Higher Ground Baptist Academy (high school in the Philippines) ➤ New Era University (I studied for my BSc in the Philippines)
➤ Polytechnic University of the Philippines (where I did my first master’s degree)
➤ University of Hertfordshire (where I did my second master’s degree)
➤ University of Edinburgh (2020–ongoing)
➤ MA Psychology
➤ MSc Research Methods in Psychology
➤ PhD Clinical Psychology (2020–ongoing)
I worked as a cleaner at a factory when I was 16.
➤ I was a street vendor in Manila selling rugs.
➤ I sold burgers at a burger van.
➤ I worked at a call centre in the Philippines.
➤ I taught English in Thailand and Vietnam.
➤ I taught psychology at two universities in the Philippines.
➤ I worked as a consultant in Singapore.
➤ I worked as an invigilator at a university in London.
➤ I taught at a college in Essex.
➤ I worked at a PR company in London
➤ I now manage my own small company.
I run a small company, where I manage a small team. I’m also doing a PhD in clinical psychology.
I wear three hats: I’m the founder of Psychreg 🏬, I’m a psychology YouTuber 💻 , and I’m a PhD student 👓.
I want to promote resilience among young people. Have a read of my story to find out why. 👇
My primary motivation for joining ‘I’m a Scientist’ is to inspire the next generation of scientists – particularly #ResilienceResearchers. So rather than telling you about the science that I do, I’ll walk you through my journey and my advocacy.
I grew up in a slum in Manila in the Philippines. We had no electricity or running water until I was 20. Indeed, we did not have a toilet until I was 12. I did not experience what it was like to sleep on a bed until I was 16. Here’s a picture of where I grew up; on the right are my family.
I had to work at a young age so I can go to university. I worked as cleaner, street vendor, and sold burgers at a burger van. And then later on I worked at a call centre and started blogging.
Poverty damages someone’s life chances. If you grew up here in the UK (which is one of the world’s richest countries), you have greater chances of becoming a scientist. Take advantage of that gift, so you can be the next scientist who can help improve people’s lives. The world desperately needs you.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of science you do – what’s more important is your desire to improve people’s lives, especially for those who were not as lucky as you. 🙂
I have witnessed first-hand how discussions about mental health (let alone science!) are considered a luxury. You don’t talk about mental health in the slums of a developing country. Instead, you talk about where you are going to get food for your next meal.
Poverty instilled on me the greatest psychological concepts: grit and resilience 💪💪💪. It’s also my childhood experience that led me to launch my psychology website in order to address the stigma around mental health – I self-harmed as a teenager; my grandmother suffered from dementia before she passed away; and my friend had schizophrenia. I also lost a friend to suicide.
The picture below is taken during the UK Blog Awards in 2017, when my psychology blog came out 2nd.
In 2013, I came here to the UK to do my second master’s degree in psychology. Since then, I have been travelling to different countries to raise awareness about mental health – I have been to 28 different countries so far. Right now, I’m doing a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh.
I live in a small village in Essex. I’m gay and I’ve been married for seven years. I’m 39 and I plan to carry on my mission of spreading awareness about psychology and mental health for a very long time. In my spare time, I go sailing – that was of course during the pre-Covid era. I also love gardening.
If my digital psychology magazine becomes a useful platform for people who are struggling with mental health, then I know I have built a simple legacy. I will die a satisfied scientist.
Have faith in your abilities, and be grateful for the people who support you.
One day, it’ll be your turn to say: ‘I’m a scientist, get me out of here!’ 👊
I mainly work from home running a digital magazine; it’s called Psychreg. I earn money from ads. Here’s a screenshot of my website, which I designed myself:
I also organise conferences relating to psychology and mental health. In 2018, I organised a highly successful conference in the Philippines which was attended by 549 people.
The man kneeling down is Professor Jamie Hacker Hughes, the past president of the British Psychological Society. Can you find where I am?
This year, due to Covid, I’m organising a virtual conference.
I also write a weekly column for a newspaper in Malaysia. My articles are about psychology, mental health, and wellness. I was invited to write a weekly column because of Psychreg and my YouTube channel.
I also get interviewed on radio (I also had my own radio show before), newspaper, and TV programmes . Here’s a picture of me when I was interviewed at a radio station in London last March 2019.
Aside from that, I’m also doing a PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh. My research project looks into the effectivity of blog as an intervention to enhance resilience among adolescents in low- and middle-income countries.
Psychology can offer an array of career paths!
My Typical Day:
I publish around 3–5 articles in a day on my website. I also read at least one research paper and spent a few hours writing for my research project.
I have three roles: I manage a digital psychology magazine called Psychreg, I’m a YouTuber, and I’m also a PhD student. I turned our spare bedroom into an office. I think it’s a privilege to work for myself; I get up anytime I want. And of course, I can work as much, or as little, as I want.
I usually get up around 8am or 9am and then do my workout for 30 minutes.
And then I would start working on my online magazine or my YouTube channel. I also read at least one research paper a day and spent a few hours writing my research project. My research project looks into the effectivity of blog as an intervention to enhance resilience among adolescents in low- and middle-income countries.
I’m vitamin D-deficient so I need to go out as much as I can. I go for a run every afternoon; or sometimes, if the weather is cooperative, I do gardening.
After that, I’m back to my office. I could be doing a few things: doing work on my digital magazine, reading a research paper, or recording a new video for my YouTube channel.
Roundabout 6pm, I listen to the radio for news while cooking dinner. My husband gets home from work at around 8pm. That’s when our quality time starts.
What I'd do with the prize money:
Over the years, I’ve been suporting a school project for children in a slum in the Philippines (It’s the same slum where I grew up). My prize money will be donated to their school, because I fiercely believe that one of them could be a scientist!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
relaxed resilience researcher
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wanted to be a teacher.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No. But I used to copy maths homework from my classmates – I'm terrible with maths.
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I'm old (and my taste is old school). Singer: Elton John | Duo: Boy Meets Girl
What's your favourite food?
Thai food. I love pad thai. 😋
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Good health for my parents • Have 1 million YouTube subscribers • Look 25 until I'm 85
Tell us a joke.
What do you call a fish without an eye. 'Fsh'