Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Jasmine Mae Alindayu

Mary Gates Research Scholar, Summer Institute in the Arts and Humanities, Summer 2021

Research Project: How an Authoritarian Leader Brought Me Closer to Dad

Project Description: The Philippines is experiencing a new era with the current executive branch. Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is leading his country towards authoritarianism. To understand the Filipino people, I read research on some personal opinions of those that like Duterte. After, I took a step further to interview my own dad about his views on the president of the Philippines.

What have you learned throughout your research project?

I desperately wanted objectivity within my research. I yearned for that one and only solution that would answer my research question. Every time I encountered another interpretation or perspective about my project, the more I became discouraged. I had thought that research was finite. However, at times, asking questions does not lead to answers but more questions. That is the very nature of research and I had eventually grown to enjoy it. It is incredibly wonderful that research is nuanced, subjective and endless. The desire to learn and discover is a phenomenon that will never cease.

What piece of advice do you have for future applicants?

Even when you feel that your research has reached a dead-end or you feel as though you are not getting anywhere, you are! Any progress is a step forward. Any new detail, no matter how big or small, is very integral to your growth and your research project. Additionally, we tend to be our harshest critic – so make sure to be patient and kind with yourself in this process!