photo from the Facebook page of Alonzo Gabriel

Award-winning food scientist, food security advocate and UP Diliman College of Home Economics (CHE) professor Alonzo Gabriel passed away after months of battling cancer of the lymphatic system. He was 39 years old.

His passing on Tuesday was announced by UP Diliman in a bulletin.

In a Facebook post on March 18, Gabriel said that 10 cycles of chemotherapy had taken a toll on him. “(I’m) too weak to do anything,” he said.

Gabriel obtained his PhD in Bio-functional Science and Technology (Food Microbiology and Hygiene) from Hiroshima University in Japan. He was a TOYM (The Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines) honoree for food science and technology (Class of 2013) and likewise received the Junior Chamber International (JCI) TOYP (The Outstanding Young Persons of the World) award in 2014.

He was one of the Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Filipinos awardees in 2017 and also bagged the National Academy for Science and Technology (NAST) Young Scientist Award (for the field of Microbiology and Hygiene) in 2013.

Among other awards garnered by Gabriel were: the 2016 UPD Gawad Tsanselor Para sa Natatanging Guro; the 2016 International Award for Young Agricultural Researchers by the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences; the 2016 DOST Outstanding Research Development Award for Applied Research (Julian A. Banzon Medal); the 2014 Gregorio Y. Zara Award for Applied Research of the Philippine Association for the Advancement of Science (PhilAAS); and, the 2013 IUFoST (International Union of Food Science and Technology) Young Scientist Excellence Award.

In Senate Resolution No. 875 introduced by Senator Manuel Lapid when Gabriel won the 2014 TOYM award, he was described as a person who “helps micro and small scale industry stakeholders who do not have the ability to conduct their own research to stay updated with the newest food safety and processing innovations, as they are often marginalized or underprivileged across communities.”

“His advocacy for improved food quality, safety and defense moves farmers, fishermen and food manufacturers to comply with international standards for production, distribution and trade,” the resolution said.

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