DAY ONE | May 19, 2014
The preparations for the workshop itself is a story on its own. But in reality, I just wanted to kill time. I didn’t expect that I was plunging into a whole week of “firsts” and immersing into the marvels of Italian culture (c/o Politecnico di Milano) right at the comfort of our own university.
DAY TWO | May 20, 2014
The second day comprised mostly of walking tours around the areas of Intramuros, Quiapo and Binondo. It would be an understatement to say that it was tantamount to torture but the funny antics along the way made the whole trip worth it. We found comic relief in bullying Boris (the only UST delegate), in estimating Dr. Jose Rizal’s pace factor through the copper sheets which supposedly mimicked his last foot steps, in watching Kuya Fab’s soulful karaoke performances inside the bus, and in listening to each others’ cultural anecdotes.
While we were resting, Kuya Caloy was itching to have his picture taken with Stefano who resembled the SAS player Manu Ginobili. I may be wrong with my conjecture but I think the Italians also recognized the inside joke since he offered Kuya Caloy an autograph after the shot.
After the Fort Santiago death march, we tried to visit the San Agustin Church which was closed at that time. They settled for a nearby museum instead but the other Filipino delegates also bailed out on the museum to take the opportunity to rest and to prepare ourselves physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally for the subsequent sumptuous meal.
DAY THREE AND FOUR | May 21-22, 2014
While we were discussing our schematic plans for Pasig River’s rehabilitation, one of our group mates mentioned that she wrote an entry for her blog which tackled the idea of creating an underground chamber for the storm water spillover. However, her friends from engineering reacted negatively and pointed that such a mechanism would be rendered useless by the fact that the Pasig River was connected to a large body of water which will only expand the river’s width but will not directly address the problems in flooding.
I found her blog, by the way. I don’t know why I’m even surprised but it was, of course, written in Dutch. I can’t really rely on online search engine translations. Bing, for instrance, translated Sir De Chavez’s “in bocca il lupo a tutti per le presentazioni oggi” into “in mouth to the wolf to all the presentations today” when all it meant was good luck. The translation mishap gave me a good laugh, though, so it can’t be that bad.
The next two days were mostly work and little play. But it’s during work when you get to develop this deeper understanding of a person’s work ethics and disposition. I was also able to put my video editing hobby to good use by volunteering to make prepare the two project videos, even if it entailed two sleep-depraved summer nights.
DAY FIVE | May 23, 2014
The final stretch of work (read: cramming) was on the fifth day. It was followed by the presentation of all the output from the workshop. The pleasantries were punctuated by Marco Grassi’s AV Presentation which collated pictures taken throughout the week. He even used Kanlungan as the background music and truth be said, it was a little tear-jerking. After which, Sir Orbon invited us to a post-workshop celebration.
But before leading us to the socials, Dean Espina apologized for the cramped room and said, “the tighter, the better!” Sir Joson, who was beside me (huehue), grinned and shouted, “YES, YES!”
It was all blurry speeches, inebriated songs and beautiful goodbyes, after.
I’m not really the type who usually documents every activity I have. But I feel kind of obligated to post about the Workshop on Contemporary Cities and Urban Regeneration held recently. Still, I left out several major details of the experience. After all, different memories have their corresponding way of immortalization. Some are meant to be written, some are meant to be captured, while the others are meant to be silently appreciated.
Introspectively though, I want this post to serve as a reminder of the memories made during those five short but meaningful days, of the endless possibilities this world has to offer, and of my dreams to broaden my cultural perspective by travelling. Indeed, limitations are merely personal contructs of the abstracted manifestations of our fears. Humanity is too awesome to let such a trivial detail ruin visionary ideas and their inevitable materialization.