Article by: Maria Paula Tolentino

With context & photos provided by Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo

Metro Manila – June 11, 2019 – As a result of globalization and constant technological advancements, it is imperative for the academe and the industry to enhance the diffusion of knowledge, increase research and development, patent innovations that help build the country’s organizational capacity. One such school is none other than the country’s national university, University of the Philippines.

On June 11, 2019, Tuesday, OLLI Bambu under flagship organization the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., shipped out 10 Guadua bamboo seedlings to Architect Mary Ann A. Espina, Associate Professor and Architect of Record for UP College of Architecture Building, via air cargo. These seedlings were immediately received the following day, June 12, Wednesday.

Consequently, on June 14, 2019, Friday, a ceremonial planting of these seedlings was conducted at the new parking lot near the new building of the UP College of Architecture.

UP Arki & OLLI Bambu

Forget steel and concrete. The building material of choice for the 21st century might just be bamboo. According to OLLI Consultant Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo, Architect Espina aims to fill up the open spaces in the parking lot with the Guadua bamboo variety. The rationale behind choosing this specific species was due to its robust characteristics. This variety is used not only as a construction material and for interior design, but this grass can withstand earthquakes! 

A piece of knowledge that may give architecture students the insight, and likely lead to further research and development, on other viable alternatives other than steel and concrete when using construction and building materials.

The OLLI Consulting Group, Inc., a strong proponent of the grass, has been leading the discussion together with the Department of Energy & Natural Resources (DENR), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Mining Industry to help rehabilitate and revegetate the mines using bamboo. Now, thanks to this collaboration with UP, OLLI may just reach the next generation of architecture, design and construction professionals on considering bamboo as a greener, better and cheaper alternative.

Academe volunteers together with Joe Green start with the bamboo planting ceremony.

Underneath this life-sized bamboo architectural design is Davao-based OLLI Consultant, Joseph ‘Joe Green’ Castillo with Associate Professor and Architect of Record for UP College of Architecture Building, Architect Mary Ann A. Espina.

Representing the academe, architectural students, volunteers and OLLI Bambu’s very own, Joe Green.

A planting demonstration at the UP Arki Proposed Bamboo Forest together with OLLI Bambu, an affiliate of the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc


Maria Paula Tolentino is the Chief Content Officer of SEM Scribe Publishing House. A certified Safety Officer, she is an advocate of responsible mining, quarrying and mineral extractive practices with clear focus on the quadruple bottom line (people, planet, profit and purpose). She is also the Vice President for Programs under women-mining NGO, Diwata – Women in Resource Development, Inc. and a Consultant for the OLLI Consulting Group, Inc.

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