UAP road to 50 years of professional excellence

As the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) marked its 49th Founding Anniversary on March 26, 2024, it recalled a reflective journey from its inception in 1975, filled with myriad fond memories. These good memories have been cherished and held close to the hearts of its members as treasures of a shared history.

With the stewardship of the National Board of Directors led by National President Richard M. Garcia, the UAP is not merely observing an anniversary; it’s preparing a grand celebration for the 50th year. This Golden Founding Anniversary heralds a future bright with promise and acknowledges a heritage rich with accomplishment. The present preparations are thus the groundwork for an extraordinary commemoration next year, heralding a golden jubilee of architectural excellence.

On the preceding Saturday, March 23, 2024, the UAP unveiled the “Road to 50 Years of Existence” campaign in Cebu—affectionately known as the queen city of the south. The event was held at NuStar Resort and SM City Cebu, where Visayan architects and UAP chapters from Cebu were present, along with the National Board of Architects. The event was a formal affair of coat and tie, meticulously planned by UAP Chancellor Archt. James Jao and Area Vice President for Area C, Archt. Rolan Paolo Alberto. Selecting Cebu as the venue held historical significance, as it is not only where the UAP was first conceived but also home to the first chartered UAP chapter.

The gathering also celebrated the achievements of UAP Fellows, particularly highlighting the upcoming LIKHA Awardee. Fellow Archt. Jose Mari Cañizares from the UAP Cebu Chapter is set to be the first from Cebu City to receive this prestigious recognition. The Likha Award is the zenith of honor within the UAP, reserved for those who have rendered exemplary service to the profession.

In a move to modernize and better serve its membership, the UAP proudly launched its new website, membership ID cards, and user-friendly UAP Apps. These digital advancements, introduced on the anniversary day, represent the organization’s dedication to the comfort and convenience of its members.

Simultaneously, the UAP Headquarters in Quezon City has been undergoing significant renovations. With this transformation, members anticipate with eager excitement the forthcoming inauguration of this project, envisaging a new chapter for the administration and the collective membership.

This period also serves as an opportunity for introspection and gratitude. It’s a time to celebrate the contributions of the members who have excelled in their service to the organization, to remember the living charter members, and to pay homage to the colleagues who have departed—those who have tirelessly constructed the UAP’s foundation.

The UAP’s reputation for excellence has been validated repeatedly with accolades from the Professional Regulation Commission as the Most Outstanding Professional Organization. The UAP’s acclaim stretches beyond Philippine shores, earning recognition in both the national and international arenas for its efforts to promote the architectural profession, safeguard practice standards, and protect the interests of its architects.

In sum, the UAP is a collective of proud individuals, a fellowship bound by common goals and mutual respect for the discipline of architecture. As the UAP nears its 50th year, it stands as a beacon of professional excellence, a guild that not only constructs edifices but also builds legacies.

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Arch. Benjamin K. Panganiban Jr. is a past national president of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) and the first national president from Mindanao. He has been in private practice for more than 38 years and is a Fellow of the UAP. He is also the first ASEAN and APEC architect to come from Davao City. He is a graduate of BS Architecture from the University of Mindanao, a Doctor Fellow of the Royal Institute Architects Singapore, and a recipient of the European Business Assembly.