Nobel Prize winner Richard Heck said Thursday he was excited to go to Sweden to receive the award he won together with two Japanese colleagues, dpa reported.
Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki of Japan were awarded Wednesday this year's Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their research on a method used to create advanced chemicals.
The trio won for their work on the development of "palladium-catalyzed cross couplings in organic synthesis," according to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
"I am pleased and excited about it," he told the German Press Agency dpa at his small bungalow in Manila's suburban Quezon City. "We were completely surprised. We did not expect it."
Heck, 79, who has been living in Manila for the last four years with Socorro, his Filipino wife of 31 years, admitted tears welled from his eyes after he got a call from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday.
"We were just about to have a dinner when I received the call," he said. "Then the phone just kept on ringing and ringing. Everybody wanted to talk to me."
Heck said he is completely retired and spends most of his time attending to his garden of rare orchids and three pairs of African lovebirds.
Socorro, 59, said she had been praying hard for her husband to get a major recognition for the work he has done.
"He is a good man. He is very kind. He deserves the award," she said.