The reason for choosing Japan to conduct research
I chose Japan as a venue to conduct my research because it is very advanced in science and technology. It is in the forefront of research. Moreover, it is in Asia hence the culture will not be different from mine, being an Asian myself. I will also be able to maintain my own individuality and identity, can practice my Catholic faith and will be able to learn a lot in the process. Japanese people are also known for their discipline, ingenuity, honesty and integrity, hence I think these traits are important determinants of their advance state as well. JSPS is an excellent research funding agency that supports and cultivates young minds for the advancement of research, henceforth develop and innovate measures to cure diseases.
The most coveted award for Filipinos who are outside the Philippines like me is to be recognized by the president of our country. Luckily, I was chosen as the Outstanding Filipino Individual Overseas last December 15, 2004 for the Pamana ng Pilipino Award or Heritage award in the field of clinical research. The ceremony was held in the presidential palace in Malacanan, Philippines. With the help of JSPS, I was able to publish several papers in internationally renowned journals and eventually get this award in the process. Therefore, I share this award with JSPS.
Advice to new fellows
New fellows should not forget the main reason why they came to Japan, that is to conduct research. It would be advisable for them to be honest and abide by the rules and regulations of JSPS. Should trouble occur between them and their host researcher, their colleagues or with some other people at work, they should try to professionally handle the issues and communicate with key persons in order to resolve problems early on. Of course, knowledge of the Japanese language is handy, and coordination with JISTEC and other NGOs available in their areas would help a lot. Having Japanese friends would also help a lot.