PHL at 500 and Beyond: Revisiting best practices of Palafox Associates

Guided by the wisdom of the past and inspired by a promising future, Palafox Associates revisited its best practices in the areas of disaster mitigation and urban planning via the launch of Postcards from the Future: Towards Resilient Cities and Communities in the Philippines, the first of the lecture series under Palafox BEST (Built Environment Sustainability Technology). Also launched was Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox, Jr.’s new book, The Philippines: Towards Resilient Cities and Communities. These momentous event happened last June 10, 2017 at the AIM Conference Center, Makati City.

An internationally-acclaimed urban planner and architect-activist, Arch. Palafox proudly shared the initiatives pushed by Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture for the rehabilitation of calamity-afflicted areas and alleviate the worsening state of Metropolitan Manila. In a press briefing with the media, Arch. Palafox revealed that more than 200 proposals to address the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan were pitched under the previous administration. Unfortunately, these proposals were never mobilized due to conscientious review. Having travelled extensively to learn best practices from model cities around the world, Arch. Palafox envisions the Philippines to be in the top 21 countries by 2021, which he refers to as the 2021 Development Vision. The vision plan is also in commemoration of the 500th year since the landing of the Spaniards on the Philippine shores.

Leaving global footprints

Arch. Joevic O. Mondejar, Team Leader for Master Planning at Palafox Associates, joined Arch. Palafox and shared the company’s collaboration with Tzu Chi Foundation through Project Hope. Project Hope was set to build five schools: Padmodaya, Kanya Mandir, and Shree Adarsha Higher Secondary school; Shadara; and the Patan Multiple Campus. The design of the schools paid homage to planet, prosperity, culture, history and heritage, and spirituality, all Tzu Chi’s central beliefs. The presence of open spaces that serve as the lungs of the structure are also evident in the designs. The schools are expected to be resilient to natural disasters following the earthquake that devastated Kathmandu, Nepal.

National achievement

Finally, Arch. Genevive Ranchez shared the company’s collaboration with the ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. to rehabilitate the La Mesa Eco Park in Novaliches, Quezon City which paved way to its creation as an ecological living classroom. The plan also observed the Valdez Principles for Site Design to pay respect to the plant and animal communities thriving in the park. This project not only improved the park’s biodiversity, but also made green open spaces more accessible to the people.

Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture continue to anchor their works on these words: pro deo patria et terra. It is the belief of Architect Palafox that to achieve the shared vision we have for the Philippines, it is imperative that we support visionary leadership, strong political will, good urban planning, good design, and good governance.