The Philippines' First Gravitational Physicist Will Graduate From U.P.

He can now boast of being the Sheldon Cooper of the Philippines.
IMAGE Reginald Christian Bernardo, National Institute of Physics

A homegrown Filipino gravitational physicist will soon join the ranks of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking. His name is Reginald Christian Bernardo, the first Filipino to complete his dissertation on alternate theories of gravity at the University of the Philippines National Institute of Physics.

On May 22, Bernardo successfully defended his dissertation, titled Compact Objects, Cosmologies, and Gravitational Perturbations in Scalar-Tensor Theories of Gravity. The defense was livestreamed through Zoom and YouTube.

Bernardo's Profile on Facebook


In his dissertation, Bernardo explored mind-boggling concepts such as “hairy black hole” and the inflationary universe. He also made use of theories such as Einstein’s theory of general relativity, dark energy, dark matter, and primordial inflation of the universe. 

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“The existence of dark energy and dark matter signify that gravity may not very well be completely described by general relativity on extra-galactic scales,” said Bernardo during his defense. 

Bernardo graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Physics. He continued his studies and earned his master’s degree in Physics in 2017. So far, Bernardo has published 12 scientific papers in prestigious journals around the world.

According to Bernardo, the Philippines has a lack of scientists capable of teaching PhD students, which is why he wants to share his knowledge with aspiring Filipino scientists.

“The biggest hurdle to obtaining a PhD in the Philippines is the lack of scientists capable of mentoring PhDs for various specializations,” said Bernardo in an interview with UP Scientia, the official publication of U.P. College of Science. “I know that I’ll eventually return to our country [to mentor] local talents.”


Watch Bernardo's full dissertation defense in the viedo below. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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