1. Please outline your work responsibilities before enrolling on your studies in Japan.
Before coming to Japan, I was with the Monetary and Financial Statistics Group under the Department of Economic Statistics of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. My main work responsibilities are summarized as follows:
1) leading the drafting of the annual Flow of Funds (FOF) report, which analyzes the dynamics of sectoral linkages in both the domestic and international financial markets;
2) consolidating the different sectoral accounts and analyzing their interlinkages for the compilation of the annual FOF;
3) deriving the household sector and rest of the world estimates for the FOF; and
4) preparing the analysis on the development and potential vulnerabilities in the corporate sector for the Philippine Financial Stability Report.
2. What led you to study in Japan, and what motivated you to apply for the JISPA? (you can combine your answers to Questions 1 and 2, if you wish)
I continuously strive to be an asset to the Bank and afford excellent public service to my country. Thus, I need to constantly hone my skills to improve my craft. After my stint as a research associate to the IMF Resident Representative Office in the Philippines, I realized that I still had so much to learn. At the same time I found out about JISPA. The experience reinforced my goal to become a proficient economist and impressed on me the need for me to undertake more rigorous academic training. JISPA presented the perfect opportunity for me to earn a master’s degree abroad. I believe that a foreign education would allow me to analyze domestic issues from a completely new and different perspective, thereby broadening my analytical and technical skill set.
Moreover, the BSP strongly encourages its human resources to take further education abroad in line with the institute’s mission on capacity building. This explicit support from the organization has effectively motivated me to take on the challenge.
On a lighter note, I wanted to experience living outside my comfort zone. I believe that learning is not only gained from activities within the four corners of the classroom, but also through practical experience and interaction with different people from all walks of life. And moving to a completely different country provides the perfect setting for this.
3. What are you studying? (What have you been studying?)
I have mostly been taking the core courses and some economics-related courses. These courses have allowed me to strengthen my theoretical foundation in economics at the same time, understand the application and implication of certain economic theories in real world scenarios. In addition, my law and politics classes introduced me to new set of concepts, which helped me broaden my knowledge base and interests.
4. Please tell us of one experience in Japan that made you feel happy, sad, surprised, or moved.
Before coming here, amid the enthusiasm and excitement to live in another country, I was secretly a bit worried about leaving my comfort zone and friends. I was wondering if I would also gain a similar circle here. But I realized it was naïve of me to want to live in another country yet ironically somehow clandestinely hope for something similar and familiar. As it turns out, the experience was way better than I expected or even hoped for. Since I arrived here, I have been gaining more and more friends and busy with more and more activities (of course, school is always the top priority). I have learnt the art of making friends out of strangers. I believe this experience has helped me become a more confident, respectful and sociable individual. Thus for me, it was just not a particular incident, not just one day, but the entirety of the experience and positive change it has brought upon me that has truly made me happy. In Japan, there are just simply too many places to see, food to eat, things to try and people to meet! Everyday in Japan for me is like a surprise waiting to unfold.
5. Please describe your experience and/or impression of the JISPA (such as the Orientation Program, seminars, and meetings with IMF/OAP economists).
The seminars conducted by the IMF provide an excellent avenue for the scholars to listen and learn from experts and practitioners in various fields. These seminars keep the scholars abreast of the latest economic and financial developments around the globe and allow us to better appreciate the lessons we learn in our classes by providing a more practical perspective.
The Orientation Program was very helpful in preparing us for the academic challenges we were going to face when we moved on to our respective university. It was the perfect avenue not only to brush up on our quantitative skills and theoretical underpinnings but also to develop camaraderie with the other scholars. The good friendships that we have developed with our co-scholars have somewhat become a support network not only in our academic life but also socially, as we have all adjusted to our new environment.
6. How would you like to utilize the knowledge and skills obtained through your studies under the JISPA in your future work?
I will utilize my enhanced knowledge in improving my own work, in terms of more in-depth analysis and further development of the country’s FOF report as well as to produce more scholarly research/statistical outputs. Equally important, I will impart my technical skills to my colleagues in the Department at the Central Bank. In addition, I would like to undertake a study that is highly relevant to my work at the Department for my final research paper. The findings of which hopefully could be considered and adopted as part of our regular statistical output in the future.
7. What is your future career vision and dream?
I look forward to going back to the Central Bank and continuing my public service to the country. With an enriched technical skill set, I will be more equipped to assume greater responsibilities and higher levels of leadership. Working my way up, I hope to be a part of the senior management of the Central Bank.
8. What is your favorite proverb or motto?
"You cannot change the world but you can make a dent."
9. Do you have any message to Japan?
May our countries continue to strengthen our ties.
10. Please provide us with any comments that you wish to convey.
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to JISPA for giving me this rare opportunity to pursue further education abroad as well as get an experience of life in Japan and the kindness and honesty of the Japanese people.
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