Message of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda: 18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia

May 18, 2023

Message of Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda
Opening Ceremony/ Philippine Pavilion
18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia
18 May 2023 

It is with deep gratitude and pride to open this year’s Philippine Pavilion at the 18th Venice Architecture Biennale. Since our first historic participation in the International Architecture Exhibition in 2016, the Philippine Pavilion has served as a portal to the minds and hearts of Filipino architecture practitioners and thinkers, as well as a platform to spark conversations that create resonance on local and international planes.

This year’s exhibition, Tripa de Gallina: Guts of Estuary, is another opportunity for Filipinos to share their ideas, their hopes and attempts towards creating spaces that cultivate dignity, collaboration and connection. As we probe how the history of waterway came to be and the relationships among the stakeholders, we are reminded of our indigenous traditions that illustrate such deep reverence, respect and connection with water. T’boli weavers in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato wash their t’nalak textiles along the stretch of the river. During the third day of the Ginum ceremony of the Bagobo from Davao, Pamalugu, or ceremonial washing in the river takes place, a ritual for invoking the gods’ blessings for good health and strength. Water was regarded with such high status, as a resource for sustenance, a source of healing and purification, and a home of the gods. Layered and complex factors such as history, consumerism and the demands of contemporary society have led to the gradual severance of humanity’s connection with nature. It is my sincere hope that this exhibition serves as a reminder to return to nature, to return to our only and only home.

The problem affecting Estero Tripa de Gallina – and many other estuaries and waterways in the country – is no longer merely a cause for concern, but a clear and urgent climate emergency. This year’s featured exhibition creates an opportunity for the world to have a more profound understanding of the issue of water pollution, waste management and how it affects the dynamics of the community and its stakeholders. As in previous editions of the Philippine Pavilion, we are once again opening the eyes and hearts of the public to the realities that affects waterways in the Philippines and in other countries as well. This exhibition creates a pathway for exploration and discussion on how we can take intentional action towards a more sustainable future. This exhibition serves as a foundation for the hope of cleaner surroundings and stronger relationships.

Congratulations to the curators, architects, coordinating and technical teams, and to all those who have worked to put this exhibition together. Thank you to those who joined us in today’s special occasion. Mabuhay tayong lahat!