Journalist Lian Buan (left) and lawyer Tina Amador-Robles (right).

TWO women. A journalist. A lawyer. One ultimate goal in mind.

Journalist Lian Buan and lawyer Tina Amador-Robles, along with 21 others, flew to the United Kingdom this month to pursue post-graduate studies after being awarded Chevening scholarships.

Both Thomasian alumnae intend to integrate the knowledge they will acquire for one academic year to contribute to their respective fields.

Buan, a journalism graduate, has been covering justice, anti-corruption and impunity beats for online news site Rappler. In pursuing a master’s in human rights from the Birkbeck School of Law, she hopes to inculcate new learnings to future journos in a field she covered for six years.

“It’s really been my dream to pursue a master’s. I wanted to learn something else, and come back and use that. Maybe even teach the new generation of journalists,” she said.

Buan has chronicled the “roller coaster” ride of the justice system under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte. Her “anger and hope” after her exposure motivated her to explore further studies.

“There has got to be a better way of communicating human rights in a way that leaders like Duterte are not emboldened to demonize it. So, I wanted to learn that,” she said.

Buan initially applied in 2015 for a master’s in journalism but failed to secure a spot. Turns out, her fate brought her closer to the line of work she has been involved in.  

“In 2021, in the middle of the campaign [election] coverage, my friend – who’s a human rights lawyer – bugged me to try again. And it was because of that bugging that I more clearly understood what I wanted to pursue – which is an LL.M. in Human Rights,” she recalled.

Boosting renewables

Robles, a fine arts graduate specializing in corporate and energy law, plans to introduce reforms in the country’s renewable energy (RE) sector after her post-graduate studies at the Queen Mary University of London.

“The skills, knowledge, influence, resources, [and] network that I will gain here will really enable me to tackle the issues that I see in the RE project industry in the Philippines,” she said.

She has worked with several corporations and experienced firsthand the need to improve the condition of the industry, citing the tedious and costly process in the RE project industry.

“Instead of tiptoeing around these hurdles, why don’t I try to change the RE industry in the Philippines so that these hurdles are eventually dismantled,” Robles said.

She seeks to educate more people about RE and help industry leaders in their sustainability initiatives.

“Energy is all-encompassing [and] has that transcendental ability to touch so many other industries because many industries rely on energy,” Robles said.

“I intend to use all those Chevening resources and network and knowledge that I mentioned to eventually educate on RE, to collaborate with fellow industry leaders so that they can adopt RE solutions for their specific industries,” she added.


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