Show your pride – Angelico Obille

Meet Angelico Obille (he/they): a queer, Filipino-Canadian scientist and pianist who is currently pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering at the University of Toronto. Also known on social media as @ScientistAnjo, Angelico takes any chance to share their insights on nature and the role of humans in the global ecosystem. Born in Mississauga, Ontario from architects who immigrated from the Philippines, Angelico has been uniquely positioned to develop his skills and to build his life with authentic Queer Filipino excellence at the core.

We asked Angelico to pick three items and tattoos that would best demonstrate Pride this month.

PhD research topic

I study bioadhesion. Water is a fascinating molecule that complicates adhesive interfaces. Many tapes or glues don’t work well if the surfaces are wet. Many organisms developed a variety of ways to bypass this adhesion problem via millions of years of evolution. I’m looking to tap into that knowledge encoded in biochemistry to help design better medical adhesives. Specifically, I study the adhesive proteins of the zebra mussels and quagga mussels, notorious invasive species to North America. 

LABAN tattoo

LABAN – Tagalog word meaning to fight, to struggle against, to contradict, to challenge, and to persevere. This tattoo represents the spirit of never giving up against whoever or whatever dares to take over the space I inhabit, the air that I breathe, or the fire in my soul.

Butterfly tattoo

My sister died when I was 4 years old. We’d spend every Sunday at the cemetery and in the spring and summer, my dad would always point out butterflies in the field and told me that it was my Ate (“older sister”) Faye saying hello. The butterfly has since represented my connection to her as I continue to grow up and metamorphose into the adult that I am now, that my sister did not have a chance to become.

Black and White Floral shawl

This piece of clothing is simply a rectangular piece of fabric with a slit in the middle. I wear it whenever I need to feel confident – at straight people weddings, at conference galas, at my 3-Minute Thesis finals presentation. It is a piece that brought me from “hiding my body” to “celebrating my queerness”.

Angelico will be presenting and performing their research in drag at this year’s Science-themed Drag Show “Science is a Drag” on June 6th. Follow @scienceisadrag on Instagram or visit the website at for information about how to get tickets (if there are any left)!