Hadji Galen Palma a licensed and successful architect. Born on May 1, 1963, in Jolo Sulu to Hadja Suaida Palma and to the late former congressman Attorney Celso Jaafar Palma, He is the second in a brood of six children. Married to Madelyn Paraji Palma. A love story which started in Saudi Arabia. They are blessed with six children; Zaid, Suaida, Ahmad, Rasheed (all born in Saudi), Arsha, and Ali Azhar (both born in Zamboanga).
A true Tausug who grew up in Jolo and started his elementary years in Mohammed Tulawie, then finished his 1st to 3rd year high school in Notre Dame of Jolo - Boys Department. Later on, He had to migrate to manila, and finished his high school in Manuel Roxas high school in Quezon City.
In 1986, He earned the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Adamson University in Manila, on the same year he took the Architecture Board Exam, and went to work abroad in Saudi Arabia. Alqatif eastern province of Saudi Arabia was Hadji Galen’s first destination at Al-Buraiki Engineering Office. Then, after a year he transferred to Riyadh capital of Saudi Arabia and joined Dar Al-Handasa, which is considered as one of the world’s top 50 consulting companies.
While in Dar Al-Handasa, he developed his field of expertise. He was the first to introduce the Autocad software to the company and because of that he was sent many times to London to conduct training for the staff. He was the first to introduce the animation construction using Autocad software (a widely used application at present).
MNLF and the Philippine Government peace agreement had its significant moment in 1996. Hadji Galen came back to the Philippines to help out with the peace and reformation of Mindanao. He joined the public works and highways till 2001. On that same year, Hadji Galen established his own private consulting company, which he named as CRESTAR consulting services. The projects he got were enormous, he was one of the lucky architects who designed bridges for project SALAM bridges with Mabey and Johnson. 576 bridges designed and completed starting from 2002 to 2007, 100 bridges with country wide bridges and Kaunlaran flyover (san Fernando).
In 2007, Hadji Galen constructed Masjid Alquds in Santa Maria Zamboanga city, a land which he donated and expenses for the construction which he took for himself as a contribution and sharing of his earnings. He also donated a land in Mampang Zamboanga for the same purpose, construction was funded by a Bahrain private religious group. At a young age of 49, Hadji Galen Palma has achieved a lot and up to now he is still practicing his profession as an architect.
Masjid AlQuds Santa Maria Zamboanga City
During our interview with Hadji Galen we were able to ask some questions which was related to his struggle to achieve his goals in life.
Please read on:
What makes you proud to be Tausug?
As Original Tausug, proud kita. saa in Tausug biyaun nagpinda na ba biyaun, We belong to a tribe sambat sin tao original Tausug amu in maraw tribe compared pa duwaing, although biya violent in image natu ha biyaun, saa katan ini pasal sin history iban sin liyabayan sin bangsa natu. Tagna yadtu in Tausug bang Hari-Raya magkimbu iban magpanayam, saa biyaun bukun na, mabuntul na mag-ibadat. Pasal sin na adopt natu na daing ha duwaing hula Arab in correct Islamic way of life.
Working in the Middle East and here in the Philippines, where was your best experience?
Technically in best experience ku ha hinang amuna in ha abroad. Advance in mga construction nila, dii katu bukun da tuud. In experience ku nara’ ku mari pa hula. na experience ku dii isab ha hula amu in management. bang bistahun in career ku, dii na ha hula najatu, iban na apply ku na halos katan sin experience dii ha hula ha aspect sin technical iban management.
With all your accomplishments, do you still have other unfulfilled dreams?
I think life time in process sin paglawag hinang iban sin pagachieve ta sin mga kabayaan ta. Hambuuk pa in dunya biyaun magpinda na hadja, subay kitaniyu magad magadjust biya sin mga global warming, like when you do a design for any structure, kalagihan ta hi consider in mga global warming, iban improbun ta in knowledge para maka-adopt sin changes sin hula.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
InshAllah bang mura murahan, bang dihalan kita kusug sin Allah subhanahu wa Taalah, with our experience in life, na InshAllah positive. bang kaw honest ha mga tao, people will come to you. Honest dealing with people will pay off.
Uno in hikadihil mu nasihat para ha mga kabataan biyaun amu in mabaya mahinang successful architect biya kaymu?
I think hard work iban sin mag-iskul marayaw, in important tuud hard work, ayaw kaw magpikil sin makausa kaw atawa uno, tumtumun ta that you have to love your job and do your best, iban sin magad kaw sin daakan sin maas mu, iban di kita limiyu sin daakan sin agama. Because this is only a temporary life.
taken during our interview with Hadji Galen Palma's Office in Santa Maria