Arthur C. Clarke said “I’m sure the universe is full of intelligent life. It’s just been too intelligent to come here.” I beg to differ.
In my opinion, Brigadier General Florencio A Medina had one of the most brilliant minds in the Philippines. He was a soldier in the armed forces of the Philippines and fought the Japanese in WWII, when he was captured, he endured the Japanese prison camp he was put in and survived it. He was instrumental in the development of what is now the Department of Science and Technology. He was a proponent of the Philippine Science High School (which paved the way for excellent and specialist science-centred-education and this gave a lot of Filipino students a chance to study in an excellent learning environment for free) and served as one of the early chairmen of the school board. He was the first Filipino to be elected chairman of the International Atomic Energy Agency. He was a mathematician and a chemist and a published author.
But most importantly, he was my grandfather. He was a good father and provider to his 13 children. To those of us, his grandchildren, who had the opportunity to grow up with memories of him, he was a loving and very present grandfather. He was very active, larger than life and…just…there. I will forever cherish the memory of our time sitting together at the square table in the apartment in Mabuhay with the blue and white porcelain mantle clock and you teaching me how to tell time.
You would have been 111 today, Lolo Isiong. I am so proud to be your granddaughter.
I love you three Lolo!