Metallurgy, steel making, mineral processing, metals industry, technology.
When I was in high school, we were given a chance to present a paper on the profession we want to take up for college. By then I have no idea, but I chose “mercury poisoning” as my paper to our adviser. Nobody was able to relate on my paper simply because nobody seems to know or care what it was all about and yet it was given a high recognition by my teachers. And it introduced me to metallurgy.
The idea of being a metallurgist came from my mother. She was a graduate of B.S. Chemistry and was working as a laboratory technician in a military camp. But it was only a contractual position and she wants to be a regular employee if only she had the right qualifications. Unfortunately, my mom was not a board passer. And to practice her profession and to be considered for a government regular post, she should have passed the professional exam or have at least passed the civil service. What she did was continue her education and enrolled herself in Mapua as a metallurgical engineering student. That time, I was already on my fourth year in high school. I saw how my mom struggled to continue her studies with a demanding work and growing family at the same time. It was really a big effort to her on how to proceed. But her passion to improve herself gave her two semesters of engineering student life. With her in college and me graduating in high school, my parents have to think deeply if they could afford to support both of us. There and then my mom gave way for me to have my precious education for a better future. To give credit to her, I took up metallurgical engineering to continue her dream… our dream.
I studied engineering in Mapua Institute of Technology, one of the best engineering school in the Philippines. And people always think that studying in that school means your bright and smart. And yet when being asked what course I was taking, my answer of metallurgical engineering do always have a questioning response of, “huh? what is that?”. Then I will explain again and again what it is and what it does. And I am aware that it was not known or a popular profession. It may be absurd, but I never have any other course in mind when I studied in college. I just embraced it without qualms and let it lead me into the world only few people knows but very important in world industry.