I am a graduate of (BA) History of Art with Material Studies from University College London. My long-term research interests are on Philippine Studies, with a particular focus on all aspects of Filipino art history, culture, heritage and identities. I am also keen on studying about Filipino diaspora studies.
The Laidlaw Scholarship has provided me with an opportunity for me to re-discover and explore my own cultural heritage. For my independent research project I spent my time in the Philippines, where I travelled around Manila and Ilocos Norte to connect with cultural advocators, social enterprises and local weavers to explore the current developments and insights into the future of Philippine textiles.
My experiences as a Laidlaw Scholar has therefore encouraged me to further pursue a career in researching about the development of contemporary art in the Philippines, the survival of the traditional arts as well, and perhaps set up a creative cultural enterprise of my own that seeks to support grassroot collectives.
I also have experience some experience in art conservation, cataloguing and archiving, given my time volunteering for UCL Special Collections as well becoming a Conservation Assistant at the renowned Hamilton Kerr Institute.
I am also part of a committee of like-minded students who has set a leading example in promoting the Filipino culture and identity across the UK, in the form of an annual Festival. As the former Chief Operations Officer of FiliFest, and the current Head of Culture Team and part of Operations Team - I have great experience in project management.
My experiences as a first-generation Filipino in the UK, and as a BAME student in London’s international university - I acknowledge some of the privileges and inequalities that one can encounter throughout their university experience. I am glad to have pursued the Laidlaw Scholarship - it has opened a lot of doors for my own personal development: for it has allowed me to embrace my own culture and make representing it my passion, advocacy and ambition.