WASHINGTON DC — For 70 years now, thousands of Filipinos have received Fulbright scholarships in various fields of studies.
Philippine Ambassador to the US, Jose Manuel Romualdez says, the Fulbright program is a vehicle for mutual understanding and stronger ties between the US and the Philippines.
“It will help in making sure yung relationship natin sa US is more of a people to people relationship.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of State, the Philippines’ is the longest running Fulbright program in the world and the longest education exchange in the Philippines.
Among the Fulbright scholars is Philippine Navy Lieutenant Bryner Las, taking his Masters of science in defense and strategic studies at Missouri State University in Fairfax, Virginia.
His study focuses on the counter proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counter terrorism as well as cyberterrorism.
“Tayo yung isa sa most na gumagamit ng Internet. We are mostly vulnerable to cyber attacks,” he said. “Excited Ako, actually na ma-I-apply, especially sa armed forces kung paano ako makatulong especially in crafting strategy, policy.”
Fulbrighter Pia Benosa is studying for Master of Laws in national security at Georgetown University.
When it comes to China’s claim on the disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea… Benosa says, it’s really all about the legal enforcement of the international tribunal’s decision that rebuked China’s claim.
“It’s really up to our leaders, I think it takes cooperation from both the Philippines and China’s end for things to work out.”
“The best part of the fellowship is that we’re going to become problem solvers,” said Aleem Guiapal. “What I wanted to bring home is to bridge a lot gap between the have and the have nots… especially in my hometown in Maguindanao, people will benefit.”
Past Fulbright scholars have gone on to become Nobel peace prize winners, heads of state, leaders in scientific research and innovation, educators, business professionals and civic leaders.