Grand Mosque architect wins Gusi Peace Prize

The Independent Newspaper
in Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and Sarawak

Grand Mosque architect wins Gusi Peace Prize
By Tony Alabastro
Date: Thursday, December 1, 2011

WORLD renowned Filipino architect Felino Palafox, Jr. urban planner of the Grand Mosque in Cotabato, southern Philippines, a bilateral initiative of Brunei and the Philippines and Brunei's first green building, the new Philippine Embassy Chancery, won the Gusi Peace Prize 2011 in Manila.

Palafox, Jr. the only Filipino to break into this year's roster of 20 international awardees was honored for his contributions in Architecture with Global Excellence and International Urban Planning.

The Gusi Peace Prize Philippine Committee cited Palafox "for his untiring effort, working for people's amelioration, to find peaceful solution, for people's welfare as an architect, environmental planner, urban planner, and real estate development consultant…these accomplishments and achievements made you a living paradigm for others to emulate, not only in the Philippines, but throughout Asia, the United States of America, United Arab Emirates, Europe, and the international community".

Palafox joined 20 individuals around the world, including former heads of states, ministers, authors, educators, journalists and professionals, to be honored with the Philippine–based award recognizing individuals and groups worldwide working toward the attainment of peace and request for human life and dignity, and their contributions to science or arts.

Other awardees included Past Interpol President Norman Inkster of Canada; Minister of Education Thakur S. Powdyel of Bhutan; Mr. Vladimir Nikolayevich Megre of Russia, author of "Anastasia"; Minister, Head of the President's Office, Phonsavath Boupha of Laos; founding President James R. Mancham of the Republic of Seychelles; Prof. Viktor Medikov of Russia; Dr. Thomas K. Stern of the USA; UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Omar Zulfu Livaneli of Turkey; Secretary General and Treasurer of Turkey World Federation of Consuls Aykut Eken of Turkey; Former President Amos C. Sawyer of Liberia (for peace building in Liberia and in the African continent); Governor of West Bengal, India Shri Mayankote Kelath Marayanan; Dr. Jagdish Gandhi of India (founer of the city Montessori School in Lucknow, the largest school in the world according to the Guiness Book of World Records); Mr. Phra Maha Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi of Thailand; Madam Diana Uribe of Colombia (renowned journalist in Latin America); Rev. Fr. Richard Ryan Ho Lung of Jamaica; Senaor Emanuel Jones of the USA; Dr. Yolanda O. Stern of the USA; Roland Mosl of Austria; and former President and Deputy Minister Behgjet Pacolli of Kosovo.

"The Grand Mosque in Cotabato City, which will be named 'Masijid Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, is one of the joint efforts between the Philippines and Brunei, "said Brunei Ambassador to Philippines Malai Halimah Yussof.

The Gusi Peace Prize is mandated by the Philippine proclamation No. 1476 declaring every fourth Wednesday of November as the 'Gusi Peace Prize International Friendship Day'.

Palafox, the principal architect-urban planner and founder of Palafox Associates, a global, multi-disciplinary firm of top architects, planners, designers and engineers, has applied to the Grand Mosque in Cotabato and the Philippine Embassy Chancery in Brunei "Green Design Principles; Green Architecture, Green Urbanism, Green Energy, Green Technology, Green Infrastructure, Green Interiors, Green Furniture, Green Transportation, Green Manufacturing, and Green Sustainable Development; Interfaith Architecture; Democratic Architecture and ISO 9001 (Quality Management) and 14001 (Environmental Management).