Luz Oliveros-Belardo

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Luz Oliveros-Belardo
Alma mater
AwardsNational Scientist of the Philippines

Luz Oliveros-Belardo (27 February 1907 – 3 March 1999) was a Filipina pharmaceutical chemist, honored with the National Scientist of the Philippines award by the Philippine government in 1987.

Early life[edit]

Luz Oliveros was born in Navotas, Rizal, the daughter of Aurelio Oliveros and Elisa Belarmino. She held undergraduate (Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy) and master's degrees in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of the Philippines in Manila. In 1957 she earned a PhD in Pharmacy at the University of Connecticut,[1] with a dissertation involving molecular refraction in terpenes.[2]


Luz Oliveros-Belardo was director of the Natural Sciences Research Center at the Philippine Women's University. She became Dean of the College of Pharmacy in 1947.[3] Her research focused on extracting essential oils and other chemicals from native Philippine plants for pharmaceuticals, food production, scents, and other applications.[1] For example, she developed an experimental formulation based on apitong (Dipterocarpus grandiflorus) oleoresin that was suitable for motor fuel.[4]

In 1965–1966, she was named an AAUW fellow[5] by the American Association of University Women to pursue her research at Stanford University.[6] In 1974, the Philippine Association of University Women recognized her with their Achievement Award in Natural Science.[7] She received the National Scientist Award in 1987.[8][9]

Dr. Luz Oliveros-Belardo extracted 33 new Philippine essential oils from native plants and studied their chemical and physical properties. Her first research was on the chemical and pharmacological properties of Tanglad Tagalog (Cymbopogon ciratus) and found that its chemicals, such as potassium citrate that is an effective diuretic compound capable of resisting increased blood pressure. She was one of the first Southeast Asians that conducted studies on Chichirica (Vinca rosea) leaves and found that it is rich in alkaloids, glycosides, terpenoids, sterols, fatty acids, and volatile oil.

Personal life[edit]

Luz Oliveros married a dentist, Ricardo A. Belardo. They had two daughters. She died in 1999, aged 93 years. Her remains were buried at Libingan ng mga Bayani in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig.[10]


  1. ^ a b Artemio R. Guillermo, ed., Historical Dictionary of the Philippines (Scarecrow Press 2011): 70. ISBN 9780810875111
  2. ^ Luz Oliveros-Belardo and Paul J. Jannke, "Correlation of molecular refraction with structure in the terpene series" Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (January 1958).
  3. ^ History, School of Pharmacy, Philippine Women's University website.
  4. ^ Belardo, L.O., Lawrence, B.M., Coronel, A. & Mata, M.F. "Essential oil of Dipterocarpus grandiflorus Blanco: chemistry and possible source of energy" Transactions of the National Academy of Science & Technology 5 (1983): 233-241.
  5. ^ "AAUW Names Fellows" Fresno Bee (30 May 1965): 50. via Newspapers.comopen access
  6. ^ "AAUW Fellow Will Talk" Fresno Bee (6 March 1966): 67. via Newspapers.comopen access
  7. ^ Association for the Study of Pharmacognosy, Newsletter Archived 2016-11-26 at the Wayback Machine 12(1)(May 1975): 3.
  8. ^ "Briefer on the Order of National Scientists" Philippine Government, National Academy of Science and Technology.
  9. ^ National Academy of Science and Technology Archived 2016-11-26 at the Wayback Machine (NAST), Philippines.
  10. ^ "In the Know, Libingan ng mga Bayani" Philippine Inquirer (19 November 2016).

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