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"Who am I ?  ", asked the Yogi

Tweedledum: "..when you're only one of the things in his dream. You know very well you're not real."

"I am real!" said Alice, and began to cry.

"What is real and what is Real?", asked the Yogi

Tweedledee: "You won't make yourself a bit realer by crying, there's nothing to cry about."

"The true Self is Real", says the Yogi.

The Looking Glass "self", Alice in Wonderland + Sat Chit Ananda = Self, The Vedas


ABOUT    Trina   (trrii-nuh)


Born March 1982 to a Volcanologist Geophysicist father, and a Civil Engineer mother, her childhood was spent mostly in the Philippines at the time when democracy was being restored. Even as a child, her political-economic ideals and material-practice goals have revolved around what she now calls "Optimality" - a calculated (but often spontaneous) and negotiation based "win-win" approach.  Optimality is premised on the idea of "a b u n d a n c e" and not on scarcity. Till this day, her parents remain her most trusted consultants and critiques on many things in life, the world, the family heritage, and art.


At six years old, she attended primary school at the R.V.M. school, St Mary's College in Quezon City. Her piano lessons with her father and her teacher, has developed her appreciation of J.S. Bach's chorales and arias. She swam her first 50 meter lap at age 9 -- and has enjoyed being in, on, under water since.  In 1995, she was admitted to the Quezon City Science High School where she played Tennis for the school team, and became the photojournalist of the English language school paper, "The Electron".


In 1999, she took up BSc in Geography at the University of the Philippines. She wrote her first study and research on the disappeared Esteros of Manila City, and was introduced to the Geographic Information System as a method and a tool for historical-spatial landscape research. Her interest in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and transcendence is apparent in her selection of courses i.e. ethno-musicology, visual arts, Japan studies and others.


In 2001, she spent a year at the Kansai University of International Studies Department of Business Management in Japan. She played taiko and took up Ikebana classes in her spare time.


After graduating cum laude, she joined the Faculty of the Department of Geography in the University of the Philippines, Diliman.  She taught and developed course materials for Geog 121: Introduction to Geomorphology and Geog 1 - a general education course on the discipline of Geography. She also became active in the Philippine Geographical Society.


In 2006, she wrote a reflective/ self reflexive piece on "Normative Safety" and how notions of safety by the "powerful" normal people can compromise the safety of the "othered" mentally ill. Trina has been an advocate of mental health and safety promotion.


She began her Master's Program in Environmental Engineering and Sustainable Infrastructure at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden in 2006 and pursued the research topic of flooding and pollution on the esteros and the estuarial landscape of Manila City.  Her design thesis yielded an alternative combined wastewater treatment system that identifies drainage networks as sites and opportunities for treatment interventions. This was published in 2008.


The term "inline" combined storm and wastewater treatment system was first used and published in the the International Water Association Journal, "Water Practice and Technology" in 2009.


Returning to the University to teach for 2 years in 2008, her research interests and works extended to include disaster resilience, community assets based development, social entrepreneurship, non point pollution reduction, and urban ecology and urban design.


In 2012, her design practice continues with recognition from Engineers Ireland Green Design competition for the Dublin International Airport for her concept of capturing pulses of traffic for renewable energy; and the Dutch Design Week for an ecological sanitation "bank" concept.


In 2014, her initial (and ambitious) design for a social enterprise "Hedychium" - a self supporting wastewater treatment system for disaster resilience and ecological remediation was selected among the Semi finalists in the Echoing Green Fellowship organization in the United States.


In 2015, she received a Mentorship from the City of Calgary Public Arts Development Program and contributed to the Bend in the Bow Phase 1 Arts Plan for the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary and "Wildlands" - a remediated oil refinery site, through mentor artists Laura Haddad and Tom Drugan.  In the same year, she started taking courses on real estate development and became a member of the design community in Calgary, + The Urban Land Institute + Aquatic Rehabilitation Therapy Institute + Calgary Social Capital Society in hopes of expanding her sustainable design and "public arts" practices.


Trina continues to experiment, play, design, and to engage her visions for healthy, caring, magical and sustainable landscapes in Canada, the Philippines, and wherever else...  with support from her supercute husband, Endre "Pumpkinpoi" Balogh, loving family and many great teachers, friends, and "fairies" from around the world! 




W E L C O M E   T O   H E R    W O B B I T   H O L E


Trina's PRACTICE is complemented and inspired by YOGA, watsu, water release therapy, synchro swimming, sailing, scuba diving and other fun-ness.

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