Archive for the ‘Feature’ category


June 26, 2010

by Ronaldo A. Motilla
Miriam College, Quezon City

the author with Albert Bandura

If there is one word to describe my meeting with the world renowned social cognitive psychologist, Albert Bandura, on May 17, 2010 at 2:10PM, Jordan Hall, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, it is “serendipitous”.  In the lexicon of Bandura, it is a “fortuitous event”, an unplanned and unexpected meeting.

     After arriving from a 13-hour grueling Philippine Airlines long haul trip from Manila to San Francisco on May 16, 2010, I settled in a modest hotel called Travelodge, which is relatively near Stanford University, the site of the 10th annual Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Conference (SUPC).  Despite my struggle to get a decent sleep on the first night, I decided the following day, May 17, to walk around Palo Alto and looked for Stanford University. I asked the hotel receptionist and instructed me as to where I can take a free ride (the Marguerite bus) going inside the school campus. Although I found my way to the bus station, I became impatient waiting for bus. So I decided to continue my walk until I finally found the Jordan Hall where the psychology department is located. My entire walk took me about 50 minutes but I neither sweat nor gasp for air. It must be the cool spring weather and the unpolluted environment.

     Inside the department building, I asked the receptionist (a Black lady) about Ms. Kyonne Isaac, who was the organizer of the conference because I had so many questions to ask her related to the conference and to personally thank her for granting some of my requests, specifically in extending the payment of the conference fee. But the receptionist informed me that Kyonne could only be reached through the email. I also asked the receptionist if I could sit in the classes of their psychology professors during my stay in Palo Alto City, particularly Albert Bandura’s, for my own professional and personal enrichment. She told me that I need to email the professors whose classes I want to attend.   

     Quite frustrated because I could not get in touch with the conference organizer nor talk personally with the Stanford professors, I decided to loiter around the corridors of the building, and started reading the researches of some Stanford psychology students, whose work were posted on the walls.  Then a few minutes later, my heart leapt. I saw Dr. Bandura coming to my direction. I immediately approached him and introduced myself as the head of the Miriam College delegation to the SUPC. Seizing this rare opportunity, I hastily requested for the typical Pinoy “photo op”. As he did not expect me, however, to ambush him for a photo session, he said he will come back for me because he urgently needed to get something from another room. While waiting for his return, I immediately took out my digicam and prepared for any eventuality. In a few minutes, he came back to see me and he asked his secretary to take a picture of us outside the Jordan Hall building. We had two photographs of us taken together and a solo picture of him.

     I was damned “star struck” during those brief photo moments. He asked me what my area of interest is in psychology. I said I am a clinical psychologist, but very much interested in health and positive psychology.  Then, he invited me to his room inside the building because he will give me some reprints of his talks, lectures and speeches. That jolted and surprised me. He has a beautiful room, filled with a lot of books on the shelves, and many other books and papers on his table, which is a typical set-up of professors.   Then, he started pulling out one of his drawers and started giving me some reprints. He gave me a lot. To name a few, he gave me reprints on Going Global With Social Cognitive Theory: From Prospect to Paydirt, The Primacy of Self-Regulation in Health Promotion, An Agentic Perspective on Positive Psychology, The Growing Centrality of Self-Regulation in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Impending Ecological Sustainability Through Selective Moral Disengagement, and The Evolution of Social Cognitive Theory, among others.

     In one of the reprints that he gave me, A History of Psychology in Autobiography, which I immediately read when I reached Travelodge, I learned that we have the same birthday, December 04. (He is presently 85 years old). Isn’t that another fortuitous event?

     While still inside his office and continued to be “star struck” by him, I requested for a videotaped message for my colleagues and students (graduate and undergraduate) of Miriam College. He obliged and his message ran for 3 minutes. Essentially, he said we need to continue to have a “resilient belief” in ourselves, in our own efficacy to surpass and transcend the “lousy” realities of life”. This self-belief will serve as the “foundation for our aspirations and goals in life.”

     As I thanked Dr. Albert Bandura for this very precious moment with him, I could not help but thank the Universe and God who orchestrated everything for me, as well as for my students. Honestly, my two week trip to the United States was all part of a divine plan. There were some challenges along the way but everything went well. As I wrote on my journal inside the plane a few minutes it took off from Manila to San Francisco:

     “On several occasions, I doubted the success of this trip.    I even prayed that it will no longer push through so it     will unburden me… But a reassuring thought and feeling kept on surfacing. This is fulfilling God’s plan.  God has    designed this trip and will see the success of this event.   God will protect all of us and He will provide for     everyone’s needs.”

     I could only describe my first USA trip as wonderful and meaningful, filled with a lot of surprises, plenty of “fortuitous events”, one of which is my Bandura encounter. There were many other serendipitous events that came during my trip, which tremendously surprised me. (This will entail another story to tell.) But I sincerely embraced these events and meaningful experiences with love and respect, albeit with initial hesitation, for they were all part of the Greater Design.

     Indeed, there is a Higher Power that love, cares, and guides all of us at all times.


Reflection on being a Visiting Researcher

May 1, 2010

by Gina Hechanova

This year, I was fortunate to have received the Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship. Sponsored by the Nippon Foundation, it allowed me to serve as visiting researcher in Indonesia and Thailand to do a cross-cultural study on the impact of globalization and transformation in local Asian organizations. As part of my fellowship, I worked with other faculty members from the University of Indonesia and the Assumption University, Thailand. I also found myself delivering lectures to graduate students.
The experience has been life changing. The first challenge I had to overcome was homesickness – it was my first time to be away from my family for this long and there were times when all I wanted to do was pack my bags and go home.

Then there were the misadventures of traveling to non-English countries – mixing up currencies, getting lost, not being understood and having to resort to miming, ordering food and getting something unexpected, feeling alone in a crowd because you can’t understand what they are saying and stumbling over foreign phrases and intonations (note to self: the words for ‘excuse me’ and ‘I farted’ are the same in Thai – the difference is how you pronounce it 🙂 )

Yet there was also the exhilaration of seeing new places, tasting new flavors, discovering new things, making new friends, and simply the satisfaction of knowing I can survive. There was also the experience of meeting other FIlipino OFWs. Or just seeing them during Sunday mass – even if I don’t know who they are, there is a sense of community that brings comfort beyond words.

Then there is the solitude. Stretches of time to write, to read, to research, to reflect, or simply just be. I tried to revel and not be daunted by the silence knowing that when it was over, my life would return to its breakneck pace and I would not have this luxury again.

Gina Hechanova

In these pockets of solitude, I’ve discovered strengths I never knew I had. I also unearthed vulnerabilities I didn’t know were there. Just when you think you’ve grown up – experiences like these stretch and shape you. Entering new worlds make you realize there are other ways of doing and being. It makes you question your assumptions and perspectives. And although I do see the differences in language, customs, and religions, I was continually amazed at the similarities in histories and cultures. More than this, I’ve realized that at the personal level, – there are many things that are still shared across the planet. The human frailties. The search to be relevant. The desire to love and be loved.

So despite the difficulties, I am glad I did this. Beyond the work I set out to do, I feel I’ve grown as a person. And perhaps even more important than what I have learned professionally, is experiencing the joy of finding people you can connect with despite the barriers.

How Being a Psychologist has Helped Me as a Barangay Captain

April 26, 2010

by Angela Fabiola D. Regala, PhD

Psychology is a behavioral science very relevant to everyday life.  It contributes to the health, productivity, well-being, and resilience of people, family, and societies in a world of differing personalities.  I believe that the most important type of skills to succeed in life are psychological skills. This includes the ability to show real concern for others and knowing how to express that concern in interactions with others. Other skills I learned as a psychologist include the ability to help others develop and grow, the ability to create harmony in difficult situations, knowing how to motivate others, being able to understand another’s true motives during an interaction, and many others. Being a psychologist, I am better able to increase the motivation and energy of others, which has contributed to my being more effective in my line of work. 

     My job as a barangay captain is a mix of a certain level of intellectual and administrative skill and a lot of psychological know-how.  Being a psychologist has sharpened my social skills.  In today’s atmosphere of public life, these skills acquire a premium. Knowledge on how to deal with the public, understanding the art of persuasion and presentation, presence of mind, being attentive and energized, observation of others, considering and sometimes adjusting to others’ viewpont/s and, finally, accomplishment, fall under social skills. Manners, disposition and character play a very large part in one’s role as a barangay captain.

What makes me say this? – my own experience as a barangay chairperson for the past 8 years. 

     The barangay captain is the executive head of the smallest unit of government. My duties and responsibilities include governance, fiscal administration, development planning, barangay legislation, basic services and facilities and compliance to directives.

     As a basic political unit, the barangay serves as the chief planning and implementing unit of government policies, plans, programs, projects, and activities in the community, where the collective views of the people may be expressed, crystallized and considered, and where disputes may be amicably settled.

The following are some of the duties and functions of a barangay captain and how I am able to blend psychology in the performance of these tasks:

(1)   Enforce all laws and ordinances which are applicable within the barangay.  Enforcing laws within the barangay sounds simple but it requires a certain level of firmness and a lot of human understanding.  It is not easy to please everyone but I have to do what is necessary to put order in my area of responsibility. The ability to listen, negotiate, and collaborate has been very useful in my eight years in office as a barangay captain.  I consider everyday as a learning experience to better myself for the service of my community.  Patience is the key to handling people.  I view them as part of my team so I can effectively deliver results for the good of the barangay.  Because of this philosophy, I am able to deal with others more efficiently and resolve disputes immediately.  This results in higher compliance with minimal resistance.

(2)   Negotiate, enter into, and sign contracts for and in behalf of the barangay. Negotiating is a skill and I can personally say that I was able to develop it because of a better understanding of human behavior. This would not have been possible if not for my education as a psychologist.  I believe that because I am able to communicate effectively, I am able to use this as a link or tool for all parties to bring on the table their concerns and negotiate on it.  I always remind them that whatever the decision is, it is always for the good of the majority and not for a personal agenda.  Win-win negotiation is all about finding a solution that is acceptable to all involved and to achieve the feeling that they have won in some way.

 (3)   Maintain public order in the barangay and assist the city mayor and the sanggunian members in the performance of their duties and functions. Motivation has a lot to do with maintaining public order in our barangay.  I believe because of my understanding of it and application among my barangay council members that maintaining public order within our barangay has not been too difficult a task.

(4) Call and preside over the sessions of the sangguniang barangay and the barangay assembly.  My secret in being able to handle barangay sessions effectively is practicing positive self-talk before every meeting.  I do not get stressed because I prepare for it and make sure there is an agenda for the assembly.  By managing the time during our meetings, we are able to cover all the concerns related to our barangay. 

 (5) Organize and lead an emergency group whenever the same may be necessary for the maintenance of peace and order or on occasions of emergency or calamity within the barangay.  Whenever there are emergency situations, I always focus my energy on “team effort.”  I believe that in teamwork, we are able to achieve more, especially in emergencies.  Focus is not only on peace and order but more importantly, going beyond the physical – the emotional and psychological effects of stress-filled situations on people.

 (6) Administer the operation of the Katarungang Pambarangay in accordance with the provisions of this Code.  Katarungang Pambarangay requires that anyone from our barangay who has a problem with someone else in our barangay has to go through our office before they can file the case in court.  The problem can be anything: domestic fights, failure of one to pay rent, arguments between household help, resident owner vs. helper, verbal harassment, and others.  The Barangay captain must try to resolve the problem within her level so that it does not need to go to a higher court.  This can be really difficult when the complainant and the respondent do not see each other’s point.  It is always easy to settle a dispute when both parties are willing “to fix” the problem.  My style in conflict resolution depends on the scale of disagreement, misunderstanding, or problem.  First, I set the goal/s for the meeting.  Some of the questions I ask the parties involved include:

  • What are the expected outcomes?
  • Is it possible to reach a compromise?  How?
  • What are the consequences?
  • What are the possible solutions?

I want both parties to come up with a mutual and acceptable decision and my role is to process and guide them in achieving this.

 (7) Promote the general welfare of the barangay.  I strongly believe that psychological skills are competencies that make life better. Academic and work skills are part of the set which also include efficiency, cheerfulness, compassion, determination, decision-making, conflict-resolution, nonviolence, and self-discipline.  As barangay captain, I know that I will never be able to please everyone – but with these traits, I have a better chance of attaining a higher level of “customer satisfaction”.  As a chairwoman, having these qualities definitely facilitates my performance of all duties and responsibilities. 

     Although I was tasked to write on how being a psychologist has helped me as a barangay captain, I would like to say that being a psychologist has helped me also in other very important roles in my life: as wife, mother, teacher, and therapist.  Being an “expert” in human behavior has given me the tools to become a constructive influence in my everyday life.  Psychology has prepared me well to make a difference in whatever path I choose.


April 10, 2010

by J. Enrique G. Saplala

In the late 1950s, a group of young French film critics led by their mentor, Andre Bazìn, burst into the filmmaking scene. Armed with all the theoretical know how of the language of cinema, these critics became first time filmmakers churning out creative films that defied mainstream cinema. Known as the nouvelle vague (new wave), these filmmakers were responsible for changing the landscape of film and influenced the attitude of people towards cinema.
This burst of creative energy appears to be also apparent among today’s psychology students. The thirst for more information and interaction has driven them towards action, looking for venues to showcase their ideas and creativity. I have been a fortunate witness to these changes, where a new generation of psychology students has become the impetus for radical movements in undergraduate psychology. Like Bazìn, the key appears to be the students’ mentor who, by his or her encouragement, can push them to unleash their energies channeling it to productive use.

Movements in the South
An example of this student-driven creative energy is an auspicious gathering of psychology students in Davao City on January 18, 2004. An organization of psychology students from the Ateneo de Davao organized the first All Mindanao Wide Convention of Psychology Students. Attended by undergraduate students in psychology from all over Mindanao, the young Davaoeños organized the congress on their own; including fundraising through door to door campaign and selling old newspapers and recyclable materials. Suzette Aliño, one of the student mentors responsible for the groundbreaking convention, encouraged the students to pursue their vision. She was amazed by how the students methodically planned the convention with sheer determination. Two years later, a group of Ateneo de Zamboanga students in psychology organized a workshop on deception of which I was invited as speaker. I was surprised to learn that the students were able to invite the local PNP and the marines stationed at the Southern Command with hardly their teachers intervening for them. And to think these were all organized by the psychology majors!

The growth of student conventions
Other than their teacher’s encouragement, their experience and extent of exposure to psychology gatherings play a role in the growth of these activities. For example, psychology students of Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro regularly organize and invite speakers to give talks in developing fields in psychology: A case-in-point is the brown bag session in forensic psychology last year where students and professionals from all over Mindanao went to Cagayan de Oro to attend and listen to the research presentations. A similar movement has happened recently in Iloilo. Organized by the various student organizations in psychology, several schools banded together to mount the Iloilo Students’ Convention in 2008. According to Pete Galeno, professor of Central Philippine University, more than a hundred students trooped to Iloilo to present undergraduate research papers and participate in workshops organized by the students and teachers.
Manila also saw the surfacing of significant student conventions. For example, the 22nd and 23rd PAPJA convention were mostly organized by students from De La Salle University and Miriam College. Other than the PAPJA, which seems to be the mother of all student conventions, similar professional organizations encouraged and assisted students in organizing similar student gatherings. PSSP’s Tatsulok, which was the steering committee behind the All Psychology Student Congress, was organized by a core group of student organizations in psychology. Not far behind is the Consortium of Women’s Colleges (CWC) which mounted the CWC Research Forum in Psychology, also in 2006, where students from Assumption College, Miriam College and St. Scholastica’s College helped organized a sharing of their research papers in a half-day forum. Quite recently, a similar group of students from the Laguna College of Business and Arts organized their first student convention, where students from neighboring colleges gathered for a seminar, a workshop, and a quiz bee.

Going beyond the PAPJA experience: The case of the UP Visayas Tacloban College
Unbeknownst to most psychologists in Manila, the annual PAPJA seems to give some impetus for students to jump start student conventions in the provinces. A classic example is that of the students of UP Visayas Tacloban College. Recently, inspired by their experiences at the 23rd PAPJA annual convention, the UP psychology students banded together to put up the 1st Regional Seminar and Convention of Psychology Students. Students and professors who attended the PAPJA workshops got the permission of the PAPJA facilitators through email and echoed these workshops to the participants. Not contended with mere copying, the students adapted the 23rd PAPJA theme to the region, Character Strengths of the Filipino: A Positive Response to Current Challenges especially in the Waray Setting, prepared their workshops and critiqued each other’s work before finally promoting the convention. The students exuded idealism and high energy managing the entire convention, tapping regional and national professionals and arranging the itinerary of their resource speakers.

Similar movements in the United States
The student movement appears not to be confined at home. For example, similar student movements can be seen across the United States where undergraduate students in psychology appoint convention chairpersons and organize the preparations and the proceedings themselves. In 2006, I went to an undergraduate convention for psychology students in Missouri, where my student presented her research paper alongside Midwesterners. I observed that the manner of planning these students engaged in is similar to how our students planned their conventions. Similarly, Miriam College students who have also attended undergraduate student conventions at Stanford informed us that the Stanford Undergraduate Psychology Convention was so organized that they could not believe that the core groups of organizers were students like them.
Likewise, students from the UP Visayas Tacloban College are mulling over the prospect of having a Visayan PAPJA because of how big groups of students from the different parts of the region responded to their invitation. They have realized the advantages of sharing their resources with other people. As one student organizer said, “It’s not about us what we can share or what others can share, it’s about a mutual give and take of ideas, of learning from each other…”

Perhaps, we have to start rethinking how we plan our conventions and allow our students to work on their own conventions. If we mentor our students towards a direction of independence and excellence, then this is most likely where Philippine psychology will go.

UP Tatsulok

UP Visayas Students

Statistics – Anyone?

April 10, 2010

By Felicitas K. Claviolo

It was with much trepidation that I enrolled in my Basic Statistics subject two years ago. It was an undergraduate class and was a prerequisite in the postgraduate program  (Developmental Psychology) that I was interested in. I found the subject daunting because I had to learn the software SPSS, and all the terminologies associated with Statistics. Even if my undergraduate course was accounting (forty nine years ago!), with a 3-unit subject of Statistics, the terms and procedures being taught now were all alien to me. It did not help that majority of my classmates were much much younger and were either senior psychology students or former graduates of psychology.

The Author: Felicitas K. Claviolo

However, with determination, the presence of a brilliant and dynamic professor, and some tips from my technology savvy son and helpful classmates, I passed the subject with flying colors. Advanced Statistics 1 and Advanced Statistics 2, both graduate subjects, followed one after the other.  

Advanced Statistics 1 introduced us  to the different statistical concepts underlying the techniques. The knowledge was deepened by Advanced Statistics 2, where we were taught the application of these techniques. In one particular application, we were able to see the trends of preferences for the likely leader of our country. Not only that, the distances among the candidates could be visually presented. One can immediately see in a map which candidate is the most likely choice, who follows, and who are lagging behind. The location of the candidate in relation to the ideal candidate makes it easy to understand why he is preferred by the electorate or why he is at the tail end. More importantly, the candidates can be compared with each other, based on their traits. Candidates can utilize the findings to know the preferred traits, and thereby maximize or minimize their own particular traits to conform to the preference of the electorate.

Admittedly, studying is hard work. It requires patience and the perseverance to read and do the assignments, but that requirement is true for any student in order to succeed. Actual application contributes to effective learning. However, the exercise is rewarding, because statistics have a wide application. One of its applications is to present visually by way of a map the location of family members or friends in our life. The result may be surprising if not revealing. It can help in better understanding ourselves and our relationships. It can also be an aid in counseling.

I used to describe Statistics as the only boring subject in my course, where I fall asleep every time I had to read something on it. Now I must admit that statistics is interesting, practical and useful.

I believe learning is lifelong. One continues to learn throughout life. When one ceases to learn, stagnation sets in. I am one of the few senior citizens who went back to school and enrolled in graduate studies. I just needed to brush up on my computer know-how. Does age matter? No such thing. I either use my brain or lose it. I prefer to use it while I still have it.

Amazing Thailand Psychology

April 5, 2008


(From the President’s Desk)


Last February 11 to 13, a small group of Filipino psychologists formed the Philippine delegation to the 2nd Congress of the ASEAN Regional Union of Psychological Societies (ARUPS) in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.  The Filipino participants who came from Metro Manila and Davao City did us all proud as they presented very well received oral presentations of their recent research papers.  Congratulations!


During this meeting, I had the distinct honor of assuming the Presidency of ARUPS (having been elected President-Elect in 2006), and in this capacity I also hope to undertake my responsibilities in ways that will make Philippine psychologists proud.


But the most memorable aspect of this Thailand conference is our exposure to Buddhist psychology which is a growing field of study in Thailand, led by new ARUPS President-Elect, Dr. Soree Pokaeo of Chulalongkorn University.  During the conference, various paper presenters spoke about the basic principles and theoretical propositions of Buddhist psychology, and how these relate to different aspects of psychological study. 


I will not attempt to write about this complex topic, but what I noted was that the Thai psychologists who were studying Buddhist psychology were elaborating on a very new paradigm for doing psychology.  The tenets of Buddhist psychology have profound implications on how psychologists define human functioning, the goals and processes of human development, the nature and aspects of well-being, the nature of psychological distress, and even therapeutic interventions for psychological problems.  Some papers presented have gone as far as developing reliable measures for important constructs in Buddhist psychology.


During the conference, one fellow Filipino participant wondered why we Filipino psychologists have not developed a Catholic psychology.  The wondering was warranted as we know that Buddhism is a religion.  However, Buddhism is not just a religion in Thailand.  Instead it pervades every aspect of Thai society and culture.  We could say that Buddhism is a way of life for many Thai people, even those who do not claim to be Buddhist.  During one of my dinners with Thai psychology professors, they explained that Buddhism in Thailand actually incorporates many indigenous non-Buddhist beliefs and practices as well.  It seems to me that Buddhist psychology is not a psychology of the Buddhist religion, but an indigenous psychology of the Thai people.


In this regard, I know that Philippine psychologists have already made progress in developing an indigenous psychology, led by the late Dr. Virgilio Enriquez.  I still recall how, as an undergraduate student, I found many of Dr. Enriquez’ ideas very original, thought-provoking, and exciting.  It is the same feeling that I had while listening to the Thai Buddhist psychologists. 


I expressed my great admiration for the work of Buddhist psychologists to Dr. Soree Pokaeo, which he sincerely appreciated.  He was quick to tell me that my appreciation was so significant because they (the Buddhist psychologists of Thailand) often felt alone in the work, as most Thai psychologists did not appreciate it.  I wonder whether there is a similar lack of appreciation for indigenous psychology of Filipinos in the Philippines.


I truly believe that in the Philippines, indigenous psychological approaches to the study of human behavior represent important lines of work that will make psychology more relevant to the more Filipino people.  The work that is being done by our colleagues in the Pambansang Samahan sa Sikolohiyang Pilipino and some psychology departments can provide evidence for this. 


But the work does not begin with identifying and defining concepts and principles.  Indigenous psychological work requires precise and tough-minded scholarship, the utilization of varied empirical methodological tactics, and sustained scholarship on the part of committed researchers.  I hope that more PAP members share this belief and commit themselves to developing a Philippine psychology that is truly relevant to the lives of Filipino people. 


Allan B. I. Bernardo

PAP President


Allen Tan, PhD recalls 25 years of PJP.

January 15, 2008


For twenty five years, the Philippine Journal of Psychology (PJP) was edited by Allen I. Tan, PhD. Dr. Tan completed his PhD in Social Psychology at Cornell University. Through e-mail, we were able to collect his thoughts as the outgoing editor.


The PJP began in 1968 and Dr. Tan started editing the December 1983 issue – a solid 25 years ago! However, he was quick to add that within that period, there were 4 years wherein he did not edit for the PJP, making it a total of 21 years of PJP editing for him. When he first began, he felt that his priority was to catch up on the unpublished issues. He realized that journals in the Philippines are often a few years behind.  So he set it as his personal goal to get the PJP up to date and start publishing it in a regular manner. By the early 1990s, Dr. Tan was able to guide the PJP in largely accomplishing this. Today, the PJP is the envy of many Philippine social science journals who are still a few years behind.


Dr. Tan does however regret having had moments wherein he felt that he sacrificed quality in order to publish an issue on time.  According to him, he rationalized that by being punctual, the PJP would get better submissions.  This worked on the premise that if you have a good article and could submit it to 3 possible journals, you would probably choose the one that would publish your article on schedule rather than to a journal that might take 2 or 3 years to do so. Once or twice, in a rush to get the PJP out on time, Dr. Tan failed to spot a typo on the cover and he shared that these mishaps do haunt him until today (most especially when it was an author’s name which was misspelled on the cover).


Still, despite these trying instances, the PJP has had a great deal of accomplishments. In the 1990s, a web site for the PJP was finally set up; probably making the PJP the first Philippine social science journal to do so.  This visibility led to a number   of submissions that were eventually published.  It also sold a few extra PJP issues. It was Athena, Dr. Tan’s daughter, who served as webmaster. 


When asked about how the PJP has grown and evolved during his term, Dr. Tan shares that the quality of research and articles submitted in Philippine psychology has undergone tremendous improvement. He mentions that back in the 1980s, the PJP had very few submissions; sometimes the authors were unable to make the necessary revisions to make their articles meet publication standards.  At times, they, as editors, had to make the revisions for them in order for the PJP to have enough articles for an issue. Occasionally, they had psychologists submit their whole thesis as is to the PJP for a number did not have the time, interest or capability to re-write their thesis in article form! Today, a different tale is being told, most submissions follow correct journal style. Dr. Tan further elaborates by saying that majority of the background literature nowadays is usually direct and relevant, and the methodologies are generally more rigorous. Also, Dr. Tan adds that there has been a big change in terms of one’s access to information. In the 1980s, he would often allow authors to have long literature reviews because most of the PJP readers did not have access to many of the background researches cited.  Today, with internet access, there is less need for lengthy descriptions of previous studies.


Dr. Tan continues by stating that the growth in the quality of submissions as well as the greater number of articles submitted has allowed the PJP to become a peer reviewed journal.  Many institutions now require a publication in a peer reviewed journal for a faculty member to be promoted.  He adds that the Philippine Journal of Psychology’s own peer review system was established a few years ago by Dr. Regina Hechanova. This has given the PJP a lot more prestige.


Dr. Tan shares that after 25 long years, he has grown very much attached to the PJP, but he acknowledges that it is now time to leave the journal to younger and more capable psychologists. He is however very happy to pass on a PJP that is publishing regularly and improving quality of articles. Dr. Tan’s great efforts have indeed paved the way in doing scientific Psychology in the Philippines. Dr. Tan ends by saying that he wishes to thank the Psychological Association of the Philippines for giving him the privilege of editing the PJP over all these years. 


For Dr. Allen Tan, it has truly been a most fulfilling and rewarding endeavor! (Written by JC Capuno)