Monday, July 6, 2009

The National Scientist

I recently had the opportunity to draw for a very important person. His name is Dr. Benito Vergara, a National Scientist who dedicated more than 3 decades of his life to rice. Among his great contributions to the world are his studies on rice, the establishment of the International Rice Research Institute and the improvements of the Riceworld Museum and the Philippine Science Heritage Center. He also wrote a book entitled A Farmer's Primer on Growing Rice, which in MJ's own words, was the second most translated book next to the bible.

National Scientist Ben Vergara
"National Scientist Ben Vergara"
9" x 12"
Pen & Ink

Contrary to what I think about men of science, Dr. Vergara also knows have to have fun. He is a very generous and jolly person who can dance tinikling and paint just like the other master, Jose Joya, whose early works hang on his walls in his home. Just the thought of having my work hanging inside that house makes me think of myself as David between two Goliaths. Not to mention the gigantic dragonfly sculpture by his students that hang from his ceiling.

If you're a rice eating person like me, remember his name the next time you go on a heavy carbo-loading spree. As for me, when I say my prayers before eating, I've already made a promise to say "thank you Ben" after I say amen.

Note: This is a terribly scanned image. Much of the fine strokes were lost during scanning.


  1. Beautiful my friend! Thank you for the education. I eat rice every day and I did not know. Let me know when you are doing commissions again...take care.

  2. So many cute details - worm on the leafboat, choo-choo-train, smiling flowers and fishing blob.Oh! and the veritable rice man. Awesome commission!

  3. What a charming illustration, Bjornik! Full of vitality - lucky Mr Vergara!

  4. What a gorgeous piece! I'm always amazed by how much fun you seem to have with your illustrations.