July 4, 2024 (2:46 PM)

3 min read


Photo courtesy of Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Official Facebook Page.

The Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) rocketry team expressed their successful rocket launching in the recent international contest America Spaceport Cup as a gateway to rocketry development in the Philippines. 

In the Wednesday Media Forum press conference, the team, composed of students from the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program, admitted that seeing the other teams’ advanced rocket entries pressured them and challenged the condition of their rocket, as some had special mechanisms, which they lacked. 

“Back in the Philippines, we thought that our rocket is already good as it is but when we got there, we immediately got to compare our rocket from theirs. However, when we got to launch the rocket at the pad, all of our efforts paid off,” structures team member Avery Dimasuhid said.

Months before the competition, the team faced technical challenges in the construction of their rocket but were able to overcome them.

“We had difficulties with the rocket itself and suffered internal problems, but we were happy that we were able to pull it off,” Dimasuhid added.

Rocketry team leader Franz Guevara stated that as first-time participants with limited experience, the team had numerous expectations and was uncertain regarding the competition’s outcome.

“What surprised us is that coming in there, there were a lot of Filipinos who welcomed us, Filipinos from other teams in the United States… We felt that we belonged there. We felt that rocketry is something that belongs within the Philippines as well,” Guevara said.

The team is the first from the Philippines to reach the Spaceport America Cup: Intercollegiate Rocket Competition 10,000 ft Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Category, and one of the two teams representing Southeast Asia, alongside the team from Thailand.

“In the end, I learned that we should be confident, especially for us, as we are the frontiers of rocketry development in the Philippines, and as a woman myself, it was kind of an honor to me to represent women and Filipinos,” structures member and substitute recovery lead Mariz Cenojas stated.

The AdDU rocketry team successfully launched their rocket, Sibol, during the contest proper, which was held in Southern New Mexico, USA, on July 22, 2024.

Rocketry Team Technical Advisor Wilfredo Pardorla Jr. highlighted their mission as educators to provide quality education beyond the traditional classroom setting.

“We really want to make our students build a real rocket that is on par with international universities,” Pardorla said.

AdDU is the only university in Mindanao that offers BS-AE and is among the 10 engineering programs offered by the said university.

The Wednesday Media Forum press conference was held at Habi at Kape, Abreeza Corporate Center, hosted by the Mindanao Development Authority on July 3, 2024.

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