Monday, August 1, 2016

PhLUG @ CNN Life's Inspire Every Day at the Ayala Museum

July has been a busy month for Nothing But Brick. I really still can't believe that we're over half of the year already. Time sure flies when you're preoccupied with a lot of things. Balancing your family, work and hobby is a difficult task and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. I'm not complaining though. I'm blessed to have all three at this point in my life. There's still a lot of things I want to learn, do and accomplish but I guess there's a time for everything. Anyway, for my first entry of the month, allow me to show you PhLUG's displays at CNN Life's event, "Inspire Every Day", at the Ayala Museum last Saturday.

(Image courtesy of the Ayala Museum Foundation/CNN/Avida)
For this event, PhLUG was invited to build and display Lego counterparts of several Philippine heritage buildings in Old Manila that have endured the test of time and are still standing up to this day. These sites all have seen their fare share of history and should be given the the right amount of exposure and attention to raise awareness especially from the younger generations. For this event, PhLUG has chosen the Paco Railway Station, El Hogar Filipino Building, Manila Metropolitan Theater and Arroceros Forest Park. Check out the real-life pictures of these sites below. There's also information from the web if you want to learn more about these landmarks. Google them now!

And here they are in Lego form:

Paco Railway Station
One of the alternate routes I take back when I go to DLSU as a college student directly passes by the Paco Railway Station. Despite being a condemned building, the old train station still has most of its facade. This was supposed to be demolished to make way for a new mall but fortunately, the plan didn't push through. I think the government is looking into its restoration and I hope it happens soon.

This build really looks amazing from both sides. It captures its real-life counterparts' actual look and adds elements of imagination and creativity with the trains and railroads that are inside the station. I also love the idea of using actual beer cans from a local brand as the cargo for one of the trains. That was a nice touch. Here's a closer look at some of the awesome details in this miniature version of Paco Railway Station:

El Hogar Filipino Building
The El Hogar Filipino Building's design struck me as something that looks similar to some of the Lego Creator sets that are in the market today. I actually think that it would pass as an actual Lego set if somebody submitted a Lego Ideas entry for it. It has the design that most of the modular sets have. The El Hogar Building is often used as a shooting location for local movies and TV shows.

I really like how the Pasig River was included in this MOC. I've heard from a lot of old folks that there was a time when it was very clean and people could actually bathe in it. I wonder if it could ever be restored to that state? 

This mini-El Hogar building actually has a surprise within its walls! The builders actually included the entries from PhLUG's My Favorite Contest! 

Also, there are a few building techniques to learn from the mini El Hogar. One is the use of the hinge parts as shown below to add angles to the corner of the building. Another is the use of poles as a column to add structural stability to the buildings floors.

There's also a lot of neat stuff going on in the river side of the building that's worth a look. Let's check it out!

Manila Metropolitan Theater
The Metropolitan Theater is a common site for someone who commutes daily in Manila. The MOC below looks exactly like the real thing. Plus, if you look at it from behind, there's an actual theater complete with a stage and several seats for minifigs.

What struck me the most with this build is the stained glass window that's on the Theater's facade. It was constructed with 1x1 transparent bricks using SNOT technique. It also looks great from the inside.

Like the El Hogar, the Theater has several interesting advanced building techniques. I was particularly impressed with the use of the rotating plates to create the Theater's curve in both its wings. I actually never thought that was possible. The use of hinge bricks is also a great way to create the roof's shape to make the build more accurate.

Here are some of the details that add life to this build.

Arroceros Forest Park
I just found out about Arroceros Forest Park at the exhibit. I googled it and learned that it's a riverside urban forest park, Manila's last, which has a variety of flora and fauna.

I really like how the forest was constructed. I think this demonstrates the correct way to use Lego plant elements in a diorama. The subtle use and right amount of foliage does the job of bringing the forest to life. It allows the builder to add additional elements and details without running out of space to make the build look cramped up. It's also cool that all of the trees were built from scratch.

Lastly, check out this awesome old school tram. Can't believe people in our country used this as their mode of transportation back in the day. Their daily commute must have been really pleasant as compared to how we go through hell right now.

It's truly amazing how everything both got better and worse because of progress from advances in technology and the changing times. I think it's a good thing that we have not only these old architectural wonders, but also other memorabilia from the past, to remind us how far we've come as a nation.

Though it may not be obvious, history is a pattern that repeats itself over and over again. As long as we have these things to appreciate and look back to, then we're guaranteed to be informed well enough to know and give importance to the things that should matter. Through art and history, we can inspire future generations to value the works of other people and hopefully instill in them the importance of being able to create something of their own. Who knows? Maybe someday they would also get the chance to build something that would stand the test of time and inspire a new generation of enlightened Filipinos who will make our country a better place to be.

Congrats, PhLUG for another successful event! Seeing your works really make me proud to wear my brick badge. I'm really glad to be part of the group and I'm looking forward to seeing more cool stuff in the future. Keep on building!

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