CAMUS, Luis Albert Nelle, Jr.

From Pagpugay at Pahingalay (

Luis, or Albert to some in his PSHS Class of 1978, was born on 1 September 1961.  He spent the early years in La Salle Greenhills, and entered the Philippine Science High School in 1974.  He graduated in 1978.

Luis was a prolific writer and a great poet.  That was how he started out in the movement, as a writer – in 1976.  By senior year in 1977-1978, he was the literary editor of The Science Scholar-Ang Lagablab.  He was concurrently the editor-in-chief of Dalumat, the PSHS Filipino literary magazine.  His other literary involvements were with the Science Journal and Errata, where he was features editor for both, also in 1977-1978.

Outside campus, his leadership was demonstrated through the Children’s Library and Museum Incorporated (CMLI), a nationally distinguished academic organization promoting excellence in extemporaneous speaking, essay writing and news writing among others, where Luis held various key positions and garnered prestigious awards from 1976-1978.

In college, Luis became much politicized.  He was active with the Philippine Collegian and became a feature writer in 1979-1980, during the year Diwata Reyes was its editor-in-chief.  This period was right smack into the resurgence of political activism, where UP was a national frontrunner in the move to reestablish university student councils – the key campus organs abolished by Martial Law.  This was also the feverish period sparked by national student protest against the Education Act of 1980 -- unprecedented ever since the declaration of Martial Law.

A lot of students were under surveillance then, and Luis was served an ASSO (Arrest, Search and Seizure Order).  Luis was an icon for a lot of students, especially as he was articulate both in English and Filipino and wrote well.  With his mestizo good looks and intellect, he soon became a campus figure.
He spoke at rallies and was very good friends with Lean Alejandro and other campus figures.  He disappeared from the scene in 1981 when he was kept at home by his family after he was detained for several days at Camp Crame.  The military agreed for him to serve his ASSO at home.

He did not communicate with anybody for more than three months during his house arrest.  A friend close to him planned along with other comrades to break him out of his own home.  But when Luis managed to sneak out a phone call to them, it was a short and cryptic conversation discouraging them from “rescuing” him.  Luis agreed to leave the country because the powers-that-were threatened to hurt the ones he loved.

When he left for the US later in 1981, the country may well have lost a potential leader who was very committed to a cause he espoused.  Plenty lost a comrade and a precious friend.

In late 1999, at the young age of 38, Luis died of a rare cancer called spindle cell carcinoma, one of 14 cases worldwide at that time.  His ashes were flown back to the Philippines for inurnment shortly after.
Luis Camus was a special person.  He had a good heart.  He truly cared about people and always wanted to make a difference in their lives.  He was committed to the various causes that he took up in his lifetime.  Luis wrote beautifully, whether essay or poetry.  He was both funny and serious at the same time.  

He was the youngest editor of an American computer magazine published by a large company at the time of his death, where he was much revered and honoured by colleagues who knew him either from near or far.  He was truly a genius at whatever he did, and compassionate with whoever he may be.  He touched the lives of so many in the short time he had.

On 1 September 2012, exactly on the day Philippine Science pays tribute to its Martial Law martyrs and heroes, Luis would have turned 51.

Birth: September 1, 1961
Death: December 1999

- write-up submitted by PSHS Batch 1978