NAIA news



A couple of weeks ago I was surprised to receive this tweet from Kenneth Cobonpue, asking for my opinion about their proposal for the NAIA 1 rehabilitation.


NAIA Cobonpue


Kenneth and his group were asking for my thoughts? Ok, I know. Disclosure. We are friends. I’m no expert.

If you haven’t seen the video proposal yet, here it is. Note that Kenneth Cobonpue, Budji Layug and Royal Pineda did the design and plans pro bono. I asked Kenneth why they did this for free. His answer was, “If we don’t do anything, who will?” Kenneth is one of the millions of Filipinos who see the need for upgraded facilities.



I didn’t have the chance to actually share my opinion because Kenneth’s Facebook page and Twitter were flooded with reviews from all sides. But in a nutshell, based on the video presentation (and not having seen the total plan), I think this is a good start. I like how they thought of the flow people and function of spaces and didn’t just come up with a pretty design. They considered cultural nuances – like the busloads of people who send off and pick up their relatives. Nice touch on the food outlets in the waiting area, though I don’t think it should really be that nice because then perhaps people will linger. Hee hee. I like the non-stop roundabout because as it is now, whenever we have to pick up my parents and their flight is delayed we have to turn all the way in Nayong Pilipino (because that parking lot is small and gets filled so fast).

While we are at it, I think a “new” airport would only be successful if the management and systems are overhauled. I think the airport authority could look into getting people with professional background in property management to run the show. Give the contract to a separate group – like an Ayala or even the property management of Power Plant Mall because that place is impeccable. This way the head of the airport authority can focus on security issues. Because I don’t think retired generals make good property managers anyway. Look at how all the bathrooms have turned out. But of course this is just my opinion. Now on to the news…


Oh, wait. We need good art. Preferably of the same calibre as the public art in Bonifacio High Street and St Lukes’ Hospital at the Fort. None of this. What is this anyway? No offense to the winners of this NAIA 3 art competition. I will save my comments for later, if and when the rumoured controversies surface.


Okay, so here is why I’m writing this story now. Today’s news…

naia renovs

This report came out today in the Business Mirror and was carried by ABS-CBN News. Full story here.


According to the report by Recto Mercene, MIAA GM Honrado said, “the firm of Leandro V. Locsin and Associates, the original architect of NAIA-1, is helping conceptualize ideas about how the newly rebuilt structure would look.” But also “part of the project” are Cobonpue, Pineda and Layug.

My thoughts – this is the first I heard that Andy Locsin is part of the rehabilitation bid. Though I know it makes sense as his father built it (and I am probably one of the few that still loves the original structure and would like it to be saved). I am waiting for confirmation of from the Locsin group regarding his involvement. I would love to see his proposal too, wouldn’t you?

The report was a bit vague as Honrado didn’t really say who was awarded the contract. I assume that has to go through some public bidding process. But the design – is it Locsin? Or the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug group? The report went on to cite basically everything that the trio proposed in their plan. He even quoted Royal Pineda from previous interviews. Confusing. Misleading.

As soon as I read it, I congratulated Kenneth by text.  He replied. This was news to them. As of 8:30pm this evening – neither Kenneth, Royal nor Budji has been officially informed that their design got adopted by NAIA management.

So who’s getting the NAIA1 contract? Very exciting.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this. And what do you think of the Cobonpue/Pineda/Layug proposal?





House by Periquet Galicia




Here are excerpts from the October 28, 2011 episode of Urban Zone. This house was designed by a husband and wife team. Dominic Galicia, an architect, and his wife Tina Periquet, an interior architect, each maintain their own separate practices. They’ve worked on several projects together before and here is an example of the success they attain when they put their creative minds together.

Here in her own words, Tina Periquet, principal designer of Casa Periquet.

The house was originally built for investment purposes. The owners planned to rent it out upon completion. So we were asked to design a simple, attractive three-bedroom house that wouldn’t cost the earth.

Dom and I have worked together on several other projects, and although we went to the same school (Pratt Institute) and share a passion for design as a means of expression, we differ markedly in our style and approach. We had quite a few tugs-of-war about what this house would look like. One thing we agreed on was that the house needed to appeal to the mainstream market, so it could not be too avant-garde.

Another consideration was the relatively small lot and the owner’s desire for a decent back garden. Lastly, the nearness of neighbors and lack of views made it impractical to have large wide windows except toward the back garden.

Lot size: 410 SQM
House size: 300 SQM
House footprint: 160 SQM
Cost / SQM: 30K/SQM +


The foyer in black and white marble laid in a checkerboard pattern.


I asked Tina about the style or theme. “We all agreed that we didn’t want this house to be another “modern Asian” clone, nor did we want to do a pseudo-Mediterranean villa. As far as possible, we avoid going with any prevailing style, as that is the surest way to date a house.  Generally, when we put together all the concepts, solutions and client considerations, our houses tend to design themselves. That said, I will admit that the mostly white-on-white palette was inspired by a recent family trip to the Mediterranean, where the pure white stone and white plaster of ancient and new structures made a deep and lasting impression.”


“We tend to focus, not on style, but on the creation of an experience or the weaving of a story. So at a certain point after we have worked out the space plan and considered all the issues, the house starts to evolve on its own. For instance, we wanted a lot of light and air, while maintaining privacy and keeping out noise, so we ended up with tall, narrow windows and thick plaster walls. We wanted the gracious proportions of an old-world house, which meant high ceilings and tall doorways, rhythmic repeating elements, and refined details.” – Tina Periquet.


Samples of the different types of wood used in Casa Periquet furniture.


We conducted the interview in the living and dining area. It was refreshing to see a new house that wasn’t “modern Asian” in theme.


Click “More…” to see the rest of the house.


I judged Manila FAME International 2011




Last weekend, I was at the Manila FAME International show to see the best in Philippine design – in home furnishings, furniture, holiday and gift items, fashion accessories and more. It was a huge honour to have been asked to be one of the Board of Judges.


The board of judges included Jennie Javelosa, a writer and social entrepreneur; Toby Guggenheim, an American architect; Kenneth Cobonpue, me and Robert Alejandro a graphic and product designer. Also in photo is Stella from Kenneth Cobonpue Inc.


Yes this has been a year of judging some of the most important art and design shows in the country. I really don’t know how to put it without sounding so beauty queenly – but  wow, it truly has been an honour. Thank you for the trust! This year I judged Cebu Next furniture exhibition, Metrobank Art and Design Awards, UP Interior Design‘s idisenyo and now Katha Awards of Manila FAME which brought together Manila Now, Cebu Next and Bijoux Cebu. In the past, I’ve also sat as a member of the board of judges of the British Council to select the International Young Creative Entrepreneur Award.

It is not easy judging creativity and art. I really have a hard time doing it. And I hate having to rate beauty by using numbers. I just try to see everything through the eyes of an editor (I once was, and sort of still am with the way UZ is run). Each competition brings with it so much wealth of experience and new learnings, not just for the contestants but for me as well.

I have to wait for the official release of the results of CITEM’s Manila Fame winners. Then I will share with you my most eye-opening experience in judging so far.




Judging UP Interior Design’s idisenyo




Last October 5, 2011 I participated as one of the judges of the UPIDAA IDisenyo 2011 Design Competition. The theme was “The Greenovation of Academic Spaces” through the design of the Clothing, Textiles and Interior Design (CTID) Building. There were nine teams composed of UP Interior Design alumni and students. Each came up with a design on an academic space to be used by future students, faculty and staff of the CTID department. They had to work around the theme – minimize, maximize and UPcycle.

The other judges who joined me were Gelo Manosa (architect), Judith Torres of Condo Living, Jie Pambid of My Home, Dean Adelaida Mayo (CHE), Prof. Tess Quevedo (CTID), Prof. Mocca Rayala (CTID), Paulo Alcazaren of Bluprint and DENR Secretary Ramon Paje.

Here are some photos taken during judging day, sourced from the UPIDAA site.



It wasn’t easy being a judge. Reading and analyzing 9 plans. Trying to imagine how their plans would translate to an actual space within the university.


The judging hall at LRI was well designed and comfortable. The environment was conducive to learning and discussion.


Bluprint’s Paulo Alcazaren and UPID professors.


Click, click to see MORE of the entries and results of the competition.


That stunning house



Here are snapshots of that house we showed in Urban Zone last Friday October 7, 2011. I handed my camera over to my segment producer Stanley Castro. I forgot to tell him that he must have steady hands because I don’t like using flash. Oh well, you get the gist. It’s a stunning house with a neo-industrial feel and elements of tropical architecture and mid-century lines. When I walked in I thought, this would be perfect for Dwell magazine.


Not your typical front yard. Instead, a lap pool. Meet Architect Luigi Bernardo.  This house design was very much a collaboration between Luigi and the owners.


Upon entering, you’ll see the dining table and kitchen right away. I love this kitchen. Very industrial/commercial. The owner used to be a chef, of the real kind, meaning he went to chef school in Switzerland. This is no “show kitchen.” It’s really their kitchen.


The house is long sideways. They re-used wood whenever they could. The floor is low maintenance – stone slabs from Pakistan.


Accordion-type folded steel stairs that appear to be floating.


Initially the architect and owners wanted an all-glass window. But they needed more wall space for their art collection.


The second floor. Being essentially a glass house, the owner thought they needed some sort of protection and privacy from the street. So they came up with this lattice-work screen on the bedroom hallway.


The screen is made of wood and veneer. Some parts were reinforced by steel, but they weren’t visible. Luigi said he took inspiration from a wall paper pattern.


View of the steps from the second floor. Most of the art came from Blanc Gallery.


I love this extra hallway upstairs. It serves like a track that goes around the living room. It’s initial purpose was to provide shade for the glass doors below. I love the idea of making it another hallway.


You may contact Luigi Bernardo through +639178003919.