84th PIA Annual Convention

Written by Imee Lim on October 17, 2017

Opening day

The first day for the PIA convention was held at the Manila Ocean Park Pasay City, specifically for the opening ceremonies and the business meetings that followed. It was a short, but well-attended affair. The PIA National Officers with the lead of PIA National President Renato S. Basa had scheduled discussion with the other PIA group. Afterwards, a tour was arranged to see the back-of-the-house operations. It was very interesting to know how they maintained the marine life.

On the second day, the group had an architectural heritage tour of the National Museum that highlighted several precious Philippine heritage items. Greeting us was the famed “Spolarium”, painted by National Artist Juan Luna. At the museum’s upper floor was an exhibit of Architect Francisco “Bobby” Maňosa’s works. He is renowned for his authentic Filipino architecture, the vernacular design that adapts to its Philippine tropical climate by using indigenous materials available here and combined with appropriate technology. His best known works are the Coconut Palace, EDSA Shrine and the Pearl Farm Resort. I saw his other works for the first time; including his sketches and drawings, his models of past projects and his other passions. I was amazed at the way the exhibit was put together.

After the museum tour, we went to Barbara’s Heritage Restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was located at Plaza San Luis General Luna St., inside the walled city of Intramuros in Manila. It was an old house, of the “bahay na bato” design, which was prevalent during the Spanish colonization era. It has since been converted and now used as a restaurant. When I entered, what struck me was the remarkable wood and stone works, the old furniture and antique decorations, especially the chandeliers. On top of these, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal experience, eating the Filipino-Spanish dishes served.

The PIA event was held at the same time as the 22nd Philippine World Building and Construction Exposition known as World Bex. This was held at the World Trade Center and SMX Convention Center Manila Pasay City. I went there to see the new products exhibited. Although time was pressing due to travel and schedule, it was still worth the visit.

Like the acoustic foams enhanced by the Uratex. Wood work wall accents from Junckers and the exterior glass wall connection by EPCO group.

At night, we held the PIA Honor dinner and the Investiture rites for our new college of fellows (FPIA) at the Ayuntamiento De Manila Building located at Cabildo Street in Intramuros. The Ayuntamiento was destroyed many times because of earthquakes and fires over the decades, and a world war. But it was finally restored with the help of Architect Ramon Zaragoza, FPIA and Architect Joel Vovero-Rico, FPIA serving both as heritage consultants. The structure’s exterior is a simple Baroque style, painted white. But its inside, especially the historic Marble Hall, is magnificent. The Grand staircase was amazing to behold with intricate balustrade design, gold lion sculpture and marble floors. The wood furniture in Casa de Sesiones was warm and wonderful. In the Marble Hall, the stunning black and white checkered marble floor, complements the beauty of the chandeliers and the amazing ceiling artworks. More Filipinos should get to experience this place and marvel at its spaces.

On my last day in Manila, I went together with my co-member to attend mass at Binondo Church, more formally known as Minor Basilica of St Lorenzo Ruiz Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Parish. This church is inspired by the Baroque architectural style with its known bell tower. Around the church is a part of Chinatown called Ongpin. The surroundings have almost not changed since I visited here 5 years ago. Here, I bought Chinese delicacies such as hopia, squash cake, dimsum and more. Before I had to leave for the flight back home, my last trip was to Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. There, I saw the 120th year celebration of the Philippine Army in honor of the services of our Filipino Troops. Another memorable event to add to this trip.