The Future is Creative

The Arts, Culture, and Creative Industries Bloc of the 18th Congress (ACCIB) files a resolution celebrating the finalistsrepresenting the Philippines at WAF and INSIDE 2021 in Lisbon this December

Images INSIDE World Festival of Interiors and World Architecture Festival

Kanto.com.ph is an official media partner of the World Architecture Festival 2021

Last Monday, the brilliance of Hidilyn Diaz’s tears of joy and the gleam of her Olympic gold medal cut through the bleakness of the surging COVID pandemic and lifted the spirits of Filipinos everywhere. The country erupted in cheers online. It was a wonderful climax to the pockets of gladness that had been popping online every week the past four weeks in the architecture and creative community.

First, we exploded with elation for two Filipinos winning two out of twelve special prizes at the World Architecture Festival Futures (WAFX). Then, a week later, we cheered and whooped when WAF announced there were two more Filipinos shortlisted in the Future Projects categories. After that, it was an excruciating five-day wait for the WAF shortlist of Completed Buildings. We in Kanto were quietly rooting for friends we knew had submitted entries. And when they were finally confirmed, we learned there weren’t just one, two, or three, but four Filipino finalists!

This year would see the largest Filipino contingent ever to make it to the finals. There was lots of champagne popping, beer stein clinking, and confetti bursting emojis animating Facebook and chat group posts. There were congratulatory messages and good-natured ribbing about who should be hosting this or that party and bringing Proclamation Gin to Lisbon. And then, a week later, unexpected good news—another Filipino made it to the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors finals! We were over the moon.

Each week, Kanto shared the glad tidings, which reached the Philippine House of Representatives. 

Congressman Toff de Venecia, chair of the Special Committee on Creative Industries and Performing Arts, with members of the Arts, Culture, and Creative Industries Bloc of the 18th Congress (ACCIB), had filed a bill for the Philippine Creative Industries Act. If passed into law, the Act would put in place a National Creative Industries Development Plan.

De Venecia, himself a creative involved in theater and deeply passionate about culture and the arts from childhood, had been deep in research with friends from the music, film, theater, and publishing industries. At first, he, his friends, and like-minded members of the House had sought primarily to help Filipino creative industries survive the pandemic and its after-effects. They held week after week and month after month of hearings to listen to creatives discuss their problems and recommendations. As their understanding grew, so did the assistance plan. With the collaboration of the Creative Economy Council of the Philippines and many other creative instigators, the plan ballooned into one that would incentivize high potential creative industries and effect national policies to raise the Philippines as one of the world’s most creative and competitive nations.

This week, De Venecia has been in celebratory mode—Congress had just reopened, with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco announcing the House would prioritize bills promoting and bolstering Philippine creative industries. So when De Venecia heard the good news about our architects and designers, he did what a Representative should do, which is to celebrate the milestone and their achievements.

We don’t see celebratory resolutions often enough and I don’t know of resolutions encouraging people before they march into competition. Too many of us like to wait and see. We come out in full force after the win; hardly anyone hangs around after a loss. But there are no losses when one joins an international competition and shares with peers from across the globe what we hold dear, what we aspire for, the challenges we face, and how design takes all that and creates a place where one feels safe and nurtured and is productive. There are no defeats when we leave our bubble and consider other people’s ideas and solutions—even the bizarre—with open ears and minds.

The future is creative. Creative industries are a powerful resource. They create jobs, solve problems, are uplifting, and bring us and others joy. We may be late to the game of putting a national creative industries development plan in place, but maybe that’s only fair. Filipinos are among the most creative people on earth. Look at our successes in music, dance, theatre, film, furniture design, advertising—and yes, in architecture—with hardly ever a breath of encouragement from the State while the creatives are hard at work getting somewhere. So imagine what happens when the State decides to give creatives a boost.

Creativity requires thinking and self-reflection. Creativity calls for courage to fail fast and try again. Creativity inspires happiness and love of life. I can’t think of a better time than now to get in the game.

The full text of the House Resolution filed on July 27, 2021, follows:


  • Republic of the Philippines
  • HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Quezon City, Metro Manila
  • Eighteenth Congress
  • Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 2029

Introduced by Hon. Lord Allan Jay Q. Velasco, Hon. Christopher V.P. de Venecia, Hon. Stella Luz A. Quimbo, Hon. Edward Vera Perez Maceda, Hon. John Marvin “Yul Servo” C. Nieto, Hon. Loren Legarda, Hon. Rose Marie “Baby” J. Arenas, Hon. Vilma Santos-Recto, Hon. Julienne “Jam” L. Baronda, Hon. Kristine Singson-Meehan,  Hon. John Reynald M. Tiangco, Hon. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma, Hon. Sandra Y. Eriguel, M.D., Hon. Florida “Rida” P. Robes, Hon. Rossana “Ria” V. Vergara, Hon. Eveline G. Escudero, Hon. Christopher Y. Belmonte, Hon. Angelica Natasha Co, Hon. Jericho Jonas B. Nograles, Hon. Anthony Peter “Onyx” D. Crisologo, Hon. Juan Miguel Macapagal Arroyo, Hon. Francisco “Kiko” B. Benitez, Hon. Angelo Marcos Barba, Hon. Cristal L. Bagatsing, Hon. Marlyn “Len” B. Alonte, Hon. Rufus B. Rodriguez, Hon. Ann K. Hofer, Hon. Strike B. Revilla, Hon. Deogracias Victor “DV” B. Savellano, Hon. Joy Myra S. Tambunting, Hon. Mark O. Go, Hon. Vincent Franco ‘Duke’ D. Frasco, Hon. Camille A. Villar, Hon. Aloy Lim, Hon. Jesus “Bong” C. Suntay, Hon. Alfred C. Delos Santos, Hon. Precious Hipolito Castelo, Hon. Lianda B. Bolilia, Hon. Amihilda J. Sangcopan 

___________________________________________________________________________

A RESOLUTION 

EXPRESSING SUPPORT FOR FILIPINO ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS SHORTLISTED FOR THE WORLD ARCHITECTURE FESTIVAL 2021   AND THE WORLD FESTIVAL OF INTERIORS 2021        AND CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF WAFX 2021 

WHEREAS, the World Architecture Festival announced on July 19, 2021, that its jurors have included four Filipino structures in the shortlist of Completed Buildings, namely, the “Memory Hall” by Alero Design Studio, the “New Clark City Athletics Stadium” by BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design, the “Interweave Building” by Buensalido Architects, and the “Emergency Quarantine Facility” by WTA Architecture and Design Studio;

WHEREAS, the World Architecture Festival also announced on July 5, 2021, that its jurors have included four Filipino projects in the shortlist of Future Projects, namely, the “Freedom Memorial Museum” by Buensalido Architects, the “Cagbalete Sand Clusters” by Carlo Calma Consultancy, Inc., the “Horizon Manila” by WTA Architecture and Design Studio, and the “Farms for Feasts” project by Habulan and Ngo Design Studio Co. (HANDS);

WHEREAS, the World Festival for Interiors announced on July 26, 2021, that its jurors have included one Filipino residential interior in its shortlist of interiors, namely, “La Cabaña de Resureccion” by Jorge Yulo Architects & Associates;

WHEREAS, the aforementioned shortlisted architects and designers are invited to present their designs before a live jury and audience in Lisbon, Portugal, from December 1-3; 

WHEREAS, the World Architecture Festival is the largest and one of the most prestigious international architecture competitions in the world. On the first two days of the festival, 148 judges from 68 countries will judge over 500 shortlisted entries in 17 categories. Architects that win in their category will then face a Super Jury on the third day to compete for World Building of the Year or Future Project of the Year;

WHEREAS, the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors takes place alongside the World Architecture Festival and together are the globe’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to design and architecture. On the first two days of the festival, 33 jurors will judge over 100 shortlisted entries in 11 categories. Designers that win in their category will then face a Super Jury on the third day to compete for World Interior of the Year;

WHEREAS, the WAFX celebrates the world’s most forward-looking architectural concepts and awards future projects that deal with key challenges architects will need to address in the coming years. Out of over two hundred finalists from around the world, WAFX selected twelve winners for their innovation, ambition, and scope in addressing issues ranging from pandemic control and the climate emergency, to social equity, cultural identity, ethics and values, aging populations, smart cities, digital technology, construction technology, reuse, water, and food supply. The overall WAFX winner will be presented with their award at the festival on December 3;

WHEREAS, the “Interweave Building,” designed by Buensalido Architects is the home of the CIIT College of Arts and Technology. Buensalido Architects breathed new life into an abandoned building with designs based on the traditional Filipino art of “paghahabi.” The colorful façade exudes the vitality of CIIT Philippines’ students and faculty, while the industrial aesthetic of the interior keeps the focus on goal-directed student activities;

WHEREAS, the “New Clark City Athletics Stadium,” designed by BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design, is a world-class sports complex destined to become one of the top sports tourism centers in the Philippines and reflects New Clark City’s surroundings as a popular area for runners, cyclists, and other sports enthusiasts. The studio described its design as “practical luxury,” incorporating elements such as black steel prefabs for the roof and concrete mixed with lahar from nearby Mt. Pinatubo. The expansive 20,000-seater stadium holds promise as a venue for monumental events in sports for years to come;

WHEREAS, the “Emergency Quarantine Facility” by WTA Architecture and Design Studio, which they open-sourced online for anyone to access, is a testament to the fundamental role of architects as the designers of our civic life. The compact 1600-square-foot structure which can be built in five days, contains an efficient air circulation system, bathrooms, separate rooms for testing and disinfecting, and is made of lightweight, economical and readily available materials. WTA’s timely and generous response to the COVID-19 crisis has enabled health workers to care for patients in a safe environment;

WHEREAS, the “Memory Hall” designed by Alero Design Studio pays homage to a loyal public servant’s memory. The structure of the mausoleum is evocative of the deceased mayor’s “servant’s crown,” a concrete representation of his identity and legacy. The solid, repeating design of the travertine pilasters responds to the building’s natural environment, serving as sun breakers for the copious windows. Natural stone materials, contemporary wood cladding, marble, and brass all integrate to form a structure that reflects the warmth, dignity, and steadfastness of the beloved mayor;

WHEREAS, “Horizon Manila” designed by WTA Architecture and Design Studio, is a 419-hectare reclamation project that is currently the largest reclamation project in the City of Manila. The project is meant to serve as a new hub for growth and development for one of the densest and largest mega cities of the 21st century. Its concept—the Manileño—presents a bottom-up community-centric organic growth model in contrast with the archetypal command-driven top-down master plan. It centers on creating shared experiences and building distinct community identities by establishing soft boundaries and edges. The Horizon Manila Project also received the WAFX Special Award for the Water Category;

WHEREAS, “Cagbalete Sand Clusters”, designed by Carlo Calma Consultancy Inc., is a proposal for a new sustainable eco-tourism typology at Cagbalete Island, Philippines, designed to bring an uplift to local farming and fishing industries, including mud crab farming. The mixed-use development is designed to mix farming and leisure, including a farm-to-table restaurant focusing on local plants and produce. It is constructed from a prefabricated unit system inspired by the areas’ corals, made from a membrane of fishing nets, sand and soil. The Cagbalete Sand Clusters Project also received the WAFX 2021 Special Award for the Food Category;

WHEREAS, the “Farms for Feasts” project, designed by Habulan and Ngo Design Studio (HANDS), is a net-zero urban farming hub in Bonifacio Global City that seeks to cultivate both crops and mindsets alike, with an eye to addressing inefficiencies and misconceptions on farming and food production;

WHEREAS, the “Freedom Memorial Museum” designed by Buensalido Architects was designed to honor the lives of Filipino heroes who struggled and made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom and democracy in the Philippines and to inspire generations to live their lives honoring their country and our nation’s highest values;

WHEREAS, the “La Cabaña de Resureccion” by Jorge Yulo Architects & Associates is a reconstruction of a 50-year-old guest cottage in a 200-year old compound in Calamba City. The cottage had succumbed to wood rot and termites, and so for reasons of cost, environment, and pest control, the new structure was made of steel and treated but left unpainted to blend in with the mature vegetation of the compound, all walls removed save for the bathroom​​—a tropical version of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House sans glass;

WHEREAS, the House of Representatives recognizes the role of architecture and interior design in nation-building and development, and in uplifting humanity and civil society and improving productivity;

WHEREAS, the people of the Philippines may stand united in respect for and admiration of the creative talent of our people and the dedication to excellence of our professionals in the art and science of architecture and interior design;

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that taking into consideration the above mentioned premises, we, the undersigned members of the House of Representatives, hereby express our full and unstinting support for the aforementioned architects and designers in their respective bids for the World Architecture Festival 2021 and the World Festival of Interiors 2021, and our warmest congratulations and thanks to the early winners of the WAFX 2021 Awards for bringing honor to our country.

Adopted,

HON. LORD ALLAN JAY Q. VELASCO

HON. CHRISTOPHER V.P. DE VENECIA

HON. STELLA LUZ A. QUIMBO

HON. EDWARD VERA PEREZ MACEDA

HON. JOHN MARVIN “YUL SERVO” C. NIETO

HON. LOREN LEGARDA

HON. ROSE MARIE “BABY” J. ARENAS

HON. VILMA SANTOS-RECTO

HON. JULIENNE “JAM” L. BARONDA

HON. KRISTINE SINGSON-MEEHAN

HON. JOHN REYNALD M. TIANGCO

HON. LUISA LLOREN CUARESMA

HON. SANDRA Y. ERIGUEL, M.D.

HON. FLORIDA “RIDA” P. ROBES

HON. ROSSANA “RIA” V. VERGARA

HON. EVELINE G. ESCUDERO

HON. CHRISTOPHER Y. BELMONTE

HON. ANGELICA NATASHA CO

HON. JERICHO JONAS B. NOGRALES

HON. ANTHONY PETER “ONYX” D. CRISOLOGO

HON. JUAN MIGUEL MACAPAGAL ARROYO

HON. FRANCISCO “KIKO” B. BENITEZ

HON. ANGELO MARCOS BARBA

HON. CRISTAL L. BAGATSING

HON. MARLYN “LEN” B. ALONTE

HON. RUFUS B. RODRIGUEZ

HON. ANN K. HOFER

HON. STRIKE B. REVILLA

HON. DEOGRACIAS VICTOR “DV” B. SAVELLANO

HON. JOY MYRA S. TAMBUNTING

HON. MARK O. GO

HON. VINCENT FRANCO ‘DUKE’ D. FRASCO

HON. CAMILLE A. VILLAR

HON. ALOY LIM

HON. JESUS “BONG” C. SUNTAY

HON. ALFRED C. DELOS SANTOS

HON. PRECIOUS HIPOLITO CASTELO

HON. LIANDA B. BOLILIA

HON. AMIHILDA J. SANGCOPAN 


A Message from Congressman Toff de Venecia

Hi everyone, this is Congressman Toff de Venecia, Pangasinan 4th District Representative and Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts Chairperson.

Out of our excitement and jubilation for the Philippine architecture and allied design industries, I along with other members of the Arts and Culture and Creative Industries Bloc of the 18th Congress or ACCIB filed a resolution to congratulate the shortlisted and winning designers in the 2021 World Architecture Festival that will be held in December at Lisbon, Portugal.

So, to Alero Design Studio, BUDJI+ROYAL Architecture+Design, Buensalido Architects, WTA Architecture and Design Studio, Carlo Calma Consultancy, Inc., Habulan and Ngo Design Studio Co. (HANDS), and Jorge Yulo Architects & Associates – congratulations and you make us all proud! Special shout out also to WTA Architecture and Design Studio and Carlo Calma Consultancy, Inc for already winning WAFX 2021 Awards in the Water and Food Categories, respectively.

Thank you for representing our country of creative and talented design professionals. Mabuhay kayo at ang buong creative industries!

A copy of the signed and stamped resolution can be downloaded below:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *