|University of the Philippines Department of Linguistics
and the Filipinas Heritage Library
MAN OF HIS TIME, MAN AHEAD OF HIS TIME:
Trinidad Pardo de Tavera, 1857-1925:
Premier Filipino Filipinist
September 29, 2022 (Thursday)
10:00 AM PHT (UTC+08:00)
Online via Facebook:
UP Department of Linguistics and Filipinas Heritage Library
Also on YouTube
T.H. Pardo de Tavera is the Philippines’ foremost scientist of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. A Filipino physician, historian, and linguist, he underwent training in Western science at the height of modern medicine’s triumph over popular belief. As his full name suggests, Trinidad Hermenegildo José María Juan Francisco Pardo de Tavera y Gorricho (April 13, 1857- 26 March 1925) lived through the Philippines’ colonial phase under Spain and then America. His research bears witness to our country’s transition into the modern period.
Pardo de Tavera’s 1892 work Plantas Medicinales de Filipinas, a rare book at the Filipinas Heritage Library, is the focus of this virtual talk by UP historian Dr. Mercedes Planta. The book features an extensive list and commentary on Philippine medicinal herbs and plants that he personally collected. He studied their uses, marshalling scientific classifications to identify them while painstakingly recording their names in local languages. Today, across the globe, biologically active plant-derived compounds are increasingly being used, drawn from folk knowledge and ethno-medicinal sources. Plantas Medicinales showcases Filipino healing as a science on par with scientific knowledge in the West. More significantly, it highlights a Filipino’s key role in preserving some of the world’s unique medicinal knowledge.