a garland of sunflowers.

The sunflower is the national flower of the Ukraine, a country that has suffered Czarist, fascist and communist agression in the last century, and this year, in April, Ukraine and the world marks the 20th year anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. And today the country is split on whether to fully inte…