TWENTY-TWO new Filipino architects formally took their oath during the face-to-face mass oath-taking ceremonies held on Sept. 30, 2023, at the Village Hotel, Singapore. The event was organized by the Singapore Chapter of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), headed by this writer.
The inductees are successful passers of the Architecture Licensure Examination (ALE) under the Special Professional Licensure Examinations conducted by the Professional Regulation Commission from April 22 to 24, 2023, at Bayanihan Center in Singapore. Collectively known as “Batch Ekspatriado,” the new architects are all overseas Filipino workers residing and working in Singapore.
They are Dan Davies Abad, Jeruel Aboc, April Acebedo, Jose Antonio Aguirre, Caroline Aviles, Regie Cabaluna, Zaldy Caguete, Rafael Cervantes, Arnel Encarnacion, Jemuel Fajardo, Jennifer Francisco, Ferdinand Gigante, Roderick Jardin, Reynan Layug, Kristine Madamba, Theodore Mercado, Fernando Odulio, Regidor Reyes, Joey Salazar, Aileen Santiago, Lorifel Viloria and Mary Aizee Wong.
The program started with the processional, participated by the new architects and special guests. This was followed by the preliminaries and my own opening remarks. The keynote speaker was Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General Dr. Emmanuel Fernandez, who shared a meaningful message that underscored the value of architects to society. Subsequently, a heartfelt video greeting by UAP National President Richard Garcia was played, which celebrated the new milestone in the lives of the new architects.
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Professional Regulatory Board of Architecture chairman, Hon. Robert Sac led the oath-taking pursuant to Section 17 of Republic Act 9266. It was a fulfilling moment when the chairman administered the oath to the new architects, an act witnessed by their parents, spouses and friends.
Significantly, it was at that moment when these 22 individuals could officially be called Filipino Architects. In his message, Chairman Sac emphasized the importance of architects in improving people’s lives in the community by creating jobs and other opportunities, in addition to their duties in constructing structures and buildings.
While dinner was served, UAP Singapore’s Assistant Secretary Elaine Mandigma-Paraiso and Committee Head for World Architecture Day John Marvin de Jose serenaded everyone with their musical performance.
Certificates and portrait sketches were awarded to the special guests by Chapter President Agno, along with Chapter Secretary Maria Louretta Nico. A congratulatory toast to the newly sworn architects, initiated by the Chapter president, concluded the oath-taking ceremonies.
The occasion would not be possible without the support of the Unyon ng mga Arkitektong Pilipino–Singapore Chapter, a society composed of active Filipino architects and designers working, practicing and residing in Singapore. It is registered with the Registry of Societies (ROS), making it the first recognized foreign architectural organization by ROS.
Acknowledgment also goes to the past chapter presidents of UAP Singapore, namely, Ar. Larshir Mangaliman, UAP District B1 Director Raffy Retuyan, and UAP Executive Director for Professional Development Joan de Leon-Tabinas, for the support; Committee Head for Ways and Means Mark Jesson Ronquillo for hosting the program; Committee Head for National Architecture Week Glenn Paraiso as the technical person; and Ar. Maykel Siriban of Myke Photography as the official photographer of the event.
Ar. Rommel C. Agno, UAP, RMP is the Chapter president of the United Architects of the Philippines–Singapore Chapter. He is a Technological Institute of the Philippines alumnus who lives and works in Singapore. Under the Singapore Chapter program, he has been organizing Free Review/Refresher Sessions for aspiring architects since 2018. He is also a committed professional practice lecturer who elaborates on Philippine codes related to plumbing, electrical and buildings.