The NRCP iShare Season 2 has culminated the celebration of Women’s Month #womenmakechange with the episode about two successful women in R&D, titled, “Way Towards Success,” featuring NRCP Achievement Awardees, Dr. Decibel Faustino-Eslava and Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay.

Eslava Rocks

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 Dr. Decibel Eslava-Faustino is the NRCP’s 2019 Achievement Awardee for Earth and Space Sciences Division.  She is currently teaching at the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

Dr. Eslava shared her story, the turnarounds in her career, and few of her past career secrets. For a starter, she said that her parents honed her to love reading books, participate in discussions, and appreciate hard work.  She considers them as her inspirations to finish college and to have a fulfilling career.

As a young and female geologist, she said that her first few years in field exploration was a mix of excitement and challenges.  She explained that, finding new earth materials from the digs and be able to identify each of them scientifically gave so much excitement but to be able to do that calls for the use of huge equipment which posted a big challenge considering her petite physique.

Meeting more people and geology experts, one is the renowned geologist, Dr. Graciano P. Yumul, inspired her to continue loving the beauty of my work, Dr. Eslava said. 

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However, in 1987 when the mining industry took a dive, her career as a geologist did not go smoothly. This made her decide to take graduate studies on geochemistry of crust mantle rocks, geomagnetism and paleomagnetism.

Today, she is now recognized for her research contributions to the fields of geochemistry, paleomagnetics, and tectonics that significantly improved understanding on the geodynamics of the Philippines particularly in relation to the origin of crust-mantle rocks.

While she enjoys using drillers, jackhammers, and being with the rocks, carrying them in her bag from the mountain top to the lab has strained her physically. But despite of these challenges, she said that women in geology are at par with their male counterparts.

She encouraged people to learn new things and work well with other people who support and who encourage them to make the best things happen.

Dalisay Dives

Dr. Doralyn S. Dalisay is the NRCP 2019 Achievement Awardee for Pharmaceutical Sciences Division.  She is currently the Director of Center for Chemical Biology and Biotechnology of University of San Agustin.

Her story begun with her childhood.  She said that as a child she was curious and was an ocean lover which she thinks led to what she is now -- a diver, a researcher, and a scientist. 

Her curiosity with medicine inspired her to be a scientist who makes local medicines.

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To achieve this aspiration, she worked hard, studied abroad, and continuously educating herself with pharmacy, microbiology, and chemistry of natural products, particularly those found in rare environment like marine sediments in the sea beds.

 4  She is now recognized for her pioneering and exemplary work on biodiversity, biogeography, bioactivity profiling, and chemo diversity of marine sediment-derived actinobacteria from Philippine archipelago. One of her greatest contributions in research is the establishment of a library consisting of more than 3,000 diverse marine sediment-derived actinobacteria isolates dedicated to serve as biobank of secondary metabolites for drug discovery research in the Philippines and their valorization into antibiotics and anticancer agents.

Dr. Dalisay encourages budding researchers to embrace innovation and employ innovative research designs to improve productivity, increase competitiveness, and profitability to help uplift Philippine economy.

All girls are in

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NRCP Executive Director Sumagaysay said in her closing remarks that while geology is traditionally for men and ocean studies are dominated by men, being a woman did not discourage Drs. Eslava and Dalisay.  The tasks are open to women when armed with skill, knowledge, and attitude, just as men are.

iShare is NRCP’s brand of digital storytelling and the storytellers are achievement awardees who have excelled in their respective fields of specialization. It aims to enhance public’s level of awareness about NRCP members’ discoveries and breakthroughs and encourage them to engage more with scientists, researchers, and artists and to boost the appreciation and understanding of science theories and concepts.  (Irish Danielle Hallegado, SRS I)