The committee that paved the way for PGC’s establishment: from left to right, Dr. Gisela Concepcion, Dr. Amelia Guevara, Dr. Cynthia Saloma, and Dr. Carmencita Padilla. (Photo by Misael Bacani, UP MPRO)

This is what the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) is trying to find out. One of its key research initiatives is piecing together Filipino genomic identity and history.

International and local archaeologists will convene in an international conference on the Homo luzonensis and Hominin record of Southeast Asia on February 3 to 4 at the College of Science Auditorium, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Quezon City; and on February 5 to 6, at Hotel Buntun, Tuguegarao City.

An international multidisciplinary team, led by University of the Philippines Associate Professor Armand Salvador B. Mijares, discovered a new human species, the Homo luzonensis, from an excavation site inside Callao Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan.

“The study situates the Philippines as a major area for evolutionary research,” Mijares said. “This discovery, to me, is a dedication to the Filipino people. It is our contribution to Filipino heritage and to the world’s heritage.”