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Legarda Lauds the Opening of the Homecoming of the “The City Who Had Two Navels”

July 5, 2019

Congresswoman Loren Legarda lauded the opening of the homecoming of “The City Who Had Two Navels” on Tuesday, July 2, the Philippines’ national pavilion at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. This year’s theme of the Central Exhibition in the Biennale, “Freespace,” urged countries to bring their own Freespace in Venice through the staging of their respective national pavilions.

“The City Who Had Two Navels” draws inspiration from the literary work of national artist Nick Joaquin’s “The Woman with Two Navels,” and looks back at how the past is affecting the present and the future. The two “navels” represent the two forces that have shaped the Philippine built environment for centuries: colonialism and neoliberalism.

In her speech, the new Representative of the Lone District of Antique said that whether one agrees with curator Dr. Edson Cabalfin’s view of “Freespace” is not a point of contention. She said that it presents one view which one could either agree with or contradict.

“Do we really have the power to create our cities based on what we perceive as good for all, or are we trapped in the mindset that we must do development based on the so-called demands of present time?” said Legarda.

“Architecture has the power to create an urban space of robotic people ready to accept a monotonous life with the belief that development is all about economic progress. But it also has the strength to inspire people to create livable communities that respect history and is in communion with nature,” Legarda added.

The Philippine Pavilion is a joint project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Tourism, and the Office of Congresswoman Loren Legarda, during her last term as Senator.