Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Arroceros DCS Center by Flagship Projects Office and Arch. J. Antonio Mendoza,
originally uploaded by carlosceldran.
Sigh, I'm going to earn the ire of several people because of this posting I'm sure. I can only hope that in the end, these drawings may finally clarify the issues surrounding the overblown animal that is the Arroceros Forest Park Controversy. Posted above is the elevation drawing of the proposed building to be built on the site which I got from Manila City Hall. This building (other images of it are on my Flickr site) will be The Division for City Schools Center for Manila's public school teachers and not a mall as many had suspected. Designed by Arch. J. Antonio Mendoza (of Minggoys at The Fort) and the Flagship Design Office of the City of Manila, the proposed structure aims to take up less than ten percent of the lot. This is for minimum environmental impact and also to preserve most of the trees already growing within the park. As the plan goes, most of the trees affected by the footprint of the building will then be transferred to housing projects in Tondo. And in order to not contribute to the visual blight of the area, the building was also designed in a contemporary Filipino Vernacular Style (admittedly ala Amanpulo et al) so as to remain in keeping with Manila's historical context. So I hope this clarifies things for everyone - especially for the Winners Foundation - who claim to be given the right to administer the park by EX Mayor Alfredo Lim.

To them, I have this to say - and I can say it because I have sat ringside throughout this ordeal: Sorry guys, but the land was not Mayor Lims' to give. The land legally belongs to the Division of City Schools. Period. It was bought with public funds by the DCS. The law is the law. A sale is a sale. So stop all of this tired rallying, whining and holding masses and bake sales at the park. City Hall is trying their best to address your issues even if you refuse to begin dialogue with them. I'm pretty sure you can still have your botanical garden and those poor ol' public school teachers can get still their education center as long as you all work together to achieve BOTH goals. I truly believe that happy compromises can be achieved if everyone just opens up the lines of communication. And you guys best hurry if you wish to maintain a stake in the park now that construction has begun already. All that ranting and raving did not earn your cause any new supporters and it is doing absolutely nothing to assure the park be developed properly for the benefit of everyone.

In other words, wise up, Winners, get to the negotiating table with City Hall soon or you just might end up losing the park altogether in the end.

Ok. That's it. Let the hate mail begin.