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Culture & History as Engines for Urban Revitalization

CULTURAL EXCHANGES: The Quema House: Its Role in Making Vigan a World Heritage Site, Creating Community and Fostering Values through Filipino Design, Fulfilling Community Aspirations -- Redevelopment of the Cebu Waterfront, Realizing the Dream: The Kauai Philippine Cultural Center, A Place for All

The Quema House: Its Role in Making Vigan a World Heritage Site

Margot Quema Adair is one of the descendants of the Quema family, owners of the Quema House which was built in the 1820s, a historic landmark in the town of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. The Quema House portrays the design of a typical bahay-na-bato (literally, "house of stone") where the ground floor was used as storage and as a garage, while the living quarters were housed in the upper floor. The house still had its original furniture including elegant lounge chairs and four-poster beds. In 2009, the Filipino American Association of Pittsburgh (FAAP) chose the Quema House as the model for the design of a Philippine Nationality Room (PNR) at the Cathedral of Learning in the University of Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA). The house was adjudged as most representative of 18th-century architecture unique to the Philippines. Margot is a retired teacher at Maryknoll Schools and the American International School of Manila. She graduated from Maryknoll College in the Philippines and studied at the University of Hawaii in Manoa.

Creating Community and Fostering Values through Filipino Design

Fernando “Butch” Nakpil Zialcita is a Filipino anthropologist and cultural historian. His areas of specialization are in heritage and identity; art and its cultural context; and interfaces between the foreign and the indigenous. He is a professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University and is program director of the Ateneo Social and Cultural Laboratory. He obtained his Master of Arts in philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University and a graduate and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Hawaii. Butch is part of the Nakpil family of Quiapo, Manila who are direct descendants of musician and composer Julio Nakpil and Gregoria de Jesús, founder of the women's chapter of the Katipunan and widow of revolutionary leader Andres Bonifacio. He is a board member of The Bahay Nakpil-Bautista Foundation, Inc., a foundation dedicated to the preservation of the historic Nakpil-Bautista ancestral house.

Fulfilling Community Aspirations -- Redevelopment of the Carbon Market District at the Cebu Waterfront

Joy Martinez-Onozawa is a Cebu-based architect with 35 years of experience in design where the project’s needs are sourced from its local environment. She has an architecture degree from the University of San Carlos, an MA in Urban and Regional Planning from UP Diliman, and a diploma on Integrated Conservation from the UNESCO Asian Academy. Her received a US Senatorial Award for the perpetuation and preservation of Chamorro culture in the Marianas Islands and the Cebu City Charter Day Awards for her advocacy in revitalizing the old downtown of Cebu. The Cebu waterfront is now being redeveloped where she serves as sustainability consultant for the entire project. She is one of the ten outstanding Cebuanos for sustainable green development and is a passionate bamboo architect and advocates for this through her bamboo teach-in workshops.

Realizing the Dream: The Kauai Philippine Cultural Center, A Place for All

Lesther Calipjo is the owner of Garden Isle Collision Repair and Calipjo Properties located in Lihue, Kauai. In 2010, he led a group of individuals to establish a cultural center in the heart of Kauai. The group envisioned the center to bring folks together for social, educational and life-style services and to celebrate family and friendships. The group eventually acquired a beautiful site just west of the YMCA on Kaumuali’i Highway on 3.491 acres of land that the Kauai County has made available on a 99-year license agreement. The group also acquired a 100-year license agreement on the adjoining 11+ acre parcel from Grove Farm for overflow parking. Groundbreaking of the Kauai Philippine Cultural Center – A Place for All took place in March 2016 and was completed in 2020. It is now considered a landmark in Kauai and planning for its second phase.


Ernie Endrina is a Design Manager/Architect with NAVFAC-HI of the US Department of Defense. Prior to joining NAVFAC-HI, he served as a design architect for Architects Hawaii Ltd. He received a MS in Built Environment: Sustainable Heritage at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; a B.Arch from Mapua University in the Philippines and a Graduate Certificate in Historic Preservation and Conservation from UH Manoa. Because of his interest in historic preservation, he helped produce a manual on how to repair and preserve the historic buildings of Vigan, Philippines as part of a UNESCO project when Vigan was declared one of the world’s heritage cities. He lived in Vigan for months to write and publish this UNESCO funded book.


Joel Francisco is an ex-Marine, who is experienced in architectural design and construction administration of projects ranging from police stations, hospitals, hotels, and transportation depots. He is skilled at designing projects using the Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology that is currently providing designers and building owners with a better understanding of their building even before it gets built. He received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is licensed to practice in Hawaii. He is also affiliated with the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

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