The UrbanisMO Podcast: New Episodes!

After a busy summer for the whole crew, we finally have ten (10!) new episodes of The UrbanisMO podcast out on

Series 3: Bike Any Means Necessary covers the February UrbanisMO x Chevening Chat on bike commuting with our favorite two-wheeled pedestrians Rob Siy, Omi Castañar, Jillian Roque, and Aldrin Pelicano.  (Episodes 3/3)

Series 4: Healthcare in the City features mostly medical professionals and Chevening alumni Migs Dorotan, Mai Valera-Co and Julze Alejandre with Kathy Villegas and Clara Buenconsejo. This totals to 7 episodes of kwentuhan about what we can do about the measles outbreak, the importance of health promotion, mental health, improving access to health services, and the implications of the Universal Heath Care scheme. This was recorded on 11 March 2019 at the Nipa Brew Taproom, Makati.

We’re hoping to get the podcasts distributed on Anchor and Spotify soonest–hopefully that won’t take another quarter to get going. 🙂 Happy listening!



Bike Any Means Necessary

bikeanymeans-01 Tired of traffic? Sick of being stuck somewhere you’d rather not be? Feeling depressed watching government make no progress on transport, and even make it worse? It’s time to do something about it. Join’s panel of wheeled pedestrians to learn how to get to where you need to be. No motor vehicles required – join us and find out how to commute bike any means necessary.

Featuring our favorite commuters R A Siy Omi Castañar Jillian Roque and Aldrin Pelicano of mnl moves!

Jillian Roque is a development worker and activist. She has been involved in various social justice, human rights and environmental causes for over a decade. She promotes cycling as a sustainable mode of transport and has “biked the talk” since 2014. She does a lot of traveling for her work—both local and overseas—taking her bike wherever she goes. Jillian is passionate about pushing and redefining the limits of what she can do with her bicycle by going on solo, unsupported rides or joining long distance cycling events such as Audax. In her spare time, she enjoys reading comics, playing with her cats and dreaming of her next cycling adventure.

Omi Castanar is a person who likes to ride a bicycle everywhere he goes. He works on public financial management policies for the Philippine government. He’s been biking to work since 2013 and he has four titanium plates in both arms to show for it. When Omi is not on a bike, he likes spending his time playing board games.

Aldrin Pelicano is a father of two young children. He works full-time for an Australian infrastructure, environmental and social development company. He has academic training in political science, public administration and urban planning. Aldrin passed the local licensure examination for urban planners in 2015 and has worked with local government units update their land use and development plans. He is a folding bike enthusiast and daily bike commuter.

Rob Siy is an economist who specializes in the planning, delivery, and management of infrastructure projects, with a focus on public transit projects and policy.

From Shaw Boulevard MRT:
1. Exit Shangri-La through Mercury Drug Side
2. Walk down Lourdes towards Richmonde Hotel
3. Turn left at Pearl Drive

From Shaw Boulevard jeeps:
1. Get off at intersection of San Miguel Avenue
2. Walk towards Richmonde Hotel, turn right at Lourdes intersection
3. Turn left at Pearl Drive

For more information, visit

The UrbanisMO Podcast, Series 2

Dear fellow urban dwellers, here’s a little something to kickstart your work-year.

In this second UrbanisMO podcast series, economist JC Punongbayan, urban planner Jean Palma, and lawyer and urban planner Benedict Nisperos weigh in on the issue of food security in cities. Bakit mahal na ang bigas? Is expensive sili really silly? What has been done, what can we do, and how do we push for friendly neighborhood green urbanism in ways that fill the belly?

These talks were recorded on 1 December 2019 during the UrbanisMO x Chevening Chat on Food Security in the City at the UrbanisMO Community Space in Project 3, Quezon City.

Food Security and the City

UrbanisMO Food Security Poster.JPG

Our deep thanks to everyone who made it out to yesterday’s UrbanisMO x Chevening Chat on Food Security in the City: Grappling with Green Urbanism Through the Belly. Shoutouts to our awesome speakers economist JC Punongbayan, environmental planner Jean Palma, and lawyer-planner-local economic development specialist Benedict Nisperos, along with impromptu reactors Boni Javier of FAO and our dear chicken-plant-mum Drei Castillo of Good Food Community. We hope to release the podcasts soonest. Special thanks goes out to the British Embassy in Manila and the Chevening Alumni Association of the Philippines, who generously sponsored the food and conversation.

We’ll be doing two more UrbanisMO x Chevening Chats in the first quarter of 2019, starting with one in January on bike commuting and non-motorized transport. Watch this space. 🙂

The UrbanisMO Podcast S01

Seven urbanists walk into a bar and talk about participatory urban planning, resilience, and the joy that is DRRM in the Philippines.

Featuring community organizer Abbey Pangilinan, conflict and governance specialist Ica Fernandez, mapmaker David Garcia, public-private partnership expert James Nicolas Cruz, transport economist Robert Anthony Siy, medical doctor and disaster operations guy Miguel Dorotan, and heritage advocate Clara Buenconsejo.

All episodes recorded on 15 April 2018 at the Nipa Brew Craft Beer Taproom in Makati City. Thanks, Stephen and Mai!

The UrbanisMO Podcast Episode 1: Origins

Ano nga ba ang UrbanisMO sa Pilipinas? Participation, the realpolitik of public consultation, and the challenges of working with the urban poor, transport reform, and health service delivery.
Alphabet soup alert! The episode’s acronyms are: ISF (informal settlement families) and GIDA (geographically isolated and deprived areas).

[Running Time: 35:48]

The UrbanisMO Podcast Episode 2: Resilience

Is the Fiipino spirit truly waterproof? Why is it that after years of projects, we still see flooding and other kinds of disasters year in and year out? Why do people still go back to danger zones? If resilience is the answer, what is the question?

Alphabet soup alert! The episode’s acronyms and buzzwords are:

  • DRRM (disaster risk reduction management) and the underlying assumptions regarding hazard, vulnerability, and capacity
  • Disaster memes about smiling kids and waving flags in the flood
  • Resettlement and No Build Zones
  • #PrayForInsertPlaceHere
  • The Big One
  • nudge economics
  • forecast-based financing
  • disaster-proof infrastructure
  • learning from the past
  • archipelagic thinking
  • utak pulbura = utak semento

[Running time: 37:25]

The UrbanisMO Podcast Episode 3: The Right Way to Regulate TNVS?

Chismis about the Uber-Grab merger, Build Build Build, and LGU Transport Work Grab.

First, we talk TNVS. Regulating Transport Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) – such as Grab, the recently-merged/departed Uber, and services such as Wunder Carpool – spark heated debates in all cities that use them. TNVS companies and their users point to the fact that they give more people the safety, security and convenience of private car travel. Critics point to the companies’ allegedly exploitative labor practices, and the growing evidence that they contribute to congestion, pollution and road crashes in the cities where they operate. Clara points out that while TNVS fill many gaps in the transport system, they don’t quite meet all needs. James ponders the impact of various regulatory approaches on driver and commuter welfare.

The debate is still very much open on the effects of TNVS, but the studies all seem to point in the same direction. Here ( is a comprehensive look at the effects of the TNVS in the United States that examines evidence from different cities. TNVS optimists: brace yourselves.
Next, the group tackles the Build Build Build Program. James and Clara both agree that the Build Build Build program builds welcome awareness of infrastructure, but transparency and clean deals are key to the program’s success. While there are plenty of projects that get infrastructure nerds excited, how do you get the public engaged in the work that is almost literally nation-building? Aside from big-ticket transport projects like trains and subways, why doesn’t Build Build Build contain projects like heritage preservation? Sidewalks? Even tree planting? Do we have enough non-concrete projects?

The Projects of the Build Build Build Program are enumerated on

Finally, what do people know about how LGUs affect transport? What can people actually ask their LGUs to do? As Clara recounts Manila’s bus scheme, sometimes the actions of one LGU affect many others. However, capacity and ability to execute projects is a challenge. James points out that Land Value Capture ( is one method that can help LGUs fund their projects. As LGUs will be required to plan their own public transport through local public transport route plans, they’ll need to reach deep into their toolboxes to deliver the results people need.

[Running time: 46:20]

UrbanisMO: Escolta!

A lot of things are simmering away in the UrbanisMO kitchen and we can’t wait to serve them up piping hot in the coming weeks, as soon as they get ready.

Join us this Saturday, April 28, at the second UrbanisMO forum–this time, at the historic Escolta district in Manila. Usaping informality, gentrification, transportation, at heritage urbanism sa Maynila, atbp kasama nina Marco Antonio Luisito Villanueva Sardillo III, Chester Arcilla, James Nicolas Cruz, Patricia Mariano, at Via Ramos. Usual UrbanisMO suspects Abbey Pangilinan, Ica Fernandez, Miguel Dorotan, and Rob Siy will be around to co-facilitate and stir up the usual happy trouble. Hosted by Clara Buenconsejo and the amazing folks at The HUB: Make Lab!

UrbanisMO Escolta Poster

A few reminders for Saturday:

1. We have limited seats available. To be exact, we can only offer a maximum of 30 seats plus a free-seating banig area. Please arrive on time to make sure you get a seat.

2. Please bring your own water bottle. While we’ll make water (and ice!) available at the venue, we won’t be providing disposable cups to minimize waste.

3. Google Maps link:
Fred’s is in the same building as The HUB.

Commuting instructions (dahil mas madali po mag commute pa-Escolta kesa mag Grab):

Via LRT-1:
Get down at Carriedo Station and walk towards BPI. (You can see it from the station.)
BPI is at the corner of Escolta, turn towards Escolta and walk across the short bridge.
First United Building is at the corner of the short bridge, the building with EastWest Bank.

Via LRT-2 + Jeep:
Get down at LRT-2 Recto Station.
From the station, walk to the corner of Avenida and Recto (approximately one block away).
Ride a jeep to Sta. Cruz Church. Get down at BPI, then turn right to Escolta.
Walk across the short bridge to First United Building (building with EastWest Bank at the corner).

Via Jeep:
Any jeep that passes by Sta. Cruz Church will pass by Escolta.

See you there!


UrbanisMO at Artkitektura: FILMS AND CITIES

UrbanisMO is part of a larger event organized by Artkitektura, the British Council, and the British Embassy entitled FILMS AND CITIES, featuring the Philippine premiere of A STORY OF DREAMS, a film about Curitiba mayor and urban planner Jaime Lerner. Talks will also be given by filmmaker Tia Kansara and architecture pioneer Rod Hackney.
Since all Eventbrite free passes for UrbanisMO sold out within the first day (thanks, guys!), day passes to FILMS AND CITIES are available through Ticketworld.
You can buy online any time between now and on the day of the event.
There are two ticket options:
– All Access Pass (regular) P400 plus minimal Ticketworld fees – available online and over-the-counter at any Ticketworld outlet
– All Access Pass (student) P150 plus minimal Ticketworld fees – available over-the-counter only, must present valid student ID
Tickets will also be available on site at Ateneo Law Theatre on the morning of February 24.
See you next week!

UrbanisMO: Ano ang plano mo?

Update on 13 Feb 2018, 10pm : Signup for free tickets to UrbanisMO through Eventbrite is now closed. 195 slots gone in less than 10 hours!

However, fear not. UrbanisMO is only part of a larger event organized by Artkitektura, the British Council, and the British Embassy entitled FILMS AND CITIES, featuring the Philippine premiere of A STORY OF DREAMS, a film about Curitiba mayor and urban planner Jaime Lerner. Talks will also be given by filmmaker Tia Kansara and Architecture pioneer Rod Hackney.
These will be held from 10:00-12nn at the Ateneo Law Theatre in Rockwell, Makati, followed by the UrbanisMO forum from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.
A day ticket (PHP 400 for regular admission, PHP 150 for students) will allow you to watch the movie, listen to talks, and join UrbanisMO.
For more information, please go to

Comrades, please sign up for UrbanisMO through this Eventbrite link. It’s absolutely free kaya paunahan itech. 🙂  See you all next week!