World renowned Filipino Architect, urban and environmental planner Felino  A. Palafox, Jr. was the Guest of Honor and Speaker of the launching of the Puerto de San Juan Beach Residences
condominium held at PARK TERRACES – Ayala Center, Makati City Makati Skyline on February 18, 2023. Palafox, principal Architect and founder of Palafox Associates personally designed the Puerto de San Juan Beach Residences Condominium owned by Clemente Development and
Management Corp. (ESC Corp.) headed by its President and CEO Emmanuel S. Clemente.

ESC Corporation also runs the Puerto de San Juan Beach Resort Hotel in San Juan, La Union.
Architect Palafox was educated in Christ the King Seminary, University of Santo Tomas, and University of the Philippines. For continuing education, he studied Advanced Management
Development Program for Real Estate and seven other special courses in Harvard University.

He has carried out more than 1,000 projects in 38 countries such as the master plan of the
Rockwell Center, and the architecture of its first five buildings — Rizal Tower, Luna, Hidalgo, Amorsolo East and West on Mar 21, 2015 to name a few. Architect “Jun” has 48 years of experience in architecture and 46 years in planning. In May 2017, the Polytechnic University of the Philippines conferred on him the degree Doctor of Fine Arts (Honoris Causa) and the following year he was
conferred with Honorary titles as Doctor Fellow on Royal Institution of Singapore; Royal
Institute of Architects, Singapore; Royal Institute of Development Consultants of Singapore, Royal Institute of Town and Regional Planners of Singapore.

Architect Palafox has lectured in more than 20 countries across the globe, including institutions like Massachusetts Institute. There’s a reason why Filipinos remain one of the most important resources in the country. Aside from being hardworking, the citizens of the country are known to have in born talents that make the country known around the world—and even shape the futures of many cities and countries across the globe. The name Palafox may sound unfamiliar to the current
generation, but to the Emirates and the City of Dubai, such a family name will always ring a bell.

The famous luxury shopping, ultra-modern, and lively urban scene of Dubai City is highly attributed to the co-founder of the Emirates and Father of Modern Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. Behind all these economic achievements of the urban city is a Filipino who helped build and plan the city. In 1977, Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr. was invited and name-hired by Sheikh Rashid to help and plan a first-world city in fifteen years – a city that would serve as an example to other countries in terms of urban development and economic progress. As the visionary leader puts it: ”Build me a garden out of the desert.

Build me a city that will lead.” While the responsibility seemed totally loaded for the then 27- year-old architect and urban planner, Palafox took the challenge when he was invited by Sultan Khalifa Al Habtoor and joined as Senior Planner and Senior Staff of the Planning Department of Dubai
Municipality. By April 1977, he began to work as the youngest and only Filipino member of the
team. With such strong political will, good urban planning, design, and engineering, and excellent management, Dubai’s leader empowered the Urban Planning Team to make Dubai one of the most incredible cities in the world.

Without him knowing, the architect’s decision to accept the invitation will make him one of the most important Filipinos in the history of the Emirates. Along with the contributions he made to the Emirates, Palafox was allowed to bring his family and have them settle in Dubai—making them
the first family to have lived in Dubai, thus, his second daughter became the first Filipino ever born in the Chief Port and Commercial Center of the United Arab Emirates.

Lito Camero/Carlos Meneses/ABN

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