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Oct 26th
Home Columns Sen. Aquilino Q. Pimentel, Jr. Let Us See the Genius of the Filipino Architect
Let Us See the Genius of the Filipino Architect PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - This Week With Nene Pimentel
Written by Senator Pimentel's Press Office   
Friday, 24 April 2009 10:40

* Keynote speech of Sen. Nene Pimentel at the 35th National Convention of the United Architect of the Philippines at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City on April 24, 2009



I thank Architect Medeliano Roldan Jr., President of the United Architects of the Philippines, Architect Richard Garcia, Convention Director, and, Architect Roger Ong, Executive Director, and your association for giving me the honor of addressing your 35th Annual National Convention.



Your theme: The Power of Architecture – Imagine, Create, Transform and Build – captures what your profession is all about.



Awesome structures



T he urban centers of the world would be less interesting and beautiful without the architects who built the structures that now awe and inspire visitors and travellers who view them from near and far.



The building of these structures would not have been possible without imagination that led to their creation and to the transformation of their environment.



Look at the Petronas Towers of Kuala Lumpur. Without them, the landscape in the area where they stand would be less attractive. Today, locals and tourists alike stand in wonder as to how they were done.



Exact sensorial imagination



A nd the answer is that architects conceptualized the towers; created them on paper; transformed them into models; and with the assistance of engineers and artisans built them into what they are today: a thing of beauty or to borrow the words of the German poet Johann Wolfgang Goethe, “frozen music”. Goethe as you know was known for his advocacy of the “exact sensorial imagination”, which I suggest, is what architects should, among other things, aspire for.



There are other inspiring models for our architects to emulate. There is the Wembly Stadium in London that has been called an “architectural masterpiece”. Or the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, that followed a “curvaceous, free form sculptural style”. Or the New Museum of Contemporary Art in Manhattan, New York which I understand looks like “metallic boxes set off kilter” one on top of the other.



I am certain that as architects you are following the innovations that only your brethren in the profession can imagine, create, transform and build.



Native Culture



I would like, however, to ask you to do your thing here in our country, using your own native talents, and reflecting the culture of our country in what you create, transform and build.



We are a nation of many ethnic origins. What I suggest is that you may use as basis for your architectural creations a specific native Filipino design that mirrors a tribal cultural trait that in your view ought to be preserved for posterity. Or you may want to meld together several aspects of the many cultures of our tribes that dot the countryside and faithfully recreate them in steel and wood for all to see and admire that there is such a thing as a Filipino architectural style.



I need not say more.



Fight for Rights



L et me only state the wish that Republic Act No. 9266 - which was meant to put your profession at the level it deserves among the professions of our country - would at this late hour be finally implemented. That is not a partisan desire to benefit only the architects as a profession. It is an indispensable aspiration that must be attained if the Rule of Law is to prevail in this country.



We cannot and must not allow any single individual or any group of persons to say that they are above the law.



But to achieve that end, you must do your share. Do not let other people do it for you. Fight for your rights under the law or you will continue to be oppressed as a profession. 



Time, Resources, Risks



F ighting for one’s rights needs your investment in time, resources, and dedication. It also entails risks.



Unless you are ready to invest time, resources and dedication, and take the risks involved in the undertaking, your profession will remain in the darkened dungeons of your oppressors, hostage to their greed for dominance and, at least, momentarily crippled and hindered from fully expressing your potential as Filipino architects.



Promised Land



It is up to you to do that. Nobody else can do that for you. I am sure that your leadership and your membership have what it takes to bring the architects to the Promised Land where your rights under the Constitution and the law are respected.



And hopefully, by then, if not even before, my generation or, perhaps, the next, will see the full flowering of the genius of the Filipino architect.



Thank you and God bless. # # #



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Last Updated on Friday, 24 April 2009 10:47

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