The NIH Mural

The NIH Mural is a work by Salvador T. Juban, an artist/muralist who was known to be the last apprentice of National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco. In the center, the mural depicts the “Shining One Who Heals” who was originally known as Gabriel in Haldea. The Hebrew term “Rapha” meant “healer”, “doctor”, or “surgeon.” As an angel for healing, Raphael is often associated with the image of a serpent. He is known to be the chief ruling prince of the Second Heaven, chief of Order of the Virtues, Guardian of the Tree of Life in Eden and of the Seven Angels of the Tree. All these information was revealed to Tobias in the Book of Tobit.

In the book, the angel traveled with Tobias and disguised him as his son. He did not tell anyone who he really was until the end of the journey. During their travel, he showed Tobias, who had then caught a fish, how to use each of part of the fish: liver, heart, and gallbladder for healthy living. The gallbladder of the fish is particularly useful for cataracts. These things he taught Tobias are the necessary ingredients for being healthy.

In the right and lower portion of the mural are the sun and water. God also created the sun as the main source of energy, and water as the source of life of Mother Nature. Nature is God’s physician, the pure air, sunshine, flowers, and trees. God also gives us plants to heal and prolong life. The orchids and vineyard are also healthful and life-giving. The herbs have always been a part of a healthy, nutritious meal.

In the mural’s background are people who have contributed to the advancement of science. The University of the Philippines Manila, represented here by a man with arms outstretched, continuously strives to become an outstanding institution of higher learning. It provides the highest quality of advanced instructions, professional trainings, basic and applied researches, and community services. Thus it produces outstanding scholars, practitioners, and leaders in the fields of health, natural, and social sciences.

Some of the people featured in the mural are:

-       Dr. Clara Lim-Sylianco – an outstanding Filipino chemist and National Scientist

-       Dr. Hilario DG Lara – Father of modern public health in the Philippines

-       Dr. Juan S. Salcedo, Jr. – an expert in nutrition and public health

-       Dr. Germiniano T. de Ocampo – Father of modern Philippine Ophthalmology

-       Dr. Fe del Mundo – grand dame of Philippine pediatrics

-       Dr. Paulo C. Campos – Father of Nuclear Medicine in the Philippines

Advancement in medicine is represented in the mural by the symbol of an atom and the sophisticated equipment and apparatus within it.