A few weeks ago, we talked about Pinoy Romantic films and their apparent fascination with architects in recent years, what with all the times they decided that one of their lead characters just had to be an architect.
After getting to meet the fine architects from the United Architects of the Philippines, I just wanted to get their thoughts on whether or not these recent films did justice to their profession, and I have to admit, I was surprised and entertained by what I discovered.
Ever notice how glamorous Basha Eugenio looks while on-site during “One More Chance?” How about how dashing JD Torres is in “The Mistress?” Well, that’s just par for the course for architects, if films are to be believed. They just look that good.
True, there will be quite a few lookers out there in the industry. In fact, majority of the architects I asked assure me that you will find a lot of architects who look just like John Lloyd Cruz, which must be the reality, if so many architects swear by it. However, they don’t get to glam themselves up if they’re actually on-site. You don’t get to have that awesome coiffure while you’re wearing a hard hat. You don’t get to have those tantalizing eyes when you’re running on caffeine for majority of your working day. And you certainly don’t go around wearing high heels while you’re walking a hundred feet up in an unfinished building.
Basha in “One More Chance” keeps on insisting on her way or the highway much to the chagrin of her boss, Kuya Bodjie. What a renegade! Meanwhile, over in “Starting Over Again,” Ginny Gonzales magically convinces both her ex and his fiance to accept a design for the restaurant she was tasked to conceptualize that incorporated absolutely none of the elements Marco or Patty wanted.
Yeah, architects don’t get to do that as often as the movies make you think. After all, they get paid to do something based on a specific set of instructions from a client. Overriding a client, and choosing elements and equipment far out of the client’s pegged budget will drive you out of a project faster than you can say “breach of contract.” Try proposing a different-looking building for Iglesia Ni Cristo, I dare you.
Because the film was sponsored by a real estate company, Elizabeth Pedrosa in “Who’s That Girl?” got to live in a posh condominium. And because it’s John Lloyd Cruz, JD Torres in “The Mistress” also has a pretty swank-looking place, himself. Meanwhile, Basha was going to work with Popoy towards building their dream house in "One More Chance," and that was the farthest thing from Ginny’s mind, so it wasn’t a plot point in "Starting Over Again" at all.
True, architects aren’t starving artists. Despite that, barring a few exceptions, they don’t exactly rake in the kind of money that will allow them to build the kind of house they really want for themselves. Unless they get very creative, that is.
Notice how Ginny, JD, and Basha are all seemingly focused on only one kind of design aesthetic each? They are principled, that’s why. Even History of Architecture Professor Nico Borromeo from “Babe I Love You” seems pretty rigid in his ways, but then, he’s also a teacher.
The job is constantly evolving. If you listened to these movies, you would think that you pick up one style or inclination as an architect, then go to town with that through all your designs for the rest of your career. Don’t do that. That’s silly. And speaking of designs…
Design, design, design, design. That’s all you ever see Basha, Ginny, or JD do whenever they’re showing off their skillset. Even Architect Mark Yaneza, as played by Derek Ramsay, gets to doing a lot of that. There’s a bit of on-site action especially for Basha, whose ex happened to be an engineer, but more often than not, they’re busy making designs.
In a given architecture firm of a hundred or so, expect only a handful of them to be designers. A majority of architects will end up being project architects, not design architects. These guys essentially oversee the carrying out of someone else’s design, and not their own. And in case they were really as all-around as most Pinoy romance films seem to think architects should be, then…
Architects get a lot of sleep. Just look at how often you get to see them in bed in the movies!
Not when they’re doing projects, that’s for sure. You will require lots of long hours and overtime especially when deadlines approach. So sorry, you won’t get to have a lot of chances to catch a hottie architect sleeping in bed in the middle of projects, especially if they go so far as to design and oversee the construction of said design, which very few architects get to do nowadays.
What consequences? Architecture is merely a backdrop to the consequences of the really important stuff, like trying to get back with your ex, or trying to steal your own dad/stepdad’s mistress right under his nose, or macking on a promodizer, or… you get the picture. Doesn’t matter how bad the design is, the only time the consequences of bad architectural design are considered in these movies is when Basha mentions how Mark’s house had too many edges and isn’t suitable for raising kids.
Making bad decisions about architecture can lead to disasters that the architect has to bear on their conscience for the rest of their lives. You don’t ever see those consequences in movies because it’s immaterial how many people die when the building Basha and Popoy built while they were having a lover’s quarrel immediately collapses like a house of cards in the middle of a mild earthquake so long as you get to see them maybe have… one more chance with each other.
Architects have so much time on their hands that they can date anyone from an engineer to a seamstress to a chef to a family scion to their own freaking client! They’re what you get if you crossed pure sex with T-Squares.
Dating an architect is not easy. Oh, don’t get me wrong: they’re awesome, mostly intelligent people, but every architect I’ve met and interviewed for this list so far is already taken, and is usually dating a fellow architect. It’s hard to find eligible architect bachelors or bachelorettes either because they already found someone long ago, or because they simply don’t have enough time for you.
And yet, despite all these obvious logistical hurdles, the people who are with architects will be the first to tell you that, whether or not because of their profession, these architects make for an amazing catch. Considering how many of them I’ve met who have been happily married for decades, I therefore conclude that they may not all look like John Lloyd Cruz or Bea Alonzo, but they sure as heck know how to love like them.