Architectural retrospective brings together original drawings and models from Mañosa’s body of work, including plans and projects never before seen by the public.
From February through May 2017, a retrospective of the life and work of Architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa is on exhibit at the National Museum of the Philippines. Mañosa, best known for his work on the Coconut Palace, Amanpulo and Pearl Farm, the EDSA Shrine and other Philippine landmarks, is widely recognized as the country’s first and most stalwart champion of authentic Filipino architecture.
“Architecture must be true to itself, its land and its people,” Mañosa said, founding a philosophy that guides his firm and inspires young architects to this day. Inspired by traditional vernacular forms such as the bahay kubo and the bahay na bato, Mañosa combined indigenous materials with state-of-the-art building technology to create structures that were beautiful, functional, and supremely adapted to Filipino culture and the country’s tropical climate.
“MAÑOSA: Beyond Architecture” brings together original drawings and models from Mañosa’s body of work, including plans and projects never before seen by the public. New and archival photographs, examples of vernacular materials, furniture, and interior elements, and audio-visual presentations prove a sampling of his diverse practice. Approximately fifty projects from all phases of Mañosa’s prolific career – ranging from cultural, ecclesiastical, and social institutions, resorts, mass-housing, residential, and ephemeral structures – are represented.
“Bobby Mañosa’s insistence on the importance of design and formal expression in the lives of the Filipino, and his adept handling of materials, light, and space, demonstrate why he is one of the great Filipino architects of the twentieth century,” explains Architect Gerard Lico, lead curator of the exhibit.
Apart from Mañosa’s architectural work, the exhibition also explores his other creative passions as a jazz musician, toy designer, and designer of craft.
“The exhibit celebrates not only my dad’s architecture and philosophy, but also his passion for creativity and pursuit of excellence – which were present in all the stages of his life,” says Bambi Mañosa, who continues Bobby’s legacy today along with her siblings Gelo and Dino. “We are so happy to have been able to put this together in his lifetime, and so grateful for the invaluable input of our curators Gerard Lico and Patrick Flores, the support of the NCCA and the National Museum, and the hard work of the entire exhibit team.”
Accompanying the exhibition is a lecture series for students that will run Saturdays at the National Museum Auditorium from February to May. Guest lecturers – on topics ranging from Art, Architecture & Design, to Philippine Textiles and Building Materials, to Nationalism and Nation-building – include former NCCA Chair Jun de Leon; Architects Gelo Mañosa, Paulo Alcazaren, Christian Salandanan and Ning Encarnacion; Art historian Patrick Flores; Heritage advocate Ino Manalo; Design creatives Bambi Mañosa, Len Cabili and Medilen Singh; performance artist Joey Ayala, and more. Admission to the lecture series is free of charge, but limited to 150 slots per lecture. Updated information on the lecture series will be posted on the Exhibit’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/franciscomanosa.exhibit/).
The well-curated exhibit is a visually appealing display of true Filipino architecture taking the roots of the simple “bahay kubo” into a larger scale and grandeur that makes us proud of our Philippine heritage. Head to the National Museum and marvel at Philippine architecture at its finest. Hopefully the exhibit could be a permanent section on the 4th floor of the museum.
“MAÑOSA: Beyond Architecture” is co-presented by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the National Museum, and the Mañosa Group of Companies. Produced by the Mañosa Group’s Tukod Foundation, the exhibit serves as the NCCA’s contribution to National Arts Month, and celebrates of the 40th anniversary of the architecture and design firm Mañosa and Co.
The event is made possible with the support of Mañosa Properties, Philippine Wine Merchants, Aurelio’s, FGU Builders, Matimco, Timbermate-HMT Industries Corp, Davies Paints, Kenneth & Mock Designs, Lixil Corp., and PhilConch.