It took an architect from the other side of the world to envision what could have been done. Unfortunately, we ourselves never managed to make it happen. We ignorantly revised and, eventually, ignored the original concept. We made sewers of our rivers and canals, and a giant garbage dump of our beautiful Manila Bay. The Majestic Manila that could have been was lost to the waters.
After more than a century, it is lost still. The pristine rivers and streams are paved and gone. The invisible drainage and sewage system that replaced them is a disaster. When heavy rainfall hits Metro Manila, everything stops. Flood overtakes life. Our major thoroughfares are clogged and our central business districts are at a standstill. When the citizens of Metro Manila should be working and generating profit for our national economy, they are too busy trying to save themselves or what is left of their possessions. How can an element like water, which was so vital to our ancestors by the rivers, now pose such a danger to our current urban ecosystem? No matter how great our buildings may be, when these invisible drainage and sewage networks are problematic, the entire urban fabric is problematic.
The first order for a livable Metro Manila is to properly design our drainage and sewage systems and segregate them from our water networks.
Paul Blasco, Manila Madness: An Urbanism Manifesto for Metro Manila, Lantawan 2013.
Check out “THE CARVE” a design proposal for the Museum of Philippine Contemporary Art here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.272480669593684.1073741831.228879293953822&type=1
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