Malaya - A Cultural Shift of the Filipino Diaspora

A4 Exterior Shot
Sinulog Festival being celebrated with the proposed hybrid archetype

Set within the neglected coast of Mactan Port in 'Queen City of the South', Cebu, this thesis envisions a testing ground from which an architectural port is reimagined to become an agency of empowerment for overseas Filipino workers and diasporic generations. It shall equip these unsung heroes with the skill sets and knowledge required to voyage into the global arena while maintaining strong links to the city and their home country.

The port will prepare the people for a nomadic lifestyle and seek to become a catalyst that nurtures and practices the present-day characteristics of a 'Filipino'. Counteracting the colonial past that has overlaid Filipino architecture's essence and values, it shall be a beacon that gently reaches out to its island neighbours, creating interconnected links for itself and others. The port shall imbue strong Filipino cultural values - resiliency, adaptability, hospitality, and the passion for serving others. Cebuanos and Filipinos-alike will be able to promote cultural heritage and a new sense of self-confidence and pride by uplifting and empowering an effective diasporic community.

The motivation behind this thesis was to accommodate a diasporic way of living. The investigation seeks to understand how the pre-colonial way of living evolved to translate and fit within the contemporary scenario of a diasporic generation. The thesis challenges this systemic thinking to propose a cultural shift of the Filipino Diaspora to both promote nationhood and enrich the individual's sense of new purpose and identity.


"He who has attained freedom has the capability to be enriched, and he who has been enriched has the moral responsibility, to remedy the roots from which he grew."

A4 Axo
Axonometric drawing showing spatial relationships
A4 Syntax Library
Archetype Syntax Library: used to formulate a new way of designing Filipino architecture
A4 Box 2
Interior of Boat Building Workshop
A4 Box 1
Interior of Upskilling Workshop
A4 Box 3
Interior of Library
A4 Box 4
Interior of Public Market
Long Section
1: 100 long section of Malaya
A4 Concept Of Kapwa
Author's personal interpretation of 'Kapwa'
A4 Archipelagic Series
Archipelagic Series: illustrating the spatial relationships that define the diasporic Filipino people