Last November, Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda wreaked havoc on many parts of the Philippines with countless cities and towns completely devastated in its wake. Sadly, a number of the beautiful islands in Cebu that Ito and I had visited over the summer were left ravaged by the Super Typhoon. Now, alongside with the continuing relief efforts, the rebuilding of structures (and lives) has slowly begun.

In design, starting from scratch with the slate wiped clean is often seen as an opportunity to begin with fresh ideas not compromised by trying to accommodate the mistakes of the past. This may be our chance to rebuild from the grassroots, creating greener, more sustainable rural environments and establishing safer coastal communities. This way, what started out as a tragedy doesn’t have to end as one.

In what ways would you like the Philippines ‘redesigned’ as a greener country for the future?

DSC_0072Just one of the many beautiful islands in Cebu

DSC_0314The five centuries old St. Peter & Paul Church in Bantayan Island, one of the islands hit hard by the typhoon

DSC_0167Fishing communities, like those in Malapascua, need environmentally sound and sustainable structures to weather future storms

DSC_9775Starting with a clean slate and respecting Mother Nature as we redevelop, restructure & redesign our coastal communities

PB290007Designing for a cause. Backstage snapshot with my model Patch Magtanong at last December’s “Filipino Para sa Filipino”, a fashion fundraiser to help raise money for the rehabilitation of the Visayas

*Photos of Bantayan & Malapascua Islands by Ito Ocampo

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