These Two Filipino Students Become the First Scholars Under Japan's Space Tech Program

Reaching for the stars.

While space technology is a relatively uncharted territory for Filipinos, it is another area where the country's brightest scientists have shown untapped potential. Young Filipinos from the University of the Philippines (UP) were recently selected as the first recipients of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Network for Utilization of Space Technology.

UP scholars John Paul Almonte and Charleston Dale Ambatali were chosen to advance their careers in space technology. The former is currently pursuing a master's degree in Electrical and Space Systems Engineering at Kyushu Institute of Technology while the latter hopes to complete his doctorate degree at the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Engineering.

Charleston Dale Ambatali and John Paul Almonte in Japan.


Also known as the JJ-NeST scholarships, the program should allow them to develop and design innovative solutions to address disaster management, industry development, and other sustainable development challenges in emerging countries.


"The Philippines has one of the youngest populations in Asia. Thus, the JJ-NeST is an ideal opportunity to tap a talented pool of next generation Filipino innovators in space development," explained Chief Representative Sakatomo Takema in a release. "At the same time, this is a very effective means for JICA to also help develop human resources who can launch new ideas to address areas like climate change and industry development."

Almonte talking about his fidings during the JAXA retreat.


The scholars went through an immersion program with JAXA, as well. According to Almonte, he studied creating a tracking system for ground sensor terminals used in satellite store-and-forward networks for remote data collection. These findings would be utilized for emergency communications, telemedicine, and environmental monitoring, among others.

"The JICA scholarship provided me with the opportunity to work on multiple satellite projects that deepened my knowledge of the entire satellite development process—from mission definition to launch and operations. This opportunity also allowed me to collaborate and form good relationships with Japanese and foreign colleagues in the same field," Almonte added.

watch now

Ambatali presenting his research at JAXA.


As for Ambatali, he worked on space-based solar power stations that collect power from the sun. The power would then be sent to the Earth as a means of developing a stable renewable energy source. His work should prove instrumental to research on ground-based long distance wireless power transfer, which would benefit remote areas without needing electrical towers and transmission lines.

Ambatali also noted how his knowledge of space tech broadened in three aspects. "The ground operations, development of space systems, and the policy that sustains them. Once I complete the program and return, I aim to spearhead projects that will promote a better quality of life for the Filipinos."


This UP Student's Gravity Experiment Will Be Tested on the International Space Station

The Webb Telescope Found a Galaxy So Old, It Sits on the Edge of Time and Space


Over the next five years, the JJ-Nest program hopes to have 20 student graduates, coming from countries like Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Rwanda, and the Philippines.

Sakamoto, on the other hand, hopes that the news should empower more Filipino scientists to futher their learning and expertise in space tech. He continued: "Hopefully, more young Filipinos will be encouraged to study space technology, and work with Japan. This way, both our countries can also cushion the disproportionate impact the pandemic and climate change brought to our economies through space technology innovations."

More Videos You Can Watch
About The Author
Esquire Philippines
View Other Articles From Esquire
Latest Feed
Load More Articles
Connect With Us