Pinay Architect shines in the UAE

by John Carlo Bogayan

979
Arch. Christine Espinosa-Erlanda

Among the 14 categories, only one Pinay made it to the list. Arch. Christine Espinosa-Erlanda is nominated for the Architect of the Year. Adding to this, Arch. Christine is also nominated for the Big 5 Women in Construction Award.

 The Dubai-based architect obtained her college degree at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila with the course Bachelor of Science Major in Architecture.

Just like any other achiever, Christine started her journey daydreaming to become one of the best. 

“I am fortunate that my humble beginnings in Tondo, once I was a little girl sketching my dreams on the wall, I have culminated my creative instincts, have met mentors along my way, flew from Manila to Dubai and now I am part of building the future of the Middle East, designing and working on noteworthy award winning projects, master plans, heritage, residential, commercial, hospitality and heritage projects, turning visions into reality,” Christine said.

Now an associate architect at Godwin Austen Johnson for 11 years, Christine started building her future at Manila City Planning and Development Office as an Architectural Intern. 

Asked about the hardships along the way, Christine shared that talent, skill, and creativity can overcome anything, “I have not been thrown into the limelight by a single dramatic achievement, but I am the one who more than a decade has carried consistent professionalism and exemplary practice. I have made contributions in numerous areas of my profession and within the society. I believe my success comes from determination to do my best, give my best and share my talents. Back then, when I started studying architecture everybody would say it’s a man’s world, but here I am standing as proof of equal opportunity. Gender does come into play but talent, creativity and skill does.”

In line with this, the 12th annual Middle East Architect Awards acknowledges the best projects and the person behind in the architecture community across the region. With the Middle East bragging its structural advancement, the Middle East Architect Awards serves as the benchmark of success in the region’s architecture sector.

Christine being nominated in two categories reveals how proud she is and said “My heart is fleeting with happiness and gratefulness, being lined up with the amazing architects is already an honor.”

More than an achiever, Christine widely empower women and equality, “As an architect my mission is to design and build something valuable that will last even after my own lifetime and in doing so elevate the position of women in what is, still, a male dominated arena. Being part of the industry that creates and shapes the present and future cities keeps me close to that mission.”

The Middle East Architect Awards has recognized great architects of different nationality in their 12-year stint. For this year, 14 exemplary companies and architects will be named at the gala dinner ceremony on November 20, Wednesday.A proud Filipino, Architect Christine said, “I am a Filipino. I smile a lot. Being Filipino helped me cope with the challenges of working abroad. We Filipinos are like water; versatile and can adjust to any shapes or forms and like water, they are necessary to life. Filipinos have the hunger for development and better future. We are not bounded by our race, gender nor financial situation. We Filipinos need to lift each other up, raise our flag and show the rest of the world our ingenuity, resilience and skills, all of those while radiating with the sincerest smiles.”