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Young Ormocanon architect is “Bayaning Pinoy 2010″ finalist

YOUNG ARCHITECT WENCESLAO ARCUINO JR. ( 6th from the left) brings pride to Ormoc City after he was named finalist in the prestigious ABS-CBN Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino awardees for youth category in Visayas and Mindanao. The awarding rites were held in Davao City last September 12. (See story on Page 3)

A YOUNG architect from this city who is beginning to carve his own niche in the building construction circle was named a finalist in the ABS-CBN Gawad Geny Lopez Jr. Bayaning Pilipino Award for the youth category in Visayas and Mindanao, the awarding rites of which were held in Davao City just this September 11.
He is Arch. Wenceslao Arcuino Jr., the son of the late geodetic engineer Wen Arcuino and his wife, schoolteacher Alejandra Caoctoy.
He is a graduate of the Leyte Institute of Technology, now the Eastern Visayas State University. A student leader, he was always active in community concerns and was once the president of the college’s student council.
He is newly married to the former Ms Catherine Dinoy, whose generosity of spirit he attributes as one of the main factors why he was cited for the award.
Arcuino or “J.R.” to friends, received the award “for continuing to set aside personal interest or gain for the benefit of his respective community, imbued with a tireless pursuit for excellence in his endeavors, and dedicating his life in service for the poor.”
His architectural firm, WCArcuino Architects & Associates, is known for servicing communities and not big time clients.
In fact, Arcuino designed one of the most important edifices in Kananga – the Kananga-EDC Institute of Technology (KEITECH).
Another of his designs that is catching the attention of Ormocanons is the Dave’s Inn, just in front of the Ormoc City Central School, which is modern and ultra-functional. With only 126 square meters to work with, he turned it into a comfortable, classy hostel with a restaurant on the ground floor that becomes the hottest coffee cum watering hole in town during evenings.
Arcuino’s advocacy
JR is seriously advocating a new paradigm shift in the architectural field—from one that caters to mostly wealthy clientele to a mindset of also giving importance to the poor and needy in the countryside—using architectural skills as an instrument of positive change development in the community.
He doesn’t charge professional fees for projects that will benefit the community and the youth, and this is greatly influenced by his family values and the Architects Code of Ethics.
It was here that he began catching the attention of decision makers hereabouts, when he partnered with the Community Partnership Development program of the Lopez-owned Energy Development Corp. in their community based projects.
He provided, free of charge, building and infrastructure plans for community projects like poultry houses, piggeries, rice driers, etc. of the mass-based associations of EDC which were organized to provide livelihood to residents surrounding the geothermal plants.
This value orientation of his is quite contagious that the community-based AGYLA (Active Genuine Youth Leaders Association), a broad coalition of non-governmental organizations in Eastern Visayas that advocate youth development, has already embraced his outlook.
It was AGYLA founder Xerxes Solon who nominated JR to the award, together with the Partners Multi-Purpose Association represented by Mr. Bebiano Patola and the United Architects of the Philippines- Leyte West Chapter President Maribeth T. Ebcas. They were not disappointed.
Their bet stood proud and tall among other awardees, and was made to say a few words to the audience. In his picture at his Facebook account of the speech he gave, he captioned his picture “speech nuh…murag tinuod nuh?”. But he admits being overwhelmed while receiving the award.
In an email interview, he said, “Pagka-recieve nako ato nga nomination, murag makahilak pud ta… murag gikulbaan, murag busog, nga gigutom, nga murag kasukaon ko… anxiety… I am very happy, excited and the same time nahadlok ko… dako ra kaayo na nga achievement, nga tawagon ka nga Bayaning Pilipino, tibook Pilipinas na gud na…”.
Happy youth today, serious leaders tomorrow
JR takes his advocacy seriously. In the email interview, he said that what he could impart to the young today is to realize the truth in Dr. Jose Rizal’s words that the youth of today is the leaders of the future. And not to waste their youth on needless things but “to channel their energy on positive doings”.
JR admits he was not an “ideal youth” during his college days. He had “bugoy-bugoy days” but he said one should achieve a balance between the drinking binges, the “lakwatsa” and studies.
He also believes in giving back to the country. Those who find lucrative professions abroad should give back to the country that nurtured them. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country”, he quoted a popular line attributed to US president John F. Kennedy.
In fact, he said, graduates who are unemployed should not be discouraged. If they don’t find their ideal employment yet, to grab any opportunity to work and earn, even if just a little.
He also shared his “Harry Potter Procedure or HPP” which he said is his “secret weapon”. H is for honesty in everything you do, P is patience and tolerance and the last P, for Perseverance.
The young architect also takes his religious beliefs seriously, putting into practice his Christian values. He said almost half of what he earns go to their barangay chapel at Rizal Extension, where the Arcuino family lives, and he also has a feeding program.
In this, he thanks his wife Cathy for putting up with his passions. “May gani kay musabot na lang ako asawa… kay kung dili pa, perting gubota. Naa gyoy makambrasan”, he said.
However, he added he believes that when one gives heartily, the blessings come back tenfold.
With this recent achievement catapulting him to national fame, architect JR Arcuino is sure to go up in the architectural ladder. By then, he will not just be building chapels, but maybe cathedrals and palaces already.

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