Associate Professor and Chairman, Home Economics Education Department,
University of the Philippines
1. Describe your background, experience, and research as it relates to Quality-of-life studies.
I earned my Bachelor of Science Degree in Home Economics (1999) and PhD in Education, major in Research and Evaluation (2014) from the University of the Philippines. I also received a Master of Business and Commerce degree from the University of Western Sydney in 2007. I joined the Home Economics Education Department, University of the Philippines as a young faculty member in 2002. Being in a discipline that puts emphasis on the wellbeing of individuals and families, I was naturally drawn to research activities that promote wellbeing, especially among families in poverty. One of my publications involved critically analyzing the role of entrepreneurship in the home economics curriculum in alleviating poverty.
I am currently the project leader of a research project that aims to develop a conceptualization of Filipino Family Wellbeing and design a tool that accurately measures the wellbeing of Filipino families. The project is nearing completion and our future goal is to translate the family wellbeing tool into different Philippine dialects to make it more applicable to a wider population.
The COVID-19 situation has drawn my research interest to the Pandemic’s effect on the wellbeing of families and households. Consequently, during the initial months of the Pandemic, I, together with my colleagues conducted a qualitative study on the effects of the Pandemic on the wellbeing of Filipino Families. The results of this study were presented in the 2021 ISQOLS Virtual Conference.
Aside from my own research on family wellbeing, I also serve as a research adviser to thesis students who are working on wellbeing and quality of life studies. My research students and I have studied various aspects of family wellbeing and quality of life, such as subjective happiness among low-income families, family quality of life in resettlement areas, family quality of life of young couples, subjective wellbeing of children and adolescents, and family financial hardships during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
2. What initially attracted you to the field of quality-of-life studies?
Being a home economist, improving family wellbeing is at the heart of my professional mission. One of my goals is to contribute to enhancing the quality of lives of families and households. This professional goal motivated me to focus on research work that could provide relevant information and resources for family programs that aim to improve wellbeing.
On a personal note, I consider quality of life (QOL) as the bottom line of many things, which makes its study inspiring. I am also fascinated by the complexity of quality of life as a construct. I find it challenging and at the same time motivating to make sense of the complex interrelationships between QOL and other psychological constructs. For instance, I find it amazing that the high incidence of poverty in some developing countries such as the Philippines, does not necessarily translate to lower levels of subjective happiness. Given the multiple aspects of QOL and wellbeing, it appears that there are limitless research avenues to explore.
3. What are some areas of quality-of-life studies you feel are lacking attention? Any advice for future QoL researchers?
There is still a dearth of studies that offer a comprehensive measure of family wellbeing, especially in developing countries. The meaning of wellbeing to families may vary from culture to culture. To strengthen the accuracy of family wellbeing measures, it is vital to develop tools that are suitable for specific populations.
Another area that I find lacking concerns the application of QOL research outcomes into real-life programs and policies that address the wellbeing of different populations.
4. How long have you been a member of ISQOLS? Why did you choose to be a member of ISQOLS? How has your involvement in ISQOLS impacted your career/research/advancement in your knowledge of QoL studies?
I first attended the ISQOLS conference in Hong Kong (2018), where I presented a paper on happiness among families. However, I only registered as a regular member of ISQOLS in 2020. I decided to join ISQOLS since I can relate well with the thrusts of the organization. Through ISQOLS, I was exposed to a wide range of resources and activities that enhanced my knowledge on the theory, methodology, and applications of quality of life. These experiences helped me in refining my research ideas and in designing the methodology of my research activities.
Being an ISQOLS member has broadened my perspective on the different aspects of wellbeing and quality of life. Through ISQOLS, I get the opportunity to constantly meet experts and other researchers and update my knowledge on the latest developments in the field. At the same time, I am given the chance to share my research outputs with a community of scholars who share the same research interests as mine.
5. Feel free to include any other important comments or things you'd like to share with the ISQOLS community.
I am looking forward to meeting other members in upcoming ISQOLS conferences. I also hope to participate in a research collaboration on family wellbeing in the future.