Remembering Mario Taguiwalo - an illustrious son of Negros Island

A post from August 8, 2012, MANILA, Philippines - I went through some old posts in the Facebook group, “You Know You’re From Philippine Science If…” and came across this item by fellow Bacolodnon, George Parroco, which announced the passing away of Mario Taguiwalo last April.  Going through George’s post prompted me to re-post the same on this website if only to remind us of the brilliant minds brought forth by Bacolod.

Mario passed away last April 22, 2012.  Unlike George who had the chance of being with Mario in Philippine Science High School during its early days, I did not know Mario personally.  Nevertheless, like all other students who went through PSHS, all would know him by name because it was he who wrote the lyrics to the Philippine Science Hymn.  In the days that followed after Mario’s passing away, I met Mario’s sister, Nancy Taguiwalo-Griffiths in Singapore and told her that all students of the PSHS system would definitely know her brother’s name through that hymn alone.

Following is the article which George posted (source : )

MANILA, Philippines – Renaissance man and patriot Mario Taguiwalo – health and education expert, actor, good governance champion, political consultant, and among many other things widely credited for having written the lyrics to the Philippine Science High School hymn – lost his battle with colon cancer on Sunday, his wife announced. He was 60.

Taguiwalo was a former undersecretary of health, and was chairman of the board of trustees of InciteGov, a non-profit movement for good governance in the Philippines.

Since 1995, he had worked as an independent consultant for various Philippine agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of Education, Culture and Sports, Population Commission, National Commission on Culture and Arts, House of Representatives of Congress, as well as for international agencies such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, United Nations Population Fund, World Health Organization, and USAID.

Taguiwalo, whose sharp wit, incisive analytical skills, and youthful energy had made him a popular facilitator in conference and workshops for various government and non-government sectors, was one of the first products of the Philippine Science High School in 1969. The Internet Movie Database ( credits him for the lyrics of the PSHS hymn.

For all his accomplishments in Philippine government and policy work – he had also consulted for the national peace process, and was a former president of National Institute for Policy Studies – also gives him acting credits for such Philippine cinematic touchstones as Gangland, Unfaithful Wife, Hinugot sa langit, Virgin Forest, Shake, Rattle & Roll, Sa Hirap at Ginhawa – and even Bagets 2.

Taguiwalo obtained an economics degree from La Salle College, Bacolod City, before earning his masters in economics from UP Diliman. He was also an Eisenhower Fellow in 1989.
On Sunday, April 22, Taguiwalo’s wife, Beaulah, announced his passing in an email to family and friends:

“Mario is now at peace, perfectly happy and safe in our Heavenly Father’s embrace,” she wrote. “Just as he wished, Mario died simply, gently, peacefully, quietly, without physical pain. And, just as he wished, he was cremated right away, without any funeral or wake, without any obituary, and his ashes taken straight home by our middle son Homer and me and set beside the ashes of our youngest son Mike and our eldest son Mark in the privacy of our home.”

Taguiwalo had battled colon cancer in the final months of his life, and in his last few years quietly survived the loss of two sons.

Beaulah shared a note that Taguiwalo had written in his final days:

“I wish all of my family, friends, and colleagues to know that I only have the fondest memories and deepest gratitude and affection for them. May they find comfort and joy in gathering together wherever they are, whenever they can, to celebrate my life instead of mourning my passing. May they speak of me and what I have done with fondness, and may they continue to build on the fine ideas and good works that we, together, were privileged to be part of. Most of all, I wish and pray that my family, friends, and colleagues lovingly embrace, comfort, protect, respect, and support my beloved wife Beaulah and my beloved son Homer. . . . With God’s grace and mercy, they will have to continue living their lives here on earth until it is time for them to join me and my sons Mike and Mark in our final and eternal heavenly home.”

Here’s another link to Mario Taguiwalo by fellow PSHSer, Jessica Zafra :