White House invited Pinay scientist to APEC CEO Summit

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 20 2015 12:14 AM

US President Barack Obama poses with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma (left) and entrepreneur Aisa Mijeno (right) as they take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit in Manila on Wednesday. Photo by Saul Loeb, AFP

MANILA - It was the White House who invited Filipina scientist Aisa Mijeno to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit on Wednesday, the 31-year-old engineer revealed on Thursday.

"White House po ang nag-invite sa akin. I was surprised. Akala ko prank call ang na-receive ko nung Monday!" Mijeno said.

According to Mijeno, she had to be escorted by the US Secret Service to be able to enter the venue of the forum, having no APEC ID.

"Pagdating sa venue, wala akong APEC ID kasi di naman ako delegate. Sinundo po ako ng US Secret Service para mapakasok sa CEO Forum," she shared.

Mijeno was hailed by US President Barack Obama during a light moment at the APEC CEO Summit for her invention, the SALt lamp, a lamp that runs on saltwater.

SALt stands for Sustainable Alternative Lightning.

Aside from Obama, Mijeno also shared the stage with Alibaba chairman Jack Ma.

"Jack Ma promised us that he will be getting in touch. He gave us his contact info if we need any help," she said.

"Expectation ko po is somebody locally, we will get support... though the government is trying to reach us now," she added.

In an interview on radio dzMM this morning, Mijeno said they are now working on mass producing the SALt lamp, which they aim to sell for less than P1,000 per unit.

She said they are now completing requirements to receive a grant from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). They are also coordinating with non-government organizations for the distribution of the lamps in remote communities. -- Report from Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News