faisal alih’s thesis

a few weeks ago i helped out my friend faisal on his architectural thesis. he and his group mate, jigs, were working on geothermal design, specifically on subterranean structures in the sierra madre UP campus. about a week prior to their presentation and defense before a jury panel i stayed nights over at their house.

i suddenly found myself in “arki” mode as i helped conceptualize and critiqued structures, drew perspectives (chamba perspektib) of hypothetical buildings, theorized on design concepts and stuff, working working working with only coffee and pancit canton keeping me up. all that i had left behind since i shifted to fine arts came back to me: getting all exhausted working out a good design, falling asleep and waking up to realize that your hand is still sketching that nth floor plan, the madness of theories and considerations of end users, getting all windang from too much of everything and talking nonsense to your fellow workers until you drop of exhaustion and then waking up early the next morning because you have to finish your work for that afternoon’s deadline, stuff like that. it was scary in a way.

needless to say i still had fun, people made all the difference. i met all my old classmates (most of who, by the way, have graduated and are now working in top architectural firms in manila). and of course largely because i was able to help faisal with his thesis. now ive my closure with architecture. i may perhaps have left arki hastily (in a way), i was desperate to leave lest i rot in the course just because i couldnt ‘do’ the math subjects. i found my place in fine arts and it’s great there. i never asked myself how i would have been if i were back in architecture but that opportunity to help in faisal’s thesis prodded me to answer it. i thank God im no longer in that program because i am now really sure i didnt want to be there in the first place. perhaps i could have pulled through it (faisal says problema ko lang talaga sa arki ay yung math) but i have it better in fine arts. ill leave arki to the arkiteks. 🙂

last note on that, despite everything id like to mention here the people who made my arki experience a memorable and endurable one: fai, buds, sammy, jerome, paolo, jing, suzette, addie, odie, cor, aida (sorry girls i missed helping you out in your thesis), mang charlie, jeck, nina, malaya, jet, nap, jigs, mickey, kitty (id), sir nick, sir joven, dean fernandez (dean parin tawag kahit hindi na dean pero yun pa rin ang tawag) and the countless others ive failed to mention. cheers!


2 thoughts on “faisal alih’s thesis

  1. hi,ben. i am faisal’s mom. we may not have met but i sort of know you ‘coz fai’s told me about you. i love your “thesis”–that helping fai with his own arki thesis finally gave you the closure in your own “failed” arki dream. yun lang, it was a dream where you woke up to your own real morning in fine arts. best wishes

    • hello ma’am! kamusta kamo? i met you at your house years ago when i dropped by to visit faisal en route to cagayan de oro. thank you for dropping in a note 🙂 knowing i may not be geared for architecture after all, i cherished my time with it and the people who helped me through a very challenging time, especially faisal, who remains a close friend. dugay dugay na pud mi wa nagkita ni faisal since he moved out of the pinas 🙂 God bless to you and the rest of the family 🙂

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