Message: 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale

May 27, 2016

Vernissage of the Philippine Pavilion
15th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice Biennale
27 May 2016 | Palazzo Mora, Venice, Italy


Alejandro Aravena, the curator for the 15th International Architecture Exhibition, Reporting From the Front, said that he wants architecture to be “a demonstration of the ability of humans to become masters of their own destinies.”


The Philippine Pavilion brings us to this realization. Muhon reminds us that our appreciation of the past and the current actions we take will determine our future. These nine muhons are but a few of the symbols of our built heritage in our midst that we often neglect but are likely part of our everyday living and of who we are.


Later, as we go into each room, let us allow ourselves to be immersed in the muhons. As we enter the first room, appreciate each muhon’s history, its grandeur or naivete, its significance and apparent purpose. Enrich ourselves with the reason behind its existence so that as we go to the second room, we ask if each muhon deserves the current state we have put it into. Finally, in the third room, we are given the chance to accept, even challenge, what each artist or architect think of how a muhon could end up in the future.


As we offer the world a glimpse of our built heritage through Muhon, we initiate a dialogue on the progress of our architecture and issues on preservation and conservation of our heritage. Let that dialogue ignite that spark that will transform that dialogue into individual and collective action.


Building is not only about creating new structures all the time. It is also about revitalizing communities and connecting the present with the past. Cities and its architecture, in a way, shape our personal narrative while allowing us to connect and remain connected as a community.


On this note, I offer my congratulations to the NCCA and to the DFA for their cooperation and willingness to make our historic participation as a Pavilion in Venice happen. Most importantly, to the curatorial team -Andy Locsin, Sudar Khadka and JP dela Cruz—and all the participating artists, architects and architectural firms, congratulations, we took that step and we are here at the Biennale and most certainly, we are here to stay.


Thank you.