Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Leonora San Agustin: a late but heartfelt condolence

The Baguio city council Resolution 440, s. 2011, is a condolence message to the family of the late Leonora “Leonie” Paraan-San Agustin - who passed away on Nov. 29.

She was an active alumnus of Baguio City National High School and could be seen joining the annual parade, with gusto, in earlier years. She graduated cum laude in BS Chemical Engineering from Adamson University, on record as the first woman chemical engineer in the Philippines. For 45 years, she taught at the University of the Cordilleras (which we remember as Baguio Colleges) then was designated as curator, Baguio-Mountain Province Museum, until her demise.

A well-known Baguio fact: a label stuck with her and together with Ms. Cecile Afable and Ms. Gene De Guia, as the “Three witches of Baguio,” for their efforts and concerns for the environment and programs for the preservation of culture.

Her love for Baguio, its culture, the people, and environment made her a prominent figure in various fora and lectures that somehow initiated a strong awareness on the richness of the Cordillera culture. She singlehandedly wrote the book, “The Traditional Attires of the Igorot Tribes” from her painstaking research and collection of photographs This book became popular as the handbook for wearing a G-string loincloth properly, step by step.

She was already a Baguio institution long before she passed away at age 96. She was a rare gem.

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