The importance of real-world experience in one’s field is prioritized by many aspiring professionals. Even after obtaining a professional license post the board examination, professionals can further sharpen their skills to ensure the best service for future clients.
For Cebuano architect Ryan Catubig, establishing his architectural office, RBCatubig Architects, took seven years after passing the licensure examinations. Since its opening in 2015, his office has handled a variety of projects, from hospitality developments, commercial and office buildings to residences.
“My team specializes in architectural design and construction administration,” said the young architect, who grew up in Surigao and returned to Cebu for his architectural studies at the University of San Carlos (USC). “Alongside our design work, we actively participate in construction administration to guarantee the proper translation of our design intent into actual implementation,” he said.
In addition to his education at USC, he worked under one of his college mentors, architect Maxcel Migallos, where he gained exposure to working on residential and institutional projects, including the School of Healthcare Professions building inside the USC Talamban campus.
After graduating, he joined Primary Structures Corp. (PSC) as a field technical assistant/CADD designer, reviewing construction plans and preparing shop drawing details. “During my tenure at PSC, I was privileged to be part of teams implementing designs by renowned architectural firms such as Leandro V. Locsin and Partners (LVLP) for Ayala’s Amara-Clubhouse and Gabriel Formoso and Partners (GFP) for The Terraces,” he shared.
From the construction industry, Ryan joined one of Cebu’s premier architectural firms, The Gallego Architects. Initially serving as a project architect, he was later promoted to the role of technical design head. During his time with the firm, he honed his skills in designing hotels and resorts, gaining the confidence to handle such projects.
“My decision to work in a construction company before joining a design firm was intentional,” he revealed. “This allowed me to familiarize myself with construction methodologies and technicalities, providing valuable insights for my role as a designer. I chose these companies due to their standing as leading entities in Cebu City, specializing in construction and design services, respectively.”
Ryan is thankful for the years of fruitful experience in architectural design and construction as it taught him to be hands-on in key tasks, to have a keen eye for detail, and to be conscious about time management for optimal results in every project. He wishes to share with current and future architectural apprentices and interns, in general, to always value their real-world experiences under different firms and offices.
Starting on his own wasn’t easy, but his varied work experiences have made him a seasoned architect, ready to face the challenges of being a private practitioner. The strategic approach of having an “anchor client” to sustain initial operations resulted in several referrals, eventually contributing to the expansion of his professional network.
The story of the RBCatubig Architectural office inspires future professionals not to rush but to take every opportunity for growth and learning. This is crucial, especially in architecture, where the practice is dynamic, and architects must always be on their toes to keep up with innovations and provide the best professional service to people.