Mapúa University’s 21st Century Innovators to Watch Out For

Mapúa University

Mapúa University students never fail to amaze the world with their top-notched innovations. As they showcase their trailblazing inventions and products, such as the Pili Seal, BAKAWONE, SafeSteps, and Echo, these students demonstrate how bold and thoughtfully designed solutions could address society’s pressing challenges. Learn more about these up-and-coming 21st-century innovators and the novel solutions they developed. 

With issues like global health, climate change, deforestation, income, and gender inequality plaguing the world today, it’s not surprising that some young people have decided to take matters into their own hands.As the torchbearers of tomorrow, the youth find themselves at a pivotal juncture, called upon to actively shape a more sustainable and equitable future for the world.


Mapúa University's 21st Century Innovators to Watch Out For

Mapúa University BS Information System students Arianna Coleen Ochua, Ma. Gracia Kim Brela and Prisilla Amiel Sarto created SafeSteps, a mobile application that provides women with a safe and comprehensive platform for sexual health. It includes a community forum, a sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing facility locator, and a confidential Ask a Doctor platform. The app empowered marginalized groups like women by democratizing access to sexual healthcare services and eliminating the associated stigma and obstacles. 

Developing the app, which took a month to create, wasn’t easy due to data privacy and security issues, and restrictions on reproductive health rights. However, their persistence paid off as SafeSteps’ novel and socially relevant approach won the Tech4Women Singapore 2023 Challenge hosted by The Women’s Forum Youth Lab. 


Another trio of innovators bent on addressing a rising health problem are Jeatel Tayam, Aurora Benavidez, and Luis Perez. These BS Information Systems students at Mapúa launched this year’s DB-SNUbiz Global Startup Challenge winner, Echo – THE Safe Space for All. This application provides a convenient and innovative virtual community for those struggling with mental health issues. Echo allows users to share their thoughts and feelings without the fear of judgment or rejection and, more importantly, amplify their calls for help so they can get support and comfort from people. 

Borne out of their personal experiences of isolation during the pandemic and their strong advocacy for mental healthcare, it only took them a few weeks to develop the concept for Echo. Creating the prototype, though, was another story as it presented its own set of challenges. It took them countless hours of studying, trial and error, and consultations with experts to finally put it together and proceed with testing. Limited resources also compounded their challenging situation, but they successfully surpassed all these through their determination, passion, and supportive mentors, friends, and well-wishers. 


Aldrich Remot, a Mapúa University architecture student and the very first Asia Young Designer Awards 2022 National Gold Winner, got the nod of the international architecture and design community with his elegant and sustainable design, the BAKAWONE Project. The design marvel, a one-stop shop government center project, pushed conventional design boundaries and seamlessly combined nature and innovation. 

Mapúa University's 21st Century Innovators to Watch Out For

Lauded for its innovative approach to creating spaces that espoused nature conservation, sustainability, human interaction, harmony, and an airy and bright aesthetic, BAKAWONE won the acclaim of industry experts and organizations. It also opened more doors of opportunity for the development of more eco-conscious, sustainable, people-centered, and attractive architectural feats. 

Pili Seal

Mapúa University Engr. Mark Kennedy Bantugon, the inventor and founder of the groundbreaking, patented Pili Seal, a sustainable aviation sealant made from the waste material of Pili Tree resin, won the 2021 James Dyson Award. His trailblazing invention, the Pili Seal, will soon undergo testing at Boeing Company and the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

The Pili Seal drew the attention of experts due to its environmental, health, social, and economic impacts. Since it repurposes waste materials, the sealant helps with waste reduction strategies. It also promotes the cultivation of pili trees and reforestation. The Pili Seal’s safe and non-harmful properties also greatly reduce the health risks encountered by aviation technicians and mechanics. More importantly, the invention’s potential could boost the local agricultural and aviation industries. 

Mapúans Engr. Mark Kennedy Bantugon, Aldrich Remot, Arianna Coleen Ochua, Ma. Gracia Kim Brela, Prisilla Amiel Sarto, Jeatel Raphaela Tayam, Aurora Magdalene Benavidez, and Rodolfo Luis Perez are just some of the promising changemakers who used their skills, creativity, and knowledge to impact the world. They demonstrated that determination, commitment, intentionality, perseverance, and the knowledge gained from established engineering and technologicalinstitutions like Mapúa can help the next generation of changemakers step up to the plate. 

Like these young innovators, you too can embark on a transformative journey at Mapúa University. Build the next big thing! Admissions for A.Y. 2024-2025 are now open. Go to https://bit.ly/AskMapua to inquire.

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