We are deeply saddened about the passing of the first curator of the National Planetarium, and a member of ALP, Mr. Maximo P. Sacro Jr.
He had always been an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of the Philippine amateur astronomy community with his active participation in both the Philippine Astronomical Society (PAS) and the Astronomical League of the Philippines (ALP). He was the one who first conceived the idea of a national planetarium and he was instrumental in its creation by Presidential Decree No. 804-A in 1975. Mr. Sacro was a founding member of the Philippine Astronomical Society, the first amateur astronomical society in the country, and he was working then at the Philippine Weather Bureau (now PAGASA) astronomical observatory when he proposed putting up a national planetarium in Manila. He had training in astronomical photogrammetry and astronomy at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, USA under the Lunar Sample Education Project, and was a recipient of the Moonlight Satellite Tracking Pin given by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. In 1981, Mr. Sacro received the Padre Faura Astronomy Medal. Even after his retirement and after successfully battling colon cancer, Mr. Sacro continued to energetically offer his support for astronomy in the country. His demise is a sad loss not only to his friends and family, but also to the Filipino astronomical community.