Young Blood: ‘Patintero’ on the streets

I got my second Young Blood column published last Tuesday. This piece had been lurking around in my brain for a few months and finally came spilling out after I was almost hit by a bus while walking along EDSA (I just typed this in my phone notes while at the back of a FX shuttle). The title is a reference to Jane Jacobs‘ “ballet on the streets,” but I replaced ballet with patintero (a Filipino street game) which is not only relatable to because it’s local, but because the game is exactly what happens to Pinoys’ behaviour in transit. I guess I just wanted a shoutout for public spaces, mobility, and social behaviour.


Before the next game, let us establish the rules as a team.

Dear drivers, this is about how we park just about anywhere that is convenient. Continue reading


The EnP Board Review Series: Part 5 – Your planning bibles

This is the fifth part of my EnP board review series, where we start off with the basic reading materials you’re supposed to know as a planner.

And there are three of them:

  1. Rationalized Planning System in the Philippines by Ernesto Serote
  2. Republic Act 7160: The Local Government Code
  3. HLURB CLUP Guidebooks and Supplemental Guidelines (since this is a series of books, it’s technically 3++ bibles)

Continue reading

Disaster-adaptive homes: Incorporating DRR in interior design

I visited the UPIDAA‘s IDisenyo exhibit at SM City Marikina yesterday. It was a showcase of interior design entries under the theme KalamIDad: Interior Design in Times of Calamity. I was curious to see how disaster risk reduction could be incorporated into the practice of interior design, and the exhibit was a very good learning experience.


Perspectives and material samples from the entry TAHAN-NAn.


Continue reading

Disaster Games and Learning Activities

I took up Geography 255 (Environmental Hazards and Disasters) as my last elective under the Environmental Track for MA URP, and it was one of the best learning experiences I’ve had in UP Diliman. Our class was composed of our hardcore prof, Dr. Jake Rom Cadag, and a mix of wacky PhD and MA students.

In the course of our subject, we tackled so many concepts that revolved around hazards and disasters, among them vulnerability, risk, perception, awareness, and so on. It was up to us as students to read up on related literature and explore how these concepts could be understood in class. We came up with activities and games for these concepts, each one with the goal of creatively extracting insights from each student. These activities can be reused by DRR practitioners and other students and everyone who wants to use them in classes, workshops, and team-building sessions. Here’s the compilation:

Continue reading

The EnP Board Review Series – Part 4: Exam expectations

This is the fourth part of my board review series. Since the EnP boards are very hyped, I’m sharing things as clearly as possible in this post.

There’s quite a lot of talk on the EnP board exam. Many say that it’s the most difficult exam, because planning is an art itself and is not absolute. Even some lawyers who have taken the exam have said that it was even more difficult than their bar exam. Passers and SURP alumni repeatedly say that you can never really prepare enough for it.

I’m going to go with the third one (because I’m not a lawyer and I haven’t taken any other board exam): you can never really prepare enough for it. 

How so? Several things:  Continue reading

Young Blood: Willing to walk, or to leave your car at home?

My piece got published on the Young Blood opinion column of the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, and I’m thrilled. My original title was changed, but I’m happy there were very minor edits in the article. The link to the original publication is cited after the post.

Here’s the column:

My Young Blood Column

My Young Blood Column

ONE RECENT afternoon, I was able to attend Usad Edsa, a multistakeholder consultation held by the technical working group of Cabinet Secretary Jose Almendras. The group presented its efforts, facts on traffic problems, and proposed solutions on making Edsa free-flowing, thus reducing the probability of having a daily “carmaggedon” in Metro Manila. Continue reading

People’s Cities: Urban Talks with Benjamin dela Pena

“We’ve been planning our cities around the dimensions of cars. What we’ve known for five thousand years is that cities are for people. So we need to get it back to the dimension of the people.” – Benjamin dela Pena

Benjamin dela Pena's public talk at UP SURP

Benjamin dela Pena’s public talk at UP SURP, entitled Current Issues in Urban Planning: New Ideas and New Thinking

I had to have a flight moved to be able to emcee for this event, but, more importantly, I just had to be able to listen to one of the greatest urban minds I’ve ever heard from, and who came to UP-SURPContinue reading