Embracing the ‘other’ through a city that cares: Recognising impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on London’s Filipino health and care community

I’m glad to share that a copy of my dissertation from my graduate study at the University of Westminster is now a free resource.

Exhibition and Full Paper

An abstract is available at the School of Architecture and Cities’ MORE 2020 online graduate exhibition (click here for the print copy), while the full dissertation is uploaded to the Kanlungan Filipino Consortium website and ResearchGate.


I presented my research in the event, SAAN KA LULUGAR: Conversations on Space in a Post-Pandemic World, Webinar 3: Palit, Lipat, Lapat, last 12 March 2021. This was hosted by the Philippine National Commission on Culture and the Arts and Culturaid. Here’s a recording:

I presented this research in the Philosophy of the City Conference 2021: Around the World in 24 Hours, hosted by the University of Twente last 17 May 2021.

I also presented this research in the Ustinov Annual Conference 2021, themed Global Migration in Practice: Rights, Policies, and Gender. You may read the brochure here.

From lakes to bays, we need blue spaces for our mental health

Rethinking our urban fabric has floated in my thoughts since the pandemic began; there is so much we could do with what already exists in our cities. I cannot emphasise enough how my being in London’s parks for most of 2020 brought me sanity to cope with so much stresses during that year — research, international travel, and, well, simply managing to all the changes. I could only wish I had access to blues and greens while I’m staying in Manila now.

In this essay, fellow Chevening alumnus Julze Alejandre and I share our thoughts about blue spaces, mental health, and COVID-19. As always, thank you to CNN Philippines Life for publishing our writing.

COVID-19 and Planning in the Philippines: Spatial Inequality and Critical Public Spaces

We started a video series at UP Plano to talk about COVID-19 and Planning in the Philippines. As a starter, I talked about spatial inequality and critical public spaces, which are crucial points of discourse in understanding how we spatially respond to the pandemic. I briefly go over what has happened so far in the quarantine, look into what the crisis yields, and provide suggestions on how we can frame our response in moving towards more equitable cities, as against what used to be ‘normal’.

Watch the video here:

This was originally posted at the UP Plano Facebook page.

Keep safe, everyone!

Bracing informal communities for COVID-19

With COVID-19 threatening the world, many countries are challenged with how to deal with informal spaces, congested areas, and communities with low or no capacity to deal with the pandemic.

I recently worked with INKLINE to publish a guide on how we can better brace our communities to have a fighting chance. This guide looks into more tactical and affordable actions on protecting families in crowded areas. Read the article here.

If you know friends who work with informal communities, kindly share the guidelines with them. Keep safe, everyone!

The COVID-19 pandemic is also an urban planning issue — especially in Manila

It’s been a while since I’ve written for the media, because university life has been keeping me with academic essays and design work, but when CNN Philippines got in touch for an urban perspective on COVID-19, I found myself writing non-stop.

Click here to read the piece. And stay safe, everyone! Let’s be responsible enough to stay at home and follow medical advice.

All the best from London,