In the uplands of Norzagaray, Bulacan live the Dumagat tribe. Because they live high up in the mountains, they have little to no access to electricity and clean drinking water. That is, until a group of young students from Mapua University conducted an ocular visit for the Sikat Design Challenge in 2015 and came up with the Bathala Rocket Stove. Jeremy De Leon, Gabrielle Leyson, Norman Quiniquini, Alsus Adiaton, and their adviser Engr. Febus Reidj Cruz created the Bathala, an all-in-one stove that converts heat energy to electricity.
My Pope checked in with the young inventors to find out how they brought light to the community.
What inspired you to come up with Bathala Rocket Stove?
Jeremy: When we visited the Dumagats as part of the Sikat Design Challenge in 2015, we saw that the tribe did not have electricity or clean drinking water, and that they were using kerosene to cook their food. While the group knew that finding a solution for those issues would be an ambitious venture, it was not impossible—thus, Bathala happened.
What was the vision behind the project?
Norman: Our team wanted to create a device that people could use during calamities and other emergencies when solar or wind energy is not available. We came up with Bathala, which is the perfect device since it only needs heat to generate electricity.
What was your driving force?
Gab: A strong sense of accomplishment is one thing—it is when you know that you’re doing something great that could actually lead to success. We started this project not only because we are passionate about it, but because we see that this innovation will benefit a group of people, and ambitiously enough, the world.
As young inventors, how are you making a difference?
Alsus: As young inventors and innovators, we make a difference by continuously developing our ideas. If you’re content because you seek to accomplish something, that’s not innovation. You really have to get out there and look for ways to improve an idea.