“Philippine Architecture is an elusive thing, because while it makes full use of modern technology, it is a residue of the different overlays of foreign influences left in the Philippines over the centuries: the early Malay culture and vestiges of earlier Hindu influences, the more than 300 years of Spanish domination, the almost 50 years of American rule, the Arab and Chinese influences through commerce and trade over the centuries. What resulted may have been a hybrid, a totally new configuration which may include a remembrance of the past but transformed or framed in terms of its significance today.” ~ Ar. Leandro V. Locsin, National Artist of the Philippine Architecture 1990.
Filipino architecture has always strived to find its voice in the global architecture community. An emerging vision of Filipino architecture is breaking the surface in the international arena and a significant indication that Filipino architects are starting to engage globally. This 11th founding year anniversary of the United Architects of the Philippines Qatar Chapter and its 3rd GMM CPD MENA Webinar with a theme “Filipino Architecture Decoded: The Global Perspective” was held Friday morning of September 17, 2021, via zoom conference in Doha, Qatar has enlightened and inspired us about how Filipino Architecture must look on global development. With a distinguished panel of top-caliber resource speakers from the Philippines discussing how architecture in the Philippines have evolved, and its role in the country's history and generously sharing about their works, the very engaging talks were almost like a refresher on Philippine history. Hearing the many great stories of how architecture has been a huge contributing factor in the molding of communities in the Philippines, as well as the Filipino people's everyday lives has fascinated the participants of the event. Panel reactors from the neighboring MENA UAP Chapters represented by their respective Chapter Presidents, have amazingly expressed their thoughts on the topics presented which makes the discussion more interesting to all attendees.
The masters of the ceremonies UAP Qatar Chapter Head of the Committee on Outreach and Welfare Ar. Bernard Krismon T. Cabugnason, UAP and UAP Qatar Chapter Director of Committee on Education & Arkitekturang Filipino Ar. Joan P. De Guzman, UAP kickstarted the first part of the program with the opening ceremonies and invocation led by Chapter Director for Committee on External & Governmental Affairs Ar. Ferdinand R. Magpantay, UAP. Whilst UAP Qatar Chapter President Ar. Marvin M. Tejada officially opened the ceremony by administering the call to order and ground rules for the event. UAP Qatar Chapter Vice-President for Programs and Development, Ar. Janel S. Hipolito, UAP graciously delivered his welcoming remarks and was followed by the acknowledgment of the guests by UAP Qatar Chapter Secretary Ar. Kathleen B. Osio-Arevalo, UAP.
Henceforth, a video anniversary message from the past presidents and current president of the UAP Qatar Chapter were presented beginning with Ar. Miluna Simpron-Alegada, UAP, FY 2019-2020; Ar. Virgo C. Ibarra, UAP, FY 2018-2019; Ar. Melito M. Gomez, UAP, FY 2017-2018; Ar. Ricardo H. Sesbreno, UAP FY 2016-2017; Ar. Wilson D. Bernardino, UAP, FY 2014-2016; Ar. Michael Nino G. Garcia, UAP FY 2013-2014; Ar. Jonathan M. Vanta, UAP, FY 2012-2013; Ar. Mario Herman M. Macaranas, UAP, FY 2011-2012, and 2020-2021 and the current chapter president of UAP Qatar, Ar. Marvin M. Tejada, UAP. Afterwards, subsequent anniversary messages were meaningfully expressed by the UAP Qatar Chapter Co-Founder/ Adviser, Ar. Pete T. Frac, UAP and the Founder/ Adviser, Ar. Isaias B. Tabuzo Jr., UAP.
Moreover, warm greetings and anniversary messages from the following esteemed guest continued, starting off with PPOQ Chairman Engr. Adonis Q. Talabo; the UAP National Executive Vice President Ar. Richard M. Garcia, FUAP; our POLO OWWA Labour Attaché Hon. Adam A. Musa; the UAP District A4 Director Ar. Markel Cesar A. Luna, FUAP; the UAP National President Ar. Armando Eugene C. De Guzman III, FUAP through a video message and lastly was a wonderful message coming from UAP Past National President Ar. Benjamin Panganiban Jr., FUAP.
Midpart of the programme proper was pouring with excitement and surprises steered by the UAP Qatar chapter member’s astounding intermission numbers and raffle draw portion that was full of amazing prizes. Furthermore, the awarding of the 5-Year & 10-Year Membership in Continuous Good Standing were jointly facilitated by UAP Qatar Chapter Vice President for Programs and Development Ar. Janel S. Hipolito, UAP and UAP Qatar Chapter Vice President for Operations Ar. Jayson Z. Santos, UAP. On the other hand, UAP Qatar Chapter President Ar. Marvin M. Tejada, UAP announced the UAP College of Fellows Nominations, Guidelines and Procedures to guide prospective and interested members who are eligible to be UAP Fellow nominees.
The masters of ceremonies read the presentation of token of appreciation for the distinguished guests, co-founder, founder, and past presidents as they are recognized. The morning session culminated with a video montage of the UAP Qatar Chapter’ 11 glorious and memorable years of existence as a professional organization and the 6th year anniversary commemorative video of Arki- Riders were played as prompted by the masters of the ceremonies.
Proceeding with the second part of the program, the culmination of the event were structured into three topics discussed by the top-caliber resource speakers. Chapter Director Committee on Continuing Professional Development Ar. Carmelita G. Flores, UAP introduced the first resource speaker Dr. Lorelei D.C. de Viana, Ph.D., FUAP, the Executive Director of the UAP Sentro ng Arkitekturang Filipino. Dr. Lorelei De Viana presented her topic entitled “Arkitektura at Kasaysayan: Heritage and the Filipino Identity”, which decoded on her discussion that architecture is intertwined with our history as a nation and in listening to the histories of our architectural heritage, we open ourselves to the collective story of the Filipino people. Forgotten stories, lost histories, and continued traditions, all collectively contribute to what makes up the Filipino identity and soul.
Panel reactors for this topic were MENA UAP Chapter Presidents as introduced by UAP Qatar Chapter Auditor Ar. Melani S. Ramos, UAP. They were as follows: UAP Dubai Chapter President Ar. Kristine Rose O. Marasigan, UAP; UAP Oman Chapter President Ar. Darwin N. Pascua, UAP and UAP KSA Western Region Chapter President Ar. Jan Marlou A. Luis, UAP. Each panel reactor have profoundly spoken about their insights on the topic, in which Question and Answer segment followed.
UAP Qatar Chapter Director of Committee on Internal Affairs Ar. Maria Michaela A. Pasiona, introduced the second resource speaker Dr. Gerard Rey A. Lico, Ph.D., FUAP, the Deputy Director of the UAP Sentro ng Arkitekturang Filipino. Dr. Gerard Rey Lico, a multi-awarded author of conservation works, books and documentary films about Philippine Architecture, discussed his topic entitled “Old Building New Life: Conserving Philippine Architecture”. He has expounded on his lectures about heritage conservation that it may be a tangible or intangible thing that is worth cherishing and nurturing. He further stated that adaptive reuse strategies and preservation of historic structures have been proven to be an effective tool towards economic, environmental, and social sustainability. He ended his discussion with a quote, “Stop Building. Start Reusing” – “Architecture is all too often imagined as if buildings do not – and should not – change. But change they do and have always done. Buildings are gifts and because they are, we must pass them on.”
UAP Qatar Director of Committee on Professional Practice Ar. Melanie V. Sandicho, UAP introduced the MENA UAP Chapter Presidents as panel reactors for this topic. They were as follows: UAP Bahrain Chapter President Ar. Jesus C. Palingkod Jr., UAP; UAP Kuwait Chapter President Ar. Rachel Joy S. Barela,UAP and UAP KSA Eastern Province Chapter President Ar. Geraldin G. Suede, UAP. All panel reactors for the topic amazingly shared their thoughts on the discussed subject matter by the resource speaker, in which a Question-and-Answer segment followed.
For the last topic of the webinar, UAP Qatar Director of Committee on Education & Arkitekturang Filipino Ar. Joan P. De Guzman, graciously introduced the last but not the least esteemed resource speaker Ar. Deo Alrashid T. Alam, UAP, Design Principal of DADA. Ar. Deo Alrashid Alam, whose local leading architectural firm renowned for its creative and innovative design incorporating unique Filipino indigenous iconography which received multiple awards in numerous international design competitions, presented his topic entitled “Indigenous Injection: Regenerating Traditional Architecture”. His talk was such an inspiring subject matter showcasing a few of his design projects that he started pitching in through the years of his practice as an Architect and exhibiting how Filipino Architect should design Filipino. He stated that “whether it’s about the infusion of indigenous materials, cultural identity, history, or topography of the place, the only thing that makes your design Filipino is yourself, your passion, and your creativity in you, the flexibility in your design and the manner how you adapt to who you are to your work”.
Moving along with the discussion, UAP Qatar Chapter Treasurer Ar. Leah DC. Bianan, UAP introduced the MENA UAP Chapter Presidents as the remaining panel reactors for this last topic. They are as follows: UAP Abu Dhabi Chapter President Ar. Eleazar Jay-jay T. Bertoldo,UAP (who unfortunately was not able to join due to his Master thesis defense on the same day); UAP KSA Riyadh Chapter President Ar. Raul F. Panelo (provided his video reaction); UAP Qatar Chapter President Ar. Marvin M. Tejada and UAP Bahrain Chapter President Ar. Jesus C. Palingkod Jr., UAP. Each of the panel reactors keenly delivered their perspective about the subject matter of the last resource speaker, in which a Question-and-Answer segment followed.
The masters of ceremonies read the presentation of token of appreciation and recognition which were honorably presented to the resource speakers and panel reactors for extensively sharing their exemplary works and body of knowledge about decoding what truly is Filipino Architecture in a global context.
The end part of the programme proceeded with reminders on program evaluation and assessment tests via Google doc links which was followed by the participant’s zoom attendance pictorials. UAP Qatar Chapter Vice President for Operations Ar. Jayson Z. Santos, UAP relayed his closing remarks providing tributes to the exemplary leadership of leaders and members comprising the UAP Qatar Chapter through its 11 years of tradition and history. Finally, the UAP Qatar Chapter President Ar. Marvin M. Tejada officially closed the programme.
In this fiscal year 2021-2022, may the UAP Qatar Chapter continuously provide our chapter members more avant-garde webinar collaboration of outstanding Architects. We are looking forward to more greater learning experiences and a never-ending infusion of knowledge. Thank you UAP Qatar Chapter and to all the BOD’s, Committees, and members of the committees who work hard for making this program marvellously transpired. Happy 11th Founding Year Anniversary UAP Qatar! Mabuhay ang Arkitektong Filipino!