An architect’s journey: Reaping the rewards of following our True North

I would like to start this column by congratulating the almost 3,000 examinees who passed the June 2023 licensure examination for architects in the Philippines.

As you embark on your architectural journey, may you always strive for excellence, collaborate with others, and push the boundaries of what is possible. Good luck on your new chapter!

Remember that being an architect is not just someone who helps build skyscrapers. Being an architect means building the future.

We have the power to shape the world around us. You can create spaces that are not only beautiful but  more importantly, functional and sustainable. Green buildings are becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the impact that their actions have on the environment. By designing eco-friendly communities, you can help minimize the impact of our footprint and even enhance the environment.

Let me share with you a story. When I was a young architect in Italy, the challenge to me then was how to integrate my love for great architectural designs with my personal advocacy of protecting the environment. I am thankful that my journey led me to the Philippines where, together with my business partner Atty. Jojo Leviste, we were able to establish Italpinas Development Corp. (IDC) in 2009.

Establishing the company enabled me to pursue my passion in architecture while promoting sustainable designs by developing projects, in accordance with nature.

Back in 2015, the South China Morning Post featured Italpinas and its strategic mission of providing unique, innovative, sustainable, and safe real estate products that satisfy and exceed the expectations of our customers, business partners and stockholders.

We left them with the message that “environmentally friendly living must not be made expensive.” At the time, we were still in progress of our first development, the Primavera Residences, and preparing for our initial public offering (IPO) to attract foreign and local investments.

Eight years since, we have built a whole lot more than what we originally planned in just within the decade. Today, we have multi-awarded and globally recognized developments in the country.

I recently travelled to Bangkok to personally receive a recognition for the Verona Green Residences in Cagayan de Oro City as Best Mixed-use Development in the prestigious Asia Pacific Property Awards.

This is the fourth award for IDC from International Property Awards (IPA), with our other flagship projects Primavera City, Primavera Residences, and Miramonti Green Residences honored in the previous years by the same award-giving body.

Verona Green Residences by IDC Homes is our first economic and green development located in Uptown Cagayan de Oro. I thank the IPA for setting the stage for global recognition of another unique and innovative development in the Philippines. It was very timely because several days after the awarding,

I was back in CDO to meet with Mayor Rolando Uy along with his team Ivy Guantero, head of City Office Information; and John Asuncion, the head of the City Trade and Investment Promotions Center.

It was a very fruitful meeting where we discussed exciting prospects for the city and Northern Mindanao. I thank Mayor Uy and his administration for reaffirming his commitment to further make CDO, which is also known as the “City of Golden Friendship,” investor-friendly to companies such as ours.

Another honor for IDC was receiving the EDGE (Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies) Champions ASIA Awards last June 6 in Singapore, together with other Filipino companies. An initiative by the World Bank (WB)-International Finance Corp. (IFC), it recognizes companies that have committed to promoting green building construction.

In October this year, we are excited to receive in Washington, DC yet another recognition from the WB-IFC, the EDGE Champions GLOBAL Awards. There are only a few EDGE Champions worldwide and we are honored to show up and represent with pride the Italian-Filipino innovative capacity in building green and sustainable communities.

On behalf of Italpinas and its subsidiaries IDC Homes, IDC Prime, PRIMA Property Management, I thank the WB-IFC for this recognition. 

When we decided to venture in the Philippines and founded our company 15 years ago, getting these accolades was the farthest from our minds. We just wanted to offer something new to the Filipino consumers and contribute to creating a clean and green environment.

The heart and soul of Italpinas is our belief that human development and the environment are inseparable. Our goal is to design and build spaces that balance human development with the environment, taking inspiration from nature. We just followed our True North and these awards followed suit over the years. The universe has a way of recognizing good deeds. We reap what we sow.