Rafael Nelson M. Aboganda

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Rafael Nelson M. Aboganda is an inventor and a social/community innovator. He launched The InventSchool, a training program for young inventors, in July 1973. He also initiated the organization of the InventClub, an association of young inventors and inventive researchers, in 1980. He played a key role in shaping creative education and creativity training programs in the Philippines as well as the promotion of inventive activities and local inventions. Aboganda works as a consultant on creative education and training, environmental management, development management, development economics, urban renewal and rural development planning, and local governance. Together with Ricardo Sotto Cortez, he proposed a new approach to the study of the creative phenomena and creative studies called creatology, the new science of creativity.

He is co-founder of Likhaan Institute Foundation, Inc. (LIFI), The InventSchool International, Inc. (TISI), Social Inventions & Community Innovations, Inc. (SICI) and The Likhaan Group, Inc. (TLG), organized in 1980, 1988, 1989 and 2006 respectively.


Background and career

Aboganda was born on October 24, 1944 in Nagcarlan, Laguna. He was educated at National University in Manila with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil and sanitary (environmental) engineering. He also took up baccalaureate courses in architecture.

He is married to Helen Grace Aboganda (nee Jasmin). He has three children - Karlo Marko, Yuklid Ranel and Alam Lenar.

He is presently the president of The Likhaan Group, Inc. (TLG) and manages three of its member-organizations — The InventSchool, Likhaan Institute and Social Inventions & Community Innovations. Concurrently, he is a project consultant of the Quezon City Housing & Urban Renewal Authority (HURA), and editor-in-chief of The CEO Magazine.

Aboganda has been involved in agricultural and rural development, building construction, shelter systems and tribal settlements design, and environmental sanitation. At Likhaan, he manages development research, planning and management program focused on community innovations and sustainable development. He also serves as director of studies of The InventSchool creativity-training courses. He also directs social invention and community innovation projects for urban and rural development. He participates in short-term training, development planning and environmental management consultancy assignments with local and foreign organizations.

At various times, Aboganda has served as:

  • Solid waste management consultant for Conexor Sensus AB, a Swedish consultancy firm, for the Solid Waste Management component of Project: Micropolis by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The project is located in Quezon City.
  • Environmental management consultant for Andante Consultants AB, a Swedish consultancy firm, for the Environmental Management for Sustainable Agriculture and Agro-Industrial Development project of the Department of Agriculture, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The project was located in Davao City.
  • Project development consultant for water supply and other infrastructure projects, working with Acemont Infrastructures, Inc. in Quezon City.
  • Faculty member of the Department of Construction Engineering, Oman Technical Industrial College (OTIC), now Higher College of Technology (HCT), in the Sultanate of Oman.
  • Program manager for shelter, environment and estate development, University of Life (UL), Pasig City.
  • Development planning and research manager for the Small Islands Development Project (SIDPO), Ministry of Human Settlements. The project is located on Culion Island, Northern Palawan.
  • Technology development consultant for the Technology Resource Center (TRC) in Makati City.
  • Information officer, publication editor, lecturer and trainer on scientific-technological creativity and industrial innovations, for the Philippine Inventors Commission in Quezon City.

Organizational Affiliations

National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA)
  • President, 1996-1999
  • Secretary-General, 1993-1995
  • Vice President, 1992-1993
  • Board Secretary, 1990-1992
  • Board Director, 1987-1990
  • Regular Member since 1982

Filipino Inventors Society (FIS)
  • Director-General, 1983-84
  • Board Director, 1978-1983
  • Regular Member, 1971-1989

Art Association of the Philippines (AAP)
  • Member, 1967-69; 1997 to present

Selected inventions/innovations

Mnemo Game
A memory and vocabulary development game spiced with elements of creativity for players ages six and above. It can be played by three to five players as a serious tournament or competition game or by six or more players as a recreational parlor game. It uses one dodecahedron (12-sided) number-dice, one dodecahedron letter-dice, letter tiles, decoy tiles and a codex of gaming instructions for players. [Phil. Patent No. UM-6398, June 5, 1987. Co-inventor - Miguel S. Fernandez.]
Knockdown-Type Furniture
A three-purpose furniture unit using a system of plates and blocks which can be knocked down and snugly fitted together to form a living room set, a bed, and/or box-type cabinet, closet or open-shelves. [Phil. Patent No. UM-1793, May 19, 1975.]
Finished Formwork
A construction formwork system using demountable scaffoldings and finished-type ceiling, wall or column tiles, cells, plates, trays, planks, blocks or waffles of different modules and motifs. The tiles, waffles or cellular units are so designed to snugly fit together. After removing the scaffoldings the pieces remain in place in finished form, thus reducing finishing work in building and construction.
Containerized Jeepney
A jeepney-type lightweight cargo transport system with built-in small containers of different sizes, snugly fitted and locked together to form a rectangular container van.
Modular Housing Unit
A one-room housing unit with complete kitchen and toilet and bath facilities which can be expanded by adding new housing modules using 10 mm module-measurements. The modules may be a complete room facility or parts thereof, which can be completed as the need or capability to complete the house arises.
Other inventions and ideas
Aboganda has developed other inventions such as the catamaran-type passenger-cargo and light cargo boat, catamaran-type fishing boat for shallow waters, catamaran-type leisure boat with trailer swimming cage, human-powered tricycle which can be used on land and in water for leisure and recreational purposes, children’s outdoor playthings, and interlocking play blocks.

Selected papers and publications

  • Understanding the Nature of Creativity and the Structure of Thinking. The Likhaan Group, Inc., Quezon City: 2008
  • Creative Problem-Solving and Decision-Making. Likhaan Institute Foundation, Inc., Center for Education, Training & Development. Quezon City, Metro-Manila: 2007.
  • Operational Mechanism of Creativity and Thinking. The InventSchool International, Inc., Quezon City, Metro-Manila: October 2006.
  • "Disorganized Cities in an Expanding National Capital Region." CEO Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp.18-21. The CEO Group. Quezon City, Metro-Manila: April-May 2005. [Reprinted in Creativity Journal, Vol.1 No.1, 3rd Quarter 2008, The Likhaan Group, Inc., Quezon City (slightly edited and updated version)]
  • "Healthy Living with Lampe Burger." XPO Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.26-27. The XPO Group. Quezon City, Metro-Manila: October 2004. [Reprinted in Creativity Journal, Vol.1 No.1, 3rd Quarter, The Likhaan Group, Inc., Quezon City: 2008 (slightly edited version)]
  • "Insubstantial Economic Policies Generate Careless Development." CEO Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.23-25. Summit Sports World Corporation. Pasig City, Metro-Manila: July 2004.
  • "Discover Paris." CEO Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp.51-53. Summit Sports World Corporation. Pasig City, Metro-Manila: July 2004.
  • "Waste Management: The Swedish Experience." CEO Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp.41-45. Summit Sports World Corporation. Pasig City, Metro-Manila: May 2004.
  • Guide to the Environmental Management System [E•M•S] for Barangay LGUs. Department of the Interior & Local Government, National Capital Region. Quezon City: December 2003.
  • Creative Teaching and Instructional Innovations. The InventSchool International, Inc. Quezon City: April 2003.
  • Stimulating Creativity and Inventiveness of Students. The InventSchool International, Inc. Quezon City: April 2002.
  • Development Management System [D•M•S]: Development Planning Guides – (1) Community Information & Planning System (CIPS), (2) Community Innovations & Development System (CIDS), (3) Project Development & Implementation System (PDIS). Department of the Interior & Local Government, National Capital Region. Quezon City: June 2001.
  • Towards a Positive Understanding of Creativity -- Creatology, The Science of Creativity. Philippine Inventors Commission, National Science Development Board. Quezon City: October 24, 1972.



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