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Estudio Damgo 12 Groundbreaking Ceremony


Photos by Estudio Damgo 12 and YATTA


Saturday, December 2, 2023, touched by sun and breeze, Foundation University’s Estudio Damgo 12 and 2023 - 2024 community partner YATTA (Youth Advocates Through Theater Arts), met along the Banica River in Valencia. They communed for a beautiful Groundbreaking Ceremony interwoven with song, praise, joy, and refreshment. 


Estudio Damgo 12 team member, Melannie Barreno spoke on the background of the Estudio Damgo design+fund+build program, the first and foremost program of its kind in the Philippines. Mel gave nods to program founders Ray Villanueva and President Dean Sinco while sharing how Estudio Damgo is a movement that transforms education into action and crafts dreams into reality. Next, team member, Christian Jose Ligan shared why Estudio Damgo chose YATTA as community partner including how aligned youth empowerment and PAGASA values guide the community design and construction of this project. Messages from Department of Architecture Chair, Charly Lao Schmidt, and YATTA Board of Trustees Chairperson, Glynda Descuatan, transitioned the ceremony into a blessing from Pastor Wella Hoyle de Rosas.  


A kawayan time capsule was buried with project plans and prayers inside, upon which stones were laid in a symbolic foundation of the YATTA Creative Sanctuary: a structure dedicated to the work and service of the people and God. In YATTA fashion, attendees joined their voices in song and gratitude. Representatives from both parties shoveled earth to cover the time capsule and allow the hopes and dreams inside to germinate. 


Finally, the Project’s Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Foundation University’s President Dean Sinco, Chair Charly Schmidt, Design Build Educator El Pronove, as well as YATTA’s Director Dessa Palm, President Benjie B. Kitay, and Vice President Mellard Manogura. Following this, all 15 members of Estudio Damgo’s 12th iteration signed on: Myanmark Alagadmo, Claire Alalong, Mitzi Apenas, Melannie Barreno, Maekon Callao, Ben Clark Caber, Pia Dejaresco, Christian Jose Ligan, Crisian Obias, Thrisha Renacia, Carl Silawan, Malou Tubog, Andy Yonting, Crislyn Yucor, and Glydel Zuniega. These students have been working on the YATTA Creative Sanctuary project since July 2023. It will serve as their senior thesis before graduation.


The YATTA x Estudio Damgo 12 Groundbreaking Ceremony concluded with breaking bread over tasty Pinoy refreshments prepared with love. Please follow YATTA Dumaguete and Estudio Damgo on social media for the latest updates on the YATTA Creative Sanctuary project. (El Pronove)




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