Philippine Science Letters
vol. 3 | no. 1 | 2010
published online April 22, 2010


Getting to know Kelvin

by Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay



During Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991, a tall whitebearded man stood in the Mayor’s office of Olongapo. Surrounded by a throng of terrified men and sacs of foreign mail, he spoke in English and Ilocano, advising everyone to remain calm as Pinatubo vented its fury.

This was the first time I saw Kelvin Rodolfo. He was 54 years of age and I was 25.

That single encounter with Kelvin forever changed my life from a Geologist to a Volcanologist. He did not do anything out of his ordinary self to make this impression. He was just there when it mattered, and simply spoke his science in his usual passionate way.

It took a decade before I really came to know him, when he became an adjunct faculty member at the National Institute of Geological Sciences, University of the Philippines; his office merely three rooms away. He would visit U.P. annually for a few months to work with Dr. Siringan and some other colleagues in the department.