Palafox Associates has began to put Ilocos Norte’s dream on paper

Last Monday, August 23, 2010, Hon. Gov. Imee R. Marcos presented her Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan at the Ilocos Norte Provincial Capitol Auditorium in a Public Consultation and Workshop facilitated by Palafox Associates, the design team behind the  Proposed Tourism Master Plan, with the help of the Provincial Planning Development Office headed by Engr. Pete Agcaoili.

World-class architect Felino “Jun’ Palafox, Jr., himself a son of Ilocos Norte, led the Palafox Associates team.

In attendance were the Hon. Vice Governor Angelo Marcos Barba, Sangguniang  Panlalawigan members, municipal mayors and tourism stakeholders of the province.

In her opening remarks, Gov. Imee R. Marcos said, “We have nothing but good news. Palafox Associates has began to put our dreams on paper. Simula pa lamang ito.”

Aiming for an airport-driven urban development

“Green Architecture that is walkable, bikable and livable” is the architectural firm’s mantra

Proposed enhancement of Ilocos Norte’s key destinations

Architect par excellence Jun Palafox

“Tourism is the largest industry in the world. It is bigger than oil,” said Arch. Palafox.  “To propel  conventional tourism into tourism for sustainable and positive change, there should be meaningful planning and decision-making,” he added.

In carrying on with Gov. Imee’s “One Ilocos Norte” campaign slogan, he stressed upon breaking down boundaries or walls to improve connectivity.  He said that he envisions a continuous magazine wall of storefronts.

“A Triple E (Environment, Economy and  Equity ) approach is the bottomline,” he further stated.

Urban and environment planner Karmi Palafox, project manager, and environment planner Eli Paolo Fresnoza of Palafox Associates

Gov. Imee Marcos and Arch. Jun Palafox

Observers and guests

Gov. Imee Marcos and Arch. Jun Palafox flanked by public officials of Ilocos Norte and Dr. Joven Cuanang, owner of Sitio Remedios

Dir. Martin Valera of the DOT-Reg. I and Ms. Milagros Gonzales, OIC of the DOT Laoag Sub-Office

Workshop 1: Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis

Workshop 2: Visioning Workshop

Group outputs

Arch. Jun Palafox reiterated what daughter Karmi said after the workshop — “We learned a lot from the workshop.”

The attendees who actively took part in the workshop ended the day with a photo op with the prime movers of the Proposed Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan


Memorable quotes from Architect Jun Palafox

On walls:

“We were trained not to see our neighbors.”

“More fragmented society, more criminality.”

“Walls are a 60 year-old mistake, a big mistake.”

“There are so many blank walls in Laoag.”

On urban planning:

“Metro Manila is an example of how not to design a city.”

On the environment:

“”The Pasig River is polluted, but with more eyes looking through the river, we will shame the polluters.”

“Ten trees can absorb carbon monoxide per car.”

“We should be carbon neutral by 2030.”

On the various signage planted on the city and town entrances:

“We uglify… uglification of the entrances.”

LOL So true. If I may put my two cents in, the welcome arches obstruct a clear view of the road. Many times I’ve heard the dude curse on the road.


Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

More about the Public Consultation and Workshop on the Metro Ilocos Norte Tourism Master Plan on the LEAD Movement Blog

6 thoughts on “Palafox Associates has began to put Ilocos Norte’s dream on paper

    • He might have meant the long dead, blind or unused spaces. It might be the school fences or the old fenced houses and buildings with single entrance that he was referring to. New designers today want no dead spaces to make it more walkable with a safer environment. The idea is also for generating more retail business opportunities — more chances na makita ang wares na binebenta pag dikit-dikit, may connectivity like how he explained it. An example, I guess, of a dead space within the business district is the side of old Life Theater Building, which houses Novo — that long block of wall along Nolasco St. is a scary sight.

  1. By the way I see on the ongoing dressing up of capitol, Arch Palafox really shows us that solid wall-fences (he call it blank walls) are a no-no. He wants also the private premises to be neighbor-friendly. Plants inside your premises should co-exist with the community to share your plants/trees in the cleansing of the air we breath. Hmmm… The funding for the project was quite on a fast pace. The honorable board members are in synch with the wishes of the governor. This should show better results on other upcoming project, hoping there are available money in the coffers…

    • the Governor is really hardworking, i can attest to that. the TIEZA officials came recently and investors are checking out Ilocos. the UP-AIT tourism and United Nations Development Programme-Millennium Development Goals capacity development workshops (with no less than Ashley Palmer of the UNDP Reg. Center in Bangkok as speaker) i recently attended, on separate occasions, in Takuat, are meant to improve the economy in Ilocos. the trainings were organized by the PGIN. people from the government and private sector can work hand in hand. i’m contributing in my own little way.

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