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1. Can you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Dominic. I’m from the Philippines. I am currently a Graduate Planner at Avison Young.

2. How does the planning system/practices in the UK differ from the Philippines? Any lessons learnt for the UK? 

I did not know much about the planning system in the Philippines as I moved abroad at an early age. However, I believe that the UK planning system provides better protection mechanisms for heritage assets compared to the Philippines. 

3. How does your Southeast Asian heritage influence your understanding/approach/practice in planning?

As a person from an ethnic minority background, I believe that inclusivity in the built environment should always be a key concern for planners. Inclusion ensures that a diverse range of voices and perspectives are heard in the planning process, helping marginalised groups be represented better.

4.  Can you name one of your favourite places/developments in the UK that reflects Southeast Asian heritage? And why? 

There is a relatively large Filipino community in Earl’s Court, London as this was historically the place where many Filipino migrants to the UK first settled. There are several Filipino shops in the area, and the first Jollibee (a Filipino fast-food chain) in the UK opened here.

5. What challenges did you encounter to secure your current/previous planning roles? How did you overcome them?

I struggled with answering questions well in interviews. I did a lot of practice interviews and signed up for the mentoring scheme at my university to get further advice. 

6. What advice would you give to prospective and current planners with Southeast heritage?

Attend networking events. This is how I met other fellow East and Southeast Asian planners, many of whom have given me insights into their career journeys and experiences.


Celebrating East and South East Asian Heritage Month

Dominic Ambulo

Graduate Planner

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