Vol 33 No 1 Passage PDF

LIBORIO L. MANGUBAT, MD (1924 to 2006) In memory of the man

Angeles M. de Leon, MD


1924 to 2006

The Philippine Journal of Ophthalmology pays tribute to one of the pioneers of Philippine ophthalmology, Dr. Leonardo L. Mangubat, who died on December 2, 2006 at the age of 84. He left behind his wife, Trinidad; children Leonardo, Ma. Rosario, Liborio Jr., Leopoldo, Lauro, and Luis; and their families. Dr. Mangubat ser ved as managing editor of the Philippine Journal of Ophthalmology from 1969 to 1975, helping nurture the journal in its infancy. He graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Medicine in 1948, completed his residency in ophthalmology and otolaryngology at the UP–Philippine General Hospital (UP–PGH) in 1952 and his postgraduate studies at the New York Polyclinic Medical School and Hospital in 1955. As a researcher and author, Dr. Mangubat published 46 scientific papers in various journals and books and served as editor of the Transactions of the First Congress of the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology in 1960 in Manila.


In memory of the man

WHEN I was asked to give the first Liborio L. Mangubat Memorial Lecture at the annual meeting of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology in December 2007, I decided to talk on the history of oculoplastic surgery in the Philippines. It was befitting the memory of the man who left us a legacy in the field of oculoplasty. In 1999, when oculoplasty was the topic of the postgraduate course at East Avenue Medical Center, I invited him to be the keynote speaker and introduced him as a revered academic, an ophthalmologist par excellance, a civic leader, and a gentleman.
As a revered academician, Dr. Mangubat spent 34 years with the Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila, initially as an instructor and rising to the rank of full professor. He served as department chairman for 8 years (1969 to 1976) and introduced several innovations in teaching and learning. He started (1961) and nurtured the oculoplasty service at the Philippine General Hospital which he headed for 28 years. Currently known as the Plastic and Lacrimal Service, it is the oldest in the Philippines and one of the best referral centers for eyelid disorders and malposition, tumors, and lacrimal problems, servicing many patients from all over the country. He published and presented almost a hundred scientific papers, and trained oculoplastic specialists who are leaders in other eye centers.
As an ophthalmologist par excellance, Dr. Mangubat was respected by the ophthalmology community. He was a diplomate of both the American and the Philippine Board of Ophthalmology. As President of the Philippine Ophthalmological Society from 1967 to 1970, he was instrumental in the merger of the two eye societies (Philippine Ophthalmological Society and Ophthalmological Society of the Philippines) existing at that time to become the Philippine Society of Ophthalmology. In recognition of his contribution to Philippine ophthalmology, he was chosen as the XI Jose P. Rizal Memorial Lecturer during the 1975 Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology annual meeting. Dr. Mangubat is a pillar of the Philippine Society of Cosmetic Surgery, having served as its President for 8 years (1987-1994). After his retirement from the University of the Philippines, he founded the Philippine Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 1992. Its main aims were to provide specialty updates and a venue for exchange of ideas among its members and conduct symposiums and courses during the annual meeting of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. His civic concern was manifested by his involvement as an active member of the San Juan Lions’ Club, establishment of a charity eye clinic at the St. Martin de Pores Charity Hospital, and serving as president and chairman of the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Memorial Foundation which runs a 100-bed charity hospital in Cavite. For all his achievements, Dr. Mangubat had time for his wife and 6 children, who are all successful in their chosen careers, one of whom also became a successful ophthalmologist and a leading oculoplastic specialist. He had time for his colleagues, especially those in the same field such as myself who had known him since my residency days. As my mentor, he had traveled with me to participate in international conferences where he had exhibited himself time and again to be a true gentleman.