Petronas Tower

Petronas y yo

The Petronas towers is one of the most successful modern building project in all of Asian history. The most recognizable building in South East Asia to date. Tourist are just drawn to it – and I never understood why until the day I saw it.  It set the record as the tallest building until 2004. I was very impressed with the towers specially the concept behind the design. Perhaps this is the reason why it has become a true Asian icon – it represents the identity of an Asian nation. We normally see soaring skyscrapers that has no sense of local identity but the completion of Petronas changed all that .

A friend once told me that “architecture is identity” I think this is what he meant-because you can tell a lot about the owners just by looking at the features of the structure and the materials that were used. I’m not sure what to make then of those people who build houses using designs borrowed from foreign culture. In Cavite I saw Italian houses while in Sta. Rosa I saw villages that reminded me of Washington. Not that there’s anything wrong with the idea, we all have different taste when it comes to style. It was just strange for me seeing all that here in our country. Influence is something that stems from the media and our modern lives over exposes us with cultures that does not share our values and traditions.

NAIA 3 was designed using indigenous houses for inspiration. The spacious waiting lobby leading to the check in area was suppose to represent the receiving area of the old houses of our Abuelos. I believe that even modern buildings must make sense in terms of the locality because our old way of doing things conforms to our past and existing landscape. In the past, Sionil Jose has criticized Leandro Locsin for designing buildings that does not connect with Filipino’s culture and history. I happen to agree with Jose’s view for the most part, but of course there are exceptions. Modernity has swept in like a tropical storm-the Filipino landscape has changed drastically because everybody’s modeling their houses straight from the magazines without considering the design and elegance of the Filipino past.

The Petronas and Kuala Lumpur Towers as seen from Merdeka Square.

From our rented place in Paser Seni in Chinatown, KLCC station is about five stations away by MRT. The station is situated beneath the mall of the Petronas Tower. We only found out that we were already inside the Petronas when we finally went outside – we were laughing non stop. Another Malaysian icon, the Kuala Lumpur tower is a few kilometers from where Petronas is, it’s visible even from Chinatown. The twin tower is best viewed at night when it glows from the stunning lighting design.


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