There was a time when birdcalls were heard as people walked around the gardens of Greenbelt between 6 and 9 p.m.
Unknown to many, Greenbelt was home to more than 500 bird species 40 years ago.
Three bird species from the old aviary, such as the Oriole, White-Collared Kingfisher and Zebra Dove, are still around.
The rest will be recreated through a sound exhibit called “Vocalizations,” an all-sensory experience that weaves together ambient sounds and movements.
The ingenious sound installation that blends the sound of the city with the sound of the park, ongoing until October, is part of Ayala Malls’ Artkitektura Festival, a collaboration of artists on the idea that architecture can exist in harmony with nature and enhance the human experience.
“I’m fascinated with sound and with listening. We are very visual—we watch a concert but we don’t listen to a concert. I believe in the power of sound and how it can tell stories,” said Teresa Barozza, sound engineer and recipient of the Ani ng Dangal Award from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.
“Every year, we come up with activities to give people a compelling reason to visit our malls. We’ve always been a supporter of Filipino arts and culture, making Filipino art accessible to the public,” Ayala Malls Group president Maria Rowena Manhit-Tomeldan said. “What distinguishes Ayala Malls from others is the amount of space we allocate to greenery.”
The festival kicked off last month with an inspiring exhibition from the father of Philippine architecture, Bobby Mañosa. Ongoing until Sept. 9 at the TriNoma cinema lobby is a tribute exhibit, “Mañosa: Beyond Architecture,” first launched at the National Museum last February.
Mañosa, best known for his work on the Coconut Palace and Amanpulo and Pearl Farm Resorts, is the country’s first and most passionate champion of authentic Filipino architecture. The exhibit includes his original drawings and models, including plans and projects never before seen by the public.
New and archival photographs, examples of vernacular materials, furniture and interior elements, and audiovisual presentations offer insight into his diverse practice.
“Architecture must be true to itself, its land and its people,” said the architect’s daughter, Bambi Mañosa, director of interior design at Mañosa & Co. “My father always believed in three things: I am a Filipino, I love my country, I love architecture and design. The exhibit will get everybody to look within our country rather than foreign influences.”
The exhibit also features themes such as Buhay ng Gawa (History and Practice); Diwa ng Anyo (Design); Danas ng Aliwalas (Experience of Space); Laro at Hiraya (Play and Imagination); Likas at Likha (Materials and Processes); Tagpuan ng Ugnayan (Setting of Social Interaction).
It likewise explores Mañosa’s other passions such as toy-making, craft design and jazz music.
The festival will showcase other works of Filipino ingenuity side by side with international design at the Greenbelt 5 Gallery until Sept. 10. It’s a preview of 50 contemporary worldwide expressions of organic architecture in digital form.
The Chamber of Furniture Industries of the Phils. (CFIP) will add a local touch with its own exhibit, “Silya,” that highlights Filipino organic designs. It will feature award-winning chair designs made from native or organic materials.
“We are positioning ourselves to be a green furniture industry, only using sustainable raw materials,” CFIP chair Nicolas De Lange said.