Foundation University formally inaugurated and turned-over the Viewing Tower for the Baslay Farmers’ Association last Saturday, July 6, through a formal ceremony led by University President Victor Vicente “Dean” G. Sinco.


The Viewing Tower for Highland Brew Coffee was designed and built by the fifth year architecture students of Foundation University namely: Michael L. Ada, Rolando D. Cabunilas Jr., Louie Mae L. Calvara, Charlei P. Cubelo, Arnel J. Desalez, Jason Z. Dumogho, Cheyenne B. Lopez, Edwin E. Lucin Jr., Ranier T. Marañon, John Dave T. Rarogal, Calvin Gold M. Tuastomban and Caryl Jane A. Veriña.


This three-story viewing tower is geared to further enhance the local business, attract both local and foreign tourists and in a way, promote the importance of farming to the greater community.


Beneficiaries of the said project is the community of Baslay, Dauin specifically, Baslay Farmers’ Association. The said community manages an existing coffee farm of 120 hectares and in the next 5 years, they are to utilize 350 hectares.


In retrospect, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark visited in 1986 and started to extend help through a grant to the Baslay Farmers’ Association which began the Coffee Plantation Project. This was for the locals and farmers to gain income from sustainable sources of livelihood.


Estudio Damgo, now on its 7th installment, is the first and only in the Philippines student-led design and build program under the architecture department of Foundation University. The program aims challenge architecture students to view community problems as design opportunities as well as utilize locally-available materials, that of bamboo, for the construction, thus, promoting sustainable and culturally-relevant architecture.


Also present during the inauguration and turnover ceremonies were Mayor Henry Pride Teves of Bayawan City and Negros Oriental 2nd District Board Member Jack Raymond. Teves and Raymond have supportive, in many aspects, of the project since its conceptualization.