Global Filipinos on Display post 3: Seminar series

BPO at Escolta: it’s possible.

Now that I know how to get to the World Trade Training Center, I enjoyed being on sponge mode with all the talks in store for us. I went 2/3 days and there are no regrets. Just a wish that I could’ve cloned myself for all the work I’m missing. Anyway, in general the speakers have this infectious positivism that the country can and will indeed have a brighter, more sustainable future. We just need to talk to each other. However, I have some concerns:

Gentrification

It’s good that we’re designing and business is booming in the country. Why is it that when most of the country’s population is under the middle class, we can’t design for the majority? It’s all about the luxury hotels, the condominiums, the “mixed-use developments” with entourage that mimics a western culture. We’re helping the economy bring in good business but how are we helping the underprivileged become richer instead of the rich — richer? It’s like we bring in new money, new people but can’t progress with the same people living in the same place. I guess we can’t make enough policies when the rich are deciding how to better themselves. Now I thought we were both “service oriented professionals”.

Ghost Town Developments

Yes, we have a backlog in housing. We’ll always have this problem as long as we’re not catering to the right market. We have buyers for these “star” condominiums but we’re not really answering a backlog in housing where the BP 220’s requirements are well below the P1 million minimum for a key into a condominium unit. Not every Juan with a little salary could even afford to loan for socialized housing worth P400,000. Now we’re ending up with these condominiums that serve as second homes (winter homes, halfway houses, hangout places) or investment. Tirahan vs. Tahanan.

I asked the speaker what can we do to avoid making the similar mistake China is having with these Ghost Town Developments? He said there’s really nothing we can do about it and that it’s the way it is. Filipinos buy condominium units/houses because of yabang and to show their wealthy neighbors they can also live in the same unit as these stars on the billboards.

I’d like to think we’re better than this. Are we building just to get business and profit or are we doing this for real service?

Inclusive and Collaborative Design Professions

If we don’t update, we’re all doomed. If we don’t talk with each other: we’re finished. It’s exciting to hear about all these solutions but we’re still trying to bring up walls in between professions with who’s doing what, who’s qualified and who’s going to be penalized. It’s a good thing I hear some good news on the matter thanks to my professors and colleagues. We are going to get left behind with the influx of all these designers coming from abroad.

Tripartite solution to problems? I hope it’s happening soon. L.A., IDr, and Ar. all speaking on the same level.

Seminars

World Trade Training Center

Side note: I love the little details of the World Trade Training Center. I guess it’s done the same time those shell piketa finishes were so in. Marble everywhere.. even inside the bathrooms!

If we’re really thoughtful, meaningful and educated designers, there’s certainly a lot of ways to put our heads together. There’s a lot of us in the country after all. We’re capable, talented and creative. Why can’t we be heroes inside our own country?

Oh the things I want to do.

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