The Personal in the Creative: Architect Basa Shares her Preferences in Designs

entry no 5 Salvaged Wood Revolution_smallSalvaged Wood Revolution. Behind this dramatic title is the simple but very important act of one community in Surigao del Sur.

“The community makes use of the driftwood abundant in their waters,” said architect Marianne Basa, the winner of the Earth Day Photography Contest of the Primavera Residences.

On a vacation in Surigao del Sur, she and her companions got interested when they chanced upon a group of men crafting beautiful implements from scraps of wood.

“As we were driving along the coast of the province, I saw so many driftwoods,” said Ms. Basa. “I found it such a waste to have all these really good wood just floating, unused. So I was interested when we saw these men actually turning them into beautiful works of art, or at the very least, functional things.”

The rich textures of the photo, surprisingly, are in contrast with Ms. Basa’s architectural character. “I love modern and minimalist designs, with spaces really maximized,” she said.

Big windows. This is what she immediately says when asked for her preference. “It’s airy, and gives ample light,” she said. Maximizing the habagat and the amihan, she says it is lucky for her that she is based in a province with cool temperatures.

She is also optimistic about Bukidnon – her base at the present after doing architecture work in Singapore for some time. “There’s no question if the people here can afford it – there are a lot of potential clients,” she said. “The current bottleneck though is that they are not yet educated about the benefits of having an architect design their house. They think they could save by doing their own designs. What happens is they have really huge houses but the spaces are not maximized, the features are not in harmony. But it’s a challenge I am willing to take on.”

For cramped spaces in urban centers, she recommends height. “High ceilings are very good for ventilation,” she said. “Also, I really recommended high levels in the house. My designs always have a set of staircase. It’s basic. Warm air goes up so there’s movement of air if you have levels. And for wall-to-wall houses, my advise is don’t fill your space with things. It will stifle the air circulation.”

But she says she really does not have a particular style or a designer she would recommend. “You have to be flexible,” she said. “Your client’s preferences differ. One may not like modern designs. And I don’t want to limit myself.”

Her preferences for interiors though are a different story, more reflective of her flair for contrasts and highlights in her photography. Her office, she shared, is a mixture of hot pink and purple. “I am very kikay,” she said. “My building designs are minimal but what I like to put inside the rooms are different.”

Not different from what the community had been doing, Ms. Basa likes salvaging materials from old houses to form them into something new and unique. “I have recycled old scaffoldings, for example, and put them up as feature walls for example,” she shared.

The preference for talk pieces and quaint interiors reflects in her photography that she does as a hobby. Admittedly, she prefers shooting portraits and macros to landscapes and street shots. For this reason, she was not very confident in joining the photography contest of Primavera. “How can I put in the theme in portraits?” Instead of joining the landscape bandwagon just to satisfy the theme, she took her portraits to a higher level to convey something deeper than the textured skin she captured.


She and her husband of three years sometimes accept requests from friends for a very low price she says it is really like doing it for free. She loves shooting pre-nuptials that include designing. “I like working in themes,” she said. “I like dressing up the people I am to shoot.” Again going back to her contrasts, she is especially fond of going for elaborate dresses and makeup when the background is simple like a bodega or a bahay kubo.

In her work as an architect and with her family engaged in construction, she prefers to have her photography as a past time.

“I don’t want to get pressured,” she said. “If I do it as a hobby, I find it fun and interesting. But if I make it as my living, it would be different. I might be constrained with my personal expression to satisfy my clients. But my husband is really encouraging me to pursue my photography. He’s a huge fan,” she laughs.

Passion, Purpose and Photography Merge at Primavera Residences’ Glenn Palacio Photo Exhibit


Aspiring photographers and photography enthusiasts, here’s a lovely opportunity for you to get inspired this May. Primavera Residences is once again opening its doors for a photo exhibit featuring the works of local photographer Glenn Palacio. On May 24, photography enthusiasts can visit the photo gallery at the second floor of Primavera Residences.

Glenn Palacio is a young professional photographer in Cagayan de Oro and an official brand ambassador of the Fujifilm X-series cameras. He was one of the winners in Microsoft Philippines’ Upgrade My Business Promo contest last year, and one of the judges in the recently concluded Primavera Residences’ Earth Day Photography Contest. He specializes in portraiture and fashion advertising. As he puts it, he loves to immortalize people through portraiture.

“I started with street photography. I’ve always kept my distance from people but as I grew in this profession, I learned that as a photographer you should interact with your subject. So I became a photographer that deals with people,” shared Palacio.

“I like shooting people because it makes them immortal. A few years from now when they look back and see themselves in those photos, they become timeless. Shooting portraits is shooting a landscape of emotions of people,” he explained.

On May 24, Palacio will also hold a free photography workshop at Primavera Residences. Aspiring photographers can learn more about street lighting in this workshop.


“It’s part of my advocacy to help other young photographers in Cagayan de Oro. This way, students who can’t afford to go to Manila can have their sessions here,” said Palacio.

Palacio also shared three motivational words for aspiring photographers: passion, purpose, and photography.

“If you have the passion for the art, you know your purpose. You know your advocacy and your direction. You need to find yourself in photography because it reflects who you are.”


For any inquiries about events at Primavera Residences, send us a message here or call (63) 917 7921080.

Meet our Judges for the Earth Day Photography Contest

Are you ready to submit your Earth Day photography entries yet? Or have you already made your submission?

If you haven’t, there’s still time for you to bring your best green photography entry to the table. To give you a clue as to who will be scrutinizing your masterpieces, we at Primavera Residences are thrilled to present our esteemed panel of judges.

There will be two rounds of judging. For the preliminary judging,  the judges will choose the top 10 among all the entries while the second round of judging will be for the top 3.

So who are these judges?

Check out this list to find out.











You got two days left to showcase your best Earth Day photos ever! Remember the theme, always consider green, and don’t forget to convey a story or a message in your entries. Check out the complete guidelines here.


Want to know more about the only condominium in CDO that offers eco-friendly living? Find out about it here.


Green Photography Tips

ranke lim photography 2

Green Photography Tips from Mr. Ranke Lim of Oro Photographic Society


Going green is the new thing. From the use of recyclable materials in homes and in offices to renewable energy sources and even with photography, green is not only in, but it is slowly becoming a standard.

Photography is a popular hobby with many enthusiasts of all ages, but the term green photography may be non-standard to your ears. It may refer to taking images of nature, but it is not just about that.

What is green photography then?

The application of green photography refers to the responsible use of environmentally sustainable resources and showing environmental awareness in your photographs. Professional photographers and amateurs alike practice the value of being eco-friendly by being conscious and sensitive to the changes going on in their environment such as climate or weather change, increased global warming and pollution of different sorts, incorporating these factors in what they do.

The goal of green photography is to create positive impact to the environment by illustrating it in the images they take. This can be a challenge to many photographers out there as going green is still not commonly practiced by a lot us these days, or it is something that still overwhelms us.

How can you be a green photographer?

Here are a few simple tips:

1. Nature Always Makes a Perfect Subject


ranke lim nature photography

According to Mr. Ranke Lim, president of Oro Photography Club in Cagayan De Oro, in order to create stunning images of nature, the picture should tell a story. From macro to landscape, a photographer must employ the value of patience to be able to capture a perfect shoot at the right moment. Patience is what you need, even if takes waking up as early as 3am to capture the perfect sunrise or staying up all night so you won’t miss the star trail.

With green photography, the story in your picture must convey the message of taking care of the environment in ways you know how.

2. Application of Technical Know-How

ranke lim photography

As mentioned at the start of this article, green photography is not just about taking pictures of nature and eco-friendly subjects. More importantly, you must be equipped with basic photography knowledge and the use of your camera. Learn the importance of ISO, aperture, shutter speed and the use of filters to take your photos to the next level and to clearly portray your story.

3. Composition Makes or Breaks a Photo

ranke lim nature photo

Mr. Lim stressed that composition is one of the major essentials that makes or breaks a photo. You have to be able to let viewers appreciate nature by bringing them inside the image and invoke environmental awareness. As much as possible, a two-dimensional picture should create a three-dimensional effect. The foreground, middle ground and background with leading lines or S-curves should be able to guide the viewer to the story of your picture.

As a green photographer, your main contribution to becoming eco-friendly is to capture images with a message telling a photo viewer to make use of the three major R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. With this, you are sure to make a difference in promoting a greener environment!


Mr. Ranke Lim is also one of the judges in the ongoing Earth Day Photography Contest by Primavera Residences. Make sure to incorporate these tips in your entries!

Calling all amateur photographers in CDO! Join the Primavera Earth Day Photography Contest!


Get to know the premiere eco-friendly condo in Mindanao! Click here for more of going green tips.

Calling All Amateur Photographers In Cagyan De Oro! Join The Primavera Earth Day Photography Contest!



Are you an amateur photographer who

  • is ready and eager to showcase your work in print and in the world wide web?
  • has an eye and skill in creating stunning images that convey a message?
  • believes in the importance of sustainable development and eco-friendly solutions?

Then we are looking for you!

Join Primavera Residences’ “LIVING GREEN IN A MODERN WORLD: An Earth Day Photography Contest” and win fantastic prizes from the first multi-awarded green condominium building in Mindanao. This contest is co-presented by Smart Communications.

Who can join:

  • The contest is open to amateur photographers, photography students, and enthusiasts of all ages based in Northern Mindanao. Professional photographers (defined as an individual who receives compensation for his photographic work either as a one-person operation or through involvement in a studio outfit) are not eligible to enter this contest.
  • Participants under 18 years of age require the permission of a parent or guardian. By entering the contest, entrants under 18 years of age indicate that they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian.
  • The contest is not open to employees of Italpinas Corp. or its subsidiaries and affiliates.

How to join:

  • Each participant is allowed to submit a maximum of 3 entries.
  • Entry is limited to original works that have not previously been displayed or exhibited and to which the entrant holds all applicable rights. Works that have won prizes in other contests or that have been submitted to other contests currently underway are not eligible.
  • The submitted works must revolve around the theme and will showcase eco-friendly living and sustainable projects in the region.
  • Images that have been retouched using digital software or by other means will be accepted. Both color and monochrome images will be accepted.
  • Entries must be submitted between March 1 to April 22, 2014.
  • By submitting an entry to this contest, the participant ensures the organizers that the content is original, does not plagiarize from anyone or infringe a copyright or trademark, does not violate anybody’s rights and is not libelous or otherwise unlawful or misleading. Should the organizers or judges receive a report and proof of plagiarism, the entry will automatically be disqualified.


After  carefully reading the guidelines, participants may submit their entries in jpeg format through any of the following options:

  1. Via walk-in at the Primavera Residences office in Pueblo de Oro Business Park, Cagayan de Oro. File must be in a CD or USB and submitted to Jane Duterte.
  2. Through the following email:
  3. By submitting a link from Facebook or Flickr.
  • Submitted entries must include the following information: participant’s name, address, phone number, email address, and photo caption.
  • Entries must have a resolution of 6 megapixels to be made available upon request.
  • Finalists will be announced in April 25, 2014 and will be open for public viewing in the gallery exhibit to be held at Primavera Residences and the Primavera booth in SM.


The copyright in all images submitted to the competition will remain with the copyright holder who will be credited. Each entrant grants to ITPI a non-exclusive irrevocable license to reproduce, publish and communicate to the public by any means and exhibit their awarded image(s) and copies of their awarded image(s) in all media  in relation to the competition and the exhibition.

 How will the entries be judged?

  • Images will be judged on relevance to the theme, originality, composition, overall impact and artistic merit.
  • The team of judges will be composed of officials from Italpinas, members of the CDO press and bloggers community, and prominent Cagayan de Oro photographers. (Meet the judges HERE)
  • Preliminary judging of the online gallery will be done from April 22 to 24, 2014.
  • On April 25, the top 10 entries will be unveiled in a photo exhibit to be held at the Primavera Residences booth in SM City.
  • Final judging and awarding will be on May 3, 2014.
  • All decisions made by the judges are final.


The panel of judges and the contest organizers take plagiarism very seriously. All the submissions will be accepted in good faith and presumed to be the participants’ property. Should reports of plagiarism with attached proof be received by the judges and contest organizers, the reported entry will be automatically disqualified from the contest and prizes will be forfeited.



First Prize:

  • 2 nights luxury stay for 4 at Primavera Residences with free breakfast.
  • Spread in the Primavera newsletter
  • Opportunity to showcase his/her portfolio on the Primavera Blog
  • Plaque
  • 3-month membership to Wellness Wednesday Club@Primavera including 2 months pool & gym use.
  •  1 LTE Pocket Wifi and additional gift items from Smart Communications


Second prize:

  • 2 nights luxury stay for 2 at Primavera Residences with free breakfast.
  • Feature in the Primavera newsletter
  • Plaque
  • 3-month membership to Wellness Wednesday Club@Primavera including 2 months pool & gym use.
  • Additional gift items from Smart Communications


Third prize:

  • 1 night luxury stay for 2 at Primavera Residences with free breakfast.
  • Feature in the Primavera newsletter
  • Plaque
  • 3-month membership to Wellness Wednesday Club@Primavera including 2 months pool & gym use.
  • additional gift items from Smart Communications


Minor Prizes:

  • 7 winners will receive the following:
  • Gift certificates from partner establishments
  • 2 months membership to Wellness Wednesday Club@Primavera and pool & gym use.
  • Additional gift items from Smart Communications


Send your entries now!


If you want to know more about the number one eco-friendly destination in uptown Cagayan de Oro, go here.