National Artist for Architecture Bobby Mañosa dies at 88

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Thomasian architect Francisco Mañosa is National Artist for architecture (Photo by Hazel Grace S. Posadas/The Varsitarian)

NATIONAL Artist for Architecture Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa passed away after a bout with pneumonia on Feb. 20. He was 88.

Mañosa graduated from the old College of Architecture and Fine Arts in 1953 and is  known as a pioneer of Philippine architecture, having highlighted local designs and materials in his works.

In an interview with the Varsitarian in 2010, Mañosa spoke about his devotion to promoting Philippine architecture, and encouraged others to find inspiration in one’s native land.

“I was so touched by all the distinct architectures of the world that I convinced myself on pursuing this Filipino architecture. To do Filipino, I must know my country, and I have to believe in what my country can offer,” he said.

His works adhere to a philosophy called “organic architecture,” which uses materials and structures that work in harmony with the environment.

His prominent works are the Coconut Palace, San Miguel Building in Ortigas, the Shrine of Mary, Queen of Peace on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), St. Joseph Church in Las Piñas and the San Lorenzo Ruiz Monument in Manila.

He was conferred the title National Artist for Architecture last year at Malacañan Palace.

Mañosa’s other notable awards include a Knighthood from the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory in 1979, the Golden Award in the field of Architecture from the United Architects of the Philippines in 1989 and the Cultural Center of the Philippines’s Award for the Arts in the field of Architecture in 2004.

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