Millennials are the natives of the digital infrastructure. They have the privilege of having been born in a time when everything is within reach through the click of a button. Having worked in Dubai in the 1970s, I learned that there are three kinds of infrastructure: progressive, hard, and soft. Progressive infrastructure refers to the international airports and the seaports. The hard infrastructure are the roads, highways and the like. Lastly, the soft infrastructure refers to the ease of doing business. Back in the day, the Sheikh of Dubai would mention, what is good for business is good for Dubai. Later, I added two more; these are sustainable and institutional infrastructure. Even if you have the best plans in the world, without the right institutions to implement these, these plans would not come to fruition. Lastly, infrastructure should be sustainable in order to last for generations. With the advancement of technology, this is the Age of Digital Infrastructure.
The times call for active measures to combat climate change. People have again and again relayed the words: reuse, reduce, recycle. I would like to add—refuse. Refuse to add to the pollution, and refuse to commit unhealthy practices.
Christmas of 1976 was a turning point in my life. It was the afternoon that Sultan Khalifa of Dubai personally met me at the Mandarin Hotel. He said that His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, had sent him around the world to look for planners to help plan, design, and develop Dubai and transform it from the Third World to the First.
Metropolitan Davao is one of the fastest growing cities in the Philippines. According to the 2013 economic research of the Urban Strategies Group of the University of Asia and the Pacific, Davao City ranks second in the index of market potential for cities. The index has three dimensions, namely market growth, market spending capacity, and business and commercial support.
Preparing for earthquakes should go beyond first aid preparation. Most of the time schools, companies and government offices equip employees, workers, and students the basic knowledge of stop, drop, cover, hold, and then evacuate to open spaces, as protocols in the event of an earthquake. As an extra preparation, like in our offices at Palafox Associates and Palafox Architecture, all of our employees are equipped with emergency kits that have a whistle, flashlight, bottle of water, compass, first aid kit, and multi-function portable tools. Identified members of the company are trained to do first aid, rappelling, and coordination for emergencies. But at the end of the day, these are things that we hope will not be necessary because preparation goes beyond first-aid reactionary measures.
The Philippines has so much to offer to the world, not only ecological treasures by way of tourism, but brilliant minds, visionaries, and craftsmen. Other nations find the uniqueness and diversity of our ecology unimaginable—such as having the third-longest coastline in the world as well as endemic species of plants and animals. Another unimaginable phenomenon, our economy remains strong despite the fact we are crossed by an average of 21 typhoons a year and is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire—prone to eruption of active volcanoes, and earthquakes.