Philippines' first national scientist dies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2011 10:56 PM | Updated as of Aug 07 2011 08:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – Dr. Fe del Mundo, the Philippines' first national scientist, succumbed to cardiac arrest on Saturday morning.

She died 3 months shy of her 100th birthday on November 27.

Her remains lie at the conference hall of the Dr. Fe del Mundo Medical Center Foundation in Quezon City and will be brought to the Santo Domingo Church on Wednesday, August 10.

She will be buried with honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City on Thursday.

Del Mundo is survived by her niece, Elisa Bengzon, who is currently the chief executive officer of the Dr. Fe del Mundo Medical Center.

'Modern-day hero'

Del Mundo is known for inventing an incubator made of bamboo, which was used in rural areas without electricity. She also founded the first pediatric hospital in the country.

She was conferred the Lakandula Award with rank of Bayani last year, and the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia's equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

Sen. Pia Cayetano was among those who expressed their condolences to Del Mundo's family and loved ones. She called the doctor a "national treasure," a "great Filipina" and a "modern-day hero."

"Her contributions to the development of the field of Philippine pediatrics is immeasurable, as it is duly acknowledged for nurturing several generations of Filipino children," Cayetano said in a statement.

"Dr. Fe lived a life and career marked by unselfish devotion and service to her own country and the poor. Our youth, especially those planning to take up a medical career, need not look far in search of idols."