My third year in architecture school is done. Horraaah! The worst is over! Looking back, I don’t really know how I survived that final month of academic hell, which consisted of deadlines upon deadlines upon deadlines, and final exams sandwiched right in between plate submissions. I do think my entire third year journey deserves a post of its own — a long and dramatic one, at that–so I will leave those ugly details for later.
This post focuses on our cute little concrete slab for construction class. My group (a team of four people) conceptualized, designed, and executed the building of a 1.5m x 1.5m slab. This was for what I believe is going to be a cat sanctuary in my college, as planned by our construction professors. (Side note: my university is wack and my college, even weirder). Each group was afforded the creative liberty to do whatever they pleased. We were restricted only by the space to build on and the fact that the slab had to be functional.
This was a slightly rushed paper for one of my general education classes. I wasn’t keen on sharing this piece of writing, but I wanted to post all of the photos I took, so why not just add in the introduction? Enjoy this little snippet from my day-to-day life.
The quiet and evocative ambiance of the Quezon Memorial Circle sets the stage for Hortikultura 2017. Our very own Central Park, as I’d like to call it, was teeming with plant lovers last February 7, 2017. Cars flooded the tiny streets of the public plaza, and though the day was drawing to an end, the visitors kept coming. The sky was tinted in the delicate shades of sunset—yes, it was a beautiful day, and one that I can recall fondly. Though I frequently observed Quezon Memorial Circle the previous year, I can’t say I had ever seen it that busy.
As I entered the blossoming gates of the event (literally!), I was met with an expanse of greenery. Flower arrangements filled up the area, and numerous signs credited the artists for their creations. It was easy to get lost in and through the exhibits; to pass by each mini-garden and come full circle in the same place you started. If I didn’t have my structural class an hour later, I would have stayed and looked at the plants for a longer period of time. Picturesque, flourishing, and exquisite– these were my final impressions of Hortikultura.
All of these photos are raw and uncropped. They have also not been post-processed, because I’m a lazy creature. In closing, I’d like to say that flowers and gardens are incredibly beautiful. Likewise, nature is something else, isn’t it? I wish my country would invest more in parks and open spaces, as they are beneficial for the city and its users. I kind of miss running around and seeing a lot of trees in the province, too. Sigh.
Anyway, I’m thinking of writing about travel experiences for my next couple of posts. I kind of have a penchant for romanticizing places, and I enjoy sharing my photos! I’d start working on it right now, but it’s 2:30 in the morning, and my bed is calling.
As with all other body parts, the best thing you can do for a tired brain is to rest it. I took an hour off of my life to do a bit of yoga and meditation (which I got as a PE in university for a semester some time ago). I guess I just wanted to flush out all of the little distractions in my head and pass the evening productively. Thankfully, I still remembered how to do the signature darth vader breaths my yoga instructor taught me. Closing my eyes, I rested on the mat and faced the ceiling with palms resting upwards. Inhale, exhale. Chest rising, chest falling.
Within the first minute of this exercise, several thoughts—the ones that float in your mind throughout the day—flooded my system. It was like seeing a hundred balloons pop all at once in glaring neon colors. I began to realize how cluttered my brain had been. Breathe in, breathe out. I shifted into sitting position, preparing my body for the first pose: a half-split. Admittedly, my muscles did feel a little stiff.
After a while, the music in my ears began to swell. I was doing a sun salutation—a combination of A and B, as I got the motions mixed up. My chaturanga was awkward and rusty—rather, I was never strong enough to do one correctly. My own thoughts faded into the back of my head. After the salutations, I did a few more poses to pass the night. With dim lighting and warm candle light flickering in the background, it seemed like a restful evening.
White floor, white walls, white ceiling. I realize tonight how much I hate my condo unit in Manila. I dislike the emotions I’ve come to associate with it, even more the tiny issues that thin me out— that I have to use an elevator to get to my room, that it is surrounded by so many tall buildings in so little space, and that when I am in it, my life feels like a mess. Even now as I type this, a literal clutter awaits me in that office. Yes, it does feel like one. With all of my hobbyist items stowed into corners— into cabinet drawers where they will indubitably collect dust— it is nothing more than a room that will hold me throughout my college stay. It has not the eccentric little pieces that make my (actual) home so endearing—no acorns from the States, nor a wooden toad sculpture from Thailand. Neither does it have our figurines from India or cassette players from two decades ago. No, the room demands my sweat and blood: dream about vacations later, and focus on school requirements today. It is square, tight, and always busy. Throughout the semester, it gathers piles upon piles of paper clutter. It collects a few tears from me, as well.
Time and time again, my condo unit has witnessed me work non-stop for twelve straight hours—possibly more- and lose sleep over the next ‘big thing.’ I hate that place and its unhealthiness. I don’t know how my mind managed to suppress this realization for so long.
Still, I will have to return to the city in the next few hours. After writing this, I’ll have to bid goodbye to my provincial home, as I always do at the end of every extended break. Manila awaits. I only hope it’s better than how I remember. Continue reading “The Condo Makeover: Phase 1”→
Reaction Paper: What Shapes Architecture
by: Bea C.
In evaluating the different architectural movements that have flooded Europe, one will get a rich picture of the localities that comprise the continent—the history, culture, and residents of an area. As demonstrated in the video documentaries, the architectural styles (Baroque, Renaissance, Rococo, Gothic) of Europe did not simply spring out of an individual’s mind; rather, these styles were shaped by unique realities of the region. Architecture, while a beautiful creation of man, is also a statement. Each style carries with itself a distinct personality ingrained with its history.
The dramatic and occasionally gruesome Baroque architecture, for example, blurs the lines between art and the onlooker; between the imaginary and reality. It is a physical manifestation of the Protestant movement’s effect on the church at that time—dark and edgy, after having turned away from the Catholic rule. Baroque architecture seems to pull onlookers into itself instead of taking a passive role. Continue reading “What Shapes Architecture”→
Sometimes, before I look outside the window, I forget about my house being mounted on solid, unmovable earth. Through the jelly legs that I stand on, I can feel the rhythmic humming of the ocean; each imaginary wave crashing into my slippers. I’d remember, suddenly and with stark certainty, that the view from my bedroom will never change—not in the way I’d momentarily assumed it would. Such realities, unremarkable they may be, pave the way for one to get used to the world again after having lived in the middle of the ocean for a week or so.
Twenty-four hours ago, I was in the airport, trying to get as much sleep as I could before my next flight. Twenty-four hours before that, I was in a cruise ship—the Royal Caribbean, Mariner of the Seas. A huge one, undeniably. Life in a boat is as fun as you’d expect it to be. You climb in, get to feel a bit more pampered and luxurious than usual, then tour exotic islands when you disembark. It’s like a tiny village or city, or nation—whatever—floating in the sea, existing idly by. Continue reading “Cruising”→