Dr. Dan Lagunzad and Dr. Leonard Co. Dr. Co while in the field, died in a crossfire between the Philippine Army and of communist guerrillas. Dr. Lagunzad died a few days later.
I remember meeting them at the University of the Philippines and regularly helping us identify our plant samples. I was always impressed on how the two can name a plant and give its scientific name with just one look at our samples. Truly they have passion and dedication to their profession.
Dr. Lagunzad and Dr. Co are colleagues and I always see their names together, sort of the dynamic duo of botanical science and taxonomy. They're responsible in naming thousands of plant species and discovering endemic plants in the Philippines - confirming that the Philippines is beautiful and rich with God's great hand work.
It's very sad indeed. I echo my friend's reaction to their death, So what happened now? She added, somebody should continue the legacy they have started. If not, everything will be in vain and that would be the saddest part of all.
(Photo: Rafflesia manillana Teschemacher)