Ecotourism

Only In Dumaguete: Floating Bamboo Pyramid Saves Marine Eco-System

, Negros Oriental

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Jul 06, 2015

Estudio Damgo III is no just an ordinary structure built off the shore of Barangay Bantayan, Dumaguete. The sea pyramid is a prototype of a marine sanctuary center built by the 2015 graduating Architecture Students of the Foundation University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. 

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The Marine Sanctuary Center is the third project of Estudio Damgo. 

The area is located in Bantayan, a coastal barangay of the city of Dumaguete, which is in need of a guardhouse to secure their marine protected area. The absence of marine guardhouse and reliance of sea-food resources from neighboring towns and even from other islands has been one of the concerns faced by the community.

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

Apart from the city being surrounded by water, the sanctuary is still relying on its neighboring cities for food supply. In order to attain food security from these marine sanctuaries,  a group of individuals are appointed to secure the area. But these so called "fish wardens" got no place to stay in during their shift. In response to this problem, a team of college students started a project of building a marine center for the people of Barangay Bantayan. 

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The project is in response to the community’s challenges and concerns.

The Estudio Damgo III design team is composed of:

  • 9 Student Leaders – Minda Luz Badon, Florabelle Caloy, Marie Ann Lagudas, Frankie Magalso, Al Shamir Marquez, Julie Ann Mayoga, John Steve Memis, Melissa Anne Villalon, and Efren Torres.
  • 1 Consultant – Paul Marin
  • 1 Instructor/Project Manager – Ar. Zorich Guia

The project initiated by nine graduating architect students will be turned over to the next 5th year student. The construction of the sea pyramid is made possible with the help of their instructor, critiques, marketing consultants and workers.

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The program encourages the use of local materials. In their case, they used bamboo which is abundant in Negros Oriental. It is also a great alternative building material.

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The Marine Sanctuary Center is a sophisticated structure that floats. It is not just any other traditional structure made out of stilts or rigid structural elements fixed to the ground but a structure that floats. The main material used is native bamboo. The flooring and louvers are made of wood and to keep the sea pyramid afloat, recycled plastic barrels were used as base. To hold it in place, a mooring system donated by a company in Sweden is used.

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The Marine Sanctuary Center was turned over by the Architecture students to the community of Barangay Bantayan, Dumaguete City last July 2, 2015. It will serve as an artificial aquatic shelter of the marine reserve and a lookout station of Bantay Dagat. The community will then own and maintain the structure.

Estudio Damgo III blessing and turn over rites last July 2, 2015; photo courtesy of Joel Balajadia | Captured Stills

The Estudio Damgo program will continue to change the lives of the Filipinos through sustainable and eco-friendly architecture and is one way of uniting the community for a good cause. 

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