CAMBRIDGE, MA — Saliksikan 2019 is the coming together of 13 brilliant Filipino scientists and researchers to present their studies, and the real-life impact of their scientific work at the Harvard University in Cambridge recently.
Their research include life-saving vaccines, preventing tuberculosis from becoming antibiotic-resistant to finding the cure for degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
“There might be a platform for us scientists to actually help in the Philippines, especially now as you look in the news, a lot of our researches are very applicable to the Philippines,” said scientist Joann Diray Arce.
This group is also looking for ways to counter the “brain drain” in the Philippines – through the department of science and technologies’ Balik Scientist program.
“They can participate in programs as short as 15 days to as long as 3 years, depending on their schedule… to encourage Filipino scientists and those of Filipino descent to go back to the Philippines to share their knowledge, because we believe this will benefit the researchers and scientists in our own country,” said NY Consul General Arman Talbo.
Thanks to the organizers, Pan Harvard Filipino-Network of Students and Professionals – Filipino scientists and researchers were able to band together to give back to their motherland.
“We saw the potential of what a group can do, and all of us here in Cambridge, everyone here is mission-driven, and we all wanted to give back in the Philippines,” said Glen Andrew De Vera.
The group has also raised more than $2600 dollars for their Tabang Mindanao project to send more than 260 care packages to the survivors of the recent earthquakes in Mindanao just in time for Christmas.
“Aside food, there will also be trapal, or yung tents para sa temporary shelter nila,” said Georgina Hernandez.
For many of these scientists and researchers, there’s also a childhood pastime that bonded them together. Many of them grew up watching the same ABS-CBN science show for kids.
“I’m a Sineskwela kid; I watched Sines’kwela everyday of my childhood,” said De Vera. “That was one of my inspirations of why I really wanted to pursue science.”
“Tayo na sa Sines’kwela, tuklasin natin ang siyensya, kinabukasan ng ating bayan siguradong makakamtan.”