LAST March 16, 2019 I was invited by the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Area 2B led by district director architect Raymond Co to be one of the judges in their Pasiklaban competitions during their annual District Assembly.
At first, I did not have any clue about the event but it turns out that the assembly featured a whole-day long professional development conference entitled “Kabiasnan” and a fellowship which lasted until the wee hours of the morning the following day. For me, it was a first-hand experience of how architects have fun behind the scenes.
Area 2B of the UAP includes eleven chapters from all over Central Luzon namely UAP Abaya, UAP Angelenos, UAP Balanga-Bataan, UAP Clark, UAP Cabalen - Pampanga, UAP Sinukwan - Pampanga, UAP San Fernando, Pampanga, UAP Zambales - Olongapo, UAP Kublahi - Tarlac, UAP Tarlac, and UAP Gulis Capampangan. Seven out of these 11 chapters are Kapampangan or based in Pampanga.
During the district assembly the first ever Mr. and Miss A2B pageant was held, participated in by representatives of the different chapters.
Emerging as winners were Ms. A2B Architect Jemimah Cruz of UAP Clark, who also bagged the Ms. Photogenic, Best in Casual Wear, Best in Sports Wear, and Best in Long Gown, and Mr. A2B Architect Kim Jaffna Pineda of UAP Sinukwan Pampanga who went home with the People’s Choice Award, Mr. Photogenic, Best in Sports Wear and Best in Casual Wear.
Other winners were the first runners up Architect Joana Mari Tanega of UAP Balanga-Bataan and Architect Rafael Gatus of UAP San Fernando-Pampanga, second runners up Architect Geneazel Gaza of UAP San Fernando-Pampanga and Architect Genrev Calunge of UAP Balanga-Bataan. Architect Tanega was also the People’s Choice Awardee while Architect Gatus won the Best in Formal Wear.
It was my first time to see how architects work hard but play even harder with the results of their sportsfest competitions and “Sagupaan” singing and battle of the bands. Their talents go beyond the visual arts and architecture and extend to music as well.
Sagupaan winners of the best band were UAP Gulis Capampangan as the champion, while UAP Sinukwan Pampanga was the first runner up and UAP San Fernando-Pampanga was the second runner up. I’d like to personally commend Architect Jordan David and his band mates from UAP Alaya chapter for their fun and entertaining performance.
Winners in the solo singing contest were Architect Neil Patrick Buan of UAP Gulis Capampangan in third place, Architect Emil Clemente of UAP Sinukwan Pampanga in second place, and Architect Christian De Guzman of UAP Alaya as champion.
For posterity’s sake, let me congratulate the over-all champion in all competitions, including the annual sportsfest, namely UAP Pampanga - San Fernando in first place, UAP Sinukwan Pampanga in second place, and UAP Gulis Capampangan in third place.
I was privileged to share judging responsibilities with esteemed UAP National Officers who attended the event namely my fellow public servant Architect MA. Rosario “Ching” Roxas, Area A Vice President, UP alumnus Architect Rey Gabitan, National Executive Vice President, and Kapampangan architects Architect Ronnie Yumang, Secretary General, and Architect Paulo Alberto, auditor. I was happy to meet with smart, impressive, yet down-to-earth architects like them. Architect Yumang and I talked about how architects could be more engaged in their community beyond their profession.
The City of San Fernando alone is home to four chapters of the United Architects of the Philippines and account for close to a thousand architects who live, work, or do business here. The architects are actively involved in governance, represented in the City’s Urban Greening Council, Multi Sectoral Governance Council, Arts and Culture Council, and other local special bodies and ad hoc committees.
In a recent chat I had with their incumbent presidents, I was happily surprised to find out about their CSR activities such as UAP Sinukwan Pampanga’s bloodletting drive and leukemia awareness campaign spearheaded by lady president Janine Canda and UAP Cabalen Pampanga’s PWD ramp project in a local government, which I learned from their president Architect Hermel Gulapa. These are concrete ways of how architects use their profession, and even rise above their profession, to make communities better.
Beyond architecture as an art, science, and profession, it is inspiring to see how the presence of architects is felt in a local community, not only as professionals but as active and proactive citizens who continue to make a difference.