More than ever, urbanization is rapidly transforming once peripheral cities into bustling centers. While surely a mark of progress, the issue of livability comes to the fore when considering the negative impacts and challenges posed by such advancements. Among these include pollution, environmental degradation, and the increasing loss of open spaces.
In light of these concerns, the Philippine World Building and Construction Expo (WORLDBEX), which is set to return this March for its 25th installment, has partnered with the Landscape Contractors and Industry Specialists Association of the Philippines (LaCISAP) to host the very first Philippine Garden Festival. The newest highlight of the highly-anticipated WORLDBEX, the 1st Philippine Garden Festival shall feature a sprawling display of lush, locally-inspired landscape vignettes at the PICC courtyard by some of the country’s most renowned landscape architects.
Zen Garden by Paulo Alcazaren
The multi-hyphenate Paulo Alcazaren apprenticed for renowned architects Cesar Concio and Felipe Mendoza, while he was still a student at the UP Diliman. He also had a brief stint under National Artist IP Santos before he established his own practice. In 2015, he received the Gawad CCP Para Sa Sining Award for Architecture and The Allied Arts and the NCCA’s Haligi ng Dangal Award in 2018 for the Iloilo Esplanade. Apart from his designs, Alcazaren’s body of work includes several books and publications on urban planning, history, and architectural photography. He was also the Editor-in-Chief of BluPrint Magazine in the Philippines for more than a decade. With his manifold roles, it would be interesting to see how he integrates his diverse experiences in landscape architecture.
Vertical Garden by Efren Aurelio
The idyllic coastal area of the southern part of the metro was a great influence to the design sensibilities of Efren Aurelio. Armed with extensive global exposure from his experience in Singaporean and Hong Kong firms, he brings with him expertise and valuable experience to enrich the local practice. According to Aurelio, the industry’s notion about landscape architecture being a mere aesthetic component is starting to change. Because of their in-depth knowledge about the potentials of a given terrain, professional landscape architects now become a crucial part of the initial design team. Some of his most notable projects include the Greenbelt Park by Ayala Land and The Zuellig Building in Makati City.
Indoor Garden by Mary Ann Espina
Inspired by the principles of the Zen Garden, the aphorism “form follows function” is the most important design detail in the creations of Mary Ann Espina. She first earned her architecture degree from the University of San Carlos, before taking up Landscape Architecture at the University of the Philippines in Diliman (UP Diliman). She went on to pursue higher education at the University of Massachusetts. Known for landscapes that are both reflective and expressive, she puts importance to how design will enrich the lives of those who will interact with the space. Her personal style leans towards Tropical and modern Filipino designs. In 2003, Espina received the distinction of the Most Outstanding Landscape Architect.
Healing Garden by Horacio Dimanlig
Horacio Dimanlig is never a fan of the ostentatious. Always the practical over the pretentious, design becomes a narrative that extends beyond just the aesthetics—an approach that provides a fitting solution to issues that surround the relationship between man and nature. More than a philosophy, his dictum “design with nature, design for people” is also his legacy as he strives to embody the idea in all his works. By displaying mastery over the elements acquired through many years of professional practice, Dimanlig educates the public on the role of Landscape Architecture in shaping societies and the importance of seeking the services of a professional.
Water Garden by Vic Dul-Loog
In 2003, Vic Dul-loog was appointed the managing partner for landscape architectural firm, SGS Designs. The UP Diliman alumnus says his designs are always in accord with the laws of nature which is why he opts to use the latest materials and construction methods to “reclaim what was lost and protect what is left.” As evidenced by his many projects, Dul-loog continues to spearhead the firm in enhancing both indoor and outdoor spaces. Recently, SGS Designs received an award from the International Federation of Landscape Architects Asia Pacific Region for its notable work on the National River Park Corridor in New Clark City.
Play Garden by Cecilia Herras-Tence
In 2017, Cecilia Herras-Tence received the Award of Merit for Leisure Spaces at the GantimPALA awards for excellence in Philippine Landscape Architecture. Her work on Munting Paraiso Resort in Negros Oriental showcased her skillful manipulation of outdoor spaces. Her tireless efforts to promote the importance of the practice in the country earned her the GantimPALA Vanguard Award for regulation of the profession in 2018. Herras-Tence is currently the alternate chairperson of the CPD Council for Landscape Architecture. It comes as no surprise that Herras-Tence has been tapped as one of the esteemed practitioners to manifest her visions for the Festival.
Organized by Worldbex Services International, the 25th Philippine Building and Construction Expo or simply WORLDBEX 2020 is happening on March 18 to 22, 2020 from 10:00am to 7:00pm at three mega venues: World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), SMX Convention Center Manila and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). For more information, call (02) 8656-92-39 or email [email protected]. Interested attendees can pre-register now at www.worldbex.com and follow @worldbex on Facebook and Instagram.