Rico Tapales

Take five – time out with #TeamISG: Rico Tapales

In our latest ‘Take five’ interview, we caught up with Rico Tapales, construction manager at ISG in Singapore who shares his experience working on mega projects.

Can you tell us a bit about your background?

I am a Civil Engineering and initially started my career in the Philippines. In 2006, I began working overseas in the Middle East as a Site Engineer with a focus on structural building works. In early 2008, I moved to Singapore and began working on interior fit-out projects, including the renowned Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This experience allowed me to gain a different perspective on how skyscrapers are perceived by the public and end users. Since then, I have worked on various projects involving high-end fit-out within hospitality, commercial buildings, public and private institutions, and large corporate offices in the Central Business District.

Did you always want to have a job like yours?

Not exactly. I initially trained as a Civil/Structural Engineer and never expected to end up in fit-out or refurbishment projects.

Please share few sentences outlining your current role at ISG.

At ISG, I am a construction manager responsible for overseeing the daily site operations. My main focus is ensuring that work is carried out safely and within the project's cost constraints. However, I also place great importance on maintaining the highest quality standards and meeting our clients and consultants’ expectations.

"I take great pride in being a part of the team that completed the Marina Bay Sands Hotel ... It is a monumental structure, and a landmark within South-East Asia."

What has been the most significant accomplishment in your career?

I take great pride in being a part of the team that completed the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This achievement is something I can always share with my family and friends whenever we visit and explore the Marina Bay area. It is a monumental structure, and a landmark within South-East Asia.

What are the key wins taken from the projects you’ve worked on? What advantages have you been able to bring?

In the recent projects I have been involved in, I have made significant contributions to ensure their successful completion with high standards of quality. As a trained Structural Engineer, I am well equipped to handle any structural work involved in my projects, ensuring smooth coordination and execution.

What do you do for fun? 

I enjoy embarking on solo mountain bike rides along the Singapore trail in Bukit Timah, which is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise. Bukit Timah is a popular spot for mountain biking in Singapore, thanks to its scenic trails and diverse terrain.

What is on your bucket list?

I really hope someday I would tour with my kids all the Disneyland parks worldwide.

If you could have any superhero power in the world, what would it be? And why?

The superpower I would choose is Gambit's ability to transform stored potential energy in objects into powerful kinetic energy, leading to explosive outcomes. This superhero power has always fascinated me since my childhood.

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