The Museum of Natural History paid tribute to the Father of Philippine Wildlife Conservation, Dr. Discoro Siarot Rabor, by holding its first Rabor Day last May 18. The celebration was timed with the 104th birth anniversary of the famed wildlife biologist and in observance of May as the National Heritage month.

In an interview, MNH Director Juan Carlos T. Gonzalez said that "the Museum prepared a month-long exhibit on Dr. Rabor with a display of some of his priceless collections at the Museum lobby."

"Visitors will have the extraordinary experience of seeing in person some of Dr. Rabor's collections which are not usually seen by the public," Gonzalez said.

Present during the exhibit's opening were Dr. Rabor's daughter, Ardea Ardeola F. Rabor, and grandson, Prof. Francis Mark Dioscoro R. Fellizar. Dr. Susan May F. Calumpang, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, graced the occasion. According to Dr. Calumpang, she has fond memories of Dr. Rabor who was their neighbor in Silliman University.

Prof. Fellizar described his grandfather as "an amazing man."

"None of us (grandchildren) however followed in our Lolo's footsteps," Fellizar said, "because those steps were made with shoes too big to fill. Although he is best known for his work with birds and mammals, Dr. Rabor's scientific expertise included fishes, amphibians and reptiles as well. The preeminent zoologist and conservationist died on 25 March 1996 in College, Laguna after a long illness.

Dr. Rabor remains to this day an inspiration to the new generation of wildlife conservationists in the field, having led a staggering number of expeditions in the Philippines that formed the most thorough documentation of Philippine fauna.

In message conveyed to the Museum, UP Vice President for Administration Maragtas Amante encouraged everyone to "continue honoring Dioscoro Rabor through assiduous and relentless efforts at biodiversity conservation. We must ensured that his legacy and his message are sustained through the efforts of the UPLB MNH and the global biodiversity network."


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