These young Pinoys may reinvent the future

From birthing and WFH tools to UV light power generator, student participants in this year’s James Dyson Awards showcase what Filipino inventors can do

Sketching the ReBIRTH

‘As designers and engineers, we hope to see more human-centered design solutions, which go beyond discovery or technology.’

Nothing, not even the Covid-19 pandemic, can stop student inventors from coming up with ideas and projects that aim to improve our daily lives. Some of these young creators are participants in this year’s James Dyson Award.

James Dyson Award is an international student competition designed to showcase the power of engineering in changing the world. For the Philippine leg of the contest, college students across the country submitted their entries for a chance to represent the country on the international stage.

The birth of reBIRTH

Out of eight entries from five universities, a group of students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman was hailed as the competition’s champion. Their project was ReBIRTH, a birthing tool designed to make labor and childbirth more comfortable for every mother.

The lack of options for women to birth in their most comfortable position due to the limitations of conventional obstetric beds, especially in rural places in the Philippines where access to hospitals and clinic is nearly impossible, was the inspiration behind the group’s competition entry.

ReBIRTH and the young team behind it

“ReBIRTH is perfect for urban, rural settings, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantage areas—island and mountain communities where cultures may provide varying norms for giving birth,” the group tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle.

The group also made sure that all materials they would use are environment-friendly and locally sourced. “To ensure environmental and economic sustainability, we turn to Oliphant fiber, polyurethane foam, and rubberized coconut core as the ideal materials, all locally sourced in the Philippines,” says the group. “This combination allows for easy to clean, waterproof outer layer and a comfortable yet durable inside.”

Members of reBIRTH group are engineering and law students Gian Andrei Fabia, Philippe Joseph Encinas, Erik Darwin Asia, Geraldine Escano, and Senando Angelo Santiago.

“As designers and engineers, we hope to see more human-centered design solutions, which go beyond discovery or technology and look toward addressing real problems that respond to real domestic needs,” Gian says.

The runner ups

AuREUS solar window

Under the threat of global warming and climate change, young people today are coming up with more and more ideas about sustainability.

Mapua University’s pride, Carvey Ehren Maigue and his AuREUS, was named one of the two runnerups of this year’s competition. Powered by Borealis Solar Window and Astral is Solar Wall, AuREUS is designed to harness UV light to generate power and create a sustainable environment.

‘As designers and engineers, we hope to see more human-centered design solutions, which go beyond discovery or technology.’

The other runnerup is another group from the UP-Diliman. Reinna Micaella Biaca, Nina Morales, Emmanuelle Pangilinan, and Mayumi Catabija took the spot with their BoxOffice project.


BoxOfficeis a multi-functional workstation that aims to provide individuals with a private environment in a co-living space. It is designed to be multi-functional and collapsible, with three main configurations—a wall desk or shelf, work tray, and floor table or standing desk. BoxOffice’s desk surface is made of bamboo plywood, while its partitions are constructed from wood-skin mesh. The partition features are hinged that allow it to be folded, making it portable and effortless to use anywhere.

reBIRTH, AuREUS System, and BoxOffice will progress to the international stage of the James Dyson Award where they will have a chance to bag the £30,000 (P1,863,600) prize. International prizes and winners will be announced on Nov. 19.