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Volume III PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE

Copyright 1994 A Sentrong Pangkultura ng Pilipinas (Cultural Center of the


Philippines) Special Publications Office CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard Manila,
Philippines
ISBN 971-8546-23-5 Volume III - ISBN 971-8546-37-5
Logo: The logo of this encyclopedia is the sun, an- cient symbol of sovereignty and
enlightenment, which in giving light gives warmth and life. This solar representation
is based on the mythological sun used by the first Philippine republic of 1899, which
had Filipino features and eight principal rays. It is hoped that this encyclopedia will
shed light on the most vital affirmations of being Filipino through the centuries and
thus help to define and harden the core of the nation's identity.
All rights reserved. No portion of this book-text, photograph, or artwork- may be
reproduced without the permission of the publisher and/ or the authors and/ or the
photographers and artists.
Set in Palatino and Avant-Garde Color separation by Scanatronic, Inc. Printed by
Vera-Reyes, Inc.
First Printing, 1994
Area Editor Rodrigo D. Perez III
ARCHITECTURE
Editor-in-Chief Nicanor G. Tiongson
General Managing Editor Joi Barrios
Managing Editor Monica Felicia P. Consing
Assistant Managing Editor Analiza B. Villar
Writers Corazon Hila Rene B. Javellana
Critic Honrado Fernandez
Regalado Trota Jose Resil B. Mojares Rodrigo D. Perez III Ramon Villegas
Fernando N. Zialcita
Biographers Ana Biglang-awa eAlice G. Guillermo Paul Labrado eNagasura Madale
Santiago A. Pilar eF. Varona
Art Director Cesar A. Hernando
Deputy Art Director Carlita de Leon Sefieres
Graphic/Lay-out Artist Carlita L. Sefieres
Illustrator Carlita L. Sefieres

Photo Researchers Alice M. Esteves Gilda Cordero-Fernanda


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
American Historical Collection Asian Institute of Management Ayala Museum
Cebuano Studies Center CCP Library Freyssinet Philippines Inc GCF Books
Intramuros Administration Lopez Memorial Museum and Library Manila Bulletin
Library Mapua Institute of Technology .National Archives National Commission on
Culture and Arts National Geographic Society .National Historical Institute The
National Library Filipiniana and Asia Division Philippine Women's University Felicing
Tirona Memorial Library and Arts Center San Miguel Corporation Summer Institute
of Linguistics United Architects of the Philippines University of the Philippines
Filipiniana Library
Vicky Alba Primo Alcantara Elena Alfonso Belen Angeles Raidis Bassig
Concepcion Baylon Francisco Bernardo Jr Adoracion M. Bolos Ernesto R.
Caballero Zenaida Cipriano Monica Felicia P. Consing Gilda Cordero-Fernanda
Rolly Dinero Wili Fernandez Edda Henson Cesar A. Hernando Elvira Irremedio
Rene B. Javellana Arnold Jumpay Roselyn Lim Architect & Mrs Leandro V. Locsin
Alberto Mabiog Scott MacGregor Oscar Mapua Resil B. Mojares Ambeth R.
Ocampo Rey Ortiz Malou Padua Eduardo Pailanan eMr & Mrs Ambrocio Palma
eNilo J. Parilla eRenato S. Rastrollo Ben F. Rodriguez Agnes Samson William
Henry Scott Carli to L. Sefi.eres Johnny Tenegra Jr Nicanor G. Tiongson Avelino
Valleser John Walton
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION I 2
FOLIO OF PHOTOGRAPHS I 9
I. HISTORICAL ESSAYS I 17
Philippine Architecture I 18 The Ethnic Tradition I 18 The Spanish Colonial Tradition I
22 The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions I 25 Prospects for Filipino
Architecture I 29
The Ethnic Tradition I 30 General Characteristics I 30 Types of Structure in History I
32 The Ethnic Houses I 35
The Spanish Colonial Tradition I 42 The Beginnings I 42 Military Architecture I 45
Religious Architecture I 46 Domestic Architecture I 50 Civil Architecture I 52
Epilogue I 55
The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions I 56 History I 56 Forms I 66
Interior Design I 86 The Ethnic Tradition I 86 The Spanish Colonial Tradition I 89 The
American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions I 94
Landscape Architecture I 96
The Evolution of Communities I 100 The Ethnic Tradition I 100 The Spanish Colonial
Tradition I 101 The American Colonial Tradition I 104 The Contemporary Period I 104

Sources and Influences I 106 The Southeast Asian Tradition I 106 The Islamic
Influence I 107 The Chinese Influence I 108 The Spanish Influence I 108 The
American Influence I 119
II. FORMS AND TYPES I 123
Apartment I 124 Bahay Kubo I 126 Bahay na Bato I 129 Barong-Barong I 134
Bungalow I 135 Casa Real I 136 Commercial Buildings I 137 Eskwelahan I 138 Ethnic
House I 142 Houseboat I 144 Kamalig I 144 Kapitolyo I 145 Kuta I 146 Kweba I 148
Masjid I 150 Munisipyo 1152 One-and-a-Half Story House I 153 Palengke I 153 Parola
I 155 Retablo I 156 Rice Terraces I 158 Sabungan I 160 Sementeryo I 161 Simbahan
I 164 Sinehan I 178 Split-Level House I 179 Teatro I 180 Tree House I 182 Tribunal I
183 Tsalet I 184 Tulay I 185
TABLE OF CONTENTS
III. ASPECTS OF PRODUCTION I 187
Awards I 188 Construction Methods and Materials I 189 Design I 197 Organizations I
201 Research I 202 Schools I 207
IV. MAJOR WORKS I 209
viii
Aduana I 210 Antipolo Church I 210 Argao Church and Convento I 212 Ayuntamiento
I 213 Baclayon Church I 215 Betis Church I 215 Boac Church I 216 Boljoon Church
and Convento I 217 Calasiao Church I 218 Calumpit Church I 219 Carcar Church I
220 Casa Gorordo I 221 Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral I 221 Crystal Arcade I 223
Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Building I 224 Cuyo Church and Fort I
224 Dalaguete Church I 226 Daraga Church I 227 Fort Pilar I 228 Fort San Antonio
Abad I 229 Fort San Pedro I 229 Fort Santiago I 230 Goldenberg Mansion I 231
Guadalupe Monastery I 232 El Hagar Building I 232 Holy Rosary Seminary I 233
Insular Life Building I 234 Intramuros Walls 1234 faro Cathedral I 236
Kawit Church I 237 Lalla Church I 238 Laoag Church I 239 Legislative Building I 240
Loboc Church I 241 Loon Church I 242 Lucban Church I 243 Majayjay Church I 244
Malabon Church I 245 Malacanang I 246 Malate Church I 247 Manila Cathedral I 248
Manila Hotel I 250 Manila Post Office Building I 251 Manaoag Church I 251
Maragondon Church I 252 Metropolitan Theater I 254 Miag-ao Church I 254 Minalin
Church I 255 Malo Church I 256 Morang Church I 257 Naga Church I 257 Nagcarlan
Church and Cemetery I 258 Pacific Commercial Company Building I 259 Paco
Cemetery I 260 Paete Church I 260 Pakil Church I 262 Pan-ay Church I 263 Paoay
Church I 263 Pardo Church I 264 Perez-Samanillo Building I 265 Philippine-American
Life Insurance Building I 266 Philtrust Bank Building I 266 Puente Colgante I 267
Puente de Espana 1268 St. Catherine's Academy School Building I 269 Samboan
Church and Jacob's Ladder I 269 San Agustin Church and Monastery I 270 San
Ignacio Church I 272 San Luis Church I 274 San Miguel Corporation Head Office
Complex I 274
San Sebastian Church I 275 San Vicente Church I 277 Santa Ana Church I 278 Santa
Maria Church I 279 Santo Domingo Church I 280 Santo Nino Basilica and Convento I

281 Sariaya Church I 282 Sarrat Church I 283 Silang Church I 284 Taal Basilica I 285
Tanay Church I 286 Tayabas Church I 287 Tayum Church I 288 Tigbauan Church I
289 Tondo Church I 289 Tuguegarao Church I 290 Tumauini Church I 290 University
of the Philippines (Catholic) Chapel I 292 University of Santo Tomas Main Building I
293 Victorias Chapel I 294 Vigan Cathedral I 295
V. ARTISTS I 297
Alvero, Emilio I 298 Antonio, Pablo I 298 Araneta, Luis I 298 Arellano, Arcadia I 299
Arellano, Juan I 299 Arellano, Otilio I 300 Arguelles, Tomas I 300 Arguelles, Carlos I
301 Belloc, Vicente I 301 Berenguer-Topacio, Ched I 301 Burnham, Daniel I 302
Calma, Lor I 302 Canchela, Cesar I 303 Caudal, Alejandro I 303 Cancio, Cesar I 303
Coscolluela, Willam I 303 De Castro, Cresenciano I 304 De Santos, Arturo I 304 De
Uguccioni, Juan I 305 Espina, Cristobal I 305
Fernandez, Wili I 305 Formoso, Gabriel I 306 Hervas, Juan I 306 Hubilla, Johnny I 307
Lobato, Antonio I 307 Locsin, Leandro I 307 Luna de San Pedro, Andres I 308 Luz,
Alfredo J. I 309 Mafiosa Brothers I 310 Mafiosa, Francisco I 310 Mafiosa, Jose I 310
Mafiosa, Manuel Jr I 311 Mapua, Tomas I 311 Mariano, Engracio L. I 311 Mendoza,
Felipe I 312 Nakpil, Angel E. I 312 Nakpil, Juan Felipe I 313
Ocampo, Fernando I 314 Oliver, Luciano I 314 Oliveros, Edith L. I 315 Palatino,
Bartolome I 315 Parsons, William E. I 315 Pefiasales, Sergio I 316 Perez, Dolly
Quimbo I 316 Ramirez, Edgar I 316 Roxas, Felix I 317 Ruano, Roque I 317 Santos,
Ildefonso I 317 Santos-Viola, Carlos I 318 Sedefio, Antonio S. I 318 Sindiong, Antonio
I 318 Toledo, Antonio I 319 Villarosa, Rogelio I 319 Zaragosa, Jose Maria I 320
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
VI. REFERENCES I 321
Books I 322 Articles I 326 Theses I 329 Programs/Brochures/Yearbooks/ Albums I 329
Archival Documents I 330 Interview I 330
INTRODUCTION
Philippine architecture is the sum total of the domestic and public buildings that
have been built by natives of the Philippines on Philippine soil and over the
centuries, in response to various climatic, geographical, and cultural conditions
prevailing in a given place and time.
The term "Philippine architecture" has been the subject of discussion and debate.
One extreme view denies that there is such a thing. Buildings of the ethnic or
precolonial tradition are not considered architecture because, according to this
view, they lack magnitude, durabil- ity, and aesthetic value. The architecture of the
Spanish colonial period is regarded as entirely European in the case of forts and the
Intramuros churches, or, in the case of provincial churches and houses, poor
imitations of Spanish architecture. The architecture of the American colonial and
contemporary periods are viewed as unabashed copies of Western buildings. While
colonial and contemporary buildings are accepted as architecture, they are not
acknowl- edged as authentically Filipino.

The extreme opposite view contends that any architecture produced in the
Philippines is Filipino, not only because of its geographical setting, but also because
it is, for better or for worse, a part and expression of the culture. The essays in this
volume are founded on the premise that there is such a thing as Filipino
architecture, and that this encompasses ethnic, Spanish, and American colonial and
contemporary architecture.
Objectives
This volume aims to enable the reader: first, to be familiar with and to appreciate
and be concerned with Filipino architecture; second, to appreciate architecture as
such; and third, to be aware of what is Filipino in architecture.
First, this volume presents a comprehensive though compartmentalized picture of
Philip- pine architecture: comprehensive, because a vast amount of available
information on the sub- ject has been put together in summary and, in some
instances, detailed form; compart- mentalized, because the wide range of material
had to be organized for easy reference. It seeks to answer the basic questions about
Philippine architecture--what is it, how did it develop, what are its forms, how is it
built, what are its major examples, who are its builders, and what is its significance.
The volume presents buildings in the ethnic, Spanish colonial, American colonial and
contemporary traditions. Ethnic architecture includes houses, granaries, and
mosques. Structures of the Spanish colonial tradition include houses, churches,
forts, lighthouses, gov- ernment buildings, schools, theaters, commercial buildings,
and factories. The buildings of the American colonial and contemporary traditions
include houses, apartment buildings, condo- miniums, mass housing projects,
churches, schools, hospitals, government office buildings,
2
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
clubhouses, hotels, commercial office buildings, department stores, markets,
shopping malls, theaters, movie houses, industrial buildings, and bridges.
Each tradition is considered as a distinct body of works with its particular building
types, concepts of space and structure, architectural style or styles, and methods of
construction, as well as its own evolution of forms and styles. Furthermore, each
tradition is described in the light of its historical setting, the political and social
structures, the type of economy and the level of economic development, and the
various cultural influences.
While each tradition, like each historical period, is in fact distinct, and while the shift
from one period to the next involved the termination of the status quo and the
introduction of a new system as well as new concerns, the history of Philippine
architecture should not be seen in terms of discontinuities, but rather as a
continuum. Elements of the ethnic tradition are discernible in the Spanish colonial
tradition, and in turn, the influence of the Spanish colonial tradition is recognizable
in the American colonial tradition.

As knowledge of Philippine architecture leads to appreciation, so must appreciation


lead to concern for the preservation of masterworks and monuments. Architecture is
not the kind of art that one enjoys only at particular moments, like music while it is
listened to, or a painting while it is viewed. Architecture, being shelter, is an art
form that one lives in or lives with. It is part of the environment, and in life lived in
shelter, it is the immediate and more significant environment. Yet, while buildings
are so close to human life and are supposed to be permanent structures, they can
be the victims of poor maintenance, neglect, vandalism, and outright destruction.
The state of many public buildings attests to the low level of appreciation for
architecture on the part of the public and of public officials. And the woeful
condition of many old buildings betrays the lack of historical consciousness as well
as of aesthetic sense. It is hoped that increased knowledge and appreciation of
architecture will result in the conscientious maintenance and diligent preservation
of the country's architectural heritage.
Second, while this volume is on Philippine architectl}re, it also aims to lead the
reader to an understanding and appreciation of architecture as such. Architecture is
generally understood as the art and science of building, and building is commonly
identified with structure--walls, roof, beams, columns, and foundations. But the
structure is only the shell, so to speak, of a building. The primary element of
architecture is space, that is, sheltered space. Space in a building is generally
regarded as something enclosed in order to serve a function. More than that, space
as an architectural element is something to be formed or designed. As a sculptor
gives shape to a mass of material, the architect gives shape to space. Space that is
intelligently and inventively shaped is not only useful, but is also meaningful and
expressive. For example, the space in a place of worship must elicit reverence and
foster the spirit of celebration. The space in a family dwelling must convey a sense
of security and familial intimacy. While in sculpture, the shaped material becomes
the structure, in architecture the structure encloses the formed or sculptured space.
But the structure itself--walls, columns, beams, and roof--can have the character of
sculpture.
Architecture as the art of creating sheltered space is primarily a response to human
needs, the need for protection from the elements, the need for habitable space, the
need for a sense of security and well-being, and the need for the experience of
beauty. While works of architecture
3
INTRODUCTION
are designed to be functional and beautiful, they are also expected to express
meaning, or to convey a message. A building can be a symbol of authority and
power, or a symbol of cele- bration and hospitality.
Architecture, being the alteration of the environment, is the most conspicuous of
the arts, and a country's architectural heritage is its most visible and sometimes
most awesome record of history. Buildings--and the villages, towns and cities that
they constitute--show the development of a people and their culture. Buildings and
how they are used express the values and character of a people--their observance

of order or their lack of it, thoughtless individualism or a sense of community,


materialism or religiosity, love for nature or indifference to it.
A final aim of this volume is to enable the reader to become aware of what is
Filipino, particu- larly what the Filipino element in Philippine architecture is, or what
it is that distinguishes Filipino architecture. It is not easy to find the common
denominator in the wide range of building types and architectural styles that
constitute Filipino architecture. The Ifugao fale, the Maranao torogan, the bahay na
bato, the churches of Paoay, Daraga, Miag-ao, and Morong, the Tutuban Station, the
Post Office Building, the Metropolitan Theater, the Cultural Center of the Philippines,
the San Miguel Corporation Head Office Building, and the skyscrapers of Makati and
Pasig are Filipino architecture. Because they were designed for the Philippine
environment and for use by Filipinos, and because they are the work of Filipinos or
of people who lived in the Philippines, they express something of Filipino culture and
somehow embody the Filipino spirit. But even that spirit while experienced is yet to
be defined.
Division
This volume is divided into the following sections: Historical Essays, Forms and
Types, Aspects of Production, Major Works, Artists, and References. The historical
essays include first, an overview, then the essays on the ethnic, Spanish colonial,
and American colonial and contemporary traditions. The focus is on "tradition"
rather than "period" since architectural styles introduced in one period could extend
their influence into the next periods. Thus, the persistence of "tradition" is
especially clear in Philippine ethnic architecture. Ethnic building traditions that
began to develop in the precolonial period survived into the 20th century,
undergoing modifications before and during the colonial periods. These are followed
by essays on allied arts, namely, interior design, and landscape architecture, and an
essay on the evolu- tion of communities. The historical section also includes a study
of sources and influences, namely the Southeast Asian, the Islamic, the Chinese,
and the Spanish; the various styles that influenced Philippine architecture during
the Spanish colonial period, namely, the classical, gothic, renaissance, baroque,
rococo, and revivalist styles, and the 20th-century movements, like art nouveau, art
deco, and modern architecture.
The section Forms and Types describes in alphabetical order various kinds of shelter
and structure, again belonging to the traditions: ethnic, hispanic, American colonial
and contempo- rary. The ethnic buildings include caves, lean-tos, treehouses,
boathouses, and the houses on stilts; the Spanish colonial covers the bahay na
bato, churches, government buildings, forts, bridges, cemeteries, and lighthouses;
the American colonial and contemporary include govern- ment edifices, private
commercial buildings and theaters, schools, apartments, tsalet, one- and-a-half
story houses, and bungalows.
4
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
The section entitled Aspects of Production deals in alphabetical order with various
aspects of the art and profession of architecture as well as the professional
formation of the architect. The creation of a building begins with the process of

planning and design, an activity that involves both art and science. The outcome of
this process is the set of drawings which the builder follows in the construction of
the building, providing the materials that are specified and employing particular
methods that are prescribed. Through the process of construction, the architect's
ideas are translated into a functioning reality. Organizations serve to promote the
development of the profession and determine standards for professional practice.
Out- standing achievements are recognized through the awards granted by
professional organiza- tions or by government or civic entities. Research is
undertaken by scholars for the purpose of documenting the country's architectural
heritage and fostering historical consciousness to en- rich creative endeavor.
The section Major Works describes notable buildings in alphabetical order. A building
is considered a major work if it is characterized by magnitude and serves an
important public function, or it is regarded as an excellent example of its type, or it
represents a breakthrough in architectural design during its time. In short, a major
work is one that is generally acknowl- edged as being historically and architecturally
significant. It is recognized as a contribution to the development of architecture or
may have certain features that make it unique.
The section Artists gives brief accounts of the life and works of major architects who
are listed in alphabetical order. A major architect is one who has produced works of
magnitude, particularly public buildings, and works notable for their originality or for
their significant application of a current style. A large number of works, a
consistently high level of perform- ance, recognition by professional organizations,
leadership in the architectural profession, and at least 20 years of professional
practice were among the criteria in the selection of architects to be included in this
volume.
The section References lists down all the works used as sources in the essays and
includes titles of other books deemed important as sources for the study of
Philippine architecture.
Methodology
Most of the information contained in this volume was drawn from books, periodicals,
and journals which are listed in the general references at the end of the volume. In
addition to library research, the authors of the essays and articles on architecture
went on field trips to various parts of the country. Some trips had been undertaken
in past years in connection with other publications, and the information unearthed
then proved to be still useful. For the biographies, published sources were consulted
for data on the early architects. Living archi- tects were requested to furnish their
curriculum vitae or in some cases were interviewed. Relatives of recently deceased
architects were requested to provide information.
This volume, however, had to work within certain limitations. Although this volume
contains an essay on the ethnic tradition in architecture and an article on the ethnic
house in the section on forms, it does not contain detailed descriptions of the
various types of ethnic house, such as the Ifugao, the Mangyan, and the Maranao.
These will be found in the volumes on the ethnolinguistic groups under the entry for
each group.
5

INTRODUCTION
A number of outstanding houses of the Spanish colonial period are not featured
among the major works because no historical data are available. On the other hand,
a large number of churches of the Spanish colonial period are included, first,
because many of them are unique, and second, because historical data are
available and generally reliable.
A number of buildings of the Spanish and American colonial periods that could
qualify as major works are not included in this volume either because historical data
are not avail- able or the buildings are no longer in their original state, having been
modified inside or outside, or having been allowed to deteriorate. However, some
buildings that no longer exist are mentioned because of their acknowledged
historical importance and because information on them could be gathered. One
example is the Crystal Arcade.
The volume on architecture does not have as large a number of biographical entries
as the other volumes, since professional Filipino architects emerged in significant
numbers only in the 20th century. Sources from the Spanish colonial period mention
architects and builders, most of them Spaniards, whose works are of historical and
architectural value. The biographies include persons who are not major architects
under the criteria, but whose buildings are of special significance in Philippine
architectural history. Landscape architects and interior designers are included in this
section.
The names of architects or builders of important buildings are not always known.
Neither are the dates of construction. Some buildings have been rebuilt or
reconstructed more than once. In such cases, the date of construction that is
supplied is of the present structure. Many new buildings are not mentioned in the
section on contemporary architecture; neither are they listed among major works.
Similarly, some biographies lack such information as date or year of birth and
death, or names of parents, because no records are available or the sources did not
provide them.
For all the time and effort that have gone into it, this volume on Philippine
architecture does not pretend to be the last word on the subject. It is humbly
presented as another beginning in the continuing task of searching, researching,
and national-soul-searching. Today's dogma could be tomorrow's error, and what is
hopelessly buried today in oblivion could be serendipitously recovered tomorrow.
Knowledge grows endlessly and renews itself. One lesson we learn from history is
that encyclopedias are published in order to be revised.
Style and Use
The form of presentation is designed for the student. The language is simple and
the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms or
equivalents or in the context in which they appear. Subheadings help to clarify the
organization of ideas and ease the search for particular data. Pictures and captions
illustrate the principal points being made by the essay. Sources of data or
quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them and
provide the family name of the author, the year of publication of the work, and the
page numbers, which can be checked against the general references at the end of

the volume. The shorter references at the end of some essays not only serve as an
acknowledgment but also lead the student to more sources of information in the
general references.
6
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
Architecture-related terms, such as panolong, sabungan, simbahan are set in
boldface the first time they appear in an essay; Filipino and foreign terms not
related to architecture, such as babaylan, gobernadorcillo, and salakot are set in
italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations or equivalents of terms,
whether architectural or not, are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, bahay na
bato (stone house). Titles of books and periodicals are set in boldface italics each
time they are mentioned; if the titles are non-English, they are followed by English
translations, enclosed in parentheses, of the title and the year of publication,
separated by commas. All diacritical marks on native terms are removed until such
time as they are consistently and systematically recorded by scholars, especially
among the smaller ethnic groups.
For the researcher, the Index in Volume X is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the
major architectural terms, buildings, names, concepts, books in the architecture
volume as well as the other volumes of the encyclopedia. Variant spellings (e.g.
tsalet, chalet) are listed to facilitate search.
7
ETHNIC HOUSES. Two architectural forms among indigenous communities in the
islands, ore the Bontoc fay-u of the Cordillera, top, and the torogan of lonoo in
Mindanao, bottom. (National Geographic Magazine 1913, American Historical
Collection; Ernesto R. Caballero 1990, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library
Collection) 9
NATIVE HUT. Basically a house of bamboo and nipa, this bahay kubo in Bataan,
above, is the typical dwelling of the lowland Christian Tagalog; a bigger version of
the bahay kubo but using stronger materials like wood and stone is the bahay na
bato, the house of the landed elite, like the 19th-century Palma house in lmus,
Cavite, right. (Mirror Saturday Magazine 1961, Nicanor G. Tiongson Collection;
Carlito L. Seneres 1993, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
10
STONE HOUSE. The ancestral houses of Vigan, llocos Sur are characterized by twostory walls which are made completely of stone or bricks. ( Carlito L. Seneres 1991,
Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
11
CHURCH. Examples of Spanish colonial architecture are the Pasig Church, token
ca1900,above,andthe Tumauini Church, taken co 1970, right. (Tennyson 1901,
Ambeth Ocampo Collection; Philippine National Bank Calendar 1975, Nicanor G.
Tiongson Collection)

12
TROPICAL BAROQUE AND ROCOCO. Decorated with solomonic columns and
medallions in baroque fashion is the Daraga Church, left, built in 1772. Considered
one of the glories of rococo architecture in the Philippines is the facade of the Miagao Church in Iloilo, bottom, built co 1790. (Renato S. Rastrol/o 1990, Cultural Center
of the Philippines Library Collection)
13
STATE PALACE. The Malacafiang Palace, the country's seat of government, built co 1
790, underwent many renovations and repairs through the last centuries. (Zaragoza
1990, Nicanor G. Tiongson Collection)
14
. COMMERCIAL BUILDING. Mudejar or Muslim motifs distinguished the Insular Cigar
and Cigarette Factory in Binondo at the tum .of the century. (NicanorG. Tiongsan
Collection)
.)
GOVERNMENT BUILDING. The first Legislative Building was erected in the 1920s,
destroyed during WWII and rebuilt on its present location. (Nicanor G. Tiongson
Collection)
UPPER CLASS HOUSE. Typical of the tsalet, an early 20th-century form of domestic
architecture, is this house-turned- restaurant in San Juan, Manila. (Luis Dindo
Martinez 1991, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
15
MODERN BUILDINGS. Marked by modem trends In architecture are high-rise
buildings along Ayala avenue in Makoti. (The Sunday Times Magazine 1966,
NicanorG. Tiongson Collection)
ONE-AND-A-HALF STORY HOUSE. A modern dwelling which emerged after WWII is
the one- and-a-half story house like the Agustin del Rosario residence in Paraiiaque
photographed in 1958. (The Sunday Times Magazine 1958, Arsenio R. Tiongson
Collection)
16

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
The history and culture of the Philippines are re- flected in its architectural heritage,
in the dwellings of its various peoples, in mosques and churches, and in buildings
that have risen in response to the demands of progress and the aspirations of a
people. Houses and monuments from Batanes to Tawi-tawi do not only represent
different cultures and periods in Philip- pine history; they also constitute the

Filipino's creative response to the problems posed by the geography and climate of
the archipelago. The 7,100 islands of the Philippines appear to be a mountain range
that is half submerged. More than half of the land is mountainous and hilly. With
their headwaters in the mountains, rivers flow down to the plains and out to the
sea. For its relatively small area of 300,000 sq km, the country has an extensive
coastline of 17,500 km. On this fragmented territory and rugged terrain, on
mountain, plain, riverbank, and seacoast, the people have made their home. With
its southernmost islands about four degrees from the equator, and its northern and
central islands in the path of typhoons, the Philippines is subject to the worst of
tropical heat, humidity, and rain. A long dry season can bring drought, rains can
cause floods, and high winds can ruin houses. Several times a year the land is
rocked by earthquakes. As the climate dictates the need for shelter, the land
provides the materials for it: wood from the forests, bamboo from groves, leaves
from the fields, stone from rivers and quarries, and clay from the earth itself.
Setting, climate, and available materials are among the factors that give shelter its
form and character.
The Ethnic Tradition
The earliest shelters of human beings were prob- ably not built by them. They
simply found these shel- ters or found themselves in them. It was nature which
fashioned hollows on cliffs and mountainsides that offered protection from heat,
rain, and wind. In Ango- no, Rizal evidence of ancient cave dwellers exists in carved
figures on cave walls, the earliest known Philip- pine mural. The Tabon Cave in
Palawan yielded the
18
earliest-known remains of human beings in the Philip- pines. Meanwhile, the food
gatherers, the fishers, or the hunters, who moved from one place to another in their
search for food and game, needed a portable shelter. Thus they fashioned the leanto from a frame made of tree branches and twigs, using leaves and fronds for
sidings. A screen resting on the ground and held up at an angle by one or several
poles, the lean-to is both rbof and wall, protecting dwellers from rain and the heat of
the sun. The floor can be the ground itself or a bed of leaves or a platform slightly
above the ground. The lean-to is light enough to be carried to another site.
However, the dweller can simply abandon it and build another. A pair of lean-tos can
be joined together to form a tentlike shelter or a double-slope roof, which, in effect,
is the beginning of a house. Kaingin or swidden farming led to a relatively settled
life. After making a clearing in the forest, the swidden farmer could cultivate it for
two years, let it lie fallow, then return to it a few years later. Although dwellings
became larger and were better built, they were neither permanent nor durable
because some- times the swidden farmer had to move on. With the development of
wet-rice culture, farmers became rooted to the land. Although i:races of the .
kaingin lifestyle persisted in the makeshift character of various dwellings, houses
were built to last. The Mang- yan of Mindoro, who are swidden farmers, have two
types of houses-the single-family dwelling and the communal house. Although the
communal house is occupied by several families, its interior is not divided by
partitions. The area for each family is defined by a mat on the floor. When a
Mangyan house is built on a slope, the entrance faces the rise. The steep roof is of
cogon grass, the sidings, of tree bark, and the floor, of logs and saplings. The house

appears to have no windows. However, it has a narrow strip of opening between


roof and wall. For added protection from floods, wild animals, and enemies, houses
were built on trees, anywhere from 2-20m above the ground. Such houses have
been
HOUSE ON POSTS. The Ingenious llugao tale stands on tree trunks provided with
disks to discourage rats from climbing up the house. (Boyce 19U, American
Historical Collection)
found among the Ilongot, Tinguian, and Gaddang in northern Luzon, and among the
Mandaya, Manobo, Tiruray, and Bukidnon in Mindanao. One type of tree house
nestles on the branches of a tree. Another type rests partly on a tall tree stump and
partly on a cluster of tall stilts. The people of the Cordilleras in northern Luzon are
swidden farmers. But some, particularly the Ifu- gao, Bontoc, and Kalinga, are
known for their rice terraces. With massive, towering walls and a skillfully devised
irrigation system, the rice terraces are a won- der of primitive engineering. The
terrace builders were able to construct sturdy dwellings remarkable for both
simplicity and ingenuity. The one-room Ifugao house, known as fale, is a little marvel
of construction. Outside, the Ifugao house seems to be nothing more than a
pyramid resting on four posts. The interior space-enclosed by slanting walls, sloping
roof, and ceiling formed by the loftPHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
appears nearly spherical. The dark, windowless cham- ber suggests a womb. Four
wooden posts rest on a pavement and sup- port two wooden girders which, in turn,
support three wooden transverse joists. On the posts are wooden discs that prevent
rats from entering the house. The ladder is drawn up at night or is hung across the
front when the occupants are away. The floor joists, floor sills, vertical studs, and
horizontal beams at about head level form a cage that rests on the posts and
girders. Floor boards are fitted between the joists. Wooden sidings slant outward
and rise to waist height to form the lower half of the wall. The upper half of the wall
is formed by the inner side of the roof. Boards flanking the front and rear doors rise
to the beams. The rafters of the roof rest on the beams and extend downward close
to floor level. The roof frame is sheathed with reedlike runo, then covered with
thatch. At an inner corner of the house is the fireplace. At the level of the beam is a
storage loft with a floor of runo stalks. The wooden parts of this house are joined by
rabbeting and by mortise and tenon. Other parts are fastened by lashing. Since
nails are not used, the
19
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
house can easily be dismantled, carried to a new site, and reassembled. The solitary
room is the sleeping room, kitchen, dining room, storeroom, and shrine for rituals.
Only the husband and wife and youngest child or children in infancy live in this
house. Upon reaching the age of reason, sons and daughters sleep in separate
commu- nal dormitories. Next to this house stands its twin, a granary with the same
design as the house. In Mayaoyao the Ifugao house is distinguished by its classic
simplicity. Its roof is high and steep. Low stone walls and a pavement form the
setting of this house. With the smooth, fine-grained hardwood posts, rat guards are

not necessary. The elevated living space in the fale becomes a granary in the
Bontoc house, as the living quarters move down to ground level. A low wall encloses
the ground floor. The four- post-two-girder-three-joist structure of the Ifugao is also
used in the Bontoc house. The Sa gada house re- sembles the Bontoc house but is
fully covered. It is a wooden box with a steep thatch roof as a lid. With the granary
within, the Sagada house is a "house within a house." The Kankanay house is still
another variation of the Ifugao prototype. The roof is higher and wider, thereby
providing a spacious loft above the living
20
NATIVE MANSION. The Maranao datu house has panolong or carved beams which
make the splendid house appear to noat like a royal barge. (American Historical
Col/ecffon)
space. On the ground level wooden planks are laid to provide additional livable
space. The lbaloy house has a larger room, a flaring roof, and a small porch. Some
of the Kalinga live in octagonal houses. The central portion of the octagonal house
rests on a four-post- two-girder-and-three-joist structure. Beyond this frame eight
posts are added to form the eight sides of the house. Wooden laths resting on joists
support the runo floor, which can be rolled up like a mat and taken to the river for
washing. Boat forms appear to have inspired the Isneg house. The bamboo roof
suggests an inverted boat, and wooden floor joists have the profile of a boat. The
Isneg house has two sets of posts: the inner set sup- porting the floor and the outer
set supporting the roof. As in the Kalinga house, the floor can be rolled up. The walls
are vertical boards set into grooves that are cut into beams at floor and roof-eaves
level. A window is created by simply taking out a few bo~rds. All the wall boards
can be removed to make the house a roofed
platform for village celebrations. The Isneg house is the largest among the
Cordillera houses, since the entire family, and even married offspring, could live in
it. It is not known when and how Cordillera houses developed into their present
forms. However, these house forms developed in isolation and were un- touched by
Western influence, for the Spanish coloni- zers did not succeed in bringing the
region and its people under their rule. On hilltops and rolling land the Tboli of
southern Cotabato in Mindanao build large one-room houses on stilts. The roof is of
dried grass, the walls of woven bamboo, and the posts of whole bamboo and, occasionally, tree stumps. The central portion of the floor is slightly lower than the areas
around it. The side sec- tions are for working or resting. At one end is the entrance
and the fireplace, and at the other is the place of honor for the head of the house.
The interior of the Tboli house is one example of a characteristic feature of
Philippine houses-space surrounded by space. Islam was established in Sulu in the
14th century and in Mindanao in the 15th century. The combination of a strong,
organized religion and a high degree of political organization enabled the Muslim
people of Mindanao to resist Spain's attempts to bring them under her dominion.
The Tausug of Sulu, one of the Muslim peoples of the Philippines, are known as
seafarers, but they build their houses on land, away from the shore. A site is
considered lucky if it is flat and dry or if it gently slopes westward-towards Mecca.
The traditional Tausug house rests on nine posts, each signifying a part of the bodythe neck, navel, groin, left and right sides of the shoulders, ribs, and hips. Basically

a one-room house, the Tausug dwelling includes a porch and a separate kitchen. A
distinguishing feature of the house is an elaborately carved wooden finial, called
tajuk pasung, placed at one or both ends of the roof ridge. The Samal and the
Badjao are people of the sea. The sea is their source of livelihood, the link to other
people, and the place for celebration. It is also home. The Samal build their houses
on stilts over the water, along the shore or farther out, grouped together in villages
and connected by bridges and catwalks. Un- like the Samal house, the Badjao
landhouse stands alone on an expanse of water and is reached only by boat. It is
not joined by bridges or catwalks to the shore or to other houses. It is an island
made by humans. Among the Muslim Filipinos, there arose two in- stitutions which
did not develop among the other ethnic peoples, namely, a specific place for
worship
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
and the lordly residence of the ruler. The earliest mos- que in the Philippines is said
to have been built in 1380 in Simunul Island, Tawi-tawi. Mosques in the Philip- pines
follow the traditional Middle East design which includes an onion-shaped dome and
minarets. However, some mosques are closer to indigenous architecture, with a
multitiered roof resembling that of a pagoda. The Muslim chief resides in the
torogan, a huge, stately, towering house, with a single large room. Although
"torogan" simply means a place for sleep- ing, the house is more than a residence.
It is also used for official meetings, social gatherings, and religious rituals. Only the
chief-the sultan or datu-is entitled to own and live in a torogan. The soaring, flaring
roof, like a ceremonial umbrella, is a proclamation of ex- alted status. The massive
posts serve as solid supports and signify established power. To protect the house
from earthquakes, the oversized posts rest on stones. With this device, the house
sways with the tremor, playfully surviving it. Posts may be plain and bulky or may
be carved to look like clay pots or outsized chess pieces. The most arresting feature
of the torogan is the set of protruding beam-ends, called panolong. Flaring out from
the facade, intricately carved, and stunningly colored, the panolong resemble the
boat prows and make the splendid torogan appear to float like a royal barge. For all
the variety of design and construction, Cor- dillera, Mindanao, and Sulu houses are
basically one- room dwellings covered by steep roofs and raised on stilts. They are
all related to the bahay kubo (nipa hut) which in its simplicity is regarded as a
prototype. Largely of bamboo and thatch, and with parts woven, fitted or tied
together, the bahay kubo might be de- scribed as less of a building and more of a
basket. While posts, beams, and joists are assembled, the roof is put together
separately and later fitted on top like the lid of a basket. The bamboo floor, with its
slats set slightly apart, is like the bottom of a basket and makes for incomparable
ventilation. With air coming in through windows and floor and the crevices in thatch
and bamboo walls, the bahay kubo is a house that breathes. Houses take an entirely
different form in the Batanes, the northernmost islands of the archipelago. With the
frequency of high winds and strong rain, the Batanes house is built to hug the
ground. Thick stone walls and a thick grass roof withstand the severest storm. The
roof is supported by posts encased in the stone walls. Stone and mortar
construction was intro- duced in the Batanes islands duri~g the Spanish regime.
21

HISTORICAL ESSAYS

The Spanish Colonial Tradition


With cross and sword, Spain extended her empire to the Philippines in the 16th
century. The Spanish colonizers settled in Cebu in 1565. Since Miguel Lopez de
Legazpi had been instructed to establish more set- tlements and since sources of
food in Cebu were in- adequate, the Spaniards moved northward to Luzon, which
was more extensive in area and more fertile. In 1571 the Spaniards conquered
Manila. Strategically lo- cated on the shore of a bay and at the mouth of a river,
Manila was eminently suitable for defense, administra- tion, and trade. The
Spaniards occupied the fort that had been abandoned by Raja Soliman, ruler of
Manila. In time, the wooden palisades gave way to fortifications of stone and a
Spanish city took shape, following the prescriptions issued by King Philip II in 1573.
The city was provided with a principal plaza and secondary plazas. Streets were laid
out in a gridiron pattern. Around the main plaza rose the cathedral, government
buildings, and the houses of ranking persons. Manila became the capital of the
colony and the model for
22
town development. It was the geographic center of the colony, for the cross on the
dome of the cathedral was the point from which distances were measured. With the
influx of colonial officials, friars, missionaries, and traders, Manila became the
center of political, reli- gious, and economic power. In the early years of their
settlement in Manila, the Spaniards built churches and houses of wood and bamboo,
but these were destroyed by fire. It became necessary to scout around for fireproof
material. With the discovery of volcanic tuff quarries in San Pedro, Makati in the
1580s, the Spaniards began to construct dwellings, churches, and fortifications in
stone. Antonio Sedeno, a Jesuit priest and engineer, trained local workmen in the art
of building with stone. Prob- ably the oldest existing stone building in the Philippines is the San Agustin Church which has survived all earthquakes from the 17th
century to the present. It
STONE CHURCH. Set on a hill, the Daraga Church In Blcol Is one of the finest
examples of Philippine baroque. (Nancey 1906, American Hlstorfcal Collection)
is said to rest on an inverted vault foundation that makes it float, so to speak,
during earthquakes. In general, Spanish construction in the Philippines- fortresses,
churches, and civic buildings-faithfully followed European models, especially when
projects were closely supervised by Spaniards. To facilitate the work of Church and
State, specifi- cally the preaching of the gospel and the administra- tion of the
colony, towns were established and the scattered population was brought together
in compact communities or reducciones. Missions and parishes were founded and
churches were built. The church was built at the center of the town by the town
plaza. It had its own plaza surrounded by a catenated or swayback wall. Shrines
called capillas posas stood at each corner of the churchyard or around the church
site. Adjacent to the church was the con- vento, the residence of the parish priest.
The church of the colonial era is generally rectangular or cruciform in plan. Its walls
are high and thick and are supported by buttresses. Windows are usually small. Its
large size and massive construction made the church a suitable place of refuge for
the townspeople during pirate raids or natural calamities. Bell towers served as
watch- towers. Churches were made of adobe (volcanic tuff) stone, coral stone, or

brick. In some churches brick and adobe were combined. A wall could consist of
alter- nate courses of brick and adobe, or blocks of brick and adobe in a
checkerboard pattern. In the Tumauini Church, bricks were molded with ornaments
on them and were numbered to guide the bricklayers in assembling them.
Cementing bricks and/or stone together was a mortar prepared from various
recipes, and using different combinations of ingredients, like lime, crushed coral,
crushed shells, molasses, sugar cane juice, goat's blood, carabao milk, egg shells,
and egg white. The Philippine colonial church may be described as a plain stone box
with a decorated front. The rear and side walls are plain. However, a side portal,
which repeats decorative motifs of the facade, breaks the monotony. The facade
often has a monopoly of ex- terior ornament. Columns and cornices traverse the
front wall vertically and horizontally. Niches, blind arches, blind balustrades, and low
relief carvings give depth, texture, and a certain cheerfulness to vast, solid
expanses of wall. The ornaments may be in the classic tradition-Tuscan, Doric, Ionic,
Corinthian, baroque, or rococo. There are occasionally gothic, romanesque, or
moorish trefoil arches. The native touch is also evi- dent in the unorthodox use of
classical ornaments or in the introduction of local motifs. Facades outstanding
'
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
for their ornamentation are those of the Miag-ao Church in Iloilo, which depicts Saint
Christopher car- rying the Infant Jesus amid lush tropical vegetation, and of the San
Joaquin Church, which shows the sur- render of Tetuan in low relief. Early churches
were of wood and bamboo, so they easily caught fire. Then stone churches were
built, but with earthquakes, they caved in. Later, stone churches were provided with
buttresses that came in various shapes: flat and thin, massive and rectangular,
slop- ing, stepped, saw-toothed, barrel shaped or curved. Bell towers vary in design
as well as in location. In plan, the bell tower may be square, octagonal, hex- agonal
or, in rare instances, circular. In height, it may rise from three to five stories. It may
be at some dis- tance from the church, adjacent to it, or integrated in the facade.
Some churches have two towers, a few have three. When the bell tower is attached
to the church, its ground floor houses the baptistry. In the past these churches were
called Spanish, probably because they were designed by Spanish friars who were
missionaries or parish priests, and the de- signs could have been based on pictures
of European churches or on one's recollection of a European church. But more and
more the Filipino character of these churches has become apparent; for local
artisans- native or Chinese-did not always execute the classical ornaments or the
baroque or neoclassic designs according to the rules but interpreted them according
to their own skill, imagination, and taste. Thus whether instructed or so inspired, the
artisans often incorporated local motifs-flowers and fruits or even a crocodile's head
into church ornaments. In these designs, local artisans expressed something of their
spirit-their simplicity and lightheartedness, and their love for abundance. The 19thcentury townhouse, called bahay na bato (stone house), was a product of economic
and social developments, as well as of architectural evolu- tion. With the opening of
Manila to international trade in 1834 and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869,
trade and agricultural production rose to exhilarating heights and increased the
fortunes of the native aris- tocracy, particularly in the provinces. Wealth became the
passport to higher education not only in Manila but also in Europe. The elite or
principalia included landowners and traders, as well as professionals- physicians

and accountants-and the highly educated, cosmopolitan ilustrado. The lifestyle,


aspirations, and even pretensions, of the upper class demanded a new type of
dwelling that was spacious, durable, comfort- able, impressive, noble, and elegantthe bahay na bato.
23

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Several house forms contributed to the emergence of the bahay na bato. One of its
ancestors is the bahay kubo, which in itself might not have been a worthy dwelling
for the ilustrado, but whose principles of design were too practical to be ignored.
The steep hip roof, elevated quarters, post-and-lintel construction, and maximized
ventilation are features of the bahay kubo that appear in grand style in the bahay
na bato. A second ancestor may have been the native chieftain's house described
by Antonio de Morga in the 17th century, which was elevated, sturdily built of
timber, well-furnished; and spacious (having many rooms). A third influence may
have been the houses of the Span- ish residents of Intramuros, who combined the
native and the foreign styles of building in their two-story houses with wooden posts
and beams, stone walls around the ground floor, and timber construction above.
Finally, another model for the bahay na bato may have been the convento, rectory,
or monastery built adjacent to the mission church, an authoritative presence in the
center of the town which must have antedated the bahay na bato. Extravagantly
spacious and solidly built, it could have become the local stan- dard for grandeur. In
general, the bahay na bato may be described as a house with wooden legs and a
stone skirt, a style of construction which makes the house a sure survivor of
24
19TH-CENTURY HOUSE. The bahay na bato, like the Banaag house In Taal, batangas,
has wooden posts concealed by a stone skirt. (Rolly Dinero 1977, National Historical
Collection)
earthquakes. The wooden frame gives it both flexibility and stability, while the onestory high stone wall is less likely to collapse. Large wooden posts are sunk into the
ground but stand high enough to carry the roof. The posts are independent of both
the stone wall below and the wooden walls above. Because they are of exceptionally
precious hardwood, they are worth displaying. The living quarters are elevated and
are reached through an interior stairway located in the zaguan on the ground floor.
The zaguan, with its naked stonework, is a grim entrance hall but, with its abundant
space, is the perfect storeroom for just about everything. The stairs are not only a
means of access but also the setting for a stately arrival. A surrounding balustrade
detached from the wall provides room all around for welcoming committees and
prolonged farewells. The stairs lead up to the caida (upper en- trance hall). Opening
to the caida is the sala (living room). Bedrooms flank the sala and nearby is the dining room. At the rear of the house are the kitchen and next to it, the open-air
azotea. Running along the front and sides of the house and flanking the major
rooms is the volada, a gallery which protects the rooms from
the heat of the sun. Along the volada is an elaborate system of windows. The broad,
massive window sill is grooved and holds two sets of sliding shutters: a set of capiz

or oyster shell shutters, or a set of glass-paned shutters, and a set of shutters with
louvers or jalousies. Between the window sill and the floor runs the ventanilla, with
sliding wooden shutters and iron grills or wooden balusters. Wide double doors are
flung open to join each room to adjacent rooms. With all doors open, the house
becomes one big hall. The interior of the bahay na bato is a striking example of
space surrounded by space. Running above the parti- tions are panels of wooden
fretwork, which allow the air within the house to circulate. The bahay na bato
represents the apex in the de- velopment of indigenous Filipino architecture,
because it expands the prototypal structure of the ethnic house from a one-room
dwelling to a multiroomed house of grand scale while preserving the basic features,
and because it adapts Western architectural influences to form a synthesis of native
and immigrant art. The bahay na bato is a product of economic progress and
cultural adaptation, and as such is a symbol of the affluent westernized Filipino. It
stands as a reminder of the social situation in which it evolved, a situation which
has not significantly changed even with the introduction of democracy, public
education, and free enterprise. The Spanish colonial era witnessed not only the
construction of churches and civic buildings and the evolution of the bahay na bato,
but also the rise of the first important architects in Philippine history. While most of
the churches in the provinces were planned and designed by the friars, the bahay
na bato were probably the result of architectural collaboration between the
homeowner, the master carpenter, and the chief mason. There were, however,
professional architects who were active in the 19th century, particu- larly in Manila.
Luciano Oliver, a Spaniard, designed the Taal Church, the Malabon Church, and the
1872 Manila Cathedral. Felix Roxas Sr, considered the first Filipino architect, trained
abroad and was renowned for his revivalist designs. His works included the
neogothic Santo Domingo Church and the neoclassic San Ignacio Church, both in
Intramuros, and a number of elegant houses for the upper class of Manila. Juan
Hervas, a Spaniard, active from the late 1880s to the early 1890s, designed the
Tutuban Railroad Station, the Monte de Piedad Building, the old Assumption Convent
on Herran st and a number of houses. Arcadio Arellano, a trained maestro de obras
(master builder), was appointed architectural adviser to Gov William Howard Taft in
1901 and is known for the
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
gothic-revival house of the Hidalgo family and the art nouveau Bautista-Nakpil
house. Genaro Palacios designed the prefabricated all-steel San Sebastian Church in
the 1880s. In the middle of the 19th century, Bartolome Palatino, a noted citizen of
the wood carving town of Paete, designed and built the splendid facade of the
church in Morong, Rizal, one of the finest examples of what can be called Filipino
baroque.
The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions
With the occupation of the Philipines by the United States in 1898, a new phase of
Philippine architectural history began. In accordance with America's thrust towards
establishing an American-style government, urban planning and architecture served
the needs of secular education and public services. In 1904 American architect
Daniel H. Burnham came to the Philippines to conduct a survey of Manila and
Baguio to prepare development plans for both cities. Burnham was one of the
architects of the 1893 Chicago Exposition which, under the influence of the Beaux

Arts School of Paris, revived the neoclassic style of architecture. Burnham admired
the bahay na bato and the colonial churches for their practicality and charm, and
suggested that they be models for future develop- ment. Burnham's
recommendations for the development of Manila included the establishment of a
government center with streets radiating from it; the retention, cleaning, and
improvement of the esteros or canals; the construction of a bayshore boulevard
from Manila to Cavite; the development of parks and water- fronts; and the
provision of sites for major public facilities, such as schools and hospitals. Among
those assigned to implement the Burnham plan was American architect William E.
Parsons. Parsons followed Burnham's recommendation that a style of architecture
be developed to suit the tropical climate. Parson's major works include the Normal
School (now Philippine Normal University), the Philippine General Hospital, the
Manila Hotel, and the Army-Navy Club. These buildings and others of the early 20th
century represented the thrust of American colonial policy in the Philippines -health, public education, free enterprise, and training in self-government. In
contrast to the romantic air of colonial architecture, early 20th- century architecture
in the Philippines was rational, functional, and seemingly plain. Young Filipinos who
went or were sent to the United States for training in various fields included aspiring
architects. They studied in American universities and institutes which were then
under the influence of the Beaux Arts School of Paris. Among the US-trained Filipino
architects of the early 20th century were Carlos Barreto, Antonio Toledo, Tomas
Mapua, and Juan Arellano. They became exponents of the neoclassic style and
designed buildings characterized by monumental scale and fidelity to tradition.
Since they were employed in the government which was engaged in a nationwide
building program, their influence on the architecture of the time was extensive. True
to his classical training, Arellano designed the Manila Post Office Building and the
Legislative Building following the canons of Graeco-Roman architecture. Although a
disciplined classicist, Arellano experimented with romanticism and brilliantly
succeeded in producing the Metropolitan Theater in 1931. With art deco motifs,
stylized interpretation of native plants, and a variety of color and texture, the
Metropolitan, even decades after its design, is a refreshing piece of architecture. In
the early 20th century, new house forms developed. But the basic design was still
the house on stilts. Following the tone set by Parsons and turning away from the
ornaments of the bahay na bato, the suburban house called tsalet (chalet) was
comfortably functional and, in many cases, plain. A prominent feature of the house
was the front porch or the surrounding porch. Some houses were entered through
an exterior L-shaped or T -shaped concrete or wooden stairway. The chalet was a
simple, respectable house for those moving up to the middle class. Architecture for
the technological age was antici- pated by the prefabricated, all-steel structure of
San Sebastian Church built in 1891, and by the University of Santo Tomas (UST)
Main Building built in 1927, which is impressive not only for its monumental proportions but for its earthquake-proof construction. The latter consists of 24 separate
sections with soft mate- rial, like tar, serving as cushions at the joints. During an
earthquake, the walls do not crack, having been precracked, as it were. The all-steel
church and the earthquake-proof building foreshadowed further tech- nological
developments in construction, specifically, more extensive use of steel, daring
structural design, and more imaginative use of reinforced concrete. While the first
generation of 20th-century Filipino architects firmly held on to tradition, the
succeeding generation broke away from it and introduced a new style. The 1930s

were a time for looking forward more confidently to national independence. The
period marked
SCHOOL BUILDING. The girls' dormitory of the Philippine Normal School was
designed by William Parsons. (Commercial Handbook of ftle Philippine Islands 1924,
American Hlstorfcal Collection)
..
the emergence of the Filipino business magnate, who rose from rags to riches in the
heady atmosphere of free enterprise. The developing economy demanded new
types of buildings like commercial office build- ings, hotels, apartments, movie
houses, and homes for the upper class. Into this environment of progress and
experiment the young architects Andres Luna de San Pedro, Fer- nando Ocampo,
Pablo Antonio, and Juan Nakpil made an auspicious entrance. Luna, son of painter
and national hero Juan Luna, was an exponent of the art deco style. Among his
existing works are the Perez- Samanillo Building on the Escolta. Ocampo likewise
was notable for his art deco buildings, among them the Central Seminary of the
UST. Nakpil's early works in the art deco style include the Avenue Theater and Hotel
Building and the Quezon Institute Buildings. Antonio's works were marked by a
certain boldness, the play of planes and volumes, and strong, dynamic movement.
His works include the Far Eastern Uni- versity Main Building, the Bel-Air Apartments
on Roxas Boulevard, and the Ramon Races Publications Building. Modernt
architecture in the Philippines was a de- parture from the neoclassic beaux arts
tradition, but like the local neoclassic, it was still a product of foreign influence, a
transplant from the west. While it was hailed as innovation, it was basically a new
conform- ism to western trends. At the end of the WWII Manila was in ruins. The
irreplaceable treasure that was Intramuros was re- duced to rubble. The once
magnificent government buildings were bombed-out shells. Hasty reconstruc- tion
resulted in makeshift structures with false fronts. The atrocities of war were followed
by the atrocities of reconstruction. While the established architects re- sumed their
practice, new graduates emerged in time for the building boom that followed the
war. The neo- classic government buildings that lay in ruins were rebuilt following
their original plans. New government and commercial buildings departed from the
neoclas- sic and art deco of the previous decades and sought fresh inspiration in the
work of contemporary Western architects. The sunbreak, made popular by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, became the object of extensive and even irrational
imitation. With the increased volume of construction, real estate development grew
in scale and began to be planned more rationally. Upper-class and middle-class
villages and state housing projects signified recogni- tion of the need for planned
communities. While early 20th-century Filipino houses had de- veloped from
indigenous architecture, postwar houses
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
marked a departure from the native tradition. The break had been indicated earlier
in the emergence of the two-story house in which living quarters occupied both first
and second floors. In the bahay na bato, the living quarters were on the upper floor.
The lower floor was a storage area. The tsalet of the early Amer- ican regime
followed the same scheme. The so-called Spanish-style house-with tile roofs, arches,
and the indispensable three-story tower-began to appear in the 1930s and became

the badge of the bourgeoisie for the next three decades. After the war came the
one- story California bungalow, with picture windows, lanai (borrowed from Hawaii),
and a two-to-three-car garage. This new status symbol represented the Americanization of the Filipino house. With the appreciation of things Philippine ushered
in by the folk dance revival, the interest in various folk arts and the rage for santos,
antique furni- ture, and other colonial artifacts, many houses of con- temporary
style have looked back to native tradition, incorporating such features as steep-hip
roofs, wooden lattices, capiz screens, and decorative woodwork, probably out of
nostalgia or, hopefully, nationalism. In earlier years low-cost urban housing was provided by the accesoria or wooden rowhouse, which survives in many old sections of
Manila. Two-story units, each 3-4m wide, stood crowded together, with openings in
front and at the back and, if fortunate, a small backyard. Government housing
projects built after the war provided one-story, cement-block dwell- ings, either
detached from or joined with others and set on small individual lots. With the
Filipino penchant for remodelling, many of these pitifully plain units have
metamorphosed into charming examples of per- sonalized architecture. Multistory
tenements, an alternative response to the need for mass housing, were nothing
more than rowhouses extended horizontally and vertically. The Bagong Lipunan
Sites and Services (BLISS) houses, a legacy of the Marcos regime, are multiple-unit,
multi- story buildings that take into account the decreasing availability of land. Even
with the housing projects of the govern- ment, there are still not enough dwellings
for the low- income group and the urban poor. The growth of the urban population,
resulting from a high birth rate and uncontrolled migration from the rural areas, has
ex- ceeded the government's capacity to provide adequate housing. Occupying
whatever space is available- along railroad tracks, along or right over esteros,
around garbage dumps, under bridges, along the sea- wall, inside abandoned
buildings, on any unguarded vacant lot-the urban poor have built their rickety
27
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
one-room shanties using discarded materials, card- board boxes, rusty roofing
sheets, and rotten wood. Philamlife Homes in Quezon City, a fine example of
middle-class housing built in the 1950s, was note- worthy for its simple yet
attractive houses, many of which have been remodelled beyond recognition. Its
well-planned site is distinguished by an organic lay- out; i.e., its streets follow the
contour of the land. Upper-class residential architecture is represented by both
sprawling houses on spacious gardens in the plush villages and the deluxe airconditioned apart- ments in high-rise condominiums. Lower in the scale of luxury,
the townhouses of the rising bourgeoisie are sophisticated versions of the urban
rowhouse. Grandeur, or just plain bigness, in architecture is a function of autocratic
government or corporate omnipotence. The splendid architecture of Rome, for
instance, was the work of the emperors, the popes, and Benito Mussolini. The
skyscrapers of New York are glittering monuments to big business and imperial- ism.
Martial law and the rule of the Marcoses was the setting of massive and
monumental construction in Metro Manila never witnessed before in the country.
The North Diversion Road, the South Superhighway, the Cultural Center of the
Philippines (CCP) Main Building, the Manila Film Center, the Folk Arts Thea- ter, the
Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the five-star hotels, the Batasang
Pambansa, the Philippine Heart Center, the Lung Center, the

28
HOUSE OF WOOD. Introduced during the early American regime, the elevated tsalet
or chalet features a prominent porch. (Ayala Museum Col/ecffon)
Central Bank Buildings, the Philippine National Bank and Government Service
Insurance System Buildings at the reclamation area, and the restoration of the walls
and gates of Intramuros were all possible only under a monopoly of power
maintained by 'extravagant spend- ing for the sake of political impact. The rivalry
for supremacy in business is evident in the ubiquitous malls, superbuildings that
accommo- date under one roof supermarkets, department stores, bookstores,
boutiques, restaurants, movie houses, amusement centers, and drugstores. With
land rising in value, the use of urban space is maximized through vertical
expansion-upwards, with taller buildings, and downwards, with deeper multilevel
basements. Until the 1950s the height of buildings was restricted by ordinance to
30m or about 10 stories. But since the development of Makati, high-rise buildings
have ex- ceeded that limit, going up to 20 floors and now going beyond 40. The
coming of age in contemporary Philippine architecture is evident in such buildings
as the Nation- al Press Club, Philamlife Home Office, Magsaysay Memorial, San
Miguel Corporation Head Office, Twin Towers, Ritz Towers, Pacific Plaza, CCP Main
Building, Philippine Plaza Hotel, PICC, Pacific Star, Meral- co, Tahanang Pilipino, and many
others constructed in the last 30 years. All these testify to the genius and maturity
of their architects. It is no longer enough for architects to design efficiently
organized and aesthetically satis- fying space. They also have to take into account
the complex technology that will go into it: elevator and escalator systems, airconditioning, fire-protection sys- tems, and computers. While adapting architecture
to the demands of technology, architects realized that architecture must also be a
reflection of culture and an embodiment of art.
Prospects for Filipino Architecture
With Filipino architects becoming more at ease in the modem idiom and more aware
of the Filipino's search for cultural identity, they became more con- cerned with
questions like: Is there such a thing as Filipino architecture? Were the works of
Filipino architects mere imitations of Western models? Would a modem Filipino
architecture eventually develop? And the questions are valid. For the art and
science of architecture is not only a response to human needs-- the need for shelter,
the need for order, the need for beauty, and the need for a sense of transcendence;
it is also fundamentally a search for identity. In this continuing search for
architectural identity, the variety of houses and buildings that emerged through
centuries of Philippine history, from one end of the archipelago to the other, yield
common charac- teristics that should be considered by young architects concerned
with a Philippine style of architecture. One feature of the Filipino house, and hence,
of Filipino architecture, is the concept of space and the interrela- tion of different
spaces like outdoor and indoor space, and the various areas of indoor space. An
interior space is a space surrounded by space. Rooms open to adjacent rooms, or
within a room, different spaces are created by means of levels or visual dividers.
Space becomes a place for gathering or for solitude while remaining integrated. It is
a function of personal rela- tions. Also, in a tropical climate, a house must breathe.

Thus transparency has become a feature of the Filipino house. It allows for cross
ventilation or better circula- tion of air. Transparency also arises from the relation
PHILIPPINE ARCHITECTURE
of spaces. Even when interior space is well covered and protected, the character of
transparency is some- how expressed. Then there is the lightheartedness of the
Filipino, which is reflected in the visual lightness of architecture. A structure appears
to be a floating volume. Massive structures are treated in such a way that they look
light. In addition, the Filipino-who lives in a lush baro- que landscape-seems not to
be comfortable with empty space or plain, unadorned surfaces. Space has to be
filled, or broken up, or at least, be the setting for texture. Lastly, the play of space,
visual lightness, and transparency of structure and texture all contribute to a spirit
of festivity, or better still, of tropical festivity. Filipinos love their fiestas, and
architecture becomes one of their forms of celebration. But the search for form and
the search for identity must also consider new conditions and directions. The vastly
increased population demands that today's architecture be concerned not only with
the design of individual buildings, but with the design of communi- tics. This means
more than mass housing. It means creating communities that are economically selfsufficient, environmentally safe and healthy, and ad- equately provided with
services, such as schools and hospitals. As the city dominates contemporary life and
de- vours land for its infrastructure and megaprojects, will there still be space for
every needy person to have a decent dwelling? Or shall one have to accept, as
inevit- able, living in one small compartment of an urban honeycomb? The single
dwelling anchored to the ground signifies respect for the individuality of the
occupant, while the multidwelling complex stresses the need for community.
Architects are challenged to create the kind of dwelling that fosters one's solidarity
with the land and with neighbors. The larger task for architecture today is to create
new communities for the poor and, in so doing, raise them from the inhumanity of
poverty to a way of life worthy of their human dignity. Architecture for the poor will
help to answer the long urgent need to redesign and transform the social order.
R.D. Perez III
References: References: Casal 1978; Castaneda 1964; Coseteng 1972; Dacanay
1988; De Leon 1992; Galende 1987; Klassen 1986; Lambrecht 1929; Legarda 1960;
Scott 1966; Zialcita and Tinio 1980; Vanoverbergh 1953.
29
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
Ethnic architecture in the Philippines refers to different forms of folk and vernacular
architecture found among the different ethnolinguistic communi- ties in the country.
These forms include dwellings, whether permanent or makeshift, granaries, fortifications, places of worship, and other temporary struc- tures. Ethnic architecture is
created by the different ethnolinguistic communities in the Philippines, from lowland
communities to communities in the Cordille- ras, the Visayan islands, Mindanao, and
other adja- cent islands. Ethnic architecture draws inspiration mainly from the
environment, specifically, the climate, terrain, one's vegetation, and fauna around

it. It also responds to communal and social needs--the need to be safe from hostile
and marauding tribes and to interact with fellow human beings.
General Characteristics
Ethnic structures are deeply rooted in the South- east Asian building tradition and
share its characteris- tics, namely, pile construction, the hip or gable roof, and the
use of materials available from the environ- ment, such as wood, vegetation, and
sometimes mud. The favorite material, as in the rest of Southeast Asia, is bamboo
which is used for posts, flooring, siding, roofing, and many others. Also used are
coconut wood and fronds, bakawan or mangrove, some hardwoods, pinewood,
stones; cogon grass, nipa, banana bark as roof coverings and wall sidings; rattan
and other vines for fastening. Ethnic architecture is informal and intuitive, usually
designed by the owner and executed with hu- man resources provided by the family
and the com- munity. The design is often influenced first, by tradi- tion; and second,
by chance or oido or playing by ear. Tradition dictates the general shape or form
and the structural concepts, while chance enables the builder- designer-artisan to
improvise and make adjustments along the way, relying on intuition and aesthetic
in- sight to solve the problems of design and execution. Most ethnic houses mnform
to a general pattern: they have steep thatched roofs to facilitate drainage;
30
they are elevated on posts or stilts to temper the earth's dampness and humidity;
they have slatted flooring to let in the cool air from below; in the low- lands they use
bamboo, nipa, and cogon to keep cool, while in the uplands, they use tightly fitting
solid planks to help keep in warmth. The ethnic house is generally a multipurpose
one-room structure, light and airy, comfortable and functional, yet durable and
structurally stable. Altogether, ethnic houses reflect the wisdom of the vernacular
building tradition of a long line of skilled artisans who blend aesthetics and utility
into one harmonious whole. Decoration, while done sparingly, is often a happy
marriage between aesthetics and socio-politico-religious factors. Pig skulls, for
instance, may adorn an Ifugao house mainly for social prestige, just as carabao
horns and the colorful panolong, the decorated beam-ends of Maranao houses,
indicate social position. In various Phi- lippine mosques, the crescent-and-star motif
surmount- ing the dome serves as a symbol of Islam. In ordinary houses the natural
finish, texture, and pattern of pine- wood or bamboo give aesthetic pleasure. The
ethnic house expresses the indigenous way of organizing space within and without.
Territorial spaces are suggested by symbols, never stated with fences nor walls;
these are respected by the passersby and other residents in the area. For example,
one does not litter within a certain space, nor allow one's cows or carabaos to stray
into the area. One avoids passing near a neigh- bor's window where someone may
be sleeping. Within the house, even in the absence of walls or partitions, the use of
different levels, mats, or a fireplace in a comer can distinguish one section from
another. While privacy is generally observed within the understood limits of each
area inside and outside the house, the plot of land or the designated zone at sea or
along the shoreline where the houses are built remains communal property. Thus
the responsibility for main- taining the surroundings--like the hill where the clus- ter
of houses stand-rests on all the residents in the area. This gives the children a wider
and bigger place in which to play and run around, and the adults more space for
socializing.

NATM CONSTRUCTION. Most ethnic houses use bamboo for posts, frames, and
floors; cogon grass or nipa for roof covering and wall siding; and rattan and other
vines for fastening. (Neely 7901, Ambefh Ocampo Collection)
In a culture that encourages maximum interaction among people, communication is
largely indirect. It is accomplished through suggestions, hints, gestures, and
symbols, so that messages may be decoded with ease by members of that culture.
It is a culture where people work together, build houses together, eat together, and
generally do things together. They are bound by the great number of rituals and
festivals they celebrate together. The design and construction of houses in such a
culture are also affected by a set of animistic beliefs and assumptions that govern
the choice of site; time and season for building; rituals to be observed before and
during the construction of the house, including the noting of certain signs or omens
that may affect the progress or abandonment of the work; the orientation of the
house as well as the distribution of interior spaces; and other beliefs and practices
that assure good health, a prosperous and happy family life, as well as protection
from evil spirits of both the occupants and the builders of the house. Many local
beliefs are found in the rest of insular Southeast Asia, where traditionally the
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
dwelling is considered as animated, and its construction governed by ritual to pacify
spirits. The ethnic house is of modest proportions as it is used essentially as a
shelter from the elements and as a place to cook, eat, and sleep. Most of the time
its occupants stay outside--working under the extended eaves of the house, or out
in the fields. At other times, the house doubles as a social and cultural center. It
becomes the setting for weddings, wakes, death anniversaries, religious rites, and
other life-cycle celebrations. On such occasions ritual platforms may be constructed
beside or near the house, or on some parts of the house such as the porch. The
whole house itself may be used by simply adjusting areas to allow for more space
and a more appropriate setting for the rituals. Among Muslim Filipinos, a separate
place for worship is provided in the form of mosques and smaller chapels. The
mosque is part of a complex that includes a school, a social hall, a library, an9 a
confer- ence room, among others. Ethnic architecture may be classified using four
different considerations. According to structure: cave- dwellings, lean-tos, elevated
one-room huts over land or water, multilevel houses, longhouses for the community, tree houses, houseboats, and landhouses. According to use or function:
places of worship, such as the prehispanic simbahan, a temporary structure
31
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
built only as the need arises; the masjid (mosque) and the langgal or ranggar (small
chapel); as well as dwell- ings and palisades or fortresses. According to histori- cal
period: the ancient and prehispanic, pre-Islamic, Islamic, Spanish, American,
modern, and contempo- rary. Finally, according to cultural groups or peoples: the
Ifugao, Kalinga, Bontoc, Isneg, Kankanay, Ibaloy, and other peoples of the
Cordilleras; the various Aeta groups such as the Agta, the Pinatubo Aeta, and the
Dumagat; the various Mangyan groups in Mindoro, notably the Hanunoo and the
Alangan; the Tagbanua, Batak, and Palawan peoples from Palawan; the Mara- nao,

the Maguindanao, the Yakan, the Tausug, the Samal, the Badjao, the Tagbanua, the
Bagobo, the Manobo, the Mandaya, and the Bukidnon from the Mindanao-SuluPalawan area. In this discussion, the first three considerations, i.e., structure,
functions, and historical periods, will be merged into a general survey of all the
types of structures found in the is- lands through history.
Types of Structure in History
Architecture, like other forms of art, is a product of history. Ethnic architecture has
evolved in response to changes in time and history, so that although it is the
repository of traditional skills and lore and remains a vital link to the past, it has
allowed change and innovation over the years. As in other parts of the world, cave
dwellings were perhaps the earliest shelters in the Philippines. Evidence that early
peoples of the Philippines used caves as habitations is found in the Tabon caves of
Palawan. The cave was the most natural habitat for people whose survival
depended on food gathering and hunting. The next stage in the evolution of ethnic
architecture was marked by the appearance of the lean-to, the first attempt at
building. With just a few branches and twigs, and some leaves and fronds as
sidings, early Filipinos constructed a wind-sun-and- rain screen supported by a pole
at an angle on the ground. This suited the lifestyle of nomadic groups such as the
Aeta. In search of food and sustenance, they would travel from place to place
bringing with them their life-symbol, the lean-to, ready to be put up anytime as
needed. The present-day descendants of these groups--the Agta, Aeta, Baluga,
Dumagat, Ita or Ati-are no longer as nomadic as their ancestors. Later, the practice
of kaingin or swidden farming gave rise to a more settled life in a real house.
Howev- er, durability was not a m!ljor concern because swid- den farmers knew that
when the land's productivity
32
reached a low ebb, they had to move to another site. Many ethnic groups still
practise swidden cultivation, and it can only be inferred that their houses now
resemble those of the original kaingin farmers. The introduction of wet-rice
agriculture brought about a truly settled life and a need for a more perma- nent
dwelling. The houses then were probably similar in structure to present-day ethnic
houses: a single- room house cage elevated on posts or stilts, with steep thatched
roofs, slatted flooring and sidings made of bamboo or hardwood; they were cool and
airy, well ventilated, and free from dampness and humidity. It may be concluded
that the basic features then of the bahay kubo (nipa hut)-the dwelling of the
lowland, Christianized populace-had already been established even before the
Spaniards came. Early Filipino communities, mainly coastal and river- ine, were
isolated groups of dwellings consisting of 3 to 30 houses. In large compact trading
communities, such as Cebu and Manila, a few thousand people lived in clustered
villages (Fox 1977: 355). In general, bigger and
LEAN-TO. The nomadic life of the Aeta necessitated a wind-sun-and-rain screen that
was portable. (Lata 1898, Am9rfcan Historical Collection)
sturdier houses prevailed in nucleated villages, while smaller and less permanent
types predominated in those areas close to the fields or kaingin sites. Because of
different environments, upland and lowland houses developed interesting contrasts.

Low- land structures tended to have a more open, airy in- terior, while upland ones
were tightly enclosed with solid planks, having few or no windows because of the
chilly mountain weather. Special types of houses developed in various parts of the
Philippines. In fishing communities in the Sulu archipelago, houses were built over
water for hun- dreds of years for practical reasons. In places where violent
intercommunity clashes occurred, tree houses were built by such groups as the
Ilongot and the Gad- dang of northern Luzon, and the Mandaya and Bukid- non of
eastern Mindanao. And in areas regularly rav- aged by typhoons such as Batanes,
sturdy, firmly fas- tened, lime-and-stone-walled dwellings with a meter- thick grass
roof protected their inhabitants from strong rains and winds. Each house provided
not only effective protection from the elements but also functioned, whenever
needed, as 1 a "temple" or "church", or sociocultural center. Except for the kuta or
palisades and fortifica- tions, no other structures had specialized functions.
Sometime during the 14th century, Islam was intro- duced in Sulu. Being an
organized religion, it required a permanent and separate place of worship. The tradition of the mosque began. Two types of mosques de- veloped in the Philippines: the
masjid and the smaller ranggar (Maranao) or langgal (Tausug and Yakan). The
masjid, the traditional Islamic mosque, is the "larger and more permanent structure,
built on a stone foundation, often near a stream or a body of water" (Gowing 1979:
60). The Friday noon assembly prayers, with the obligatory khutbah or sermon, and
Id obser- vances, may be held only in the masjid. The ranggar or langgal is a hamlet
"chapel", a small "semipermanent structure built for the convenience of the faithful
who live far from a masjid" (Gowing 1979: 60). For the Yakan of Basilan Island, the
langgal func- tions generally in the same way as the masjid, so that even Friday
noon assembly prayers may be held here. :An interesting point about the langgal is
that, like the typical Yakan dwelling, it too is built on piles and is conreived on
indigenous lines. It is similar to South- east Asian mosques, notably the Indonesian
Oavanese) langgar and the Malaysian surau, both of which con- tain a "voor&alerij
or porch with a separate roof and a large room with a niche (pangimbaran)" (Mayer
1897, 1:47 in Wulff 191fl: 113-127), standard features of a regular mosque.
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
The basic difference between the langgal and the typical Yakan dwelling is that in
the langgal, the "side walls do not reach right up to the roof" (Wulff 1981:20). The
entrance to this house of prayer is through the porch, which is a step lower than the
main room and usually covered, with a roof that is some- what lower than the main
roof. At the opposite end wall is the sunting or niche that faces west. During
services this part of the langgal is covered with cloth but normally devoid of any
decor, like the langgal itself. The masjid was originally a three-tiered bamboo or
wooden structure similar to a Chinese or Japanese pagoda or Balinese temple, a
pattern that is also wide- spread in Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. De- veloped
later was a second style, the more familiar onion-shaped dome on squinches set
over a square or rectangular hall that is more common in the Middle East .. Perhaps
this style evolved from the accumulated experience of seeing Middle East mosques
in the course of Mecca pilgrimages. While the pagoda-type masjid is older than the
domed one, the langgal is even older than either one and antedates the former by
several centuries. The Tubig-Indangan Mosque in Simunul island in Tawi-tawi is
perhaps the oldest standing mosque in the Philippines. This mosque is said to be
the work of the celebrated Muslim figure Makhdum Karim, who pioneered in the
Islamization of Sulu around the last quarter of the 14th century. The Tubig-Indangan

mos- que is a prototype of the old-style mosque with its graceful two-tiered
pagodalike structure set over a rec- tangular space and topped by a finial carrying
the symbols of Islam: the crescent moon and the star. A typical mosque, it has a
mihrab or niche with a small dome over it and inside has a wooden screen separating the men from the women. Other mosques done in the old-style pagoda de- sign
may be found in Balo-i, Lanao del Norte and in the old Muslim communities in the
Ramain area east of Lake Lanao, especially in Taraka. All later mosques feature the
onion-shaped dome and fancy minarets, evidently of Persian influence. Arabic
geometric ornamental designs as well as large Quranic inscrip- tions have become
more common and have replaced in some places in Mindanao the traditional okir
designs, the colorful patterns beautifully carved on the mim bars or wooden pulpits,
and other parts of old mos- ques. The interior of the mosque is a carpeted square or
rectangular hall that can accommodate at least 40 peo- ple, or 44 as in the case of
Sulu at any given time. The worshippers face Mecca in congregational prayers by
33
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
turning towards the quibla (wall), in the direction of the mihrab, the recessed area in
the middle of the quibla. The Maranao "great house," the torogan (sleeping place),
is another important contribution to Philippine vernacular architecture. Earthquakeproof, solid, and durable, it is the Maranao ancestral house, residence of the datu or
sultan of the leading kin group. Occasional- ly it is used as the setting for big
weddings, wakes, and other socioreligious gatherings. Its elevated position among
the other houses is immediately apparent in the exuberant wavelike patterns of
colorful and intri- cate okir carvings on the protruding beam-ends of the house,
making the torogan appear like a floating, sculptural mass. It looms huge and
stately with its high, salakotlike roof that flares at the sides. According to Melvin
Mednich (Lebar 1975:37), if the mosque is the politically defining feature of a Maranao hamlet, the torogan is its socially defining feature. Such is the importance
attached to this multifamily dwelling whose great size bespeaks rank, wealth, and
prestige. Another important Muslim structure is the kuta, which, until the American
colonial period, provided protection against enemy attacks.
34
MOSQUE. The Tublg-lndangan mosque In Slmunul Island, Sulu Is typical of early
mosques. (Ayala Museum Collection)
With the advent of Spanish rule in the Philip- pines, a dramatic restructuring of
Philippine religious, socioeconomic, and political life occurred. New struc- tures were
built, reflecting the major preoccupations and values of Spanish colonial life. The
most important of these were the churches, plazas, and houses of the ilustrado
class. During this period, houses signified the wealth and social rank of their
owners. The typical lowland dwelling, the bahay kubo became identified with the
lower classes. The bigger houses made of more perma- nent materials like
hardwood and stone became a sym- bol of affluence. These mansions were
popularly called bahay na bato or stone-house, bahay natisa or house with rooftiles,
or by a rather misleading name, bahay Kastila or Spanish house. Being the homes
of the well-to-do, these wood-and-stone houses were largely concentrated in the

cabecera or capital of the town or the poblacion or town proper. The smaller and
flimsy bahay kubo, the house of the poor, was found around the visita or small
chapel of the barrios.
As the Christian ethnic house, the bahay kubo or cube house retained the features
of the traditional house, such as the steep roof, elevated quarters, slat- ted flooring,
and wide eaves, but added wide awning- type windows; the silid, where the
occupants of the house could change clothes in private; the altar, for the villager's
santos and other holy images; benches, tables, and other furnishings required by
the new hispanized manners. Basically the bahay kubo consists of a balkon (front
porch) that opens to a multipurpose bulwagan, the main room of the house, on one
side of which is the silid. This leads to the kitchen, and finally, to a roofless batalan,
a back porch which serves as a clean- ing or washing area or even as a bathroom.
The house is usually entered through the front porch or through the batalan via a
bamboo ladder. In some cases, however, the kitchen is moved to ground level or
else built as a separate structure. Depending on the locale and the terrain and the
prevailing climate and weath- er, choice of materials and elevation of the house
may vary from place to place. The bahay na bato was a bigger, sturdier, and more
sophi~ticated version of the prehispanic bahay kubo, retaining the usual post-andlintel construction of the traditional dwelling. Some innovations, however, may be
noted: a highly flexible interior where rooms may be joined or separated by opening
or closing wide doors; the addition of an azotea or second-floor terrace at the back
of the house, and a caida, a foyer at the top of the stairs; the capiz shell windows,
later protected by a metal awning or media-agua, a sun-and-rain-screen; the
ventanillas or "little windows" between the window sills and the floorboards; the
stone skirt on the ground floor which inspired the native name for the structure; and
of course, the tiled roofs. All these give the bahay na bato a genteel and elegant
look, without taking away the light and airy qualities of its bamboo-and-grass
antecedent. Indigenous concepts persisted well into the Amer- ican colonial period
and were embodied notably in the suburban tsalet or chalet-type dwelling, a
hallmark of middle-class living. One level but elevated, the tsaletis a simplified
bahay na bato. In form and spirit, it is closer to the original bahay kubo in its return
to sim- plicity and functionalism. Its most prominent feature is the front porch
which, in many cases, extends to the sides of the house, creating what Rodrigo
Perez III calls "space surrounding space." Its entrance is through an L-shaped or T
-shaped stairway either in concrete or wood or both. Like the bahay kubo, the tsalet
conveys lightness, elegance, and warmth.
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
The modern period gave way to American build- ing concepts and technology.
Skyscrapers made of steel-reinforced concrete and glass transformed the Philippine
skyline. Amidst these symbols of American efficiency, bigness, and boldness, the
original bahay kubo would reappear in the squatter shanties that sprouted in every
conceivable manner on any available space--whether inland, coastal, or even along
the esteros or urban estuaries. Some architects are now experimenting with bamboo not only as decoration but as structural compo- nent. Many contemporary
houses are being designed to cope with the tropical weather and to revive certain
psychological values inherent in the designs of the bahay kubo, such as that of
social and family interac- tion. Many public buildings now sport the salakot- shaped
roof or the okir motif of the torogan. Interestingly, while many slum dwellers pattern

their makeshift homes after the bungalow, the more popular American tropical
residence, quite a number prefer the more practical bahay kubo design, utilizing GI
sheets and scrap materials gathered from garbage dumps. Drawing from tradition,
the better shanties along the coastal road leading to Las Piftas are one- room
bamboo or wooden dwellings elevated on stilts. They convey an overall sense of
lightness and roomi- ness despite the cramped space and cheap materials. They
also prove that, with creativity and ingenuity, dwellings may be fashioned out of
recycled materials.
The Ethnic Houses
Ethnic architecture is influenced chiefly by the lifeways, environment, and social
organization of the different cultural communities. From Batanes in the extreme
north down to Tawi-tawi Islands in the south, interesting forms emerge. In the north
are the sturdy, lime-and-stone-walled dwellings of the Ivatan of Batanes; the flimsy
lean-tos of the Agta of Palanan, Isabela; the twin houses of the Itawes of Cagayan
Valley; the compact and cozy upland Cordillera houses. In central Philippines there
is the communal Mangyan longhouse; and in southern Philippines, the Maranao
torogan, the Tboli gunu bong or big house, the Badjao landhouse, the Tausug bay
sinug, and the Mandaya or Bukidnon version of the tree house. The most typical of
northern ethnic houses is the mountain house of the Cordilleras. Using mostly the
post-and-lintel method and following a very precise, fixed, and highly revered
tradition of house building, the Cordillera house is an ingenious adaptation to the
demands of mountain living. William Henry Scott noted two architectural styles in
the Cordilleras, namely, 35
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
the northern and the southern strains (Scott 1969). The northern strain, which
includes Isneg (or Apayao) and northern Kalinga, is characterized by a high, gabled
roof formed by the combination of bowed rafters and tiered wall boards which fill in
the gables; a rectangular floor space divided into three sections and two levels; and
two separate sets of posts totally inde- pendent of one another, one set supporting
the floor, the other, the roof. The southern strain, which com- prises Ifugao,
Benguet, and Bontoc, is marked by a steep hip or pyramidal or conical roof that
rests on top of the walls of the house cage, the latter a space that serves either as
the living area among the Ifugao, the Kankanay, and the lbaloy or as a granary
among the Bontoc and the Sagada. A set of four posts supporting two girders, which
in turn support three beams or joists, carry the weight of the wooden box or cage
that makes up the house proper. Cordillera architecture, which includes huts,
houses, and communal dormitories, shows an in- teresting relationship between
building patterns and the Igorot life-style and environment. For the Igorot, a
dwelling should provide adequate protection against humidity and dampness (since
part of the house is also a granary, the grain has to be protected from mildew), the
pervasive chilly mountain weather, as well as hos- tile tribes, predatory animals,
and vermin. In addition, a good design must take into account the precipitous
mountain terrain and the possibility of landslides. While most people of the
Cordilleras practice swidden or slash-and-burn agriculture, some like the Ifugao, the
Bontoc, and the Kalinga engage in wet- terrace farming. Possibly an adaptation of
lowland wet-rice agriculture to a mountainous terrain, these rice terraces may be
found in elevations of anywhere from 500--1,600 m. The walls reach up to 6 m, in

some cases even up to 16m. Traditionally considered as the artists of the


Cordilleras, the Ifugao fashioned long, massive, sloping walls of stone and earth that
followed the contour of the mountain sides, making the terraces look like an
enormous piece of sculpture. The Bontoc terraces, on the other hand, run in straight
lines with almost vertical stone faces. They seem designed to maximize the level
area for planting. The terraces of Kalinga, in contrast to the Ifugao and the Bontoc,
have low stone walls supporting inward sloping earth walls.
36
MOUNTAIN HUTS. Cultural communities in the Cordilleras have evolved architectural
forms like the Bontoc fay-u, top; the Kalinga binayon, middle; and the lsneg binuron,
bottom. (Car/ito L. Sefreres 1992, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library
Collection)
\
Considering the rice terraces, the high level of craftsmanship and technical
ingenuity of Cordillera dwellings certainly come as no surprise. Also, the de- sign of
these structures can be related with that of the different terraces. Compare, for
example, the steep roof and strict, rigid nature of the Bontoc fay-u with the towering
Bontoc terrace walls; the relatively low roofs and more open character of the
Kalinga binayon or octagonal house with the low stone walls of their terraces; and
the classical line and artistry of the Ifugao bale, as seen especially in Mayaoyao,
with the grace- ful, sculptural treatment of their terraces. The Ifugao, whose
architectural style is typical of the southern strain, generally locate their houses and
villages on their ancestral lands, amid their rice ter- races, along hillsides and
valleys, near springs or groves. Usually built close to each other for mutual
protection, there are usually 10 houses in a small vil- lage and up to as many as 40
or more in a big village. They are grouped organically rather than lineally, in
interesting arrangements where house, terrace, and the surrounding vegetation
blend harmoniously. Be- cause of thei1 high locations, these houses may only be
approached by foot paths on terrace walls. There are no fences, for it is said that
"only houses whose owners have pigs have a fence (alad) around them" (Lambrecht
1929:117-41). Two types of Ifugao dwellings are the abong (hut), and the ale or
bale (house). Huts are temporary in nature and simpler to build; houses are more
perma- nent structures, taller and characterized by pyramidal roofs. The alang
(granary house) is usually considered a house. The agamang, a sleeping dormitory
for un- married boys and girls above 10 years of age, is classi- fied as a hut. The
abong is home to the elderly, who have given their own houses to their married
children or to poor people who cannot afford a house. The Ifugao bale appears like a
giant mushroom. It is so organically related to its setting that it seems to be part of
the earth, despite its 1.5 to 2-m elevation. This is probably because of the low eaves
and the heavy pyra- midal roof that almost totally covers the planked walls of this
one-room dwelling. The fale has three parts. The lower part, consists of the four
tukud (foundation posts), with the characteristic cylindrical ratguards fit- ted
towards the top of each post, and the two kuling (transverse girders), which rest on
the posts. The mid- dle or the house cage area starts from the three floor joists over
which the floorboards are fitted and wall- boards mortised all the way up to the loft
above the upper frame of the cage. The upper part makes up the whole roof area.

The house is therefore a three-tiered structure where the posts and girders carry the
house
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
cage which in turn carry the roof. There are wooden doors in front and at the back of
the house. A ladder, the access to the house, is removed and lifted to safety at
night, or hung neatly on the wall or placed under the house when the owner is away.
The interior of the bale is dark and smoky, cozy, warm, and intimate because of the
pale glow that filters into this windowless, womblike space. Some 4-9 sqm in size,
only the parents and the smallest children sleep here; the rest of the brood and the
other adult members of the household move to the agamang or sleeping hall of the
village at night. In this small space the family cooks, eats, sleeps, performs rituals,
and celebrates for many generations. Built out of heavy, hand-hewn timber such as
narra that interlock each other perfectly without the use of nails or hardware, this
solid and durable house can be taken apart, moved, and raised anew on a new site
all in one day. Two indispensable features of the Ifugao house immediately establish
the context and philosophy be- hind Ifugao and Cordillera architecture, namely, the
fireplace and the ratguard. The fireplace warms and gives the characteristic black
soot to the interior. The rat guard protects the grain, since the attic portion of the
house also serves as a granary. The few shelves or racks in the house are mostly
intended for the storage of firewood and grain. The granary is so central to
Cordillera life and economy that the alang, its twin, is always built close to the fale.
While the Ifugao use only the attic or a separate structure for the granary, other
Cordillera groups inte- grate the granary into the house plan. This may be observed
in the case of the Bontoc fay-u and the Saga- da innagamang. The Bontoc and
Sagada, unlike other peoples in the Cordillera, live and sleep on the ground floor. In
the Bontoc fay-u the elevated wooden cham- ber, which occupies one-half of the
total floor area, functions as a granary. Furthermore, the roof structure allows for
additional rice storage area in the attic, mak- ing the house virtually a three-story
affair. The Bontoc fay-u thus represents a further step in creating various uses for
the ground floor area. By enclos- ing it completely with tightly fitting pine boards, as
ching-ching (walls), and by making the steep thatched roof extend downwards and
flare outwards through the use of auxiliary rafters, it protects the working area
under the house. More posts are used not only to support the extended roof but also
to serve as nailing strips for the wooden ka-ew (planks) that enclose the area. In the
Sagada house, the agamang (granary), is made truly ratproof by a gabled roof of
solid planks mortised and rabbeted together. The innagamang is like 37
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
the Bontoc house, except that it is completely enclosed to keep out the cold. The
wooden plank floor divides sym- metrically into three levels: the sunken middle
portion becomes the living area, while slightly raised platforms to the left and the
right are used for sleeping and storage. Other examples of the southern style
include the Bauko house in the northern Kankanay or Lepanto culture area, as well
as the Bokod house among the Kankanay and the Ibaloy, which includes the older
dokbutwith its walls of saw ali (split-and-woven bamboo) walls, and the tinabda or
tinabla (from Spanish "tabla") or "large wooden house," said to be a later style
(Scott 1969). The Bauko binangiyan has a steep roof built to such a height that the
less significant attic of the Ifugao bale becomes an additional floor in the Bauko

house. The addition of a small ridgepole parallel to the front provides two vents for
easier elimination of smoke which rises to the roof and which, incidentally, prevents the roof from rotting and helps protect stored foodstuff and utensils from
mildew. Also long planks laid down on the stone paving form a partial floor, making
the house a three-story affair. The Bokod house of the Ibaloy, on the other hand,
solves the problem of restricted space by simply enlarg- ing the elevated chamber
itself. For this purpose, it uses longer and sturdier timber and more posts,
sometimes totalling seven or even nine, to support the structure. Other features
include a flaring roof and a small porch. Typical examples of the northern style are
the Isneg binuron, "big house," and alan, the sawali- walled granary; the Kalinga
kulub (small house) in the northeastern foothills, as well as houses in the Mabaca
Valley from the northern edge of Kalinga subprovince in the Apayao border into the
lower Saltan River.
38
GRANARY. While some Cordillera groups have the granary Inside their houses, the
Bontoc use this separate four-post structure for storing rice and com grains.
(Summer Institute of Ungulsflcs)
The binuron' s rafters are bowed into the shape of a Gothic arch. Its floor and roof
are supported on a com- pletely independent set of posts, and the floor has slightly raised platforms along both sides. Its rectangular floor plan contrasts with the
square houses found on higher ground in the Cordilleras, like the Ifugao house, the
Kankanay, the Ibaloy, the Bontoc, and the Sagada. The Mabaca Valley houses are
similar to the Isneg's, being elevated, elongated, and gabled. Across the front door,
an annex or a lean-to is added and used as a kitchen. Such annexes or lean-tos,
porches, and various covered areas in front and at the back of the house are a
regular feature of northern houses. In Mabaca, the kit- chen annex may duplicate in
cross-section the house walls and roof, complete with its own underpinning- a
significant innovation in northern houses since it almost totally eliminates the
smoke from the stove, a distinct advantage over the southern houses. In the lower
Saltan and the upper Mabaca valleys, the curved roof with bowed rafters may not
always appear, but two invariable features are: the gabled front with its two tiers of
vertical wallboards and upper triangular space loosely covered with bamboo lathing,
and the distinctive floor, supported by a row of posts set inside the walls,
independent of the roof- supporting posts. The floor is divided longitudinally into
three sections running front to back and usually covered with a rolled matting of
split rattan or reeds laid loosely on laths mortised into the floor joists. The betel nutchewing occupants can simply roll back the floor covering to open up a space to spit
the juice. In general, Kalinga houses show a three-fold long- itudinal division of the
floor, which is raised to chest level by posts independent from those supporting the
roof and walls. But in the octagonal Kalinga house called binayon or finaryon, there
is a combination of the northern three-division floor with the southern- type threejoists-on-two-girders-on-four-posts under- pinning. The octagonal form is achieved
by extending all four sides of the square southern house and closing in with
diagonal walls the areas in between. The Mangyan of northern Oriental Mindoro
build two types of houses: the single-room family house, is common in the lowlands;
and the communal house, probably the older of the two, now rarely seen. The
banwas, as the Mangyan community long- houses are called, are built either on top

of or the side of a hill, on level ground, or on a plateau, just a few hundred meters
away from the clearings. The preferred location for the house is the leeward side of
mountains or hills, which offers protection against strong winds. A typical house
measures about 6 m wide and 10m long, with the door usually located on the
narrower side. A three- or four-step ladder or a notched log leads to the small
entrance. Occasionally, side doors or simply open- ings are added for easy access to
the section allotted to the family. There are no partitions; mats, or occasionally, the
bark of the lauan tree spread on the floor serves to define the space for the different
families. A steep roof of cogon grass, with the roof ridge extending 4 m or more in
height, protects the house from strong rains. Since the walls are very low, only a
meter or less from the floor, the projecting eaves give extra protection from the
cold. Each family has its own
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
fireplace, so that during cooking time, the absence of smoke holes makes the whole
house "seem to be on fire because smoke comes out from every conceivable
direction" (Maceda 1967:114). During mealtime there is a frequent sharing of
cooked food among the dif- ferent families. Communal houses are generally about 1
km or more apart, depending on the terrain. The occupants of different houses
communicate by shout- ing to one another as loudly as they could. They also
announce the approach of strangers in this way. Pro- ceeding farther south, the
number of large houses for single families increases. But even the smaller houses
give the feeling of expanse, of openness, more here than in the north. An example
of a large house is the two-leveled Tboli gunu bong found in the Lake Sebu area of
south Cotabato. Around 14m long and 8-9 m wide, it looks bigger because it has no
partitions. Divisions are sug- gested optically by means of levels and posts. The
lower central space is thus integrated with the elevated side areas: the area of
honor, the sleeping areas, and the vestibule. The great size of such houses is necessary because a typical Tboli household, like the Mara- nao's, consists of an extended
family numbering any- where between 8 and 16 people. Polygamy, practised
LONG HOUSE. The Tboll gunu bong Is a large clan house with no partitions. (Emesto
R. Caballero 1990, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
39
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
by those who can afford it, adds to the number of residents in a house. Three or four
such houses form a cluster, which operates independently of other clus- ters.
Situated along hilltops and rolling land, these houses express the harmony between
man and nature. The gunu bong looks like a roof on stilts and gives the impression
of "hovering over" rather than "resting on" the spot it occupies. This is so because
the roof eaves extend about 1 m over the side walls, which are them- selves just a
little over 1 m high. Unlike northern houses, Tboli roofs are not very steep. The
bamboo stilts rise i m above the ground. Tree stumps are also used as posts for the
inner portion of the house and floor. Despite its dimensions the gunu bong is, to the
Tboli, a "tawny, mellow-weathered bamboo womb" where he is nestled high and
free, touched by the gentle glow and texture of bamboo and the decorative richness
and color of the klabu, the cloth canopy that hangs over where he sleeps (Casal:

1978:62-64). - Of the several varieties of houses in the southern Philippines, the


house on stilts built over the water is the most romantic. It embodies the TausugSamal- Badjao' s closeness to the sea. While the northern groups in Luzon design
their life and homes around the mountain, the people of the Sulu area keep up with
the rhythm of the sea-the house on stilts along the shoreline; the landhouse built
entirely over water; and the ever-familiar houseboat, which is both home and fishing
boat to the Badjao. The Samal, who occupy most of the smaller coral islands of Sulu,
build their houses on piles driven into the reef floor. These houses are connected to
the shore and to one another by a labyrinth of walkways and bridges of timber and
split bamboo. The elevation of the house depends on the maximum high-tide level
in the area. This is necessary in order to accommodate the outrigger boats, which
the Samal tie underneath the house when not in use. Being fisherfolk and coral or
shell gatherers, they need easy access to the sea and their fishing grounds; thus
their vintas are kept under their houses. After fishing, the Samal could easily enter
the house from the boat. The typical dwelling is made of bamboo and nipa, coconut
lumber and mangrove, nipa or sawali for the roof and walls, bamboo for the stairs
and floors, coconut wood, mangrove or other tree trunks for the posts and other
structural elements. Because the roof is low the beams that support it are outside
the walls. The design of the house is simple. It consists of a single room. Bigger
types may have many small rec- tangular rooms. Samal houses always feature
exten- sive, open porches or platforms called pantan, usually facing east. These
serve as space for drying fish, wood- working, or preparing cassava; it is also the
children's
40
playground, a gathering place for families, or a place to hold rituals. A small house,
built right along the porch or terrace, usually serves as a kitchen. Traditional houses
in the area are very large, the older ones 24 X 12 m and about 9 m high. The more
recent ones are smaller, some only 4 x 6 m and 3 m high. It is said that older
houses had two stories and balconies and were elaborately decorated with carvings. The reason for the large size is the extended family. It is not unusual to find as
many as 46 people or anywhere from an average of 2 or 3 to a high of 15 nuclear
families living together under one roof. The Badjao, often called sea gypsies, are the
nomads of the south, constantly roving across the channels of the Tawi-tawi
archipelago, or wherever fish and corals are abundant. They usually congregate and
travel in groups in their houseboats, singing, clapping, making noises along the way.
The Badjao have three types of boats: the lepa or lipa, the jenging, and the dapang.
The lepa, which has no outriggers is the least stable but is equipped with sails for
speed. The two other boats have outriggers. The dapang is much larger and can
properly be called a houseboat. The cheapest is the jengingwhile the most
expensive is the lepa. The well-built Badjao houseboat, with the character- istic
outrigger, is equipped with a bench and a removable gable roof. The jenging is
around 4 m long and 1 m high at the highest point, with just enough space to squat
in and to store a few possessions, like a sail, a lamp for fishing, a water jar, a stove,
pots and plates; a small chest, pillows and mats, and fishing spears. The floor is
made of loose planks under which are kept various items and utensils and the catch
of the day. An interesting feature of the Badjao houseboat is the ornate decorative
carving based on the okkil motif on the walls and prows, stems, shafts, and in
recent times, the gunwales, usually designed and executed by the boat builder, who
most likely is the owner of the houseboat. With the conversion of many Badjao to

Islam, so~e groups ceased to be migratory boat dwellers, settling in so-called


landhouses situated near their fishing grounds. The term landhouse is actually
misleading, since it is not built on land but entirely on water. Unlike the Samal house
on stilts which is still connected to the shoreline by house-to-house bridges, the
Badjao house has no con- nection to the shore. Many Badjao, however, still prefer to
live in their small family boats, claiming that they get "dizzy" in the fixed landhouse,
and feel safer on the boat. From birth to death, they live almost exclusively on the
boat. They regard the landhouse or other shore dwellings as temporary pile shacks.
Here they could easily get sick after a mere two hours' stay. Despite their free,
roving existence, there is a strong sense of camaraderie and kinship among the
Badjao. On
HOUSES ON WATER. These stilt-houses are connected to the shore and to one
another by a labyrinth of walkways and bridges of timber and bamboo. (Orosa 7923,
Nlcanor G. Tlongson Collection)
certain occasions, such as weddings and funerals, com- munities of from 50 to 200
family boats may come together for the performance of certain rituals. Regret- ably,
this life-symbol of the Badjao "dies" with the death of the head of the family, for the
boat is ceremonially broken up and made into a coffin to be buried with him, along
with his fishnets, fish spear, and oars. Although mistaken to be the typical Filipino
house at the turn of the century, the tree house has always been a rare sight. It is
found only in a few parts of northern Luzon and in some areas in eastern Mindanao, notably among the Manobo of Agusan and the Mandaya of Davao. The
Mandaya tree house is of two types. The first rests "on the limbs of trees,
conforming in size and shape to the nature of the supporting branches" (Cole 1913:
182); the second is built on the trunk of a tree whose top has been cut off above the
ground. Smaller poles are added to support the floor and extend upward to form
THE ETHNIC TRADITION
the wall and the roof. Some houses of the first type have vertical sides and sloping
roofs; in most cases, however, the roofs slope directly from a central ridgepole to
the edges of the platform, making side walls unnecessary. Either type of house is
entered by means of bamboo or rattan ladders, which are drawn up at night to
prevent unwelcome entry and surprise attacks by hostile groups. The tree house is
often located on the edge of cliffs and can be approached from only one direction.
Whether up on a tree, high above the water, or close to the ground, the ethnic
house has lived on. Through the centuries, it has gone through numerous adaptations, brought on by history and necessity. But its under- lying philosophy-symbiosis
with the environment and sensitivity to the needs of its dwellers and the larger
community-has endured in its essential form, and has much to contribute in our
present search for architecture that will express the Filipino. C. Hila
References: Bello 1965; Bennagen 1969; Casal 1978; Cawed 1972; Cole 1913;
Dozier 1967; Folk Architecture 1989; Fox 1977; Gervan 1913; Gowing 1979;
Hornedo 1983; Jenks 1904; Jocano 1983; Keesing 1962; Lambrecht 1929; Maceda
1967; Magdale 1981; Majul 1977; Nimmo 1972; Peralta 1969; Scott 1969;
Vanoverbergh 1953; Wulff 1981.
41

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
From 1565 to 1898 the Philippines was a colony of Spain. During this long period,
Spanish-influenced architecture appeared, namely, the iglesia or simba- han
(church) and its adjoining campanario (bell tower) and convento (residence of the
parish priest), the escuela (school), the fuerza or fortaleza (fortification), the civic
buildings like the casa real and tribunal, the farola (lighthouses), the bahay na bato
(dwellings of wood and stone), and the puente (stone bridges). It is generally
acknowledged that the Philippines is the bastion of Christianity in the Orient. Some
schol- ars believe that, because of this, the country absorbed the greatest degree of
influence from the west in the Asian region, losing much of its identity in the process. Other scholars believe, however, that all these influences were really
assimilated by the older ethnic base, which actually indigenized them. It is pointed
out, for example, that the Spanish word for church, iglesia, never became fully
accepted among the Filipi- nos, who used their own terms to denote a place of
worship. Thus the Tagalog and Cebuano use simba- han, the Ilocano, simbaan, and
the Pampango, pisam- ban. This process of indigenization was to characterize much
of Filipino construction during the more than three centuries of Spanish colonization.
The Beginnings
The history of Philippine architecture under the Spanish regime begins with the
arrival of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi's expedition in 1565. In Cebu, Legaspi's men
founded a city, built a chapel, and erected a fort. The Spaniards then spent a short
while in Iloilo, but because of promising reports they con- tinued further north to
Manila. In 1571 they took over the charred remains of the settlement of the city's
previous native ruler Soliman. Legaspi then traced the borders of the new Spanish
city on the strategic tongue of land at the mouth of the Pasig River. From the
beginnings of Spanish Manila may already be discerned the patterns which were to
char- acterize much of colonial town planning throughout the country. Streets were
built at right angles to each other, with the resulting layout appearing like a huge
42
chessboard. There was a huge, open square, called the plaza, around which were
situated the most important buildings of the city: the cathedral, the governor
general's palace, the tribunal, and the city council. Secondary plazas were later
constructed in different parts of the city. Since the city was located by the sea, an
additional ordinance was followed: the main plaza was located close to the
waterfront. For pueblos or towns located inland, the plaza was ordinarily placed in
the center. Although the plaza evolved in Spain and other European countries during
the Renaissance, it was in the Spanish colonies in America that the plaza complex
was fully developed and exploited. The Phi- lippines was, therefore, the recipient of
much of the town-planning experience gained in the New World. The fusion of East
and West in Philippine architecture was slowly effected through trial and error. The
first buildings were of wood and bamboo, materials the Filipinos had been working
expertly with since early times. Roofs were of nipa palm or cogan grass, and
doubtless these primary constructions re- sembled the native residences. It became
clear, howev- er, that clusters of these wooden houses were predis- posed to fire. By

the mid-1580s, through the efforts of Domingo Salazar, the first bishop of Manila,
and of the Jesuit Antonio Sedeii.o, edifices began to be con- structed of stone. Fr
Sedeii.o built the first stone build- ing, which was the residence of Bp Salazar, as
well as the first stone tower, which was one of the defenses of the walled city. By
1587 Gov Gen Santiago de Vera required all buildings in Manila to be built of stone.
For this purpose, the Chinese and the Filipinos were taught how to quarry and dress
stone, how to prepare and use mortar, and how to mold bricks. Thus began what
has been called the first golden age of building in stone. Glowing accounts of
towering palaces and splendid mansions reached the Peninsula. But the ambitious
plans of the Spaniards were dashed in 1645 when a terrible earthquake struck
Manila. As one wri- ter quipped, citizens were no longer roasted; they were crushed
instead. The twin dangers of fire and earthquake gave rise to another type of
architecture. New edifices, with the significant exception of churches, rarely rose to
more
than two floors. Stone walls expanded to as much as 3 m thick, and buildings
started to employ buttresses. Stone was used only for the first story; the second
story w'as now built of wood. Another important ele- ment was the incorporation of
the prehispanic framework, which relied on interlocking beams and houseposts to
hold a structure together. The stone walls yielded their load-bearing role to the
house- posts, known as haligi or harigue; in effect, the second floor was supported
by the houseposts, while the stone walls acted as a solid curtain for the wooden
framework. This type of construction was soon called arquitectura mestiza or
"mixed architecture"-a term used by the Jesuit Ignacio Alzina as early as 1668because it was partly of wood and partly of stone (Merino 1987: 67). The character
of arquitectura mestiza was further influenced by its builders who were mostly
amateurs and artisans. The Philippines, which was two oceans removed from Spain,
was understandably not one of the popular tourist destinations in those days, and
very few professional architects made it to these shores. Construction projects were,
therefore, initiated and supervised by both civil and religious authorities, especially
by parish priests who were forced to handle
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
HYBRID BUILDING. The Francia house In Magdalena, Laguna, built 1890, typifies the
arquitectura mestiiza, a building which uses stone and woad. (lntramuros
Administration Library Collection)
such chores as bridge building. Even then, there was no guarantee that what the
friar's hand traced on pa- per would be faithfully translated into stone. The actual
business of building was done by what were then known as the maestros de obras
(master builders). These were natives who had practical ex- perience and who
learned additional skills from the friars, engineers, and other knowledgeable
persons. The Augustinian scholar Luis Merino has theorized that Filipinos were at the
helm of construction projects just 20 years after the founding of Manila. The names
of these native builders are slowly coming to light. Indications are that the maestro
de obras of the walls of Intramuros in 1591 was a Filipino named Pedro Jusepe.
Moreover, Fr Merino has unearthed 1591 documents which confirm that these
laborers were paid wages, a practice which is proved by records spanning three
centuries (Merino 1987:51-53). Only during the second half of the 19th century,
when the Philippines was enjoying an economic

43
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
boom, did more and more professional engineers and architects from Spain arrive in
the country. It was then that the first Filipino professional architect Felix Roxas Sr,
arrived from studies abroad to practise his profes- sion. The earthquakes which
struck Manila in 1863 and 1880, although disastrous, provided at least one good
result: the city engineers got together and finally pro- duced a set of building
ordinances designed to reduce the destruction caused by earthquakes. It was
observed that edifices constructed after the 1863 earth- quake, incorporating
scientific building principles, withstood the 1880 catastrophe and suffered little
darn- age. Towards the last decades of the 19th century, there was so much building
activity in progress that many builders were caught unaware by the Philippine
revolution against Spain. Some churches were lucky to be finished under the
American colonial regime; others were never completed. The many building
requirements issued during the Spanish regime took into consideration the wide
variety of materials available in the country. Obvious- ly, the earliest churches,
houses, and buildings of the colonial period were made of wood and bamboo. Filipino carpenters were expert at determining which kind of wood was best suited to
which functions. Molave, for example, was the best for houseposts, because it was
impervious to termites; it could be im- bedded in the ground without rotting, and it
hardened as it aged. Narra was a favorite for tabla (floorboards), because of its
deep red color and the beautiful sheen it acquired when polished. Nails were not
used until much later. Instead, wooden pegs and dovetail joints kept the pieces
together; this feature allowed wooden structures a certain flexibility of movement
without splitting or breaking apart during earthquakes. With the discovery of stone
quarries in the 1580s by Bp Salazar and Fr Sedefto, the art of masonry slowly
developed throughout the islands. Buildings of cut stone, such as those in Manila,
were described as de silleria or de cal y canto. Outside Manila the skill of cutting
stone spread only gradually, and buildings were erected using variously shaped
rocks and river stones; this type of construction, known as rubble- work, was called
de mamposteria. The art of making bricks was also introduced at the same time as
building in stone. Clay, molded in rectangular wooden forms, was fired in kilns to
produce ladrillos (bricks), tejas (roof tiles), and baldosas (floor tiles). Sometimes
floors were paved with heavy slabs of granite left by the Chinese galleons, which
had used them as ballast; hence these stones were called piedra china. Stones and
bricks were cemented together using argamasa (mortar), a mixture of powdered
lime and water. Lime
44
was obtained from limestone quarries, coral reefs, and seashells. According to
typical Filipino lore, ingre- dients as plant sap, molasses, and even eggs were used
to make the mortar more binding and durable. Another important function of mortar
was to pro- tect masonry walls from erosion and moisture brought on by the humid
atmosphere and heavy rains. Known as paletada, this protective layer of mortar was
also carved to provide ornamentation for facades and en- trances. Mortar, applied
over a screen of interwoven branches and wooden slats produced a thin wall known
as tabique parnpango, which was used pri- marily for partitions between rooms but
sometimes also as exterior walls. Glass, which was imported and very expensive,

was rarely used in the country. Instead, window panes were made from the
translucent capiz clam, which allowed light to filter through while at the same time
acting as a protective barrier. Modem materials, such as galvanized iron sheets and
Portland cement, were intro- duced towards the last decades of the 19th century. As
construction techniques were developed, quar- ries opened, and kilns constructed,
various parts of the country began to show a preference for specific build- ing
materials. Most of the buildings in Manila and central Luzon were of adobe, a
volcanic tuff quarried from the hills which is entirely different from the mate- rial of
the same name found in Latin America (adobe in those hispanic countries refers to
mud and straw formed into rectangular blocks which are then dried in the sun). In
northern Luzon brick was the essential building material; houses and churches of
brick were also built in scattered areas of the archipelago, all the way down to Jolo,
Sulu. Towns along the coasts of Luzon, especially from Zarnbales to Batangas, used
roughly hewn blocks of coral stone. Many construc- tions in the Bicol Peninsula took
advantage of the abundant volcanic stone. Throughout the Visayas, the craft of
cutting stone or coral was virtually elevated into a fine art, with blocks fitting so
precisely into each other that not even a razor blade could be inserted between
blocks. The material was so durable that it did not have to be protected with a layer
of paletada. This art was brought by the Visayan settlers to the coastal towns of
Mindanao. Under more than three centuries of Spanish initia- tive, buildings of
wood, stone, and brick were con- structed all over the archipelago, from the
Batanes Islands in the north to Tawi-tawi in the south, from Palawan in the west to
Samar in the east. These struc- tures may be classified into four main groups, based
on their function in the community: military, religious, domestic, and civil.
Military Architecture
Realizing the perils of their expedition in Cebu, Legazpi and his men erected in 1565
a triangular fort near the coast of the city. Named Fort San Pedro, it was a modest
palisade of timber which, as it turned out, would be the first in a chain of
fortifications erected by the Spaniards throughout the country. In the process of
colonizing the Philippines, the Spa- niards made many enemies: the Portuguese, the
Dutch, the British, and the Chinese. Many Filipinos were also resentful about
Spanish encroachments and led sorties against the new settlements. Most disgruntled of all were the Igorot peoples of the Cordillera and the Muslims of Mindanao;
both these groups resisted hispanization until the end of the Spanish regime. The
Muslims, in particular, erected their own kuta or forts to protect themselves from
the Spaniards. In Manila, a palisade was built in 1571 around the new city. The first
stone fort Nuestra Senora de Guia was built in the 1580s by Fr Antonio Sedefi.o at
one corner of the Walled City facing what is now Rizal Park. Its foundations were
later incorporated into the stone walls enclosing Manila, which were built by Gov
Gen Gomez Perez Dasmarifi.as in the 1590s. During this time another fort was
constructed over the ruins of the fortifications of the city's previous Filipino ruler,
Soliman; named after Spain's patron saint, Santiago, it
FORT. Fort Santiago In lntramuros, Manila, built from the 16th to the 19th century
and named after Spain's patron saint, guarded the mouth of the Paslg River from
Spain's enemies. (Miller 1912, American Historical Collection)
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION

guarded the mouth of the Pasig River. Across the bay from Manila was Cavite, which
became the port of call for the galleons; in time this city was also fortified with
stone walls and its own fort, named San Felipe. A typical stone fort had three or
more sides called Cortinas. Above some of these walls were casamatas (stone
platforms) from which cannons and other artil- lery aimed outwards. Flanking
cortinas on both ends were quadrangular bulwarks known as baluartes or bastiones.
At other corners were perched little turrets, called garitas, in which sentinels kept
watch. A foso (moat) often surrounded the entire fortification, and at the water's
outer reaches a low wall called the falsab- raga provided yet another line of
defense. A heavy structure, known as the revellin, was sometimes erected on one
side of the main entrance for added protection. Depending on its size, the inside of
a fort could include the following: alojamientos (living quar- ters) for the soldiers;
calabozo (jail), herreria (found- ry), almacenes (warehouse) for powder, provision,
and ammunition; pozo (well), and even a chapel. In fact, entire churches were
incorporated into forts, the entrance to the church also serving as the entrance to
the fort. Examples of church fortresses of this kind may still be seen in Cuyo,
Palawan; Capul, northern Samar; and Guiuan, eastern Samar. In a number of places,
such as Miag-ao, Iloilo and Atimonan, Quezon, the churches themselves doubled as
fortresses. In
45
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Dupax, Nueva Vizcaya the priest's quarters had slit windows from which archers and
gunfighters could repel attacks by the unconverted Isinay. In an attempt to deter
Muslim raids into the Visayas and Luzon, the Spaniards built forts in the strategic
islands of Palawan, Cuyo, and Culion. They also dared construct stone forts in the
homeland of the Moros: Mindanao. These were built in Zamboanga, Basilan, Tandag,
Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, and Pan- gui, in what is now Ozamis City. With the
advent of steamships, the Spaniards gained the upper hand and in 1876 conquered
Moro territories in the Sulu archipelago. Small stone fortifications rose in the islands of Jolo, Siasi, and Bongao. Although the Spaniards had their hands full with the
Moros, they also had to contend with other dis- gruntled Filipinos who lived in the
interior. Thus a fort was built in Lubao, Pampanga as a defense against the Aeta. In
18th-century Cagayan, forts were constructed in Tuao and five other towns as
defenses against the Igorot from the nearby Cordilleras. Since the government in
Manila was slow in send- ing help and armaments, it was often left to the parish
priest and the townspeople to set up their own de- fenses. Watchtowers were set up
along the coasts to spread warning signals to the nearby towns. While a great
number of watchtowers in the Bicol Peninsula were of wood, those built under
Augustinian sup~rvi sion along the coasts of Ilocos, Batangas, and Cebu were of
stone, and hence more massive. The Recollects also built stone towers and forts for
their parishes in Masbate, Romblon, Bohol, and Negros. With the modernization of
shipping, the farola (lighthouse) became necessary. Many extant farola, such as
those in Bangui, Ilocos Norte, guarding Cape Bojeador; Palauig Island, Cagayan,
guarding Cape En- gaii.o; Corregidor, guarding the entrance to Manila Bay; and
Capul Island, northern Samar, guarding the San Bernardino Strait were built in the
last decades of the 19th century. They were renovated and improved by the
Americans in the next century. Despite all these fortifications, complaints and reports persisted that the colonized settlements were not defended enough. In 1762

the British practically breezed their way to the gates of Manila, the fortified walls of
Cavite and Intramuros notwithstanding. After their departure in 1764, an old fort in
the district of Malate was rebuilt to improve the defenses; named after San Antonio
Abad, it was also known as La Polvorista, because it was used as a powder
magazine. Ironically, it was over this fort that the Americans first raised the Stars
and Stripes in the Battle of Manila in 1898.
46
Religious Architecture
Easily the most visible reminder of the Spanish heritage is the Catholic church in the
center of most Philippine towns. The great number and variety of this and other
religious structures confirm the fact that the Spaniards were here not just for
commercial gain but, more importantly, to win souls for God. The Christianization of
the Filipinos was the work of two types of clergy, the religious and the secular. The
religious clergy was composed of several orders, each of which had its own
provincial who was re- sponsible to the order's headquarters in Spain. In the
Philippines the most important religious orders were the Augustinians, Franciscans,
Dominicans, Jesuits, and Augustinian Recollects. On the other hand, the secular
clergy was governed by a hierarchy of bishops and archbishops. Due to various
historical reasons, the great majority of the Filipinos were converted by mem- bers
of the religious orders, generally called frailes or friars, who arrived from Mexico or
Spain in a boatload or barkada (today "barkada" means gang or peer group). In
contrast, the small number of the secular clergy limited them to serving in
cathedrals and a few parishes. The earliest religious structures were churches built
for the religious orders, who lived in adjoining monasteries. The first monastic
churches were built for the Augustinians in Cebu and Manila in the same years
these cities were taken over by the Spaniards. The mother churches of all the
religious orders were concentrated in Intramuros; hence the largest monas- teries in
the Islands were also located here. From Intra- muros the friars set forth to conquer
spiritual fields for the Lord, not only throughout the Philippines but also in China,
Japan, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Guam. Smaller monasteries were founded as rest
areas in cooler places around Manila, for example, in San Fran- cisco del Monte for
the Franciscans. Sadly, many monasteries in other large urban centers, such as
those for the Dominicans in Lallo, Cagayan, the Franciscans in Naga, Camarines Sur,
and the Recollects in Cebu City have disappeared. Luckily, the 18th-century house
of the Jesuits in Cebu City still stands, although it has been converted into a
warehouse. These monasteries served as headquarters for the religious in certain
areas, and thus had many rooms and were quite large. A monastery was basically
four sided in plan, with a cloister enclosing an inner court- yard or atrium and the
garden, where the friars could meditate. One entered through the porteria, the
office where records were kept, schedules arranged, and religious prayerbooks sold.
The friars met their guests
~ - ;; ~--.... ..~ '"~ .. -.. ,. ..
CHURCH. The old Poco Church, built In 1823 by the Augustlnians, typifies the
church-convento-patio complex which was the nucleus of the Spanish pueblo. (EI
Oriente 1878, Lopez Museum Co//ec#on)

in the recibidor, and had their meals in the refectorio. In the Augustinian monastery
of Intramuros, the refec- torio is preceded by a de profundis room, where the
residents prayed for their deceased companions and benefactors. The wing
adjoining the church was re- served for the sacristy, where the priests vested for
mass; vestments, utensils, and decorations used for religious rituals were also kept
here. Living quarters and recreation rooms were on the second floor. The influence
of monastery architecture is most obvious in the construction of the parish priest's
resi- dence. This building, ordinarily called casa parroquial (parish house) in other
countries, is until today popu- larly referred to as the convento, a term originally
reserved for houses of monastic communities. Con- ventos most akin to
monasteries are those of the Fran- ciscans along the shores of Laguna de Bay,
which are quadrangular cloisters enclosing gardens. Many others were L-shaped,
with the church building providing a third side so that the plan resembled a C or a U;
although the fourth side was missing, the space for an inner courtyard was still
retained.
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
The conventos, more than their older and grander cousins, the monasteries,
followed the canons of tradi- tional Philippine architecture. Apart from the bedrooms or cells, the sala (receiving room) and the com- edor (dining room) were
located on the second floor. An open area, called the azotea, enabled residents to
enjoy the cool evening breezes. Elsewhere were spaces for a clinic, classrooms, and
storage. In some towns, such as Sarrat, Ilocos Norte, the convento doubled as the
municipal hall. Of the various kinds of churches in the Philip- pines, the parish
church was the most common. This church indicated that a town had "come of age,"
i.e., it was an independent parish and had its own parish priest. A system of prayers
and religious devotions was introduced and maintained by the ringing of the church
bells; hence people lived "under" the sound of the bells or bajo de las campanas.
For a town to be elevated to the status of parish, a church should already have been
built in the commu- nity. In probably all cases, this primal church was of local light
materials, such as bamboo, wood, and thatch. As the parish grew in size and
wealth, the church was improved, strengthened, or even rebuilt. There were
instructions that as much of the old struc- ture should be used whenever
reconstruction was carried out. For example, after the fire of 1707 in
47
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
48
CHURCH INTERIOR. Chrlsfs baptism in the Jordan River Is portrayed In the
bautisterio or baptistry of the Guluan Church In Samar, top, built co 1700. At the
nave near the transept of the lndang Church In Cavlte, built 1707, bottom, Is the
pulpito or pulpit. (Rene Jove/lana Collection)
Majayjay, Laguna, the parish priest enclosed the old, charred walls in layers of brick
and masonry work, resulting in new walls that were 3 m thick. Up to the 19th
century buttresses were added to reinforce walls against earthquakes. The most
outstanding of these may be seen in Pangasinan, Ilocos, and the Cagayan Valley.
The main longitudinal body of the church was the nave; large churches could have a

nave flanked by two aisles. The entrance was through the huge wooden doors of the
main entrance. To either one's left or right was the bautisterio (baptistry), where
newly born babies were baptized into the Christian faith. The placing of the
baptistry close to the entrance was symbolic of one's entry into the Christian
community. At the far end of the sanctuary was the altar mayor (main altar), with its
elaborately decorated retablo or altar screen. In many cases, the church
incorporated a transept, which was a hall cutting across the nave just before the
main altar, making the floor plan resemble a cross. Over the crossing of the nave
and the transept was usually a dome or a tower with windows that illuminated the
sanctuary. To one side or behind the main altar was the sacristia (sacristy), where
the priest and his assis- tants put on their vestments before celebrating mass. The
priest delivered his sermon from the pulpito (pul- pit), an elevated structure
(generally of wood) located at the nave at some distance from the transept. Musicians and singers performed at the coro (choir loft), a high platform just behind the
main entrance. Follow- ing the Spanish tradition, the organ was perched on a loft
next to the coro. Most of the congregation were left to stand or kneel; long benches
were provided only for the principales or leading citizens of the community. Persons
who wanted to attend the ceremonies private- ly could do so behind the tribunas,
screened balconies with access from the second floor of the convento. The interior
of the church was often richly furnished with side altars, paintings, and carvings of
religious sub- jects, but everything was intended to focus attention on the
tabernacle at the center of the main altar: Apart from the convento which was
discussed earlier, another integral part of the church was its campanario (bell
tower). This structure often adjoined the church building, and its ground floor
usually housed the baptistry. Bell towers could be as simple as the four-posted
structures of early churches, or impos- ing, like the solitary monuments of the
Ilocos. Only a few churches managed to hang bells from espadaiias, free standing
walls with openings which were popular in Latin America. The threat of earthquakes
confined their construction to only a small number of churches, chiefly in the north.
Bells performed many services for
the community, tolling the hours, calling the con- gregation to worship, announcing
important events, and warning of impending danger. The church compound was the
most dominant feature of any town's architecture. The impressive vis- ta formed by
the outlines of the bell tower, church, and convento was enhanced by the spacious
yard or patio in front of it, which was often enclosed by low stone walls and ringed
by venerable acacia trees. A number of churchyards were marked at regular
intervals by little shrines for the 14 Stations of the Cross, as in Argao, Cebu. The
patio was the site for outdoor ceremonies, like the hosanna of Palm Sunday, and the
lighting of the Easter fire and the salubong of Easter Sunday. For the hosanna, a
raised and decorated platform was built to house children, dressed as angels, who
sang the hymn "Hosanna Filio David." For the salubong, a tall and elaborate
construction of bamboo called galilea and re- sembling a triumphal arch, was built
so the images of the Virgin and the Risen Christ could pass under. At signal, a child,
dressed as an angel, descended from the apex of the arch to remove the black veil
of the Virgin. For fiestas and other occasions, the arko (arches) were built not only in
the patio but also in strategic spots around town. Some of these arches could be
ostentatious architectural structures of wood, sporting features as agee arches,
cartouches, swags, and moldings. The more humble though equally pleas- ing arch
was made of bamboo. Temporary shelters of bamboo, called kubol in Tagalog or

abong-abong in Ilocano, were built especially for Holy Week and the feast of Corpus
Christi. For the latter feast, a proces- sion starting from the church would stop at
these structures for benediction and prayer. The kubol re- sembled the huts, called
tuklong, made by farmers in their fields. An altar with a santo, candles, and flowers
completed the furniture of the hut. One other important part of the church complex
was the cemetery, which in many parishes was located some distance away from
the town center. In the early days the dead were buried inside the church, but this
practice was found to be unhygienic; subsequent de- crees called for the provision
of graveyards, first out- side the church, and eventually away from the plaza.
Cemeteries and their chapels became veritable architectural monuments in
themselves; the one in Janiuay, Iloilo won for its builder an award from Spain for its
artistry. Lying outside the town proper were villages or barrios whose inhabitants
chose to live near their rice and farm lands. To minister to their spiritual needs, the
visita system was evolved. Chapels built in
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
selected areas were visited by the priests according to a regular schedule. Variously
called capilla, camarin, ermita, santuario, tuklong, or visita, a structure of this type
was often only of light materials. As the barrio grew, the chapel could be rebuilt in
stone; if the resi- dents were numerous enough, they could even peti- tion to be
separated from the mother parish and be elevated into an independent parish. To
facilitate the religious administration of the is- lands, the country was divided into
several dioceses headed by bishops. At the seat of each diocese, which was often
the capital of a region, was a cathedral. By the end of the 19th century the
Philippines had six cathedrals-in Manila; Lalla, Cagayan; Vigan, Ilocos Sur; Naga,
Camarines Sur; Cebu; and Jaro, Iloilo. An adjunct to the cathedral was the bishop's
resi- dence which resembled a convento in form, although it was much larger.
Unfortunately, all except one of the six structures were destroyed during WWII. The
only remaining bishop's residence from this period is the one in Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
Each diocese was also responsible for the estab- lishment and maintenance of
seminaries for the forma- tion of the secular clergy. Due to many problems,
however, seminaries were only established in the 18th century. Only one seminary
from this period still stands today: that of the diocese of Nueva Caceres in Naga,
Camarines Sur. The rectangular form appears to have been the basic structure of
religious buildings. This form was hardly touched by such concepts as baroque
move- ment, rococo lighting, or gothic structure. Exceptions to these are few but are
highly interesting, namely, the Greek cross plan, with all four arms short and equal
in length, adopted by the magnificent church of Oton in Iloilo; the round and oval
floor plans used for various cemetery chapels; and the undulating facade of the San
Luis Church in Pampanga, which appears to have been an experiment with baroque
stucture. Western and other influences are evident in the various styles of building
ornament and furnishings. In the 19th-century gothic arches, romanesque recessed portals, byzantine friezes, and neoclassic col- umns appeared on facades
and walls, enlivening what would otherwise be squat, heavy structures. These,
however, were not always precisely copied from West- ern models, but were
interpreted by artisans according to their taste and were sometimes combined with
na- tive motifs.
49

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Domestic Architecture
The bahay kubo was the archetype for domestic architecture during the Spanish
regime. In its most basic form, the house consisted of four walls enclosing one or
more rooms, with the whole structure raised above ground on stilts. Contemporary
writers have described it as a "floating volume." Its resemblance to a cube earned
its description in Spanish, cubo. Being in the tropics, the house was designed to
allow max- imum ventilation. Its large windows and slatted floor insured the flow of
air throughout the interior. Bam- boo, nipa, cogbn grass, anahaw leaves, and other
organic materials were used for the walls and roof. Inside, partitions were kept to a
minimum. Rain water slid off quickly from the steep roof, while floods and moist
ground were a slight incon- venience as the house was safely above the ground. The
bahay kubo was constructed as a community pro- ject in the tradition of bayanihan
or communal coopera- tion. The house was simple and light enough, so that it could
be carried by a number of people and transferred to another location. Inside, the
living area was divided into two prin- cipal parts. The larger space was the sala or
bulwagan (living room). On one side or corner of this was the silid, a small room
where clothes, mats, and pillows were kept. The other space was the kusina
(kitchen), which had a banguera, a window rack made of split bamboo where plates
and glasses were exposed to the sun to dry. Next to the kitchen was a roofless
exten- sion, also of split bamboo, called the batalan, where the family washed and
bathed. The simplest house was a one-room affair. Some had an enclosed sleeping
room which was often raised a little above the bamboo floor. Although popularly
called a cuarto after its Spanish equivalent, Pigafetta' s observation in 1521 that
Cebuano houses had rooms similar to those of the Europeans suggests that this
feature may date back to prehispanic times (Pigaffetta 1969: 38); moreover, there
are native terms for it, such as the Tagalog silid and the Visayan sulod. As
mentioned earlier, fire and earthquakes tem- pered the Spanish penchant for
building extravagant mansions, such as those found in Spain and Mexico.
Eventually, nature forced the colonizers to appreciate the advantages of the lowly
bahay kubo. The recon- struction of the late 17th-century Pinero house in Intramuros by scholars Fernando Zialcita and Martin Tinio Jr (Zialcita 1980: 242-244)
shows us that, although the stone walls reached up to the second floor, some native features had already been adopted. The living quarters were on the second
floor, a batalan was pro50
'
vided at the back, and huge molave haligi supported the entire structure. Already
present at this date was the volada, a cantilevered wooden gallery which was to
characterize many arquitectura mestiza houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. The
tall and thick stone walls may be attributed to the fact that Manila in the 17th
century was still suffering from the trauma of the Dutch and Chinese invasions, so
that houses were practically minifortresses. In contrast to the fortified Intramuros
house, ex- amples of 18th-century houses in the provinces, although exceedingly
rare, indicate a more relaxed lifestyle and, in their retention of the basic space
allocations of the bahay kubo, represent an evolution- ary transition to the 19th-

century stone-and-wood houses, called bahay na bato. The modest Palma house in
Imus, Cavite very much resembles a bahay kubo, except that its ground floor is
enclosed with heavy stone walls. The living quarters are on the second floor. The
sala takes up most of the space, and a little cuarto is reached by ascending just two
steps. The more massive Ordoveza residence in Majayjay, Lagu- na also retains the
traditional two-level arrangement, with the living quarters on the upper floor. There
is a large sala, which leads to several cuartos. The dining room and the batalan are
at the back. Solid houseposts go all the way to the ceiling, supporting the second
story and the roof timbers. Due to economic gains and the rise of the mestizo
sangley or Chinese half-breed class in the 19th cen- tury, a number of Filipinos
became wealthy enough to build their own bahay na bato. Some of the finest of
these are in the towns of Taal, Batangas and Vigan, Ilocos Sur. In the Taal houses,
the volada came to its full development. This gallery, whose name is derived from
the Spanish word "to fly," projected outward from the first-story wall, providing
shade to pedes- trians below. The slatted floor of the bahay kubo was now replaced
with wide floorboards called tablas. Since the floor no longer admitted air, openings
called ventanillas were provided between the floor and the windowsills. When the
sliding panels of both ventanil- las and windows were opened, the walls of the upper
floor practically disappeared. Enhanced by the decora- tive tracery, wrought-iron
work, and calados or wooden fretwork, the whole house resembled a huge bird cage
(Zobel de Ayala 1963: 28). Until recently Philippine colonial houses were de- scribed
as Antillan, because they seemed to resemble houses in the Antilles or West Indies.
Upon closer scrutiny, however, the notion of similarity had to be given up. Among
other reasons, the enclosed volada
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
HOUSE. The bahay na bato usually had an enclosed volada or cantilevered wooden
gallery like that of the Vega House, left, bull! co 1890, In Ballngasag, Mlsamls
Oriental. (National Library Collection) To enter, one went through the gate on the
first floor and ascended a grand staircase like the escalera of the 19th-century Coso
Gorordo of Cebu, bottom. (Emesto R. Caballero 1989, Cultural Center of the
Philippines Library Collection)
sets the bahay na bato apart from its cousins in colonial America, where the
balconies were generally exposed. In Vigan, capital of Ilocos Sur, many home
owners chose to build both stories in brick, which was avail- able in large quantities.
With the massive walls, the volada disappeared in many residences and the kitchen became an extension in stone, with vents piercing the walls to let out smoke.
Different regions evolved their own building styles, which were in many cases
dependent on the materials available. In the northernmost province of Batanes,
which is often hit by storms, the Ivatan built houses of stone. The wall facing the
strongest winds was always left windowless. Since adobe lends itself to sculpture,
houses in Bulacan had facades decorated with carved flowers, leaves, and religious
symbols. With the growing complexity of life in the 19th century, space in the bahay
na bato was allocated for specific purposes. The entrance was through the za- guan,
a hall on the ground floor. As in the bahay kubo, much of the ground level was
reserved for storage; in business districts some spaces were rented to shops.
Horses for carriages were housed in stables called caballerizas. Ascending the
escalera (grand staircase), the visitor waited to be received at the caida or antesa-

la or a large room where informal entertaining took place. The sala, often the largest
room in the house, was reserved for special functions such as tertulias or
51
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
evening soirees. Displayed here were family portraits and the best furniture. At one
end of the living room was the comedor (dining room), which led to the kusi- na with
its ever practical banguera. To one side of the kitchen was the bathroom and toilet.
The batalan was now transformed into the azotea, an outdoor terrace where the
residents and their guests repaired to dur- ing cool clear nights. There were any
number of bed- rooms or cuartos which opened onto the sala. The upper part of
partitions consisted of wooden fretwork called calados, which allowed air to
circulate at ceiling height. Although retaining the basic boxlike form, the 19thcentury bahay na bato reflected changing tastes through the incorporation of motifs
from the prevalent styles. Neoclassic decorations included columns, caryatids, and
friezes adopted from Greek and Roman architecture. Ogee or pointed arches over
doors and windows were marks of the gothic revival. It was not uncommon to mix
elements from different styles. In areas far from urban centers, such as Mindanao,
orna- ment was enriched by motifs derived from local cul- tures.
Civil Architecture
Once established in Manila, the Spaniards com- menced the construction of a
number of buildings for the various offices needed in running the colony. These
buildings, which represent probably the least- known class of colonial architecture in
the country, may be grouped under three types based on their function:
administrative, social, and commercial. Flanking the Plaza Mayor of Manila were two
of the most important administrative buildings in the land. The first was known by
various names: casa del ayuntamiento, casa del cabildo, casa consistorial, casa
real. This sprawling building was the seat of the coun- try's government. It
contained numerous administra- tive offices and the archives. On the second floor
was a large hall where state banquets and balls were held. Across the ayuntamiento
was the residence of the highest official of the land: the palacio del gobernador
general or palacio real. On the second floor was the residence of the governor
general and his family; in another part was housed the Real Audiencia or tribu- nal,
until its abolition in the 18th century. The ayunta- miento and the palacio, both
made of stone, had two stories and spacious inner courtyards. Like many buildings
in the country, they had to be rebuilt quite a few times because of fires and
earthquakes. The earth- quake of 1863 totally destroyed the governor general's
palace. It was never rebuilt; instead the governor
52
general moved his quarters to a vacation house, called Malacaftang, farther up the
Pasig River. Smaller versions of the ayuntamiento were built in towns all over the
country, and were referred to as casa real, casa municipal, or simply municipio.
Sym- bolizing the secular power of the state, it stood at one end of the town plaza,
facing the symbol of religious power, the church. Some towns, proud of their status
as capitals of the province, erected stone archways at the entrance to the
poblacion. Such structures still exist in Pagsanjan, former capital of Laguna, and in

Bucay, former capital of Abra. The casa hacienda was the administrative building for
the hacienda or landed estate. This consisted of one or more sprawling edifices
housing quarters for the administrators and workers, kitchens, storerooms, carpentry shops, stables, and of course, a chapel. The casa hacienda built by the
Augustinians in 1716 in Mandaluyong is one of the oldest in existence. Today it
houses the Don Bosco Technical School for Boys. A large number of buildings may
be classified as social buildings. Contrary to popular belief, the Spa- niards attended
to the various needs of the population with a concern that in many ways surpassed
that shown by other European countries for their own peo- ple. Foremost among
these was education, which for the greater part of the Spanish regime was administered by the religious orders. In the middle of the 18th century, Intramuros could
boast of at least six schools within its walls. The Universidad de Santo Tomas was
founded in 1611 by the Dominicans. Other schools were the Colegio de San Phelipe,
the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the Colegio de San Jose, the Colegio de Santa
Isabel, and the Real Colegio de Santa Paten- dana. In Vigan there was the Colegio
de San Pablo and in Naga, the Colegio de Santa Isabel. In Cebu the Colegio de San
Ildefonso was the forerunner of today' s University of San Carlos. Separate buildings
for public schools, popularly called escuelas pias, began to be constructed in the
19th century. A few large towns ventured to open vocational schools. The Escuela
de Artes y Oficios de Bacolor in Pampanga was rebuilt in 1892 after it was damaged
by fire. Some of the schools in Intramuros began as orphanages. In the 19th century
two more of such institutions were established: the Hospicio de San Jose and the
Asilo de San Vicente de Paul. Both these charitable institutions enjoyed the luxury of
spacious buildings and wide inner courtyards, in the center of which stood a chapel.
The Hospicio nestled on a pic- turesque island on the Pasig River. The first hospital
was set up in Manila by the Franciscans in 1578. It was later turned over to the
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
PALACE AND HOSPITAL One of the most Important buildings during the Spanish
colonial period was the Ayuntamiento, top, built 1850, which housed the
administrative offices and archives of the City of Manila. (Klassen 7986, Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection) San Juan De Dios Hospital, bottom, was
built ca 1900 at the Parlan gate, Manila. (fl Oriente 7877, Lopez Museum Collection)
53
HISTORICAL ESSAV S
COMMERCIAL DISTRICT. Center of the country's retail trade during the second half of
the 19th century, the Escolta expanded after the opening of Manila to world trade in
1834 and the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. (Lala 1898, American Historical
Collection)
order of San Juan de Dios, which built a beautiful stone hospital and church in the
18th century. Three other hospitals were established in Manila: the Hospital Real,
which was reserved only for the Spaniards; the Hospital de San Gabriel, for the
Chinese in Binondo and the Hospital de San Lazaro, for lepers in Santa Cruz. In the
port of Cavite, an important military sta- tion, there were two hospitals: San Juan de
Dios within the city walls, and Nuestra Senora de los Dolores in Canacao. Places for
recreation were limited to theaters, cockpits, and the occasional bullfight. Stages for

theat- rical productions were constructed during special events such as fiestas, after
which they were disman- tled. The stages used for the production of the komedya or
the sinakulo consisted of a platform raised on bam- boo or timber supports. A
painted backdrop, called telon, formed the back of the stage. Behind the telon,
performers dressed and. waited for their cues. The
54
stage area could be roofed with thatch. Because stages were adhoc structures,
there were only a handful of permanently built theaters. Those in Manila were constructed outside Intramuros. The most substantially built was the Teatro de Binondo,
which had stone walls and a colonnade on the second floor. Vastly popular were the
cockpits, huge arenas of light mate- rials covered with thatch. Venue for a pastime
that not even the Spaniards could eradicate, the sabungan, as it is called in several
Philippine languages, was an inte- gral part of any important festivity. Today there is
a cockpit in virtually every town. For bullfights, tempo- rary wooden amphitheatres
were built; the arena floor was of packed earth. Horse racing gained a foothold
when a hippodrome was built in Santa Ana, Manila in 1867. Presumably the viewing
decks were constructed of the same materials as those of cockpits, although
perhaps were a bit sturdier. When the Americans ar- rived in 1898, they found the
races always well attended. Buildings for commercial purposes ranged from
diminutive sidewalk stalls to huge factories. In nearly every town the Chinese were
the chief suppliers of basic goods and supplies. In large towns, such as Man- ila,
Vigan, Malolos, and Cebu, there was a special
district for them called the parian, to which the towns- people flocked for their
household needs. In 1758 a large commercial building was inaugurated in the
populous Chinese village of Binondo, just across the river from Intramuros. Known
as the Alcaiceria de San Fernando, the edifice was octagonal and contained several
shops run by Chinese merchants. Destroyed by fire in 1810, it was not rebuilt
perhaps because by then many other stores and shops had already opened. The
largest, fanciest, and most prestigious companies were eventually established along
a nearby street called the Escolta; by the second half of the 19th century this was
the most important commercial dis- trict in the country. The opening of Manila as a
free port encouraged British, German, French, and other foreigners to set up
businesses on the Escolta and adjacent streets. With the vigorous upswing in trade
in the 19th century, many other types of buildings emerged. Fac- tories were set up
to process, among other things, beer, liquor, and cigars. The La Insular Cigar and
Cigarette Factory, with its intricate Moorish motifs, was a good example of a building
which combined commerce and art. Stone granaries and storehouses were const!
ructed in the big market towns; rich families had their own camarin or camalig. A
monumental customs house, the Aduana, was constructed in the 1820s in a portion
of Intramuros along the banks of the Pasig. The first bank, the Banco Espaii.olFilipino de Isabel II, originally housed in the Aduana, moved in 1862 to its own
building elsewhere in Intramuros. The
THE SPANISH COLONIAL TRADITION
second bank, the Monte de Piedad, first held office at the Colegio de Santa Isabel in
Intramuros then moved to a new building in the Santa Cruz district; this edifice was
notable for its templelike facade in the neoclassic style. In the late 1880s a railway

system was estab- lished, and the central train station at Tutuban was constructed.
A number of smaller train stations were set up along the Manila-Dagupan line.
Epilogue
The great cultural surge in Manila and the rest of the country in the 19th century
was celebrated in its vibrant architecture, from the bahay kubo to the bahay na
bato, from the visita to the catedral, from the sabu- ngan to the factory. But time
and nature, and human beings, have conspired to erase this memory. Those that
have survived to this day, so precious precisely because they are so few, are a
constant reminder of the aspirations and artistry of the past. R.T. Jose
References: Ahlborn 1958, 1960a, 1960b; El Archipelago 1900; Baii.as 1937;
Castaneda 1964; "Christian Beginnings in llocandia" 1971; Cordero-Fernando 1978;
Coseteng 1972; Diaz-Trechuelo 1959; Fernandez 1979; Galende 1987; Gomez- Piii.ol
1973; Gonzalez 1946; Gonzalez 1969; Hargrove 1986, 1991; Hornedo 1987; Huerta
1855; Javellana 1991; Jorde 1901; Jose 1984, 1986, 1991; Keleman 1967, 1969;
Kubler and Soria 1959; Klassen 1986; Legarda 1981; Lopez 1984; Marco Dorta 1973;
Merino 1987; Mojares 1983; Niii.o 1975; Orlina n.d.; Pigafetta 1969; Reed 1978;
Repetti 1938; Reseii.a 1890; Roces 1978; Rodriguez 1976; Smith 1958; Witnesses to
Past Pre- sences 1956; Zialcita 1980; Zobel de Ayala 1963.
55
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
The American tradition in Philippine architecture covers the period from 1898 to the
present, and encom- passes all architectural styles, such as the European styles
which came into the Philippines during the American colonial period. This tradition is
represented by churches, schoolhouses, hospitals, government office buildings,
commercial office buildings, depart- ment stores, hotels, movie houses, theaters,
club- houses, supermarkets, sports facilities, bridges, malls, and high-rise buildings.
New forms of residential architecture emerged in the tsalet, the two-story house,
and the Spanish-style house. The contempo- rary tradition refers to the architecture
created by Fili- pinos from 1946 to the present which covers buildings and private
commercial buildings, religious structures, and domestic architecture like the
bungalow, the one- and-a-half story house, the split-level house, the middle-class
housing and the low-cost housing project units, the townhouse and condominium,
and least in size but largest in number, the shanty.
History
The turn of the century brought, in the Philip- pines, a turn in history. Over three
centuries of Span- ish rule came to an end, and five decades of American rule
began. The independence won by the Philippine Revolution of 1896 was not
recognized by Spain, nor by the United States, whose naval and military forces had
taken Manila on the pretext of aiding the revolu- tion. In 1898 Spain ceded the
Philippines to the United States, and after three years of military rule the Americans established a civil government. With a new regime came a new culture. The
En- glish language was introduced and propagated through the newly established

public school system. A consciousness developed among the native population as


American colonial policy focused on education, public health, free enterprise, and
preparation for self- government. The landscape was transformed as high- ways,
bridges, ports, markets, schools, hospitals, and government office buildings were
rapidly constructed. The monuments of the SpQ.nish era continued to stand
56
proudly, while the future began to rise around them with triumphant vigor. In the
course of the Spanish colonial era, native design and European styles came
together in an evolv- ing synthesis that culminated in the stately architecture of
churches and aristocratic houses in pro- vincial towns. As Spanish words were
absorbed by the native languages, so were baroque, rococo, neoclassic, and gothic
revival motifs absorbed by the Filipino's architectural vocabulary. That language
continued to find utterance in upper-class residential architecture in the early
decades of the American regime. The beginning of the new age was especially evident in Manila, where, as John Foreman (1905) re- ported, ". . . works of general
public utility were undertaken . . . the Luneta Esplanade . . . was re- formed, the
field of Bagumbayan . . . was drained; breaches were made in the city wall to
facilitate the entry of American vehicles; new thoroughfares were opened; an iron
bridge, commenced by the Spaniards, was completed; a new Town Hall, a splendidly
equipped Government Printing Office were built; an immense ice factory was
erected on the south side of the river to meet the American demand for that
luxury ... " The ice factory was the Insular Ice Plant and Cold Storage built ca 1902
by the Philippine Commission. It was a massive brick building with high and narrow
blind arches on its facade that recalled the 19th-century neoromanesque style in
the United States. The ice plant survived until the 1980s when it was demolished to
give way to the elevated track of the light rail transit. In those early years
construction projects were undertaken by the engineers of the US Army. It is
uncertain whether there was any architect among them, for in 1901 a Filipino,
Arcadia Arellano, was appointed consulting architect by the first American civil
governor William Howard Taft. That same year the Philippine Commission created
the Bureau of Architecture and Construction of Public Buildings under the
Department of Instruction. Arellano, a local- ly trained maestro de obras (master
builder), had served as an officer in the Engineer Corps of the Re- volutionary Army.
In later years he would design a
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND C_ONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
number of notable houses and buildings in various revivalist styles, including the
neogothic, neorenais- sance, and neobaroque. One of the priorities of the American
government was the development of a summer capital in a cool region. Thus in
1904 the American architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham came to the
Philippines upon the invitation of Commissioner William Cameron Forbes primarily to
survey Baguio, and, to use Forbes' own words, "try to lay out a new city and, in
addition, to make some plans for the development of Manila." In the early years of
his career Burnham be- longed to the Chicago School that pioneered in modern
architecture. He was the chief designer of the World's Columbian Exposition held in
Chicago in 1893, and from then on was a zealous advocate of neoclassicism. As a
city planner, he promoted the "City Beautiful" move- ment, and prepared plans for
Cleveland, Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Washington DC. For Baguio,

Burnham proposed a general scheme for the street system, the location of
buildings, and recreation areas. Although his plan was followed in principle, it was
adapted by later architects who were entrusted with its implementation. For Manila,
Burnham prepared a more compre- hensive and detailed proposal that aimed to
develop the waterfront, parks, and parkways; the street sysSTONE BRIDGE. Jones Bridge replaced the Spanish-period Puente de Espai\Q,
(National Geographic Magazine, American Hlsfortcal Co/lectfon)
tern; building sites; waterways for transportation; and summer resorts. "The bay
front," he proposed, "from the present Luneta southward should have a continuous
parkway extending, in course of time, all the way to Cavite ... The banks of the Pasig
should be shaded drives begin- ning as close to town as possible and continuing up
the river, the south bank drive going to Fort Mckinley, and beyond this to the lake."
Since what was the Luneta then would be occupied by a government center, a new
Luneta would be built farther out on reclaimed land, and would "give an
unobstructed view of the sea." Nine parks were to be "evenly distributed over the
city" and were to be connected by parkway boulevard. The street system in the
districts would, for the most part, remain unchanged; the street system in areas to
be developed would follow a radial pattern, while diagonal thoroughfares would link
the city districts. Burnham re- commended that building sites should avoid a rigid
north-south or east-west orientation, so that houses would enjoy sunlight on all
sides throughout the day. The government center, comprising the capitol and
department buildings, would be erected south of
57
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
PREMIER HOTEL The Manila Hotel on Roxas Boulevard, built 1912, Is the countr(s
first world-class hotel. (Tourist Handbook of the Philippine Islands 7924, American
Historical Collection)
the Walled City and near the bay. The courthouse, the post office, and cultural
facilities would be on separate sites. Beside the bay, on a site north of the Luneta, a
hotel would be built. The estero or estuaries were to be developed and maintained
as waterways. Summer resorts were to be established on higher elevations around
Manila. Charmed by the old houses with tile roofs and overhanging second stories,
Burnham proposed that these be preserved, and recommended that new, sim- ple,
well-proportioned buildings of reinforced concrete follow the arcaded style of the old
Spanish edifices. Manila, Burnham remarked, "possessed the bay of Naples, the
winding river of Paris, and the canals of Venice." With his plan he proposed to "make
Manila what the Spaniards used to call it-the Pearl of the Orient." For the
implementation of his plans for Manila and Baguio, Burnham recommended William
E. Parsons, a product of Yale, Columbia, and the Paris Ecole des Beaux Arts. Parsons
served as consulting architect of the Bureau of Public Works from 1905 to
58
1914. In that short span he supervised the implementa- tion of the Burnham plans
for Manila and Baguio; prepared city plans for Cebu and Zamboanga; directed the
development of parks, plazas, and shoreline areas in many provinces; and designed

a number of out- standing buildings. Heeding Burnham's counsel on the design of


build- ings for Manila, Parsons evolved a style that was re- freshingly modem yet
unmistakeably evocative of the local tradition. With pitched roofs, plain walls, wide
arches, deep galleries, and capiz windows, the new build- ings that Parsons created
echoed the ambiance of Span- ish colonial Manila, and at the same time enunciated
the principle that form should follow function. An outstanding example of Parsons'
approach to design is the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), con- structed in 1910, a
building neoclassic in its disciplined elegance and highly practical in its loose and
airy arrangement of pavilions. Parsons' other major works include the Manila Hotel,
the Army-Navy Club, the Elks Club, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA)
Building, the Normal School and the adjacent dormitory, later called Normal Hall. His
works outside Manila include provincial capitols and their plazas, schoolhouses, and
markets. Towards the end of his service in the Philippines, Parsons designed the
initial buildings of the University
I
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
of the Philippines (UP), then on Taft Avenue and Padre Faura. The first building, the
University Hall, was in the neoclassic style, surrounded by porticoes with Ionic
columns. In this and in works produced after his Philippine assignment, Parsons
succumbed to the revivalism of the Ecole de Beaux Arts from which he had been
successfully freed in his earlier work. It was ironic that the architect who had
introduced a new direction for Filipino architecture would reverse it by implanting
the neoclassic style that would be the offi- cial architecture of the government for
the next quarter of a century. The first Filipino to receive the academic title of
architect during the American regime was Carlos Bar- retto, who in 1903 was sent
as a government pensiona- do or scholar to the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia. After
graduating in 1907 he returned to the Philip- pines, and from 1908 to 1913 worked
in the Division of Building Construction of the Bureau of Public Works. In 1911
Antonio Toledo, a product of Ohio State University and Cornell University, joined the
Bureau of Public Works, and in 1928 became consulting architect of its Architectural
Division, a post which he held until his retirement in 1954. Toledo assisted Parsons
in the design of several buildings. In the 1920s Toledo designed the College of
Medicine Annex and University Library of the UP, the Leyte Capitol, and, in the late
1930s, the City Hall of Manila, the Agriculture and Commerce (now the Tourism)
Building and the Finance Building. Toledo's works were all in the neo- classic vein.
Tomas Mapua graduated from Cornell University in 1911, and worked as draftsman
at the Bureau of Public Works from that year until1915, when he went into private
practice. Returning to the Bureau in 1918, he was named supervising architect and
served in that position until 1927. Mapua designed the Nurses' Home of the PGH,
one of the finest examples of the neorenaissance style in the country. In 1925 he
founded the Mapua Institute of Technology. An acknowledged master in his time was
Juan Arellano, a younger brother of Arcadia. Juan Arellano studied at the Drexel
Institute in Philadelphia, and after graduation travelled through several European
countries. He returned to the United States for further studies at the University of
Pennsylvania and the Beaux Arts School in New York. On returning to the Philippines
he worked briefly with his brother Arcadia. One of their joint projects was the Gota
de Leche Building on Lepanto (now Loyola st). One of its prominent features was a

neorenaissance arcade con- sisting of semicircular arches springing from columns,


and decorated with medallions on the spandrels. In
1917 Juan Arellano joined the Bureau of Public Works. As supervising then
consulting architect, he became a dominant figurein Philippine architecture. His
first major work was the Legislative Building. Originally intended to house the public
library, the building had been designed by Ralph H. Doane, a successor of Parsons
at the Bureau of Public Works. Construction began in 1918. When it was decided
that the building should be for the legislature, the revision of the plans was
entrusted to Juan Arellano. The Leg- islative Building was completed in 1926 and
was de- scribed by A.V.H. Hartendorp, editor of the Philippine Education Magazine,
as "the most magnificent and impressive structure ever erected in the Philip- pines .
. . dominantly Roman in architecture, but Greek in its grace, Renaissance in its
wealth of orna- ment, modem in its freedom from academic restraint, and Oriental
in its richness and color." In 1931 Juan Arellano completed two of his greatest works:
the Post Office Building, a masterpiece of neoclassicism; and the Metropolitan
Theater, a mag- nificently successful experiment in the romantic style, which
Hartendorp described as "modem expres- sionistic." The Post Office portico, with its
14 massive Ionic columns, is an overpowering presence that both wel- comes and
astonishes the visitor. Departing from the conventional rectangularity of neoclassic
buildings, Juan Arellano flanked the main rectangular mass with semicircular blocks,
thereby adding grace to strength. Exuberance characterizes the exterior of the Metropolitan Theater. Its festive spirit arises from the rich combination of color,
sculpture, light from built-in lamps and the large illuminated window over its entrance, the lively play of receding and protruding flat and curved surfaces, and the
insistent verticality of pinnacles. Two movements in architectural design are here
noted: an obeisance to the West in the art deco ornament, and homage to the
tropics in the batik pat- terns and various fruit and plant forms. A few years after the
completion of the Metropoli- tan Theater, Juan Arellano designed government
buildings for Banaue, Ifugao, and Glan in Cotabato, and adopted regional
architectural forms, such as posts with rat guards from Ifugao, protruding beam
ends from Cotabato, and steep roofs from both. As Juan Arellano brought
neoclassicism in the Philippines to its summit, so did he masterfully open new
avenues for architectural design, particularly romanticism and the recovery of
native forms. From Parsons' last years at the Bureau of Public Works to the year
before WWII, i.e., from 1913 to 1941, government buildings were designed in the
neoclassic 59
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
style. Among the last of these were the Agriculture and Commerce Building, the
Finance Building, and the City Hall of Manila. Neoclassic architecture enjoyed
nationwide visi- bility, for provincial capitols from north to south of the archipelago
were built in that style, notably those of Pangasinan, Negros Occidental, and Leyte.
Following the guidelines set by Parsons in 1913, the provincial capitols and related
structures were located in parks, away from population centers, "in a position of
dignity and retirement." The orderly arrangement of provin- cial government
buildings was supposed to reflect the order in government itself. The implantation of
20th-century neoclassicism in the Philippines was inevitable. Parsons had been
trained in the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, which actively promoted revivalist
design, particularly neoclassicism. Barretto, Toledo, Mapua, and Juan Arellano were

products of American schools that were under the lordly influence of the Ecole de
Beaux Arts, which then enjoyed secure dominance even while modem architecture
began to emerge as a revolution- ary force that would eventually prevail. The
neoclassic style was appropriate during a co- lonial regime when the country was
being prepared for independence. Since government buildings in the great capitals
of the world were in that style, it seemed logical that a people who aspired for
quality with free nations and powerful states should adopt the same style in all its
grandeur for the seats of civil authority. The genesis of modern architecture in the
Philip- pines covers a period of about 30 years, and involves an interrupted infancy
and a shift from early loyalties. It begins with Parsons whose earlier works signified
a departure from historical styles and embodied a new approach based on the
primacy of function. But in his last works in Manila, Parsons turned to the Greek
revival and established the local neoclassic regime in architecture, thereby nipping
in the bud a develop- ment that he had auspiciously initiated. A departure towards a
different direction ap- peared in the Uy-Chaco (now Philtrust) Bank Building on Plaza
Cervantes. Built in 1914, it was considered Manila's first skyscraper, and is probably
Manila's first and last building in the art nouveau style. Juan Arellano was a master
of neoclassicism, but in the Metropolitan Theater and in his designs for government buildings in lfugao and Cotabato, he signaled the break from historicist styles.
In his later work, however, he returned to revivalist design. Andres Luna de San
Pedro, who returned from Paris in 1920, and Fernando Ocampo Sr, who returned
from Rome and Philadelphia in 1923, began working in revivalist styles, but by 1930
60
had produced some of the first modem buildings of Manila. Juan Nakpil, who
returned from the United States and Paris in 1926, and Pablo Antonio, who returned from London in 1932, were committed to modem- ism in architecture from
the very start of their practice. As the Ecole des Beaux Arts of Paris was the source
of the neoclassic style in the Philippines during the early American regime, so was
the art deco exposi- tion held in Paris in 1925 the source of early art deco
architecture in the Philippines. Art deco was not a major influence on the development of modern architecture in Europe or the United States. It did not
advocate any revolutionary concepts of space or structure, or contribute to the
emergence of new architectural forms. It was largely a decorative style, limited to
surface ornaments of styl- ized motifs ranging from the curvilinear to the angular.
Art deco architecture in the Philippines was signi- ficant because it marked the
rejection of the prevailing neoclassicism. While it rejected such Graeco-Roman
staples as columns, capitals, entablatures, arches, and pediments, it did not reject
decoration as such but in fact adopted its own ornamental style. What differentiated
modem or art deco architecture from the neoclassic was the simplified structure
defined by posts, beams, walls, and win- dows. The structural scheme of a building
was re- vealed to some extent on the exterior, and was empha- sized with the
discreet use of ornament. While the neoclassic building was massive, formal, faithful
to the canons of traditional design, and endowed with solemn grandeur, the early
modern building was visually light, less formal, liberated from academic historicism, and relatively cheerful. As the neoclassic buildings were symbols of
national dignity, the early modem buildings were symbols of economic progress. In
style, neoclassic buildings looked back to the past, but the early mod- ern buildings
looked to the future. Neoclassic architecture was identified with the government,
early modem architecture with private enterprise. ~ With progress attained through

widespread education, expanded public services, improved trans- portation and


communication, increased production and trade, and greater exposure to the West,
new buildings had to be designed and constructed to satisfy emerging needs.
Erected were commercial buildings, school buildings, hospitals, hotels, apartment
build- ings, and movie houses only modem architecture, with its freedom and
freshness, could provide. Experi- ments with form could be successfully undertaken
with the help of reinforced concrete, the wonder mate- rial of the time.
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
Luna de San Pedro, chief architect of fhe City of Manila from 1920 to 1924, designed
the Legarda Elementary School on Lealtad st, in the French renais- sance style.
Within the 1920s he moved on to modem- ism and produced the Perez-Samanillo
Building and, subsequently, the Crystal Arcade. The Perez- Samanillo is a
straightforward, no-nonsense office building, with a somewhat elaborate exterior
that reflects its structural frame. Columns, beams, and exterior walls appear to have
been kept down to minimum dimensions to maximize the expanse of windows and
the natural illumination within. Before WWII the Crystal Arcade was celebrated as
Manila's most modem building. Its ground floor could be considered the forerunner
of present-day shopping malls, i.e., a long gallery with mezzanines on both sides
and skylights at the front and rear sections. The striking features of the exterior
were the continuous bands of glass windows and plain concrete walls that gave the
building both purity of line and bold simpli- city. In both the Perez-Samanillo Building
and the Crystal Arcade, Luna de San Pedro employed art deco forms in various
ornaments. By 1930 Ocampo Sr had designed a number of buildings that were
highly regarded for being modem. ' The Paterno Building (now a building of the Far
East- em Air Transport Inc or FEATI University), located at the foot of Santa Cruz
(now MacArthur) Bridge and
completed in 1929, was notable for its unembarrassed simplicity and functional
design. The Oriental Club was modem and had a proper touch of oriental character. The seven-story Cu Unjieng Building, that once stood on Escolta and T. Pinpin,
was a "skyscraper" so well designed that the structure was its own adorn- ment.
One of Ocampo Sr's most impressive works is the Central Seminary Building of the
University of Santo Tomas (UST). E-shaped in plan with courtyards be- tween the
wings, the building has a long front with continuous balconies and large windows on
the second and third floors. The horizontal movement of the balconies is broken by
exposed columns, and more decisively, by the slightly projected central section over
the entrance and two similarly projected end sec- tions. Art deco ornaments accent
the vertical thrust of these sections and dramatize the entrance. In 1925, after his
studies in the United States, Juan Nakpil went to Paris for further training and, while
there, visited the art deco exposition, where he picked up new ideas on architectural
treatment, indirect light- ing, and furniture design.
SEMINARY BUILDING. The University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary Building on
Espana st, Manila, built ca 1930, has an E-shaped plan with courtyards between the
wings. (lntramuros Administration Library Collection)
61
HISTORICAL ESSAYS

Upon returning to Manila in 1926 he was em- ployed at the Bureau of Public Works,
then from 1928 to 1930 worked with Luna de San Pedro. In 1930 he established his
own practice. One of his earliest works, the Geronimo de los Reyes Building,
replaced by the Soriano Building, at Plaza Cervantes in Manila, was in the art deco
style. At about the same time he designed the neobaroque Quiapo Church. Juan
Nakpil's other works before WWII include the Avenue Theater and Hotel Building and
the Capi- tan Pepe Building on Rizal Avenue, and the Quezon Institute
Administration Building and Pavilions on Espana extension (now E. Rodriguez
Avenue). With round columns, rounded corners, plain surfaces, con- tinuous
horizontal bands of walls and windows, and the minimum of ornament, these
buildings belong to the streamlined style of art deco. While his predecessors in the
local modern move- ment strove for correctness and elegance, Antonio aimed for
boldness and vigor. His first work, the Ideal Theater (now replaced by another
building) on Rizal Avenue, Manila, built in 1933, was notable for its strong,
rectangular masses and minimum decoration. Antonio could afford to be daring. He
was one architect who from early experience was familiar with the rich possibilities
of materials and the practical side of construction. The main building of the Far
Eastern University (FEU) on Quezon Boulevard was another
62
exercise in architectural virility. Boldly projecting piers at each end of the front
support the dominant horizon- tal block that defines and shelters the wide expanse
of the building. The interlocking of horizontal and verti- cal elements creates both
movement and stability. A less visible but nonetheless significant work of Antonio is
the Ramon Roces Publications Building (now Guzman Institute of Electronics), on
Soler and Calero sts, Manila. Set on the odd-shaped peninsula of a city block, the
building follows the form of the lot and capitalizes on its irregularity. The broken
planes of the exterior come together in dynamic movement, heightened by a
rounded corner on one side, and a protruding semicylindrical three-story window on
another. Long strips of windows and corresponding strips of slab overhangs and
projecting wall sections, which conceal lower openings for ventilation, give the
building a strong horizontal character. Aside from the works of Luna de San Pedro,
Antonio, Ocampo Sr, and Juan Nakpil, some other buildings in Manila of the same
period are of historical importance, The main building of the UST, designed by Fr
Roque Ruano, OP and completed in 1927, is unique for its earthquake-proof
construction. The struc- ture consists of 24 separate sections with a slit of about one
inch between them, which is filled with a soft mate- rial. The building being
precracked, so to speak, can sway with a tremor without its walls or floors suffering
MODERN BUILDING. Modem is the AIM Building on Paseo de Roxas, Makoti, built
1970. Its stone walls and bandeja or trayllke panels, however, project an Asianregional appearance. (Asian Institute of Management Ubrary Collection)
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
any damage. The concrete used in the walls is of such quality that it has needed
neither plastering nor painting. It has been exposed since the building's completion
and has successfully resisted the weather. The Rizal Memorial sports complex, built
during the 1930s, is an accomplishment not only of its architects but also of the
engineers who designed its cantilevered steel structures. The concrete portions of

the building, where public entrances and administra- tive offices are located, are art
deco in style. The front of the Coliseum consists of a high, flat wall flanked by
undulating walls, and a cantilevered canopy over the portal. The Rizal Memorial
Buildings were designed by architects of the Bureau of Public Works. The Jai-Alai
Building on Taft Avenue, completed in 1940, was designed by the American
architects Walter C. Wurdeman and Welton D. Becket of Los Angeles, California.
Massive walls with strip windows form a backdrop for the towering semicylindrical
win- dow set behind slender columns. The contrast between solidity and
transparency, and between flat walls and a fully curved window creates a
surprisingly festive effect. The Jai-Alai Building is an example of the International
Style as interpreted by California architects. The Times Theater on Quezon
Boulevard, com- pleted in 1941, appears to have been inspired by the glossy
architecture of the 1939 New York World's Fair. A pair of high, white undulating walls
stand apart from each other against a higher wall of glass blocks. It is the last
striking art deco statement of the decade that preceded the outbreak of WWII.
During the last days of WWII, the American li- beration forces shelled and bombed
Manila to drive out, if not annihilate, the remaining troops of the Japanese army. In
Intramuros all the churches, except San Agustin, and all the houses were gutted and
shat- tered. The stately neoclassic buildings, such as the Legislative Building, the
City Hall, the Agriculture and Commerce Building, the Finance Building, and the Post
Office Building, became monumental ruins. Soon after the war these government
buildings were recon- structed in accordance with their original plans. In response to
the needs of burgeoning postwar busi- ness, commercial buildings were hastily
constructed. These were mostly cheap-looking, sometimes fanciful- ly designed
makeshift structures, most of which fortu- nately have not survived. The second
phase in the development of modern architecture in the Philippines began after the
war, during the building boom of the reconstruction years, and during the
emergence of a new generation of architects, a number of whom had been trained
in the United States. Both Cesar Cancio and Carlos Arguelles
had earned master's degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Angel
Nakpil had a master's degree from Harvard University, where he had been a disciple
of Walter Gropius; and Alfredo Luz held a bachelor's degree from the University of
California at Berkeley. One prestigious architect of this period who had no foreign
training was Gabriel Formoso. The architecture of the 1950s was influenced by the
International Style, which was characterized by asymmetric composition, bold
rectangular forms, plain wall surfaces, clean lines, and large windows. The style was
understood to be based also on the principle that form follows function. A
characteristic feature of many buildings of this time was the brise-soleil, also called
sun-break or sun- breaker, a reinforced-concrete screen composed of ver- tical and
horizontal fins which protected windows and interiors from the glare and heat of
direct sunlight. The invention of this device is attributed to the French- Swiss
architect Le Corbusier (Charles Edouard Jeanneret). Its popularity in the Philippines
could have resulted from its successful application in the Ministry of Education and
Health Building in Rio de Janeiro, designed by the Brazilian architects Lucio Costa
and Oscar Niemeyer with Le Corbusier as consultant, which was completed in 1942.
One of the first local buildings that used the brise- soleil was the Engineering and
Architecture Building of the UST, designed by Julio Victor Rocha, then dean of the
school of architecture. The entire front of the three-story building has continuous
sun-breaks pro- tecting its second and third-story windows. Since its introduction in

the early 1950s the brise-soleil has appeared in many variations. Vertical fins are
set close together and the number of horizontal fins are mini- mized, as in Alfredo
Luz's World Health Organization Building on Taft Avenue and United Nations (UN)
Avenue. In Alfredo Luz's Ermita Center on Roxas Boulevard,horizontal bands replace
the horizontal fins as braces and thereby give the building stronger hori- zontal
lines. In Cancio's Insular Life Building on Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas, narrow
vertical fins are set close together within well defined squares. In a number of sunbreaks, the horizontal fins are slanted to form giant louvers. For the Capitan Luis
Gonzaga Building on Rizal Avenue and Carriedo, Antonio de- signed double
sunshades, i.e., concrete slab over- hangs at both ceiling height and windowsill
height for each floor, braced by staggered vertical fins of half- story height. The
double sunshades are effective pro- tection against both sunlight and rain. Sunbreaks became necessary because wider and higher glass windows had become the
fashion, courtesy
63
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
of the International Style. On the other hand, they inti- mated that the Filipino
architect was seriously concerned with solving the problem of tropical sunlight. Such
con- cern was not always matched by results since faulty orientation often made the
sun-breaks ineffective and nothing more than useless and costly ornaments. One of
the outstanding buildings of the period is the National Press Club (NPC) Building on
Magallanes Drive, designed by Angel E. Nakpil. Since the building is on an east-west
axis, it avails of maximum exposure to both north and south. The NPC's expanse of
win- dows and its neat, straightforward structure give it an engaging transparency
and cheerfulness. That trans- parency becomes daring in the glass-sheathed cylindrical staircase and elevator shaft, the building's dis- tinctive and once controversial
feature. Likewise significant is Arguelles' Philamlife Home Office Building on UN
Avenue, a long rectangular seven-story block with a one-story section housing a
spacious lobby and a 780-seat auditorium. The build- ing is a glass box in the
International Style but with tropical adaptations. The gray-tinted, antiglare, heatabsorbing glass curtain wall enveloping the building is shielded from sun and rain by
horizontal aluminum sun-baffles. The pierced screen was the celebrated feature of
the US Embassy Building in New Delhi, India, de- signed by the American ~rchitect
Edward D. Stone and completed in 1958. Not long after, the pierced screen
64
INTERNATIONAL STYLE. Hailed as the most outstanding building during the 1950s Is
the National Press Club Building In lntramuros, Manila. Innovative was Its glasssheathed cylindrical staircase. (Renato S. Rastrollo 7989, Cultural Center o( the
Philippines Library Collection)
was introduced in Manila and adopted as a kind of improvement over the brisesoleil. The device, which covers an entire side or several sides of a building, is a
perforated wall which reduces and diffuses the natural light entering the building.
Pierced screens were made of perforated concrete or ceramic blocks, precast concrete, or thick aluminum bars. The most notable pierced screen in Manila is that of
the US Embassy Building on Roxas Boulevard, designed by the Amer- ican architect

Alfred L. Aydelott and built in 1961. With the use of reinforced concrete and
structural steel, buildings could break out of the post-and-lintel pattern and employ
such visually exciting features as cantilevers. Canopies over entrances, wide
overhangs, spacious balconies, and stairways project daringly from walls of
columns, and appear to float. Cantilevers create a sense of lightness, movement,
and unim- peded space. Thus they were used with increasing frequency in the
second phase of the development of modem architecture in the Philippines, and
would be used more stunningly in the succeeding phase. A romantic strain appears
in Filipino architecture of various traditions and periods. It can be recognized in
churches and houses of the Spanish colonial period, in their evocation of past ages
and distant lands, in sentimental expression that infuses rational design, and in the
inevitability of ornament. In the Philippines neoclassicism seems to have been
sustained by the nostalgia of the romantic mentality. Probably the first
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
great romantic of Filipino architecture was Juan Arellano. Although modern
architecture professes to be rational and scientific, it can be romantic in spiritexpressionist, lyrical, adventurous, and even nostal- gic. And so it came to be in the
1950s, and more clearly in the 1960s. Pursuing a direction initiated by his uncle
Juan Arellano, Otilio Arellano sought inspiration in such motifs as the salakot or
wide-brimmed hat, the man- dala or haystack, and the panolong or Maranao protruding beam-end. Some of his contemporaries would later evoke the steep roofs,
capiz windows, wooden panels, and stone walls of the bahay na bato (stone house).
While the early modern buildings concealed the pitched roof and its gutters behind
parapets to create the appearance of a flat roof, some later build- ings would
expose, if not dramatize, the pitched roof, and thereby emphasize their tropical
character. A better grasp of the possibilities of reinforced concrete led to the more
extensive use of cantilevers, shell construction, and folded plate construction, and
to a wider range ot architectural forms. With pre- stressed concrete beams or
posttensioning, vast in- terior spaces with no intervening posts could be cre- ated.
Concrete was the material par excellence, not only for its strength but also for its
plasticity. It enabled the architect to approach the task of architectural de- sign not
only as a planner but also as a sculptor. With the strength assured by structural
steel and steel bars, buildings could go beyond the 30-m limit on height imposed by
the building regulations. Thus be- gan the race towards the sky, a challenging
adventure for the Filipino architect and his inseparable associate, the structural
engineer. With the contest of height came the contest of size. While condominiums
and office buildings take pride in their height, shopping malls glory in sheer
expanse, measured in hundreds of thousands of square meters. Notable amidst all
these are the expan- sion and liberation of artistic or architectural imagina- tion and
its happy marriage with the increasingly sophisticated technology of construction.
NEOCLASSIC ACCENTS. A contemporary use of the Roman arch Is found In the
Pacific Star Building on Paseo de Roxas, MakaH, completed 1990. (Renata S.
Rastrollo 1989, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collecffon)
The imaginative use of wood and stone and the overall impression of strength in
Antonio's Manila Polo Club, built in 1955, are persuasive indications of latter-day
romanticism. The circular Chapel (now Church) of the Holy Sacrifice of the UP,
designed by Leandro Locsin and built in 1955, represents a departure from

conventional form but in fact recalls early church architecture. Its dome-shaped roof
is a concrete shell 24 em thick. In the main building of the Cultural Center of the
Philip- pines (CCP), completed in 1969, Locsin brings his romanticism to full
expression, particularly in the mas- sive, cantilevered, visually floating block of the
facade and the sculptured space of the main lobby. Two buildings by Formoso, both
in Makati, are distinctively modern yet evocative of past styles. The Pacific Star
building, completed in 1990, pays homage to the Roman arch and does so with
refinement and grace. The Asian Institute of Management (AIM) building, built in
1970, with stone walls and modern bandeja (traylike) panels, evokes the bahay na
bato. The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) Head Office in Mandaluyong, designed by
Jose Maftosa and com- pleted in 1984, shines like a giant prism and recalls the
Banaue rice terraces. Francisco Maftosa's Tahanang Pilipino at the CCP complex and
his tent-shaped Mary
65
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Immaculate Parish Church in Las Piii.as are statements of the nativism he
advocates, i.e., the return to indige- nous architectural forms and the use of thatch,
bam- boo, and wood in contemporary buildings. Various currents converge and flow
together in the romantic phase of modern Filipino architecture: liberation from
formalism; rediscovery of the native heritage; sense of history; sculptural approach
to de- sign; adventurousness and the willingness to experi- ment; focus on the
symbolic and the expressive in architecture; the striving for warmth, vitality and
rich- ness, and commitment to the human being as the center of architecture. Until
the 1950s the height of buildings was res- tricted by law to 30 m. Research on the
ordinance revealed that the original reason for the limit was not earthquakes or the
load-bearing strength of the soil, but the height that water could reach under
natural pressure. In 1960 Manila's Building Ordinance No 4131 was amended to
permit the construction of buildings up to a height of 45 m. As of 1992, high-rise
buildings in Makati and Mandaluyong have reached close to or beyond 140 m. The
Pacific Plaza Condominium in Makati rises to 43 stories or 130.9 m above ground
level and has a four-and a-half level basement for parking. The Palladium Summit
Condominium in Man- daluyong is 138m high and has 46 stories. The Rufino Tower,
an office building in Makati, is 150 m high, including radio antenna, and has 42
stories. Fast be- coming a forest of skyscrapers is Pasig, which began to develop
more rapidly in the mid-1980s. A new type of building that arose in recent years is
the shopping mall. The word "mall" originally meant a plaza or a promenade. It has
recently come to mean an open or covered concourse flanked by shops. What was
once called a shopping center is now called a shopping mall or a galleria. The
concourse, flanked by shops, could be one story in height or could rise to two or
more stories, with continuous balconies serving as access to shops on the upper
floors. A skylight above the concourse provides natural illumination during the day.
Fountains, plants, and small trees give the mall an outdoor feeling as well as a
festive atmosphere. A mall is a small city in itself with housing shops, restaurants,
supermarkets, department stores, movie houses, and recreational facilities. The
largest mall to date, the Shoemart (SM) Megamall on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue
(.EDSA), Mandaluyong, is six stories high, more than 500 m long, and 330,000 sqm
in area. It was designed by Antonio Sindiong, who also did the 43-story Pacific Plaza.

Whatever else may be the motive for the skyscrap- er and the colossal mall, they
are spawned by the drive
66
to surpass and excel, and the desire to achieve a break- through. They exemplify
architecture as adventure. In this sense they are statements of a romantic vision.
Romanticism appears to have taken an unhealthy turn in the current mania for
postmodern ornament. Many a sufficiently well designed building has to be topped
off by a postmodern pediment and/or arch which is, even on hasty examination,
extraneous, uncalled for, and absurd. It is unfortunate that postmodernism is seen
only in terms of one particular. decorative device, an overworked cliche at that, and
not as a new direction for creativity. Postmodernism, in fact, has a romantic component which accounts for its vitality.
Forms
Residences. Upper-class houses built in the 1900s and 1910s followed the general
form of the bahay na bato. The living quarters were on the upper floor. Bedrooms
opened to the sala or living room. In some houses part of the sala projected beyond
the rest of the facade, creating a sheltered entrance on the ground floor. While the
house was covered by a hip roof, the projecting portion of the sala was crowned
with a gable which carried the family monogram. The masonry walls on the ground
floor were thin- ner than those of the bahay na bato and were pierced with
rectangular windows. On the upper floor the windows resembled those of a bahay
na bato with sliding shuttes and with capiz or glass panels, venta- nillas (window
shutters) on floor level, and fixed transom windows or fanlights over the window
head. In 1917 Arcadia Arellano designed the Ariston Bautista Lin house in Quiapo
around a set of Vienna sezession furniture. Architectural ornaments echoed the
elegant art nouveau lines of the chairs and tables, giving the house, which was in
the bahay na bato style, a touch of novelty. One type of house in the 1920s had two
stories, a front porch on the lower floor, and living quarters on both floors. Some
houses had a front porch on both first and second stories. The sidings on both floors
were of wood. The first floor was slightly raised above the ground, providing space
for storage underneath. A number of wealthy families built houses of rein- forced
concrete in a modified neoclassic style with a colonnaded veranda in front or on
three sides, and on both first and second floors. An impressive example of
reinforced concrete houses of the period is the Nelly Garden in Iloilo City, built in
1928. The 1930s saw the development of the so-called Spanish-style house, which
had tile roofs, balustraded balconies, salomonica columns, arched windows, lacy
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
wrought-iron grilles, and a three-story tower in front. Living room, dining room, and
kitchen were on the ground floor, and bedrooms on the upper floor. Some houses
had a curved stairway dominating a hall two- stories high. The Rafael Fernandez
house on Arlegui st, Manila, designed by Luna de San Pedro, was in its original form
a classic of this type. The house was renovated during the Marcos regime and was
used by Pres Corazon Aquino as her official residence. The art deco house made its
appearance also in the 1930s. Like the Spanish-style house, it had a three- story
tower, the roof of which was sometimes an observation deck. The roof over most of

the structure was concealed by parapets, and in some sections was a concrete
deck. Rounded corners, porthole windows, corner windows, and balconies with
handrails were features apparently derived from ocean liners. A curved window, two
stories high, was a dramatic feature. Walls were usually white and without
ornament. However, the interplay of volumes made the building a visual delight.
The Benigno Aquino Sr house on San Rafael st, San Miguel, Manila, designed by
Fernando Ocampo Sr , is one of the few surviving examples of this style. After WWII
sprawling one-story houses, inspired by the California bungalow or ranch house,
became fashionable. A terrace, open or roofed, replaced the porch. Large picture
windows, sliding doors, and French doors brought the outdoors in. Whereas the
ONE-LML HOUSE. Fashionable before WWII was the tsalet, the one-story house with
a prominent open or roofed terrace, like the !lustre house In Lemery, Batangas.
(Zialclta 1980, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collection)
house of earlier years opened to a front yard, the house of the motorized age
shielded itself against the street and opened to landscaped lawns at the back. Later
versions of this house had prominent roofs, recalling the bahay na bato, and
wooden lattices similar to the frames of capiz windows, elegantly carved woodwork,
and massive stone walls. With the rising cost of land and the reduced size oflots
even in affluent areas, home owners went back to building two-story houses. The
tsalet was the typical dwelling in middle class neighborhoods in the early decades of
the 20th cen- tury. A two-story house with living quarters on the upper floor, or a
one-story house elevated above the ground, the tsalet could be plain and simple or
stylish- ly ornamented. An exterior stairway, which was single-flight, L-shaped, or T
-shaped, led to the front porch that covered the entire width of the house or half of
it. The interior was divided longitudinally with living room and dining room on one
side, bedrooms on the other, and kitchen at the back. Although repre- senting a
change in house-form, it still had such tradi- tional features as capiz windows,
ventanillas, and cala- do (fretwork) panels over partitions. The need for more space
led to the construction of two-story houses with living room, dining room, and
kitchen on the first floor, and bedrooms on the second floor. The one-and-a-halfstory house, which emerged after WWII, had one story on one side and two on the
67
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
other. The one-story section was the living room and dining room; the second story
section had bedrooms on the upper floor. The roof sloped down from the two-story
section to the one-story section, giving the latter a high ceiling on its two-story side.
Access to the bedrooms was through a balcony from which one could look down to
the living room. One-and-a-half story houses did not always have this kind of roof;
some types had separate roofs for the two-story and one- story sections. The
middle-class bungalow was far more modest than its upper-class counterpart.
Instead of a fully en- closed garage, there was a carport which could func- tion as a
covered terrace. Depending on the size and shape of the lot, the house was
compact in plan, or somewhat loose and open. The latter form was more conducive
to cross ventilation. Since some of the middle class enjoyed economic mobility, their
houses would be remodelled or expanded whenever funds allowed. The facade
would be improved and decorated, or a porch or rooms would be added, or in the

case of one-story houses, a second floor would be built. The Filipino's concept of a
house is not that of something fixed and immutable, but of something that could be
improved, enlarged, or completely altered. The Philamlife Homes in Quezon City, a
600-unit housing project for middle-income families, was an
68
architectural highlight of the 1950s. The units, de- signed by Arguelles, were the
result of thorough re- search and scientific study. While the comfort of the occupants
was the chief consideration, the architect saw to it that construction would be
economical and could be rapidly undertaken. From one basic idea came three
typical units, each of which allowed four variants, making a total of 12 different
schemes. Although compact in plan, the units enjoyed natural ventilation and had
provisions for expansion. Since the inauguration of the project more than 30 years
ago, most of the houses have undergone a metamorphosis. Low-cost urban housing
was provided in the early 20th century by the accesoria (rowhouse) which had a row
of contiguous two-story units, each with access to a common alley or the street. The
units were rented by the occupants. An accesoria unit was one room wide, its width
varying with the liberality of landlords. A living-dining room and kitchen were on the
first floor, the bedrooms on the second floor. The kitchen opened to a small yard. To
save on plumbing, the bathroom wn:o located :oometimes on the firsl floor.
MIDDLE-CLASS APARTMENT. Inexpensive urban housing In the post-WWII period was
a row of contiguous two- story units, each with an access to a common alley or
street. (Smith 1988, Nlcanor G. Tlongson Collection)
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
In the postwar period the government built several low-cost housing projects, such
as Projects 2, 3, and 4 in Quezon City, in response to the needs of the fast-growing
population. The housing units were one-story structures, which were either
detached or joined to others in duplexes or row houses. With low roofs, floors on
ground level, and minimum space, the houses were unappealingly plain. The walls
were of concrete hollow blocks and the roofs, of asbestos. Since asbestos did not
transmit heat, ceilings were considered unnecessary. It was not well known then
that asbestos sheds fibers that cause respiratory ailments. In the early 1960s
another form of mass housing was attempted, namely, the tenement, a multistory,
multiple- unit building, such as that along the South Superhighway. The Bagong
Lipunan Sites and Services (BLISS) housing projects of the Marcos regime consisted
of four-story buildings with two or four units per floor. While better designed than
the housing project units and tenement, the BLISS apartments were too costly for
the low-salaried worker. In the 1980s mass housing developers promoted a new
scheme that took into account the Filipino's prefer- ence for a dwelling on ground
level. A so-called starter house of 20 sqm is built on a 60-sqm lot. The house can be
expanded to 40 sqm on ground level, and 20 sqm can be added further by
constructing a second floor. A new method of construction has been applied in a
housing project in Vitas, Tondo, comprising 1,664 units distributed among 27 fourstory buildings on a 2.5-ha site. Prefabricated box-shaped concrete units are
stacked in such a manner that 29 units and the spaces between them result in a
total of 50 dwellings. The system, designed by Cesar Canchela, is called the
Canchela Shelter Compo- nents and Stacking Process for Multi-Story Buildings.

Ermita, a district favored by the foreign commu- nity, became the setting of
apartment buildings in the 1920s and 1930s. The more fortunate of these were built
along Dewey (now Roxas) Boulevard, or just a block away from it. The multistory
buildings, some hitting the maximum of 10 floors, had spacious units, and a
magnificent view of the city and bay. The Admi- ral Apartments (now Hotel) on
Dewey Boulevard, de- signed by Ocampo Sr, has touches of revivalist design. The
Boulevard Alhambra (now Bel-Air Apartments), also on the Boulevard, designed by
Antonio, was one of the stunningly modern buildings of the time. The Peralta
Apartments on UN Avenue is unique for its protective overhangs on every floor.
Makati is the birthplace of condominiums. Where apartments are rented,
condominium units, which could be residential or office space, are bought. Some of
the best apartment and condominium buildings stand in a row on Ayala Avenue, like
the Urdaneta
Apartments designed by Arguelles, the Twin Towers by William Coscolluela, and the
Ritz Towers by Sindiong. Most town houses are, curiously, located not in town but in
the suburbs or in quiet residential areas. The spacious lots of old mansions in
Quezon City and San Juan have been taken over by townhouses. A townhouse is the
upper class version of the rowhouse. It is a two-or three-story substantially built unit
that stands cheek by jowl with similar units. Townhouses are usually in guarded
compounds and are arranged in a straight line or around courts. Common facilities
in the compound include playgrounds and swimming pools. Barong-barong or
shanties represent the architec- ture of poverty. Built on public land, idle land, or
land owned by others, along railroad tracks or near garbage dumps, along esteros
or on riverbanks, along seawalls or under bridges, they form settlements ranging
from 10 or 30 households to several hundreds or thousands. They may have only
one room or several rooms, and one or more. floors. Their floor area ranges from 630 sqm. They are generally of discarded or recycled materials: rusty iron sheets,
plywood, cardboard, sawali thatch, plastic sheets, mats, canvas, and just about
anything that can serve as a roof and sidings. The floor may be raised a few steps
above the ground, or it may be the ground itself, covered with plastic mats to
protect the dwellers from dampness. The roof is usually of one slope. A larger
structure may have a double-slope roof or a combination of one-slope roofs. It may
have a window or two on only one side, if the house is too closely built to others, or
windows on two or more sides, if the house is far enough from its neighbors. Its
sidings are patchwork of various materials. Posts, beams, rafters, and studs are put
together hasti- ly, whether with nails or lashing. Easily consumed by fire, knocked
down by storms, washed away by floods, or demolished by eviction teams, the
shanty just as easily rises from total collapse. Its fragile con- struction reveals both
the native genius for improvisa- tion and an endemic fatalism.
Government Office Building. These may be classified according to level: national,
provincial, and city or municipal. On the national level, government office buildings
include those serving the .legislative, executive, and judicial branches; the various
depart- ments and bureaus under the executive branch; and other government
institutions such as banks. The provincial government office buildings are mainly
the kapitolyo (capitol), which house the gov- ernor's office, the offices of the
provincial board, the courts, and other offices. City halls or municipal halls, like the
provincial capitols, accommodate the three
69

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
branches of the city or municipal government: the mayor's office, the city or town
council, and the local courts. Local government buildings include the post office, the
police station, and the fire station. Government buildings of the American colonial
regime were designed and constructed in line with the policy of preparing the
Filipino people for democratic self-government. Provincial capitols were built in the
second decade of the 20th century: the Laguna capitol in 1912, the Sorsogon capitol
in 1916, and the Pangasi- nan capitol in 1918. The Legislative Building in Manila was
completed in 1926. The Executive Office in Malacanang was built in 1921. The
Department of Finance and Department of Agriculture and Commerce buildings
were completed in 1940. For many years after WWII, the Supreme Court occupied
the Villamor Hall on Taft A venue, which had originally been the School of Fine Arts
and the Conservatory of Music of the UP. Since 1991 the Supreme Court has been
housed in the former Rizal Hall of the UP on Padre Faura st. The Post Office Building,
the most monumental of government office buildings, was completed in 1931. The
City Hall of Manila, completed in 1940, was large enough then to accommodate not
only the city departments, but also some national government offices. Symmetrical
in plan, .formal in massing, with rooms along corridors or around courtyards, pre70
CAPITOL BUILDING. An American contrlbuHon to Philippine architecture was the
kapitolyo or provincial govemment building, such as the Sorsogon Provincial Capitol,
built 1916. (Bureau of Public Worl<s Quarterly Bulletin '1916, Ayala Museum
Collection)
WWII government office buildings were in the neo- classic style, following the trend
set by Parsons in 1913 in the University Hall of the UP. American and Filipino
architects who succeeded him in his post as consulting architect of the Bureau of
Public W arks maintained it as the official style. Its last burst of glory is visible in the
Agriculture (now Tourism) and Finance Buildings. The end of WWII marked the
liberation of govern- ment office buildings from traditionalism. The neo- classic
buildings that were destroyed, such as the Leg- islative Building and the Post Office
Building, were repaired or restored following the original plans. New government
buildings, however, experimented with modernism. Floor plans broke away from the
formal- ism of historicist design, and such features as plain walls, large windows,
and expo~ed columns and beams were adopted from the International Style. Sunbreaks and concrete screens were employed. Whereas in the past only the Bureau
of Public W arks architects designed the government buildings in the post-WWII
period, private practitioners were engaged to undertake some major projects. The
Social Security System (SSS) Building in Quezon City was designed by Juan Nakpil.
The National Library on T.M. Kalaw was the work of a consortium of architects called
Hexagon Associates, including Formoso, Angel Nakpil, and Felipe Mendoza. The
Central Bank
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
Buildings were designed by Formoso; the Development Bank in Makati and the
Philippine National Bank on the Escolta were designed by Arguelles. The Batasang
Pambansa Buildings were designed by Mendoza. The uncompleted Government

Service Insurance System (GSIS) Building at the reclamation area was designed by
Jorge Ramos. In the early decades of the 20th century, govern- ment office buildings
were regarded as, among other things, symbols of authority. In the post-WWII years
they aimed to be symbols of progress, of looking for- ward to the future. Embodying
a certain freedom of design, they foreshadowed the increasing freedom and
restlessness of a new age.
Schools. Education was one of the priorities of American colonial policy in the
Philippines. The public school system was developed, a teacher-training insti- tute
was organized, and the UP was established in the early years of the regime. Private
education also flourished as Catholic, Protestant, and nonsectarian institutions were
founded. The school buildings of the period include those of the public and private
school system from the elementary to university level. Under Act 1801 of the
National Assembly, called the Gabaldon Law after its author Isauro Gabaldon, the
amount of one million pesos was allocated to the construction of elementary school
buildings in barrios or villages throughout the country. Several types of
schoolhouses were designed by Parsons, consulting architect of the Bureau of Public
Works. These one- story buildings, which were slightly elevated above
SCHOOL BUILDING. M planned under the 1901 Gabaldon Law, this prototypal onestory primary school building In Santa Isabel, Malolos, Bulacan features an
Indigenous hlp roof and slide windows with capiz panes. (Eleventh Annual Report of
the Director of Education 79U, National Library Coii9Cflon)
the ground, had classrooms on one side of an open gallery. Features derived from
indigenous architecture were the hip roof and swing-out window shutters with capiz
panes. Many of these buildings still exist and are still called Gabaldon schoolhouses.
Public high-school buildings, usually located in cities and provincial capitals, were
much larger but followed the same plan of rooms along an open gal- lery. The
gallery was in the neorenaissance style, with arches springing from columns and
medallions on the spandrels or the space between arches. For the Normal School
(now Philippine Normal University), a teacher-training institute, Parsons de- signed a
three-story reinforced-concrete building in a style that was modern but with
traditional touches. The tight fabric of the exterior wall is pierced by wide windows,
each flanked by narrow windows. The con- tinuous line of the hip roof is broken by
curved gables. While solid in appearance, the building is charac- terized by a
tropical airiness. University Hall, the first building in the Manila campus of the UP,
was designed by Parsons in the neoclassic or Greek revival style. This established
the pattern for the other university buildings which were the work of his successors
at the Bureau of Public Works, among them, Toledo. For the UP School of Fine Arts
and Conservatory of Music, Juan Arellano designed the neorenaissance Villamor
Hall, notable for the Serlian or Palladian motif of its entrance, i.e., a three-part
opening divided by columns with an arch on the wide central section, and niches
with busts between the upper-story windows.
71
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
School buildings are generally longitudinal in plan and therefore have long
impressive facades. Wings may extend from the ends and sometimes the center of

the main block to form an E or a shallow U or H plan. Some buildings could be


quandragular, with a courtyard within or with two courtyards separated by a central
block. Luna de San Pedro designed the Legarda Elementary School, completed in
1922, in the French renaissance style, with a Mansard roof and dormer windows.
The building may be described as a French chateau interpreted in wood and capiz.
Although floor plans followed a standard pattern, decorative styles were varied. De
La Salle College (now University) is notable for its neat precise neo- classicism
employing the Corinthian order. Centro Escolar University's main building is unique
for its neo-tudor style. Both were designed by Mapua. St Scholastica' s College
adopted the neoromanesque, and San Beda College revived the neogothic that had
been fashionable decades earlier. The earthquake-proof main building of the UST is
characterized by an austere majesty that recalls Span- ish architecture. The Central
Seminary Building is in the art deco style. The first building of the FEU, located
along Quezon Boulevard, is the country's first modern school building,evoking the
vigorous style of the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Benitez Hall and
Malcolm Hall, built in 1941 at the UP Campus in Diliman, were designed by Juan
Arellano in keeping with the traditional style of government architecture then. The
post-WWII buildings, the Administration Building and University Library de- signed
by Juan Nakpil, and the Palma Hall and Mel- chor Hall designed by Condo, all in the
modern style, set the tone for the other buildings of UP Diliman. The building of the
UST engineering and architecture school, designed by Rocha, was the first school
building to use sun-breaks. A school unique for its setting and tropical architecture
is the National Arts Center on the slopes of Mt Makiling in Laguna, the buildings of
which were designed by Locsin. The AIM in Makati, a major work of Formoso, is an
efficient, well-equipped building with wooden panels and adobe stone on the
exterior. Spa- cious, carpeted, air-conditioned classrooms set apart the International
School, designed by Jose Mafi.osa. The Be- nedictine Abbey School in Alabang,
Muntinlupa, also by Mafi.osa, departs from the standard floor plan. Instead of
rectangular rooms arranged in a row along a corridor, hexagonal classrooms are
clustered around a central space, creating a sense of community. Hospitals. The
American colonial government's program to improve and expand health services
included
72
the construction of hospitals. The largest building erected in the first decade of the
20th century was the PGH. The plans, dated 1908 and 1909, show a building
composed of several pavilions in parallel array. A front pavilion, housing the
administration, leads to a central area where common facilities are located and from
both sides of which pavilions branch out, separated by courtyards and connected by
arcaded galleries. Each pavilion houses a department: medical, surgical, orthopedic,
and materni- ty. One pavilion is devoted to private rooms. The provi- sion for future
expansion indicates space for five addi- tional wings. The building is formal and
symmetrical, the plan being somewhat like an organizational chart. The design is
most appropriate for the tropics, since each wing is designed for maximum
ventilation and protec- tion from rain. In the PGH, Parsons introduced a style of
modern architecture, functional in plan, and employing the traditional arch while
minimizing surface ornament. Since tuberculosis was then the fatal disease that
claimed the most lives, it was inevitable that a sanator- ium for tubercular patients
wo.uld be built. The Quezon Institute, designed in the 1930s, a major work of Juan
Nakpil, consisted of pavilions symmetrically arranged and liberally spaced out. The

pavilions in- cluded paywards, and the teachers' and children's pavilions. As in his
building of the same period, Juan Nakpil employed the art deco style. A native touch
appears in the pitched roof of the central building. The largest construction project
within a few years after WWII was the Veterans Memorial Hospital (now Medical
Center), a sprawling two-story building with the front pavilions branching out at
oblique rather than right angles. The hospital presides over vast grounds which
have been developed into a golf course. A box- like structure with slab overhangs
over . the windows and parapets concealing the pitched roofs indicate the influence
of the International Style. Built in the 1950s, the Children's Memorial Hospital (now
Children's Medical Center Philippines), located on Banaue st, Quezon City and
designed by Condo, de- parted from the conventional plan consisting of wings or
pavilions. All rooms are in one curving multistory block at the left side of the
entrance, while at the right, in a low and compact block, are an auditorium and
various com- mon facilities. While the building exemplifies freedom of form in
modern design, its shape was dictated by practical considerations. Designed by Luis
Araneta, the original Manila Doctor's Hospital on UN Avenue, completed in 1956,
was notable for introducing elegance into hospital de- sign. The lobby was
dominated by a curved stairway set against a large curved window. Rooms were
liber- ated from antiseptic white walls and sported cheerful
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
HOSPITAL The Quezon Institute's symmetrically arranged pavilions function as a
sanatorium for tuberculosis patients. The building was designed by Juan Nakpll In
the 1930s on E. Rodriguez. Quezon City. (Foto News 7938, Lopez Museum
Collection)
or soothing colors. The hospital was entirely aircondi- tioned, which made it a
novelty then. Jutting out on the right of the entrance was a restaurant. The Makati
Medical Center (MMC), Araneta's largest work, was built in 1965, and with its nine
floors, was the tallest in its time. The building, in a large rectangular block, was
accented at one end by a cylindrical block housing operating rooms, the inten- sive
care unit, the nursery, and private rooms. On the exterior are flat, horizontal strips
that serve as sun- shades. The MMC represents the high-rise trend in hospital design
which continued in such buildings as St Luke's Medical Center on E. Rodriguez
Avenue in Quezon City, Medical Center Manila on Gen Luna st, and the annex of the
PGH. The Philippine Heart Center for Asia in Quezon City, designed by Ramos and
inaugurated on 14 Feb 1975, has two types of accommodations for patients: wards
and private rooms. The latter are grouped into "petals," i.e., 10 to 14 rooms are
clustered around the nurses' station and are accessible to visitors through
peripheral corridors, which are continuous glassed-in balconies. This arrangement
requires more space than the standard rows of rooms along corridors.
The National Kidney Institute, also in Quezon City, is a two-story, Y-shaped building
with a court- yard at the center. The floor plan of the Lung Center of the Philip- pines
is basically two "diamonds" or two squares in diagonal position, hanging by their top
comers from the arms of a T and joined at their middle comers at the shafts of a T. A
horizontal bar, running through the center of the diamonds, forms the "spine" where
common facilities are located. The sides of the di- amonds, called "wings," contain
the rooms and wards. Vertical bars running through the centers of the squares are
supplementary corridors. In the T-block are common facilities. The bottom of the T,

aligned with the bottom comers of the diamonds, form the entrance area. The
"wings" of the building do not spread out, so to speak, but are folded and interconnected in a compact plan. With rapid developments in medical science and
technology, and with the specialized services and sophisticated facilities expected
by clients and pa- tients, the design of hospitals and medical centers has
increasingly challenged the ingenuity and creativity of architects.
Commercial Buildings. The term refers to build- ings serving the needs of private
enterprise, and thus includes office buildings, stores or shopping com- plexes,
factories, and warehouses. Office buildings and stores are more significant as
architecture and have been the harbingers of new concepts and styles.
73
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
COMMERCIAL BUILDING. Airy and arcaded, the El Hogar Building In Blnondo, Manila,
Inaugurated 1914, had large glass windows, a graceful adaptation of the
renaissance style. (Yea/book of the Philippine Islands 1920, National Ubtory
Co/lectton)
Commercial office buildings fall into two general types: first, those occupied
exclusively or almost entirely by a corporation, such as a bank or an oil company;
and second, those that are rented out to various offices, such as clinics, law firms,
and small companies. The latter type, usually located on urban property, wowd
have stores, bank branches, or restaurants on the ground floor, and office space on
the upper floors. The high cost of urban land and the maximization of income from
rent are significant factors in planning such build- ings. A building occupies the
space up to the property line, leaving only a minimal area for a light well or a small
courtyard as may be required by government building regulations. Rentable space is
further increased by pro- viding several stories. With progress in structural design
and building technology, the increased efficiency of ele- vators, and the ever
escalating cost of urban land, vertical expansion was inevitable.
74
Downtown commercial office buildings are often en- closed on three sides by
neighboring buildings, leaving only the front for access and for natural illumination
and ventilation. Some buildings may have both front and rear exposure, while
hemmed in at the sides by ancient struc- tures. Fortunate is the building on a comer
lot or on a lot open on three sides. More furtunate is the building with a whole city
block to itself. If the lot of a commercial office building is large enough, open space
may be provided in front or on two, three, or all sides. The best-designed buildings
are those surrounded by open space. The five-story Uy-Chaco Building on Plaza Cervantes was called Manila's first skyscraper when it was inaugurated in 1914. Its
undulating balconies and iron grilles mark it as art nouveau. Other buildings of the
period are the El Hogar Building and the First National City Bank (FNCB) Building on
Muelle de Banco Nacional along the Pasig River. While El Hogar is airy
l
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS

and arcaded, has large glass windows, and employs a graceful adaptation of the
renaissance style, the FNCB is solidly neoclassic, with Ionic columns dominating its
facade. The Perez-Samanillo Building on the Escolta, built ca 1930, is one of the
early art deco buildings in the city. As in many commercial buildings occupying a
corner lot, each corner is chamfered or bevelled, there- by eliminating a rightangled edge and providing a narrow vertical face for architectural treatment. The
Crystal Arcade was Manila's most modern building in the 1930s. Called Crystal
Arcade because of its abundant use of glass for the skylight, long exterior windows,
interior windows along its mall, and glass blocks on the floor of the mall to light the
basement, the building was notable for other features, like the grand, cantilevered,
curving stairway and under- ground parking. The Ramon Races Publications Building
(now Guzman Institute of Electronics) on Soler and Calero sts, originally housed
company offices and a printing press. With its asymmetrical design and its vigorous
juxtaposition of forms-planes, blocks, curves, and a cylinder-it is an early example of
the sculptural approach to architecture. The Capitan Pepe Building on Azcarraga
(now Recto) employs a streamlined version of art deco, i.e., with round columns,
plain walls, large windows, and a rounded corner. Reconstruction after WWII, the
development of Makati beginning in the 1950s, and the emergence of new
architects led to more imaginative and adventur- ous approaches to the design of
office buildings. The first of Makati office buildings to exceed the old 30-m limit on
height, the Insular Life Building curves grandly along the intersection of Ayala
Avenue and Paseo de Roxas and is veiled with sun-breaks. On the lower part of its
facade is a bas-relief mural depict- ing aspects of Philippine life. The Capitan Luis
Gonzaga Building at the comer of Rizal Av enue and Carriedo stands out for its
unusual sun-breaks: continuous horizontal slabs with staggered vertical fins that
also serve as signboards for offices. With office buildings constructed away from the
urban centers, sites could be more spacious and design no longer dictated by real
estate considerations. The Philamlife Home Office Building on UN A venue is one of
the first designed with a tall block to house offices and a lower block for various
facilities, in its case, an au- ditorium. The Magsaysay Memorial Building and the
Ermi- ta Center, both on Roxas Boulevard, are basically office towers with lower
buildings attached. The strong vertical component is balanced by a horizontal one
that also serves
to anchor it visually to the ground. The Meralco Building (also called Lopez Building)
on Ortigas A venue in Pasig has a curved, concave facade, the consequence of a
curved interior space so designed to avoid the trainlike effect of long corridors.
Behind the building, on a blockofitsown, is the Meralco Theater. The wide spectrum
of office building design is represented by the Pacific Star Building in Makati, with its
soaring arches; the SMC Building in Pasig, suggesting geometric glass sculpture;
and the Benguet Corporation Building in Pasig, evoking the rugged grandeur of
stone-walled rice terraces. Central air-conditioning and artificial lighting have been
major factors in the design of office build- ings, and of other buildings as well. No
longer is provision made for natural ventilation and natural illu- mination, as in preWWII and early post-WWII build- ings, since urban pollution rules out the former.
Thus architects have been encouraged to design towering glass facades that are
unembarrassed imitations of the slick-tech architecture of the United States. Some
office buildings are costly attempts at First-World architec- ture in a Third-World
setting.

Stores, Superstores, and Malls. For maximum access, stores are traditionally located
on ground level. In an urban setting, they usually occupy the ground floor of
buildings that contain offices or apartments on their upper stories. Stores that sell a
variety of goods are sometimes called bazaars. In the Philippines, stores that
entirely occupied multistory buildings de- veloped in the early 20th century. Such
stores, called department stores, sell a wide variety of merchandise including
clothing, home appliances, furniture, din- nerware, cosmetics, jewelry, and toys.
They are over- seas offsprings of the American department store. One of the large
and fashionable department stores before WWII was Heacock's on the Escolta. A
popular depart- ment store also of that period was the L.R. Aguinaldo Department
Store on Juan Luna. While foodstuffs, such as fresh meat, fish, and vegetables, were
sold in markets, imported items such as canned goods, fresh fruits, butter, cheese,
and frozen meat were sold in groceries and cold stores prior to WWII. The post-WWII
groceries expanded to what came to be called supermarkets, one of the ear- liest
and largest of which is Unimart in Greenhills. After WWII new department stores
flourished in downtown Manila. Their buildings were utilitarian in character and of
little architectural importance. Large department stores rose later in Makati and in
Cubao, Quezon City, as urban development spread to what were once the suburbs
and the countryside.
75
l
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Rustan' s in Makati, which combined the depart- ment store and the supermarket in
one building, initi- ated the superstore trend. More recent superstore buildings
include those of Shoemart (SM) and Land- mark in Makati, Rustan's in Cubao, Plaza
Fair on Plaza Lacson in Manila, and Isetann in Manila and in Cubao. In Makati,
Quezon City, and Manila, stores were grouped in arcades and malls which
developed from one-story clusters to multistory buildings. Shopping malls now
contain not only shops and supermarkets, but also restaurants, amusement centers,
movie houses, and complete department stores, and are ad- joined by multilevel
parking buildings. The Milelong Arcade, the Creekside Arcade, and Sunvar Plaza in
Makati are long narrow buildings with shops, restaurants, and offices in linear array
on ground level and on upper floors. The Quad and the Greenbelt Mall in Makati and
the Ali Mall in Quezon City are large, sprawling mul- tistory buildings housing a
variety of establishments. In the SM City in Quezon City, the SM Megamall in
Mandaluyong, the SM Centerpoint in Santa Mesa, the Galeria Robinson in Pasig, the
Shangri-la Plaza in Mandaluyong, and the Gotesco Grand Central in Caloocan, the
shopping mall is attached to a large department store, or vice versa. Shopping
malls, such as Virra Mall and Shoppesville in Greenhills, Harrison Plaza in Manila,
and various malls and arcades in Makati, are clusters of commercial establishments
with no dm;ninant superstore.
STORE. Located on the ground level of the bahay na bato for maximum access, preWWII stores sold a wide variety of merchandise. Clarke's on Escolta, Manila, built ca
1900, was one of the largest and most fashionable of such stores. (Philippine
Education Magazine 1908, American Historical Collection)

76
Lately introduced is the mall that occupies the ground floor of a parking building.
Examples of this are the Green- belt Mall and Park Square I and II in Makati. The mall
or galleria, as recently developed, is a long building with a high central concourse
flanked by sev- eral levels of galleries on which various establishments are located.
Levels are linked by stairs, escalators, and elevators. Where a long building is not
possible, the concourse becomes a plaza or atrium, likewise several stories high. An
outdoor feeling is created in the con- course or plaza with the use of skylights,
fountains, and greenery. Banners, several stories in length, hang over the
concourse, giving it a festive air. The ambiance is appealing to people for whom
shopping is an act of celebration. The mall is not only a market magnified and a
compact movie district, but also a covered promenade made especially inviting by
central air-conditioning.
Clubhouses. The turn of the century and the de- cade that followed was an
especially "clubbable" time. In 1898 American army and navy officers formed the
Army-Navy Club and used as their dubhouse an old building in Intramuros. That
same year, patriotic upper- class Filipinos organized El Club Filipino lndependiente,
which was soon renamed Club Intemacional to conceal its nationalist light. In 1906
it was renamed simply Club Filipino. In 1901 British residents founded the Manila
Golf Club, which had its golf course in Caloocan. The Benevolent and Protective
Order of the Elks or Elks Club was organized in 1902. The Baguio Country Club was
founded in 1905, the Philippine Columbian Club in 1907, and the Manila Polo Club in
1950. The YMCA was estab- lished in Makati ca 1910. But there were older clubs by
then: The Manila Jockey Club, founded 1867; the Manila Club (or British Club) in
1878, and the Manila Boat Club, an offshoot of the Manila Club, in 1895. Club
facilities are generally the same, but certain features may vary. The standard
facilities are social halls, lounges, dining rooms, game rooms, and club offices. Some
clubs have lodgings for members and guests. Sports facilities depend on the type of
club. These could include swimming pools, tennis courts, pelota courts, bowling
alleys, and billiard rooms. Some clubs have libraries, and might even be well known
for their collections. The first clubhouses of the Baguio Country Club and the Manila
Polo Club were built in the native style, i.e., with wooden frames, wooden sidings, an
elevated floor, and a thatch roof. For the Army-Navy Club, the Elks Club, and the
YMCA, Parsons designed reinforced-concrete build- ings which were among the first
modem structures in the country. The Army-Navy Club and Elks Club are
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
CLUBHOUSE. Once a social hub of American military officers, the Anny-Navy Club,
built 1908, Is an H-shaped building located opposite the Manila Hotel. (Nattono/
Ubrary Cottectton)
still standing. The YMCA Building, located on the block bounded by San Marcelino,
Concepcion, and Arroceros, has been demolished. The Army-Navy Club, located at
the east end of the Luneta and built in 1908, is an H-shaped building, with two
stories at the center, three stories on each side, and arcaded verandas on the first
floor. Behind this building, connected to it by galleries, is a one-story pavilion that
served for many years as a theater. Large windows bring in the breeze from the

bay, while verandas protect the rooms from rain and the heat of the sun. With the
roof concealed by parapets, the outline of the building is somewhat severe.
However, the wings projecting to- wards the front visually beckon and lead the
visitor into the sheltered entrance at the central block. In 1917 the Casino Espafiol
inaugurated its new building on Taft Avenue. The work of Arcadio and Juan Arellano,
the clubhouse was in the neorenais- sance style which the same architects
employed in the Gota de Leche Building on Lepanto st. Along its facade was a series
of deep arches supported by pairs of columns. This building was destroyed in WWII.
The new Casino was built in 1951 on San Luis st (now T.M. Kalaw), behind the old
site. By far the largest clubhouse in its time was the University Club, at the corner of
San Luis and Dewey
(now Roxas) Boulevard, built ca 1920. The seven-story building had
accommodations for its members. After WWII it was converted into a hotel. In the
late 1920s Juan Arellano designed the Man- ila Yacht Club on Dewey Boulevard and
the Wack Wack Golf Club in Mandaluyong, Rizal, both of which, according to
contemporary accounts, were in the Spanish-colonial style. The clubhouse of the
Manila Jockey Club on Felix Huertas st, built in the 1930s, was designed by Juan
Nakpil. The four-story, art deco building has a semi- cylindrical facade with round
columns flanking large, rectangular windows. On both sides of the facade are
semicylindrical stairwells encased in glass, a daring feature at the time. The Manila
Polo Club in Makati, designed by Antonio, was completed in 1950 and set the style
for future club- houses. The abundant space, the openness to the outdoors, the
soaring hip roof, rugged stone-work, and hefty wood- work came together to
symbolize the vigor, daring, and sense of liberation associated with sports. The NPC
Building, designed by Angel Nakpil, ex- emplifies the influence of the International
Style on Phi- lippine architecture after WWII. The concrete and glass structure is
characterized by transparency and a virile leanness. There is nothing extraneous in
the design. Its outstanding feature is the spiral stairway encased in glass and
winding around a cylindrical elevator shaft. The Valley Golf Club in Victoria Valley,
Angono Rizal, designed by Formoso, was completed in 1960. The floor plan
combines a circle and a triangle, i.e., a
77
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
golf ball resting on a tee. In the Club Filipino in Greenhills, built in 1970, Formoso
underscores the Fili- pino character of the Club by simulating the bahay na bato. A
hip roof, capiz windows, ventanillas, and stone walls recall the Club's first home on
Calle Alix (now Legarda) in 1898. The Alabang Golf and Country Club, designed by
Formoso and completed in 1978, contains its complex of indoor facilities in one vast
rectangular structure. It represents the architect's constant striving for simplic- ity in
design. The massive roof, basically hipped but varied in height and configuration,
harmonizes with the outline of distant mountains. The Philippine Columbian
Association clubhouse in Paco, Manila and the Makati Sports Club, both the work of
Rogelio Villarosa, are sports complexes in an urban setting. While massive walls on
the street side protect privacy, wide, covered porches leading to an open area
provide companionable space.
78

EARLY HOTEL Crowned by a pair of Mansard roofs, the Luneta Hotel on San Luis st,
now T.M. Kalaw st. was built ca 1910. It Is the only building In Manila with French
Renaissance-style windows and balconies with cast-Iron grilles. (Yearbook of the
Philippine Islands 7920, National Library Collection)
Hotels. In Burnham's "Report on Proposed Im- provements at Manila," written in
1905, he says: "To the north of the Luneta park is a space approximately 500 to 600
ft reserved for a hotel whose size, surround- ings and appointments are intended to
deliver Manila once and for all from the standing reproach of inhospi- tality toward a
traveller. A hotel on a sufficient scale in this location could be made renowned the
world over, and constitute in itself alone an attraction strong enough to draw to
Manila every traveller in the Orient. With three sides fronting on parks and
boulevards, and the fourth side fronting the sea, the hotel site offers every
possibility for a world famous resort." When Burnham visited Manila in 1904, there
were a number of hotels in the city, in Intramuros, on the Calle Real and in Binondo,
at Plaza Calderon de la Barca, Plaza Cervantes and the Escolta. The Hotel de Oriente
at Plaza Calderon de la Barca was considered Manila's best at the time. It was
housed in an elegant
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
two-story building with seven bays along its front. On the ground floor was a narrow
arcade with Moorish arches, with the arch on the central bay rising to the top of the
second floor. The windows and ventanillas on the lower floor were protected by iron
grilles. There were windows also on the entresuelo (mezzanine). The windows on
the upper floor had sliding glass shutters and ventanillas with iron grilles.
Burnham's proposal for a hotel fronting both park and bay became a reality in the
Manila Hotel, which Parsons designed. The hotel was built on the site chosen by
Burnham, and its architectural style con- formed with his recommendations: "Flat
walls, simply built of concrete (with steel reinforcing roads to resist earthquake),
and depending for their effect upon beautiful proportions rather than upon costly
mate- rials, are from all points of view most desirable for Manila. The old Spanish
buildings with their relatively small openings, their wide arched arcades and large
wall spaces of flat whitewash possess endless charm, and as types of good
architecture for tropical service, could hardly be improved upon." Old aerial
photographs indicate that the Manila Hotel was originally an H-shaped building. In
the course of the years, annexes were constructed, particu- larly on the side along
the bay. A bayside annex was designed by Luna de San Pedro. The lobby was originally a long narrow concourse along the front. An elegant dining room at the bay
side of the building became a spacious foyer for an annex, the vast Fiesta Pavilion.
Like other buildings done by Parsons at the time, the Manila Hotel had capiz window
shutters. With its incomparable location beside the bay, and its lawns, gardens,
swimming pool, and ballrooms, the Manila Hotel became the country's first resorthotel and was the only one for a long time. While other hotels were built during the
American regime, they were in the nature of downtown hotels, built on urban lots of
limited area. The Luneta Hotel on San Luis st (now T.M. Kalaw st) is said to have
been built ca 1910. It is the only building in Manila in the French renaissance style,
and must have been designed by an architect trained in the Ecole des Beaux Arts
tradition. The four-bay, six-story building is crowned by a pair of Mansard roofs. On
the front, French windows open to balconies with cast-iron grilles. The balconies are
sup- ported by consoles. Built before WWII, the Bay View Hotel at the comer of

Dewey Boulevard and Isaac Peral (now UN Avenue) was one of the early high-rise
buildings. A handsome structure of functional design, it abstained from the art deco
ornaments of the period. The build- ing has recently undergone major renovation.
The Great Eastern Hotel on Echague st was a pre-WWII high-rise downtown hotel. A
survivor of the shelling in the last days of the war, it has recently been demolished
to give way to new construction. Although presently a victim of neglect, the Avenue Hotel and Theater on Rizal Avenue, built in 1938, stands as a fine example of
art deco architecture. One of the tallest buildings at the time, it was notable not
only for its height but also for its elegance. Within the decade after WWII the firstclass hotels included the Manila Hotel, the Bay View Hotel, the Filipinas Hotel, the
Shellbome Hotel and the former University Club, all of which were along Dewey
Boule- vard. The Manila Hotel at this time set the pattern for future hotels of its
category. Aside from offering de- luxe accommodations, the hotel had a variety of
res- taurants, a ballroom, function rooms, a bar and lounge, a shopping arcade, and
recreational facilities such as a swimming pool and gym. The hotel had all the
elements of a vacation resort, a convention center, a social center, and a tourist
attraction. With tourist traffic swelling to an unprecedented scale, more hotels were
built not only along Manila Bay and in the Manila tourist belt, but also in Makati, and
in such tourist venues as Baguio, Cebu, Iloilo, Legazpi, Davao, and Zamboanga. At
present Metro Manila continues to have the most hotels. The hotels along Roxas
Boulevard now include the Hotel Otani (formerly Shellbome); the Bay View Hotel;
the Hotel Aurelio (formerly Filipinas Hotel); the Admiral Hotel (formerly Admiral
Apartments); the Silahis International Hotel; the Holiday Inn; the Di- amond Hotel;
and the Hyatt Regency. On the reclama- tion area is the Westin Philippine Plaza
Hotel. Within the tourist belt, not far from Roxas Boulevard, are the Manila Pavilion
(formerly Manila Hilton), the Manila Midtown Hotel, and the Century Park Sheraton.
In Makati are the Hotel Intercontinental Manila, the Hotel Nikko Manila Garden, the
Manila Peninsula, the Mandarin Oriental, and the Shangri-la-Manila. Near the Ninoy
Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is the Philippine Village Hotel. In Mandaluyong is
the EDSA Shangri-la. In 1976 the Manila Hotel was renovated and expanded with
the addition at the back of an 18-story tower containing guest rooms. The major
architects who designed hotels in the post-WWII period include Arguelles, Formoso,
Locsin, Villarosa, and Juan Nakpil. The postwar hotels repre- sent major
developments in design, construction, and technology, particularly with respect to
structural de- sign, prefabrication, air-conditioning, and fire protec- tion. Aside from
the battery of engineers and technical
79
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
consultants, interior designers and landscape architects have been the architect's
indispensable assistants in creating not only landmarks but the plea- sure domes of
this age.
Theaters and Cinemas. Of the many theaters built in the 19th century, the Teatro
Circo Zorrilla at Calzada de Iris (later Azcarraga and now Recto), inau- gurated in
1893, was the only one that lasted well into the 20th century. It survived the Teatro
Filipino at Echague, built ca 1880, which was also the venue of sarswelas and
concerts until the early 1900s. Operas, sarswelas, and concerts were performed at

the Zorril- la. It was one of the stars of the golden age of the sarswela, but when
motion pictures became the rage, the Zorrilla, like an old actor adapting to a new
medium, became a cinema. The grand wooden build- ing, celebrated as it was in its
heyday, did not age well. In less than 40 years it deteriorated, and in 1936 was
demolished. A younger competitor of the Zorrilla was the Ma- nila Grand Opera
House, built in 1902. In the opera house tradition, it had tiers of boxes around the
main floor, above which was a dome. Italian and Russian opera companies, and
later a Filipino opera company, performed in this theater. Here prima ballerina Anna
Pavlova enthralled Manila with her "Dying Swan." The Opera House is perhaps best
remembered for
80
THEATER. Although designed mainly lor film viewing, theaters, like the Rlzol Theater
In the Makoti Commercial Center, hod stages lor concerts and musicals. (Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
having been the setting of the first Philippine Assem- bly in 1907. Burned in 1943,
the building was rebuilt soon after WWII, no longer with the tiers of boxes, but with
the standard main floor, loge, and balcony of movie houses. From then on it was a
cinema, but it also presented popular stage productions. The emergence of worldclass Filipino opera sing- ers in the 1920s, the founding of the Manila Symphony
Orchestra in 1925, and renewed interest in the theater enlivened the cultural scene
in Manila and well justi- fied the construction of a new theater in the grand manner.
Juan Arellano, acknowledged master of the monumental, was commissioned to
design the Metro- politan Theater which would be located at the Mehan Gardens,
formerly the Campo de Arroceros where theaters stood in the 19th century.
Departing from the neoclassic style for which he was celebrated, Arellano created a
sumptuous yet eminently functional theater building that combined native motifs,
art deco, and oriental opulence in its embellishments. The building was surrounded
by open space, and thus stood with regal prominence. The auditorium
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
was flanked by two-story buildings, but separated from them by courtyards. A
ballroom, offices, shops, and a restaurant were housed in these buildings. The
theater, which accomodated 1,670, had a large stage equipped with flies. Although
designed primarily for stage productions, the Metropolitan also exhibited movies.
Destroyed in WWII, it was restored in 1978. The 1930s saw the birth of the firstclass cinemas, the work of major architects of the time. These first- run movie
houses exhibited only American films. In the 1930s Antonio designed the Ideal
Theater on Rizal Avenue and the Lyric on the Escolta. Juan Nakpil designed the
Capitol Theater on the Escolta, and the State and Avenue on Rizal Avenue. Luis
Araneta de- signed the Times on Quezon Boulevard. The cinema houses of the
period were in the art deco style and were considered a novelty for their use of
indirect lighting. Decorative motifs in some theaters included the salakot, carabao
heads, and tropical foliage. The lobbies had wide portals that opened directly to the
street. On one or both sides of the entram.:~ w~rt! lht! lk:kel booths. On the left
and right walls of the lobby were display boards announcing the current and the
coming shows. A few steps led down to the orchestra, and elegant stairways led up
to the loge and balcony. Although the theaters were designed mainly for movies,

they had stages of sufficient depth and some- times had provisions for an orchestra
pit. These stages were put to good use during WWII, when the importa- tion of
American movies was stopped, and the opera- tions of the Filipino film industry were
suspended. Filipino movie actors, and directors formed companies and presented
what were then billed as "stage shows" in the movie houses. Short enough to be
performed several times a day, these included drama, comedy, farce, musicals, and
variety shows. Old American movies considered safe enough by the Japanese censors were shown between stage performances. New movie houses were built after
WWII, among them the Galaxy on Rizal Avenue, designed by Antonio, as well as the
Ever on Rizal A venue and Rizal Theater in Makati, both designed by Juan Nakpil and
Sons. The Ever was unique for its asymmetrical lobby, the stairs on one side set
against a wall-sized mirror. The Rizal Theater, now gone, stood on a lot of its own,
and was not hemmed in by adjacent buildings, as was the case with urban cinemas.
Instead of the balcony and loge being on a second floor above the orchestra, as in
earlier cinemas, the three sections formed one grand ascending curve. The stage
was large enough for concerts, spectacular musicals, and a memorable performance
by the Royal Ballet of England.
Aside from the first-class movie houses there were the second-run cinemas, which
showed double prog- rams and charged less for admission. These were housed in
small buildings or in former first-class movie houses that had suffered poor
management or poor maintenance. In the 1960s the Manila cinema district shifted
from Rizal Avenue and the Escolta to Azcarraga and Quezon Boulevard, or the area
of the university belt where the greater audience or market was. With the urban
sprawl, movie houses were built in Cubao, as well as in Makati, Greenhills, Caloocan,
Pasay, Man- daluyong, Pasig, and Alabang. Equipped with escalators to carry large
crowds, the new movie houses have moved up from street level to the upper floors
of urban buildings, while the ground floor has been given over to shops. The latest
movie houses are now on the upper or uppermost floor of shopping malls. Presently
there are about 200 cinema houses in Metro Manila of varying size, levels of
comfort, and degrees of architectural value. The PEU Auditorium, designed by
Antonio, was housed in the university's Administration Building on Morayta (now
Nicanor Reyes st). In the 1950s it was the only and much used venue for concerts,
operas, ballets, musicals, and plays. Manila's first internation- al film festival was
held here. Aside from the usual sections-orchestra, loge, and balcony-it has a presidential box on loge level at the left of the proscenium. The Philamlife Auditorium,
designed by Arguelles and completed in 1961, is noted for its acoustics, and is still
one of the best concert halls in the country. While its stage was not designed for
theatrical per- formances, it has been used nonetheless for operas and musicals.
The Meralco Theater, an adjunct of the Meralco head office building in Pasig, is a
tastefully designed auditorium that accommodates 1,080 persons. The orchestra,
loge, and balcony are on one vast sloping floor. The stage is well equipped and more
than suffi- ciently spacious for performances. The CCP Main Building, designed by
Locsin and inaugurated in 1969, has two theaters: the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo,
which seats 1,8051, and the Tangha- lang Aurelio Tolentino, whkh seats 402. The
larger hall is a cubical structure, so formed for acoustical purposes. Seating sections
include the orchestra, par- terre boxes, two levels of side boxes, and two balco- nies.
With its vast stage, excellent acoustics, sophisti- cated lighting system, and firstrate stage machinery, the larger hall, called Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, is an

incomparable venue for symphony concerts, oper- as, musicals, and ballets, while
the smaller hall, called
81
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino, is ideal for solo recit- als, chamber music groups,
and drama. The main building also houses offices, galleries, a library, and a storage
area converted into experimental space for plays, called Tanghalang Huseng Batute.
The building is an example of architecture as sculpture: a massive block protruding
from the main mass of the structure appears to float over the entrance, which is on
a podium reached by a driveway that curves around a reflecting pool with fountains.
The Folk Arts Theater (FAT) at the CCP complex is close to a hectare in area and
seats 10,000. Described as a sheltered plaza, the building is naturally ventilated.
The enormous roof rests on only eight columns, which support a span of 80 m. The
FAT established a record for having been built in 77 days. In its race against time,
the construction was a dramatic event.
Churches. In the early years of the American colonial regime, the churches built
during the Spanish period continued to serve the needs of the predomi- nantly
Catholic population. No new churches of architectural significance were built in the
first two decades of the 20th century. Some old churches were improved or rebuilt
follow- ing revivalist styles. The San Miguel Church, which had been rebuilt several
times since it was constructed in 1835, was rebuilt in the neoromanesque style in
1913. In the 1920s Luna de San Pedro designed the neo- romanesque Paules
(Vincentian) Church at San Marceli- no st, Paco, Manila. The neogothic abbey church
of Our Lady of Montserrat, also known as the San Beda Church, was designed by
George Asp, an American architect. The paintings on the ceiling and walls are the
work of a Spanish Benedictine monk, Lesmes Lopez OSB. The Paco Church,
originally built in the 18th century and rebuilt several times, was rebuilt in the
1930s in the neoclassic syle. The Quiapo Church, reconstructed in 1933, was
designed by Juan Nakpil in the neobaroque style. These churches were academically
correct but lack- ed the vigor and folksy originality of the more notable churches of
the Spanish period. Intramuros had seven churches, namely, the Cathedral, San
Agustin, San Francisco, Santo Domingo, San Ignacio, Recoletos, and Lourdes, and
several chapels. When all these, except San Agustin, were destroyed during WWII,
the country lost some of its greatest historical treasures. The destruction of
th"'""' ::onrl nth<>r rhnrrhP"- rompPliPCI thP Catholic Church to build new ones. The
Manila Cathedral was reconstructed a decade af- ter the war and was completed
and dedicated in 1958. Ocampo Sr, the architect for the reconstruction, preserved
82
the remaining neoromanesque facade and restored the church in the same style. A
new bell tower was built. The stained-glass windows were designed by Galo B.
Ocampo, one of the pioneers of modem Filipino painting. The new Santo Domingo
Church in Quezon City, designed by Jose Zaragoza and completed in 1954, is in a
modernized Spanish mission style on a gigantic scale. The murals at the crossing
tower were painted by Carlos Francisco. These depict events in the life of St
Dominic. Antonio Garcia Llamas painted the four evangelists, and Galo B. Ocampo

designed the stained-glass windows. The church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in
Baclaran, designed by Condo and built in the 1950s, has a modern facade and a
ceiling that evokes the ribbed vaulting of gothic architecture. Large doors on both
sides of the building are conducive to cross ven- tilation and turn the outdoors into
an extension of the church for the overflow congregation. After its completion in
1949, the Chapel of St Joseph at Victorias Milling Co in Negros Occidental, was
featured in Life Magazine and called the first mod- ern church in the Philippines. The
chapel was de- signed by an American firm, Raymond and Rado. Antonio Raymond
was a disciple of Frank Lloyd Wright. At the sanctuary is an apocalyptic mural by
Alfonso Ossorio, depicting the Blessed Trinity and the Last Judgment. On the facade
and in the baptistry are glass mosaic murals by Ade de Bethune. The wooden
images of Christ, Mary, and Joseph are the work of Benjamin Valenciano. The domeshaped Chapel (now Church) of the Holy Sacrifice at the UP campus in Diliman,
Quezon City, was designed by Locsin and built in 1955. The central plan was
adopted to bring the congregation closer to the altar. The 24-cm thick concrete
dome rests on a ring beam, which is supported by 32 columns that follow the
curvature of the dome. Wide openings on all sides make the interior accessible from
any direc- tion. On the walls between the openings are the Sta- tions of the Cross
painted by Vicente Manansala. Adorning the floor of the aisles is the River of Life by
Arturo Luz. The crucifix, with the crucified Christ on one side and the Risen Christ on
the other, is the work of Napoleon Abueva. Crowning the dome is a round skylight
pierced by a triangular space-frame whose upper, outer section is a bell tower. From
the pointed inner end hangs the Abueva crucifix. The Christ the King Seminary
Chapel on E. Rorlrig-nf>z Avf>nnP Onf>zon l'ity wa<;; hnilt in 19S9. The floor plan
is fan shaped with an apse. Behind the altar table is a large stained-glass window.
Tall, narrow windows light the interior. On both sides of the choir loft are two tiers of
balconies.
THE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
Another notable church designed by Locsin is the Church of St Andrew at Bel-Air
Village, Makati, which was completed in 1968. The basic structure is fittingly the Xshaped cross of St Andrew, from which eman- ates a billowing roof and a butterflyshaped floor plan. The roof rests on deep arches, which are the entrances to the
church. The baptismal font located at the entrance signifies that one enters the
Church through the sacrament of baptism. Inside and out, the church exemplifies
architecture as sculpture. The Mary Immaculate Parish Church in Moon- walk
Subdivision, Las Pi:ftas, designed by Ma:ftosa and completed in 1988, is a tent open
on all sides. The roof hangs from cables attached to concrete pylons, and is lined
within by chemically treated anahaw leaves. The dove-shaped lamps hanging from
the ceilings are of capiz shells. For the Hacienda Rosalia at Manapla, Negros
Occidental, Fr Luis Gaston built a church using dis- carded cartwheels. The church is
unique for being made of recycled materials. In the 20th-century, churches of the
Spanish colo- nial period were in many instances kept as they were, with at most
minor repairs. Some churches, on the other hand, were mindlessly renovated. The
entire nave would be demolished and replaced with a new
CATHOLIC CHURCH. The Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, completed 1954, is
a giant "mission church." (Cesar Hernando, Santo Domingo Church Library
Collection)

structure or, if the old structure was preserved, win- dows were enlarged by
chopping off sections of the old walls. Restoration efforts have had varying results.
The Las Pi:ftas Church, famous for its bamboo organ, and the Barasoain Church,
where the Malolos Congress was held in 1898, count among the very few examples
of proper restoration. In many old churches the plaster finish has been scraped off
to expose the brick or adobe walls. This has resulted in exposing the material to the
elements and to possible deterioration. Water seeping into the walls could
eventually damage them. Seeds that get embedded in crevices and joints grow into
shrubs whose roots could dislodge stones and bricks from their stable alignment.
From the 1950s on, many of the old churches lost their statues, retablo, altar
frontal, sanctuary lamps, and silver ornaments to art collectors and antique dealers. With the growing interest in sacred art, church robberies have become
common. With few exceptions, such as those mentioned above, Catholic church
architecture in the Philippines in the 20th century has consisted of serviceable, conventional buildings, some aspiring for originality, and some obviously lacking in
inspiration. Protestant missionaries began to evangelize in the
83
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Philippines in 1898 and soon after started to build churches. Like the first Catholic
churches in the Philip- pines, the earliest Protestant churches were of nipa, bamboo,
and wood. Later buildings were made of reinforced concrete. The gothic-revival
style and motifs appeared in both small and large churches. Doors and windows
took the form of lancet arches. In larger churches rose windows adorned the
facades. The Ellinwood Malate Church, built in 1932, is one of the older buildings in
the neogothic style. The Cen- tral United Methodist Church on T.M. Kalaw, founded
in 1899, built its first chapel in 1901. The present church, built in 1949, has a large
recessed gothic win- dow in its gabled facade. Other Protestant churches in the
neogothic style are the Knox Memorial Church on Rizal Avenue, and the United
Church of Manila on Recto st. The neogothic style, the architecture of the Romantic
period, developed in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, and continued to be
employed in the Philippines in the early 20th. Since most Catholic chur- ches in the
Philippines were in revivalist styles derived from Graeco-Roman architecture, the
neogothic style be- came the identifying mark of Protestant churches. By
midcentury the Protestant churches turned to new forms. For the Protestant church
at the UP, DiliPROTESTANT CHURCH. The neogothlc style became the Identifying mark of
Protestant churches, as In the Knox Memorial Church on Rlzal Avenue, Manila ca
1910 (Briggs 1913, National Library Collection)
84
man, Quezon City, Concio designed a saddle-shaped building with a parabolic roof.
Windows are cut into the lower slopes of the roof. The Cathedral of St Mary and
StJohn of the Phi- lippine Episcopal Church, located on E. Rodriguez Avenue, Quezon
City, was designed by American architect and missionary John Van Wie Bergamini,
and was completed in 1960. The tower, which rises over the chancel or sanctuary, is
capped by a four-tiered stepped pyramid. Over the glass jalousies on both sides of

the nave are three horizontal rows of capiz windows on square frames. The interior
design com- bines dignity with a tropical openness. The Union Church of Manila,
located in Makati, has an elliptical sanctuary or assembly hall. The roof, a disk with
a crown at the center, appears to be of folded-plate construction. The Philippil)e
Independent Church, popularly called "Aglipayan" after its founder Gregorio Aglipay,
took over a number of Catholic churches during the Philippine Revolution, but was
compelled by a US Supreme Court decision to return them. The Aglipayans built
churches of bamboo, then later of wood. Since their rites were derived from the
Catholic religion, their churches resembled the Catholic. The Cathedral of the Holy
Child, the National Cathedral of the Philippine Independent Church, loTHE AMERICAN COLONIAL AND CONTEMPORARY TRADITIONS
cated on Taft Avenue, Manila, was designed by Arguelles. The building has a
rectangular nave and a rectangular apse with an east window. The baptistry is at
the entrance. Aside from the choir loft, there are side balconies. The exterior
consists of an upper block with sloping trapezoidal walls, resting on a rectangular
block. The sides of the upper block project beyond the walls of the lower block to
form wide overhangs. On the roof, running above the central aisle, is a row of
concrete vertical fins set apart from each other, prob- ably intended as baffles for
the skylight. The Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) call their churches kapilya. The earliest of
these were made of wood. The first concrete INC church, located on Washington
(now A. Maceda) st, Sampaloc, Manila, was designed by Rufino Antonio and
completed in 1948. It incorpo- rated gothic arches and spires that later developed
into the identifying marks of the INC churches. Juan Nakpil designed the Bishop's
Palace and Chapel, located in San Juan, Rizal and completed in 1952. The kapilya in
Cubao, Quezon City, designed by Carlos Santos-Viola and Alfredo Luz, then partners,
was built in 1954. After Santos-Viola established his own firm, he was commissioned
to design most of the larger kapilya. In 1971 the INC organized its Engineer- ing and
Construction Department (INCECD), which undertakes the design, construction, and
maintenance of INC buildings. The INC churches have been described as neogothic.
However, since neogothic refers to a par- ticular style closely imitating gothic
architecture or em- ploying gothic motifs, the term does not seem appropriate for
the INC churches that in fact employ a modernized neogothic style. The pointed
arch, the triangular arch, towers and spires, and tracery on walls are the mark of the
INC style. Other decorative motifs are rosettes and inter- locking trapezoids. The INC
style may be considered as having traditional elements, since it is derived from
gothic motifs; contemporary, since it pursues the mod- ernist approach of
simplification; and distinctively Fili- pino, since nowhere else in the world does is it
en- countered. The architectural style is symbolic of the
religion which, while based on the bible, departs from traditional doctrine and is
rooted in Filipino values. A program of extensive and simultaneous con- struction of
meeting houses throughout the country has given the Church of Jesus Christ of the
Latter-Day Saints extraordinary prominence in a relatively short time. The
majestically modern Manila Mormon Temple at Greenmeadows, Quezon City,
designed by Felipe Mendoza, has a steep roof and monumental spires. Meeting
houses in various parts of the country, de- signed by Cresenciano de Castro, are
characterized by gable roofs, plain walls, and an air of efficient sim- plicity. Like
other building types in the Philippines in the 20th century, churches have moved
from revivalist design, such as the neoclassic and neogothic, to mod- ern and

contemporary styles, whether functional or romantic. The INC Church and the
Mormon Church appear to favor a standard style. The INC style allows a certain
diversity within basic forms. The apparent uniformity of style could be understood to
signify solidarity or a common single-mindedness. In fact, such uniformity heightens
the visibility and ubiquity of a minority church. Whether they adhere to revivalist
styles or experi- ment with modern or contemporary design, the build- ings of the
Catholic Church and some Protestant churches, are characterized by diversity and
indi- viduality, and attest to the freedom that is possible within the framework of
faith. Whatever be its outward form or style, the church is expected not only to
provide space for worship but to inspire worship. The architecture of an epoch is an
expression of its values and aspirations. Future gen- erations viewing the church
architecture of our time will judge whether or not this was a golden age of the spirit.
R.D. Perez III
References: Foreman 1905; Gatmaitan 1984; Hartendorp 1926, 1932; Hines 1972,
1973; Klassen 1986; Mallari 1930, 1931, 1940, 1941; Moore 1921; Perez III 1990;
Polites 1977; Quarterly Bulletin of Public Works 1912-1917.
85
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
INTERIOR DESIGN
The art of interior design is integral to architecture. It involves the planning, design,
and execution of building interiors and their furnishing. The interior designer, by
training and experience, is qualified to oversee all the phases of production and the
application of various arts and crafts essential to their completion. In the Philippines
the term "interior design" came into general usage in the 1950s. Interior design was
institutionalized as a profession in 1963, when the Philippine Institute of Interior
Design (PIID) was founded. The Philippine School of Interior Design (PSID) was
established to train professionals in 1965. Today several colleges and universities
offer formal courses, and professionals may apply for a license. Through the ages
the form, function, design, and decoration of the interiors of Philippine habitations
have been determined by the environment and cul- ture. Nomadic man sheltered in
caves, in trees, and in makeshift windscreens while hunting and gathering. The
development of agriculture encouraged popula- tion clustering and house
architecture. Interisland, and later, international trade, brought about larger
concentrations of population. The homogeneity of architecture and art by region
roughly corresponds to present ethnoliguistic boundaries. The shift from nomadic to
sedentary to urban life is seen in the number of household artifacts found in
increasing amounts in archaeological sites from the Stone to the Metal to the
"Porcelain" Ages. Stone and metal tools and artifacts, as well as actual structures
attest to the degree of ancient Filipino wood working skills. The remains of the hulls
of seven derelict bala- ngay or boats-one dated to the early centuries AD- have
been excavated in Butuan, northeastern Minda- nao. Archaeologists have found
traces of the haligi (massive wooden posts) of protohistoric houses.
The Ethnic Tradition
European chroniclers provide a glimpse into 16th- century Philippine houses. In
1521 Pigafetta described the house of Cebu' s chief as being "built like a hayloft"

(Blair and Robertson XXXIII:121). He added: "Their houses are constructed of wood,
and are built of
86
planks and bamboo, raised high from the ground on large logs, and one must enter
them by means of ladders. They have rooms like ours; and under the house they
keep their swine, goats and fowls" (Blair and Robertson XXXIII:153). His impression
was that there was little or no furniture in Cebuano houses. The visitors sat on bamboo mats "with feet drawn up like tailors" (Blair and Robertson XXXIII 1903-1909:121). The people slept on reed or palm leaf mats, with pillows made of leaves.
However, Pigafetta noted imported porcelain ware, storage jars, and bronze gongs
inside the houses. He was told by Awi, Butuan's chief, that "all of his dishes" and
"also some portion" of his house were of gold (Blair and Robertson XXXIII:121-123).
When the Spaniards reached Manila some 50 years later, they saw a large,
prosperous, and fortified town. The house of Manila's ruler Raja Soliman, before it
was burnt to the ground, "was very large, and it contained many valuable things
such as money, cop- per, iron, porcelain, blankets, wax, cotton, and wooden vats full
of brandy" (Blair and Robertson III:103). At the turn of the 17th century, Chirino
observed that in the more typical Luzon house, natives ate seated on the floor, their
tables being "small, low and round or square in shape"; after eating, they removed
the tables and cleared the house" (Blair and Robertson XII:308). The anonymous
author of the Boxer Codex, writing at around the same time, confirmed the lack of
substantial furniture: "They are not accustomed_ to sleep in beds nor do they have
them, although they find them comfortable, because they could make them from a
certain thing taken from trees which they call in their tongue baro, which serves as
mattress like wood. They sleep on the floor of their houses, in the elevated portion
which they inhabit, as the portion below is not used. They place beneath their
bodies only some palm mats. Others sleep on some hammocks made by cot- ton
cloth, which they hang with two pieces of rope from the poles of bamboos of the
house ... " (Quirino and Garcia 1958:413). Philippine architecture has been
compared with basket weaving. The similarity rests not only on the
structural technique but, more importantly, in the spa- tial concept of the traditional
house. The basic structu- ral volume is that of a cubic room raised on posts, topped
by a pyramidal, hipped, or gabled roof. All of the space under the roof is regarded in
terms of vertical containment, or "space upon space." The interior of the archetypal
Philippine house does not have walls. The partitioning of areas, based on the
concept of "spaces within a space," is a feature of more advanced interior design.
The traditional house has no ceiling, with the under layer of the roof left exposed.
The upper interior space may be used to store firewood, grain, valuables, and even
dead ancestors. Between the roofing tie- beam and the floor are shelves and
platforms that define levels of space. In many regions the space below floor girders
and between the houseposts is enclosed, thus utilizing the ground level for storage,
sheltering livestock, or work- ing on crafts. The walls of the house are also often
extended outside the basic structural frame to the limit of the roof eaves, creating
"space surrounded by space." The peripheral extensions are raised slightly from the
floor level, functioning as sleeping platforms, seats, and shelves. When built with
slatted flooring material, they also help to ventilate the house.
INTERIOR DESIGN

ETHNIC MINIMALISM. This one-room Samal dwelling has the bare look of most
Philippine ethnic Interiors, having little or no furniture. (GCF Books Collection)
The dapugan and batalan (stove and washing areas) may have originally been, in
the same manner, extended shelves. The logical next step was to extend the
dapugan and the batalan into a protruding annex with a slightly lower flooring, wall,
and sibi (awning). The latter term also refers to the extension creating a front porch.
It is roofed over, like the batalan, but without walls, only railings. On one side, the
access ladder cuts into the guard rail. With such annexes, the central space is
maximized. The traditional one-family house shelters an adult couple and several
children below the age of puberty. The bahay kubo (nipa hut) structure is typical in
the highland communal villages in northern Luzon where, upon adolescence,
children move to gender-specific dormitories, as well as in lowland cultures where
chil- dren are encouraged to marry at an early age and to set up their own
households. In communal cultures where larger houses shelter extended families,
the same interior space planning concepts are also applied. There is still one open
multi- functional common hall. Individual and nuclear family
87
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
areas are defined only by mats, low storage chests or woven boxes, and fiber
screens. In such longhouses the head of the household and his mate sleep behind a
partition, while the rest sleep in the common hall. In more developed communities
the partitioned area is a room, i.e., it has permanent walls and a door. The room,
aside from being the master's sleeping area, also stores valuables and serves as a
dressing room. It is called the silid, which in Tagalog means "to keep safe," referring
perhaps to the original function of the space as the place for storing valuables. In
Islamized communities, the women stay be- hind a partition in the common hall.
The segregation of women was carried to the extreme in the late-period torogan
(Marana a royal houses). Behind the panggao (sleeping area) of the datu was the
gibon, a room specially built for the princess and her ladies, manga raga. Here they
were trained in the arts of gentility, and kept away from the prying eyes of
commoners. Even more exclusive households had a one-room tow- er extending
from the center of the roof. The airy room, accessed only from behind the
headboard of the datu's bed, was called the lamin, and its occupant, the liyamin.
Essentially the concept of the house as "spaces within a space" or an enclosure
assigned to particular members of the household, and with specific func- tions,
came only in later stages of cultural develop- ment. This can be gleaned from the
hispanic terms: cuarto (room); dormitorio (bedroom); canon principal (main hall);
sala (drawing room); galeria (hall); antesa- la (reception room); cocina (kitchen),
and sala co- medor (dining room). In the northern Luzon highland house, interior
ornamentation is minimal. As the climate makes win- dows inadvisable, everything
inside the house is blackened by soot from the open hearth. Pamadingan (walls) are
of hardwood planks, sometimes with chiselled patterns. Among the Ifugao,
structural embellishment consists of carving anthropomorphic and zoomorphic
figures on the hogohog, the shelf mounts over the hearth, and on the halda or patie,
an open shelf for displaying luxury items like imported jars; the underside of the
shelf has hooks in the form of animals, from which baskets and utensils are hung.
The roof's main vertical support, the kinabigat (king- post), is the major interior

architectural detail. Among the wealthiest lfugao, it is carved in the form of an


upright human figure. Kept inside the house is the anita or house guar- dian, and
sometimes the bulol, the pair of harvest ritual figures. At the ground lev~l of the
house may be dis88
'
played the hagabi, a long bench carved out of a massive tree trunk. It is shaped like
a high bench forming an apex at the center and terminating on both ends in huge,
stylized animal heads with large round ears. The bulol, the hagabi, and the
kinabigat are ascending sta- tus indicators, granted to a family by the village only
after a prescribed series of ceremonial feast giving. In some lfugao districts, the pokok (grain stor- age) is so large it is almost part of the architecture. It consists of
floating large planks pegged and grooved to vertical supports, with a removable
door sometimes carved with a human figure. The lfugao also use the dulong
(sleeping platform), a massive plank of wood carved so that a narrow siding and a
wide headrest are left raised and the foot open. They also use dalapong (low stools),
sometimes with base and stem-handles carved to suggest abstract animal feet,
heads, and tails. Among the Tinguian in northern Luzon, status is indicated by the
number and quality of ceremonial weaves hung about the house upon the death of
a family member and during other rites of passage. The textiles are taken down and
put back in storage after the event. Textiles also play an important part in Maranao
interior decoration. The ordinary Maranao walay (house) is functionally and spatially
indistinguishable from that of the northern Luzon bale, Tagalog bahay, and Visayan
balay. Likewise there is minimal architectural detail in the Maranao interior,
although royal houses are highly ornamented in the exterior, with panolong
(protruding okir-carved facade ele- ments), and wall and window panels. However,
the Maranao sleeping area is surrounded by mamadiyang (curtains) and topped by
a kolambo (canopy) which catch insects falling from the roof. These textile hangings are more elaborate in the torogan (royal house). The canopy, also called
riniped, would be of silk and satin, and embellished with libot (applique work),
embroidery, spangles, and headwork. The central panel, visible to the datu lying
down on the bed, would depict the Quaaba in Mecca or the borak, the mythical
winged horse with a woman's head which brought the Prophet to heaven, or a floral
pattern. During a kalilang (festive gathering), the walls are co- vered with lalansay
or continuous hangings which may surround the interior of the torogan from the
beams to the floor. Hangings may also decorate the facade of the torogan.
Decorative vessels and utensils displayed during such occasions include the gador,
silver-inlaid brass urns; the lotoan and the salapa, silver-inlaid brass and heavily gilt
betel-nut boxes, re- spectively; the bintang, a heavily gilt presentation tray; and
other prestige objects.
The Spanish Colonial Tradition
Hispanic acculturation altered Filipino interiors. The houses of the more affluent
began to reflect the social, economic, and cultural changes brought about by
colonization. The houses of the poorest peasants changed least. The Spaniards, first
of all, transformed habitation patterns. Indigenous settlements had been linear, in
strategic locations along bodies of water. Church-and- State rule imposed

concentration of the populace bajo de la campana or within hearing distance of the


church bells. Towns were planned in a grid pattern, with a central plaza dominated
by the iglesia (church) and the casa real (town hall). The bahay pari (priest's house)
or convento, be- side the church, served as the model for the hispa- nized Filipino
house. Initially, the materials and basic construction methods remained indigenous,
although the friars must have required more interior partition- ing than was
traditional. In l\1ani1a and major missionary centers, 'iNhere conventos housed
more than a handful of clerics, the planning would have departed radically from the
in- digenous pattern. There would have been more celdas (individual rooms), a
larger refectorio (common hall), a more commodious cocina, servicios (privies), and
a reception area for parishioners.
INTERIOR DESIGN
Disastrous fires and typhoons soon convinced the Spaniards that traditional Filipino
building materials were impractical for their purposes. From the late 16th century
they began constructing casas de canteria y teja, houses of wood and stone with
tile roofs, in the colonial style of the period. When earthquakes during the first half
of the 17th century levelled many such structures, local builders began to adapt
Spanish colo- nial design to native construction methods; the roof was supported by
haligi, and masonry was utilized as curtain walls. As towns consolidated through the
17th century, the bahay pari, of permanent materials like those in the major mission
centers, were constructed by Filipi- no, Chinese, and Japanese maestros de obra
(master builders) in the countryside. Perhaps masonry was so costly that certain
walls of stone were utilized only around the ground story, or wood was considered a
materjal more suited to the climate, or there was need to reduce the weight borne
by the load-bearing ground floor stone walls. Perhaps for all the above reasons local
builders invented the half stone, half-wood
ILLUSTRADO DINING ROOM. The dining room of the 19th-century Hidalgo house In
Qulapo, Manila features bentwood chairs, marble-topped table, and china cabinet.
(Foto News 1938, Lopez Museum Collection)
89
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
bahay na bato (stone house). The preferred structural timber were mulawin or tugas
or yakal for their strength and resistance to rot. Interior members were made of
narra and ipil. As in traditional houses, the upper level was where members of the
household lived. The zaguan (ground floor), was used for storage of rice and other
agricultural products as well as carros (processional floats), or as an informal
receiving area. Once structures were built of solid materials, in- teriors became dark
and ill ventilated. Windows, which were traditionally grass or bamboo screens
hinged at the top and extendable like awnings, became cumbersome when
fashioned of solid wood panels. This was solved by making sliding panels, the sills of
which also served as additional structural supports. In some 17th century-style
houses the Chinese Ming period building plan was adopted, with the house
constructed in a rectangle around an airwell or open courtyard with a garden. The
conventional convento plan consisted of a rectangular main block with celdas,

refectorio, and galerias (galleries), with an annex for the cocina and service areas.
In the modest bahay pari and its offspring, the bahay na bato, the house proper was
90
smaller, with only a few rooms and a drawing room used only for ceremonial
occasions. Meals were taken in the enlarged cocina; often this became a formal sala
comedor, while still another annex would later be added to function as the new
kitchen. An extension of the cocina was the azotea, an unroofed area where the
cistern or large water storage jars were located. The azotea was where messy
household work was done, and led to "private offices" at one side. Thus domestic
buildings gradually evolved into an "L" plan, with the dining, kitchen, and services
areas forming the short side. In general, the development of art during the Spanish
colonial era can be divided into two: the Mis- sion period, from 1565 to 1762; and
the Hacienda period, from 1762 to 1898. The first period was characterized by the
growth of the missions and towns in the countryside, on the one hand, and the
development of Manila as a metro- polis and as an international entrepot, on the
other.
LUXURIOUS SAlA The mestizo elite of the 19th century exhibited their wealth In the
size of their sola and Its furnishings, as seen In the interior of this house In Santa
Rosa, Laguna. (GCF Books Collection)
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
spacious, and better furnished homes were built dur- ing the Hacienda period. There
was an increased emphasis on the sense of spaCiousness, on ventilation, and light.
Houses had to be open and congenial. Cross ventilation for the rooms was achieved
with the use of an architectural element similar to the Japanese rama, i.e., pierced
panels over doors and the upper portion of partitions. It may have been at this time
that windows with shell panels, also found in mariner towns in England and China,
came into popular use. There was a growing awareness of design and style,
particularly from the late 18th century. Func- tionality became only one
consideration; embellish- ment grew in importance. One indication of the design
trend at that time is the table found in the Taal area, identified as the work of a
hypothetical "Batangas Master'' ebanista. Made of tinda- lo, it retained the basic
form of Ming-style altar tables: a chest of three drawers raised on cabriole legs on a
skeletal stand with short ogee feet. But the flanges and apron have curved outlines
and trellised piecework. The table top is edged with angular-section and dentil
moldings, and the drawer frames are step carved on the front. This exuberant
"confusion" of design traditions, also a feature of the Morong church facade, has
been dubbed the estilo de compuesto or composite style. By 1815 the galleon trade
ceased, depriving the religious orders of a major source of income. As the church
could spend less and less on art, the principalia slowly advanced as art patrons,
eventually superced- ing the clergy by their sheer number. Unlike the reli- gious, this
new elite imbibed the liberal ideas of the Enlightenment, which they worked in
architectural or art form, into their houses. With this new elite, there is a heightened
sense of individuality and self- importance, of style and grandeur. The 19th-century
bahay na bato balanced the consid- erations of privacy and public function.
Generally, houses became bigger. More bedrooms were built. Entertainment areas
had to accommodate not only the resident extended family but whole clans

gathered for ceremonials. The im- portant houses had a salon de baile (ballroom).
Two developments shaped the look of Filipino interiors in the 19th century. First,
there was a succes- sion of stylistic revivals throughout that era ranging from
neoclassicism, the second baroque movement, the gothic revival, orientalist, and
other trends. Second, the increase in international trade resulted in the floocl of_
forPiiT,51-. T""(l;)J:'I...h.t:hu:PCL ,..~u, ;..._,_,l_ ...-n~ household items. Ships
that came to load sugar, rice, indigo, wood, and other native products unloaded
Anglo-Indian and Anglo-Chinese furniture, Bristol glass, Austrian crystal, French
porcelain, and others.
92
Interiors first composed during the late 18th century may have begun as
neoclassical, spare, and symmetrical spaces. Houses stored and displayed riches,
with the characteristic Isabelina or mid-Victorian look. Houses were also expanded
or renovated by succeeding owners in a later revivalist style resulting in eclectic
interiors. The Henson house in Angeles City is one example. The original, early 19thcentury part of the house, now the master's bedroom, retains the bahay kubo form,
with a steep pyramidal ceiling. The sala comedor has a cof- fered ceiling, bordered
by tin sheet panels stamped with a baroque revival design. Off to one side are
bedrooms which were added even much later. The discontinuous interior style is
typical, reflecting the changing styles and fortunes of successive generations. The
attempt to rationalize space and to create a tighter unity between interiors and
furniture began in the late 19th century. There were several factors. First, illustrated
periodicals from Europe began to reach the Philippines regularly, particularly after
the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. Knowledge of trends and the availability of
imported materials made possible the recreation of European interiors. Second, a
succession of destructive earthquakes moved the government to require the
approval of drawn plans for new construc- tion. Prior conceptualization forced house
owners to coordinate interior elements. Third, professional architects like Felix
Roxas began to make their mark. These developments, together with other factors,
gave rise to the production of furniture in multiples, an indication of the prevalence
of fashionable trends in interior design. Perhaps the most successful furniture atelier
during the late 19th century and the early 20th century was that of Ah Tay, a
Chinese artisan in Binondo. Extant examples of his furniture are in the second
baroque style, with gothic revival elements. The interiors of colonial churches, aside
from a very few casas reales (municipal government houses) and tribunales (court
houses), are surviving examples of interior design in public buildings during the
Span- ish regime. The interior space of the church-naye, transept, sanctuary, and
dome-was the object of architectural planning. However, the ornamentation of the
interior could be regarded as interior design. The portion of the interior given the
most atten- tion was the sanctuary, with its retablo or altarpiece, and main altar,
and such particular features as the communion rail, the tabernacle, and the
sanctuary 1'2~ .... ~ t:'rcb.."\.""a:rco--ctU.."tblL:"- L\:-.11c - ,:,aJ.L<..Lua.l y '\J.LAL
vvc:J.c lu;::,u diligently designed and executed were the side altars, the pulpit, the
choir loft, and the baptistry. If the church had a dome, the ceiling of the dome would
be decorated with paintings. In the absence of a true
dome, a domeshaped ceiling is hung from a pyramidal roof. Portraits of the four
evangelists were traditionally painted on the pendentives, the triangular wall sections that link the dome to its vertical supports. Although the roof was not a stone

vault but of wooden frames, a ceiling of tabique or metal sheets was curved to give
the appearance of a vault. The ceiling of the nave was sometimes decorated with
paintings of biblical vignettes, the mysteries of the rosary, the lives of the saints,
religious symbols, and architectural ornaments in trompe l'oeil paintings. On the
walls were the Stations of the Cross, which could be painted, carved wood, or
molded plaster. Chandeliers hung from the ceiling. Interior design as the
collaboration between architect and sculptor was exemplified by the interior of the
neo- classic San Ignacio Church in Intramuros, built in 1889 and destroyed in WWII.
The building was designed by Roxas, and the interior was adorned by the sculptor
Isabelo Tampinco. Fluted Corinthian columns, an intri- cate coffered ceiling, highrelief human figures at the ceiling of the transept, and a richly decorated pulpit and
canopy were all rendered in exquisitely carved wood. During the fin-de-siecle, the
Arts and Crafts Movement and the art nouveau style released the creativity of
designers and artisans.
INTERIOR DESIGN
INTERIOR COORDINATION. By the early 20th century, homes were designed to
raHonallze space and to create more unity between Interiors and furniture. An
example is the art-deco receiving hall of the Conslng residence In Molo, Iloilo. (1932,
Private Co//ecffon)
The construction of three major churches in Man- ila, i.e., the San Ignacio, the Santo
Domingo, and the San Sebastian, encouraged a new generation of artisans. Among
them was Tampinco who set up an atelier in Quiapo, Manila which accepted
commissions for architectural details and furnishings, such as valances and frames.
Tampinco is credited with creating Philippine art nouveau in wood carving with his
use of anahaw, banana, and areca leaves, and other native flora. His son Vidal
maintained the atelier well into the 20th century. It is the painter Emilio Alvero who
is usually credited with matching architectural details with furniture design.
However, Alvero was not the only practitioner of interior design at the tum of the
century. The architects Juan, Arcadio, and Otilio Arellano are known to have been as
concerned about decorating interiors as well as exteriors. Arcadio designed the
house of Don Ariston Bautista Lin in Quiapo around a set of Vienna sezession
furniture. The Juan Arellano house on P. Guevarra, San Juan, Metro Manila was
conceived by the architect in the Mediterranean or Italianate style. The
unprepossessing foyer leads to a sala-comedor with a two-story ceiling. Overlooking
the sala is a balcony, emphasized by heavy moulding and pierced rails, leading from
the master bedroom. The focus of the dining area, which is raised several steps, is a
tall oriel window that fills the room with light. The comedor is
93
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
further emphasized by a high dividing arch painted with murals. Wrought-iron doors
and even wall sconces were designed by the architect.
The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions
By the late 19th century the crowding of population centers changed the Filipino
concepts of domestic space. Furniture became smaller to fit accessorias, which were

annexes to let in old compounds. During the American colonial period, apartments
or rowhouses were intro- duced. Art deco style mass-produced furniture sets for the
bedroom, dining room, and living room became popular. Andres Luna de San Pedro,
Juan Nakpil, Pablo Antonio, Fernando Ocampo Sr, and Tomas Mapua, among others,
hastened the development of Filipino art deco and modernist interiors and
furnishings. The "ambassador-style" sala set of rattan or narra, with a three-seater
and side chair and a coffee and magazine table, resulted from this era. A typical
low-slung set with strong geometric lines, went well with the architecture of the
house Mapua designed for his fami- ly, as shown in photographs of the time. When
it was inaugurated on 16 Jul 1926, the Leg- islative Building (restored after WWII
and now the
94
MODERN INTERIOR. Shown Is the living room of Will Fernandez's bungalow.
Fernandez pioneered In the use of Philippine ethnic motifs, folk colors, and crafts.
(Will Fernandez Collection)
Executive House occupied by the Senate and the Nation- al Museum) was described
by A.V.H. Hartendorp (1926), editor of the Philippine Education Magazine, as the
"most magnificent and impressive structure ever erected in the Philippines and "the
first of the great works of Juan Arellano ... The Senate chamber on the second floor,"
reports Hartendorp, "is the most splendid hall in the building," with its "carved
wooden ceiling, painted in bright primary colors ... mural paintings in the
impressionist style done by Juan Arellano himself, assisted by Emilio Alvero." The
hall was also adorned with two large statues represent- ing War and Peace, and 16
statues of the great legisla- tors. Above the doors were busts of Jose Rizal, Andres
Bonifacio, Juan Luna, and Gregorio del Pilar. Hartendorp, in the 1932 January issue
of Philip- pine Magazine, also described the interior of the then newly opened
Metropolitan Theater, another master- work of Arellano. "In the auditorium, the
beautiful rectangular proscenium opening is dominant. It is de- corated on top with
bas-relief figures emblematic of
Music, Tragedy, Comedy, and Poetry, and with a rib- bon of jewellike plaques in
silver on both sides. The vision is uninterrupted anywhere by pillars or by oldfashioned boxes, and the impression of spaciousness thus produced is heightened
by the clear bareness of the lightly tinted walls, ornamented only by high tapering
tubes of translucent white glass in the shape of bamboo stalks which serve as
lamps. In contrast, the ceiling is gorgeously decorated in deep relief with styl- ized
fruit and leafage designs." Before WWII quality pieces were manufactured by the
Ortoll furniture atelier. The master carver Nuguid is said to have worked there.
When he opened up his own shop, he evolved what came to be known as "Betis
baroque," the baroque revival style of the 19th century, adapted to the mid-20th
century. After WWII Ernest Korneld, an Austrian-Jewish stage designer, became the
first professional interior decorator in Manila. He was known for restrained
decoration and adherence to stylistic unity. Dr Arturo de Santos, an interior designer
by avocation, became known for his elegant interiors and his work on hotels. The
contemporary architect Luis Araneta did very few interiors but influenced many
decorators through his own residence. Both de Santos and Araneta collected art and
antiques assiduously and, by their example, led many others to do the same. One
interior designer who integrated traditional- ist and modernist trends was Rosario

Luz, who had a firm grasp of modern minimalism and an eye for good period pieces.
Among the designers active in the 1950s and 1960s were Wili (Guillermo)
Fernandez, who pioneered the use of Philippine ethnic motifs, folk colors and crafts;
Ched (Mercedes) Berenguer-Topacio, whose subdued and tasteful interior and
furniture designs revealed her grasp of the basics; Edgar Ramirez, whose opulent
designs were inspired by period styles; and Lor Calma, whose furniture designs, like
the "carabao chair," was daring and sculptural. Later, Calma was associated with
Gus Gamboa and Tony Cancio. Also active were Phyllis Harvey, a Russian stage
actor, and her Amer- ican husband Dave, originally a theater set designer who
promoted "space planning." Other important de- signers of this period are Antonio
Zamora, the found- ing president of the PIID, and Joaquin Imperial who, after living
in Spain, came home and established a successful design atelier. The innovative
trend in Philippine interior design was pursued in the mid-1950s by a group of
young interior designers hired by Aguinaldo's Department Store in Echague, Manila
to upgrade its furniture sec- tion. In the 1950s and 1960s the architectural types
INTERIOR DESIGN
most favored were the split-level bungalow and sprawling ranch house, so
furnishings had low pers- pective. Comfort and functionality, rather than gran- deur,
were stressed. Significant designers of the 1960s and 1970s who promoted the
"mod" or eclectic style were Johnny Hubilla, Gerry Contreras, Edith Oliveros, Sonia
Olivares, and Evelyn Vales Garcia. In the 1960s architects Araneta, Leandro Locsin,
and Gabriel Formoso integrated gardens into interiors. This trend was continued in
the 1970s and 1980s by the Antonio brothers, Ramon and Luis. Another major
influence of the 1960s was art collector and dealer Eleuterio Pascual, a conservative
who championed the period style and the use of fine and old furnishings and objets
d'art. The dominant trend from the late 1970s through the 1980s was the "ilustrado
revival" style which recre- ated interiors in the decorative spirit of the 19th- century
Filipino elite. It began with the construction of the Nayong Pilipino, a park in Pasay
City which fea- tured models of traditional houses in the country's various regions.
The Guevarra Foundation's Museo ng Buhay Pilipino in Paranaque, Metro Manila and
the book Philippine Ancestral Houses, 1980, by Fernando Zialcita and Martin Tinio Jr,
also catalyzed this trend. Casa Manila, the recreation of a late 19th-century nouveau
riche residence in Intramuros, decorated by Martin Tinio Jr, marked the culmination
of the trend. In the late 1980s the postmodern style, with its playful allusion to
classical design elements, became fashionable with young architects. Furniture in
the same spirit were introduced by Eric Diaz, who studied furniture design in
London; Dr Joaquin Palencia, associated with Ben Hughes of Steven-heach, a Hong
Kong design firm; Impy Pilapil and lately Claude Tayag, furniture sculptors.
Deconstructivism began to be taken seriously, after its introduction in the mid1980s, in the store designs of Rico Ocampo and his family. Their stores' house
furnishings section have influenced the youth market. Since the 1950s interior
design has become a high- ly regarded specialization. Professionals and practitioners not only select design and arrange furniture, wall and floor coverings, and
accessories, but also help conceptualize space for functionality and aesthetic impact. Interior designers not only help decorate a space but also plan the way a
person lives and works. R. Villegas and R.D. Perez III

References: Agoncillo and Guerrero 1977; Castaneda 1964; Blair and Robertson XII,
XXXIII; Hartendorp 1926, 1932; Quirino and Garcia 1958; Smith 1958; Zialcita and
Tinio 1980.
95
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Landscape architecture is the art and science of designing and planning land areas
with the purpose of adapting them to human use through the alteration or
enhancement of ground forms, the arrangement of trees and shrubs, and the
construction of such features as roads, walks, terraces, and pavilions. Landscape
architecture is also concerned with the conservation and development of bodies of
water, the design of recreational facilities, and the use of art, such as sculp- ture
and mosaic murals. An important aspect of land- scape design is visually integrating
a building with its site. What is now called landscape architecture de- veloped from
landscape gardening which was con- cerned primarily with the arrangement of
trees, flowering plants, and other vegetation for both artistic effect and practical
use. The art of landscaping has a long history. As early as 2500 BC enclosed
gardens were designed in Egypt. Babylon was known for its Hanging Gardens, one
of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Greek palaces and Roman villas were set
in magnificent gardens that were described in the literature of the time. In ancient
China the design of gardens in natural- ist style attained a high degree of artistry
that influ- enced landscaping not only in Japan and Korea, but also in the West in
later years. In medieval Europe monasteries maintained flow- er and herb gardens
and used them as places for meditation. The Renaissance in Italy and France
marked a high point in the development of palace gardens which were formal in
style and grand in scale. A naturalist school of landscaping developed in England in
the 18th century. While Renaissance gar- dens favored geometric patterns, rigid
symmetry, and an artificial character, the English gardens made prom- inent use of
wide lawns, natural contours, and the informal, picturesque groupings of trees and
shrubs. The return to nature was one of the marks of the Romantic movement. In
the 20th century, landscape architecture has reached a high level of sophistication
and has enlarged its scope of service. Familiarity with both Eastern and Western
traditions, a scientific approach to planning, and increased concern for the larger
community and the environment are evident in the works of contem96
porary landscape architects, who have designed school campuses, playgrounds,
parks, resorts, urban plazas, memorial parks, and new communities. The earliest
evidence cif landscaping in the Philip- pines are the rice terraces built by the Ifugao,
Bontoc, and Kalinga. Archaeological finds indicate that the construction of the
Banaue rice terraces in Ifugao Pro- vince might have begun about 1000 BC. The
building of rice terraces involved not only the alteration of land forms but also the
construction of irrigation systems. Landscape design was practised to a limited degree during the Spanish colonial period, when towns were built and provided with
plazas in accon~ance with royal legislation. The plaza was an area of prime
importance for around it stood the church, govern- ment buildings, and the homes

of the affluent. It was a recreational area and a place for celebrations. A Brambila
drawing printed in 1796 shows a grove with bamboo trees well spaced in a park in
Malate, where a monument to the botanist Antonio de Pineda had been erected. An
1855 drawing by Johann Karuth shows the plaza in front of the Manila Cathedral
enclosed by a fence and planted with flowering shrubs along all four sides. A circle
of stone benches surround the statue of King Charles IV of Spain reigning at the
center. Lamp posts are located at the corners of the plaza, at the gate on each side,
and outside the circle of benches. Another drawing shows the plaza of the Santo
Domingo Church filled with shrubs and small trees, with just enough open space for
the path to the church entrance. Landscaped areas in the Spanish period also included boulevards outside Intramuros, such as La Cal- zada (now P. Burgos Drive),
which had a fence and lamp posts on both sides and was lined with trees. Another
popular promenade of the time was the Paseo de Magallanes along the Pasig River.
Lording over it was the Magellan monument erected by Gov Gen Claveria in 1848.
By a decree of Gov Gen Norzagaray in 1858, the Jardin Botanico or Royal Garden
C"Jf Manila was de- veloped in a part of the Ocampo de Arroceros, which was along
the Pasig River. An 1877 plan of Manila shows Jardin Botanico and other the parks
outside Intramuros, namely, the Paseo de Ia Luneta, and the
Campo Militar or Campo de Bagumbayan. The Luneta so called because of its
original half-moon shape, was especially popular, being on the bayshore. Monastic
communities in Intramuros, following the tradition of Europe, had gardens enclosed
on four sides by the cloister. The gardens were planted with tropical trees and
flowers. Gardens were also planted with medi- cinal herbs, which the friars
dispensed to the people and which they brought with them on their missionary
tours. The Augustinian botanist Fray Manuel Blanco, who pub- lished a compendium
of Philippine plants, Flora de Fili- pinas (Plants of the Philippines), 1877, tended a
garden in the cloisters of San Agustin Church. Blanco conducted many scientific
experiments with the plants of this gar- den. A well or fountain was often placed at
the center of the garden. The well provided for the needs of the com- munity, while
the fountain helped cool the garden and the rooms opening to it. The bahay na bato
(stone house) had a kind of garden in the azotea, an elevated terrace under which
was the cistern. On the balustrade, on the floor, and on the steps that led down to
the backyard, were clay pots with an assortment of plants-kitchen herbs; flowering
shrubs, such as roses and pitimini, and ornamental foliage, such as palmeras,
alambrillos and espadas, which were occasionally taken indoors to de- corate the
sala or living room.
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
PARK. A favorite promenade during the Spanish period was the Luneta, originally a
half-moon shaped park, constructed 1877. (Commercial Handbook of the Philippine
Islands 7924, American Historical Collection)
Down in the backyard, called laguerta (from Span- ish "la huerta," garden), were
flower beds and an orchard with fruit trees. Flowering vines such as cade- na de
amor and bougainvillea climbed on the wall or fence of the garden. At the borders
were shrubs and bushes. Fragrant flowers, such as jasmin, rosal, cam- puput,
sampaguita, champaca, ilang-ilang, and dama de noche were the pride of the
garden. Splashes of bright color were provided by bandera espanola, and by the
red, heart-shaped corazon de Jesus and calachuchi trees. Fruit trees, such as santol,

guava, sampaloc, camias, dayap, and lemoncito, provided vital ingre- dients for
cooking. The achuete tree provided precom- mercial food coloring. Caimito, banana,
papaya, sini- guelas, chico, duhat, mabolo, and mango trees pro- vided fruit for the
table and spontaneous snacks. The plans prepared by Daniel Burnham in 1905 for
the development of Manila and Baguio included the provision of parks. For Manila,
Burnham proposed a broad parkway along the bayshore extending to Ca- vite,
shaded thoroughfares along the Pasig River up to
97
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
I'IjI
Laguna de Bay, and parks of varying size in and out- side Manila. During the
American colonial regime, landscaping projects included the plazas in front of
provincial capi- tols and parks throughout the country. The provincial capitols were
located away from the town center and were set on spacious grounds. Some were
built near the seashore or on elevated areas. The park around or in front of a capitol
was planted with shade trees. A broad, tree-lined boulevard that led to the front
portico of the capitol made the building look more awesome. The planting scheme
was formal. Trees were planted in rows or selected trees would be made focal
points, and thus be surrounded by hedges. Monuments were focal points in the
capitol's pla- za and in the town plaza. Trees, bushes, and shrubs were planted
around a monument to give it a backdrop or a frame. In 1934 Juan Arellano
prepared a landscaping plan for Manila that aimed to beautify particularly Padre
Burgos Drive; the New Luneta and Wallace Fields; Harrison Park, the area around
Fort San Antonio Abad; the Port Area; the Malacaftang grounds; the North Port Area;
and Dewey (now Roxas) Boulevard.
98
MEMORIAL PARK. The Manila Memorial Park on Sucat, Parai\aque, constructed 1964,
has open spaces Interspersed with structures of varying heights lk lush veg .. taHon.
The chapel was designed by Leandro V. Locsln. (Cesar Hernando, 1993, Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
The development of middle-class residential areas in the suburbs led to some
changes in garden design. Tsalets (chalet), bungalows, and two-story houses were
built on large lots that provided enough space for front gardens and backyards. In
the front garden were ornamental trees and flowering plants like palmeras,
calachuchi, adelfa, gumamela, Dona Aurora; flowering vines, like yellow bells,
morning glory, and mignonia; and flowering shrubs, like cichirica and milflores.
When space allowed, there would be wide lawns, pergolas, gaze- bos, and fountains.
The planting was of the formal type. The garden was sometimes divided by walks
into quadrants, and each quadrant was surrounded by a hedge. In lawns, plants or
trees were set at the center of vaguely defined spaces, and surrounded by hedges
or shrubs. It was
J
)

common in the pre-WWII and post-WWII years to surround a house with hedges or
shrubs or with pot- ted plants. Plants were in rows or in patches, or formed circles
around trees. Plant grouping was later developed as trees, bushes, and shrubs were
com- bined in informal but harmonious arrangements. In the 1960s the Japaneseinspired garden became the fashion, with rocks, bamboo trees, and lanterns dominating garden design. In the 1960s the first professional architects who had been
formally trained abroad began their profes- sional practice and undertook a variety
of projects. In 1962 plans were prepared for the development of the Luneta and
Rizal Park. The consortium of architects included Dolly Q. Perez, one of the first
Filipino land- scape architects with a master's degree in the field. The Luneta portion
was partly accomplished according to plan, but the Rizal Park was turned over to
the entity that was in charge of fund raising, which pursued its own ideas of park
development. Among the major landscaping projects since the 1960s were the
memorial parks that embodied an en- tirely new approach to the design of the
cemeteries. In traditional cemeteries, burial plots were occupied by structures of
varying heights--mausoleums, sarcopha- guses, tombstones, pylons, crosses, and
statues. The memorial parks made space the dominant element. Grave markers are
kept at ground level. Tree-and- plant groupings stand out prominently. Since
mausoleums and tombs are still preferred by affluent plot owners, areas for such
structures are provided
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
away from the central space. Memorial parks aim to be real parks, characterized by
open space, abundant vegetation, and a relaxing atmosphere. The malls in Makati
and Greenhills began as land- scaped outdoor promenades flanked by rows of
shops. The name "mall," however, was later given to build- ings that followed the
pattern of the mall, i.e., a wide promenade flanked by shops. The mall's vital space
is the multistory-high concourse flanked by several levels of shops lined along
galleries. Because of its length, height, and width, and sometimes its skylight, the
mall seems like an outdoor space. This ambiance is enhanced by the presence of
trees and plants at strategic points as well as fountains, sculpture, and banners
hanging from the roof and swaying languidly over the concourse. The mall is an
indoor park, and its effectiveness as such is seen in the crowds that spend leisurely
hours not only to shop but to enjoy an after-office-hours or weekend airing.
Landscape architecture as a profession developed in the Philippines in the latter
part of the 20th century. In 1973 the University of the Philippines opened a four-year
course leading to a bachelor's degree in land- scape architecture. In 1982 the Board
of Architecture of the Professional Regulation Commission created the Specialty
Board of Landscape Architecture. R.D. Perez III
References: Simonds 1983; "Garden and Landscape De- sign" 1981.
99
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
THE EVOLUTION OF COMMUNITIES
Topography, survival, and defense needs, oppor- tunities for trade and agriculture,
and a people's world view and beliefs, all contribute to the shape of the
communities they live in.

The Ethnic Tradition


Perhaps the most primitive form of settlement can be found among nomadic groups
like the Aeta of Northern Luzon. During certain seasons of the year, their
wanderings bring them to the shore where they fish and make salt. During their
sojourn there, the Aeta build windscreens called dait-dait, in clusters showmg no
predetermmed pattern. A developed form of settlement already existed in
prehispanic Philippines. The patterns of such set- tlements can be gleaned from the
accounts of friar missionaries as well as from archaeology. Both de- monstrate that
communities living in riverine areas or along the littoral built their homes in a linear
rather than compact pattern. The settlement of pre- hispanic Cebu is a good
example. Although the Jesuit Pedro Chirino reports that the settlement of Cebu
stretched from present-day downtown Cebu to Man- daue, the houses were not built
in compact ar- rangements but rather strung along the seashore. However, there
would be some massing of houses around the residence of an important personage
like a datu (Hutteter 1973). The village of Rajah Soliman in Manila seems to have
been of a different pattern. Essentially a trading center at the mouth of the Pasig,
the main feature of the settlement was the fort in which was found the residence of
the rajah. Houses clustered around this fort. Settlements were generally dispersed.
Casino (1977: 747) speculates that migrants from Java, Sumat- ra, and coastal
Indochina were people fleeing from dynastic struggles and persecution. Coming
upon a "true tropical frontier," they saw "no need or pressure to crowd in centers
with central organization." Hence, the dispersed pattern of settlements. Although
dis- persed, communities communicated with one another by utilizing seas, rivers,
and other waterways. Inhabi- tants of the Philippines were expert seamen and ship100
wrights who built boats for travel, trade, and battle. Mountains and mountain ranges
often proved to be insurmountable barriers; thus no extensive road sys- tems
connected villages within the same island. Settle- ments on opposing shores of
neighboring islands had better communications than those within the same island
but separated by natural barriers. The linear and the clustering pattern of
settlement persists today. Hart, documenting the Cebuano dwell- ings in Caticugan,
Negros in 1959, remarks that, over- all, settlement patterns are a result of the
interaction of four factors: topography, land use, the apprehension of the
supernatural, and inheritance rules. Hart re- marks that the last two factors figure
more strongly m the formation of settlements. He documents three pat- terns:
houses lining the main path or the linear pat- tern; houses encircling the community
school; and houses in clusters. What holds these units together are blood ties.
Houses are built at some distance from each other to allow the free circulation of
air. The linear pattern is also seen in southern Philip- pines. The settlement found in
Barrio Luas, Parang, Sulu is typical. Houses are built along the main road, which
follows the contour of the shore and one per- pendicular to it. Some houses stand on
stilts in the sea. A clustering of houses is found at the intersection of roads, near the
wharf. Here the market, mosque, town hall, and Philippine Constabulary Camp are
located. The clustering of houses near the wharf is dictated by trade. Here boats
from other islands dock. Away from the road are clusters of houses (Klassen 1987).
The Ifugao of the Cordilleras do not build large towns but rather have small villages
with 7 to 87 dwellings, built in small groves near their rice fields and terraces. The
sites chosen for habitation are those unfit for planting because they may be rocky.

There are no streets in such settlements, and the houses are not arranged in
straight rows even if the form of the terrace would dictate that they should be.
Villages are not surrounded by fences, although the well-to-do may have fences of
runo, stonewalls, cacti or sticks and branches as barriers. In 1906 Worcester reports,
on the other hand, that the Kalinga have houses placed together and often built in
inaccessible spots. Surrounded by windbreakers of bamboo, these houses
VILLAGE CIRCLE. Butbut, an lgorot village, follows the usual pattern of northem
Luzon houses which cluster around a center. The setHernent Is near the rice fields
Hlled by the folk. (Kreiger '1942, American Hlsforlcol Collectton)
are raised several meters above the ground. Lowland Filipinos, when building a
bcihay kubo (nipa hut}-thus adding a new structure to a settlement--observe a
number of beliefs. Houses are built facing east for good luck. Doors are not made to
face each other. The Bongo of Panay, when building a house, take note of the
position of the mythical Baku- nawa. The months of January and February are best
for house-building, while-March is not. The beliefs concerning house-building among
lowland Filipinos and the cultural communities demonstrate that nature is a living
entity. Aside from respecting the natural contours of the land or the quality of the
soil when building, the builder pacifies nature by rites or prayers. Ethnic patterns of
settlement perdure because they are deeply rooted in sensitivity to and respect for
the environment. House-building and the establish- ment of settlements are seen as
a way of being one with nature.
EVOLUTION OF COMMUNITIES
The Spanish Colonial Tradition
In contrast to the ethnic tradition that accepted the environment as something to be
revered and to be in harmony with, the concept of rationally planned space was
introduced by Spain. The Ordenanzas of 1573 or the "Prescriptions for the
Foundation of Hispanic Col- onial Towns" were a codification by Philip II of differ- ent
instructions given to the conquistador of the New World. A collection of building
laws and zoning re- quirements that incorporated the experience of build- ing in
Latin America as well as the theories of architects from the time of imperial Rome to
the Re- naissance, the set of 28 ordinances contained practical directions on
establishing settlements in the colonies. The heart of the plan was the plaza mayor
(main square), a quadrilateral space bounded by streets. From here extended the
streets in a grid pattern. Smal- ler plazas were located at a distance from the main
plaza. After the street was laid out, a whole block was assigned for the church and
the adjoining convento. In inland sites, the church was built on high ground and was
approached by a flight of steps. In front of it was the plaza, so that it could be seen
from a distance. The casa real or townhall was built opposite the church.
101
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
Schools and a tribunal or courthouse were later added near the town hall. In towns
along the seacoast, the main plaza was near the landing of the port. The church was
to be clearly visible from the port and was designed to serve as a defense for it. The
contrast between the Spanish and the Portu- guese town plan is striking. Whereas

Spanish settle- ments were rationally planned, Portuguese settle- ments took
advantage of a vista. Important buildings were built on elevated ground or
promontories and then connected by streets. The gridiron plan with a plaza was an
innovation in 16th-century Europe. The previous era preferred to mass together
dwellings be- side an important building, usually the church or cathedral. The
rationally and geometrically planned town- scape was rooted in part in Philip II' s
own view that he was tasked by God to create a Utopia in the newly discovered
world. Calling himself a new Solomon, the king sought to create an ideal townscape
for God's glory. The Ordenanzas combined practical guidance and the aesthetics of
urban planning. Spain introduced a hierarchy of settlements. At the apex was the
ciudad (city), which in the Philip- pines was Manila; then came the other ciudades.
Be- low them were th~ villa (chartered town) and the
102
PUEBLO. Christianized communities during the Spanish colonial period were
compact and arranged in a grid pattern around a church, as shown In this 19thcentury print of Santa Ana, Manila. (Quirino 7971, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Library Collection)
pueblo (municipality). The center of the pueblo was called cabecera (center) and
later, poblacion. The poblacion had a church and convento (parish priest's house,
and eventually other buildings for civil admi- nistration. Below the poblacion were
the barrios, eccle- siastically known as visitas, and below them the sitios or
settlements consisting of a few houses. Newly orga- nized settlements were called
reduccion or rancheria, and ecclesiastically, doctrina. The transition from the linear
settlement patterns or the clustering of indigenous settlements in the Phi- lippines
came about through the organization of the reduccion; these were compact
settlements, arranged in a grid pattern, around a church. The reduccion was
organized among newly Christianized tribes. In some cases, a settlement was
already existing and needed only to be reorganized according to the Spanish tradition. Spanish chroniclers and bureaucrats invariably referred to the reorganization of
a settlement as the
founding of a pueblo. This should be understood as a legal statement, i.e., that the
town was considered part of the colony's polity, rather than a statement to the
effect that before the coming of the Spaniards there were no organized
communities in the Philippines. The many indigenous place-names throughout the
archipelago attest to the presence of organized com- munities before the coming of
Spain. This is specially true in the Tagalog, Pampango, and Islamic areas. In other
cases, dispersed settlements had to be banded as one. The missionary, more than
the civil servant, was responsible for organizing many reducciones, which eventually
became towns; hence the many saint names among Philippine towns. The
missionar- ies were not always successful at coaxing people to live together.
Sickness, fire, or natural calamity would cause them to disperse. Many reducciones
were Sunday towns, i.e., the townspeople came to the settlement on Sunday for
religious services and instruction and for trade. Then they would return back to their
fields. Native resistance to the reduccion was common. It manifested itself in three
ways: the remontados or cimar- rones, revolts, and foot dragging. The remontados
were Christianized and hispanized Filipinos who took to the hills to escape tribute,
forced labor, and injus- tice. In the Visayas they were called mundos (from Spanish

"vagamundos," vagabonds). Revolts were almost endemic in colonial Philippines,


but these would not coalesce into a national revolution until 1896. Earlier revolts
may have been spurred by a de- nunciation of Spanish civilizing efforts and the
desire to return to the native way of life. One such uprising occurred in the Visayas
in the 1620s. Called the Diwata Revolt, it began when the Visayans were enticed to
leave their reducciones by the promise of a life abundant with food and free from
taxation and forced labor. By the mid-18th century, the urban centers of the
Philippines, the Central Plains of Luzon, the Southern Tagalog region, the Bicol
region, the coastal towns of the Visayas, parts of northern Mindanao, and the tip of
the Zamboanga Peninsula were sufficiently hispa- nized. It took more than a century
to reshape the form of colonial communities. Other places took longer to fall under
Spanish influence. Batanes and the Cagayan Valley were not evangelized and
hispanized until the late 18th century. Although the Spaniards had made inroads
into the Cordilleras by the 18th century, their evangelization did not take place until
the late 19th century. The island of Negros, named after the dark skinned Ati tribe,
was a missionary outpost from the 17th century, but its hizpanization took place
only
EVOLUTION OF COMMUNITIES
with the sugar boom of the mid-19th century and the migration of many Ilongo to
the island. For centuries, Mindanao was barely under colonial control except for
pockets around forts like Zamboanga, Ozamis, Cagayan de Oro, Tandag, and
Caraga. By the 19th century, only in northern Mindanao could one find a strong
Spanish presence. To speed up the colonization of Mindanao, the colonial
government sent military forces to open settlements. Also sent were the undesirables of Manila: prisoners, prostitutes, vagabonds, and political enemies. They were
exiled to Surigao and Davao to form the nucleus of new commuinities. Other places
of exile were Paragua in Palawan, Dapi- tan, Guam, and the Marianas. The hispanic
town plan presupposed an urban economy, where trade more than agriculture was
the means of livelihood and where the variety of occupa- tions required various
types of buildings. Urbanized spac~ is specialized space, whereas in the ethnic
tradi- tion space was multipurpose. The best-known result of hispanic urbanization
is Intramuros, which was actually two settlements, one military, the other civil. Near
the mouth of the river was Fort Santiago, with its own plaza and military buildings.
Manila's plaza mayor was the space front- ing the cathedral, presently called Plaza
Roma. The main street, Calle Real, stretched from the old Puerta Real at the
southern side of the city and passed by the old Jesuit college, San Agustin church
and monastery, passed the western flank of the cathedral, all the way to empty
space in front of the moat surrounding Fort Santiago. This space was called Plaza de
Armas. Para- llel and perpendicular to this main or royal road were the other streets
of the city, the more important ones being Calle de Cabildo, Calle de Parian, Calle
de Arzo- bispado, and a circumferential road that followed the contours of the city
wall called Muralla. Outside Man- ila, most provincial capitals, major towns, and
cities bear the hispanic mark. A notable example is Vigan, Ilocos Sur. The core of the
town revolves around the cathedral and the plaza in front of it, flanked by ecclesiastical and civil buildings. All streets are arranged parallel or perpendicular to the
streets surrounding the plaza. Also among those retaining the hispanic plan are
Naga and Tiwi in the Bicol region; Pila, Laguna; and the older core of Cebu City, near
the cathedral and Fort San Pedro. In some cases, the hispanic town plan has been
obscured by the urbanization plans of the Americans. In some instances, the plaza

might be smaller than it originally was since the munisipyo or town hall had
appropriated land which was once part of the plaza.
103
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
The American Colonial Tradition
In 1904 the American architect and city planner Daniel H. Burnham came to the
Philippines upon the invitation of Gov Gen William Cameron Forbes to pre- pare
plans for Manila and Baguio. A disciple of the "City Beautiful" movement, Burnham
prepared plans for American cities like Cleveland, Chicago, San Fran- cisco,
Baltimore, and Washington DC. Ironically, Burham's espousal of the movement and
his predilec- tion for the neoclassical idiom placed him in continuity with the
hispanic tradition of urbanization which was rooted in classicism. Burnham
recommended that the street system of the old districts in Manila be maintained,
but for the new section outside Intramuros proposed a radial pat- tern of streets
with diagonal thoroughfares linking the city districts. As for Baguio, he proposed a
develop- ment plan that took the terrain into consideration. In particular, he
recommended building around a de- pressed area, now known as Burnham Park.
Burnham stayed briefly in the Philippines and his plans were executed by William
Parsons and the Bureau of Public Works. Burnham's plans were modified by his
succe- sors and had not been fully implemented when WWII broke out. Perhaps
more significant in the evolution of com- munities was the American colonial
government's drive to improve education as a preparation for demo- cracy and selfgovernment, communication and trans- portation as a means for improving the
economy based on free enterprise and public health. The lasting legacy of American
rule in the townscape are the schools, public markets, hospitals, and munisipyos.
Since ideally the schools were to be provided spacious cam- puses, they were often
built away from the plaza mayor of the hispanic town plan. The school became a
magnet t,hat attracted the development of land around it for residential or business
use. The munispyo at times merely coopted the casa real but more often than not,
was a new building built on the same site or on a new site. Since the school stood
for education and the munisipyo for democracy, these new structures be- came the
centers of development. Improved com- munication meant the construction or
improvement of roads, bridges, lighthouses, wharves, and piers. Beginning in the
1930s, the Americans fostered migration to Mindanao to ease the congestion in
Luzon and the Visayas. Touted as the promised land, Mindanao, especially Cotabato,
which was then popu- lated by the Maguindanao, Tboli, and Tiruray, became the
destination of waves and waves of migrants who landed in the port of Gen Santos
and from thence to
104
their designated homesteads in the hinterlands. Thus the American administration
laid the found- ations of modern urban life characterized by mobility, the quick
exchange of goods and ideas, technology, and the amalgamation of populated
areas into one urban center. American rule was perceived by some as benevo- lent
and beneficient. However, nationalists were strong in criticizing the abuses of the
regime.

The Contemporary Period


In the years following WWII, the Philippines underwent major reconstruction. War
had destroyed the means of livelihood all over the country and rural folk were
compelled to migrate to the large cities in their search for employment. To meet the
needs of a growing urban population, subdivisions began to appear. Earlier
subdivisions like those in Singalong and Makati which catered to the middle class
and those in New Manila which accommodated the rich, were not complete
communi- ties but integrated themselves with the wider com- munity. A highlight of
the 1950s was the development of Philamlife Homes in Quezon City which was envisioned as a total community by its planners with a community center, a church, a
market, recreational facilities, and other amenities. The planners took advantage of
the hilly site and created a road system that conformed to the terrain. The housing
units de- signed by Carlos Arguelles enjoyed efficient natural ventilation and had
provisions for expansion. The total community concept is found in many
subdivisions that mushroomed from the 1960s to the 1990s. A new form of
community structure is evolving in the high-rise condominiums. Virtual villages, the
more upscale condominiums may have offices, stores, a gym, and other amenities
that compensate for the tight quarters found in each unit. The urban centers
continue to attract migrants, but the burgeoning population of cities presents a
problem. As population increases, increasing de- mands are made on the resources
of the city, which can strain them to the point of decay. In the 1950s particularly
during the term of Pres Ramon Magsaysay, migration was encouraged to help
relieve the stress on the cities. Also in the 1950s, to meet the needs of low-income
groups, the government built low-cost housing projects in Quezon City. The project
units were simple, one-story structures with asbestos roofing and wooden jalousies
for windows. During the Macapagal period, tenement houses rose in
SHANTY COLONY. Fronting Manila Bay, Tondo's Smokey Mountain has become a
housing settlement tor the urban poor. (1987, Cesar Hernando Collection)
Barrio Punta, Santa Ana, Manila and Bicutan, Rizal. The failure of these tenement
houses lay in the absence of necessary infrastructure. Many buildings had no
running water and inadequate garbage disposal facili- ties. A legacy of the Marcos
regime are the Bagong Lipunan Sites and Services or BLISS homes, also aimed at
lower-income families. Built under the aus- pices of the Ministry of Human
Settlements, they marked an advance over the older tenements as the homes were
built to be part of total communities. Government efforts to provide housing and
com- munities for the urban poor have been inadequate. Inspite of the participation
of the Church and big busi- ness in providing homes, first for their employees and
then for the poor, urban housing falls way below what is needed. As a result, many
shanties have sprouted in the city. They first appeared after WWII as temporary
shelters, but have become a permanent feature in the
EVOLUTION OF COMMUNITIES
urban landscape. Large communities of the urban poor in Manila, popularly called
squatters, are found in Tondo, Quezon City, along the Pasig River, along rail- road
tracks, and in the reclamation area of the Manila Bay foreshore. Other cities also
have their communties of the urban poor. R. Javellana

References: Bello 1965; Casal 1978; Casino 1977; Cordero-Femando 1978; Coseteng
1972; Folk Architecture 1989; Fox 1977; Gowing 1979; Hart 1959; Hutteter 1973;
Klassen 1987; Lambrecht 1929; Mojares 1983; Ortis- Armengol 1958; Perez III 1990;
Reed 1978; Scott 1966; Vanoverbergh 1953; Worcester 1906; Zialcita and Tinio
1980.
105
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
Various design traditions and building technolo- gies have been introduced, applied,
and assimilated in the various forms of Philippine architecture.
The Southeast Asian Tradition
Anthropologists theorize that the cultures of Southeast Asia have a common root, as
shown in simi- larities in their languages classified by linguists as be- longing to the
Austronesian language family. One of the world's largest language families, it
stretches more than halfway around the world from Easter Island, its easternmost
distribution, to Madagascar, its western- most. It encompasses the islands
Southeast Asia, Mi- cronesia, Polynesia, parts of the Malay Peninsula, South
Vietnam, Taiwan, the coastal pockets of New Guinea, and, some theorize, Japan. The
common culture revealed by these related languages can explain why similar
features are found in Southeast Asia, namely, pile or post construction, saddleback
roof, and decorative gable-finials shaped like carabao horns. The use of piles or
stout posts to raise the floor of the ethnic house is seen, with varia- tions all over
the Philippines, both among lowland communities and tribal groups. The bahay kubo
(nipa hut) is usually built with wooden posts as its framework. The four posts of the
Ifugao house, which is both granary and home, is distinctive for circular rat guards,
while the Maranao torogan (sleeping place) stands o:r't stout log posts resting on
round stones. Houses built on the sea, like the Badjao houses, are raised on slim
posts or stilts. Although Philippine ethnic houses generally lack the graceful curve
charac- teristic of saddleback roofs of the architecture of the Minangkabau in
Sumatra or the noble houses at Lema, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, their hip roofs are
closely re- lated to the saddleback type. As in most of Southeast Asia, the roof is the
dominant architectural feature of most dwellings. In some cases, the house is
mostly a roof, as seen in the Ifugao dwelling and older bahay kubo where the roofs
are pitched more steeply than in the modern version. As for decorated gables, these
are generally suggested by crossed poles that meet at the apex of the roof,
although the Tausug sungan roof is
106
decorated at either end of the house by a horn or crescent-shaped tadjuk pasung,
generally a stylized manuk-manuk (bird) or naga (dragon) design with swirl- ing
leaflike ukkil (carving). Longhouses used for clan or village gatherings are common
in Southeast Asia. A Philippine example is the Maranao torogan with its okirdecorated panolong or beams resembling a ship's prow (Folk Architecture 1989;
Waterson 1990). More clearly related to the Southeast Asian tradi- tion is the
function of the dwelling in a community. This is generally used for sleeping, cooking,

and stor- ing grain and valuables. For instance, in the Ifugao house a corner is set
aside for the dapog (hearth) while storage shelves are placed above it. Here grain is
stored. Most of the day-time activities happen out- doors or under the house, like
weaving, traditionally the activity of women, and carving, a craft of men. As in other
parts of Southeast Asia, many beliefs surround the building of a house in the
Philippines. The choice of a location and orientation is important; so is the need to
placate spirits. Rites of blessing and propitiation are performed in house
construction. In Southeast Asia, the ethnic dwelling is sometimes con- sidered
animate and believed to be inhabited by spir- its. Similar beliefs are found among
the Tausug who name different parts of a house after body parts. The central and
most important post, for instance, is called the navel. Monuments of stone, like
temples and palaces in the Asian manner, are not found in the Philippines. This may
be explained by noting that the Philippines was a frontier of the Asian mainland and
the Malay archipelago, and that these monumental structures were related to the
institutions of kingship and to the organized religions of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Pre- hispanic Philippine society did not develop the intri- cate hierarchical structure
or caste system found else- where. Much less were religions organized as in the
great traditions of the world. Indian culture was one of the influences that shaped
Southeast Asia. Some Indian kingdoms, such as Pallava, stretched up to the Malay
Peninsula, while the Hindu-Malayan ShriVijayan empire spread its in- fluence up to
Borneo. However, Indian influence in
HORN ON ROOF. The hom-shaped tadjuk pasung of the Tausug house relate to the
roof designs In other parts of Southeast Asia. ( Orendaln 1984, Cultural Center of
the Philippines Library Collection)
architecture is not extant although it remains in the languages of the Philippines,
where words denoting inner states are based on Sanskrit, and in the oral literature
of Mindanao, which preserves aspects of the Ramayana Epic. Indian influence is also
noted in the weaving tradition where cloths, called patola, follow Indian patterns.
The Islamic Influence
Islamic influence in Philippine architecture came through two routes: through
Southeast Asia and through Spain. By the second half of the 13th century, a few
prin- cipalities of Southeast Asia had rulers who had con- verted to the Islamic faith.
Malacca became a center of Islam with the conversion of its ruler in 1414. During
the reign of Mansur Shah, 145~1477, missionaries left Malacca for Malaysian lands.
Islam in the Philippines is deeply colored by Southeast Asian traditions. As in most
of Southeast Asia, Muslim traders established settlements among the native
population in southern Philippines. In time, they married into the native population,
often taking the daughter of the local chief who himself converted to Islam. Muslim
missionaries arrived to reinforce the faith. The earliest evidence of Muslims in Sulu,
and possibly a settlement of Mus- lims, is the tomb of Tahun Maqbalu (Muqbalu)
who
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
died in 710 AH or 1310. With the coming of more Islamic teachers, the faith spread
rapidly and reached as far as Luzon, its progress and deeper assimilation hampered
by the coming of the Spaniards. Islam discouraged the depiction of the deity and, in

general, of any human being; hence the dominance of abstract patterns in Islamic
art. An example of such abstraction may be found in the okir carvings found in the
panolong of the Maranao torogan and in the mas- jid (mosques). The panolong are
shaped like boat- prows and ornamented with patterns like the naga or snake, and
pako rabong or fern. These are rendered in abstract floral swirls. Islam introduced
two types of mosques: the mas- jid, and the ranggar in Maranao or langgal in
Tausug and Yakan. The masjid is the "larger and more perma- nent structure, built
on stone foundation, often near a stream or a body of water." It is only in the masjid
where the Friday noon assembly prayers with the khut- bah, and Id observances
may be held. The ranggar or langgal is some sort of chapel, a "small
semipermanent structure built for the convenience of the faithful who are not in
easy walking distance to the masjid," for the afternoon prayers during the Ramadan
season (Gowing 1979). While the general features of Philippine mosques
approximate the traditional Islamic type of mosque, some of its characteristics are
peculiar to the country.
107
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
The sahn (wide enclosed courtyard), for example, is generally absent; instead,
benches are provided outside the mosque where people may sit and talk while
waiting for the next prayer. Likewise, the mimbar (elevated pul- pit) is not high
unlike those of Africa and Western Asia. An elevated platform, a chair or any similar
structure could even take the place of the mimbar in some mos- ques. Furthermore,
the call to prayer is usually done not on tall minarets, but inside the mosques like in
Indone- sia. Suspended drums, called variously tabo, jabu-jabu, or dabu-dabu, are
beaten to call the people to the mosque. While minarets may be present in
Philippine mosques, they are usually not functional. Until the monarchs Ferdinand
and Isabela united Spain as one country under a European ruler, parts of Spain were
under Islamic rule. Islamic influence was deeply felt in the southern regions where
Moorish leaders set up their palaces. A monument to the Isla- mic culture in Spain is
the Alhambra, formerly a resi- dence, decorated with trefoil arches, fountains, and
geometric patterns. Through the instrumentality of the Spanish Inquisition, many
conquered Muslims adopted the Christian faith, often through force. These
converted Muslims were called "mudejar." These Isla- mic peoples brought their own
traditions to Spanish architecture and the style of architecture that evolved from
their contact with Iberian tradition was named after them. Among the elements of
mudejar are the trefoil arch, the octagonal towers used for fortification, the
predilection for surface ornament often in abstract motifs, and the pierced screen.
This architectural tradi- tion combined with Spanish plateresco (plateresque) to
produce the distinctive Spanish baroque. Mudejar elements appear in some colonial
churches. A graceful trefoil arch decorates the main entrance to the Santo Nino
shrine in Cebu, while a less than graceful one adorns the Tayabas Church in
Quezon . .O ctagonal towers flank the Malate Church facade in a manner
reminiscent of fortification. The pierced screen is found in many choir lofts and
tribu- na. Choir lofts with pierced screens are found in the Santo Nino Church and
the Argao Church in Cebu. Tribunas with pierced screens are found in Indang,
Cavite, and Argao, Cebu. Mudejar elements enjoyed a revival from ca 1880s to ca
1910. Using this style for its facade was La Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory in

Binondo, Manila. Common features of neomudejar are horseshoe arches and


arabesque tracery.
The Chinese Influence
Chinese trade contact with Southeast Asia is be- lieved to have begun in the middle
of the third cen108
tury, and with the Philippines, during the lOth cen- tury. The Sung annals report
traders from Ma-i or Ma-yi reaching Canton in 982. Excavations at different sites
have recovered porcelain from the Tang dynasty, indicating trade contact by the
late lOth century. Although Chinese traders had settled in centers like Manila by the
16th century, there is no indication that they built houses or temples in the Chinese
manner. The skilled artisans among them were employed by the Spaniards in the
construction of houses and other buildings beginning in the late 16th century. The
Dominican Bp Domingo de Salazar reports in 1595 that the Chinese provided
builders with materials such as bricks and tiles. The Chinese, inspite of many
pogroms against them by the Spaniards, were essential to the architectural and
artistic activities in colonial Philip- pines. For instance, the construction of the
Seminario de San Clemente in the 18th century was entrusted to a Chinese
contactor, Jeronimo Tongco. The Chinese were active well into the late 19th century,
providing materials like brick, wood, and lime; and furnishing churches with
retablos, and homes with furniture. Chinese elements have been detected in
colonial architecture. For instance, the use of capiz shell windows has its
counterpart in southern China, although this may be an example of countercultural
influence where the use of capiz windows was perfected in the Philippines and
imported by Chinese artisan to their homeland. The up- ward curve of tile roofs in
residences is reminiscent of Chinese-style roofing. Other decorative elements are
found like the fu dogs, lions, stylized clouds, dragonlike scroll work, geometric
lattice screens, and the Chinese features of many ivory santos.
The Spanish Influence
During the Spanish colonial regime, from 1565 to 1898, many Spanish and
European architectural influ- ences were introduced into the Philippines and were
adopted or adapted by native builders. Among the major influences were the
classical, gothic, renaiss- ance, baroque, rococo, and the revivalist.
Classical or Graeco-RomanArchitecture. This is the fountainhead of all European
architecture. Its elements, like columns with capitals, pediments, arches, and
domes, have been reinterpreted in subsequent periods to produce such diverse
styles as romanesque and postmodern architecture. For many centuries GraecoRoman architecture was normative, hence, called classical. Classical architecture
originated in Greece ca the 7th century BC and there developed and flourished until
about 30 BC. It developed in Rome from about
300 BC and flourished until the fourth century. In succeeding centuries it continued
to influence Euro- pean architecture, particularly of the Early Christian, romanesque,
renaissance, and neoclassic periods. Greek architecture is celebrated for its purity of
form and sculptural character. The Greek temple, for instance, seems to be nothing

more than a roof resting on columns, yet it is marked by an ingenious interplay of


space and volumes. Aside from temples, which were their finest work, the ancient
Greeks built thea- ters, council houses, assembly halls, stadiums, gymna- siums,
and monumental tombs. Roman architecture, while influenced by the Greek,
surpassed it in terms of grandeur of scale and structural innovation. The use of the
arch, vault, and dome and the development of concrete enabled the Romans to
construct larger buildings notable for the organization and expanse of interior
space. Temples, forums, basilicas which were halls of justice and com- mercial
exchange, palaces, baths, theaters, stadiums, circuses, aqueducts, and triumphal
arches were architectural accomplishments befitting an empire. The characteristic
feature of classical architecture is the order. In architectural vocabulary, an order
con- sists of a column, the vertical element, and the entabla- ture, the horizontal
element, resting on the column. Greek architecture, which employed post-and-lintel
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
construction, is described as columnar and trabeated, from Latin "trabs," beam. The
Greek orders were orig- inally of timber, later of marble. A column consists of a
base, a shaft, and a capital. The capital (from Latin "caput," head), is the crown of
the column and may be simple or ornate. The shaft, or body of the column is round
in section, and may be plain or fluted. Flutes are shallow, concave channels that run
vertically all around the shaft, relieving the appearance of solidity, and stressing
verticality. The shaft of the column, is given an entasis, i.e., a gentle curve tapering
towards the capital, giving the effect of a slight bulge. Entasis was devised by the
Greeks to correct the optical illusion that made straight columns appear slightly
concave. The proportion between the diameter and the height of a column is said to
have been based on the proportions of the human figure. The entablature is a
decorated beam, just as a col- umn is a decorated post. The entablature has three
parts. The cornice, the uppermost section, projects above the rest. The middle
portion, called the frieze, is sometimes decorated, depending on the order. The
lowest portion,
NEOCLASSIC FACADE. Neoclassic columns and pediment mask the original facade of
the Malabon Church, built 1861, (Vistas y Tipos de Fiipinas, Lopez Museum
Collection)
109
HISTORICAL ESSAYS /j
/
I
which rests directly on the column, is called the archit- rave. With its three divisions
defined by projections and adorned with moldings, the entablature has a pronounced horizontal character, which complements and controls the vertical thrust of
the columns. While the classical orders are regarded as styles of decoration, and
were in fact used as decorative and nonstructural elements in later periods, they
actually represent in their original form the ideal integration of structure and
ornament. The Doric is the simplest of the Greek orders. The column has no base
and rests directly on a platform called thestylobate. Its height is 6 to 7 times the

lower diameter. The shaft tapers upward to three-fourths or two thirds of the lower
diameter, and has about 20 flutes or channels. The capital suggests a square slab
placed over a shallow bowl. The Doric entablature is in height one-and-a-half to twoand-one-fourth times the lower diameter of the column. It is divided horizontally
into three sections. The lowest, the architrave, represents the beam resting on the
columns. The middle section, the frieze, is a horizontal strip with triglyphs and
metopes alternat- ing. The former are rectangular blocks with three ver- tical
channels. The latter are square spaces adorned with relief sculpture. The uppermost
section, the cor- nice, is a set of horizontal moldings.
110
TROPICAL GREEK. Between the windows of the 19th-century Bautista house In
Malolos, Bulacan are Greek-Inspired caryatids or female forms. (Ayala Museum
Collection)
The Ionic order is distinguished by its capital shaped like a scroll. While the volutes
might have developed from earlier floral forms, like the Egyptian lotus, the Roman
architect Vitruvius says that since the Ionic column represents a woman, the volutes
corre- spond to the curls of her hair. The height of the Ionic column is nine times the
lower diameter. The shaft has 24 flutes. Unlike the Doric column, the Ionic column
has a base. Between the volutes of the capital is an egg-and-dart molding over a
bead molding. The Ionic entablature has three sections: the cor- nice, frieze, and
architrave. :rhe frieze is sometimes plain, but is more often decorated with a
continuous band of sculpture. One decorative feature of the cor- nice is the row of
teethlike blocks called dentils. The Corinthian column, its height 10 times the lower
diameter, and its shaft fluted, is the most slen- der and elegant of the Greek orders.
The bell-shaped capital is slightly more than one diameter in height. It is decorated
with volutes and acanthus leaves. Vitruvius explains its origin as fol- lows: A basket
of offerings covered with a tile was
placed over a maiden's grave and was unwittingly set over the root of an acanthus
plant. The plant grew and covered the basket with leaves and with sprouting stalks
that curled under the corners of the tile. The Corinthian entablature resembles the
Ionic. Of the Roman orders, the Tuscan is the plainest. The height of the column is
seven times the lower diameter. The column has a base, and the shaft is not fluted.
The capital is simple. The entablature is not adorned. The Roman Doric resembles
the Greek Doric, ex- cept that its column has a base. The Composite order, so called
because it com- bines Ionic and Corinthian features, was developed in the first
century. It has the same proportions as the Corinthian. The capital has the acanthus
leaves of the Corinthian and the larger volutes of the Ionic. While each order
represents a distinct style of architecture, orders were combined in buildings of
more than one story, following the rule of superco- lumniation or superposition.
Under this rule, the sim- pler order was used on the lower story, and the more
ornate on the upper. The Colosseum in Rome has the Doric order on the first story,
the Ionic on the second, and th~ Corinthian on the third. The classical orders appear
in buildings of the Spanish and American colonial periods. The Tuscan order is used
in the baroque facade of the church at Morong, Rizal. The Post Office Building in
Manila has massive Ionic columns. The Corinthian order adorns the old Legislative
Building (now the senate and national museum), and the Agriculture and Finance
Buildings. The facade of the church in Tanay, Rizal is a fine example of

supercolumniation, using the Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders. Caryatid,


atlas, herm, and term refer to columns or decorative elements in the form of human
figures. The caryatid, from Greek "Karyatides," priestesses in the temple of Diana at
Karyai, is a column or pillar carved in the shape of a draped female figure and
holding up an entablature. The most famous caryatids are those in the southern
porch of the Erechtheion, one of the temples on the Acropolis in Athens, which was
built from 421 to 405 BC. The six figures stand on a low wall and support the roof of
the porch. Columns in the form of women carrying baskets on their heads are called
canephorae. Columns in the form of men are called atlantes, after Atlas, or telamones. A herm is a rectangular stone post, tapering towards the base, and topped
by a head or bust, usual- ly of the god Hermes. A term or terminal figure resembles the herm, except that the human head, bust, or body surmounting the pedestal
is merged with it or
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
appears to grow from it. Caryatids were used in some buildings during the Spanish
colonial era, not as structural members, but as decorative elements. The Bautista
house in Malolos, Bulacan is unique for its caryatids. In classical architecture, the
pediment is the low- pitched triangular gable resting over a portico or row of
columns marking the entrance of a building. The base, called the horizontal cornice,
is the cornice of the entablature. The sloping sides are called the raking cornice. The
enclosed panel, called the tympanum, is decorated with sculpture, or may be left
plain. In re- naissance architecture, the term is applied to any roof end, whether
triangular or curved. Triangular or curved surface ornaments over doors and
windows are also called pediments. Roman and baroque architecture used the socalled broken pediment which had a gap in the apex, providing space for some
ornament, such as an urn or a cartouche. A broken pediment could have its gap at
the base or horizontal cornice. A fine example of pediment in the classical style is
that of the former Legislative building. Classical fea- tures are also found in the
facade of the Malabon Church. Churches of the Spanish colonial period are notable
for the various forms of pediments- triangular, curved, and broken-on their facades
and also on their retablos.
Gothic Architecture. Gothic architecture had no- thing to do with the Goths, the
Germanic people who overran the Roman empire in the early centuries of
Christianity. The architecture that developed in France in the late Middle Ages was
called "gothic" in con- tempt of its departure from Greek and Roman classical
norms. It is sometimes called "ogival architecture," after the shape of its
characteristic arch. The construction of the choir of the Abbey of St Denis near Paris
in 1140 marked the beginning of gothic architecture. From then on until the 16th
century, gothic cathedrals rose throughout France, then in England, the Low
Countries, Germany, Spain, and parts of Italy. With their strong, upward thrust
expressing man's desire for transcendence, these cathedrals are monuments to an
age of faith and mysticism. That era saw the growth of cities and the rise of
universities, the founding and fervent activity of the friar orders, the flowering of
scholastic philosophy and theology, and the violence of the Hundred Years War and
the cru- sades. The pointed arch, the ribbed vault, and the flying buttress that
characterize the gothic style made possi- ble wider spans between columns, less
dependence on

111
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
walls as supports, more spacious interiors, larger win- dows, and a lighter looking
structure. Larger windows led to the extensive use of tracery and stained glass.
With plain columns or clustered piers rising to arches and ribbed vaults, and with
tracery silhouetted against stained glass, gothic architecture is a play of lines and
space, dramatized by light and color. In France, the gothic style went through three
stages: the lancet in the 12th century, so named after the pointed arch; the
rayonnant in the 13th century, with circular windows and wheel tracery; and the
flamboyant in the 14th and 15th century, with flame like tracery. In England, the
periods of development included the Early English or lancet, from the late 12th to
the early 14th century; the decorated, in the 14th century; and the perpendicular, in
the late 14th to late 15th century, so called because of its emphasis on straight
vertical and horizontal lines. Gothic survival refers to the continued use of gothic
forms during the Renaissance until the 17th century. Gothic revival refers to the
movement and style that flourished in the 18th and 19th century in Europe and the
United States. In England, the architect Thomas Rickman built 57 churches in the
Gothic style, four of which made prominent use of iron. The gothic style came into
Philippine architecture in the 19th century through the Gothic revival, which
influenced both domestic and church architecture. Im- ported into the islands, it
became primarily a decora- tive style characterized by pointed arches and finials,
112
NEOGOTHIC CHURCH. Colonial church and residential architecture followed 19thcentury revivalist styles. Notable Is the facade of the Bantay Church In llocos Sur,
built 1691, with pointed arches and finials. (Renata S. Rastrollo 1990, Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
Tudor arches, spandrels with trefoils, statuary in pointed niches, and lace tracery.
Verticality and height were out of the question in the earthquake belt. Still,
neogothic did produce meritorious designs, like the churches of Cordo- ba, Cebu,
1876; Bantay, llocos Sur, 1892; and above all, Santo Domingo in Intramuros, 1868.
Unfortunately, the last was destroyed during WWll. A curiosity is the San Sebastian
Church in Manila, 1891, whose prefabricated steel parts were made in Belgium.
Gothic influence is also seen in private houses as in the Oaparols residences, ca
1880 in Talisay, Negros Occidental; the Tecson house, ca 1900, in San Miguel de
Mayumo, Bulacan; and the Tiongson house, ca 1880, in Malolos, Bulacan. Only a few
Catholic churches of the Spanish and American colo- nial periods were designed in
gothic revival style, such as the Santo Domingo and the San Sebastian. However,
numerous Protestant churches built during the American regime adopted the gothic
revival style in simpler form.
Renaissance Architecture. The renaissance (French for "rebirth"), i.e., the rise of
humanism and the revival of classical learning, began as a literary movement in
Florence in the 14th century, with the poet Petrarch as its leading figure. It was
stimulated by the patronage of princely families, particularly the Medici, the banking
dynasty that rose to political dominance. In Italy, the centers of the Renaissance
were Florence, Rome, and Venice. Renaissance architecture began to develop in the

early part of the 15th century. The first building in renaissance style, the Foundling
Hospital in Florence, was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and built from
,I
'I
1421 to 1445. Its outstanding feature is the arcade with arches supported by
Corinthian columns and with medallions on the spandrels, i.e., the triangular space
between the curves of adjacent arches. Renaissance architecture aimed to revive
the ancient Roman forms. In its early style, it employed the classical orders, round
arches, and symmetrical composition. The revival of classical architecture was not a
difficult task, since in Rome monuments and ruins of the imperial era were still
standing and could be studied and measured. In the 16th century, with the
development of the high renaissance, architects exercised more freedom and
creativity in their use of classical motifs. In the style called mannerist, the elements
of classical architecture were used in unconventional ways. Columns, for instance,
did not serve a structural purpose but became purely decora- tive. From the
discipline and ingenuity of the renaissance emerged the opulence of the baroque.
Renaissance architecture is characterized by the rational organization of space
which, on one hand, recalls the ancient Romans' dramatic handling of in- terior
areas, and, on the other hand, reflects the human- ist vision that places human
beings at the center of this world. The design of space was influenced by the newly
discovered science of perspective. An interior was so shaped that its total visual
effect could be enjoyed from only one focal point where viewers could also perceive
themselves as the center and measure everything around them.
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
Whereas romanesque and gothic architecture con- sisted largely of churches,
renaissance architecture com- prised not only churches, but also palaces, villas, and
public buildings such as hospitals. The prominence of secular architecture was
inevitable in an age that was avowedly humanist and that fostered scientific
learning, invention, exploration, and the expansion of trade. From Italy the
Renaissance spread to France, Spain, the Low Countries, Germany, and England.
The invention of movable type and the printing press resulted in the wider
dissemination of ideas and the expansion of studies, while the use of copper-plate
engraving facilitated the reproduction of architectural drawings for wider circulation
and study. In Philippine architecture, the influence of the re- naissance style is
evident in such buildings as the Nurses' Home of the Philippine General Hospital and
the Villamor Hall, which were built during the Amer- ican ~olonial period.
Baroque Architecture. The term baroque (from Portuguese "barroco" or Spanish
"barrueco," a rough or imperfect pearl; or Italian "barroco," exteremely verbose or
illogical arguments), was originally deroga- tory and disparaged what were regarded
as excesses of late rennaissance architecture. In the late 19th century, 'baroque"
lost its perjora- tive sense when applied by German and Austrian scholars to a
particular style of architecture and art in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and Austria
in the 17th
NEORENAISSANCE ARCHES. The architecture of American-period public buildings
aimed to revive classical Roman orders, like round arches and a symmetrical

composition. Both are exemplified by the facade of the Nurses Home of the
Philippine General Hospital built ca 1910. (Tourist Handbook of the Philippine Islands
1924, American Hllforlcal Co//ecffon)
113
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
and 18th centuries. Baroque, as a description of a style, is applied to architecture,
painting, sculpture, and music. It is rarely applied to literature. The Baroque period
began ca 1600 and ended ca 1715, or according to some sources, 1760. It brought
to extravagant fullness what had begun in the Renais- sance, namely, the revival of
learning that opened the way to vigorous creativity. It was an age of rising and
expanding power. Ex- ploration and colonization brought unprecedented wealth into
Europe, raising merchants to the princely class. Nation states and powerful
monarchies, such as Spain, France, and England, reshaped the politics of Europe,
which had been built upon the internationalism of the Church of the Holy Roman
Empire. A new kind of power was generated by the development of science and
philosophy, leading to secularism. Europe had been split by the Reformation, but
the Catholic Church had rein- vigorated herself in the Counter-Reformation. The
ener- gy of the era was inevitably expressed in its art. The baroque vision aimed
towards the unification of the arts. Architecture, painting, and sculpture were
integrated in such monuments as churches and palaces, while music, drama,
poetry, and painting were brought together in the opera. Architecture itself seems
to have been influenced by the theater. If gothic architecture is an expression of the
spiritual- ity of the era, baroque art is the expression of sensuous- ness. Its opulence
and extravagance aim for visual im- pact. Baroque architecture, while marked by
the abund- ance of decoration, is characterized by a sense of drama, as it plays with
movement, depth, and contrast. Baroque space is so designed to achieve a sense of
movement or direction. Parts are subordinated to the whole to dramatize the total
effect. Spaces interpene- trate, resulting in a sequence marked by progressive
expansion. Structural elements as columns and piers are so arranged to create
rhythm and movement. Walls are broken by vertical and horizontal elements, creating deep recesses and bold protrusions. One feature of baroque architecture is the
oval shape, or the oval as the starting point of a complex spatial composition. Unlike
a circular space which has one center, or a rectangular space which is rigidly
defined, the oval suggests movement. The use of curves extends to the
configuration of the exterior. Thus the undulating wall or the play of concave and
convex planes replaces the flat facade, giving the building a sculptural character.
Baroque ornament, while following the basic classi- cal Renaissance design, namely,
columns, pediment, and base, is sumptuous and exuberant, sometimes to the point
of excess. Frpits, flowers, and foliage appear
114
in such profusion as to overwhelm the structure. Pedi- ments are broken, at the top
or at the base, and the gap filled with ornamentation. Columns are twisted, indulging the obsession with movement and sensuous- ness. Volutes are employed for
various purposes, as surface ornaments or as functional supports. As curves defined
baroque space, so do curves abound in baroque decoration, lending fleshlike
fullness and rous- ing movements to its various motifs. Colors are vivid, textures are

rich, and materials are declarations of wealth, gold being among them. The great
monuments of baroque architecture in- clude StPeter's Basilica and Square in Rome,
Italy; the Palace of Versailles in France; the Charterhouse in Granada, Spain; St
Paul's Cathedral in London, Eng- land; and San Carlo Alle Quatro Fontane in Rome.
St Peter's Basilica and Square were built from 1506 to 1626. Its architects include
Bramante, Rafael, Michaelangelo, Della Porta, Fontana, Vignola, Maderna, and
Bernini. The dome, the rear end, and the transept, designed by Michaelangelo,
belong to the renaissance; while the nave and facade by Maderna, and the
baldachin, the throne of StPeter, and the colonnade by Bernini, belong to the
baroque. The Palace of Versailles exemplifies the baroque building dominating its
environment. A stunning mas- terpiece of organization of both interior and exterior
space, it symbolizes the grandeur of secular power. Because of its relative restraint,
the architectural style of Versailles is referred to as baroque classicism. San Carlo
alle Quatro Fontane has an undulating facade and a basically oval interior space.
Although Italian in its orgins, baroque underwent transformation as it encountered
indigenous tradi- tions. The Iberian Peninsula, to which Spain and Por- tugal belong,
was somewhat cut off from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees Range that straddled
the boundary of Spain and France. A strong Moorish pre- sence in Spain contributed
to a predilection for orna- ment and abstract patterns on surfaces. In Spain, baroque
followed upon the late gothic, characterized by the use of spires and ornamentation.
It was baroque in spirit, untempered by the rationality of the renaissance. Spain
always welcomed foreign artists, and thus did the Italians come to work in Spain. A
hispanic and a classical stream is often distinguished in the evolu- tion of baroque in
Spain. The latter, also called "here- tical" because of strong foreign influence, is
closer in spirit to Italian baroque. But a more indigenous de- velopment is seen in
the fusion of Flemish and Ger- man artistic tradition with the mudejar, resulting in a
style called Isabelline, which persisted to as late as
1483. Typically, Isabelline combined gothic forms with surface ornamentation. Under
Carlos V, structural mem- bers rather than decorative motifs dominate architectural
design. The Escorial Palace, designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed in
the mid-16th century by Juan de Herrera, a Spanish architect who spent some time
in Italy, was a monument to Spanish renaissance and a good example of the
classical stream. Spanish baroque was not confined to the Peninsu- la. A vigorous
movement, it followed upon the expan- sion of the Spanish empire. The style spread
to Na- ples, Sicily, and Malta-regions which were more or less politically linked to
Spain since the 15th century. But its real flowering occurred in Latin America and
the Orient, where it took unexpected turns. Brought to Mexico, baroque produced a
type of ornamentation characterized by undercutting a sur- face, called tequitqui.
An extreme form of baroque was churrigueresque, named after the Churriguera
brothers, Spanish furniture makers. A common element of Spanish baroque was the
twisted or helix column, the salomonica. While the baroque flourished in Europe,
Chris- tianity was taking root in most of the Philippine archi- pelago. Philippine
churches were first made of wood, bamboo, and thatch, or de carrizo or ligero type,
although in time native artisans developed the skill
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
BAROQUE CHURCH. The Morong Church In Rlzal, completed 1853,1s distinguished
by Its facade which combines classical and baroque styles. (Cesar Hernando 1991,
Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)

and art of carving stone and wood, following Euro- pean designs. The friars, who
designed the churches and supervised their construction during the 17th and 18th
centuries, introduced the baroque style to the local culture, while the native artisans
interpreted it according to their taste and vision. While a number of churches have
baroque facades, and while a greater number are adorned with baroque altars and
finishings, no church of the colonial period employs baroque space. Churches were
basically stone boxes with decorated fronts. The rectangular church with apse
follows the basilican form of early Christian architecture, while the church with a
cruciform plan and a dome over the transept derives from the romanesque and
early renaissance rather than from the baroque. Baroque facades, i.e., baroque in
overall form and ornament, include those of the church in Binondo, Manila and the
church at Morang, Rizal, the latter completed in 1853, long after the Baroque era in
Europe had ended. The three-tower facade of the church in San Luis, Pampanga has
a recessed central portion and protruding side walls that suggest ba- roque
undulations. Baroque ornaments embellish the facades of the churches in Paete,
Pakil, and Nagcarlan, all in Laguna; and Daraga, in Albay. The masterpieces of
baroque expression in the colonial churches are the retablos, with salomonica
115
HISTOR~AL ESSAYS
columns, tightly coiled or sprawling volutes, floral garlands and festoons, discreet or
lavish gilding, and veritable explosions of ornament. Native fruits and vegetation
are sometimes grafted on the European transplants. Filipino Baroque ornament is
inspired by both European motifs and the lush tropical landscape.
Rococo Architecture. Rococo (from French "rocailles," rock work, referring to the
artificial rock arrangements in the gardens of Versailles, and also to rocks with
serrated edges of shelllike or corallike forms), the style of decoration that flourished
from ca 1715 to 1790, is considered by some scholars as the final phase of baroque,
limiting the term to interior decoration, while others consider it an architectural
style, distinct from baroque. While the center of baroque was Italy, the center of
rococo was France. The style became popular in Southern Germany and Austria, and
spent its last years in Spain and its colonies. While baroque is heavy, massive,
somber, forceful, and structured, rococo is light, delicate, playful, graceful, and
relatively free. While baroque is characterized by vivid colors and the use of gold,
rococo uses pastel hues
ROCOCO MOTIFS. The tacacle of the Mlag-ao Church In Iloilo, buiH 17~ has rococo
medallions and niches. (Renafo S. Rastrol/o.1990)
116
and the natural colors of wood. While baroque plays with planes and solids, rococo
plays with lines. Rococo motifs include shells with twisted curves, crimpled shells,
scrolls, flowers in garlands or bouquets, leaves and branches, and C-and-S curves.
With the im- portation of porcelain into Europe, Chinese motifs, called Chinoiserie,
became part of the rococo style. Rococo architecture aimed to unify space and simplify structure. Columns were reduced in bulk and rose to maximum height, crossing
the horizontal lines of the entablature. The stru~ture's vertical thrust was
emphasized. Arches were raised and domes were made lighter by being ribbed and

punctured. Numer- ous small windows were provided to flood the interior with soft
light. The continuity of vertical lines was matched by the continuity of decorative
schemes. Like baroque, rococo came to the Philippines through Spain. The earliestknown rococo works appeared ca 1780, about 60 years after the style was
introduced in Europe. Rococo was adopted in the Phi- lippines as a decorative rather
than architectural style. It appeared in the ornaments calligraphers used in
manuscripts, printed texts, silverware and wooden ramilletes, church facades and
retablos. The Miag-ao Church facade, built between 1787 and 1797, is Philip- pine
rococo at its richest, incorporating native flora. The facade of the San Vicente
Church in Ilocos is
restrained yet eminently graceful. The Argao Church in Cebu abounds with rococo
ornaments, especially at the altar and choir loft. Among the glories of rococo are the
retablos in the Tanay Church in Rizal and the Betis Church in Pam- panga. Rococo
retablos are also found in Pakil, Lagu- na; Tagbilaran, Bohol; San Jacinto Sanctuary in
Tuguegarao, Cagayan; and Tayabas, Quezon. While in Europe, rococo had run its
course before the end of the 18th century, in the Philippines vestiges of its influence appear in minor works of the early 19th century.
Revivalist Architecture. Archaeology as a sci- ence was born in the late 18th century
with the methodic- al excavation of ancient Roman cities. History, as a sci- ence
seeking to reconstruct past events on the basis of written documents, emerged at
the same time. Together, the two had a profound influence on the arts. Architects
during the Renaissance and Baroque periods were no doubt deeply interested in
classical antiquity. But they were not antiquarians; they took liberties with classical
forms. Thus, by classical stan- dards, the columns on the facade of San Agustin,
1604, are incorrectly designed. Their trunks are too thick in proportion to the thin
capitals. Later in that century, baroque architects invented forms unknown to
classical antiquity, like the twisted. salomonica columns and the estipite. In
contrast, revivalist architects carefully copied details from extant monuments. The
classical tradition of the Romans and the Greeks dominated the 19th century
because it con- noted reason in a world where science and political centralization
were triumphant. However, a counter- movement, romanticism, soon popularized
the once- despised medieval tradition. Buildings began to im- itate the gothic, the
romanesque, and the byzantine. Eventually, the historical fever revived other forms
from the past: the renaissance, which never ceased to command respect, and the
baroque, which for some time was derided for its fantasies. The Romantic imagination reached out even to non-Western styles, like the Egyptian and Indian, and
popularized their motifs. As an expression of nationalism, Spanish designers utilized
Moorish or mudejar forms from the past. Neoclassicism preferred a sober dignity to
the ex- cesses of baroque. It sought exact classical proportions and ornamented
surfaces with correctly rendered pilasters, massed either singly or in pairs, under
semi- circular or triangular pediments. This movement developed in Europe in the
18th century as a reaction to what were regarded as exces- ses of late baroque and
rococo architecture. Its earliest proponents were Carlo Lodoli (1690-1761), a
Venetian
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
Franciscan priest, and Marc-Antoine Laugier (1713- 1769), a French Jesuit priest.
Lodoli's theories were published 25 years after his death in a book, Elementi

d'architettura lodoliana by Andrea Memmo. Laugier's Essai sur /'architecture was


published in 1753. While both were criticized and opposed by their contemporaries, their ideas laid the foundation for a new approach to architecture that
influenced the 18th and 19th centuries as well as the 20th. Both advocated a
rational style of architecture characterized by honesty, simplicity, and due regard
for function, based on fun- damental principles of design rather than on imitation of
historic styles. While neoclassicism advocated a break from the postrenaissance
style, it led to the revival of ancient Greek architecture which it upheld as the idealbeing pure, honest, and simple. Conforming to the Greek aesthetic, neoclassic design emphasized the structural elements--columns, entablature, and roof-and
underplayed or eliminated decoration. Whereas volumes merged in the baroque and
rococo architecture, massses were clearly defined or simply juxtaposed in
neoclassic architecture. While renaissance architects sought inspiration in the
splendid buildings of Imperial Rome, neoclassic architecture turned to the relatively
simple, col- onnaded, and pedimented temples of Greece. And while the
renaissance architects used the forms and motifs of the Roman style with freedom
and creativity, neoclassic architects tended to imitate the features of the Greek
style, producing works that ranged from the elegant to the aridly academic. The
outstanding architects of the neoclassic period and their best-known works include
the following: Karl Fredrich Schinkel, the German, Altes Museum, Berlin, 1823-1830;
Jacques Germain Soufflot, French, the Pantheon, Paris, 1757-1792; and Sir Robert
Smirke, the British Museum, London, 1823-1847. While the neoclassic style had its
golden age in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, its influence con- tinued on to
the early 20th, maintained by the Ecole de Beaux Arts of Paris. In the United States,
the Greek revival made its first appearance in the 1820s. Neoclassic buildings there
include the US Capitol, the White House, and the New York Public Library. The 1893
Chicago's World Fair, of which Daniel H. Burnham was Chief of Construction,
featured buildings in the neoclassic style according to the Beaux Arts standards and
sparked the second neoclassic revival in the United States. Until the 1920s
architectural schools in the United States were dominated by the disciples and
devotees of the Ecole de Beaux Arts.
117

HISTORICAL ESSAYS
While the neoclassic style is evident in some Filipi- no churches of the Spanish
colonial period, it came to this country with greater impact in the early 20th century, when Filipino architects, trained in the United States under the shadow of the
Ecole de Beaux Arts, designed such government buildings as provincial capitols and
public schools. Examples of neoclassical church facades from the Spanish period are
those of Taal, Batangas, 1878, and Malabon, Rizal, 1861- 1863, both designed by
the Spanish architect Luciano Oliver. Probably the most outstanding example of the
style was the small but stately San Ignacio Church in Intra- muros, 187~1889. The
most notable examples of neoclassic architecture of the American period are the
Post Office Building, the Legislative Building, the Agriculture and Finance Build- ings,
and the buildings in the former site of the Universi- ty of the Philippines on Taft
Avenue and Padre Faura st. The identifying marks of the style on these buildings are
the Ionic and Corinthian orders and two- or three-story high front porticoes evoking

Greek temples. Tuscan, Ionic, and gothic columns became fixtures of private
residences, whether on house fronts or drawing rooms. Examples are the ground
stories of the Ilagan house in Taal or the Constantino house, 1840, in Balagtas,
Bulacan. Doric and Ionic friezes became popular decorations, while lotus leaf and
honeysuckle anthemia became commonplace in grillework and roof antefixes. Some
houses. like the Bautista house, 1877,
118
\\\ \ \ '
ROMANESQUE ARCHES. Rebuilt 1954-1958, the present Manila cathedral In
lntramuros has a rose window and deeply recessed round portals framing a
typanum with bas-relief (lntramuros Administration Ubrary Collection)
in Malolos, Bulacan, even sported caryatids inspired by the Parthenon's Erectheum.
The vogue for the distant in time also revived the romanesque. When the Manila
Cathedral was rebuilt in 1879, it adopted deeply recessed round porttls framing a
tympanum with bas-relief and a rose window. Similar features appeared in provincial
churches such as Santa Lucia in llocos Sur. Rounded arches, embellished with
interlacing vines in low relief, and large trapezoidal capit- als, exuberantly
decorated with acanthuses and crosses over slender colonettes, entered the houses
as decorative features, although in wood. Unique is the Pavia Church in Iloilo, 1899,
which was inspired by early Christian Roman basilicas. Un- like most churches of the
colonial period, it has a rounded apse and a deep portico with three Roman arches
of equal height. A perennial challenge was how to span the naves. True stone vaults,
like that of San Agustin, were danger- ous to build in a quake-prone country. One
option was to hang a flat wooden ceiling, but this contrasted with the neoclassical
and neogothic aspirations of the facade. Another option was to simulate a barrel
vault with wooden boards. The latter became popular. To decorate this,
neorenaissance trompe I' aiel techniques were used. Three-dimensional friezes,
framed paintings, niches, cof- fers, columns, and pediments were painted on curved
surfaces, many of them with considerable charm, some with true mastery. The
painted interiors of the San
Agustin in Intramuros, 1875, the Batangas cathedral, ca 1880s and the Apalit
church typify this style. Paintings of religious scenes on these ceilings were
sometimes executed in the prevailing Romantic style. Other renaissance details
gained currency in pri- vate homes, such as French-style quoins to contrast with
brick walls, appliqued or incised bouquets on wooden wall surfaces, and atlantes
under roof eaves. Non-Western motifs also influenced these houses. From the
neomudejar came horseshoe arches, salomo- nic stars, and arabesque wall tracery.
Examples are the Insular Cigar and Cigarette Factory and the former motherhouse
of the Augustinian Order in Intramuros, recently restored but now a commercial
building. Revivalism's significance has been ambiguous. The fondness for copying
dead styles, while ignoring context, has persisted to this day. During the 19th
century, technological and environmental constraints imposed limits on literalness
of imitation. For instance, the danger of earthquakes and the tropical heat kept
houses low, emphasized the use of frame construc- tion, and made many wide
openings necessary regard- less of the neo-style. But with the use of reinforced
concrete and air-conditioning during the 20th century, these constraints have been

disregarded. Inappropri- ate and uncomfortable structures have resulted. A positive


effect of revivalism has been to revital- ize art styles. While it began by proposing
classical as the only norm, it ended up eliciting appreciation for art styles hitherto
derided as barbaric, such as gothic or Moorish. Filipino architects began to realize
the need to experiment with new forms deriving from their tradition and
environment. The 19th century ended with the sculptor Isabelo Tampinco using local
flora in his interior decor.
The American Influence
The American colonial regime from 1901 to 1946, and the strong influence of
Ameriq~.n media through- out the 20th century introduced European and American styles of architecture into the Philippines.
Art Nouveau (French for "New Art"). This inter- national style, mainly in the applied
arts, flourished from about 1890 to 1905. In Germany, it was known as jugendstil,
bandwurmstil, or tapeworm style; in Italy, stile inglese or English style, or stile
liberty, after the furnishings and textile shop Liberty of London; in Spain,
modernimo; and in Austria, sezession, since its advocates seceded from the
Academy of Art in Vienna. ~ In 1895 Samuel Bing, a native of Hamburg who had an
art shop in Paris, began promoting a new line of art
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
objects-stained glass, sculpture, paintings, posters, and jewelry by contemporary
artists-and appropriately cal- led the shop Art Nouveau, the same later adopted by
the movement. The origins of art nouveau go back to the 1850s in England when
the development of arts and crafts was promoted by the government. In France a
similar move- ment began with encouragement from state. Exhibits were organized,
societies were found, and interest in the decorative arts was promoted through
publications. With the growing rejection of historical styles in the applied arts,
artists and artisans were urged to turn to nature for inspiration. Contributions to the
new consciousness was the influx of Japanese art, par- ticularly woodblock prints,
into Europe, as a result of Japan's opening to the West in the 1850s. Artisans also
became acquainted with Japanese batik and Egyptian art, and went into studying
Celtic art. The long, curving, flowing, rhythmic line that characterizes art nouveau
began to appear in the 1880s in graphic art, particularly on book covers and illustrations. It later found its way into architectural orna- ment, in wrought-iron grilles,
railings, and tracery. The graceful, undulating line was especially effec- tive in
interior design, where it provided the decora- tive pattern for both objects and their
surroundings- furniture, accessories, walls, floors, and grilles. Art nouveau
rediscovered the power and vitality of the line, i.e., the line as active, restful,
disciplined, expressive, austere, sensuous, and unifying. The sinewy line, while
significant by itself, provided a suit- able underpinning for organic forms-buds and
ten- drils, leaves and branches, seaweed, fish, reptiles, and birds, bats, dragonflies,
flames, and the slender woman with long flowing hair. While art nouveau could be
quite naturalistic, it could also be abstract, exploiting the potentials of pure line and
pure form. The best-known art nouveau works are those of Victor Horta, Henri Van
de Velde, Hector Guimard, and Antoni Gaudi. A staircase designed by Horta, with
exposed iron supports, floral grilles, and swirling lines on wall and floor, is the
classic example of art nouveau. Furniture designed by Van de Velde is functional

and graceful, representing a somewhat austere version of art nouveau. Hector


Guimard designed the metal arches of the Paris metro stations. The uncompleted
Sagrada Familia basilica in Barcelona, Spain, Gaudi' s major work, combines gothic
forms with animal and earth forms. An apartment building by Gaudi is daringly
shaped like a giant sea rock. Art nouveau is better known as a decorative style than
as an architectural idiom. Yet art nouveau
119
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
architecture is significant for its innovations and con- cepts. The preference for
simple geometric forms and the extensive use of glass and metal mark art nouveau
architecture as a break from the historicism of the time. In spite of its having been
promoted by numerous exhibitions and by crusading publications, art nouveau was
short lived. By 1905 it began to decline, and it survived in watered-down form. Its
floralism con- tinued to be popular in the 1920s and 1930s. On one hand, it lost
ground to the neoclassic revival in the early 20th century. On the other hand, it also
contri- buted to the emergence of modern architecture. Art nouveau was hospitably
received in Philip- pine upper-class residential architecture in the 1900s. Following
the integrated approach of the style, painter Emilio Alvero used the circle as the
basic form for arches, furniture, and trellises when he remodelled the sala of the
Bautista-de los Santos house in Malolos, Bulacan in the 1900s. Anahaw and areca
palms, bana- na leaves, and the camote vine provided the motifs for Tampinco's
version of art nouveau which graced many elegant homes. Arcadio Arellano
designed Ariston Bautista Lin's house in Quiapo, Manila, around a set of Vienna
sezession furniture that the latter had brought home after a European tour. Large,
assymmetrical pic- ture frames with curvilinear and floral motifs are among the
relics of art nouveau. Painted floral decora- tions on walls, ceilings, and window
shutters in a number of houses attest to the favor once enjoyed by art nouveau in
the Philippines.
Art Deco (French, "art decoratif"). This was a style of design and decoration
promoted by the Ex- position Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Indus- triels
Modernes, which was organized by French de- signers and held in Paris in 1925. The
Exposition had more than 100 pavilions and 20 European, African, and Asian nations
participating. The aim of the exhibit was to raise the status and expand the
application of the decorative arts and to stimulate contemporary design. In line with
this aim, artistic design was adapted to the requirements of mass production. The
exhibit covered a wide range of work, such as glass, ceramic and metal objects for
domestic use, jewelry, textile, embroidery, musical in- struments, scientific
equipment, furniture, and in- terior design. Art deco, also called style moderne,
reached its peak in the 1930s and is associated with the Jazz Age. Because its
primary objective was the applied arts, it had no influence on the fine arts, but was,
on the other hand, influenced by such modern art styles as cubism, fauvism,
futurism, and abstraction. Its impact on
120
architecture was limited to surface ornament and de- corative work and to
streamlining forms and motifs. It did not contribute to developments in the concepts

of space and structure. It became the fashionable style for movie houses, hotel
interiors, and ocean liners. While the exponents of modern architecture ruled that
form should follow function, art deco advocates considered form superior to
function, thereby produc- ing an antifunctional aesthetic. Art deco furniture, for
instance, could be uncomfortable and impractical. It was form and style that
mattered. Art deco derived its forms partly from classicism and partly from avantgarde art. Its first phase, influ- enced by art nouveau, the Russian ballet, Egyptian
artJ and Aztec art, aimed for grace, elegance, and the exo- tic. Its second phase,
developing in the 1930s, turned to such materials as glass, chrome and plastic, to
solid rectilinear forms, and to angular, zigzag or lightning motifs. Art deco followed
the principle of stylization. In the United States art deco's influence on architecture
is seen in the Rockefeller Center, the Radio City Music Hall, and the Chrysler
Building. the introduction of art deco in the Philippines in the 1930s marked the end
of the neoclassic dominance and the beginning of modern architecture. The style is
found in the Metropolitan Theater, the Central Seminary of the University of Santo
Tomas, the Perez-Samanillo building, the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the Capitol
Theater, the State Theater, and the Times Theater.
Modem Architecture. Something is modern (from Latin "modo," meaning "just now'')
when it is character- istic or the present of recent times. Thus, even in mediev- al
Europe, the word was used to describe whatever was new at the time. Gothic
architecture, for example, was called "opus modernum." In the 20th century,
"modem" is applied to various aspects of contemporary life, to what was developed
since the early part of the century, or simply to what is new. "Modem architecture,"
then, refers to that which emerged in the 20th century, or slightly earlier, in opposition to historicism or the adherence to historical styles. Like modem art, modem
architecture represents a radical de- parture from or rejection of what has been
traditionally accepted or revered. Apart from that, it is, from the sense of the term,
the architecture of the present. However, the term "modern architecture" has been
recently limited to the architecture of a particular period in the 20th century, or to a
particular style or styles. A distinction is often made between "modern" and
"contemporary," the latter referring to the im- mediate present. The currently
fashionable term "postmodern" implies that "modem" is a thing of the
"-"\:ft. 1-_,.,q-. ''"-'.-; .... }.-.... ,, .. ;tr,,.f t, .~<.
past and that a new style or concept has emerged. Although modernism in
architecture may be viewed as the rejection of historicism, it might well have had its
roots in neoclassicism, which began as a rejection of baroque and rococo but
developed into the historicism of the Greek revival. Neoclassicism, in promoting a
rational approach to design and in attack- ing the addiction to ornament, upheld the
ideals of simplicity and honesty. Modern architecture in its present form would not
have been possible without the architecture of the en- gineers. In bridges and
industrial buildings, the sci- ence of construction advanced and acquired the character of art. The introduction of such materials as cast iron, wrought iron, steel, and
reinforced concrete, and the new science of structural engineering expanded the
possiblities of architectural design and fostered innovation and originality. Columns,
beams, and arches could be less bulky and yet stronger. The size and number of
structural supports could be reduced. Larger covered spaces could be created.
Buildings could rise higher, and with mass-produced components, construction
could be more rapid and efficient. New materials and new methods of building gave

rise to new forms. Modernism in architecture, however, was not merely the
inevitable consequence of an aesthetic and
SOURCES AND INFLUENCES
ART DECO DESIGN. Introduced ln the Philippines In the 1930s, art deco used glass,
chrome, and plastic, as seen In the Perez-Samanlllo Building on Escolta, Manila,
started 1928. (Philippine Education Magazine 1930, American Hlstorlca/ Co/lec#on)
technological evolution but the dynamic response to rapid and extensive changes in
society. The industrial revolution, progress in science and technology, the increase
of wealth and the rise of capitalism, the ex- pansion of cities, the restructuring of
politics towards the democratic ideal, the yearning for an egalitarian society, the
questioning and rejection of traditional ideas and values, and the experience of
freedom or the hunger for it-all these created a new age in the his- tory of man and
a new spirit that demanded new forms of expression. In the new age arose new
needs, and particularly the need for new types of buildings-factories, railway
stations, urban housing, schools, hospitals, theaters, museums, and public libraries.
The traditional forms and formulas of architecture were inadequate, if not
unsuitable, for the new types of structure. A new approach to design was
imperative. The revolution in form was based on a renewal of ideals. Truth, honesty,
simplicity, and efficiency were the values to be embodied in a building. Function
dictated form, and the building was to express its function by the truthfulness of its
form. In other words, a railway station should be a railway station and not the
imitation of a Roman bath. The space designed to serve the purpose of a building
was to determine the outer form of the building and not vice
121
HISTORICAL ESSAYS
versa. The structure that enclosed properly designed space possessed aesthetic
value in itself and did not need applied decoration. Simplicity meant not only the
absence of ornament but also the purity of form and the employment of only what
was essential. "Less is more" was another dogma of design. The rectangle or the
box became the dominant motif of modem architecture. Structures were characterized by the interplay of lines, planes, and volumes. Spaces within the building
were to be effi- ciently as well as aesthetically related. Indoor space was to flow
visually or actually into outdoor space. Not only space but light was to be the object
of design. Thus the broad expanse of windows in modem architecture. The building
was not only properly adapted to its site but was in communion with it. The
strengthened horizontal character of buildings made them appear to hug the
ground. On the other hand, the vertical thrust of a structure made it appear to
spring upward while rooted in the ground. The interplay of horizontal and vertical
was dramatized by exposing and emphasizing beams and columns. With the
movement of lines, planes, and masses in dynamic rather than static balance,
symme- try was not a primary concern. The beauty of a building was to result from
the configuration of space, the movement and rhythm of structure, and the color,
texture, and character of
122

MODERN STRUCTURE. The Benguet Center In Mandaluyong, built 1984, has the box
or rectangular structure characterlsHc of Philippine modem architecture. (Arnold
Jumpay 7988, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collection)
material-the smoothness of glass and marble, the shimmer of metal, the
ruggedness of brick and stone, and the plasticity of concrete. While modem
architecture is associated with "functionalism" or with boxlike forms, it is not limited
to one style nor to rigidly rectilinear design. It embraces a variety of styles,
including the romantic, the expressionist, the organic, and the fantastic, which
employ curvilinear shapes, nature forms, and a sculp- tural approach to design. In
the Philippines modem architecture is exempli- fied by buildings, such as the
Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Building; the Central Bank of the Philippines
Buildings on Roxas Boulevard and on East A venue; The Philippine Heart Center
Building; The San Miguel Corporation Main Office; malls like the Shoemart (SM) City
North Edsa Mall and Robinson's Galeria; churches like the University of the
Philippines Catholic Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice and St Andrews Church;
townhouses like the Valle Verde Town- houses; condominiums like the Twin Towers
and Ritz Towers; and private houses like the duplexes in Project 2 and 3, the
bungalows in Philamlife Village, and houses of one or more stories in Dasmariftas
Village and Forbes Park. R.D. Perez Ill/F. Zialcita/R.T. Jose/R. Javellana
References: Fletcher 1989; Folk Architecture 1989; Gowing 1979; Waterson 1991.

FORMS
APARTMENT
An apartment is a multi-unit residence generally built in populated urb areas. The
burgeoning economy, brought about by inter- national trade during the second half
of the 19th cen- tury, increased Manila's population. To house this growing
population, existing bahay na bato (stone house) were subdivided to house many
tenants. In commercial districts where the bahay had an entre- suelo (mezzanine),
that area was rented out to tenants. two -types of apartment buildings appeared
dur- , ing the American period: the rowhouse, called acceso- ria, and the multistory,
multi-unit residence. The rowhouse continued to be built to accommo- date the
growing urban population during the recon- struction following WWII. These houses
were usually two stories, occassionally three stories or two stories with a
mezzanine. Each residential unit had its own entrance and was separated from its
neighbors by a fire wall. Sometimes the individual unit had a carport. The first floor
contained the living room, dining room, toilet, and kitchen. The bedrooms were
located above, accessible through a flight of steps. Some rowhouses were built of
concrete, others of concrete on the first story and wood on the second. The
cheapest were
124
almost entirely of wood. A number of 1950s row- houses can still be found in the
Malate-Ermita districts, while rowhouses of the 1960s can be found all over Metro
Manila. A rowhouse of wood is found in Project 3, Quezon City. The term accesoria
continued to be used for these rented places, especially for low middle- class

housing, while the term apartment was applied to the better-appointed residences.
The townhouse seems to have developed from the idea of rowhouses or apartment
units. With the rising cost of urban land, the need for a compromise between the
necessity of living several stories above the ground and the desire for a single
detached house with its own grounds led to the development of townhouses around
the 1970s. The townhouse makes it possible to use limited space in urban areas
while departing from the usual boxlike structure associated with rowhouses and
apartments. Some variations are designed around a common open area with
facilities, like a swimming pool and playing courts. Ownership of townhouses may
also mean an interest in the common area.
ROWHOUSE. Multistory, multi-unit residences were oolll to accommodate the
growing urban popula- tion during the American colonial period. (Mendoza-Guanzon
1928, Ambefh Ocampo Collection)
In general, townhouses do not go beyond three stories and are complete residential
units sharing a common wall with a neighbor on either side. Depend- ing on the
target market, materials used range from modest to luxurious. The multistory,
multi-unit apartment shares a common main entrance. A number of units may
occupy the same floor and share the same corridor that leads to the main entrance.
The units are complete dwellings that include the living room, dining room, kitchen,
bedrooms, and bathrooms, all on the same floor. An example of this apartment type
is the Syquia Apartments on Adriatico st (formerly Dakota) built ca 1937. The
apartments, composed of four towers, share a common open space enclosed by a
wall and tall gate. Each tower contains about a dozen living units. This type of
apartment is the precursor of the condominium which, more than describing a
particular architectural form, refers to a new form of ownership. In the 1970s the
condominium (from Latin "cum," with, and "dominiums," ownership) first appeared.
The growing economy and the increased buying power of the growing population is
cited as one of the major factors influencing the development and prolif- eration of
condominiums. Republic Act No 4726 or the Condominium Act defines a
condominium as "an in- terest in real property consisting of a separate unit in a
residential, individual, or commercial building and an undivided interest in the
common, directly or indirect- ly, land in which it is located and in the common areas
of the building. A condominium may include, in addi- tion, a separate interest in
other portions of such real property." Ownership of the condominium unit there- fore
means ownership of the residential or office unit itself and a portion of the common
spaces such as a parking space and perhaps a rooftop laundry area (Feliciano
1991). Condominiums, popularly called "condo," are generally multistorey with
central service cores for ele- vators and stairways. Units are designed for compact
living and are small by the standards of those used to living on the ground. The lack
of space is usually compensated by the availability of amenities, such as airconditioning, communications equipment, and the accessibility of business and
commercial areas. Con- dominium units can range from a small one-room affair,
called a studio, to a unit with living room, dining room, bedrooms and their
individual bath- rooms, and a well-appointed kitchen. Not just a variation on the
architectural form of residences, condominiums can be considered as revolutionizing forms of ownership. Condominium units are also used as business
offices, and may be owned
APARTMENT

TOWNHOUSE. Because of the rising cost of urban lands, low-cost townhouses were
constructed In the 1970s. Shown Is the BLISS or Bagong Llpunan Houses In Quezon
City. (f?enoto S. llostrollo 7989, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
by corporations rather than by individuals or families. A condominium building may
also be of "mixed use"; i.e., spaces are owned by shop operators, business entities,
and residents. The interior of condominiums and townhouses depend largely on the
personal taste and income of the occupant, whether owner or tenant. More
expensive units are complete with modern amenities. Town- house developme,nts
that target the middle class are usually simple spaces with basic amenities which, in
some cases, the owner can modify by redesigning in- teriors to suit personal taste
and budget. The private sector is the more dominant partici- pant in residential and
real estate development and focuses on high-yield units, like condominiums and
townhouses. The target for these units are the high- income grove, like expatriates,
foreign entrepreneurs, and local people in search of high-yielding invest- ments.
This system of private initiative, which flourishes through free trade, has created
lopsided de- velopment in favor of urban centers where infrastruc,. ture like
transportation and communication, are already in place. Examples of condominiums
built within the last decade are the Legaspi Towers along Roxas Boulevard, Pacific
Plaza in Makati, and the Rennaissance Towers in Pasig. Luxurious townhouses may
be found in New Manila and Greenhills. A.Gonzales-Biglang-Awa/ F. Varona/R.
Javellana
References: Feliciano 1991; Villegas 1992.
125
,
FORMS
BAHAYKUBO
The bahay kubo (from Tagalog "bahay," house, and possibly Spanish "cubo," cube)
may be regarded as the lowland Christian ethnic house. These houses line
seacoasts and riverbanks, are strung along roads and highways, or clustered
together in fields or groves. Usually owned by peasant families and other low
income groups, the bahay kubo has been described as an idyll of peace and
prosperity in the middle of the fields. Such is the image created in every Filipino
child of the famous song "Bahay Kubo":
Bahay kuba kahit munti, Ang halaman daan ay sari-sari . . . Singkamas at talang,
sigarilyas at mani, Sitaw, bataw, patani, Kunda/, patala, upa at kalabasa, At saka
mayraan pa, labanas, mustasa Sibuyas, kamatis, bawang at Iuya, Sa paligid-ligid ay
puna ng linga.
The nipa hut, however small, Has various plants . . . Turnip and eggplant, winged
bean and peanut, Stringbean, bataw, soya beans, White gourd melon, patola,
pumpkin, and squash, And there are more, raddish and mustard, Onion, tomato,
garlic and ginger, And all around are sesame seed.

The bahay kubo retain the features of the tradi- tional ethnic house, namely, pile
construction and the hip roof, but in addition have push-out or sliding win- dows for
added ventilation, a necessity in the hot and humid climate that prevails in these
areas most of the year. Some hispanic influences are evident, such as the altar for
the villager's santos, and the benches, tables and other furnishings required by
hispanized man- ners. Although commonly claimed to be of hispanic influence, the
silid or kuwarto (room), where the women of the house could change clothes in
private, seems to have been present prior to hispanization, as attested to by early
chroniclers. Basically the bahay kubo consists of a balkon or beranda (front porch)
that opens to a square or rec- tangular multipurpose bulwagan, the main room of
the house, on one side of which is the silid, a small room for household storage. The
bulwagan leads to the kusina (kitchen), usually with a separate roof, and finally to
an open-air batalan, a back porch which serves as a cleaning or washing area or
even as bath- room. The house is entered through the front porch or through the
batalan via a removable bamboo ladder.
126
The balkon is usually one step or around 15 em lower than the floor of the main hall.
As the receiving room of the house, its windows are much wider than those of the
main room and are often decorated with fanciful latticework. A regular bedroom is
unknown in the rural areas, and in its place, the all-purpose bulwagan functions as a
sleeping area at night. During the day, it serves as dining, work, and entertainment
area. Originally there was just the floor and a low table called the dulang, for sitting
and dining; later a built-in long bench of split bamboo called the papag or papagan
was introduced, along with other furnishings, as a result of Spanish contact. A silid is
not only a changing area especially for the women but is mainly for the storage of
pillows and rolled mats, chests and woven trunks called tampipi, for the household's
personal belongings. To keep a fire from spreading and to ensure a clean interior
free from smoke and grime, the kusina is either moved to ground level but still
connected by a :;hell ur lectu-lu type uf ruuf tu the main house, or else built as a
separate structure like a mini-version of the main house. The latter may be joined to
the main house by a corridor or a bridgelike passageway, which could serve as a
dining room. More often, however, the kitchen is part of the main house, on the
same floor level or a step lower, with a roof of its own. Unlike the bulwagan, it is a
more open area with the slats of the walls and flooring spaced wider, so that during
cooking time smoke easi- ly escapes. The floors of the batalan are somewhat loosely
arranged lengths of whole bamboos cut from the bases of old stems. An open porch
usually connected to the kitchen, the batalan is often raised for better sanitation as
it is almost always wet here during the day. Occa- sionally, some batalan are moved
to ground level, their boundaries marked by a fence. Big jars of water are kept in
the batalan for drinking and washing. The space under the house, is used only to
store farm and fishing implements, mortars and pestles, and other heavy or bulky
articles. This space is a source of ventilation for the house, especially if the floor is
of slats set slightly apart. It is usually open sided, although a bamboo fence may be
constructed around it to shelter pigs and poultry. To store unhulled rice or palay, the
kamalig, a separate storehouse, is built following the form of the main house and
using similar materials. House forms and materials vary, depending on the local
terrain and climate. Thus in areas frequently ravaged by typhoons, houses tend to
be low and

squat, elevated by about half a meter, like those in Bikol. Where heat and humidity
are more oppressive, houses tend to be taller, with the floor about 3-3.5 m above
the ground, and more spacious. A variant of the bahay kubo is the temporary
shelter built in the kaingin or .swidden farms in the uplands, or in the middle of the
rice fields or fish ponds in the lowlands. It is a resting place or occasion- al dwelling
for the farmer whose home is far from the place of work. The hut is a one-room
structure, raised on stilts, roofed with thatch, and provided with thatch or bamboo
sidings. It could be nothing more than a roofed platform. Part of it is used for
keeping tools and implements. Despite local variations, the bahay kubo is basical- ly
a house of bamboo and nipa, as its English transla- tion "nipa hut" points out. These
materials account for the buoyant, seemingly cool and easy feel of the house.
However, for all its lightness and rather hum- ble appearance, its construction
demands special skill and artisanship and, in fact, a building technology of its own.
For instance, traditional folk wisdom dictates that bamboos be cut only in
season,i.e., at the start of the bamboo's resting period, which covers a mere 20
BAHAY KUBO
CUBE HOUSE. Construction of the nlpa hut demands a building technology of Its
own. (Hawldns, American Historical Collection)
days each year: from the start of the misa de aguinaldo or nine-day dawn masses
before Christmas to the Feast of the Epiphany, or from 16 December to 6 Janu- ary.
During this time, bamboos are already mature and no new leaves or branches are
produced; the sap flow is probably sluggish, and tissues are poor in starch and
sugar, and hence can no longer attract the powder- post beetle called bukbok. In
order to eliminate all in- sects, the cut bamboo stalks are then soaked in river or
lake water or buried in the sand for some six months before using. Of the 30 or
more different species of bamboo in the Philippines, only three of four may be used
in house construction, the best of which is the spiny kind, called the kawayang tinik.
Nipa is planted between the months of May and August, during the rainy season
when the soil is wet. When mature, this plant rises to about 3 m and its long leaves
acquire a rich green color. The best nipa comes from Paombong, Bulacan. When
used for thatching
127
FORMS
and walling, nipa leaves are doubled up and sewn together before drying. Other
roofing materials include bundled cogan grass, rice stalks, sugarcane leaves, split
bamboo, ana- haw and other palms. Sawali or woven bamboo strips, split bamboo,
coconut leaves, abaca leaves, and anahaw are used for wall sidings. Rattan is used
for lashing. Building a house is no simple matter. First, an auspicious site for a
dwelling is selected, then blessed with prayers to ward off evil spirits. Certain
omens are observed and rites performed before, during, and after construction. The
proper orientation of various house parts such as the door and the ladder, or even
the house itself, is important since these are all essential to the prosperity of the
family and the strength and sta- bility of the house. A house that faces the east is
generally considered lucky. The Ilongo of Panay Island believe in a mythical dragon,
Bakunawa, whose posi- tion in the sky determines the winds. One must know where

the Bakunawa faces before beginning construc- tion. The next step involves the
erection of the posts, followed by the installation of the floor joists. After this,
construction shifts to the roof and from there
128
works downward to the dinding (walls), then the win- dows and the doors. All these
stages are marked by rituals, such as the placing of coins in the holes of the
principal posts to ensure the financial stability of the family; the smearing of the
blood from a slaughtered chicken or goat on the carpenter's tools and the posts of
the house to ward off any misfortune that might befall the carpenter, the tools used,
and the house being built; and the house blessing when a new pot containing water
is dropped to wet the whole floor, and thus ensure a happy home. An outstanding
feature of the bahay kubo is the highly flexible planning and arrangement of house
units to allow free, easy interaction and movement to people within and outside the
house. A greater sense of interdependence and a strong sense of community
develops among its occupants as they sleep, eat, and work together in this oneroom setting. Here one
HUT INTERIOR. The main room of the hut Is also a space for recreation where family
members Interact treely. This 1850 print shows an altar with Christian Images and a
bench, both Spanish colonial Influences. Note woman Ironing clothes on a platform.
(Nicanor G. Tlongson Collection)
mingles freely with nature, and with family, friends, and neighbors in a spirit of
harmony and together- ness. C. Hila
References: Dacanay 1988; Folk Architecture 1989; Klas- sen 1986.
BAHAY NA BATO
The bahay na bato (from Tagalog "bahay," house, and "na bato," of stone), also
known as bahay kastila (Spanish house) and bahay na tisa or balay tisa (house of
tile), are residences of the well-to-do, built in many towns during the 19th and early
20th centuries. The bahay na bato has certain basic features though it has
undergone changes in the course of its development and varies according to region.
It gener- ally has two stories, sometimes three. The ground floor is of cut stone or
brick; the upper, of wood. Grilles protect the ground floor windows, while secondstory windows are wide, with sliding shutters whose latticework frames are either
shell or glass panes. Below the pasamano (window sill), alternative windows reach
to the floor. Called ventanillas (small windows), these are protected with either iron
grilles or wooden barandillas (balusters) and have sliding wooden shutters. Above
the whole house is a high hip roof, i.e., sloping on four sides. Most surviving
examples of the bahay na bato date back only to the 19th and early 20th centuries,
although the form developed during the 17th century as a fusion of three traditions:
the indigenous, the Spanish, and the Chinese. Houses in the islands during the
precolonial period followed a pattern common throughout South- east Asia. They
were of frame construction with floors raised high above the ground. Such houses
stood on stilts, like spiders on many legs. Thus they protected the occupants from
the humid ground, seasonal floods, insects, wild animals, as well as human enemies. The resulting space below the floor served as a work space and animal pen.
Thatched roofs, hipped or gabled, were steeply pitched to let rain water flow down

quickly. Commoners lived in small houses with floors and walls of split bamboo. The
nobility enjoyed houses that were considerably larger and had hardwood floors and
walls. Largest and tallest of all was the chief's house. The rooms were many,
according to the 17th- century missionary Francisco Alzina SJ, and the floors of
several levels. There were 9 or even 11 posts, on each side, and three ridge-poles.
Carvings ornamented the
BAHAY NA BATO
houses. Soliman, lord of Manila, dwelt in a house of substantial proportions which
stored many precious goods. After the Spaniards conquered Manila in 1571, they
established a settlement and initially constructed their buildings in the local
manner. But after an accidental fire consumed the city, many structures were rebuilt
in stone quarried from the cliffs of Makati, namely, volcanic tuff which came to be
locally known as adobe. By this time, the Chinese were flocking to the islands in
increasing numbers to settle. A newly arrived Jesuit, Antonio Sedeno, taught both
native and Chinese workers the Spanish way of making tiles and building houses.
The all-stone houses that appeared were de- scribed by eyewitness accounts, as
tile-roofed struc- tures that were tall and spacious, with many windows, balconies,
and iron grilles. They were said to resemble thei~ contemporaries in Spain and
Mexico. Still, not all housebuilders abandoned wooden construction. A de- tailed list
from 1617 of all houses in Intramuros indi- cates that sllghtly more than half were of
wood. A strong earthquake shook Manila in 1645, and as a result, many stone
buildings collapsed. While the massive stone houses were fireproof, they were too
rigid during earthquakes; on the other hand, the local frame houses swayed with
the shocks. Because of this a synthesis emerged. The entire house was supported
by haligi (wooden pillars) following the native style. Henceforth, the upper story
would be of wood, the lower story of stone. The roof would be either of curved tile
or of thick thatch. Tiles had the advantage over thatch of being fireproof, but since
they were laid in three or more layers, they could easily fall through during tremors.
A will drawn in 1699 describes an Intramuros house belonging to a widow, Dona
Isabel Navarro de Pinero. It had many wooden pillars measuring 1.67 m across.
Adobe was used largely for the ground floor walls that were 1.12 m thick. The
wooden upper story had balcones voladizos (balconies) projecting over the street.
These could be closed with latticework shutters with panes made out of capiz shell.
Such shutters did not yet slide as would become the norm in later houses; instead
they could be swung out. The idea of having latticework panels for windows came
from the Chinese artisans, for such were used in China to hold either translucent
rice paper or oyster shells. Glass became cheap all over the world only during the
19th century. Below the shell windows were ventanillas reaching down to the floor.
The over-hanging balco- nies shielded the interior from the sun, while allowing air to
flow in.
129
FORMS
HOUSE OF TILE. The Constantino house, in Balagtas, Bulacan, typifies the 19thcentury bahay na bato, with its stone "skirt," and wooden upper floor, and tile roof.
(7977, National Library Collection)

Since the 1699 will does not mention a ceiling, the rafters and beams were surely
exposed, as was the case in Intramuros houses of the following century that the
Frenchman de Guignes described. The floor plan of the Pinero house typified a pattern that would last till the 1890s. The ground story had storage rooms and a
porter's room. A stairway in two flights led to the rooms above. The first was a large
corredor principal (corridor) at the top of the stairs. This opened into a hall called
canon, probably because of its length, which extended to the street side. Most
likely, the canon was a receiving room. Beside the canon were two camaras or
cuartos (bedrooms). The cocina (kitchen) stood behind the house as a separate
structure but connected to it by a walkway. Beside it was an outhouse of wood. The
L-shaped floor plan of the house provided a rear courtyard with a well to the side.
There were clear continuities with the earlier na- tive tradition of confining the
family's living activities to the upper story.
130
This wood-and-stone style of construction spread through the islands. The
development of the wood- and-stone style during the 18th century deserves exploration. Unfortunately, there are few survivors from that century. The picture
clears up from the 1780s onward. Many buildings of this period are found all over
the country; moreover, numerous descriptions and house plans are available. From
the 1780s to the 1880s, houses followed a style that can be called "geometric." In
this style, the flying wooden gallery, now called either the galeria volada or the
corridor, extended along the exterior walls. It had two sets of sliding shutters: the
outer one of concha (shell) and the inner of wooden persiana or jalousies or louvers.
An intervening wall of plastered brick separated the volada from the adjacent
rooms. Wooden doors opened out into the volada. The wooden gallery brought in
light and air, and screened out excess sunlight, for during this period, roof eaves
were just a narrow strip. In the middle of the day, shell shutters were pushed to the
sides and the half-open jalousies drawn instead. When it rained, the reverse
occurred. The drawn shell shutters brought in light. Still, not all houses of the period
had a galeria volada that could be closed on both sides. In others, the rooms
extended all the way to the exterior.
Surface decorations were minimal: shells in squares and diamonds on the window
panels, and friezes with simple, neoclassical motifs. Hence the term "geometric." By
the 19th century the huge pillars that character- ized the house documented in
1699 had shrunk to 50 em or less. They either stood exposed or were enclosed
within stone or brick walls almost a meter thick. Stone or brick were bonded with
mortar and received a coat- ing made of lime mixed with either egg whites or the
sap of local plants. In geometric-style houses, wooden ceilings and partitions
enclosed the rooms. Ceilings were high, as much as 4 m or so, to enable the hot air
to float up. To facilitate circulation of air, calado (wooden fretwork panels) began to
appear in the wall space between door and ceiling. The idea may have come from
the Chinese who decorated their walls with traceried panels. More research on the
matter is needed. The zaguan (ground floor) housed carriages, old furniture, and
saints' floats. Sometimes it had an en- tresuelo (mezzanine) for offices and servants'
quarters. This was elevated 1 m from the often humid ground. Windows were
protected from intruders by bulging iron grilles called barrigones or "big bellies."
Cuadra or caballeriza (stables) were located outside the house proper on the other
side of an open courtyard. A two-flight stairway led from the zaguan to the upper

story. The receiving hall was now called the caida. In some of the big houses, this
could serve as both receiving and dining room. However, other houses distinguished
between the antesala (anteroom) and the sala or living room. Near the sala was the
comedor (dining room). In some houses the kitchen also doubled as both cooking
area and dining room on ordinary days. Kitchens with exterior walls of either cut
stone or brick lessened the threat of fire, and thus became common. Connecting the
kitchen to the toilets and the bathrooms was a raised stone porch with cera- mic
banisters. This porch, the azotea, had many pur- poses. As it stood either beside a
balon (well) or over an aljibe (cistern), it attracted food preparation and laundry
activities. It was also a convenient nook for cultivating many potted plants, useful
for cooking and healing. The multipurpose character of the common rooms an@ the
notion of a kitchen-porch was another carry-over from the humble bamboo hut to
the mag- nificent wood-and-stone house. Generally, the house was occupied by a
large ex- tended family consisting of a couple, their children, and their
grandchildren. Yet the bedrooms were few, often just two or three, for the children
often slept together on large mats rolled out on the caida or the
BAHAY NA BATO
sala. At certain times of the year, particularly during the town fiesta and Holy Week,
the house became a community center because the owners were obliged to feed all
who came to revere the holy image that they kept- regardless of the devotee's
social background. Extant examples of the geometric version are the houses of the
Hagan (Taal), Constantino (Balagtas), Quema (Vigan), Syquia (Vigan), Lizares
(Talisay), and Gorordo (Cebu). In 1863 and 1880 earthquakes rocked Manila, destroying many houses. New ordinances decreed that house posts were to be thinner
but connected to each other by many braces for more flexibility. Thin brick panels
were inserted between the braces. In the new Manila houses, both brick panels and
posts had almost the same thickness, 21 em. Where brick was not readi- ly
available, the houseposts stood beside the walls so as not to crack them. Another
ordinance discouraged the use of curved tiles and instead encouraged the use of
either imported corrugated-iron sheets or flat tiles. The former became popular
because it seemed sturdier and easier to in- stall. Unfortunately, without a high
ceiling beneath it, it radiated the sun's heat into the rooms. However, since iron
roofs were relatively lighter, they could ex- tend well beyond the exterior walls to
create wide eaves which had soffit vents to provide outlets for hot air gathering
under the roof. Windows were further protected by tapancos or media aguas (metal
awnings) made of artfully shaped tin sheets. Desagues (tin tubes) or downspouts
conducted rainwater from the roof to the ground below. Since these innovations
protected the house walls from rain and sun, the volada, as a closed corridor,
became obsolete. Post-1880 houses had more expansive space than their forbears
because of these innovations. Moreover, they made more use of wood for the upperstory walls. Sidings were sometimes of wooden panels adorned with oval, platterlike
forms called bandejado. Glass, sometimes frosted, sometimes in multicolored harlequin, became increasingly common; thus rooms be- came brighter. The calados
widened and extended from post to post, and their fretwork took the form of
butterflies, flowers, or lyres. Floral motifs proliferated all over the exterior as well: in
the soffit vents, the corbels, and the iron grilles. Hence this style of the bahay-nabato, which lasted from the 1880s to the 1930s, can be called the "floral." Other
innovations differentiated the floral from the geometric. The roofs became more

varied in form. For instance, Swiss-style jerkinhead roofs became popular. By the
roof rose a mirador (tower) for
131
FORMS
surveying the distance and for keeping more plants. As walls in the ground floor
became thinner and there- fore less humid, bedrooms for family members were built
in the entresuelo. The floral version is typified by the houses of the Pamintuan
(Angeles), Tecson (San Miguel de Mayumo), Bautista (Malolos), Tanjosoy-Bautista
(Malolos), and by the interiors of the houses of the Pastor (Batangas City) and
Avenido (Alaminos, Lagu- na). Villavicencio's gift of a Taal house to his bride Gliceria
Marella, in the 1870s, is floral in conception. Furniture and furnishings were many
and di- verse. Philippine furniture and painting did attain a zenith in these houses.
Finely carved consoles, chairs, and tables of hardwood abound in the antesala, the
sala, and the comedor. On the walls were locally ex- ecuted easel paintings and
murals together with im- ported lamps and mirrors. Ornate four-poster beds
dominated the bedrooms with side closets, chests-of- drawers, and chests. Sir John
Bowring, British diplo- mat, commented in 1859, that these houses were "not, as
often in England, overcrowded with superfluities." Photographs and surviving
interiors from the 1880s to the 1900s suggest a healthy sense of moderation. There
are a number of regional variations of the bahay na bato. In the Ilocos region,
especially Vigan,
FACADE AND INTERIOR. The Lizares bahay-na- bato in Talisay, Negros Occidental, is
elegantly symmetrical. The sala, opposite page top, has two formal seating
arrangements. At the back, the house has an azotea or raised stone porch, opposite
page bottom, overlooking the garden. (Renata S. Rastrollo
132
1997, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
walls on both stories are of plastered brick which en- case a wooden frame.
Exteriors have undecorated pilasters and simple, continuous cornices. "Vigan
House," the popular term for denoting a house with a lower story of stone and an
upper story of wood is therefore misleading. The plaster is sometimes tinted light
indigo, for Ilocos used to export the dye. Houses like those of the Mercado in Bustos,
Bulacan also use stone for both stories. But the corner posts are carved into
bunches of slender pillars, while bas-reliefs of stylized flowers and crosses decorate
the exterior wall space between window sill and floor. Some Silay, Neg- ros
Occidental houses, like that of the Gamboa, have cusped arches at the ground floor
porches. Other not- able Silay houses are those owned by the Locsin, Li- zares,
Gaston, and Claparols. One of the best repre- sentations of the bahay in Cebu is the
Casa Gorordo. The bahay na bato as a house form began to de- cline in the 1930s.
But its influence persists to this day. Many a house in both town and village has a
ground floor with hollow block walls and an overhanging up- per floor of wood.
Farmers in Ilocos often prefer capiz panes to glass. Although ventanillas are no
longer provided, the space beneath the windows in many houses from the 1950s to
the present continues to be differentiated from the adjacent wall surface by a

frame. If the house is of concrete, plaster bas-reliefs or bricks adorn this space. The
wood-and-stone house of the 1800 to 1930s marks a high point in the development
of a truly urban Filipino style. It took note of both earthquakes and climatic
conditions and was thus eminently secure and comfortable. While it acquired ornate
ornamentation during its final phase, at its best it exercised restraint. The beauty of
many a house from that period resides in its proportions and its balancing of empty
with filled space. Unfortunately, appreciation for the achievement of this style has
been hampered by the insistence on calling it "Spanish" or" Antillan." As has been
pointed out, it is a unique fusion of three building styles and is found only in the
Philippines. Alzina in the 1660s called it "mestiza," for it blended wood and stone.
Engineers sent over by Madrid during the 19th century referred to it as "el sistema
adoptado en el pais" (the local style), which they preferred to the all-stone
"European style" because of its clear advantages. There is also no evidence that
house styles in the Philippines are mere copies of the Antillan, a form
BAHAYNABATO I
identified with the Antilles island group in the Carl- bean. The authentic Antillan or
Caribbean houses used stone for exterior walls in both stories and had project- ing
open balconies which had neither sliding shell shutters nor shuttered ventanillas. At
the turn of the 19th century, some houses, like that of tHe Claparols in Talisay, did
sport long continuous balconies as in Cuba. But they were the exception rather than
the rule. Moreover, they had very un-Cuban upper stories of wood. In the provinces,
continuities with the bahay kubo (nipa hut) are obvious. Kitchen and even dining
room floors sometimes had no floorboards. Instead, they consisted of timber joists
that could be walked on; thus refuse was easily swept into the ground below.
Although ceilings may be coffered, they are made of saw ali. The way of life within
the gentry's mansion is often just a more upscale version of life in the tradi- tional
hut. Another reason why such houses are labelled "Spanish" is the mistaken notion
that their residents were Spaniards. In fact, peninsular Spaniards were always
numerically small in relation to the population. The occupants of such houses were
locals: mestizos and indios, all of whom would eventually call them- selves "Filipino"
to differentiate themselves from the peninsular Spaniards who monopolized high
positions in the state and the church. Indeed by 1840 the author- ities noted with
alarm that a significant proportion of home owners in Intramuros were indigenas
(natives) and mestizos. The residents were either professionals or mem- bers of the
land-owning elite who resembled 19th- century elites elsewhere, even in
noncolonized states. Democratic ideals had yet to be absorbed, although many
residents did play important roles in the emerg- ence of nationalism. Still standing
are the houses where lived Fr Jose Burgos (Vigan); Emilio Aguinaldo (Kawit); the
Luna brothers (Binondo); Gregoria de Jesus,Bonifacio's widow, and Julio Nakpil
(Quiapo); and Gliceria Marella (Taal), who gave the doomed First Republic its one
and only warship. Choosing an alternative name for these houses has not been
easy. "Bahay na bato" suggests an all- stone house, which it is not. "Bahay na bato
at kahoy" or the "wood-and-stone house" might be more accurate. F. Zialcita
References: Alzina; Fernandez 1980; Fletcher 1975; Merino 1987; Mojares 1983;
Zialcita and Tinio 1980.
133

FORMS
surveying the distance and for keeping more plants. As walls in the ground floor
became thinner and there- fore less humid, bedrooms for family members were built
in the entresuelo. The floral version is typified by the houses of the Pamintuan
(Angeles), Tecson (San Miguel de Mayumo), Bautista (Malolos), Tanjosoy-Bautista
(Malolos), and by the interiors of the houses of the Pastor (Batangas City) and
Avenido (Alaminos, Lagu- na). Villavicencio's gift of a Taal house to his bride Gliceria
Marella, in the 1870s, is floral in conception. Furniture and furnishings were many
and di- verse. Philippine furniture and painting did attain a zenith in these houses.
Finely carved consoles, chairs, and tables of hardwood abound in the antesala, the
sala, and the comedor. On the walls were locally ex- ecuted easel paintings and
murals together with im- ported lamps and mirrors. Ornate four-poster beds
dominated the bedrooms with side closets, chests-of- drawers, and chests. Sir John
Bowring, British diplo- mat, commented in 1859, that these houses were "not, as
often in England, overcrowded with superfluities." Photographs and surviving
interiors from the 1880s to the 1900s suggest a healthy sense of moderation. There
are a number of regional variations of the bahay na bato. In the Ilocos region,
especially Vigan,
FACADE AND INTERIOR. The Llzares bahay-na- bato in Talisay, Negros Occidental, is
elegantly symmetrical. The sala, opposite page top, has two formql seating
arrangements. At the back, the house has an azotea or raised stone porch, opposite
page bottom, overlooking the garden. (Renato S. Rastrollo 1991, Cultural Center of
the Phl/lpplnes Library Collection)
132
walls on both stories are of plastered brick which en- case a wooden frame.
Exteriors have undecorated pilasters and simple, continuous cornices. "Vigan
House," the popular term for denoting a house with a lower story of stone and an
upper story of wood is therefore misleading. The plaster is sometimes tinted light
indigo, for Ilocos used to export the dye. Houses like those of the Mercado in Bustos,
Bulacan also use stone for both stories. But the corner posts are carved into
bunches of slender pillars, while bas-reliefs of stylized flowers and crosses decorate
the exterior wall space between window sill and floor. Some Silay, Neg- ros
Occidental houses, like that of the Gamboa, have cusped arches at the ground floor
porches. Other not- able Silay houses are those owned by the Locsin, Li- zares,
Gaston, and Claparols. One of the best repre- sentations of the bahay in Cebu is the
Casa Gorordo. The bahay na bato as a house form began to de- cline in the 1930s.
But its influence persists to this day. Many a house in both town and village has a
ground floor with hollow block walls and an overhanging up- per floor of wood.
Farmers in Ilocos often prefer capiz panes to glass. Although ventanillas are no
longer provided, the space beneath the windows in many houses from the 1950s to
the present continues to be differentiated from the adjacent wall surface by a
frame. If the house is of concrete, plaster bas-reliefs or bricks adorn this space. The
wood-and-stone house of the 1800 to 1930s marks a high point in the development
of a truly urban Filipino style. It took note of both earthquakes and climatic
conditions and was thus eminently secure and comfortable. While it acquired ornate
ornamentation during its final phase, at its best it exercised restraint. The beauty of

many a house from that period resides in its proportions and its balancing of empty
with filled space. Unfortunately, appreciation for the achievement of this style has
been hampered by the insistence on calling it "Spanish" or" Antillan." As has been
pointed out, it is a unique fusion of three building styles and is found only in the
Philippines. Alzina in the 1660s called it "mestiza," for it blended wood and stone.
Engineers sent over by Madrid during the 19th century referred to it as "el sistema
adoptado en el pais" (the local style), which they preferred to the all-stone
"European style" because of its clear advantages. There is also no evidence that
house styles in the Philippines are mere copies of the Antillan, a form
BAHAY NA BATO
identified with the Antilles island group in the Carl- bean. The authentic Antillan or
Caribbean houses used stone for exterior walls in both stories and had project- ing
open balconies which had neither sliding shell shutters nor shuttered ventanillas. At
the turn of the 19th century, some houses, like that of tHe Claparols in Talisay, did
sport long continuous balconies as in Cuba. But they were the exception rather than
the rule. Moreover, they had very un-Cuban upper stories of wood. In the provinces,
continuities with the bahay kubo (nipa hut) are obvious. Kitchen and even dining
room floors sometimes had no floorboards. Instead, they consisted of timber joists
that could be walked on; thus refuse was easily swept into the ground below.
Although ceilings may be coffered, they are made of sawali. The way of life within
the gentry's mansion is often just a more upscale version of life in the tradi- tional
hut. Another reason why such houses are labelled "Spanish" is the mistaken notion
that their residents were Spaniards. In fact, peninsular Spaniards were always
numerically small in relation to the population. The occupants of such houses were
locals: mestizos and indios, all of whom would eventually call them- selves "Filipino"
to differentiate themselves from the peninsular Spaniards who monopolized high
positions in the state and the church. Indeed by 1840 the author- ities noted with
alarm that a significant proportion of home owners in Intramuros were indigenas
(natives) and mestizos. The residents were either professionals or mem- bers of the
land-owning elite who resembled 19th- century elites elsewhere, even in
noncolonized states. Democratic ideals had yet to be absorbed, although many
residents did play important roles in the emerg- ence of nationalism. Still standing
are the houses where lived Fr Jose Burgos (Vigan); Emilio Aguinaldo (Kawit); the
Luna brothers (Binondo); Gregoria de Jesus,Bonifacio's widow, and Julio Nakpil
(Quiapo); and Gliceria Marella (Taal), who gave the doomed First Republic its one
and only warship. Choosing an alternative name for these houses has not been
easy. "Bahay na bato" suggests an all- stone house, which it is not. "Bahay na bato
at kahoy" or the "wood-and-stone house" might be more accurate. F. Zialcita
References: Alzina; Fernandez 1980; Fletcher 1975; Merino 1987; Mojares 1983;
Zialcita and Tinio 1980.
133
FORMS
BARONG-BARONG
The barong-barong, also known as balong-balong, banlag, hayubhayub, lagkan,
pala-pala, and payag, are squatter shanties or shanties, i.e., dwellings of the land-

less poor built on whatever land they can occupy. Squat- ters are generally migrants
from the countryside who come to the urban areas in search of jobs and a better
life. Unable to acquire or rent property, they build makeshift dwellings on public
land or idle private property. Barong-barong sites include the bayshore, river- banks,
esteros, strips along railroad tracks, garbage dumps, abandoned buildings, the
space along high masonry walls, and any vacant lot. Barong-barong have been built
under bridges and in the hollow of the Roxas Boulevard sea wall. Their sites are
generally near the places of livelihood. They are sometimes lo- cated on spacious
lots which are used for planting vegetables or raising animals, or for any small
business such as sari-sari (variety) stores and repair shops. The number of dwellings
in such settlement ranges from less than 10 to several hundreds. In larger
settlements, houses are built dose together along narrow alleys or around a
common space. In villages built on mud-flats or swamps, houses are connected by
plank bridges. The barong-barong may be divided into two types: continuous houses
and detached houses; or single-room houses, one-story multiple-room houses, and
two-and three-story houses. These structures are the primitive or folk architec- ture
of the present time, since they are dwellings of minimal space, made of found,
scavenged, or recycled materials, and crudely assembled by the house owners with
the help of neighbors. Their areas range from 6-30 sqm or more. A small one would
have a single all-purpose room; a large one could have a living space, a dining nook,
a kitchen, bed- rooms, a porch, and an alcove for storage. Rare is one that has its
own bathroom and toilet. Barong-barong vary in size, plan, exterior appearance, and
construction; no one description can fit them all. The posts, beams, joists, and
rafters could be of wood or bamboo, depending on what is readily avail- able. The
roof, usually of one slope, is of scrap corru- gated galvanized iron-sheets, flattened
biscuit tins, metal sheets from billboards, scrap plywood, plastic sheets secured with
fishnets, cardboards covered with plastic sheets, canvas, old mats, linoleum, or
nipa. The ceiling, which serves as insulation, could be of ply- wood, styrofoam,
sawali, and plastic sheets. Since roofs are often made of materials that cannot be
nailed on, they a're held down by improvised weights--rocks, concrete hollow blocks,
discarded bat134
SHANTY. The typical bomng-barong Is a bahay kubo assembled with scavenged or
recycled materials. (Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Co//ec#on)
tery casings, rubber tires, bicycle wheels, upholstery springs, wooden blocks, and
plastic jugs. The floor may be the ground itself or an existing pavement. It could
also be raised above the ground by 50-200 em or more. When the floor is the
ground itself, it is covered with plastic sheets. In some shanties frag- ments of
concrete blocks or cement tiles are used to form a pavement. Elevated floors are of
wooden boards, scrap plywood, lawanit, or bamboo slats. Wooden floors are
sometimes covered with linoleum. The sidings are a patchwork of galvanized-iron
sheets, lawanit, bamboo, nipa, sawali, cardboard, dis- carded billboards, dismantled
crates, capiz shutters, and plastic sacks. For additional protection the sidings are
lined inside with plywood, cardboard, plastic sheets, or thick paper. The materials
used for sidings are also used for door and window shutters. Outside, the shanty
may have auxiliary structures or spaces--a batalan or unroofed porch with a floor
slightly lower than that of the house, or a work area on ground level covered by an
extension of the roof. Some shanties have a small entrance porch adorned with iron

grilles or balustrades. The minimal floor area of the barong-barong is matched by its
low ceiling. Depending on where the shanty is located, it can have only one window
or windows on two, three, or four sides. Should there be more than one room,
partitions would be of light materials--cloth, cardboard or a wooden lattice. Sometimes a free-standing cabinet or aparador serves as a partition. In two-story
shanties the stairs are as steep as ladders in order to save space.
The furniture and appliances in a shanty are the index of the family's standard of
living. Some house- holds have only the barest necessities--a stove using firewood,
water jugs, cartons for storing clothes, mats for sleeping, and not even a table for
eating. Some houses have more comforts--chairs, tables, cabinets, beds with
mattresses, an electric fan, a sewing machine, a refrigerator, and a television set.
Outside the house could be a small or large array of potted plants. However poor a
house may be, it does not lack an altar or shrine. In a corner, on a long shelf, or on
top of a cabinet stand images of the Holy Child, the Sacred Heart, the Blessed
Mother, San Roque, San Martin de Porres, and other popular saints. On the wall
above is usually a dried palm frond from the last Palm Sunday procession which is
believed to protect the house from fire and lightning. R.D. Perez III
BUNGALOW
The bungalow (from Anglo-Indian "bungalow," of Bengala) originally referred to a
one-story house built in India, characterized by a tile or thatch roof and a wide front
porch. The term also referred to a vacation house in the country. In America the
bungalow is usually a flat-roofed, one-story house, like those com- mon in California.
In the Philippines the bungalow refers to a one- story house unit with large windows,
and sometimes a lanai or a terrace. The lanai, borrowed from Hawaii, is a roofed
terrace walled on one, two, or three sides. Bungalows were introduced in the
Philippines during the American period. Those built in the 1920s and 1930s had a
spacious porch on the front and sides. Although the porch was an important
element of the bungalow, this was sometimes reduced to a small ves- tibule in front
of the main entrance. The bungalow could be compact in plan or sprawl- ing,
slightly elevated above the ground or practically on ground level. The bungalow, in
reduced and sim- plified form, has become a model for low-cost housing. During the
1950s government-financed housing unit projects had a basic format. A unit had
one small living room, one or two bedrooms, and a bathroom. It had a separate
entrance but had no fences, only hedges. Its roof was either of asbestos or
galvanized iron. Of the variations in structure, the most common were the single
unit and the duplex. Project communities have developed according to income
bracket. The low-cost houses, specifically those in the Quirino district, i.e., Projects 2
and 3, were charBUNGALOW
acterized by windows with wooden jalousies. In Project 4 (the area bounded by
Aurora Boulevard, P. Tuazon, and J.P. Rizal), Project 6 (Pag-asa district), and Projects
7 and 8 (Mtni.oz-Congressional district), single-unit bunga- lows had bigger lots,
more rooms, and sometimes swing-out glass windows. The earlier houses in Projects 2 and 3 lack what later Philippine bungalows adapted as protection against the
tropical sun and rains, i.e., elements from the bahay na bato (stone house) such as
the pitched roof and the media agua (metal awnings). Bungalows of the middle

class stand on 200-to 400-sqm lots. A typical house has a car port, a spacious living
and dining area, a kitchen, two to three bed- rooms, a small garden in front of the
house, and a service area at the back. Houses in Philamlife, Quezon City are
constructed in blocks around a common space with a plaza which has a park, a
playing court, a church, and a clubhouse. Bungalows are also found in Singalong
and Santa Mesa, and became especially popular during the reconstruction of the
1950s. In the 1960s more upper-class bungalows were built in Makati villages, like
Forbes Park and Magallanes, as well as in New Manila. The main house in these
subdivi- sion occupied a 1,000 to 2,000-sqm lots which contained sprawling houses
with gardens, atriums, lanais, swim- ming pools, garages, and maids' quarters.
However large or intricate, the Philippine bunga- low has always had problems with
ventilation. Its usually low ceilings, enclosed rooms and inadequate windows that
reduced the circulation of air tended to make the house warm. Floods can also be a
threat to bungalows built right on the ground in low-lying areas. A. Villar and R.
Javellana
PROJECT HOUSE. The bungalow, In reduced and simplified form, became a model
unit of lower middle-class government subdivisions In the 1950s. (Nicanor G.
Tlongson Collection)
135
FORMS
CASA REAL
The casa real (Spanish, royal house), also identi- fied as the cabildo (Spanish, town
hall), casa de ayun- tamiento (Spanish, town council house), casa muni- cipal
(Spanish, municipal house), and gobiemo (Span- ish, government) was the center
for civic rule during the Spanish colonial period. It was usually built near or opposite
the church, overlooking the plaza. The ruling body of a town, called cabildo or
ayuntamiento, met in the casa real; hence the casa real was, by extension, called
cabildo or casa de ayuntamiento. Its construction was part of Spain's strategy not
only to Christianize the Philippines but also to hispa- nize it. The erection of civic
structures, such as the casa real, tribunal, schools for boys and girls, bridges and
watchtowers, complemented the building of ecclesias- tical structures and served as
an index of a town's westernization and financial solvency. In theory, each town had
a tribunal, separate primary schuuls fur boys and girls, and a casa real. But well into
the 19th century, these structures were ab- sent in many towns because of the
towns' inability to pay for their construction. In theory, civil government paid for all
civil construction; but in fact, many of these structures were built by the townsfolk
themselves, without help from central government and often under the direction of
the parish priest, the alcalde rruzyor (governor) or other local officials. The casa real
also served as lodging for dignitaries who came to visit a locality. In cases where the
casa real was never built, visitors took to staying in the convento or the parish
priest's residence.
136
TOWN HALL This oversized bahay-na-bato or stone house served as the cabildo or
town hall In Bacolor, Pampanga up to the early American Period. (Vistas V' Tipos de
Filipinos, Lopez Museum Collection)

In most cases, the casa real did not represent a special type of architecture. It was
akin to the conven- to, which in turn was an oversized bahay na bato (stone house).
Normally, these were two-story struc- tures with a lower floor of stone and an upper
floor of wood. For example, the two-story casa real built in Cabatuan, Iloilo in the
late 19th century had a lower story of stone and an upper story of wood. Large
overhanging eaves, windows with capiz shutters and ventanillas (small windows)
mark the casa as belong- ing to the bahay na bato genre. The cabildo of Pasig, Rizal
had two stories and an arcade in front of the first story. One-story structures were
also built, found in San Fernando, La Union, which has four bays on each side of the
central section of the facade. The cabildo at Boac, Marinduque is not along the
church plaza but at the foot of the hill where the church-fortress stands. In some
cases, the casa real assumed monumental proportions fit for the seat of
government. Examples are those of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, completed in 1900 but
probably started during the previous century, and the cabildo of Mahatao, Batanes,
which is a two-story stone structure pierced by narrow grilled windows in the
manner of the Ivatan house. There was often no physical difference among the
tribunal, cabildo, casa real, and even the school houses; moreover, over time the
same building might be used as a court of law, school, and lodging. Thus the names
of these civic buildings are commonly inter- changed in popular parlance, with the
term casa real as the most common. R. Javellana
References: Castaneda 1964; El Archipielago 1900; Huerta 1855.
COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
Buildings for commercial purposes may be di- vided into those designated for the
buying and selling of goods, such as markets, and those which house business
offices, banks, and factories. Only the second group of commercial buildings is here
discussed, with the previous group being found under the entry "Palengke." The
very first large commercial building in the country was probably the Alcaiceria de
San Fernando, inaugurated in 1758 in the populous Chinese village of Binondo, just
across the river from Intramuros. The two-story octagonal edifice housed only
several shops for the Chinese merchants but also government offices for the control
of trade. Destroyed by fire in 1810, it was not rebuilt, perhaps because by then
many other stores and shops had already opened Oose 1991b). After the opening of
the Philippines to interna- tional trade, British, German, French, and other foreigners set up businesses on Escolta and adjacent streets, so that by the second
half of the 19th century this was the most important commercial district in the
country. Most of these houses engaged in the import and export of goods. Early
trading houses were the bahay na bato (stone house) adapted for commercial
purposes. The ground floor was occupied by offices, while the upper floor served as
the residence of the owner of the firm. One of the more active architects in the
design of commercial buildings was the Spaniard Juan Hervas, who was the
municipal architect of Manila from 1885 to 1893. To meet the commercial needs of
the city, Hervas designed the offices of Rafael Perez on Anloague st (now Juan Luna)
in Binondo, the Ynchausti Brothers office along the waterfront, and the Purchasing
Agency office. He is credited with design- ing the Manila Railroad Station at Tutuban,
the termin- al of the railway that ran up to Dagupan. He also designed commercial
buildings, namely, Estrella del Norte on Escolta, the Heacock Store Building, the
Paris-Manila building, the building occupied by the American Bazaar, the Hotel
Oriente building on Plaza Binondo, and the La Insular Tobacco Factory with its

intricate Moorish motifs-a good example of a building that combined commerce and
art (Norton 1911). Related to the rise of commerce was the establish- ment of
banks. Between 1823 to 1829, the Aduana or customs house was built in Intramuros
along the banks of the Pasig. The first bank, the Banco Espafiol- Filipino de Isabel II,
was housed in it until the bank moved in 1862 to its own quarters elsewhere in
IntraCOMMERCIAL BUILDINGS
muros. The second bank, the Monte de Piedad, origi- nally at the Colegio de Santa
Isabel in Intramuros, moved to a new building in Plaza Goiti (presently A. Lacson) in
Santa Cruz. The bank, designed by Hervas, had a facade similar to that of Greek
temples, in accord with the current neoclassic style. The establishment of American
rule and the im- provement in the economy fostered the construction of office
buildings. In the late 1920s Andres Luna de San Pedro, chief architect of Manila from
1920 to 1924 and son of the painter Juan Luna, designed the Perez- Samanillo
Building on the Escolta. The building was one of the first to use art-deco ornaments.
Luna later designed the Crystal Arcade, also in the art deco idiom, which was
considered the most modern build- ing in Manila before WWII. It combined shops
with office space. Notable buildings of prewar Manila were: the Paterno Building and
the Cu Unjieng Building designed by Fernando Ocampo Sr; the Geronimo de los
Reyes Building (now Soriano Building) and Capitan Pepe Building by Juan Nakpil;
and the Ramon Roces Publications Building by Pablo Antonio. Most prefer- red was
the art deco idiom, which was a decorative style and not a new program on the use
of space. Most office buildings contained similar elements: a lobby on the first floor,
and elevators and stairs that led to the upper floors. On each floor, corridors led to
rooms for offices. The first floor also had office spaces although these floors could
be occupied by stores. The architecture of the 1950s was influenced by the
International Style, which used bold rectangular forms, plain wall surfaces, clean
lines and large win- dows, and favored assymetry. Sunbreakers were used in many
buildings as a protection against intense tro- pical sunlight. Notable commercial
buildings of this period are: Philamlife Building designed by Carlos Arguelles, the
Capitan Luis Gonzaga Building by Pablo Antonio, and the Insular Life Building designed by Cesar Condo. Buildings became inscreasingly taller in the de- cades that
followed. Until the 1950s the height of buildings was limited to 30m. In 1960 a
Manila ordi- nance raised the limit to 45 m. Since 1990 buildings have risen to 140
m, or over 40 stories. The Rufino Tower, a commercial building in Makati, is 150m
high. Commercial buildings have taken cognizance of the need to be
environmentally sound. The San Miguel Corporation in Pasig is designed to be
energy efficient. R. Javellana
References: Jose 1991b; Norton 1911; Perez III 1990.
137
FORMS
ESKWELAHAN
The eskwelahan (from Spanish "escuela/' school, and Tagalog "han," a suffix
denoting place), also known as eskwela, paaralan (from Tagalog "pa," a prefix
denoting to, "aral," study, and "an," a suffix denoting place), and iskul (from English

"school") is a building constructed for the purpose of teaching young members of a


community knowledge, skills, and values that will make them useful to the
community. School buildings are generally absent from ethnic communities because
knowledge, skills, and values are generally transmitted informally through daily-life
situations. Some communities may have communal places for social, religious, and
community gatherings, such as the Maranao torogan and the Ifugao abong which
could be dormitories for boys and girls. These structures could also serve the
function of a school. Two types of school buildings emerged during Spanish rule: the
colegio or universidad (colleges or universities) found in cities and the escuela pia
or escuela primaria (primary schools) found in different pueblos. Within the walls of
Intramuros were the Domini- can Universidad de Santo Tomas (UST) and Colegio de
San Juan de Letran, the Jesuit Colegio de Manila and Colegio de San Jose, the
Colegio de Santa Rita, and the Colegio de Santa Potenciana. Girls were taught
separ- ately from boys: boys under the tutelage of priests and brothers; girls under
nuns. Outside the Spanish City, the Jesuits established the Colegio de San Ildefonso
in Santa Cruz (Manila), the Colegio de Loreto in Cavite Puerto, the Colegio de Iloilo
in Arevalo, the Colegio de San Ildefonso in Cebu, and the Colegio de Zamboanga
beside Fort Pilar. Dur- ing the 19th century the Dominicans established col- leges in
Luzon, such as those in Dagupan and Tuguegarao. College in its medieval sense
refers primarily to a boarding place. Students living in such a college go to the
university for their courses, although lectures might be delivered by professors and
priests living in the college to augment the learning acquired in the university. Thus
the boarders of the Colegio de San Jose went to the Colegio, and later the
Universidad de Manila for their courses. In the absence of a university nearby, the
colleges developed into boarding schools. Until the 19th century very few Filipinos
studied in the universities. More often than not they were semina- rians obtaining a
bachelor or licentiate degree as a prerequisite for ordination. The student body was
composed mostly of Spaniards, their children, sol138
diers, and religious completing their courses. Higher degrees were given for law,
letters, and theology. Dur- ing the 19th century, as more Filipinos acquired wealth,
their children studied for advanced degrees. UST offered degrees in medicine and
pharmacy. In 1859 the Jesuits were to take charge of a school that would become
the Ateneo de Manila. Starting as a primary school, it later evolved into a college
with bachelor's degrees in arts and letters, surveying, and engineering. Not all
college buildings were of durable material. In 1734 the Jesuit college in Zamboanga
had a nipa roof and was probably of bamboo. Provincial colleges also did not have
many priests assigned to them for two or three would compose the faculty. A 1727
map of Man- ila indicates the early 18th-century school buildings built of stone and
masonry. Permanent buildings were generally constructed following the atrial plan.
Typical of the school buildings built during this period was the Colegio de Manila.
Here a church or chapel formed one side of the atrium. In the atrium was a garden
with a well. The building around the atrium housed school facilities on the lower
floors and residences on the upper floor. The college was unusually tall with three
stories, while the other colleges had two stories. In this college were found a library,
a printing press, class- rooms, a pharmacy, an herbarium, a refectory or dining hall,
kitchen, storeroom, and stables. The precise location of these rooms within the
building is unknown. The colleges were repaired and expanded during their long
history. By the late 19th century, UST had laboratories for physics, a museum, and

an extensive library in a long two-story building. This fronted the Colegio de Santa
Potenciana and was separated from the neogothic church of Santo Domingo by a
street and the Plaza de Santo Tomas. A feature of 19th-century Manila schools was
the salon de actos, an auditorium, where plays, lectures, and other school functions
were held. The salon was the best appointed room in the whole structure. The UST
salon had a coffered ceiling, while the Ateneo had an elegant pair of stairs that led
to the hall. Although the establishment of primary schools was an integral part of
colonizing strategies, the con- struction of numerous schoolhouses did not gain
headway until the 19th century. During the 17th and 18th centuries, classes were
conducted in the convento or in the house of the maestro or male teacher, whose
stipend was paid by community funds. Primary schools were geared toward
catechetical instruction above all. Reading and writing were taught to help children
learn prayers and the teachings of the Catho- lic faith. The reading primer was
popularly called eaton.
ESKWELAHAN
INSTITUTIONS. The University of Santo Tomas, left, shown ca 1900 with the statue of
Its founder Fr Miguel de Benavides, was transferred from lntramuros, Manila, along
with the original portal of the main building, to Its new campus on Espai'la after
WWII. (Hawkins, American Historical Collection). After their return In 1859 the
Jesuits opened the Ateneo de Manila, bottom, In lntramuros. (Cultural Center of the
Philippines library Collection)
By the 19th century, primary schools had been organized under the heading of
primera and segunda enzefianza, roughly equivalent to our elementary and high
schools. Girls were taught separately from boys under a maestra or female teacher,
while the boys had their own maestro; likewise, separate schoolhouses were built
for girls and for boys. Where feasible, schoolhouses were built of durable material,
such as stone, brick, and hardwood. These schoolhouses were generally built at the
urging of the townspeople with the support of the parish priest, who sometimes
took charge of construction. Schoolhouses were usually long and narrow one-story
structures, built close to the ground, with no posts raising the floor above bare
earth. The portal of the school was generally found at the center of the longer side
of the building, decorated with engaged columns or pilasters and crowned by a
pediment. The walls left and right of the portal were pierced by rectangular
windows. Schoolhouses gener- ally employed neoclassical motif elements, such as
Doric and Tuscan capitals and Roman arches. These schoolhouses were often built
fronting the plaza or near the church and consequently had no grounds. They were
also poorly lighted, having small windows. A number of hispanic-type schools still
stand to- day. That found in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte has one story, with an
entrance whose pediment is deco- rated with the name of Jesus. The school at
Magsingal,
139
FORMS
Ilocos Sur, built in 1827, is a one-story structure, with a triangular pediment on the
facade, plain pillars flank- ing the arched doorway, and rose windows piercing the
clerestory. The escuela pia in Taal, Batangas has semicircular steps leading to the

entrance. A plain triangular pediment crowns the center of the facade which is
flanked by unadorned pilasters. By the close of the Spanish era the government had
built a number of school buildings in the more important towns of the islands. In
1900 it was esti- mated that there were about 1,000 schools in the Phi- lippines, 39
located in Manila, but there were only 4,000 to 5,000 students attending school
daily. These buildings were not all of stone, some being oversized nipa sheds. The
Americans, when setting up the pub- lic school system, used these buildings as well
as ermi- tas (small chapels) as schools until such time as more satisfactory
structures were built. They also rented pri- vate homes and set up temporary
structures, paid for by municipal funds, and used these as schools. The Philippine
Commission passed Act No 1801, appropriating one million dollars for school
buildings. This appropriation was augmented by Act No 2029 of the Philippine
Assembly of 1908 which appropriated half a million dollars or one million pesos, to
be made available over four years, to aid municipalities in the construction of
reinforced-concrete schoolhouses. These were popularly known as the Gabaldon
school- houses after Isauro Gabaldon, the assemblyman who authored the bill.
Central or Insular government was responsible for giving two pesos for every peso
raised by the municipal government. The initiative for build- ing schools rested
firmly on the municipal govern- ment. A level, well-drained, square site was
considered ideal. The school was to be built away from the street, its distance
depending on the size of the building; the bigger the school, the farther away it was
to be. Grounds were needed for playfields, gardens, walks, and lawns. There were
15 typical plans designed by the American architect William Parsons. By 1911 Plans
No 4, 5, 9, and 11 were abandoned since the other plans served their purposes well.
Plans No 1 and 2 had one and two rooms respectively and were suited for bar- rios.
Plan No 3 was for a central barrio in a town where the average school attendance
was not large. Plan No 6, designed for a central barrio whose students did not
exceed 200, had the advantage of having an assembly hall and could be built in
parts as municipal finances allowed. Plan No 7, similar to Plan No 6, had a
storeroom and office. Plan No 10 was suitable for in- termediate schools and was
built in large growing
140
towns. Plan No 12 was Plan No 10 with additions and was large enough for the
needs of a large provincial capital. When completed, it formed a quadrangle and
had 20 classrooms. Plans No 8 and 12 were for trade schools. Provincial high
schools were designed case to case. Schools varied in cost from P2,100 - 2,700 for
Plan No 1 types to P17,000 - 22,000 for Plan No 10 schools. The Gabaldon
schoolhouses had concrete founda- tions and walls and galvanized-iron roofs. They
were invariably one-story structures raised obove the ground by a meter or so to
keep the wooden floor safely above the humid ground. The ceilings were about 4 m
high to allow hot air to rise. The ceiling kept heat generat~d by the roof from
seeping downwards. A steep roof with wide overhangs, similar to the bahay na bato
(stone house) roof, kept rain away. The windows were tall but narrow and swung
outwards like the windows of the bahay kubo (nipa hut). These were made of wood
and capiz shells. To give the school a monumental air, the facade had a portico
approached by stairs that traversed the length of the building. The more com- mon
structure had a room jutting out from each end of the facade, creating a recessed
effect. High school buildings, which likewise followed a longitudinal plan, could have

porticos in the renais- sance style, i.e., with arches resting on columns or arches
without columns. Inspite of the devastations
caused by WWII, many schools from the first half of the 20th century survive.
Buildings erected for tertiary level education dur- ing the American period include
the main building and dormitory of the Philippine Normal School, and the initial
buildings of the University of the Philippines on the Padre Faura Campus. The latter,
as typified by University Hall, were in the neoclassic style, sur- rounded by porticoes
with ionic columns. Construction of school buildings and the recon- struction of
those damaged by war continued during the Philippine Republic. The new buildings
followed the early plans-long, rectangular, one-story structures- but were different,
since to save on construction cost they now hugged the ground. The classrooms had
two doors to allow immediate evacuation of students in the event of a fire or
earthquake. Concrete, wood, and galvanized iron were the materials used. The
Marcos- type school building incorporated many features of previous designs but
had the advantage of being pre- fabricated, allowing the construction of many buildings in a short time. The schoolhouse had an iron frame bolted together. The roof of
asbestos kept heat under control, as a typical building came without a ceil- ing. The
walls were of prestressed concrete, and the door frame of iron. The transom was
open to allow free pas- sage of air. Windows had woven jalousies.
ESKWELAHAN
SCHOOL BUILDINGS. Designed for the tropics, the primary school building of Santo
Tomas, Batangas, opposite top, has a concrete toundaHon and walls and a
galvanized-Iron roof (Eleventh Annual Report of the Director of Education 1911.
Naffonal library Collection); the Cebu High School Provincial Building, opposite
bottom, followed the plans of William Parsons (Eleventh Annual Report of the
Director of Education 1971, Naffonal library Col- lecffon); built by the Americans In
neoclassical style, the State Uni- versity Building above, stood on Padre Faura,
Malate. (Commercial Handbook of the Phil. Islands 1924, American Historical
Collecffon).
Some elementary schools, especially in urban cen- ters, are more elaborate than
the quick-build type. The typical building has two to three floors. The stairway,
located at one end of the building, is its distinctive feature. On the high blank wall
that hides the stairs from the street, the name and emblem of the school are
displayed. On the second story is a corridor. The bal- cony serves as classrooms. An
air of lightness and transparency is created by the simple wrought-iron balustrade
of the balcony and by the wooden or glass jalousies. Examples of this building type
are the Leodegario Victorino Elementary School in Marikina and the Aurora School in
Cubao. R. Javellana
Reference: Report of the Philippine Commission 1903.
141
1I
FORMS
ETHNIC HOUSE

Ethnic houses refer to domestic architecture among the ethnolinguistic groups of


the Philippines, and includes the lowland houses called bahay kubo (nipa hut) as
well as the dwellings found among the cultural communities in the Philippines and
known by various names. They can be as elaborate as the Mara- nao torogan (long
house) or as simple as the dait-dait, the windscreen of the Aeta. These houses are
created in the typical Southeast Asian fashion with no architects, guided only by
traditional wisdom and a humanistic vision of the house as a setting for relationships with other human beings and with nature. The ethnic house shares
common features with the rest of Southeast Asian vernacular architecture, name- ly,
piles or posts to elevate the floor of the house, and the gable or hip roof. Whether
built on a hill, mountain or plain, river or sea, these structures are fashioned out of
the bounties of the earth-wood, vegetation, sometimes mud. Bam- boo is the
favorite material, as in most of Southeast Asia. It is used for posts, flooring, siding,
roofing, and many other purposes. Materials may include coconut wood and leaves,
bakawan or mangrove, hardwoods such as narra, pine, molave, stones, cogan grass,
nipa, banana bark for roof coverings and wall sidings, and rattan and other vines for
fastening. Most ethnic houses conform to a general pattern: they have steep,
thatched roofs to keep out the rain; they are elevated on posts or stilts, the answer
to floods and the dampness and humidity of the earth; they have slatted flooring,
which allows the cool air from below to enter the house; in the lowlands they use
bamboo, nipa, and cogan to help keep out the heat, and in the uplands, tightly
fitting solid planks to help keep out the cold. In the absence of walls or partitions
within the house, the use of different levels, even mats or a fireplace in a corner,
can differentiate one section from another. This generally results in a multipurpose
one-room structure, which is light and airy, comfortable and functional, yet durable
and structurally stable. Furthermore, the decoration of the house is often a good
fusion of aesthetics and social, political, and religious realities. Pig skulls or carabao
horns may adorn a house mainly for social prestige. Among the Maranao, the
colorful panolong (decorative beam- ends) of houses indicate one's social position.
Culture dictates a set of beliefs and assumptions decidedly animistic that govern
the choice of site, time and season for building; rituals to be observed before
142
and during the construction of the house, including the reading of signs or omens
that may affect the progress of the work; orientation of the house as well as the
distribution of interior parts; and such other beliefs and practices that assure good
health and a prosperous, happy family life, as well as protection from evil spirits for
both occupants and builders. Rituals and celebrations are a way of life for the ethnic
peoples, and for these occasions the house dou- bles as a social and a cultural
center. Ritual platforms are then built near the house or attached to it; other- wise,
different parts of the house, such as the porch, or the whole house itself can be
transformed into the setting for these rituals or ceremonies by simply mov- ing or
altering some parts to allow for more space and create a more appropriate setting.
With such frequency of rituals and life-cycle celebrations, a strong sense of
community and tribal identity inevitably emerges. People work together, build
houses together, do things together in a spirit of harmony and togetherness. In such
a culture that permits and encourages maximum interaction of people,
communication is largely indirect, intimate, accomplished through sug- gestions,
hints, gestures and symbols, where each message may be decoded with ease and
fluency by the members of that culture. Territorial spaces are not marked by fences

or walls, but merely suggested by certain symbols which, however, are accorded a
certain degree of respect by the other residents in the area and by passersby. The
following are avoided: littering within another's space;
allowing cows or carabaos to stray into a neighbor's area; and ~ssing too near a
neighbor's window where someone may be sleeping. While privacy is generally
observed within the understood limits of each area within and without the house,
the plot of land or the designated zone at sea or along the shoreline where the
houses are built remains communal property. Thus the responsibility of maintaining the surroundings, e.g., the hill where the clus- ter of houses stands, rests on
all the residents in the area. Common areas give the children a wider and bigger
area for play and adults more opportunities for socializing, with the increased
number of possible con- versation sites. It is probably safe to assume that the
earliest architectural improvisations bear the same pattern as present-day ethnic
houses and that the basic features of lowland dwellings, the bahay kubo of the
Christian ethnic populace, had already been established even before Spanish
contact. Ethnic dwellings developed with changing life styles and modes of
sustenance: the lean-to evolving from the highly nomadic life of hunters and food
gatherers such as the Aeta; the bamboo or wooden, one-room houses emanating
from the more settled life of dry-and wet-rice cultivators such as the homes of the
Cordillera groups; and the elevated house built on water emerging from various
seafaring groups in the south such as the Samal and Tausug of Sulu. In places where
violent intercommunity strifes occurred, tree houses were built by such groups as
the Ilongot and
ETHNIC HOUSES
TYPHOON AND TROPICAL HOUSES. The lvatan house In Batanes, opposite page, has
sturdy stone walls and thick grass roofs designed for frequent typhoons (Emesto R.
Caballero 7991, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection); to cope with
tropical weather, the Tausug house, left, opens to the environment. (Cultural Center
of the Philippines Library Collection)
the Gaddang of northern Luzon, and the Mandaya and the Bukidnon peoples of
eastern Mindanao. In Batanes, sturdy, stone dwellings with thick grass roofs have
withstood frequent typhoons. Equally interesting are the following house types that
evolved in response to various conditions: the longhouse for community dwelling
among the Mangyan of Mindoro; the twin houses of the Itawes of Cagayan Valley;
and the multi- level house of the Tagbanua of Palawan and the Manobo. Indigenous
concepts of building would persist well into the succeeding periods. In the bahay na
bato (stone house) of the Spanish colonial period, the tsalet (chalet) of the
American colonial period, and even the barong-barong (shanty) of the contemporary
period, the prototypal ethnic house is recognized despite changes in material, scale,
plan, and elevation. The ethnic house is a structure that copes with the specific
conditions of Philippine geography, climate and environment. It is also the
embodiment of ethnic values relating to family, clan, community, and class. As a
structure that expresses the unity of the people, nature and society, the ethnic
house embodies some of the best characteristics of architecture that can be called
Filipino. C. Hila

References: Bello 1965; Casal 1978; Dacanay 1988; De Leon 1982; Hornedo 1983;
Jainal et a! 1972; Klassen 1986; Perez III 1990; Scott 1966; Vanoverbergh 1953.
143
l
FORMS
HOUSEBOAT
Houseboats are boats that also serve as resi- dences. These are found among the
seafaring Badjao or Sarna Laut. Taylor, who visited the southern Philip- pines in the
1850s, reported that the Badjao had three types of boats: the fast sailing vinta, the
fishing lipa, and the sapit. The latter two may be considered house- boats. The lipa,
a longer and slower boat than the vinta, had no outriggers and was used as a
residence. The houseboat, which never left the anchorage, was 12-15 m long and
1.80 m wide, and had a dwelling mounted on it which made it top-heavy and
cumber- some for maneuvering on the open sea. The Badjao of Tungkalang have
three types of boats: the lepa, with no outriggers; the djenging; and the dapang.
Over the lepa and djenging, houses are built. The lepa house consists of a long pole
with a nipa roof slung over it. The djenging has four wooden walls, windows, and
doors, and a galvanized-iron roof. The dapang is used for fishing and long trips. The
djenging is simply furnished: a sail, a lamp for fishing, a water jar, a stove, several
pots, plates, poles, a baul (chest), perhaps, a suitcase, pillows and mats, and above
the roof, fishing gear held by two poles with forked ends. Related to the houseboat
is the casco, a flat- bottomed boat used for transporting goods at a short distance.
Popular in the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, the casco in Manila and
its environs also had provisions for living. Toward the rear of the casco, an area
covered with sawali matting was used for sleeping and eating. R. Javellana
144
References: Dacanay 1988; Folk Architecture 1989.
BOAT DWELLING. The tepa of the seafaring Badjao Is both dwelling and a means of
livelihood. (Carl/to L Sslieres 1992, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library
Collection)
KAMALIG
GRANARY. The granary for rice and other grains Is the most Important economic
structure In Cordillera villages. (Jenks 1905, American Historical Collection)
The kamalig, also known as kamarin (from Span- ish "camarin"), bangan, and baysa,
is a granary, i.e., a storehouse for grain. The storage of rice and corn, gathered
during the harvest which takes place once to three times a year, is an important
preoccupation of farming communities. In northern Philippines, the granary is the
most economically important structure. Its meticulous con- struction produces
distinctive and striking structures like those in the Cordilleras. The Bontoc build a
house called fayu, which has a granary called falig at its center and is raised above
the living quarters on the ground floor. The Isneg granary, called alan, built on stilts
with rat guards that can take the form of disks, knobs, and cylinders, resembles a

large basket as its walls of sawali or woven bamboo strips flare outwards. In lowland
communities, the silong or bottom of the bahay kubo (nipa hut) can be a place for
storing grain. However, the more common practice is t~ store grain in a separate
building called kamalig or camarin. The name of the granary, kamalig, is carried
over to the Spanish period and striking similarities between the methods of storage
may be noted. Two common methods of storing rice appeared during the Spanish
period. The more common con- sisted of keeping sacks of rice in the zaguan or
lower floor of the bahay na bato (stone house). The zaguan was not only a place for
carriages but for equipment and supplies needed by the household. Big landlords,
who took a share from their tenants' harvest, kept rice in large stone buildings
called kamalig or camarin. The term almacen was also used, but this term could
also
refer to places of buying and selling. The kamalig con- sisted of a thick wall of stone
and mortar in which small openings were made; hence the interior was almost
always dark. A single entrance with a sturdy door was usually cut into the center of
the long side of the kamalig. The building could have a roof of nipa, tile, or
galvanized iron. Tile was the common roofing material because it kept the interior
cool. The interior was a large space in keeping with its function of stor- age. Many
kamalig still stand. One found in Bifi.an, Laguna has now been converted to other
uses. A ruined kamalig standing near the Marikina Church has fluted pilasters in the
upper story. As modern methods of drying and storing rice developed, so did the
structures for storage. The national government, through the Department of
Agriculture's National Food Authority (NFA), has built warehouses for storing bought
grain. These large, long buildings are usually built with steel frames and galvanizediron sheets. The entrance is located at the center of the long side. Provisions have
been made so that delivery trucks can come in and out of the build ing with ease.
Rice traders build smaller versions of the NFA-type warehouse. Structures using
galvanized- iron sheets for walls and roofing over a metal or wooden frame are
common. R. Javellana
Reference: Folk Architecture 1989.
KAPITOLYO
In the Philippines the kapitolyo (from Latin "capi- tolium," capitol) or capitol, has
always referred to the building of the provincial government, located in the capital
town or city. The kapitolyo houses the three branches of the provincial government:
the executive, the Office of the Governor; the legislative, the offices and meeting
room of the Provincial Board; and the judicial, the court. The term has never been
applied to the national legislature in Manila, which has been called the National
Assembly or later, Congress. The term capitol originally referred to the Temple of
Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, and was later applied to city halls in the
empire. In the United States the Capitol is the building in Washington DC that
houses the Congress. Kapitolyo were introduced during the American period. During
the Spanish regime, although a town was designated capital of the province, there
was no specific type of building for the provincial government. Following norms set
down by William Parsons, consulting architect of the Philippine government-from
KAPITOLYO

1905 to 1914, the kapitolyo was located in a park, away from the center of the
town, in a place that was digni- fied and restful. Thus kapitolyo are found in
spacious grounds or at the end of a broad boulevard, or where possible, on a
bayshore. The entire building or its main portion was rec- tangular in plan, two to
three stories in height, and set on a podium consisting of several steps. A two-story
portico at the center of the facade sheltered the en- trance which had one or
several doors. In some instances, one-story buildings flanked the main body of the
building. The spacious rooms had high ceilings and large windows, and were
arranged along broad corridors. Most kapitolyo were in the neoclassic or Greekrevival style, characterized by the use of columns, entablatures and pediments.
Their architecture was influenced by the Ecole de Beaux Arts of Paris, which
championed neoclassicism, and had influenced architectural schools in the United
States where the early 20th-century Filipino architects were trained. Among the
notable kapitolyo in the neoclassic style are those of Batangas and Cebu; those of
Laguna built in 1912; the Sorsogon Capitol built in 1916; the Pangasinan Capitol
built in 1918; the Negros Occi- dental Capitol in Bacolod, designed by Juan Arellano
and completed in 1933; and the Leyte Capitol designed by Antonio Toledo. Some
kapitolyo, such as those of Bulacan in Malolos and Tayabas (now Quezon) in Lucena,
departed from the neoclassic style and tended towards the modern. R. D. Perez III
Reference: Quarterly Bulletin January 1914.
PROVINCIAL CENTER. Neoclassic columns, entablatures, and pediments characterize
most provincial capitols, like that of Llngayen, Pangaslnan. (Klassen 1986, Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
145
FORMS
KUTA
The kuta, also known as muog, and tanggulan (from Tagalog "tanggol," defend, and
"an," a suffix denoting place), and later as fuerza, fortaleza, trin- chera, and
baluarte (all Spanish terms), are fortifica- tions, i.e., structures built to protect the
lives and property of a community against enemies. Fortifica- tions are often built in
strategic locations where pro- tection is provided by such natural barriers as waters,
swamps, cliffs, hills, mountains, and narrow passes. Indigenous fortifications used
stakes driven into the ground, earthwork, and stones piled on top of each other to
improve the natural defenses of a site. Cordillera communities locate their villages
in areas which can be easily defended. Entrances to villages may be protected by
low stone walls. The Ivatan fortified elevated places accessible only through narrow
paths. Rocks were stockpiled in the idjang, the places of refuge in case of enemy
attack. Islamic communities called fortifications kuta, "whether constructed of stone
or earth" (Majul 1961). In its widest sense, kuta refers to any fortified position, so
that even well-protected residential compounds may be regarded as examples of
kuta. Antonio Morga (1609) reported that indigenous fortifications consisted of
putting up "walls of palm trees and stout arigue (wooden posts) filled with earth."
Lantaka, the native culverins, were mounted at strategic points on these walls.
Houses were usually located inside the fort to insure the safety of their inhabitants.
Although forts were built in non-Muslim com- munities, notably in Pampanga and

the riverine settle- ments along the Pasig, the best kuta were found in Muslim
communities. So effective were they that they repelled advancing Spanish and
American troops. The best known Muslim kuta during the Spanish period were: Raja
Soliman's kuta in Manila, perhaps one of the earliest Muslim kuta, which had a
palisade of palm-tree logs surmounting a narrow mound and from which, mediumsized artillery were mounted; Sultan Kudarat' s kuta in Ilihan heights close to his
capital in Lamitan, which had trenches around them designed by the Dutch; the
Maguindanao and Buayan string of kuta, which featured long-range cannons of
Portu- guese and Dutch manufacture, built on hills, swamps, and plains along the
Pulangi River; the Maranao kuta in Lanao, which vexed the Spaniards greatly; the
Samal kuta in Sipak, Baiangigi, Sungap, and Buko- tingul-the most formidable being
the Sipak kuta
146
which had 5.4-6 m high walls of thick tree trunks filled with coral, rock, soil, and
earth. The Sulu kuta of Raja Bongsu, located on a hill close to Jolo on one of the
slopes of Bud Tumantangis, had a system of interlocking trenches and walls of stout
tree trunks, and had an ordinance of native lanta- ka and Spanish cannons. The fort,
considered impreg- nable, resisted several assaults by Spaniards. It fell only when
an outbreak of cholera, dysentery, and smallpox forced the occupants to surrender.
During the American period, the kuta, such as the Sahipa kuta on the western slope
of Bud Sinuman in Sulu, continued to be made. However, such archaic fortifications
proved inutile under attack by heavy American artillery which knocked them down.
Spain introduced the European system of fortifica- tion using stone and mortar. The
best fuerza or for- taleza (fort) was made of thick walls of masonry; forts of lpwer
grade were the estacada (palisade) of stout tree trunks stuck to the ground to form
a wall, and the terreplan (earthwork). The first fortification built by the Spaniards
was a t0wer on the southern side of Intramuros, facing the hermitage of Nuestra
Senora de Guia, after which the tower was named. It was designed by the Jesuit
Antonio Sedeno and built ca 1587 during the governor- ship of Santiago de Vera.
Criticized in 1595 as medieval, the tower was incorporated into the defensive
system Gov Gen Perez de Dasmari:ftas built around Manila. Intramuros was
considered the premier fortifica- tion built by the crown. It underwent a number of
renovations to improve its defensive capability, espe- cially after the British
successfully occupied Manila from 1762 to 1764. Other major defenses include
Fuerza de San Felipe in Cavite, Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Rosario (1617) in iloilo,
Fuerza de San Pedro (ca 1600) in Cebu, and Fuerza de Nuestra Senora del Pilar (built
1635, de- molished 1663, rebuilt 1719) in Zamboanga. These forts_ were
constructed following the most advanced system of fortification. The forts were laid
out as polygon-Intramuros, a pentagon of unequal sides; San Pedro in Cebu, a
triangle; and Nuestra Senora del Pilar, a quadrilateral. Thick cortina (con- necting
walls) about 3--10 m thick, connected protrud- ing baluarte (bulwarks) built at every
corner of the polygon. Soldiers stationed on these bulwarks had a good view of the
connecting walls and could easily ward off attackers seeking to ram the gate, or
breach or scale the walls. The walls could be vaulted structures providing space
within for shelter and storage. Around the 18th century, parapeto (parapets), an innovation in military architecture, were added to the walls and bulwarks. The walls
could have a casamata

(platform) on which were mounted the artillery that guarded the foso (moat), and a
garita, (shelter of wood or masonry) to protect guardians of the wall from heavy
rain. The moat, a deep and wide ditch sur- rounding the fort, was usually filled with
water. The moat was fortified with masonry: the inner wall, nearer the fortification,
was called escarpa; the outer wall was called contraescarpa, and its depths, fondo.
A low wall, the falsabraga, in ancient times called barbacana, was built in between
the moat and the walls to serve as protection for the higher and principal wall.
Some- times a contrafoso (second moat) was dug to improve defenses. Another
feature of fortifications of this era was the revellin or rebellin, polygonal in plan, like
the bulwark, and built in front of the puerta (entrance) to the fortification, to delay
direct attack. Open on the side facing the principal wall, the revellin was linked with
the gate by a covered road. If the fort had a moat, part of this road had a
drawbridge. Provisions for water, living quar- ters, ammunition, and military offices
were found in the fort. A chapel occupied a secure area within the fort. To protect
the Christianized communities from marauding pirates, slave raiders from the south,
and foreign invaders, and to protect the path of the gal- leon, the economic
lifeblood of the colony, a complex system of fortifications was erected beginning as
early as the 1630s in towns along the galleon route and the route of pirates. The
town church itself, if made of stone or brick, was the most important defensive
struc- ture. Besides the church, the tall bell tower served as a look-out and the
tolling of its bells signalled the approach of enemies. To augment the church's
defen- sive capabilities, walls were built to its side or surFORT. Spanish authoriHes built strategic fortifications, like the Fortaleza de Cebu, ca
16th century. (Report of the Philippine Commision to the President 1901, National
Library Collection)
KUTA
rounding it. The corners of these walls sometimes had bulwarks on which artillery
was mounted. Outstand- ing examples of walled churches are found in Bac- layon,
Bohol; Boac, Marinduque; and Cuyo, Palawan. The baluarte and castillo were two
other defen- sive structures built at strategic places according to plan. Located on a
hilltop, the baluarte was a fortified structure with slit trenches, blockhouses of
stone, and a palisade of wooden logs or palm trunks with an embankment. In it was
the residence of the castellan, the officer in charge of the fort, and sometimes, a
parade ground. "It took more than three months to construct one when the
materials were all prepared" (Mallari 1990: 131). The castillo was less costly to
build. If not built of stone, it was a structure with four sturdy posts, an elevated
platform and a roof resembling an oversized dovecote. The baluarte and castillo
were not impregnable. In fact, without ammunition these were reduced to
vulnerable structures of stone or wood. Other defensive systems were devised
including the planting of pandan thickets and scattering of star- thistles along the
enemy's path. Signal systems were devised to warn the populace of an impending
attack. Sentinels posted on baluartes and castillos struck a hollowed tree trunk or
wooden gong like the balalong, batong, and tatolong, or blew a horn, which could be
a big shell, called bodyong in the Visayas, or a handcrafted carabao horn, the
Tagalog
147

FORMS
tambuli. The ringing of church bells was the most com- mon signal. Flags, baskets
hoisted on poles, bonfires, candles, torches, the firing of three cannon shots, and
even fireworks were used to signal impending attack. Aside from forts listed earlier,
Delgado writing in 1754, listed the following forts in the following places: Luzon-Fort
of Playa Honda, Pangasinan; Fort of Mamamalas in Lubao, Pampanga; Fort San
Francisco in Nueva Segovia (Lalla); Fort San Jose Cavicunga, Fort San Jose Capitan,
Fort Santiago, and Forts of Tuao and Cabagan in Cagayan Valley; Fort of Taytay,
Pala- wan; Forts of Cuyo, La Lutaya, Linapacan, and Culion in the Calamianes Island
group. Visayas-Fort of Capiz, Panay Island, which was a palisade; Fort of Romblon
island; Forts of Carigara and Palo, Leyte; Forts of Baclayon and Dauis, Bohol; Forts of
Palapag, Lauang, Catbalogan, and Guiuan, Samar. Mindanao-Forts Santiago and San
Francisco in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte; Fort of Iligan, Lanao del Norte; Fort San
Jose in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental; Forts of Linao, Agusan; Forts of Tandag
and Catccl, Davao Oriental. Fr San Antonio adds the following to Delgado's list: Fort
Santiago Itugud and Fort Cabaga in Cagayan Valley. Besides these, Fort Nuestra
Senora de Triunfo was built in Ozamis during the 18th century. Most of the
fortifications that dotted the Philip- pines were built at the initiative of the townsfolk
under their parish priest. The Franciscans in Albay, the Re- collects in Mindanao,
Palawan, and Mindoro, and the Jesuits in Bohol and Mindanao built many fortifications with government approval. As ammunition and artillery were modernized, the
thick connecting walls that characterized fuerzas built during the 17th and 18th
centuries were replaced by thinner walls with more provisions for rifles. A
government-built, 19th-century fort is at Pikit, Cotaba- to in the direction of the
headwaters of the Pulangi River. It was built on a hill to forestall any Maguinda- nao
attack on the Christian settlements downstream. With the coming of the Americans
and more sophis- ticated weapons, like the Winchester repeating rifles, the Spanish
fort became obsolete. Although during the Philippine-American War and WWII
soldiers did take refuge behind these old walls, dug trenches, and set up palisades
and sandbag walls, the fort of masonry was no longer built. Forts like McKinley, later
Bonifa- cio, were tracts of land surrounded by wire fences; so was Camp Keithley in
Lanao and Camp O'Donell (later Oark Field) in Pampanga. C. Hila and R. Javellana
References: Delgado 1892; Majul 1961, 1977; Mallari 1990.
148
KWEBA
The kweba (from Spanish "cueva"), also known as yungib and lungga, or cave, is
possibly the earliest human habitation. The cave and the rock shelter served as the
natural habitat for people whose subsis- tence patterns revolved around gathering
and hunting. Caves were chosen for habitation because they were well ventilated. If
located on high ground, they were also advantageous for defense, giving the
inhabitants a view of the surroudings. In the Philippines the oldest and probably the
largest of caves selected for habitation are the Tabon Caves located southwest of
Palawan, where prehistor- ic Filipino families lived intermittently some 30,000 years
ago. The choice of these caves was a product less of accident than of planning and
wise observations. They are ideally located on high ground about 30 m above sea
level. The main cave is sheltered in a high cliff. that forms part of Lipuun Point. The

cave may have been wet in the past, as indicated by abundant guano de- posits and
the cave floors molded by dripping water. Stalactites still appear at the back of the
cave, their ends sloping toward the mouth. With a small cliff directly in front of it,
the mouth of the cave, which faces the South China Sea is large, i.e., about 8 m
high and 16m wide to the main chamber entrance about 41 m long. Thus the cave
admits enough sunlight to keep warm and dry throughout the day. In contrast, other
caves are fit only as burial places, being dark and damp, the mouth concealed by
the lush vegetation surrounding Lipuun Point. Out of more than 200 caverns that
honeycomb the area, only 29 showed signs of human habitation (Fox 1970). Now a
"National Reservation" administered by the National Museum, the Tabon site has
undergone significant archaeological excavations. These have un- earthed burial
jars, porcelain, stoneware vessels, and flake tools, as well as bones of birds, bats,
and other mammals. Human fossil remains were discovered at the sec- tion of the
cave intruded by the tabon bird or the "Philippine Mound Builder," after which the
cave was named. The other caves have all been named in Taga- log, Palawan, or
Tagbanua according to their charac- teristic feature or the area's general ethnology
or archaeology. Either a natural hollow in a cliff or an excavation through solid rock,
the rock shelter is found in other places around the Philippines. One of the more
inter- esting ones, the Angono rock shelter in Rizal province
was found to contain petroglyphs or schematic line representations of human
figures carved on its walls. Alfred Marche (1970) noted that Marinduque in the late
19th century had many caves, like that of the island of Los Tres Reyes (The Three
Kings). The caves found southwest of Boac had calcined walls and guano deposits,
and were discovered to contain human bones and other relics. A larger cavern in the
proxi- mate area is partly hidden by vegetation and was en- tered through a small
opening, which lead into several narrow galleries lined with bats. On the east coast
of the island was a cave about 70 m above sea level and a grotto with volcanic
debris, skulls, as well as funeral urns and ornaments. Nearby, a boulder blocked the
entrance to another cavern. Among the caves found in Santa Cruz, Nabo in the
northern coast were one that opened into a vale, and another named Bathala which
had two burial chambers. East southeast of Santa Cruz were silicon caves which
were difficult to enter, like- wise burial grounds that had been disturbed by landslides. Deep and empty caverns surrounded the mountain. The funeral cave at
Pamin-Taan was intact and well preserved. The Macayon Cave had huge chambers
below which were great depths and above which were hanging stalactites. The
caves May-Igi and Padua were located in the vicinity of Boac, and so was a copper
mine once rumored to contain gold. Still within the same vicinity, a 70 m-high coral
rock had
KWEBA
five to six caves. Inside the lowest of these caves was discovered a skull covered
with stalagmite and a small broken gargoyle. At the peak of this coral rock, an
elevated vault crossed the entire top, from which corri- dors can be seen. Coffin
debris and tibor (stoneware jar) were discovered inside one of these corridors. The
little port of San Andres had near-empty caves. One of these stood at the top of a
300-m calcareous mountain and must have contained a considerable amount of
carbonic acid. The entrance to this cave was through a well. In the Gasan area, a
small mountain bordered the coast line. Discoveries inside included burial traces
and clay vases which contained a human skull, a little tibor, pearls, and urns. Inside

the caves of Antipolo were found little wooden statues. The caves of Mano- che and
Salombog had skulls, pieces of tibor, and a big broken plate. A kilometer from
Pamin-Taan, near Boulen, was a cave containing pot debris and two sculptured
coffins. Eggs of tabon were unearthed in- side the caves of Moupon island. M.P.
Consing
References: Fox 1970; Marche 1970.
NEOLITHIC DWELLING. Sheltered on a cllfl, the Tabon Cave In Palawan Is touted as
the oldest and probably the largest of Its kind In the country. (Emesfo R. Ccbol/ero
1991, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Co//ecffon)
149
FORMS
MASJID
According to the Quran, the masjid (Arabic for "a place for prostration," which refers
to the usual activ- ity inside a mosque, symbolizing complete surrender to Allah) are
"houses which Allah had permitted to be erected that his name be remembered in
them," and are therefore primarily centers of divine worship. With the arrival of
Islam in Sulu sometime during the 14th century and in Mindanao in the 15th
century, the country was introduced to a type of organized religion which demanded
a more permanent and separate place for worship. Thus the tradition of mosque
building began. Originally, the mosque was just a courtyard encir- cled by a wall
modelled after Muhammad's house in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Eventually, a minaret
was added for the azan (adhan), the call to prayer; then the mihrab (prayer niche),
considered nowadays the most important part of the mosque as it indicates the
direc- tion towards Mecca, to which all Muslims pray; the mimbar (pulpit), for
delivering the khutbah or sermons; the dome, which represents the "dome of
heaven" of the original open uncovered courtyard; arches sup- ported on pillars and
cloisters, which are both impor- tant elements of Islamic architectural design. While
the general features of Philippine mosques approximate the traditional mosque,
some of its ele- ments are peculiar to the country. The sahn (wide enclosed
courtyard), for example, is generally absent; instead, benches are provided outside
the mosque where people may sit and talk while waiting for the next prayer. Also,
the mimbar or elevated pulpit is not as high as those of Africa and Western Asia. An
ele- vated platform, a chair, or any similar structure could take the place of the
mimbar in some mosques. Furthermore, the call to prayer was usually done, until
recent~y, not on tall minarets but inside the mosques as in Indonesia. Suspended
drums, called variously the tabo, jabu-jabu, or dabu-dabu, are beaten to call the
people to the mosque. Great care, however, is taken so that the sound of the drums
in one mosque is not heard in nearby mosques; the same care is observed with
respect to congregational prayers. While minarets may be present in Philippine
mosques, they are usually not functional. The bilal (the one who calls the prayers)
may simply stand in the mihrab, found in the quibla (wall) that faces Mecca, and call
the azan there, with the help of a microphone and Toudspeakers mounted on the
domes or minarets, and Jraditionplly with the beating of drums. Another . !nteresti~,
feature too of Philippine mosques is tff~ almost ubiquitous presence of the
150

crescent and star ornament on top of many graceful domes all over the land. The
use of okir carving and the burak-a mythical winged creature-half-human, halfhorse-and other motifs in highly colorful designs are also local adaptations. Two
types of mosques may be recognized in the Philippines, namely, the masjid and the
ranggar (Maranao) or langgal (Tausug and Yakan). The masjid is the "larger and
more permanent structure, built on stone foundations, often near a stream or a
body of water" (Gowing 1979). It is only in the masjid where the Friday noon
assembly prayers (with sermon) and Id observances may be held. The ranggar or
langgal is some sort of chapel, a "small semipermanent structure built for the
convenience of the faithful who are not in easy walking distance to the masjid" for
the afternoon prayers during the Ramadan season (Gowing 1979). Among the Yakan
of Basilan Island, the langgal may sometimes serve as a mosque, i.e., in the
absence of a masjid, so that even the Friday noon assembly prayers may be held
here. It is described as a rectangular building elevated on piles, like the typical
Yakan dwelling, although the side walls of the Yakan house of prayer do not reach up
to the roof. Entrance is through the porch, which is normally covered, the roof of
which is somewhat lower than that of the main room, which is also a step higher
than the porch. At the center of the opposite end wall is a sunting (niche) that faces
the west. During services this part of the lan,ggal is covered with cloth, but usually
it is devoid of any decoration, like the rest of the langgal. In a sense, the langgal of
the Yakan is the equiva- lent of the Indonesian Oavanese) langgar and the
Malaysian surau. Like the Yakan langgal, the Javanese langgar has a voorgalerij
(porch), with a separate roof, and a large room with a pangimbaran (niche), and the
whole house-like structure stands on piles in the same way as 'the langgal. The
masjid was originally a three-tiered bamboo or wooden structure similar to a
Chinese or Japanese pagoda or a Balinese temple, a pattern also common in
Indonesia and the Malay Peninsula. A second style developed later, which is the
more 'familiar onion- shaped dome on squinches set over a carpeted square or
rectangular hall that can accommodate at least 40 (or 44 as in the case of Sulu)
people at any given time. Perhaps this style emerged as a result of seeing Middle
Eastern mosques in the course of the Mecca pilgrim- ages. However, while the
pagoda type of masjid is the older of the two, the langgal is even older and antedates the former by several centuries. The oldest surviving example of the old
multi- tiered pagodalike style is the Tubig-Indangan Mosque
in Simunul Island, Tawi-tawi, said to have been built in the 14th century by the
celebrated Muslim figure, Makhdum Karim. According to Majul, this must have been
rebuilt several times in the past; in particular, its roofing of palm leaves must have
been changed many times and its floor space must have been expanded at various
times. But its four huge pillars of ipil wood are said to be the original. Two
photographs, one taken in 1923 (Orosa) and another in 1975 (Majul), show the
extent of the changes that have taken place on the structure. In the Orosa
photograph it appears as a slightly raised, cubelike adobe structure with a single
pyramidal roof of nipa, while in the Majul photo, the nipa roof has given way to
galvanized iron and now shows not only one but two overlapping pyramids over
which is a small minaretlike tower crowned by a bullet-shaped dome. Another dome
has also been added over the mihrab. The interior views show a few windows and
separate entrances for the men (on the sides) and the women (in front). As is
typical in any mosque, the females do not go beyond the wooden screen while the
males stay in the main prayer hall. In the area of Lake Lanao, opinions differ as to

which is the oldest mosque. As claimed by the Taraka people, it is the Babo-Ramain
Mosque, while other sources mention the mosque built in Bundi Alao in the inged
(township of Ditsaan, presently a part of the Ditsaan-Ramain municipality). A
number of mosques carrying this old, wooden, tiered-roof style may still be found in
diminishing numbers in the Ramain area. The mosque with dome and minaret is
more popular nowadays. Hundreds of this type are found in
MOSQUE. The mosque In_ Balo-1, Lanao del Norte later adopted the Middle Eastem
onion-shaped dome on squinches, set on a large square or rectangular hall. (Poole
797t American Historical Collecffon)
'0
MASJID
many Muslim communities around the Philippines. One of these is the Quiapo
Mosque, a part of the Islamic Center in Globo de Oro and Elizardo st. This was
designed by Jorge Ramos, and has stained-glass panels by Antonio Dumlao. It was
built to symbolize the nation's Islamic heritage. The mosque is also lo- cated near
the Catholic Quiapo Church to highlight Muslim and Christian ties in Philippine
society . Aside from the Quiapo Mosque, other outstanding mosques of this style are
the King Faisal Mosque at the campus of the Mindoro State University and the Blue
Mosque in Maharlika Village in Taguig. Both of these retain traditional elements but
incorporate modern features in design and planning, such as modern ablution facilities and, in the case of the Maharlika Mosque, a sepa- rate structure for the ritual
washing of the dead prior to burial. The mosque complex may also accommodate a
school, a library, a conference hall, and other func- tion rooms around an open
courtyard behind the main prayer hall or the mosque proper. Arabic geometric
designs as well as large Quranic inscriptions have also become more common and
have replaced in many places the traditional okir designs. The masjid has
undergone numerous changes but the main features have remained, their symbolic
value strengthened and renewed in every new mosque con- structed. This place of
worship has continued up to our time not only as a religious but also as a political,
social, and cultural center for Muslims. C. Hila
References: Dacanay 1988; Gowing 1979; Klassen 1986; Majul 1973; Saber et
al1975; Orosa 1970.
151
FORMS
MUNISIPYO
The munisipyo (from Spanish "municipio") refers to the town hall, a government
building constructed during the American period to house government offices on the
municipal level; hence the name of the structure. The munisipyo housed offices for
the three branches of government, such as the office of the mayor, the chamber for
the town council, offices to transact business like the city registrar's and the engineer's offices, and the municipal court and jail. At the beginning of American rule,
the insular government merely coopted the existing casa real (town hall) and
tribunal and made these into the town hall of a municipality. In 1901 an act of the

Philippine Commission established the Bureau of Architecture and Control of Public


Buildings. This bureau, abo- lished on 1 Nov 1905 and reorganized as the Division of
Building Construction and Repair, was reestab- lished as the Division of Architecture
by the Jones Law (Castaneda 1964: 55-56). This government office was tasked with
designing and supervising the construc- tion of public buildings, and following the
neoclassic style favored by its US-trained Filipino architects. It built many munisipyo
during the 1930s and the 1940s. Porticoes and vestibules were almost always inseparable parts of town halls built during these de- cades. Town halls were
constructed of concrete or of wood and concrete and had a galvanized-iron roof.
They had invariably two stories. Castaneda remarks that "incorporation of porticoes
in the structures was necessarily not the outcome of a dictum of the architects or
designers, but usually that of the town dignitaries. Alcaldes and the concejales
usually had the avowed option
152
MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. To house municipal offices, American-trained Filipino
architects built the munisipyo, such as the lmus Municipal Building In Cavlte. (Carillo
L Sei!eres, 1992 Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Callectlon)
149 , I
I
that a town hall would appear more dignified with them than without" (Castaneda
1964: 63). However, the influ- ence of government architects cannot be gainsaid; by
this time they had built neoclassical buildings in Manila, namely the Legislative
Building, the Post Office, and the University of the Philippines buildings which
employed porticoes and colonnades. Many early town halls resembled the bahay na
bato because they were formerly either a tribunal or a casa real. The Macabebe,
Pampanga town hall, which may have been a casa real, hews closely to the bahay
na bato as it is a simple frame building with wide eaves and an upper story volada.
The portico, rising to the second floor, gives it the air of an American town hall.
Wooden Ionic columns support the roof of the portico which has no pediment.
Another town hall with the silhouette of a bahay na bato is the concrete two-story
Tiwi, Albay munisipyo. The building has no portico; instead, a grand entrance
approached by concrete steps in decreasing widths is the facade's most prom- inent
feature. The Malolos, Bulacan town hall, a plain concrete structure built in 1940, has
a portico of square pillars supporting a flat roof. The town hall of Taal, Batangas is a
pleasing variation of the typical muni- sipyo design. A terrace on the second floor is
supported by arches with quadrilateral pillars. The portico is in the central portion of
the second floor. Four pilasters support the gabled roof. Balusters decorate the
second story. The Tabaco, Albay town hall has four Doric columns rising to two
stories to make up the shallow portico. Through these columns can be seen the
balconies on the second story. The rectangular building has a low-pitched roof, in
contrast to the Tiwi munisipyo which has a high-pitched roof similar to that of the
bahay the bato. While most munisipyo were built in the neoclassical idiom, some
_.,. __ ....,..exceptions are noted, like the Sariaya, Quezon townhall which is art deco. A tall
tower, decorated at its four comers by busts of women, is flanked by two wings to

form a C-shaped plan. The entrance to the building is found in the tower,
approached by wide steps. Above the lintel of the main entrance is a concrete
plaque depict- ing coconuts and other agricultural products of Sariaya. R. Javellana
Reference: Castaneda 1964.
ONE-AND-A-HALF STORY HOUSE
The one-and-a-half-story house, also called one-and- a-half, is actually a two-story
dwelling in which the up- per story covers only half of the lower. In other words, it
has one story on one side but two on the other. The upper story, being only about
half of the area of the ground floor, is the half story referred to in the term. On the
ground floor are the living room, dining room, kitchen, and possibly a study or
guest-room. On the uppet floor are the bedrooms, arranged along a corridor or
along a balcony overlooking the living room and dining room. The one-and-a-half is
suitable for small families which need only a few bedrooms. The one-floor and twofloor sections may have separate roofs, or may be covered by one roof. The upper
floor may have a gable roof, one slope of which extends further down to cover the
lower floor. The roof could also be one continuous slope with the high- er section
covering the second story, and the lower covering the first. With one roof, as
described, over the house, the lower section gains the advantage of a high ceiling
with a gentle or deep slope, depending on the pitch of the roof. This roof makes
possible a second floor balcony that provides access to the bedrooms and overlooks
the living room. The lower story could have masonry walls-brick, adobe, or concrete
blocks- while the upper would have wooden sidings. The one-and-a-half emerged
after WWII and be- came popular during the period of reconstruction, since it could
offer both the openness of a bungalow and the security of a two-story house. A oneand-a-half also becomes a split-level house when half of the ground floor is elevated
so that it is halfway between the ground floor and second floor, thereby resulting in
a three-level house. A. Gonzales-Biglang-awa and R.D. Perez III
References: Dacanay 1988; Harris 1975.
PALENGKE
PALENGKE
The palengke (from Spanish "palenque," pali- sade), also known as tindahan (from
Spanish "tien- da," merchandise for sale, and Tagalog "han," a suffix denoting
place), and tiyangge, is a place or a building for buying and selling goods. A specific
building for the buying and seiling of goods is absent in the ethnolinguistic
communities of the Philippines. Instead, the trading of goods occurs at certain
times, and any flat or unbuilt area is set aside for such transactions. Sites chosen
for trade are usually accessible to many communities. Hence places like riversides,
seashores, and deltas become market areas. The number of tradeware and beads
found in archaeological sites amply demonstrates that Philip- pine communities had
long been trading with each other and with their Asian neighbors. The tradition of
setting aside a time rather than a building for the sake of trade persists even today
among lowland Filipinos. During certain times of the week, merchants go to a
particular town to sell their wares and by nightfall have packed their goods to sell to
the next town. The day for the itinerant market is set by tradition. This market also
follows the calendar of fiestas in a given area. Temporary stalls may be set up days

before the festivities, and are taken down after and moved to another place where a
fiesta is about to be celebrated. This itinerant market is called tabu (Cebuano,
meeting) in Cebuano, and also mercado (Spanish, market) in other places. A tabu is
usually a conglomeration of stalls.made of bamboo and canvas that are easy to
disassemble. When the stalls are not knocked down but remain in a place for a
considerable length of time, they are collectively called talipapa in Tagalog. Usually,
a fish stall, the talipapa set up by private initiative may begin as a temporary setup,
gaining permanence and recognition in the course of time. Stalls may be of wood
and galvanized sheets, also of salvaged building materials and materials solicited
from com- panies selling goods. Stalls usually have simple flat roofs. In
neighborhoods, a retail store, called sari- sari (literally, mixed), is set up by small
entre- preneurs. The sari-sari carries foodstuff, cosmetics, hardware, and other
goods that might be needed in an area. As a convenience store, it brings goods
with- in easy reach, and the practice of selling goods at retail and sometimes on
loan makes it an important economic institution. Foreign loan words indicate the
cultural irillu- ences that have created the Filipino concept of market.
153
FORMS
MARKET. The Tondo market was built by the American Insular Government In 1906.
(GCFBooks Collection)
With the establishment of the galleon trade,the Spanish presence in the Philippines
was assured. To meet the demand for trade goods and also goods for local
consumption, e.g., food, cloth and building materials, as well as to meet the need
for services, the Spaniards allowed the Chinese already present and trading in the
Philippines to continue with their busi- ness in a specific area assigned to them.
That area, segregated from the Spaniards, was called parian. Cebu, Manila, and
other large towns, like Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Malolos, Bulacan had a parian. That of
Cebu was located to one side of the cathedral block and around the church
specifically built for the Chinese. By 1595 the large number of Chinese prompted Bp
Pedro Agurto to re- quest that the Jesuits begin a mission for them. The general area
of Cebu' s parian has not changed much over the centuries, in contrast to Manila's
which moved at least six times. The earliest location of the parian in Manila was
within the walls of the city, but not trusting the Chinese, the Spaniards evicted them
and told them to settle in the general area presently occupied by the Metropolitan
Theater and the Manila Post Office Build- ing. The parian was within the range of the
cannons mounted on the walls of Intramuros. The Chinese merchants and the
Spanish rulers had an uneasy relationship. The Spaniards needed the Chinese for
their needs, and so tolerated their presence. By 1727 the parian was a village of
well-built houses on whose ground floor business was conducted. It was also a
thriving parish under the patronage of the Three Kings. In 1758 the Alcaiceria de
San Fernando was constructed in the populous Chinese village of Binondo. Only the
Pasig separated the Alcait::eria from the northern flank of
154
Intramuros. This two-story octagonal building contained several shops for
merchants. Destroyed by fire in 1810, it was not rebuilt, probably because by this

time many other stores and shops were already operating. The typical market, even
the itinerant one, sold not only food, but also clothing, utensils, equipment, and
many others. The transition between the early markets and the modem day
supermarket or grocery were the stores opened in Binondo. In these buildings,
which had two stories and a mezzanine or three stories, the top floor was the
residence of the owner and his family, while the ground floor was occupied by the
store. Stores sold just about anything, except the perishable foodstuff for which one
had to go to the palengke. Stores in the Escolta and also in Cebu' s parian had
awnings over the entrance to shield passersby or potential customers from the
heat. Apparently, foodstuff was sold in open areas, in the tabu or in the talipapa,
during the Spanish era. Only toward its end were permanent markets built. One
such market was the Arranque designed by Juan Hervas, a government architect.
When the Americans started to rule the Philippines, they found two systems of
trading. In stores were canned goods, preserved foods, clothing, and other dry
goods; while in the palengke, popularly called the wet market, were rice, fresh
meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables. Sizing up the inadequacy of these structures,
especially with respect to sanitation, the Americans built public markets all over the
Philippines. Markets in Manila built during the American period include that of Paco
ca 1910. Perhaps the most attractive and best known of the American-built markets
was that of Baguio. The site of the market was already in the Burnham-Parsons plan.
The Baguio market as built consisted of one-story struc- tures built along a wide
passage. Each structure had many stalls in it, some at the outer flanks of the
building, and the others, facing a central interior corridor. Perpen- iicular to this
corridor were narrow passageways. One of the contemporary developments is the
su- permarket. Borrowed from the United States, the super- market puts together
the wet market and the grocery. Perishable goods are sold in specially designated
areas where the goods are preserved in refrigerators. The goods may come
prepackaged or sold by weight. A recent addition to the urban skyline is the mall,
also called galleria. The mall, an American building concept, is a covered or open
concourse flanked by shops. The concourse may be one or two stories with
continuous balconies serving as access to the shops on the higher floors. Malls
contain a variety of shops, including a grocery, and are modern versions of the
shopping or marketing district. R. Javellana
Reference: Quarterly Bulletin 1914.
PAROLA
The parola (from Spanish "farola," taken from Latin "faro," lighthouse) is a
lighthouse, i.e., a struc- ture built on a promontory, island, or rock to guide ships
passing through a narrow channel or an area filled with rocks or sandbars.
Strategically located, it indicates where a ship might safely pass. The parola first
appeared during the mid-19th cen- tury and became necessary with increased
internation- al trade and the development of steamships. In pre- vious centuries the
bell tower of the church served as a beacon, as lights were hung from it to guide
ships. The practice continued to the 20th century, as indicated by the report of the
Philippine Commission of 1903 which states that the light at San Nicolas, Cebu
harbor was "exhibited from small platform on south face of church tower" (Report
1903:193). A light could also be hoisted on a pole or hung from a tall tree. A parola
consisted of a high tower on whose up- per story was a light or beacon, either

electrical or chemical. Usually the tower tapered at the top and could be a polygon
in plan or a cylinder. The topmost story was walled in by glass plates and had a
catwalk built around its perimeter to allow cleaning and maintenance of the light.
Below the light were the living quarters of the lighthouse keeper. Parola built during
the Spanish era were usually of bricks or cut stone, although iron towers were also
used.
PAROLA
Many extant parola, such as those in Burgos, Ilo- cos Norte, guarding Cape
Bojeador; Pa,lauig Island, Cagayan, guarding Cape Engafto; Corregidor, guard- ing
the entrance to Manila Bay; Capul Island, Northern Samar, guarding the San
Bernardino Strait; and Jinto- tolo Island south of Masbate were built in the last
decades of the 19th century. A number were not com- pleted or were modernized by
the Americans as early as 1903. The Americans changed the lights to more modern
ones manufactured in Europe, or repaired and constructed buildings. In 1903 there
were 57 light- houses, many of them built by the Americans. Of those built during
the Spanish era, the parola at Capul Island off Samar has a cylindrical tower; its
quarters were built during the American period. The parola at Cape Engafto in
Corregidor is one of the most pleasing, built during the Spanish era. An octagonal
tower is capped by a cylindrical light, around which is a C?twalk of wrought iron. The
tower is surrounded by three buildings arranged as a "C." The tower and the
buildings share the same gate of wrought iron. R. Javellana
References: Report of the Philippine Commission 1903.
LIGHTHOUSE. Located at a vantage point, the Capul parola In northem Samar Is a
landmark that ensures the safe passage of ships through the narrow channel. (Ayala
Museum Collection)
..... k. 1 .:
. ;,.A~:;.~
155
FORMS
RETABLO
A retablo (from Spanish "retablo," altar piece), also known as reredo, is the hispanic
altar piece of the 16th to the 19th centuries. The retablo which formed a decorative
background for the altar table evolved from medieval painted panels attached as
backdrops to the altar. In Spain and her colonies, the retablo evolved into
monumental proportions characterized by a fu- sion of architectural orders,
painting, sculpture, and relieve (relief) which could be basso relieve (low re- lief),
medio relieve (demi-relief) or alto relieve (high relief); the last mentioned contain
figures sculpted almost in the round. The work of artists Geronimo Balbas and
Lorenzo Rodriguez at the Capilla de los Reyes in Mexico inspired in the Americas a
taste for the frenetic decorations of ultrabaroque or Spanish rococo, also called
churrigueresque. Philippine retablos tend to be more restrained than their
counterparts in Spain or Mexico perhaps because of the absence of exceptionally

brilliant Euro- pean artists in the Philippines. While the classical orders, the Mexican
estipite and the baroque salomo- nica, were used, these were often treated as mere
decorative elements, part of a larger composition whose foci were the niches
containing santos. The estipite was a shaft of square cross section that tapered
downwards and was combined with the other ele- ments such as Corinthian capitals
and used like an order; while the salomonica was the twisted column popular in
Spain and the Americas. Retablos were crowned by pediments, the most common
being the triangular and the broken or open type. Few retablos in the Philippines are
more than 150 years old. Jose has identified three retablos as belong- ing to the late
17th and early 18th century; these are the side retablos in Maragondon and Juan de
los San- tos' retablo made for the San Agustin Church. These early works are
characterized by several tiers of niches with santos, the use of classical rather than
baroque ornaments and the absence of abotantes, flanges flank- ing either side of
the retablo. The loss of early retablos may be attributed to their destruction by fire,
typhoons, termites, and dry rot, as well as to enforced demolition. By the 18th
century, retablo making in the Philip- pines was a fully developed art with master
artisans coming from Binondo and from such towns as Paete and Santa Cruz.
Women were said to be gilders, adept at applying gold leaf on the wood and gesso
structure of the retablo. Retablos of this period are characterized by multiple niches,
florid decoration sometimes veer156
ing to excess, and imaginative flanges. These abo- tantes took the form of large
volutes, resembling coiled millipedes, that metamorphosed into foliage from which
cherubs and putti peered. By the end of the 18th century, ca 1783, rococo motifs
began to appear in art and later in retablos. Rococo presented a lighter treat- ment
of decorative elements, its favorite motif being flamelike decorations surrounding
assymetrical niches and cartouches. Examples of 18th-century retablos are those in
Silang, Cavite and the Basilica de Santo Nino de Cebu. The main altar combines
statuary with high reliefs on the life of Mary, the patroness of the church being
Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. The Santo Nino retablo contains 17 niches with
santos, flanges at the first and second story, and a broken pediment that terminates
in volutes, known as the dinzenhoffer motif. Other outstanding altars of this period
are those in Magsingal, llocos Sur; Pakil, Laguna; and Kawit, Cavite. Retablos with
rococo decorations are found in the churches of Tanay, Rizal and Argao and Dalaguete, Cebu and in side altars at Pakil, Laguna and Tayabas, Quezon. Around 1780 a
reaction in Europe against the ex- cesses of rococo gave rise to the revivalist styles,
like the neoclassical and neogothic. Artistic change took some time to reach the
Philippines and were abated by poverty which hindered the renovation of many
retab- los. An early example of the neoclassical is mentioned by Zuniga who
registered his admiration for the retab- lo of Lipa, Batangas. But a series of
devastating earth- quakes from 1852 to 1880 caused damage to many structures,
which were then rebuilt following the latest revivalist style. Neoclassical retablos are
characterized by the lack of florid ornamentation, a reduced number of nichesusually a principal one for the church's patron, flanked by two minor ones-and the
use of the classical orders in an architectonic rather than decora- tive manner. To
suit the changing tastes of 19th- century Manila, the De los Santos retablo in the
San Agustin was replaced by a neoclassical one, composed of three pairs of
Corinthian columns flanking a single niche. Indang, Cavite had three neoclassical
retablos, the main one having a main niche, flanked by two smaller niches. Other

outstanding neoclassical retablos are found in the churches of San Jose and Taal,
Satan- gas; Tagbilaran, Bohol; and Jabonga, Agusan. The best-known surviving
example of neogothic retablos are the altars of the San Sebastian Church, although
these were not the best, as the ruined altars of Santo Domingo in Intramuros
exceeded these in size and grandeur. Other neogothic altars are found in Maribojoc, Bohol and Molo, Iloilo. The church at Oton, Iloilo, unique for its Greek-cross plan,
had four-sided
neogothic retablos at the crossing of the naves. This structure resembled the spires
of gothic cathedrals. Churches often had many retablos, at least three. The altar
mayor (central altar), was the most elaborate. Flanking it were the altares menores
(smaller retablos). Some churches had many altares menores, some up to 10 as in
the case of San Agustin. Single-niched retablos were also found in the sacristy and
the baptistry; the former often enshrined a crucifix and the latter an image of John
the Baptist baptizing Jesus. A charming example of the latter is found in Morong
church. The altar table, a long narrow ledge, was attached to the retablo. Flanking
the altar were small tables called credenzas (credence tables). At the center of the
altar table, raised by about one-third of a meter was the tabernaculo or sagrario
(tabernacle), sometimes of wood, often of silver plate. A crucifix surmounted the
tabernacle. Flanking the tabernacle and on the altar table were step platforms,
called gradas or gradillas, depending on size, on which candlesticks-at least six in
number, in many cases 12 or more-reliquaries, flowers, and ramilettes (flowerlike
decorations in sil- ver) were arrayed.
ALTAR PIECE. Images of saints and the Virgin are ensconced In the niches of the
17th-century retablo of San Agustin Church in lntramuros, Manila. (Renata S.
Rastrollo 1991, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrory Collection)
RETABLO
The retablo of the altar mayor usually had a flight of steps behind it that led to the
camarin, a niche for the image of the patron saint of the church. The cama- rin,
traditionally placed right above the tabernacle and cross, allowed the sacristans or
camareras (keepers) to remove the patron saint's image for cleaning or chang- ing
vesture; it also allowed devotees to come close to the image to kiss it or its vesture.
Until the late 19th century, retablos were made of wood, gesso, paint, and gilt. Later
works used brick and mortar, even marble. Examples of such retablos may be found
in Sarrat, Ilocos Norte and Leon, Iloilo. Retablos continued to be made well into the
20th century, often employing cement and marble and favoring the baldachin
design. After the Second Vatican Council, concluded 1965, retablos fell into disfavor;
some antique ones were tom down in an overeager but unen- lightened attempt to
implement the decrees of the Coun- cil. Santos and retablo parts found their way
into antique markets and have been used as decorative elements for private homes.
R. Javellana
References: Galende 1987; Javellana 1992; Jose 1991.
157
FORMS
RICE TERRACES

Rice terraces are flattened areas of mountains, made secure by retaining walls, and
irrigated for the purpose of planting. Probably the most convincing evidence of the
Igorot' s capacity for construction of heroic magnitude is the spectacular rice
terraces, often dubbed the "Eighth Wonder of the World." While terrace-building is
known also to the Assam people of northeast India and among the Naga Hills people
of Burma, in Taiwan, Indonesia, and many parts of Southeast Asia, the Philippine
rice terraces are perhaps the most extensive in the whole world, occupying
unusually high altitudes in the central Cor- dilleras of the Mountain Province,
especially in the Ifugao, Bontoc, and Kalinga areas, and also in parts of A bra.
Various theories have surfaced regarding the age of these terraces. Henry Otley
Beyer, pioneer in Philip- pine archaeology, found abandoned rice terraces in
Benguet. His theory was that the settlers of the area where the rice terraces were
subsequently built had migrated from the South China-Tonkin area, entered
Lingayen Gulf, and then went up the Agno River to establish the terrace culture of
northern Luzon. The
158
oldest terraces, found in the highest mountains, according to Beyer, must have
been made around 2,000 years ago during the Copper-Bronze Age, while the last
ones were built some 500 years ago. This theory, however, does not explain the
presence of similar abandoned rice terraces in Majayjay, Laguna and in the
provinces of Rizal, Quezon, and even Cebu. Anthropologist Felix Keesing and the
Belgian mis- sionary and scholar Fr Francis Lambrecht contradict Beyer's claims
noting that the earliest terraces could not have been built earlier than the Spanish
times or ca 1680, since no written accounts by Spanish chroniclers who visited the
area in the 17th century ever men- tioned the presence of these terraces. Even
Ifugao folk- lore does not offer evidence of wet-rice agriculture. This contention is
supported by a C-14 radiocarbon dating of artifacts dug out from an excavation in
the area, which yielded a date of not earlier than 300 years ago. From 1964 to 1967
Robert Maher of the University of Michigan took charcoal samples of rice chaff from
a house terrace in Banaue, which revealed a C-14 dating
HIGHlAND TERRACES. The Banaue terraces were carved out of the mountain by the
lfugao many centuries ago. (Davidson 1932, American Historical Collection)
of close to 3000 BP (or roughly 1,000 years BC) that could have readily disproved
the Keesing-Lambrecht theory. But Maher made it clear that "there was no age
determination of the rice terrace itself" and that the age of the house terrace cannot
be held simultaneous with those of the field-terrace sites. Terraces, as understood
by the Cordillera peoples, could either mean house terraces which are "levelled
terraced areas for houses, granaries and work sites; drained fields which are
levelled terraced areas used for the cultivation of dry crops and intended for more
permanent forms of terrace use after a few years; or pond fields, which are the
levelled irrigated rice ter- races" (Folk Architecture 1989). Almost all terraces,
however, belong to the pond-field type. E.P. Patanne (1975) describes a typical rice
terrac- ing as not simply "the levelling of mountainsides into broad steps or
embankments but a whole system of engineering built around a network of
irrigation canals fed by a mountain spring." However, among the Ting- uian of Abra,
terracing is done "along rather steep banks of a river into which flow many rivulets.
Ditches or canals are cut at almost right angles to the rivulet, and water is carried

down to the terraced fields." Furthermore, all rice terraces require the use of a
series of retaining walls on different levels, whose purpose is to create level fields
suitable for wet-rice growing in wet-rice farming, the walls retaining also the water
diverted from the rivers (Klassen 1988). Beyer (1935) describes the process of
building these terraces. The terraces were first built of broken stones: as they
decayed, they were replaced by round river stones. After the retaining walls were
built, they were backfilled with material from the river or from the hillside. Over
gravel and sand the builders put some clay to make them waterproof. On top of this
lining they placed another layer of sand. Skillfully built irrigation ditches took care of
the water supply. Rice terraces may be found in elevations of any- where from 5001600 m. The walls themselves rise up to a towering height of 6 m or, in some cases,
up to 16 m in varying shapes and slopes, in stone and mud, depending on the
terrain, and on the capability and taste of the indigenous builders. Traditionally
known as the artists among the Cor- dillera groups, the Ifugao have fashioned long,
mas- sive sloping walls of stone and earth that seem to follow the contour of the
mountainsides, so that the terraces themselves appear as an enormous sculptural
piece. The Bontoc, on the other hand, have terraces that run in straight lines with
almost vertical stone faces intended to maximize the level area for planting. Such
RICE TERRACE
a strictly architectural and functional approach to form may partly be explained by
some references to Bontoc culture-the Bontoc being known for their reverence to
the gods, their courage and resourcefulness, pa- tience, industry, and physical
endurance. The courageous and warlike Kalinga, in contrast to the Ifugao and the
Bontoc, have low stone walls supporting inward sloping earth walls. Patanne (1981)
describes the mode of planting on these rice terraces as follows: When the wet
season comes, the seedbeds are sown. The water is then chan- neled in the
terraces, and the soil becomes soggy. The men line up in the field and stab sticks
into the soil to allow the water to seep in, all the while chanting songs. Manure from
the pigpens is brought up and the soil tramped upon and puddled into a soft ooze.
Then the women appear with rice seedlings. Water is steadily fed into the terraces
and when the plants begin to grow, the sickly ones are promptly pulled out and the
plots are kept free of weeds. As the rice plants mature, bamboo "birds" are hung
from poles to keep away the greedy rice birds. The home of the terrace owner
becomes taboo at harvest time. Only immediate friends and helpers are permitted
to enter the terrace. A small fire is built and offerings and prayers made to the
spirits of the fields before the ripened grains are plucked. While the harvesting is in
progress, visitors are not allowed to approach the field. The work is done by hand,
and the stalks with the grain are bundled up and left to dry in the sun. Before the
grain is finally stored, a priest invokes the blessing of the high deity Lumauig, so
that the rice might last a very long time. Animism pervades the whole tone and
process of rice production in these upland farming areas just like in the lowlands.
Spirits that abound everywhere-in the ricefields, river, hill, or mountain-must be
appeased by the regular performance of rituals and sacrifices guided by the
spiritual leaders of these mountain peoples. Needless to say, the sense of community is heightened with these periodic ceremonies. The building and maintenance
of these rice ter- races are administered by mutual-help teams in every community,
with no complex institutionalized arrangements to oversee the continuous operation
of the terraces. Problems have mounted at present. For one, soil erosion has been a
perennial factor reducing water supply. C. Hila

References: Beyer 1935; Conklin 1968; Folk Architecture 1989; Klassen 1988;
Keesing 1962; Lambrecht 1929; Patanne 1975, 1981.
159
l
FORMS
SABUNGAN
A sabungan (from Tagalog "sabong," cockfight, and "an," a suffix denoting place) or
cockpit is the building where cockfights are held. It is sometimes called a coliseum
or sports center. It is one of the landmarks of a town, as well known as the church,
the town hall, the plaza, and the market, since cockfights take place regularly on
weekends and on holidays, and are attended religiously. Its location varies. It could
be in a busy section of the town, particularly if it is an old cockpit. New cock- pits
are usually built outside the town proper, on spa- cious grounds which can be
occupied by food stalls and used for parking. The building could be square,
octagonal, or circu- lar in plan. The rueda (arena) is the center of the structure.
Square in shape, it has a dirt floor to better absorb blood, and is enclosed by a fence
or grille with gates for access. Around the pit rise the seats for spec- tators in
amphitheater fashion. The lower section of ringside is for heavy bettors; the galeria
or upper sec- tion is for ordinary bettors and spectators. Around the cockpit is an
enclosure which serves both as the entrance area and as the ulutan, a gallery where
cocks are matched prior to actual combat. The roof may be square, octagonal, or
circular in plan, depending on the floor plan. Over a square cock- pit, the roof may
be hipped or gabled. Over the octa- gonal or circular plan, the roof may be conical,
some- what like a salakot. For maximum ventilation, the building which con- sists of
the structural frame and the platforms for seats,
160
COCKPIT. A 19th-century print depicts cockfighting aficionados flocking around their
favorite arena. (Ellis 1859, Ayala Museum Collection)
has no sidings. The sabungan of this type looks light and transparent and is in fact
quite airy. On the other hand, the sabungan may be enclosed by wooden sid- ings
and provided with windows or with wooden louvers or jalousies. Some cockpits are
completely en- closed and air-conditioned. Prints from the 19th century show
various types of cockpits. One type has a fenced, circular arena, sur- rounded by a
narrow, slightly sloping gallery for spec- tators, with the entire area covered by a
conical roof resting on slender posts. Part of the gallery is occupied by the ulutan.
Another type has a square arena surrounded by a ground-level gallery and flanked
or surrounded by an elevated platform that also accommodates spectators. Since
the Spanish period cockpits have been used for political meetings and theatrical
performances be- cause the arena is visible from all seats. Cockfighting aficionados
in the Philippines estab- lished several cockpit arenas in Metro Manila, such as the
Pasay Cockpit Arena (Pasay), Elorde Cockpit Are- na (Paraiiaque), Zapote Cockpit
Arena (Las Piiias), AP Recreational Area (Makati), Pasig Square Garden (Pasig),
Mandaluyong Cockpit Arena (Caloocan), Northbay Cockpit Arena (Navotas), Potrero
Cockpit Arena (Malabon), and Marikina Valley Cockpit Arena (Marikina). Occasional

cockfights are held at Araneta Coliseum (Quezon City), ULTRA Cockpit (Pasig), and
San Juan Coliseum (San Juan). There are several cock- pit arenas situated in the
provinces, like Paniqui Pro- vincial Cockpit in Tarlac. R. D. Perez III
References: Roces 1978.
SEMENTERYO
The sementeryo (from Spanish "cementerio"), also known as kampo santo (from
Spanish "campo," a tract of flat and even land, and "santo," saints), pan- tyon (from
Spanish "panteon," a funeral monument), and libingan (from Tagalog "libing," to
bury, and "an," a suffix denoting place), is a cemetery or memo- rial park, i.e., a
place for burying the dead. The practice of burying the dead with special hon- ors
and in a special place is an ancient one, as attested to not only by the numerous
burial grounds excavated throughout the Philippines but by the persistence of
ancient burial practices among the enthnolinguistic communities of the Philippines.
Excavations in Santa Ana, particularly Lamayan st, Metro Manila, along the banks of
Laguna de Bay, especially in Pililla, Laguna, Iloilo in the Visayas, and Butuan in
Mindanao, indicate that ancient Filipinos lavished elaborate rites on their dead and
buried them with material goods, such as tradeware, gold, and other ornaments.
Distinction must be made between primary and secondary burial: the first happens
after a person dies, and the second when the corpse is exhumed after a few months
or years and the bones are interred or kept in some place of honor. For both primary
and secon- dary burials, earthen or limestone jars were used. In
SEMENTERYO
CEMETERY. The Cementerlo de Blnondo In Manila, built ca 1900, had an ornate
wrought-Iron gate. (Vista y Tipos de Filipinos, Lopez Museum Collection)
some cases, the corpse was buried in a wooden coffin while the remains were kept
in a jar. An outstanding example of a secondary burial earthen jar is the Manunggul Jar found in Palawan. Earthen jars could be plain oversized pots with covers,
or they could be decorated with light-colored slip, burnished or incised. Some
earthen burial jars had zoomorphic and anthro- pomorphic figures molded on their
covers. Limestone burial jars found in Mindanao have flat sides and are incised with
chevrons. Other burial jars are shaped as caskets or are zoomorphic. Don Alonso
Martin Quirante, sent by Gov Gen Fajardo to conquer the Igorots, describes
Kankanay burial practices ca 1624. For many days prior to inter- ment, often more
than a month, the community gathers to feast around the corpse until it is fully
desic- cated, after which the body is wrapped in a blanket with provisions of buyo or
betel nut and other things given the corpse, then buried inside caves or placed on
trees. The Dominican Francisco Antolin, writing in 1789, reports that the Tinguian
interred their dead under the house, within the house or granary, br in a cemetery
161
FORMS
MEMORIAL PARK. The Loyola Memorial Park In Sucat, Paraliaque Is the setting for
Eduardo Castrlllo's Pieta. (Renato S. Rastrol/o 7990, Cultural Center of the
Philippines Library Collection)

outside the village as in the case of Tonglo, or in mountainside caves. The dead
were buried with as many as 20 expensive blankets and even personal ornaments
or jewelry. The Ifugao, like the Tinguian, took part in lengthy feasts. The Ifugao,
desiccated the corpse by salting and smoking with pine fires. After about four
months the bones were interred in one corner of the granary. The practice of
burying in caves persists today in the Cordilleras. The cave cemeteries of Sagada
contain hundreds of mummified corpses, in some cases, in wooden coffins. Today
the Badjao and the Samal bury their dead. in isolated islands. The southern Badjao's
traditional burial grounds are the islands of Bilatan Boon, and Bunabunaan. Grave
markers are carved as birds, sea horses, and serpents. Grave plots are adorned with
canopies, colored paper parasols, and buntings. The Samal graves are marked with
abstract sculptures that indicate the sex of the deceased and his or her status in the
community. The Spaniards did not find it difficult to convince the Filipinos of an
afterlife. The Filipino practice of burying the dead with respect jibed squarely with
the Christian respect for the dead in view of a future resur- rection. Until the 19th
century it was the practice to bury dead Christians within the church grounds.
Ecclesiastical and civil dignitaries were often buried within the church, and in larger
churches or cathedrals in a crypt below the sanctuary. Others were buried in an area
on one side of the nave. In Europe this was
162
often the north side of the church, but the practice was not uniformly followed in the
Philippines. Grave sites were marked by a lapida (stone slab) inscribed with the
name of the deceased and the dates of birth and death. For secondary burial, the
bones of the deceased were t!'ansferred to the church nave, where they were
buried in the walls or in the floor of the church, appropriately marked by a stone
slab. During the 19th century greater awareness of the spread of disease and a
series of epidemics caused the cemeteries to be transferred outside the town
bound- aries often a kilometer or two away. These cemeteries were called campo
santo (literally, a field of the saints). Ideally, the campo santo had a capilla
(mortuary chapel) at its center, and walls demarcating its bound- aries. Within the
walls were stone nicho (vaults) placed one on top of the other, where the dead, enclosed in a kabaong or ataul (coffin) were buried. The lapida sealed the nicho. The
nicho was sometimes found along the perimeter wall; hence the wall not only
enclosed the cemetery but served as a burial site. As a nicho was paid for by private
individuals or rented from the church, the poor often could not afford such luxury
and so for a pauper's burial, a 2 m-deep ditch was used. After about five years,
secon- dary burial took place. For secondary burial, a place called osario (from Latin
"ossa," bones) was built. Wealthy individuals could have a special niche for their
dead, while the poor or those remains which could not be identified were interred in
a common
l
niche. The practice of secondary burial inside a church continued up to the 20th
century when wealthy be- nefactors and other dignitaries were given a special place
of honor on the church floor or wall, as seen in San Agustin Church. Another special
place in the cam- po santo was the angelito (little angel), the burial site for baptized
children who died before the "age of reason," i.e., seven years. Catholic teaching
indicated that such children went straight to heaven, rewarded for their unsullied

innocence. The campo santo was considered a consecrated ground, and those who
were known as public sinners could not be buried in it. With the establishment of
Masonry and other churches other than the Catholic, the list of those who could not
be buried in the campo santo increased. In response to the Catholics' anathe- ma,
Masons and Aglipayans took to building their own cemeteries, often right beside the
Catholic, as in Cagayan de Oro. In many towns the cemetery was a flat space enclosed by a flimsy bamboo fence or thickets of the madre de cacao tree. But in more
prosperous places, the cemetery was a well-designed space. An early ex- ample of a
well-designed space is the Paco Cemetery, built in 1823 as a burial site for victims
of cholera. Two concentric walls enclose an open space divided into quadrants by
spacious walkways. One walkway leads from the main entrance to the elliptical
mortuary chapel, covered by a stone vault. Behind the chapel are the angelito and
osario. Outside Manila, outstanding cemeteries were built in Santa Maria and Vigan,
Ilocos Sur; Nagcarlan, Laguna; Tabaco, Albay; San Joaquin and Janiuay, Iloilo; and
Boljoon, Cebu. The cemetery of Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur is at the foot of the hill
where the church is built. The mortuary chapel within the cemetery is capped by a
short bell tower. The outstanding feature of the Vigan Cemetery is the espadaita
(bell turret) over the gate of the cemet- ery. The Nagcarlan Cemetery, built by Fr
Belloc, is a brick structure. The mortuary chapel, located at the rear, is flanked by
walls that curve out to enclose a circular space. Beside the chapel the walls contain
niches, and at the sides and front, the walls are pierced by arches. Inside the
chapel, steps lead down to a crypt. The Tabaco Cemetery made of cut lava blocks
has a handsome chapel with a hemispherical stone dome. The San Joaquin, Iloilo
Cemetery has a low front section from where a grand flight of steps leads to the
main elevated section dominated by an octagon- al mortuary chapel with a towering
dome. The Janiuay Cemetery, like San Joaquin, is elevated. Three front entrances, at
the middle and sides, are impressive for their stairways and gothic arches. The
cemetery
SEMENTERYO
chapel, now in ruins, was originally in the gothic style. The gate of the Boljoon
Cemetery is decorated by low reliefs of demons and symbols of death. Toward the
end of the Spanish period the city government of Manila opened La Lorna Cemetery
at the outskirts of Manila. This cemetery, surrounded by a wall and entered through
an elaborate wrought-iron gate, has a full-sized church. Plots were laid out in orderly
fashion for niches and mausoleums. The apportioning of public lands for cemeteries
continued into the American period. The North and South Cemeteries were built for
the in- habitants of Manila and its environs. Other municipal cemeteries were
created; many, however, were built after the American regime. Cemeteries spawned
a whole industry catering to the need for aesthetically pleasing burial sites. Prominent architects were employed by the rich to build mausoleums for their departed.
These structures re- sembling small buildings could contain living quarters used on
1 November, the day traditionally set for com- memorating the dead. Mausoleums
range through va- rious styles--Egyptian, neogothic, neoclassic, art deco, and
modem. Those in the Chinese Cemetery, adjacent to the North Cemetery and La
Lorna, draw from Chinese architecture. Ranking below the mausoleums are the
nichos, often surmounted by a cross or by saints and angels. Other ornaments used
in cemeteries are a tree or post cut in half or hourglasses with wings to symbolize
the unexpectedness of death, skulls and skeletons, laurel wreaths, and lilies. At the
end of WWII, American and Filipino casualties were buried in special cemeteries. The

American battle monuments in Makati and the Libing- an ng mga Bayani are
examples of such special cemeteries. The American Cemetery might be considered an early example of the memorial park that rose in popularity during the late
1960s. The American Cemetery has wide lawns planted with trees and flow- ers, so
chosen that one or the other would be in bloom at a particular time of the year.
Patterned after memorial parks in the United States, the memorial parks promise
perpetual care for the grave of a loved one. Extensive landscaped grounds are
properly zoned so that mausoleums occupy a particular area, nichos another, and
wide tracts of green lawns cover burial vaults below ground level. A chapel,
administration building, facilities, and free-standing sculpture complete the
memorial park. The first memorial park to be opened was the Manila Memorial Park
in Paraii.aque. Memorial parks have been built in many places outside Manila, their
popu- larity stemming in part from the overcrowding and filth of the older
cemeteries. R. Javellana
163
FORMS
SIMBAHAN
The "place of worship" is called simbahan in Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilongo, and Bikol;
pisamban in Pampango; and simbaan in Ilocano and Pangasinan. It may also be
called by the Spanish name, iglesia. The simbahan is an enclosed place where a
congregation gathers for worship.
Catholic Churches
These structures of stone and wood are landmarks of colonial architecture. Centrally
located at an area right in front of the plaza, they continue to be the most
prominent building in many towns. Many lowland Philippine towns have grown
around the church-plaza complex. This did not happen by accident but rather by
deliberate planning of the colonial government in conformity with the Ordenanzas of
1573 promulgated by the Spanish crown. Churches may be classified according to
the mate- rial used. They may be of ligero or light construction, hence
impermanent, or of durable construction. The former employed materials such as
tabla (wood planks) or caiia y nipa (bamboo and thatch), or de carizo. The latter
employed stone and were classified as de sillar or made from cut stones; de
mamposteria or rubble; de cota or from old stones used in previous constructions;
de ladrillo or brick; or de tabique, or of rubble, brick, or stone. A variety that
employed a colonnade of tree trunks was known as de harigue. Churches may also
be classified according to func- tion. The church at the seat of a diocese is called
catedral. Smaller churches, usually in convents of nuns, colleges, or cemeteries
were called capilla. A capilla is ordinarily an independent structure built be- side the
convent or another building, but in some cases it is located in a room in a building.
A few churches have been given the honorific title basilica, namely: the churches of
San Martin in Taal, Batangas; Inmacu- lada Concepcion in Batangas City; Nuestra
Senora de la Caridad in Agoo, La Union; Santo Nino in Cebu City; San Miguel
Arcangel in Tayabas,Quezon; Jesus Nazareno in Quiapo, Manila; and the Manila
Cathed- ral in Intramuros, Manila. A ba1silica originally referred to the church
patterned after the law courts of ancient Rome, characterized by a long nave,

flanked by arcades and terminating in a semicircular apse. By extension it referred


to any church noted for its anti- quity or for its spiritual significance. Plans and
parts. The Council of Trent's liturgical reform dictated the shape-and form of the
typical colo164
nial church. The council fostered frequent and some- times simultaneous
celebration of the Eucharist, res- tored preaching to its central role as a vehicle of
reform and instruction, encouraged devotion to the Eucharist and frequent
confession, and emphasized the distinc- tion between priest and clergy. A typical
church of the colonial period reflected these reforming tendencies and had two focal
points: the altar mayor (main altar) where the Eucharist was celebrated and the
consecrated host kept in the sagrar- io (tabernacle); and the pulpito (pulpit) often
placed at the crossing of nave and transept in the crucero (crufi- corm plan), i.e., a
plan shaped like a cross, or at the nave so as to enhance audibility of the sermon.
Be- cause of the strict Eucharistic fast starting at midnight, the Mass was celebrated
early in the morning. Thus when a church had several priests, they celebrated Mass
at about the same time at different altars, hence the altares menores (side altars). A
typical church had a wide empty space in front of it, the plaza or patio, which made
it possible to view the church facade in all its grandeur. Facade styles depended on
what was in vogue at the time of con- struction and on the preferences of the cura
or parish priest. Facade styles and ornaments included the re- naissance, baroque,
rococo, neoclassic, neogothic and neoromanesque. The campanario (from Spanish
"campana," bell, derived from Latin "campana," from Campania, a southern Italian
region whose metal was used for bells) or bell tower was a tall structure at the top
of which were hung bells. Most churches have one bell tower. A good number have
two, and a few have three. In the Philippines these towers range from sim- ple
wooden structures to massive stone monuments. The campanario was an important
part of the church complex. Aside from calling the people to Mass and tolling the
hours, its bells heralded the coming of important personages, warned of fires and
enemy raids, and announced significant events in the parish, such as fiestas,
weddings, and deaths. The towers served as lookouts. It is said that along the
coasts of Ilocos, Bicol, and other areas, flares were lit up from one belfry to another
to warn the next town of impend- ing danger. Because they towered above the
trees, they were probably used as landmarks by travellers. Although most
campanarios adjoined the facade, a few parishes adopted other arrangements. The
one in Marilao, Bulacan, for example, juts out just behind, not to the side of the
facade. In Padre Garcia, Batangas the tower adjoins the church but stands a little
distance behind the line of the facade. In some Cebuano chur- ches, as in Argao and
the Cathedral, the solitary tower
is connected to the main building by a small covered passageway, referred to by
Coseteng (1972) as a camar- in de los campaneros (bellringer' s quarters). This
might have been used as well for other purposes. The Manila Cathedral in the 18th
century utilized the same arrangement, but this housed the Sala Capitular or
Chapter Hall. In Meycauayan, Bulacan, and Milaor, Camarines Sur, a large archway
linked the bell tower and the church. Detached bell towers are characteristic of
Ilocano churches. It is conjectured that the tower was con- structed far enough from
the church so that should it topple during an earthquake, the church would be safe
from falling debris. Thus in the parishes of Laoag, Ilocos Norte and Bantay, Ilocos

Sur, a little hike is needed to get to the bell tower. Outside Ilocos, de- tached bell
towers are quite rare, found only in Jaro, Iloilo, and .n Baclayon, Loay, and Loboc in
Bohol. Bell towers have generally either four or eight sides, the quadrilateral form
being the earlier of the two. Many consist of four-sided bases topped by octa- gonal
cuerpos (stories or levels). The campanario in Badoc, Ilocos Norte has six sides. The
magnificent tower in Tumauini, Isabela is cylindrical.
SIMBAHAN
PLAZA. During the Spanish colonial period, a plaza usually fronted the church, as in
Lingayen, Pangasinan. (lntramuros Administration Library Collection)
Towers were usually crowned by a small dome or chapitel, occasionally referred to
as a bonete. Atop the chapitel was perched a wooden or wrought-iron cross,
sometimes ornamented with a velete (weather-vane). In the late 19th century, it
became the trend to install pararayos (lightning rods). The espadaiia (from Spanish
"espadaii.ar," to spread the tail feathers, derived from Latin "spadix," shoot of the
palm tree) was rarely used for church facades. This was a belfry composed of a
thick wall, pierced with windows from which the bells were hung. This type of belfry
did not appear suited to local conditions, and thus only a few such structures were
erected. The largest one, found over the entrance to the cemetery chapel in Vigan,
Ilocos Sur, has openings for four bells. A massive one in Buguey, Cagayan houses
two bells. Its base is quadrilateral and seems to have been intended for a polygonal
structure rather than an espadaii.a. Smaller variants with openings for 1 to 2 bells
can be seen in the cemetery chapel in
165
FORMS
Nagcarlan, Laguna; the Ermita de San Jacinto in Tuguegarao, Cagayan; and the
parish churches of Bas- co, Mahatao, and Sabtang in Batanes. Over the pedi- ment
of the church of Puncan, Nueva Ecija is an espa- dana, unusual for its top-heavy
appearance. As with the rest of the church building, bell tow- ers were adapted to
the peculiar seismic conditions of the country. They were far from being soaring and
airy for they had to be squat, thick, and more massive. To insure stability each
upper story was smaller than the lower. Good examples of this form are those in
Cabu- gao, Ilocos Sur, and Miag-ao, Iloilo. Buttresses support the nave and transept
walls. In Spanish colonial times, the buttress was known as a contrafuerte (from
Spanish "contra," counter to, and "fuerte," fort). Other local terms were estribo
(Spanish from Old German "streban," to hold up) and machon, (from Spanish
"macho," derived from Latin "mascu- lus," male). To withstand earthquakes, colonial
stone build- ings had massive pader (from Spanish "paredes," walls), some almost 2
m thick. It seems that no cost was too great to secure the strength of these walls.
Buttresses of all shapes, sizes, and thickness employed particularly in churches
account for the peculiar char- acter of Philippine colonial architecture. Some of the
bulkiest buttresses are those in the church of Majayjay
CHURCH INTERIOR. The walls of the Betts Church In Pampanga, built co 1660-1770
by the Augustlnlans, Is adorned with painted portraits of the Christian saints.
(Renata S. Rastrollo 7990, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)

166
in Laguna, the Cathedral of Naga in Camarines Sur, and the redoubtable church of
Paoay in Ilocos Norte. There are many examples of early buildings being propped up
later in time by buttresses. However, it does not follow that the size or number of
buttresses is any evidence of the great age of a building. There is some indication
that a number of 17th-century but- tressless churches were sound enough to resist
earth- quakes. On the other hand, 19th-century structures such as the church of Las
Pinas and the La Lorna Cemetery chapel in Caloocan, have oversized estribos. To be
sure, buttresses carried no lifetime guarantee that a wall would be temblor proof. In
1983 a strong earthquake dama~ed several churches in Ilocos Norte, a province
known for its formidable buttresses. The church of Badoc lost a sizeable amount of
masonry, and many of its bulbous contrafuertes were reduced to half. Stepped
buttresses, huge stairways leading right up to roof level, are found in many Ilocos
churches, although they may also be seen in churches across the Cordillera such as
in Tuguegarao, Cagayap and Basco, Batanes. Their precise function has not yet
been estab- lished, although some hypothesize it was to aid in roof maintenance,
such as replacing the thatch covering and discarding broken roof tiles. A variant of
the stepped buttress is the sawtooth buttress found in the church at Iguig, Cagayan.
The buttresses of Paoay, Badoc, and Laoag, all in Ilocos Norte, are remarkable for
their awesome volutes and curves. In Pangasinan, particularly in the chur- ches of
Calasiao and San Carlos, the buttresses appear to be half-hearted attempts and
scarcely reach half the height of the walls, although they rest on inordinately large
pedestals. Arched or "flying" buttresses are ex- ceedingly rare and can only be seen
in such churches as Iguig and Santo Domingo in Piat, Cagayan and Tumauini,
Isabela where they support the apses, or in Vigan Cathedral, Ilocos Sur where a
series of ungainly mini-"flying" buttresses link the upper portion of the clerestory of
the nave with the lower roofline of the aisles. The dome (from Latin "domus,"
house), also known as cimborio (Spanish, from Latin "cymbium," a vase or cup),
cupola (Spanish, from Arabic "cubba," ceiling), media naranja (Spanish, half
orange), or naranjado (Hispanism, orange colored), is a hemis- pherical roof. The
crowning glory of any church, it was constructed over the crossing of the transept
and the nave and, like the bell tower, was visible from a great distance. If there was
no transept, it was erected near or above the main altar. The dome rested on a
cylin- der, the drum, which was of the same diameter. It was sometimes topped by a
lantern or linterna, a small cylindrical or octagonal tower crowned by a smaller
dome. The dome was often mentioned in records as media naranja because it
resembled a halved orange. The media naranja dome was the most popular type
and was used in the churches of Pampanga, Batangas, and Iloilo, the majority of
which were built by the Augustinians in the late 19th century. The dome of the
church in Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur is the only one in the Ilocos region. Instead of
domes, crossing towers in the shape of octagonal pyramids were used in some
Laguna chur- ches and in the Taal Basilica in Batangas. The four- sided cimborio was
a type fairly used here but not commonly seen in Spanish or Latin American churches, although some examples are found in Peru. Such a crossing tower was utilized
in some churches in Bohol, Pangasinan, Laguna, Rizal, and other places. This may
have evolved as a solution to a leaking media naranja, as when it was decided to
cover the defective dome of the Manila Cathedral in 1768 with a pyramidal tile roof
resting on four walls (Diaz-Trechuelo 1959: 265). The ceiling under the dome or
crossing tower was usually hemispherical. An inner gallery running throughout its

circumference was popularly called langit-langitan (little heaven). It was approached


through a catwalk that ran between the ceiling and
SIMBAHAN
roof of the nave. From the gallery, banners and other decorations were hung. The
dome rested on four pendentives, triangular- shaped concave walls between the
supporting pillars and the base of the dome. These pendentives were visible inside
the church and were traditionally adorned with the portraits of the four evangelists.
The entrance of the church was usually a single portal, sometimes flanked by
niches. In some churches the main portal was flanked by side doors. A large door
almost always had a postigo or smaller door cut into it. This was the customary
entrance to the church as the main door was opened only on important occa- sions,
such as town fiestas. Aside from the front por- tal, there was a side portal leading to
the nave. Some churches had additional portals at the transept. The coro (Spanish,
derived from Greek "chor- agos," then Latin, "chorus," a band of singers), was the
area where the choir and accompanists gathered to provide music for Masses and
other religious func- tions. It was usually a loft built over the entrance. In some rare
cases it was located near the apse, just before and to one side of the sanctuary. In
cathedrals, the section where the cabildo (cathedral chapter), composed of the
bishop and va- rious religious dignitaries gathered to chant their di- vine office, was
also called a cora. Unlike in many Spanish churches where the cora was located just
in front of the main altar, available Philippine data, i.e., the plan of Cebu Cathedral
in 1719 where it is termed coro baxo (low choir) and the plan of Manila Cathedral in
1753, show that the cora was located away from the main altar and near the
entrance. There is a cora for such use in the Vigan Cathedral, although it is located
in the apse. It seems to date from the early 20th cen- tury, but it may have replaced
earlier constructions. There are no other local extant examples of this arrangement
otherwise common in the larger churches in Europe and Latin America. Verjas (iron
grills) around such coros provided some measure of privacy for the clergy,
separating them from the rest of the congregation. In the center of the cora was a
large facistol (choir lectern) on which were propped music books or cantor- ales. A
number of choir lecterns were four sided and had rotating upper parts, as that
which may still be seen in the San Agustin Church in Intramuros. Monastic churches,
such as those in Intramuros had rows of specially carved sillerias (choirstalls) lin- ing
the three sides of the choir loft, where the religious community gathered to chant
the divine office. The silleria of the San Agustin Church, Intramuros, said to date
from ca 1608 to 1611, is a masterpiece of the
167
FORMS
PRIESTS HOUSE. Attached to the church or built behind or beside It, Spanish colonial
conventos were much larger and bigger bahay na bato or stone houses, such as the
convento of the Baclayon Church In Bahol, built ca 1720. (Manila Bulletin Library
Collection)
wood-carver's and furniture maker's art. The rows of seats are intricately carved and
inlaid with wood. The undersides of the seats are provided with misereres
(misericords), small wooden ledges on which tired, weak, or aged friars could lean

while standing during prayers. If the bell tower was built adjacent to the church, the
bautisterio (baptistry) was placed at its first story so it would be near the main door
of the church. The baptistry as a structure separate from the church was common
during the Renaissance, but fell out of favor during the Baroque. The baptistry's
location near the door was dictated by the rites which considered the unbaptized
child unworthy to enter the main body of the church. Some baptistries were
afterthoughts, added to the side of the church, in the case of Lauang and Guiuan,
Samar. The baptistry was traditionally decorated with an image of Christ's baptism
in the Jordan. The naveta (nave) could be bounded by col- onnades separating it
from the side aisles. This is espe- cially true in neoclassic and neogothic churches.
In the San Agustin, the nave is flanked by cryptocollateral chapels, i.e., side chapels
not immediately visible from the entrance. The nave was the place for the laity, and
the comulgatorio (communion rail) separated it from the santuario or presbiterio
(sanctuary) which was ele- vated by one or several steps above the church floor.
The santuario or presbiterio was named thus because here, holy (Latin "sanctus")
rites were performed by
168
priests (from Greek "presbyteros," elder, priest). Dominating the sanctuary was the
altar mayor with its retablo, raised an obligatory three steps above the sanctuary
floor. To one side of the sanctuary was the sacristy where vestments and vessels
used for church rites were kept. This was also where the priest and acolytes vested.
In some instances, especially in monasteries or large conventos, as in the case of
the San Agustin in Intramuros and in Pakil, Laguna, the sacristy was a room within
the living quarters of the priests. Sacristies could also be independent structures
that abutted the sanctuary of the church, as in Santa Cruz, Marinduque. The
sacristies had aparadores (large cabinets) for vestments and church records. A
separate treasure room was sometimes built near the sacristy. This well-fortified
place housed vessels and appurtenances of gold and silver, objects of ivory, and
gem-studded vestments and vessels. If the church had a crucero (transept), the
altares menores were found at the transept. The left side facing the main altar was
called the gospel transept; the right side was called the epistle transept because
during the mass, these parts of the scriptures were read at these sides of the
sanctuary. The pulpit occupied a prominent place in the nave. It fell into disuse with
the liturgical reforms of Vatican II. Of finely carved wood or of well-crafted wrought
iron, the pulpit was an efficient acoustical device. Its hollow hemispherical base and
its hemis- pherical canopy, called torna voz, worked together as resonators of the
preacher's voice.
FORMS
to the Philippines until 1815. Crucial to the generation of income to pay for their
missionary enterprise, in- cluding building, was the system of internal and exter- nal
trade engaged in by the religious communities This trade in products from
haciendas, like rice and veget- ables, and export through the galleon of products,
like beeswax, canvas, and even ivory statuary and paint- ings, greatly enhanced
income. The Church also relied on patronage from pious persons, both in Europe
and Mexico, and in the Philippines. Such patrons included governor generals, priests
and religious from noble or wealthy European and Mexican families, and success- ful
criollo or mestizo sangley merchants. These per- sons would donate money, jewelry,

or land as a votive offering to a particular church or shrine for a prayer answered.


Toward this end, for instance, salt beds were given to the Kawit Church, and the
Virgin of Antipolo assumed a legal identity as the owner of lands and property. Some
churches were paid for by friends and family of the missionaries. Huerta reports an
unusual source of income: Fr Pantaleon de la Fuente OFM reconstructed the Palo
convento, instal- led clocks in the church towers, and paid for these out of his
winnings from the Madrid sweepstakes. A fund, called sanctorum, was collected
during the annual confessions held at Easter. The fund fi- nanced celebrations, not
construction.
170
CHAPEL. Early visitas, like the one in Bacoor, Cavite in the 19th century, were made
of light materials. (Nicanor G. Tiongson Collection)
Churches could not be built nor remodeled at ev- ery whim or fancy of parish priests
as they were public buildings subject to control. A priest wishing to build or even
repair a church was asked to prepare a pre- supuesto, a project proposal
accompanied by appropriate sketches or plans and estimates of cost, to the bishop
who then approved or disapproved the plans. A good number of 19th-century
presupuestos are kept in the archives of the Archdiocese of Manila. Many plans were
not carried out, but the finest of these show the work of professional architects.
Among the religious, plans were sent to the provincial superior and, in some cases,
to the superior or master general in Rome. The construction and repair of churches
was sometimes contracted out to builders, a good number of whom were Chinese.
This system, called paquio (pakyaw in Tagalog), was responsible in part for the
construction of the Manila Cathedral designed by Juan de Uggucioni. This system
apparently was also em- ployed for the retablos of which parts were contracted out
and then clearly inventoried. Churches were subject to yearly inventario or inventories during the bishop's or provincial superior's
visitation. These inventory lists were carefully kept in parish archives. They recorded
every acquisition of a church under different headings: altares or altars; omamentos
or vestments; alajas de oro or golden di- adems, crowns, and vessels; alajas de
plata or silver vessels; and alajas de cobre or copper vessels. Bells were also
inventoried, their weight, material, and in- scriptions duly recorded. As for expenses
for repair or renovation, these were carefully recorded in a book of expenses called
cargo y data.
Cabecera-Visita Complex. A temporary church, of bamboo and nipa, or wood and
tile, was first con- structed in a newly organized community called reduc- cion or
rancheria. As the community became more organized and acquired material wealth,
it was raised to the status of pueblo or town. The pueblo had a geographic center,
poblacion, which was the most organized; satellite communities called barrios; and
even smaller units called sitios. In ecclesiastical par- lance, the poblacion became
the center of a parroquia (parish). The center was called cabecera and the out- lying
barrios, visitas. Visitas were so called because the priests did not reside in these
places but rather visited them for the duration of their annual fiestas and other
important feasts. The cabecera-visita, parroquia-visita or poblacion-visita complex
laid the foundations for the development of towns and parishes. As the visita's
population increased in num- ber, it was raised to parish status. A condition for

such, however, was the building of a church and convento. Hence, the date of
church construction always antedates the creation of a parish, though the early
churches were often of wood, bamboo, and thatch.
Styles and Religious Orders. The Catholic cler- gy was divided into two groups. The
seculars (from Latin "saeculum," time, and figuratively, the world of human affairs)
were affiliated with a diocese, and sub- ject to the bishop, and lived among their
parishioners in the world. The regulars (from Latin "regula," rule) belonged to the
religious orders, were bound by one common rule or law and grouped themselves
accord- ing to provinces. The friar orders were part of the regular clergy. In the usual
order of evangelization, the friars pioneered in the conversion of peoples, to be
succeeded by the seculars who took charge of normal parish duties. A different
system evolved in the Philip- pines, which was two years by galleon from Spain via
Mexico. Members of the regular clergy would mostly officiate at the altars of Filipino
churches for more than three centuries.
SIMBAHAN
The first to seriously begin evangelizing were the Augustinians who came with
Legazpi' s expeditionary forces in 1565. This order built the most number of
churches in the country, since it had the largest num- ber of parishes. Their
territories included the entire llocos region, northern Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva
Ecija, Batangas, southeastern Cebu, and Panay Island. The Franciscans who followed
in 1578 carried out their ministry in the towns bordering the eastern shores of
Laguna de Bay, lying now within the bound- aries of Rizal and Laguna provinces; the
long strip of land now comprising the coastline of Isabela; and the provinces of
Aurora and Quezon, some towns in northern Nueva Ecija, and the entire Bicol area.
Samar island and eastern Leyte were turned over to them after the Jesuit expulsion
in 1768. Arriving in 1581, the Jesuits commenced work in some towns around Manila
within present-day Rizal province, and expanded to Cavite province, the Neg- ros
islands, Samar, Leyte, Bohol, Mindoro and Marin- duque, and to parts of Mindanao.
In 1595 a royal decree stipulated that the Philippines be divided into regions for the
purposes of evangelization. At this time the Jesuits were given charge of eastern
Visayas, ex- cept Cebu, and Mindanao. In 1767 Carlos III ordered the expulsion of all
Jesuits from Spain and her col- onies, a decree which took effect in the Philippines
the following year; their vacated parishes were turned over to both the secular and
regular clergy. In 1771 the order was suppressed by Pope Clement XIV. After their
restoration in 1814, the Jesuits returned to the Philippines in 1859 and did most of
their apostolic work in Manila and Mindanao. Following the Jesuits were the
Dominicans who landed in 1587. They built churches in the lands which now
comprise the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Isabela, Cagayan, Batanes, Pangasinan,
and Bataan. They also held some parishes in Cavite and western Laguna, attached
to their haciendas. The last large order to arrive was that of the Recol- lects or
Discalced Augustinians who came in 1606. Partly because of their late arrival, they
were assigned some of the most difficult mission territories, such as Palawan,
Zambales (ceded to them by the Dominicans in 1712), northern Bataan, western
Pangasinan, and the eastern portion of Mindanao. Later on they spread to
northeastern Cebu and to the islands of Mindoro, Romblon, and Masbate, the Jesuit
territories in the islands of Negros and Bohol, as well as parishes in Mindoro. Cavite
and the rest of Mindanao were turned over to them after 1768. The seculars,
although here as early as 1564, were always too few and never formed as large a

171
FORMS
community as the religious clergy. They chiefly occu- pied positions in the
cathedrals but also held a few widely scattered parishes. During the early 17th century the islands of Marinduque, Mindoro, and Negros were under them, but for lack
of human resources they ceded them to the regulars, namely, the Recollects and
the Jesuits. At various times they ministered to towns and erected churches in
Cavite, Batangas, Pampanga, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Cebu, Iloilo, Negros island, and
western and southern Leyte. Theoretically, the religious were to open missions and
once these were stable, turn them over to the secu- lars. In fact, the parishes were
belatedly turned over to them. Well into the 19th century, many seculars were
coadjutors of the regulars. Many seculars were Filipinos. Members of the Hospital
Order of the Brothers of San Juan de Dios, who first arrived in 1641, performed their
apostolic labors in hospitals which they adminis- tered in Cavite and Manila. In the
twilight of the 19th century, two more orders came to share in the missionary work.
The Capuchins, a branch of the Franciscan order estab- lished in 1529, opened their
first chapel in Intramuros in 1890. The Benedictines of Monserrat arrived in 1895
and were assigned the Jesuit parishes in Surigao, where they were to establish
agricultural communities as a strategy for consolidating Spanish rule in Minda- nao.
The Benedictine mission was short lived as the Revolution of 1896 overtook them.
However, the BeTOWER AND CHURCH. Most campanarios or belfries adjoined the facade, as seen In
the Barasoaln Church In Malolos, Bulacan, built 1885. (Ayala Museum Collection)
172
nedictines were able to build a few churches, that of Cantilan being the best. The
supposition that a religious order determined the style of its church or that the
assignment of an order to a specific region resulted in the emergence of regional
style is not quite true. Grandness and sump- tuousness were not the preserve of
any one group. All orders, even the seculars, built large, solid, and mag- nificent
churches if the parishes could afford them. Unknown to most are the large number
of wooden and thatch churches which each order maintained in the poorer parts of
their districts. Historical styles,-such as baroque, rococo, neogothic and others,-were
adopted by each of the orders and modified according to local conditions. In several
cases, however, style seems to have been more dependent on an area than on the
order. For instance, the Franciscan churches in the Bicol area are mostly small and
simple and, with few exceptions, simply decorated. The same cannot be said of
churches of the same order in the area around Laguna de Bay, south of Manila, such
as Paete, Pakil, Tanay, Morang, and Lucban which are exuberantly carved and
decorated. There are details or silhouettes common to a num- ber of structures in a
given area or period, like certain late 18th-century Dominican churches in the
Cagayan Valley, late 18th-century Augustinian churches in southeastern Cebu, or
mid-19th-century Augustinian churches in Iloilo. Churches built by seculars, such as
those of Samboan in Cebu and Molo in Iloilo, have the same elements as those built
by regulars. The facade of the secular-built church of Gen Trias, Cavite is virtual- ly a
copy of that of the Augustinian church of Santa Lucia, Ilocos Sur. Such instances

might indicate a "school of architects" or perhaps, more accurately, just one


builder's idiosyncracies. They are usually not enough, however, to warrant the
attribution of a style to a particular order. Thus one cannot properly speak of an
"Augustinian grand style" or a "Jesuit baroque style." Church styles "would tend to
change from period to period," and as "churches were being built, des- troyed and
rebuilt constantly during the whole three- century Spanish rule, identifying regional
styles be- comes complicated" (Legarda 1981:70). Churches built during the late
19th century are easy to identify. While their facades and retablos were built in the
revivalist manner, the builder did not adhere strictly to one style but mixed
neogothic win- dows with Roman arches or a Greek-cross plan with gothic finials.
The periodization of older church styles is still tentative, although it is safe to say
that not until the 1780s did rococo motifs appear. The earlier periods may be called
baroque and, in some cases, plateresque. During the 19th century revivalist styles
appeared. The neoclassical made its first appearance about the 1820s, while the
neogothic appeared ca 1860. Other influences tend to blur stylistic characteristics.
SIMBAHAN
AUGUSTINIAN CHURCH. The Santa Lucia Church In llocos Sur, built ca 1880, Is
embellished with Corinthian columns and niches of saints and carved stone arches.
(Coseteng 1972, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collection)
Chinese, Indian, Muslim, and Mexican influences are noted. Thus the styles of
colonial churches come about by the confluence of regional influences, the
aesthetic preferences of the group evangelizing a given place, period styles, foreign
influences, the availabilty of competent architects and artists, and the construction
materials and the availability of tools and technology. Manila, Cavite Puerto, and
Cebu remained com- mon territory; thus the regulars had a church or more in these
places. Manila boasted of seven churches, the mother churches of the religious
orders, the cathedral of the seculars, and the church of the Venerable Orden
Tercera, a lay branch of the Franciscans. The order of San Juan de Dios had a fine
church built beside its hospital. Cebu had a Jesuit college with its church and a
Chinese parish under the seculars, aside from its cathedral and the Santo Nino
Church of the Augusti- nians. Like Intramuros, the port city of Cavite, present- day
Cavite City, had a defensive wall surrounding it. In this enclosure were the
Augustinian, Franciscan, Dominican, and Recollect churches; the Colegio de Cavite
with its church dedicated to the Nuestra Senora de Loreto of the Jesuits; and the
shrine to the Nuestra Senora de Dolores more popularly known as Nuestra Senora
de Porta Vaga. The Augustinians built the most number of chur- ches, 264 of which
are still standing. Among these the widest is Taal, 44 m wide, and the longest,
Sarrat,
173
I
FORMS
OLD QUIAPO. The Qulapo Church, shown In a 1900 photograph was built by the
secular clergy In the 19th century. (American Historical Collection)

115 m long. Augustinian churches are characterized by catholicity of styles ranging


from the renaissance to the revivalist, including the rococo, as in Argao, Cebu and
the plateresque, as in Tigbauan, Iloilo. The church in Miagao, Iloilo is the most
imaginative of the Augusti- nian facades. Flanked by two massive towers, the
facade is lavishly decorated. The bas-relief at the pedi- ment depicts San Cristobal
and the Child Jesus in a landscape lush with tropical vegetation. The churches of the
Cagayan Valley are distin- guished by common characteristics-the use of bricks; clay
insets in the form of rosettes, festoons, cornuco- piae, sun faces, angel faces, floral
and foliate forms, animal and human figures, as well as religious sym- bols and
coats of arms; flying buttresses; and salo- monica columns in alternating
arrangements with plain columns. The Ivatan of Batanes were not evangelized until
the end of the 18th century, as the Batanes were pum- melled by strong winds and
treacherous currents which made crossing difficult. The church of Mahatao, like
other Batanes churches, is built of stone bound together with lime and finished with
a layer of stucco, the same type of building the lvatan were to adopt for their
houses. The Mahatao facade is similar to the California mission style. Engaged
columns divide the facade into five sections, the central one being the widest. The
central portion rises to four uneven stor- ies, the topmost being an espadafia
crowned by a
174
semicircular pediment. Only in the central sections are there openings. The facade
is decorated with finials. To the right of the facade is the stone convento, which has
an arcade in front, and a walkway above the arcade. The Basco Church also uses
the espadafia. It is a more graceful though severe version of the Mahatao Church
facade. Pilasters rather than columns decorate the facade, and a double arch,
Roman below and gothic above, defines the main entrance. The all-steel, neogothic
church of San Sebastian, built to replace earlier structures of stone and wood, was
designed in Manila by Genaro Palacios and con- structed of steel plates in Belgium.
The prefabricated structure was brought to Manila in 10 ships, assem- bled, and
then decorated by Manila artists. The seculars built outstanding churches in these
towns and provinces mostly during the 19th century- Quiapo, Manila; Molo, Iloilo;
Dumaguete, Negros Oriental; Parian and Mandaue, Cebu; and Cabalian and Baybay,
Leyte. Although most churches were built. at the initia- tive of priests and friars and
the townsfolk, the colonial government, which expended its energies most of the
time on civil and military structures, did build a few church-related buildings, such
as, the chapels at Fort Santiago and Fort San Felipe in Cavite. A notable work is the
Paco Cemetery, built in 1850 for the victims of cholera. Two circular walls enclose an
elliptical chapel with a stone dome.
20th-Century Catholic Churches. Church-build- ing in the hispanic tradition
continued into, the 20th century. Churches that were not finished during the Spanish
period were completed with great difficulty during the American regime. Early 20thcentury chur- ches were done in revivalist styles, such as the neoro- manesque and
the neogothic. WWII destroyed many churches. Those rebuilt af- ter the war showed
a tendency to adopt new styles. For the sixth Santo Domingo Church, built in
Quezon City from 1952-1954, the architect Jose Zaragoza em- ployed a modernized
Spanish mission style. In the 1950s two new churches departed from the longitudinal plan, and employed a central plan in which the altar was at the middle, with pews
arranged around it. The circular Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice at the Univer- sity of

the Philippines (UP), which was designed by Leandro V. Locsin, aimed to bring the
people closer to the mass. The polygonal St Thomas More Chapel of the Ateneo de
Manila on Padre Faura, designed by Gines Rivera, had the same aim. Churches built
after Vatican II followed the prescriptions of the council which decreed active
participation of the congregation as well as greater visibility of the rites at the altar.
The altar became a free-standing table that enabled the mass celebrant to face the
people. The pulpit in the nave disappeared and was replaced by a lectern located at
the sanctuary. Exam- ples of post-Vatican II churches are St Andrew's, Makati; Santa
Maria de la Strada, Quezon City; and Christ the King, Green Meadows. The old
churches were renovated
SIMBAHAN
to conform to the Council's directive that the mass be celebrated facing the people.
Unfortunately, a good num- ber of colonial churches were renovated by ill-advised
persons.
Other Churches
Aglipayan Churches. At the turn of the century Gregorio Aglipay, the military vicar of
the Philippine revolutionary army, formed the Iglesia Independiente Filipina and cut
all relations with the Roman Catholic Church. Popularly called Aglipayans, this group
took possession of many Catholic churches until a Supreme Court ruling in 1930
restored ownership of churches and lands to the Roman Catholic Church. When the
Aglipayans did build, they constructed simple struc- tures of bamboo and thatch or
of wood. Since Agli- payan rites closely resemble Catholic rites, and more recently
Episcopalian rites, to which a branch of the church has ties, the plan of Aglipayan
churches resem- bles that of Catholic churches. The church in Batac, Ilocos Norte is
innovative in style. The Cathedral of the Holy Child on Taft Avenue, Manila, designed
by Carlos Arguelles, is in the con- temporary idiom.
Protestant Churches. Protestantism, which came with the Americans, emphasized
reading of the bible and preaching over the celebration of the sacraments, which a
number of Protestants believe to be only
PROTESTANT CHURCH. The Presbyterian Church In Tondo, built ca 1910, had
neogothlc arches and ''fish-scale" roofing. (Miller 1912, American Historical
Collection)
175
FORMS
two-Baptism and the Eucharist-in contrast to Catho- lics who acknowledge seven.
Because of the emphasis on the bible and preaching, the most prominent fea- ture
in a Protestant church is the altar where an open bible is prominently displayed. To
one side of the altar is a raised pulpit where the minister preaches. A num- ber of
chairs are placed in the sanctuary to accommo- date those leading the rites. In
many instances, the sanctuary accommodates the choir, as choral singing is an
important part of worship. Outstanding Protestant churches in Manila are the
Bradford Memorial (now Central Methodist Church) on T. Kalaw st, built in 1916 but
restored after it was damaged during WWII; the Knox Memorial along Rizal Avenue;

and the Ellinwood Church in Malate. These churches are in the neogothic style-a
style also fa- vored by main line Protestant groups in the United States. The Church
of the Risen Lord, designed by Cesar H. Concio and located at the UP Diliman Campus, has a paraboloid roof that also rises from ground level. The form of the church
has been described as fishlike or as evoking the canvas roof of prairie schoo- ners
that once crossed the American plains.
Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Churches. Felix Ysagun Manalo began preaching to Manila
workers in 1914. After Manalo's death in 1963, his son Eraii.o, became the executive
minister. The bible, as interpreted by Manalo, is the only source of truth. Worship
takes place on Thursdays and Sundays and consists of psalm and hymn singing,
prayers, and offerings. The main event is an hour-long sermon on doctrine. The
houses of worship are called kapilya (chapel) in memory of the humble beginnings
of the church and its equally humble prototypic buildings or samba- han (house of
workship). Houses of worship are called kapilya regardless of size. Only the house of
worship at the central office in Quezon City is called a templo (temple), although the
San Fernando Kapilya is popu- larly known as the Templo Central Luzon. Initially, the
INC met in private houses. The faith- ful living within a particular vicinity, called
lokal (locale), soon began building makeshift houses of light materials, like bamboo,
nipa and cogon. The lokal of Tondo built the first house of worship along Gabriela st
in 1918. Subsequently, provinciallokal built houses in Tiaong, Bulacan; Peii.aranda,
Nueva Ecija; Sapang Tagalog, Tarlac; and Gen Trias, Cavite. Medium-sized chapels of
sturdier materials, like wood and galvanized iron, .were constructed in the 1930s. A
few surviving examples are Bambang, Luisi- na, Santa Maria and Siniloan, all in
Laguna. Just before the outbreak of WWII, the semiconcrete house, like the
176
Punta Santa Ana Chapel, appeared. In 1948 Manalo employed the services of the
architect Rufino Antonio, who designed the first concrete kapilya in Sampaloc. This
800-seat castlelike structure employed the gothic windows and spires that
characterized later structures. The central office complex and chapel, designed by
Juan Nakpil and Carlos Santos-Viola, was dedicated on 17 Mar 1952. The Caloocan
Kapilya, fully air- conditioned and accomodating 1200, was built that same year.
Shortly after came the Cubao kapilya, 1954, which was designed by Santos-Viola
and Alfredo Luz, then partners. After the partnership broke up, Santos-Viola became
the architect of most of the major kapilya all over the country. However, Raul
Villanueva did de- sign the kapilya of Solis, Tondo, 1955. Originally, smaller ones
were entrusted to the INC's Engineering and Construction Group, headed by
Dominador Manalo. The year 1954 saw the building of the 2,000- seat Pasay
Kapilya. Then followed those of Baguio; Paco, Manila; Angeles City, Pampanga; San
Jose, Min- doro Oriental; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Bacoor, Cavite; Tarlac,
Tarlac; Malabon, Rizal; Lucena City, Quezon; San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City;
Con- cepcion, Tarlac; and Bago Bantay, Quezon City. In 1963 the foundations for San
Pablo City and San Fer- nando, Pampanga were laid. In 1971 the INC formally
organized its Engineer- ing and Construction Department to take care of the
construction and maintenance of the church's build- ings. By the 1980s it took over
the design of even major kapilya. It was headed by Bienvenido G. Manalo, assisted
by Herman E. Bilang. But the Templo Central, 1982-83, is Santos-Viola's work. It
contains five main areas for worship. The central hall, called the templo, seats
3,000. Two side chapels have a total capacity of 1,931, besides the observation

rooms located above them. The Cubao Kapilya is a giant shell made of rein- forced
concrete, lifting lyrically as one continuous gothic arch. A vast traceried window
decorates the facade. Because shell construction is expensive, subse- quent INC
structures use a lighter framework consist- ing of trusses resting in pillars of
reinforced concrete. Trusses used to be of wood; as long beams became rare and
expensive, they were replaced by steel. The side walls are of poured concrete for
durability. An INC facade often has an arch that is either triangular or Tudor, flanked
by tall, slender towers tapering into spires. Sometimes a spire rises in be- tween the
two, directly over the facade. At the kapil- ya' s rear end are two additional towers,
also on both sides of the building. Entrances are dramatized with
cantilevered canopies in wavelike patterns. Galleries run beside the kapilya,
connecting front with rear, to create a protected area for taking in the air. There are
two separate entrances for the sexes. On the wall in-between is a cardholder with
membership cards. At the men's entrance is a deacon's room; at the women's, a
deaconess'. Within the body of the kapilya, men and women sit separately on either
side of a central aisle. The hall's focus is a tribuna, a dais with an imposing lectern
on which the bible rests and from which preaching is done. Behind the tribuna rises
a tiered stage for choirs. Under the tower on each side is a dressing room for each
of the sexes. If the kapilya is big, there is a second-floor balcony, the stairs to which
are located within the front towers. The towers thus define functional areas. Newer
kapilya have a nursery room from which parents with infants can attend the ritual.
Older churches had a bautisterio or baptistery, with a pool for the baptism of adults
by immersion. However, this feature has disappeared in the later design. Only
central houses of worship have a bautisterio which is used by neighboring kapilya.
In some cases, baptism is held in rivers or bodies of water.
SIMBAHAN .. .,
IGLESIA Nl CRISTO CHURCH. Decorated with openwork tracery, the towers and
spires of the Iglesia nl Cristo (INC) In Quezon City are neogothlc, with Interlocking
trapezoids and rosette mofffs. (Cesar Hernando 7991, Cultural Center of the
Philippines Ubrary Collection)
INC interiors are well lit and airy, as they have many windows of plain glass and
high ceilings. The emphasis is on fellowship rather than on mystery. Towers and
spires are many and decorated with openwork tracery. Walls feature elongated
mullions with flat arches, weblike tracery, or frets in precast. Decorations are
nonfigurative. Felix Manalo chose gothic because it seemed ecclesiastical. In fact,
gothic was only a starting point. The lavish openwork tracery in towers and spires is
possible because -of modern materials. So is the fondness for fancy towers that
gradate in tiers before ending in spikes or forming corollas that taper to a point. The
windowless but decorated facades embraced by a huge Tudor arch is another
innovation. R. Javellana and F. Zialcita
References: Ahlborn 1958, 1960; Baldini n.d.; Banas 1937; Castaneda 1964;
Crisostomo 1986; Coseteng 1972; Diaz177
FORMS

Trechuelo 1959; El Archipelago 1900; Fitch 1990; Hargrove 1991; Heller 1971;
Homedo 1987; Javellana 1984, 1991; Legarda 1960, 1981; Manila Metropolitan
Cathedral Souvenir Program 1958; Marcoleta 1986; McCrea 1971; National Historical Institute; National Museum of the Philippines 1977; Pendleton 1962; Santiago
1992; Sison 1986; Robles 1969; Pres- idential Decree No 260 1973; Presidential
Decree No 1505, 1978; Vlekke 1960; Zialcita 1980.
SINEHAN
Sinehan (from "cine," a shortened form of the French patent label "cinematografo,"
and "han," a Tagalog suffix denoting place), also known as sine, is a place for
showing motion pictures. Film historians dif- fer on the exact date when motion
pictures-also called cinema, movies, or films--made their first appearance in Manila.
One source says that it was in 1897, when Swiss entrepreneurs, Leibmann and
Peritz opened a movie house at No 31 Escolta, Manila. Another source refers to 1
Jan 1897, when the Salon Pertierra showed six films on a chronophotograph at No
12 Interior, Escolta. Seven months later a Spanish army officer, Antonio Ramos,
imported 30 films, including a Lumiere cinematograph, named after the French in178
ventors Auguste and Louis Lumiere who held their first public screening in Paris in
December 1895. The movie, as entertainment, rapidly oversha- dowed traditional
theater productions, such as the sarswela, during the American period. During the
screening of a piano player or a silent film, a string quartet under a conductor or
composer played appropriate music, while someone made an explana- tory
comment on what was to be screened. After the Philippine-American War, an
English- man reopened the sine at No 60 Santa Rosa in Intra- muros, which was
called Cine Walgrah after its owner. In 1902 the Gran Cinematographo Parisien was
opened at No 80 Calle Crespo in Quiapo by a Spanish businessman, Samuel
Rebarber. By 1909 three Manila studios were firmly established and covered events
like The Great Taal Disaster, Gold Mining in Paracale, and La Fiesta de Obando. In
1911 Pathe Freres Cine- ma, the first distributing agency in the country, began
MOVIE HOUSES . A neoclassic facade lends Importance to the VIsion Theater In
Cebu City, here photographed In 1945. (Cebuano Studies Center Collection)
selling and leasing film projector gear. Movie houses began to mushroom all over
the city and theaters origi- nally built for stage productions began showing films.
The Teatro Zorrilla at Azcarraga (now Claro M. Recto Avenue) began showing films in
1909 and the Grand Opera House nearby combined movies with bodabil. Among the
movie houses in full operation at this time were Anda, Paz, Cabildo, Empire,
Majestic, Tivoli, Comedia, Apollo, Ideal, Luz, Savoy, and Gaiety. The Cinematografo
Filipino, located at Azcarraga near Tutuban, the first Filipino-owned movie house,
was opened in 1909. In the 1920s and the 1930s movie houses were improved. The
old Ideal Theater, recon- structed to be able to show movies, was later replaced by
the new Ideal designed by Pablo Antonio. Movie houses did not differ much from
theaters. The lower floor was called orchestra, and an upper floor with raked seating
was called balcony. Some- times, balconies continued into galleries or wing balconies. The balcony was divided into the front and generally better furnished area,
called loge, and the rear which retained the name balcony. On the stage, a screen

was hung. During the silent film era, a small section below the screen was set aside
for a piano or an orchestra that accompanied the film. The projection booth located
opposite the screen and often above the orchestra seats was a necessary feature of
the cinema. Azcarraga was the first movie row of Manila .. In the 1930s the Escolta,
where the Lyric and Capitol theaters stood, and Rizal A venue, where the Ideal,
State, and Avenue Theaters were located, became the moviegoer's paradise. Then
considered the country's most modern theater, the Metropolitan Theater, built in
1931, had provisions for a projection machine. Art deco was the style for movie
houses. However, Bel- levue in Paco, built earlier, employed the not-too- popular
neomudejar style. Movie houses were also built in the provinces: the Prince was the
best known in Iloilo; Vision, built in the renaissance style, was famous in Cebu; while
Pines and Session Theater were built in Baguio. More movie houses were erected
after WWII, among them the Ever Theater, remarkable for its elegant lobby, and the
Cinerama, notable for its size. Rizal Theater, designed by Juan Nakpil and completed in 1960, introduced the one-floor auditorium in which the orchestra, loge,
and balcony formed one continuous slope. This seating arrangement was to be
emulated in movie houses that came later, especially those built in malls. "Mall,"
which originally meant a plaza but which in contemporary usage has come to mean
an open or covered concourse flanked by shops, contains a numSPLIT LEVEL HOUSE
her of movie houses. These are not detached units but are part of the mall's
structure. Movie houses in malls are generally smaller compared to earlier ones
which were seperate buildings. The first successful mall was the Quad in Makati,
built in the 1970s, whose main feature were four movie houses respectively called
"Q," "U," "A," and "D." Other malls in Manila with movie houses are Ali Mall,
Robinsons, Manuela, Shoemart, Shangri-la, and Gotesco. These malls are often a
chain and have more than one branch in the city. Malls with movie houses have also
been built in provincial urban centers. R. Javellana
References: Castaneda 1964; Pareja 1990.
SPLIT-LEVEL HOUSE
The split-level house is that in which the floor levels of one or more rooms are
separated by approx- imately half a story (or less) and connected by stairs. In
general, the Philippine split-level house has two main levels, the lower portion which
includes the living, dining, and kitchen area, and the elevated one which has the
bedrooms. In some, the two levels are covered by one hip or gable roof, with the
lower level having an unusually high ceiling. In other cases, especially in larger
houses, the lower and higher sections have separate roofs, giving the houses a
more interesting exterior appearance. The elevated portion of the split-level house
is usually made of wood and may rest on concrete walls. If high enough, the space
under the elevated portion is used for storage. The lower portion is almost always of
concrete and is slightly above the ground level. The split-level arrangement
effectively delineates the private and common spaces of the house by the slight
change in levels, which spares the dweller the effort of negotiating a full staircase.
The split-level house design enables one to build on sloping or irregu- lar terrain,
without extensively altering the topography. A. Gonzales-Biglang-Awa

179
FORMS
TEATRO
The teatro (Spanish, Theater), also known as du- laan (from Tagalog "dula," play,
and "an," a suffix denoting place), and coliseo (Spanish, from Latin "col- osseum," a
large place for staging spectacles), refers to a building designed specifically for
theatrical, musical, and dance presentations. While an auditorium serves the same
purpose, it is not necessarily an independent building like the teatro, but may be
part of a larger building, such as a school or office building. Teatro was the name
given to the structure when first introduced in the Philippines. It consisted mainly of
the stage and refated areas; the house or space for the audience, and the lobby or
entrance. The entabla- do (stage platform), where a performance takes place, is
generally framed by an arch called proscenio (pros- cenium), and covered by a
curtain. Beside and behind the stage are the backstage areas which include dressing rooms and space for scenery and equipment, work-shops, and storage rooms.
The house is occu- pied by rows of seats, which may be on one level or, for better
viewing, on several levels. Seats may be grouped in boxes or on tiers. Aisles run
between rows of seats and along the side walls. The house section of old theaters
was rectangular or circular in plan. Later theaters adopted a trapezoidal or fanshaped plan with the stage at the narrow end. The house section is reached through
a lobby. Running above it like a bal- cony is a lounge where the audience repairs
during intermissions. The teatro may have other spaces with- in the building such as
administrative offices, shops, and a refreshment parlor. Probably the earliest
theaters in the Philippines were the teatros al aire libre (open-air theaters) which
were temporary platforms with open space around for the audience. Sources
mention the Teatro Comico, lo- cated in Arroceros near the Pasig River, which
flourished from ca 1780 to 1790. Tondo ca 1840 was the setting of coliseos, i.e.,
bamboo theaters roofed with nipa, where Tagalog plays were shown. At about the
same period, reference is made to the camarin-teatro (barn theater), located at
Arroceros. This bamboo-and- nipa structure had a stage and a patio with long
benches. Probably the first of the elegant theaters was the Teatro de Binondo, a
building of brick, stone, and wood located near the Escolta on what is now San
Vicente, between San Jacinto and Nueva. An old print shows the facade of the twostory building, with arches on the ground floor and a colonnade and balus- trade on
the second floor. A spacious lobby led into the semicircular auditorium. The seating
included palcos
180
(boxes) classified as principales and segundas or first and second class; plateas
(tiered seats) on the main floor; and the tertulia or paraiso (gallery), the uppermost
section. The Teatro de Binondo, also known in its heyday as Teatro Espafiol, was
inaugurated in 1846 but by the 1860s was no longer functioning. The Teatro de
Principe Alfonso, later called Teatro Espafiol, built in 1862, was of light construction,
i.e., largely of wood, with probably a tin roof. It was lo- cated on the Campo de
Arroceros in what is now the area between Quezon Bridge and MacArthur Bridge. It
accomodated 650. With its reputed capacity of 2,500, the Teatro Circo de Bilibid was
the largest in its time. Called Circo because of its circular plan, and de Bilibid, being

lo- cated opposite the Bilibid prison, it was originally a bullring. Its roof was of wood
and metal. It flourished in the 1870s, became a cockpit in 1880, and was destroyed by a typhoon in 1882. Similar in shape to the Teatro Circo de Bilibid was the
Teatro de Novedades, later known as Teatro de Variedades. It was originally an
octagonal pavilion for public dances, and was converted to a theater in 1878. It was
located opposite the Principe Alfonso. Across the Pasig, at the corner of Calle San
Roque and Calle General Echague, was the Teatro Filipino; built in 1880, it has a
rectangular building of wood with a galvanized-iron roof. It had one tier of boxes, the
best of which were near the stage. Considered the most prestigious in its time was
the Teatro Circo Zorrilla, named after the Spanish poet and playwright Jose Zorrilla y
Moral. Inaugurated in 1893, it was located at the corner of the Calzada de Iris and
Calle San Pedro, the area now bounded by Recto Avenue, Quezon Boulevard, and
Calle Evangelista. The circular hall accomodated 1,352-four in the palco de honor
(box of honor), 48 in palcos arranged in tiers, 400 in the butacas (orchestra seats),
and 900 in the galeria (general admission section). The Zorrilla was the venue for
sarswela, opera, drama, concerts, and the early movies. It was demolished in 1936.
The Teatro Tagalo de Tondo or Coliseo de Tondo, which flourished from 1840 to 1890,
was originally of bamboo and nipa and later of wood, with a metal roof. The Teatro
Infantil de Dulumbayan was 24m wide and 34 m deep. Its facade was of sawali; the
stage had a nipa roof and a floor of wood and bamboo. It had 14 palcos, 30 butacas,
12 seats in the orchestra pit, and a five-tiered galeria with bamboo seats. The Teatro
Guifio was 6 m wide and 14 m deep, roof-less, and collapsible so that it could be
easily transported. The only true opera house of the 19th century was
that established in Pandacan ca 1887 by a Franciscan Friar Cipriano Gomez. The
theater was exclusively for opera performed by native singers who were trained by
an Italian teacher. Its orchestra was conducted by Ladislao Bonus. The Manila Grand
Opera House, was built in 1902; it followed the traditional design, being provided
with tiers of boxes around the main floor. In this build- ing the First Philippine
Assembly was inaugurated on 16 Oct 1907. The building was burned in 1943 and
was rebuilt with a cinema-style auditorium. The Metropolitan Theater, inaugurated
in 1931, was built along Arroceros, the 19th-century theater district. A masterwork
of Juan Arellano, it may be considered Manila's first modern theater. It was designed for plays, opera, symphony concerts, and cine- ma. The orchestra, loge, and
balcony of the auditorium accomodated 1,670. Destroyed in WWII, it was res- tored
in 1978. The Rizal Theater, designed by National Artist Juan F. Nakpil, was the first
theater in Makati. Although normally used as a movie house, it had a large stage
suitable for ballets and musicals. The au- ditorium had one sloping floor with
orchestra, loge, and balcony forming one vast space. A fine example of
contemporary theater design, it was unfortunately de- molished to give way to highrise buildings. The Meralco Theater, designed by Jose Zaragoza,
THEATER. Inaugurated In 1846, the Teatro Espai\ol was one of the elegant theaters
of brick, stone, and wood In Manila. (Lopez Museum Collection)
TEATRO
is likewise of the one-floor type. Operas, musicals, and concerts have graced its
spacious stage. It is a major feature of the Meralco Building located on Ortigas
Avenue in Pasig. The main building of the Cultural Center of the Philippines,
inaugurated in 1969, houses a 1,805-seat theater, called the Tanghalang Nicanor

Abelardo; a 402-seat theater, called the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolen- tino; and. an
experimental space, called Tanghalang Huseng Batute, which seats a maximum of
250; as well as art galleries, a museum, rehearsal rooms, and offices. A major work
of National Artist Leandro V. Locsin, the building rises prominently on reclaimed land
along Roxas Boulevard. The main theater has an orchestra section, parterre boxes,
two balconies, and two tiers of side boxes, as well as a large orchestra pit. Its stage
is the best equipped in the country, provided with flies and a sophisticated lighting
system. R. D. Perez III
References: Atayde 1892; Buenaventura 1979; Banas 1969.
181
FORMS
TREE HOUSE
The tree house, built either on tree stumps or limbs, has been a rarity in the
country. Early 20th- century anthropologists and travellers have documented it as
existing only in a few parts of northern Luzon among such groups as the Ilongot and
the Gaddang, in north-central Mindanao among the Bukidnon, and in some areas in
Eastern Mindanao, among the Manobo of Agusan and the Mandaya of Davao. It is
usually found in places where violent intercommunity strifes and night attacks were
frequent. Occasionally, it was a practical solution to frequent flooding in low-lying
areas and to wild animals prowling at night. One of the earliest accounts of the tree
house was written by the Frenchman Paul de la Gironiere in the early 19th century.
Writing about the dwelling and settlement patterns of the Tinguian of Palan, northwest Abra, he noted that the Tinguian had a day and a night abode. The day abode
was a typical bamboo and straw hut of modest proportions, while the night a:bode,
called alligang, was even smaller and perched high on a tree top, about 18-24 m
above ground, as a precaution against surprise nocturnal attacks of the Guinana,
their arch-enemy. In 1913 Fay Cooper Cole wrote on the tree houses of the Mandaya
of Mindanao. Cole noted two types of tree houses: firstly, those that rest "on the
limbs of trees, conforming in size and shape to the nature of the supporting
branches," and secondly, those built on trees whose crowns had been "cut off some
4.5 or 6 m above the ground leaving the stump to serve as a part of the
foundation." Houses of the first type have slop- ing roofs and may or may not have
side walls. For those without horizontal sides, the roofs slope directly from a central
ridgepole to the edges of the plat-form making the side walls unnecessary. In the
second type, many smaller poles are added to support the flooring and also to
extend the space upward to form the framework for both the walls and the roof.
Either type of house is entered by means of a notched pole or a bamboo or rattan
ladder, which is drawn up at night to prevent illegal entry and surprise attacks by
warring groups. The tree house is often located on the edge of cliffs and can be
approached only from one direction. However fragile in appearance, the Mandaya
tree house could endure even the worst storms; the whole house may move and
creak with each strong wind but it always remains safely in place. Using no nails nor
hardware, the structure is firmly lashed together with rattan and during turbulent
weather further secured
182

HOUSE ON A TREE. Erected on the branches of a tree, the Manobo dwelling was
often fenced with thomy bamboos and had a hidden entrance, to discourage attacks
by enemy tribes. (Garvan 1931. American Historical Co//ecffon)
by anchoring the house with the help of strong vines to nearby trees. Despite its
limited size, this house can also accommodate two to three families living together,
as by custom suitors and husbands of married daugh- ters reside with the women's
folk. Several other tribal groups are reported to have tree houses, namely, the
Gaddang of northern Luzon, whose thatched-pile dwellings are built right into the
high-forked branches of a tree; some members of the Higaonon tribe of Bukidnon,
whose swaying high-rise dwellings are connected by a wobbly cat-walk to a central
communal room; the Ilongot, whose houses are scattered and concealed in the
forest, fenced with fal- len trees and thorny bamboo, and approached by way of a
hidden entrance; as well as other groups like the Tiruray, the Manobo, the Aeta, and
other groups. A further development of the tree house concept may be seen in
houses propped up on poles as tall as trees in elevations ranging from 6--18 m
above the ground, among such peoples as the Bilaan.
The aforementioned groups, however, also main- tain other types of piled dwellings,
moving to the tree house only during critical periods when defense is important.
C. Hila
References: Cole 1913; Dacanay 1988; De Leon 1982; Gironerie 1972.
TRIBUNAL
During the Spanish era the tribunal or casa tri- bunal (from Spanish "casa," house
and "tribunal"), usually built along or near the plaza which fronted the church, was
the town's court of law. A feature that distinguished it from the casa real (town hall)
was the presence of a calabozo (jail) usually on the first floor of the two-story
structure or in the most secure area of a one-story structure. The two-story casa
tribunal did not differ much from the bahay na bato (stone house) except that some
tribunal, were made entirely of stone and had balconies jutting out of the facade.
The one- story type was similar to the school-house. When a town had no casa
tribunal, the casa real or the conven- to in the church complex served as tribunal;
hence the stories about friars imprisoning and punishing dissi- dents in the
convento.
TRIBUNAL
A development of the calabozo in the tribunal was the construction of institutions
and colonies during the 19th century, the best examples of which are Bilibid in
Manila and San Ramon in Zamboanga. Another com- mon penal practice during this
century was deporta- tion to Mindanao, Paragua (now Palawan) or the Marianas.
Deportation had a double purpose: punish- ment and the creation of communities in
areas not under Spanish rule. Prisoners-whether criminals, vagabonds, prosti- tutes,
or political dissidents-were housed in bahay kubo (nipa hut) settlements organized
by the civil gov- ernment. In some cases, areas of deportation were disorganized
when the prisoners built whenever and however they pleased. Missionaries sent to
these areas are often credited with organizing the towns following the norms of
colonial town planning. R. Javellana

References: El Archipelago 1900; Castaneda 1964.


TOWN COURT. The tribunal In Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, where community
leaders would meet In Spanish colonial times, also housed a prison for criminals and
poiiHcal dissidents. (Worcester 1898, Ayala Museum Collection)
183
FORMS
TSALET
The tsalet (from French "chalet," sheltered place) originally referred to the Swiss
peasant house character- ized by a steep roof, an ornamented gable, and upper
floors projecting over the lower ones. In the Philippines the term is used for the
compactly planned, one-story suburban house that appeared during the early
decades of the 20th century. The tsalet could also be a two-story structure with
living quarters on the upper floor or a one-story house elevated above the ground.
The house embodied prindples of tropical architec- ture popularized by the
government architect William Parsons. The one-story house, like the bahay kubo
(nipa hut) was raised 50 em or more above the ground to avoid the humidity of the
earth. The first floor of the two-story house, like that of the bahay na bato (stone
house) was an empty space. Concrete was used for its foundations and piers. A
prominent feature was the veranda built in front of the house or on three sides of it,
which was often adorned with carved railings. Entrance to the house was through a
simple set of stairs at the very center of the house facade, or through an L-or Tshaped concrete or wooden stairway. Stairs were usually concrete but could also be
of wood. The house, made of wood, had large windows, a departure from those of
the Swiss prototype
184
which were small and hung as casements. Neither was its galvanized-iron roof as
low pitched nor as largely projected at the eaves as in the continental variety. Instead the roof had vents to allow the free flow of air, thus cooling the structure.
Compared with the older bahay na bato, the tsalet was simple, comfortable, and not
ostenta- tious, although some used decorative elements like lat- tice work and
carved transoms. Planned as a quadrilater- al, the tsalet had the amenities of
modem living: a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. The
tsalet, often built in a lot with trees and flower gardens, was a comfortable home for
the urbanized middle class that emerged and grew under the Amer- ican colonial
period. There were different variations, i.e., with adaptations of the continental,
American (the log-cabin type), and native models, and with some local details. A
notable example is the present Cafe Ysabel along P. Guevarra in San Juan. M. P.
Consing/C. Hila/R. Javellana
Reference: Perez III 1990.
ONE-STORY HOUSE. This American period tsalet In Qulapo, Manila features carved
railings, latticework, and a veranda In Iron! of the house. (Costaiteda 1964, Nlcanor
G. T/ong1011 Collection)

TULAY
The tulay, also known as taytay, and puente (Spanish) is a bridge, i.e., a horizontal
structure that provides passage between two points separated by. a depression, a
body of water, or a thoroughfare. Ethnic Philippine bridges are constructed of pliant
but sturdy materials, like bamboo and coconut trunks. The Mandaya of Davao
Oriental, when building houses above bamboo marshes, connect them with bamboo
bridges without handrails. Even today, the bamboo or coconut bridge is found in
areas where the government has not built suitable infrastructure. Tall bamboo poles
or coconut trunks are lashed together from the piers of the bridge. The number of
piers depends upon the distance to be spanned. The piers support girders, which in
turn carry the bamboo poles that form the passage. The bridge may have a handrail, often to one side. At the turn of the century American engineers documented
more elaborate in- digenous bridges. One, built over a river in the Carigara-Barugo
road in Leyte, consisted of dressed wood beams and planks and had a geometrically
de- signed wooden handrail and a nipa roof. Stone bridges were introduced by the
Spaniards in the Philippines. An early stone bridge, the Puente de Espana, built in
1630 over the Pasig, east of the site presently occupied by Jones Bridge, consisted
of ellip- tical arches of stone resting on massive stone piers. The bridge was
renovated a number of times, and by
TULAY
RUSTIC BRIDGE. Bridges constructed of pliant but sturdy materials, like this one In
Lanao province, are sHII used today In many parts of the country. (Philippine
lntemational Magazine, Fel/c/ng Tlrona Ubrary and Arts Center Collecffon)
the l~th century had steel members imported from France. Many stone bridges
were built in the pro- vinces, often at the initiative of the missionaries. Batanes
abounds with old bridges built by the Domini- cans. Sorsogon still has a number of
stone bridges, so does Leyte in Ormoc and Cebu in Cauayan, Dala- guete, and
Samboan. A bridge of earthwork was built during the 19th century in Bohol to link
the towns of Tagbilaran and Dauis. In 1852 a suspension bridge, Puente Colgante,
was built over the Pasig at the site presently spanned by the Quezon Bridge. This
suspension bridge was a technological innovation made possible by the use of steel.
A suspension Bridge consists of tall piers of steel or masonry built on both banks of
a river. A pair of stout cables are hung from the piers. Smaller cables that support
the roadway are hung from the cable. Suspension bridges were built in other parts
of the Philippines where piers could not be sunk into the river bed. One such bridge
was built in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental. During the American period bridgebuilding took on a faster pace as the colonial governmen~ aimed to improve
transportation. Deteriorating bridges were re- paired or replaced by new ones.
American-built bridges were of three types. The most durable, the steel bridge,
consisted of girders or trusses resting on concrete piers sunk into the riverbed. The
roadway could be made of sturdy lumber, like molave, or paved with asphalt. A rung
below the steel bridge was the wooden bridge that spanned creeks and rivulets.
This
185
FORMS

bridge followed the structural design of the girder bridge or consisted of a triangular
arch, with the bases embedded in the earth and the apex supporting the span. The
structure supported the roadway which was flanked by railings on either side. A
third type of bridge, similar to the pontoon bridge, rested on the surface of the
water and was used while a permanent bridge was being repaired or built. Many
American-built bridges are still used today. The Ayala Bridge over the Pasig is one
example. Dur- ing the American regime, the hispanic bridges built over the Pasig
were replaced by new ones. Jones Bridge replaced Puente de Espana; Quezon
Bridge re- placed Puente Colgante; and two new bridges, Santa Cruz and Ayala
Bridges, were built. The pre-WWII Jones Bridge was designed by Juan Arellano. The
Quezon Bridge used art deco motifs. The bridges over the Pasig were destroyed
during WWII and rebuilt after the war. Other American-built bridges can be seen all
over the Philippines. One of the longest bridges, found in Carmen, Pangasinan, was
unfortunately damaged by the earthquake of 1990. With the introduction of
reinforced concrete, bridges took on simpler lines. Massive piers built into the
riverbed support reinforced-concrete girders. The roadways are paved with concrete
or asphalt and are flanked by pedestrian walkways with concrete rail186
URBAN BRIDGE. The Puente de Espai\a was one of two bridges crossing the Paslg
River during the Spanish regime. (Hannaford 7899, Lopez Museum Collection)
ings. Bridges of the type were built during the Philip- pine Republic period.
Reinforced concrete and better engineering tech- niques spurred the construction of
lighter and longer bridges to span not only waters but low areas and the
intersections of roads. From the 1960s to the 1980s the government prided itself in
improving the infrastruc- ture of the Philippines. Highways were built to link the
capital, Manila, with provinces north and south. At intersections, where heavy traffic
was expected to con- verge, overpasses were built. Elevated pedestrian walkways
were also built over roads with heavy uaffic. The North Expressway has an elevated
portion, the Candaba Viaduct, which stretches for about 40 km above flood-prone
areas. To link together the Maharli- ka Highway, built on the eastern side of the
Philip- pines and projected to stretch from Luzon to Minda- nao, a bridge was built
over the San Juanico Strait dividing Samar and Leyte islands. The islands of Cebu
and Mactan were linked by a bridge across a channel that separated them. R.
Javellana
References: Dacanay 1988; Report of the Philippine Commission 1903.
).

ASPECTS
AWARDS
Awards are given to recognize the outstanding achievements of architects. While
awards for ar- chitecture are granted by various institutions and civic organizations,
the most cherished are those con- ferred by the professional organizations of
architects since these signify peer recognition. The oldest of these is the Gold Medal

of Merit (GMM) awarded by the Philippine Institute of Architects on architects who


have achieved excellence in their body of works. The GMM awardees include:
Andres Luna de San Pedro, 1949; Juan F. Nakpit 1951; Fernando H. Ocampo, 1953;
Tomas Mapua, 1954; Juan M. Arellano, 1958; Antonio M. Toledo, 1961; Cesar H.
Concio, 1964; Carlos E. da Silva, 1973; Jose Ma. Zaragoza, 1977; Leandro V. Locsin,
1978; Carlos D. Arguelles, 1988; Antonio S. Sindiong, 1989; Carlos A. Santos-Viola,
1990; and Cristobal B.C. Espana, 1991. The highest award granted by the United
Architects of the Philippines (UAP) is the Likha Award and Gold Medal. The UAP ByLaws, Article III, Sec- tion 5, describes the award as "the highest distinction that
may be bestowed by the National Board upon a Fellow of the United Architects of
the Philippines ... This award shall be given as a recognition of his having achieved
the highest standard of ethical conduct and excellence in the practice and service of
the architec- tural profession and for his distinguished contribution and service to
the UAP organization and to his com- munity, his government and country." In the
UAP's 17 years of existence, the Likha Award has been con- ferred only on three
achitects Felipe M. Mendoza,
188
1982; Leandro V. Locsin, 1987, and Gabriel P. Formoso, 1990. The Professional
Regulations Commission also confers awards on outstanding architects. The
awardees include: Otilio A. Arellano, 1977; Leandro V. Locsin, 1978; Gabriel P.
Formoso, 1979; Antonio V. Ascalon, 1980; Manuel T. Maftosa Jr, 1981; Felipe M.
Mendoza, 1982; Gregorio G. Segura, 1983; Jose J. Herrera (posthumous), 1984;
Fernando B. Abad, 1985; Cesar V. Canchela, 1988; Geronimo V. Manahan, 1989;
Norberta M. Nuke, 1990; Aquiles C. Paredes, 1991; and Froilan L. Hong, 1992. The
Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan Awards, instituted in 1963 by the Office of the
Mayor of the City of Manila, are conferred every year on 24 June as part of the
celebration of the Araw ng Maynila. The award- ees for architecture include:
Fernando H. Ocampo, 1964; Tomas Mapua, 1964; Andres Luna de San Pedro, 1964;
Arcadio Arellano, 1966; Juan M. Arellano, 1967; Juan F. Nakpil, 1968; Cesar H.
Concio, 1969; Otilio A. Arellano, 1970; Pablo S. Antonio, 1971; Gabino A. de Leon,
1971; Leandro V. Locsin, 1972; lldefonso P. Santos, 1972; jose Ma. Zaragoza, 1973;
Angel E. Nakpil, 1974; Carlos E. da Silva, 1975; Felipe M. Mendoza, 1976; Gabriel P.
Formoso, 1977; Manuel T. Maftosa Jr, 1978; Ruperto C. Gaite, 1979; and Jesus M.
Bondoc, 1980; Carlos A. Santos-Viola, 1981; Francisco
AWARDEES. The NaHonal Artist Award, Instituted In 1972, has been given to only
three architects: left to right, Juan F. Nakpll, 1973; Pablo S. Antonio, 1976; and
Leandro V. Locsln, 1990 (Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection).
MEDAL OF EXCELLENCE. The National Artist Award medallion represents the sun and
tricolor of the Republic, with the CCP logo of three K's In the ancient Tagalog
syllabary at center. (Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collecffon)
T. Mafl.osa, 1982; Jorge Ramos, 1983; Francis L. Arcenas, 1984; Ruben L. Mariano,
1984; Engracio L. Mariano, 1985; Francisco B. Fajardo, 1985; Carlos D. Arguelles,
1988; Antonio S. Sindiong, 1989; Ramon Faustmann, 1991; and Cesar V. Canchela,
1992. The Republic Cultural Heritage Awards were also given in the field of
architecture. Among the awardees are Carlos Arguelles, 1968; Leandro V. Locsin,
1970; Samahang Nakpil, Nakpil, Nakpil at Nakpil, 1971; Pablo Antonio, 1972; and

Gabriel Formoso, 1973. Considered the highest honor for an architect and for any
artist is the National Artist Award, conferred by the Philippine government through
the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and now also through the National
Commission on Culture and Arts. The National Artist awards were instituted in 1972,
and since then only three architects have received it: Juan F. Nakpil in 1973, "for his
outstanding talents and services in creating edifices, both private and public, that
are conceptually well designed and conscientious- ly executed"; Pablo S. Antonio in
1976, "for his unique creations and distinct contributions to Philippine architecture
and to the developing culture of the na- tion"; and Leandro V. Locsin in 1990, "for his
triumph in combining in a forceful and dramatic fashion the precision of engineering
technology with the princi- ples of aesthetics." R. Javellana
References: Araw ng Maynila 1992; National Artists Folio 1973, 1976, 1990; UAP
1990.
CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS
CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS
After architectural designs are made or decided upon, the process of construction
begins. In this process, materials are prepared, formed, and assembled in va- rious
ways or methods to create habitable structures.
Structural Forms
A building consists essentially of space and struc- ture. The form of space is defined
by the structure that encloses it. The extent of space covered by the struc- ture is
determined by the strength of its materials or by the manner in which such
materials are put together. There are several forms or systems of construc- tion.
Post-and-lintel construction consists of a horizon- tal member, called lintel or beam,
supported at both ends by vertical members, called posts or columns. On the
horizontal member rests a load consisting of a section of a wall, floor, or roof.
Wooden buildings, like the bahay na bato (stone house) and ethnic houses, employ
this type of construction. Greek temples made of marble were built using this form.
This basic pattern is followed in the steel skeletons for highrise buildings. An arch is
a curved structure used to span open- ings or to support a wall or roof. The arch was
de- veloped by ancient builders, particularly the Romans, who, aware of the limited
tensile strength of stone, nonetheless devised a way of using it to span considerable widths. Thus the early form of arch consisted of wedge-shaped blocks,
arranged in a curve, with their joints perpendicular to the curve. With such construction, the downward thrust of the weight was resolved into horizontal or diagonal
pressures, enabling the builders to cover larger spans than did the post-and- lintel
system. The Romans used arches for various structures such as large halls, bridges,
and aqueducts. In the Philippines, the arch was introduced during the Span- ish
colonial period. It was used for openings, structu- ral supports, arcades, and bridges.
A vault is a curved-stone structure covering a space. The vault developed from the
arch, using the same principle of construction. A vault may be de- scribed as an
arch extended along its depth. The sim- plest form of vault is the tunnel vault or
barrel vault. The walls of Intramuros contain a number of vaults. While stone vaults
were common features in European churches, very few Philippine churches use
them be- cause of the danger caused by earthquakes.

189
ASPECTS
ETHNIC CONSTRUCTION. Ethnic houses are built of sturdy materials. Shown Is the
framework of an llugao house, right, (Barton 7979, American Historical Collection);
the roofing of an lvatan house uses thick cogon grass, far right. (Emesto R.
Caballero 1991, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection).
A dome is a vault of hemispherical shape. It may be visualized as an arch turned on
its axis. The earliest domes were made of stone, following the principle of the arch.
Modern domes are made of reinforced con- crete or steel. The dome of the Chapel
of the Holy Sacrifice at the University of the Philippines is a reinforced-concrete shell
only 24 em thick. A truss is a frame composed of horizontal, verti- cal, and diagonal
members, used in the construction of roofs and bridges. Since the triangle is the
most stable shape in construction, the various parts of a truss form an assemblage
of triangles. The overall form of an ordinary roof truss is a triangle. A truss may also
have the form of a wide curve like an arch. A cantilever is a slab, beam, truss, or
any structu- ral member projecting beyond its support, whether wall, column, or
girder. Cantilevers are used for wide roof overhangs, canopies, and balconies. The
use of cantilevers makes modern buildings more exciting in appearance since a
structure sup- ported on only one side gives the impression of being suspended or
being afloat. Whereas traditional build- ings solidly supported on all sides are
awesome for their stability, modern buildings employing cantilevers suggest
movement, particularly a horizontal thrust. Cantilevers serve a practical purpose
since they provide covered space that is free from any obstruction on its open sides,
thereby allowing unimpeded move- ment. For this reason they are standard devices
for entrances and waiting areas. The front of the Cultural Center of the Philippines
Main Building is dominated by a huge cantilevered block sheltering the entrance.
190
A space frame is a three-dimensional structural framework in which all members are
interconnected to maximize stability and to effect resistance to loads ap- plied in
any direction. While the members of a truss lie on one plane, comprising height and
width, the mem- bers of a space frame function in terms of height, width, and
depth. The steel skeleton of a multistory building is a type of space frame. However,
the term is more properly applied to a construction consisting of two parallel grids
connected by diagonal or zigzagging bars. Space frames can span widths of a
hundred meters or more, and have been used in the construc- tion of domes.
Because of its light construction, the space frame is one of the most economical
structures for covering wide expanses. With its active play of lines and pleasing
design, it is regarded as a work of technological art and can therefore be left
exposed. The computer has contributed to the increasing use of space frames since
the long, complex calculations needed in their design can now be rapidly accomplished.
The Ethnic Tradition
Ethnic architecture is based on a precise know- ledge of the durability, strength, and
possible use of materials found in the environment, like wood, leaves, rocks, and
sometimes mud. As in most of Southeast Asia, the most common material is

bamboo, which is used for posts, beams, flooring, siding, and roofing. This may be
used whole, split, flattened, or woven into sawali or amacan.
Building materials for ethnic houses include coco- nut wood and leaves; bakawan
(mangrove); woods, such as narra, pine, molave or molaven, maulauin, mulawin,
molaven, and tugas for posts, beams and flooring; pawid or nipa, cogan grass, husk,
and bana- na bark for sidings; and palm fronds, anahaw, and runo for roofing. The
use of these materials may be seen in the Ifugao house which has a roof of cogan,
walls and floors of wooden planks, and four sturdy wooden posts that raise it above
the ground. The Tausug bay sinug has a porch that is a bamboo platform built on
bamboo posts and a living area resting on sturdy posts of wood. The kitchen, a
separate structure connected by a bridge to the main house, is made of bamboo or
wood planks. The Samal, whose houses are built on piles driven into the reef floor,
use coconut wood, mangrove, or other trees for posts, and nipa and sawa- li for
sidings and roofing. The daet-daet or lean-to of the Mamanua Negrito is an
impromptu windscreen of leaves of wild banana, coconut fronds, or grass laid on a
framework of twigs. The bahay kubo or nipa hut, the ethnic house of the lowland
Filipino, utilizes its build- ing materials with great skill. Split bamboo might be woven
into pleasing chevron or diamond-shaped pat- terns. Regional variations in the use
of material is evident. In the Tagalog region, sidings are generally of nipa while in
the Visayas, these are made of bamboo, split, flattened, or woven. Ethnic houses
are owner built, with the house- holder seeking assistance from relatives and
friends, while the owner provides food and drink in a system
CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS
of communal help, called bayanihan by lowland Filipi- nos. Master carpenters might
be engaged for complex work that demands expertise and might be paid for their
labor. Skills are passed on from generation to generation or from master to
apprentice as among the carvers of the panolong, the decorative beam-end, found
in the Maranao longhouse or torogan.
The Spanish Colonial Tradition
The many building requirements during the Span- ish period took advantage of the
wide variety of mate- rials available in the country. The first houses and churches,
hewing closely to indigenous design, used wood, bamboo, and thatch. Thatch roofs
continued to be built in the 20th century inspite of improved mate- rials and
techniques. Filipino carpenters were experts at determining which woods were best
suited for par- ticular functions. Malave was best for house posts because it was
distasteful to termites. It hardened with age and although imbedded in the ground,
did not rot. Narra was a favorite for tabla (floorboards), because of its deep red color
and sheen when polished. Narra came in red and yellow; both planks could be combined to make a floor more colorful. Nails were not used until much later; wooden
pegs and dovetailed joints kept the pieces in place, while allowing them freedom of
movement during tremors. Woods noted for durability that were used for
construction and other purposes included: acle or acli for buildings and ships;
amugis for planks; baticulin or batikuling for sculpture and furniture; bansaluguin or
bansalagin for wood bolts and handles of hammers and axes; calantas for cigar
boxes, frames, and fur- nishings; ebano or camagong for furniture; dungon, dongol,
or dongon for house posts, ties, bridges, ships, and other construction; guijo or

guiso for house construction; ipil for house posts, doors, and other construction;
laniti or lanete for furniture; lauan, a generic name for a number of species used for
con- struction; madre de cacao or kakauati for beams; api- tong, a generic name for
lumber from the panau tree and other diterocarps used for lumber; magcono, mangkono, or magkano, a tree found in the Visayas and Mindanao used for pillars and
house posts; mangacha- poi, from a species of Hopea used for planks, bridges, and
other construction; supa for furniture, boards, and other construction; tindalo or
balayong for furniture; and yacal or yakal, from different species of Hopea and
Shorea used for rafters. Many of these woods continue to be used for present-day
construction and for the same purposes given. Unfortunately, many more are
becoming rare.
191
ASPECTS
With the discovery of stone quarries in the Guada- lupe area along the Pasig in the
1580s by the Bishop of Manila Domingo de Salazar and the Jesuit Antonio Sedefto
the art of masonry began to spread slowly throughout the archipelago. Buildings of
cut stone, such as those in Manila, were described as de silleria or de cal y
canto/calicanto. Outside Manila, the skill of hewing and cutting stone did not spread
so rapidly, and buildings were erected using variously shaped rocks and river
stones; this type of construction, known as rubblework, was called de mamposteria.
The art of brickmaking was introduced at the same time as building in stone.
Whereas brick was imported from Mexico during the first two decades of Spanish
rule, Bp Salazar could boast to the King of Spain, in a letter of 1595, that the
Chinese supplied locally fired bricks that made imports unnecessary. Red clay, terracotta, or earthware, molded in rectangular wooden forms, was fired in kilns to
produce ladrillos (bricks), used for walls, tejas (roof tiles), and baldosas (floor tiles).
Clay was used to make the decorative tiles and bricks that adorn the Dominican
churches in the Cagayan Valley. Sometimes floors were paved with heavy slabs of
granite left over from Chinese junks, where they were used as ballasts. These are
popularly called piedra china. Stones and bricks were bound together by arga- masa
(mortar) which was chiefly a mixture of slaked lime, sand, and water. Lime was
obtained from lime- stone quarries, like the famous one of Binangonan, or from
coral rocks and seashells, which were ground and fired in an open pit or kiln. The
ancient kilns at Tuguegarao, Cagayan and Balingasag, Misamis Orien- tal still exist.
According to oral lore, ingredients, such as plant sap, molasses, and even eggs,
were mixed into the mortar to make it more durable or binding. Another important
function of mortar was to pro- tect masonry walls from erosion brought about by
humidity and. strong rains. A layer of mortar, called paletada, was used on exteriors
and interiors. It was also carved to provide ornamentation for facades and
entrances. For interiors, the paletada provided the ground on which paint was
applied. Paletada was probably applied with a trowel and covered by mats to protect
it until it dried. Tabique pampango (from Arabic "thasbik," wall), also called barasbaras (from Cebuano "bara-baras," mangrove), was a type of wattle-and-daub
construc- tion made of a framework covered with lime and often used for interior
walls. Called pampango, because the earliest examples are said to have come from
Pampan- ga, tabique was sometimes used for exterior walls,
192

especially on higher stories, as on the second floor of the bahay na bato or the
cimborio (dome) of a church. The earliest description of tabique comes from
Martinez de Zuniga, 1799, who describes a wall made by raising vertical pieces of
timber and weaving onto them a mesh of split bamboo. The most common example employed a framework of bamboo mesh, simi- lar but stronger than amacan
or sawali, over which lime mortar was applied. The tabique at the convento at
Loboc, Bohol has a coating of lime mortar on thin, scoured, and serrated wood
planks. Sometimes man- grove was used because it was impervious to moisture. A
rare example of tabique is found in the church of Jabonga, Agusan, where the planks
were wrapped with ropes of cabo negro or the pith of a palm tree. Tabique, being a
light material and easy to make, was used in many bahay na bato. However, with
the passage of time, tabique tended to flake and finally break apart, especially if the
framework was improper- ly aged or treated. With the improvement of building
methods, the discovery of quarries, and the construction of kilns, various parts of
the Philippines began to be characte- rized by the building material most commonly
used. Most of the buildings in Manila and central Luzon were of volcanic tuff, locally
known as adobe. In
northern Luzon brick was a popular building material. Houses and churches of bricks
are also found in scat- tered areas all the way to Jolo. Towns along the coasts of
Luzon used roughly hewn blocks from coral reefs, while construction in the Bicol
Peninsula took advan- tage of the abundance of volcanic stone. In the Visayas the
art of cutting coral was transformed into a virtual fine art, with blocks fitting so
precisely into each other that not even a razor blade could be inserted between
them. So durable was this material that it did not need a layer of paletada. The art
was brought to Mindanao by Visayan settlers. Cut coral, called piedra de visayas or
tabliya, was quarried from coral reefs during low tide. Dams were raised to hold
back sea water, while the rocks were being cut loose. Coral was then shaped into
blocks at the shore. Earlier churches, such as that of Baclayon, Bohol, used large
blocks, but 19th-century churches, like Liloan, Cebu and Dauis, Bohol, used blocks
of smaller size. Piedra de visayas has enjoyed a resur- gence in recent times as a
veneer for concrete walls. It is now known as Mactan stone. Since glass was
imported, hence expensive and rare, window panes were made from the shell of the
translucent capiz clam. These shells, cut into squares, were mo1t1nted into a
wooden lattice. The shells allowed light to filter through. During the mid-19th
century, improved shipping and the opening of the Suez Canal allowed the
importation of glass panes, clear and colored, and other modem materials, such as
sim (zinc) or plancha (galvanized-iron sheets). Because tile roofs broke during
earthquakes and posed a hazard to the passersby, tiles were replaced by metal
CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS
sheets. After the devastating earthquake of 18 Jul1880, the Consultative Council for
Public Works also issued ordinances that stipulated, among other things, the
preference for hydraulic or Portland cement over other materials. Building materials
imported for their prestige value included azulejos or glazed tiles, black marble,
stamped-metal sheets for ceilings, and cast-iron fix- tures. Inspite of their name, not
all azulejos were blue; a good number were polychromed. These tiles were used as
finishing for walls and floors, as in the Nagcar- lan Church in Samar; the Basey
Church in Samar, where the tiles used are predominantly yellow; and in the
Archdiocesan Seminary of Naga, Camarines Sur, where the tiles are polychromed.

Black marble, alter- nated with white to produce a checker-board or harle- quin
pattern, was used to replace the wooden floors of many churches and other public
buildings. The Machuca Company in Manila produced a cement ver- sion of these
tiles, which used marble dust and were very popular during the 20th century. The
twin dangers of fire and earthquake shaped the development of colonial
architecture. With the sig- nificant exception of churches, buildings were rarely more
than two-stories high. Stone walls were as much as 3 m thick, or were strengthened
by buttresses. Stone was generally kept to the first or ground story; the second
level was built of wood. In the absence of professional architects, public
construction initiated by both civil and religious au- thority from the 16th to the 18th
centuries relied on the ingenuity and training of the priest or the local official.
Although the Spanish crown sent military engineers to
CUT STONE AND RUBBLE WORK. De silleria or de cal y canto construction employs
hewed and cut stones, as In the entrance of the Bosoboso Church bell tower (detail),
far left, In Rlzal. The Maragondon Church In Ccvlte, built ca 1600, employed the de
mamposteria construction, left, using variously shaped rocks and stones. (Jove/lana
199t Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Co//ecffon)
193
ASPECTS
supervise construction throughout the colonial period, it was in 1805 that the corps
of government engineers was organized and only in 1867 that the Obras Publicas
was established. By the late 19th century there was a sufficient number of
professionally trained builders and architects to take charge of construction. Early
builders may have relied on a classic, such as the first century BC's Ten Books on
Architecture by the Roman architect Vitruvius. The practical knowledge gained by
friars and priests may have been codified. The Augustinian Juan de Albarran, builder
of the San- to Nino Shrine in Cebu, 1735, wrote down his experi- ence of building as
a guide for future friar-builders. Misrepresented in 19th- and 20th-century bibliographies as a full-blown architectural handbook called Modo de construir iglesias y
conventos en las Islas Filipinas (Way of Constructing Churches and Conven- tos in
the Philippine Islands), the manuscript written in 1739 is part (folio 80-88) of a
general report on the Santo Nino Shrine. The first four pages of the manu- script
report the friar's practical experience in procur- ing piedra de visayas and lime for
construction. The remaining folios contain a general discussion on architecture
based on European handbooks especially those written by Palladia, Juan de Arfe,
and Juan de Nicolas. A 19th-century architectural handbook by Manuel Herbella y
Perez, Manual de construcciones y de fortification de campafta en Filipinas (Manual
of Buildings and of Campaign Fortification in the Philip- pines), 1882, was primarily a
guide for military con- struction (Porras Alvarez 1991). The actual business of
building, both for public and private projects, was handled by the maestros de obras
(master builders) who imbibed their skills from friars, military engineers, and other
learned persons, on the one hand, and from practical experience, ori the other.
Pedro Jusepe, master builder of the walls of Intramuros in 1591, was probably a
Filipino. Merino theorizes that Filipinos were already at the helm of construction
projects within two decades after the founding of Manila. Anoi;}ler . master
carpenter- contractor was Jeronimo Tongco who worked on the walls of Intramuros.
A master builder of the 19th cen- tury was Bartolome Palatirlo who built the facade

of the Morong Church from 1850 to 1853. Severo Sacramento was commissioned to
renovate the Tayabas Church from 1855 to 1860. The government sought to
professionalize the work of the maestro by opening schools of arts and trades in
Pampanga, Iloilo, and Manila. In 1890 the Manila school graduated Arcadio Arellano,
its most outstanding maestro. Construction workers were paid a daily wage, but an
equally common practice was to contract the work
194
or the procurement of material to the maestro or to some person. The contractual
system, called pakyaw, which survives to the present, seems to have been favored
by the Chinese. The government also em- ployed a system of polo y servicio which
meant that able-bodied males were compelled to render labor for public
construction for a period of 60 days annually. Exceptions were allowed for the sickly,
the principalia, and those in military service. This system of conscript labor was
used for infrastructure, like the building of roads, bridges, forts, and harbors. During
the 17th cen- tury, most conscript labor in Luzon went toward the construction of
galleons-from felling timber and hew- ing to hauling it to the ports where the ships
were made. Parish priests sometimes requested authoriza- tion from the
government to use conscript labor for the construction and repair of ecclesiastical
buildings; such authorization, however, was at times grudgingly given.
The American Colonial and Contemporary Traditions
The United States gained control of the Philip- pines in 1898, and in 1901 the
Philippine Commission, the ruling body of the Philippines, created the Bureau of
Architecture and Control of Public Buildings. Although the Bureau was subsequently
abolished on 1 Nov 1905 and relegated to the level of a division, these acts of the
colonial government placed the supervision and control of the construction and
repair of public buildings squarely in government hands. In 1904 the American
Commissioner William Cameron Forbes asked Daniel Burnham to come to the
Philippines to make recommendations for the amelioration of Manila and Baguio.
Burnham asked for William E. Parsons to serve as consulting architect for the
Philippines, a post- Parsons occupied from 1905 to 1914. In 1914 he was joined by
George Fenhagen, and in 1916 by Ralph Harrington Doane who served until 1918.
Under the Jones Law, a Division of Architecture was created in which American. and
Filipino architects were employed. Carlos A. Baqeto, Antonio Toledo, Tomas Mapua,
and Juan Arellane worked with the Americans Parsons, Fenhagen, and Doane.
Parsons favored the use of reinforced concrete against natural stone. Concrete is
produced by mixing cement, sand, gravel (pebbles or crushed stones), and water,
and pouring this mixture into forms where it dries and hardens, becoming
monolithic. The strength of con- crete depends on the ratio of cement to sand and
stone and the amount of water used. The ancient Romans
used concrete made of broken bricks or stones and a cement of lime and volcanic
ash. It was not exposed but faced with brick or finely cut stone. Unlike the Roman
cement, modern cement is produced by burn- ing and pulverizing a mixture of clay
and limestone. Reinforced concrete or ferroconcrete (from Latin "ferrum," iron), is
concrete with steel bars laid in accordance with calculations for stress. While
concrete has a very heavy resistance to compression, its tensile strength is only
one-tenth of its compressive strength. Thus in a slab or beam supported at both

ends, where a load produces compression in the upper section and tension in the
lower, steel bars are laid in the lower section to take the tension. In a cantilevered
slab or beam, which is supported at one end, the reverse occurs. The upper section
is subjected to tensile stress, and the lower to compressive. Thus the position of the
steel bars is reversed. Reinforced concrete is remarkable for both its durability and
its plasticity. It can be shaped into thin shells, which are strengthened by their
curvature, such as domes, barrel roofs, saddle roofs, and hypar (hyperbolic
paraboloid) roofs and "umbrellas." It is also used in folded plate construction. Long
thin slabs are joined at their long edges to form what looked like pleats or accordion
folds, thereby reinforcing each other to produce rigidity. While concrete was
invented by the Romans, rein- forced concrete was invented by the French. After the
decline of Rome, concrete fell into disuse. It was reCONSTRUCTION METHODS AND MATERIALS
PREFABRICATION. The lnvenHon of prestressing led to the prefabrlcaHon of concrete
girders and beams for bridges, fly-overs, and other structures. (Freyulnet Philippines
Inc)
vived in France in the 18th century. The use of metal reinforcements came later. In
the 1830s concrete floors were constructed with an iron network. In the late 1870s
concrete columns and beams were reinforced with iron bars. Calculations for the
design of concrete structures developed in the 1870s in Germany and the United
States. Towards the end of the century factories with concrete framework were
constructed. The de- velopment of steel as a building material led to further
advances, such as prestressing. Reinforced concrete was introduced in the Philippines during the early American colonial period. The first beneficiaries of this type of
construction were the public elementary buildings, for which the amount of
Pl,OOO,OOO was allocated by the Gabaldon Act of 1907. Reinforced concrete also
lends itself to prefabrica- tion. Building components, such as wall sections, floor
slabs, columns, and beams, can be produced in a fac- tory, then transported and
assembled at the building site. Following Burnham's dictum that the Spanish colonial architecture should be the basis of a new style of architecture for the
Philippines, Parsons made use or arches, plain walls, and capiz windows in such
build- ings as the Philippine General Hospital and the Army- Navy Club. Cement, the
construction material favored by the American colonial government, was used not
only for walls and structural members but also for precast ornaments and fixtures,
like classical capitals, friezes, and reliefs for pediments. Government
195
ASPECTS
builders favored the neoclassical style, while in the 1930s art deco, which favored
ornamentation and precast-cement mouldings and relief, became popular. Glass
blocks, stained glass, and bakelite were materials frequently used in art deco and
art nouveau designs. Glass blocks allowed light to enter and were used on both
exterior and interior walls. Stained glass, used previously in churches, found its way
into domestic architecture. Bakelite, a precursor of plastic, was used for door knobs,
pulls, and appliances. The postwar period ushered in massive rebuild- ing. New
materials and techniques were introduced. Steel frame construction and reinforced

concrete allowed the construction of higher buildings. Other technological


advances, such as prefabrication and prestressed concrete, allowed the rapid
construction of buildings and the multiplication of housing units to meet the need of
a growing population. Prefabrication refers to the manufacture of build- ings or their
components before they are assembled or installed at the construction site.
Prefabrication of building parts originated in Eng- land in the late 18th century when
cast iron began to be used in the construction of bridges and factories. It was
further developed in the United States in the 19th century when metal items, such
as structural mem- bers, window frames, and facade panels, were mass produced.
In the 20th century, aluminum curtain walls were manufactured for high-rise
buildings. With the development of precast concrete, wall panels and floor slabs
began to be prefabricated. The invention of pre- stressing has led to the
prefabrication of concrete gir- ders and beams for bridges, elevated highways, and
buildings. Prefabrication was more intensively developed in the mid-20th century
with the increasing shortage of skilled labor, the swelling of the volume of construction, and the more extensive use of modular design, based on standard
measurements. Prefabrication has been especially suitable for low-cost housing and
school buildings. The oldest and most famous example of prefabri- cated
construction in the Philippines is the all-steel San Sebastian Basilica, all parts of
which were manufac196
tured in Belgium, shipped to Manila, and assembled at the site. Mass housing in
Vitas, Tondo, Manila consists of prefabricated units which are shaped like boxes and
stacked to a height of four stories in staggered arrange- ment, so that additional
units are created in the in- tervening space. Prestressed concrete marks a further
development in concrete construction. Prestressing means subject- ing a reinforcedconcrete beam to stress before it takes on the load for which it was designed.
Prestressing has made it possible to reduce the depth of concrete beams and to
increase their span. A reinforced-concrete beam can be designed to span any
length. However, the longer the span, the deeper the beam should be. Prestressing
reduces the size of a concrete beam by increasing its strength through induced
stresses that result in greater resist- ance to the load. In pretensioning, the tendons
or cables that rein- force the beam are pulled and held in tension before the
concrete is poured and until it has hardened. The tendons are then released and
their tension compress- es the concrete, increasing its strength. In posttensioning,
the tendons are enclosed in a sleeve or tube set in the concrete so that they do not
directly touch it. When the concrete, has hardened, the tendons are pulled against
it, thereby compressing it. In posttensioning, the stress on the tendons can be
adjusted to suit the load. The principle of prestressing can be illustrated by tightly
pressing together a row of books at both ends and lifting them up. The books are
held together by compression and can support the weight of an object placed on
them. The use of prestressed-concrete beams has en- abled architects to design
large clear spaces, such as lobbies, halls, and supermarkets with the fewest possible supports, or without any intervening supports. C. Hila/R.T. Jose/R.D. Perez III
with notes from R. Javellana
References: Herbella 1882; Porras Alvarez 1991.
DESIGN

Design in architecture refers to the planning, whether by professional architects or


folk builders, of any structure before it is built or as it is being built. It is the creative
process that aims to produce a structure, private or public, that fulfills the needs of
its future occupants/users. It considers the environment, cul- ture, and traditions of
these occupants; the climate, location, and other factors; as well as construction
methods and equipment, available materials, funds, workers, basic services, and
other circumstances or conditions--religious, social, political, economic-that have or
will have an effect on the structure that is being planned. The products of design are
known as architecture. As an art, architecture has elements of both paint- ing and
sculpture. In designing the facade and other elevations of a building, the architect
approaches his task like a painter, working in two dimensions, as he composes an
arrangement of lines and planes and considers light, shadow, and color. Taking the
three- dimensional approach of a sculptor, the architect envi- sions the building as a
volume or an assemblage of volumes--cubes, oblong blocks, pyramids, cylinders, or
hemispheres. What makes architecture distinct from painting and sculpture is the
design and ordering of space for
ISOMETRIC
IIIPA 1---------. KILO >----- -,
DESIGN
the purpose of satisfying human needs, whether this be the bodily need for shelter
or the psychological need for an aesthetic or spiritual experience. A build- ing is
primarily a space defined and organized by structure. As a work of art, a building is
designed not only to possess beauty but also to express meaning. As a science,
architecture is concerned with the usefulness and durability of a building. The
planning of interior spaces, including their forms, dimensions, interrelations, and
their relation with the environ- ment, has to do with the function or purpose of a
building. Since a building is primarily a shelter meant to provide protection from the
elements, its design takes into account the feature of climate-the heat of the sun,
the volume of rain, and the direction of the wind. In a tropical setting, a building is
expected to keep out heat and rain, and let in air for ventilation. Designing a
building for durability requires know- ledge of materials and structural systems. The
design of space is inseparable from the design of the struc- ture, which in simpler
forms would consist of founda- tions; vertical supports, such as columns and piers;
and horizontal supports, such as beams and girders, walls, floors, and the roof. More
sophisticated
NATIVE DESIGN. Shown Is the structure of the common bahay kuba or nlpa hut.
(Docanay 1992, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collection)
- - .-;,-"----- ----t JCAeAL Y!TE
r--- - ----------< PALUPO
- ----iKILO
r---------------i IINTUOOII
BALAN8KAS N8 BAHAY (NIP A)

197
ASPECTS
PROYECTO DE UNA CASA V.A-TEA/4-;- DE- COMPUESTA ('S FUER\t.S DE PIEDM.
Ml\OERA Y HIERRO GALV.ANIZNJO.
FACHADA
structures could employ arches, vaults, domes, but- tresses, space frames, or
cantilevers. The development and the variety of forms and styles in architecture
result not only from the inex- haustible richness of artistic imagination, but also
from progress in the science of construction. One might inquire whether an artistic
vision that sought to be expressed led to the invention of new construction
methods, or whether it was the discovery or invention of new materials and new
building methods that pro- vided greater latitude for innovation or for expressiveness in design. Architectlolre is not only the work of an individual designer but also
the product of a culture, and as such it reflects the values and the spirit of its time.
The major architectural works of a historical period dignify its dominant mood,
whether this be the longing for an experience of the divine, the glorification of
secular power, the affirmation of human dignity, the desire for efficiency, or the
exaltation of commerce and technolo- gy. On the other hand, since works of
architecture are commissioned by patrons or clients, they also repre- sent the
interests of the dominant class, whether these be political, economic, or cultural. Of
all the arts, architecture is the most visible and the most ubiquitous, since it
comprises the human198
CORTE.,._ __ _ _ ,!,
SPANISH INFLUENCE. Shown are the frontal elevaHon and CI'OIS section of a 19thcentury bahay no bato. (Zialclta 1980, Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary
Collectton)
made part of the environment, and serves the univer- sal need for shelter. It is the
art that is most closely bound with one's daily life, for to live is to be in shelter. The
process of architectural design begins with defining the purpose and requirements
of a building as envisioned by the owner or client. The architect then studies the
proposed site of the building, its size, shape, orientation, location, topography, and
the im- mediate as well as larger environment. Research prior to actual design
would include study of the intended use of the building, the various activities, and
the movement of people and things within and outside. In the case of houses, the
lifestyle of the residents would be the object of study. Aside from organizing space
for maximum effi- ciency, the designer also considers the requirements of culture,
as well as the expressive or symbolic function of the building. The preliminary phase
of design includes dia- grams and sketches in which concepts are translated
- -----into basic forms or schemes. The first products of de- sign are the floor plan and the
site plan-the design of the interior space and its relation to the site and the

environment-seen in terms of the two dimensions of length and width. With the floor
plan as basis, the architect proceeds to designing the space with its third dimension
of height. The drawings of all sides of the exterior of a building are called elevations.
To show the interior space of the building, the architect draws longitudinal and cross
sections, imagining a line or invisible plain cutting through the building at certain
points. More realistic views of the building are presented in the perspectives, both
exterior and interior, which may be rendered in color. Plans and elevations form the
pre- liminary drawings which are presented to the client for approval. The artistic
conception of the building is followed or accompanied by the structural design, the
engineer- ing aspect of architecture. Taking into account the load that the spaces
will carry, the length, width, and height of the spaces, the bearing strength of the
soil, wind pressure, the force of earthquakes, and the strength of construction
materials, the structural en- gineer designs the foundations, columns, beams, walls,
and floors of the building. The design of electric- al, plumbing, air-conditioning,
mechanical, and fire- control systems is assigned to specialists. Others spe- cialists,
such as interior designers and landscape architects, may be engaged by the
architect. After the client approves the preliminary draw- ings, the architect
prepares the working drawings in specifications. The working drawings show all the
de- tails of construction, and the specifications lay down instructions to supplement
the plans and specify the quality or brands of materials or items to be used or
installed. The drawings and specifications are given to building contractors who
prepare estimates and sub- mit bids. Upon the award of the contract, construction
begins. The drawings and specifications are essential elements of the contract
made between the owner and the builder or contractor. The architect, as
representa- tive of the owner or client, supervises or inspects the construction,
seeing to it that plans and specifications are faithfully followed. In the Philippines
the design of ethnic houses resulted from a long evolution that began with
rudimentary shelter, such as the lean-to or windscreen made from twigs and leaves.
The house-form de- veloped as the occupants devised better ways of pro- tecting
themselves from the elements-from rain; strong winds; the heat of the sun; the
dampness of the ground; and from insects, animals, and enemies. InDESIGN
teraction with the environment led to the discovery of better forms of shelter, more
durable building mate- rials, and better methods of construction. As the primi- tive
economy improved, so did the way of life develop through increasing needs and
expectations and the growing capacity to satisfy them. Shelter became lar- ger if
there was need for more space, more sturdily constructed, and better adapted to
the climate and environment. Ethnic house forms in their development became
standardized, almost rigidly so, for a particular com- munity; thus houses are
identical, and serve as the identification of a community. The ~ao house, for
example, while following a basic form, has distinctive local variants in Lagaue,
Banaue, and Mayoyao, and each variant is the norm for that community. Several
communities in a region could employ the same par- ticular feature but subject to
local variations. For exam- ple, Ifugao, Bontoc, Kankanay, and Sagada houses use
the four-post-two-girder-three-joist frame, yet each community has a distinctive
house form. The bahay kubo (nipa hut) is built on a basic principle, i.e., a living
space raised on stilts and co- vered by a hip or gable roof. Its form, like that of the
ethnic house, has been dictated by needs and func- tions. But, unlike the ethnic
house, the bahay kubo avails of some freedom of design. Floor plans, dimen- sions,

materials, and features may vary. Sidings could be of split bamboo, flattened
bamboo, woven bamboo strips, or thatch. Shutters may swing out or slide to the
sides. There may be a covered porch or an open plat- form, or the roof may extend
over an area on ground level. The design of the house is determined by the
preferences of the owner. The bahay kubo is vernacu- lar architecture characterized
by some measure of indi- viduality. Architectural design during the Spanish colonial
period may be classified into two types: first, the de- sign produced by architects,
engineers or friars, closely following European models; and second, the design that
resulted from the interaction of indigenous forms and Western architectural styles.
The first includes churches, government buildings, and fortifications that were built
in accordance with professionally pre- pared plans and under close supervision by
the Span- ish friars, architects, and engineers. The churches and civic buildings in
Intramuros and the forts built in various parts of the country are the best examples
of this type. The second type includes houses in Intra- mums built during the
Spanish colonial period, which combined local wooden construction with stone walls
in the European style, the bahay kubo built in other sections of Manila and in the
provincial towns, and the
199
ASPECTS
churches built in the missions and parishes outside Manila. The design of houses
was probably the work of maestros de obras (master builders) and head masons,
who were not only skilled workers but also artists to some extent. Their talents were
employed not only in the design of architectural ornaments, such as wooden tracery
and stone carvings, but also in the design of spaces and functional features, such as
the caida (receiving hall), the sala (living room), the vola- da (gallery), and the
escalera (staircase). Houses were designed with due regard for the preferences of
the owner, who very likely decided how large the house and its rooms should be,
what materials should be used, and how the structure should be decorated.
Architectural design during the Spanish colonial period reflects the major concerns
of Spain in the Phi- lippines, namely, the establishment and propagation of the
Catholic religion; the strengthening of colonial rule; the defense of the regime from
enemies, whether from within or from without; the extension of social services to
the population; and the development of the economy. The most impressive
landmarks left by the Spanish rule are the churches and fortresses and the few
remaining government buildings. However, the Spaniards also built schools,
hospitals, factories, commercial buildings, and a railway station.
200
Provincial churches and the bahay na bato (stone house) stand as memorials to the
encounter and synth- esis of native and Spanish culture. They signify the native
response to the introduction of Western culture, a response characterized by
hospitable acceptance. Philippine architectural design in this period de- veloped
through the marriage of the native and the immigrant. The profession of
architecture gained prominence in the 19th century as architects, mostly Spaniards,
were engaged for the design of a wide variety of struc- tures, including the
sumptuous homes of the affluent. It must be noted, however, that architectural
plans from the 19th century include designs for middle-class residences. Since there

were no architectural schools in the country during the Spanish regime, a Filipino
like Felix Roxas Sr had to go abroad to study architecture. A gifted Filipino who was
inclined to architecture but could not afford to study abroad could become at most a
maestro de obras, as Arcadio Arellano was.
CONTEMPORARY DESIGN. The perspective sketch shows the sala of the house of
Leandro V. Locsln. (Leandro V. Locsln Collect/en)
Although lacking formal architectural training, Arella- no succeeded in designing
buildings in the gothic re- vival, neorenaissance, neobaroque, and art nouveau
styles. The American colonial period witnessed the em- ergence of the Filipino
architect, who in the early de- cades was invariably trained abroad. The first major
buildings of that era were, however, the work of an American architect, William E.
Parsons, who had been chosen by Daniel H. Burnham to implement his development plans for Manila and Baguio. The buildings of the early years of America
in the Philippines re- flected the thrusts of her colonial policy, namely, public
education, public health, training in self- government, and economic development.
Thus in Manila rose the Philippine General Hospital, the Phi- lippine Normal School,
the University of the Philip- pines (UP), and the Manila Hotel. Roads and bridges
were built to link the various parts of the country, while schools and provincial
capitols were constructed at an impressive pace outside the Spanish period pueblo
complex. In his early buildings, Parsons aimed to create a new architectural style
that evoked the Spanish colo- nial buildings in Manila yet at the same time
employed modem methods of construction. Reinforced concrete was used
extensively and its smooth, plain surfaces characterized the new style. The
modernism of Parsons did not last very long, for he shifted to neoclassic- ism before
he ended his employment in the Philip- pines; he bequeathed this style to the
American and Filipino architects who succeeded him at the Bureau of Public Works.
Architectural design in the Philippines in the 20th century consisted successively of
the reproduction of historical or revivalist styles, the adaptation of modem styles,
such as art deco and the International style, and the effort to create a distinct
Filipino style. As in the Spanish colonial period, the develop- ment of architecturaldesign was influenced by foreign styles. However, there has been a growing
apprecia- tion of indigenous architecture as a source for a con- temporary Filipino
style. This is exemplified by the Tahanang Pilipino designed by Francisco Mafi.osa, a
building notable for its evocation of folk architecture. Although design by imitation is
evident in some buildings, there is just as visible an attempt to be original and truly
creative. A building like Leandro Locsin's Church of the Holy Sacrifice at the UP
repre- sents a breakthrough in design. Departing from con- ventional forms, the airy
circular church shows the way to the development of architecture that is modem
and tropical. At the same time it serves as a symbol of I
ORGANIZATIONS
what the church should be-accessible to all and al- ways welcoming. The building is
open all around; there are no doors. The concept of architecture as sculpture has
pro- duced buildings of great visual impact. One such building is the Cultural Center
of the Philippines Main Building, designed by Locsin, which impresses the viewer as
a giant piece of geometric sculpture. An important element of contemporary
architectural design is technology, which includes structural design and the various
convenience systems, like air- conditioning, fire control, security, elevators and

escala- tors, and electrical and plumbing systems. A building is no longer simply
space and structure, but a complex of machines and systems that have to be
integrated into an object of aesthetic delight. From the ethnic tradition through the
Spanish col- onial period and the American colonial period to the present, Philippine
architectural design has developed from the simple response to the environment
and so- cial needs, through the encounter and reconciliation with a foreign culture,
to the task of synthesizing the country's cultural heritage, the architect's originality,
and the blessings of modem technology. R.D. Perez III
ORGANIZATIONS
Organizations are established by architects in order to establish unity and
cooperation among them- selves and to work for the development and upgrading of
the profession and the welfare of its practitioners. The Academia de Arquitectura y
Agrimensura de Filipinas, founded in 1902, was the first professional organization
for those engaged in the practice of architecture, civil engineering, and surveying.
In 1903 it was renamed Academia de Ingenieria, Arquitectura y Agrimensura de
Filipinas. It founded the first school of architecture in the Philippines. In 1911 the
engineers withdrew to form their own organization. In view of the growing number
of architects, the Philippine Architects Society was organized in 1933 on the
initiative of Juan F. Nakpil. The first officers of the Society were Juan F. Nakpil,
president; Tomas Mapua, vice president; Harold H. Keys, secretary-treasurer; and
Sidney D. Rowlands and Fernando Ocampo, direc- tors. Among its early
accomplishments were the draft of its Constitutions and By-Laws, the Rules of
Charges and Professional Fees, and the Canon of Ethics of the Society. One of the
aims of the Society was to seek the passage of a law by the National Assembly that
would protect the architectural profession.
201
ASPECTS
LOGO. Shown Is the logo of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), the only
c::ccredlted professional organization for architects In the Philippines. (Unlt9d
Architects of the Philippines)
In 1938 the Society was renamed Philippine Insti- tute of Architects and Planners,
and subsequently Phi- lippine Institute of Architects (PIA). In 1946 the PIA held its
first annual convention. In 1950 about 15 members left the Institute and formed the
League of Philippine Architects (LPA). In 1955 the Boards of the Institute and the
League met to discuss the merger of the organizations, but with no result. In 1957
the PIA was admitted as an affiliate orga- nization of the Union Internationale des
Architects. The PIA College of Fellows was created in 1972. In 1958 architects
working in the government formed the Association of Philippine Government
Architects (APGA). ' In 1965 the PIA, LPA, and APGA passed resolu- tions approving
the Architect's National Code and the Architects' Services and Schedule of Fees,
which had been prepared by the PIA. Negotiations for the merger of the three
organizations continued, but still fruit- lessly. Presidential Decree No 233, issued by
Pres Ferdi- nand Marcos in 1973, compelled the three organiza- tions to be
integrated in the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP). Under this decree, the
Professional Regulation Commission was authorized to regulate all professions and

to accredit only one organization for each profession. In 1974 the Boards of PIA, LPA,
and APGA approved the Constitutions and By-Laws of the
202
UAP. In 1975 the Professional Regulation Commission certified the accreditation of
the UAP as the only accre- dited professional organization for architects in the
Philippines. The UAP aims to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct and
excellence in the practice and service of the architectural profession as well as the
upliftment of the standards of architectural education. The UAP is also committed to
unify all registered architects of the Philippines through cooperation and
coordination with allied professions, trade and indus- try, both local and
international; participation in national development programs, and cooperation with
the board of architecture and other government agen- cies. It is willing to render
any lawful and appropriate assistance to any of its members. The UAP is one of the
founding members of the Architects Regional Council of Asia (ARCASIA), orga- nized
in 1979, which is composed of the architects' organizations of Singapore, Malaysia,
Hongkong, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and the
Philippines. The first Asian Congress of Architects was sponsored by ARCASIA and
held in Manila in October 1984. R.D. Perez III
RESEARCH
Research on Philippine architecture during the first half of the 20th century was
understandably li- mited to architecture strongly influenced by Western tradition.
Perhaps the very first overview of Philippine architecture is found in El Archipielago
Filipino (The Philippine Archipelago), a two-volume compendium of facts about the
Philippines compiled by the profes- sors and teachers of the Ateneo Municipal de
Manila and published in the United States in 1900. These tomes are extensively
quoted almost verbatim by the Report to the Philippine Commission of 1901. The
sec- tion on architecture merely translates passages from El Archipielago. In brief,
the section argued that great works of architecture were generally lacking in the
Philippines and came only lately to the islands because the era of Spanish
colonization con:esponded to the era of bad artistic taste in Spain. The
architect"ural section, probably written by Fr Clotet SJ, praised the neoclas- sical and
revivalist architecture that had recently appeared in the country. The bias for
neoclassicism is reflected in Marilla Maria Norton's Studies in Philippine Architecture,
published ca 1911, which could only look forward to better times when the United
States would ameliorate architecture in its new colony. He cites only two
distinguished architects of the Spanish era: Felix Roxas Sr, who created neoclassical
and neogothic works, and Juan Hervas, who according to Norton introduced Catalan
architecture. Our Islands and its Peoples, a hefty tome in folio size, was a picture
book on the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. Written for popular consumption, the book is a supercilious survey premised on the attitude that nothing is
good unless it comes from the United States. A clearly biased account, the book
disparages hispanic architecture in the Philip- pines and calls all of it medieval,
hence backward. The book had no intention of presenting architectural his- tory; it
was rather a polemical statement intended to bolster America's hold on her
colonies. Around 1914, the antipornography league of San Francisco published the
periodical magazine Cultura Social. Among the articles were surveys of colonial

churches, notably those of the Augustinians, and notices of newly built churches.
Aside from these, articles of artists and photographic features showing church art
were published. The magazine was in Span- ish and obviously meant for those of
the old school and not for the new generation who were all schooled in English. The
articles may have been motivated by nostalgia or-polemical intent to rebutt the
insinuations of other writers that nothing of note came out of the hispanic tradition.
Also belonging to this period is William C. Repetti's Pictorial Records and Traces of
the Society of Jesus in the Philippine Islands and Guam Prior to 1768. Published in
1938 as the archivist of the Jesuit mission in the Philippines, the book was the result
of attempts to add to the data of the archives. The author was assisted by Bro
Dunne and Fr Gissel who took most of the photographs. In response to his letters
parish priests in the towns formerly under the Jesuit order sent him information as
well as photographs of the churches. Re- petti, however, was merely content with
cataloguing and notating the pictures he compiled. Some notes are in- accurate, as
subsequent research proved. In 1937 Raymundo C. Banas published Brief Historical Sketches of Philippine Catholic Churches, in time for the celebration of the
33rd International Eucharistic Congress held in Manila that year. The earliest survey
of colonial churches, the book presents data, which are more historical than
architectural, on famous churches, such as the churches of pre-WWII Intramuros and
the churches of Santa Ana, Ermita, Binondo, Santa Cruz, Sampaloc, San Sebastian,
Pan- dacan, Malate, Paco, Quiapo, and San Miguel in the Manila area, as well as
Obando, Maasin, and Cebu outside Manila.
RESEARCH
A similar survey of churches was done by Fr Jose Ma. Gonzalez OP in his Labor
evangelica y civiliza- dora de los religiosos dominicos en pangasinan (Evangelical
and Civilizing Work of the Dominican Religious in Pangasinan), 1946, which gives
historical data on the parishes, churches, conventos, public buildings of Pangasinan
and describes them in the context of the evangelization and "conquest" of the
province. WWII reduced numerous architectural monu- ments of the Spanish and
American periods to ruins. With such widespread destruction, nothing of
architectural history was written for many years. In- stead, collectors and avid
nationalists sought to sal- vage what was left of the past. From such collecting
developed a reassessment of the colonial heritage. During the first half of the
century Philippine architecture was evaluated from the viewpoint of the West.
Measured by Western standards, such as John Ruskin's, Philippine architecture
seemed nothing more than a poor offshoot of European architecture. Soon the
writers of the 1950s began to take local architecture on its own terms. Not
unfamiliar with Western architecture, they had the advantage of being Filipinos or of
spending much of their lives in the Philippines. The first structures to be reevaluated
were the much-disparaged colonial churches. Questioning the assumption that
colonial churches were derivative in form and ornament, Benito Legarda, Fernando
Zobel de Ayala, and others sought to document what was left of these structures
after the devastation of war. The result of their excursions to the provinces in the
late 1950s was the publication of Legarda's "Colonial Churches of Ilocos" in
Philippine Studies, and by Zobel on the santo, an integral element of colonial
architecture. Zobel's article was to be expanded into a book, Philippine Religious
Imagery, published in 1963, which contained a section on the Philippine bahay na
bato (stone house) and drew parallels between architectural and sculptural styles.
Legarda continued his research on northern Luzon churches and in 1981 published

"Angels in Clay: The Typical Cagayan Church Style" in the Filipinas ]ourna/2. An
American, Richard Ahlborn, published two articles in Philip- pine Studies (19601963) on the churches of central Luzon, notably those of Rizal and Bulacan. An
over- view article and interpretative study appeared two years earlier, in the
Exchange News Quarterly, 1958. Ahlborn returned to the United States and worked
with the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, where his collection of
photographs of churches is now kept.
203
ASPECTS
A remarkable project was that of the Spanish scholar Lourdes Diaz-Trechuelo, who
combed the Spanish archives for material for her doctoral disserta- tion on hispanic
architecture in the Philippines. Pub- lished in 1959, Arquitectura Espanola en
Filipinas (156fr1800) surpassed in scope all the researches done in the Philippines
up to that time. Diaz-Trechuelo's work encompasses church, civil, and military architectures, and is notable for its study of fortifications. While enjoying access to a vast
amount of important documents, the author did not have the benefit of field work in
the Philippines. Her careful historiography, made possible by the Spanish colonial
bureaucracy's obsessive thoroughness in documenting its work, suc- ceeded in
creating a picture of the many buildings demolished by war and calamities. Another
book which describes Manila's important public buildings, specifically the Aduana
and the Puente de Espana, is Arquitectura y Urbanismo en el Siglo XIX, 1967, by
Luis Merino OSA. The book repro- duces important documents relating to the
planning, building, renovation, and maintenance of these struc- tures. Without
leaving his country, Pal Kelemen, a Hungarian historian of baroque and rococo art,
wrote on the Philippines. In Art of the Americas: Ancient and
204
Hispanic, with a Comparative Chapter on the Philip- pines, published in 1969,
Kelemen observed that a thorough and careful study of hispanic architecture in the
Philippines was needed and would yield unex- pected results. It was Kelemen who
coined the phrase "earth- quake baroque" to describe squat churches, particular- ly
those in Peru. The term was adopted with great care by scholars, but with great
abandon by popularizers and those who came in their wake. Scholarly apprecia- tion
of the particular adaptation of baroque was evi- dent in the works of this period.
Legarda posed the question whether there might be regional styles, and set out to
prove this in a study of the Cagayan chur- ches. Zobel's study on the santo
proposed stylistic categories, such as popular, classical, and ornate. In 1964
Dominador Castaneda, former dean of the College of Fine Arts of University of the
Philippines, published Art in the Philippines, a history of Philip- pine architecture,
sculpture, and painting, which traces the development of these arts over the two
colo- nial periods and the modem period, i.e., up to the 1960s. Castaneda
interviewed a number of the ar- chitects mentioned in the book and did research in
the Philippine National Archives. Written in the narrative and descriptive fashion, the
book aims to present a broad picture of Philippine architecture. In 1972 Alicia
Marquez Lim-Coseteng published Spanish Churches in the Philippines under the
auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
National Commission in the Philippines. The book may be said to have closed an

era. While viewing colonial churches in the context of the strategies of


evangelization and colonial control, the author analyzes their architectural features
and cites their artistic value. But no attempt is made to dissect particular churches
or groups of churches and trace their development and alterations so as to separate the different elements that accrued over time. The book belongs to the
formalistic studies by Legarda and company. No major survey of colonial churches
appeared until Fr Pedro Galende OSA published his book on Augustinian churches,
Angels in Stone, 1987. The au- thor had access to many sources in the Augustinian
archives and hence succeeded in documenting the his- torical setting, and the
growth and development of each church. The book is limited to churches held solely
by Augustinians. Churches that were trans- ferred to the jurisdiction of another
group, like the Franciscans, are excluded. Florentino Hornedo is a scholar of the
Cagayan Valley and the Batanes Islands group. Well acquainted with the holdings of
the Dominican archives, he has published articles on the evangelizing work of the
Dominicans and on the churches and their friar buil- ders. His works have appeared
in popular magazines and in the scholarly journals of the University of Santo Tomas.
His essays include "Religious Art in Batanes," 1983, and "The Tumauini Church:
Praise of Sublime Labor in Clay," 1987. In 1991 Norma I. Alarcon published
Philippine Architecture during the Pre-Spanish and Spanish Period, a broad textbook
survey of architecture in the islands, both public and private, in the ethnic and
hispanic traditions. The biggest section of the book is
RESEARCH
devoted to the Spanish period churches, whose out- line history and characteristic
architectural features are listed. More recent works on colonial churches are Regalado Trota Jose's Simbahan and Rene Javellana's Wood and Stone for God's
Greater Glory, both pub- lished in 1991. The former is a catalogue survey of colonial
churches from Batanes to Jolo. Intended as an aid for the documentation of
churches, the text de- scribes a colonial church in great detail. Trota Jose has done
field research all over the islands and used archival documents from local
repositories extensively. Javellana's book is a historical summary and catalogue of
the Jesuit order's building enterprise over two periods: 1581 to 1768, and 1859 to
WWII. The book uses material from both local and foreign archives and a lot of field
work to piece together the story of the Jesuits' contribution to Philippine art and
architecture. All the studies listed above had the common pur- pose of discovering
and identifying the distinctly Phi- lippine features of colonial churches. For countless
years they were called "Spanish churches," but de- cades of research have shown
that they had many non-Spanish elements that had not been previously recognized.
Calling them Philippine is not only nationalistically sound but architecturally
accurate. Philippine Churches, the popular coffeetable book pub- lished by the
National Media Production Center in 1980, makes a point right in its title. The search
for "Philippine architecture" led to a serious study of the bahay na bato.
Unsurpassed in scope and depth is Fernando Zialcita and Martin Tinio Jr's Philippine
Ancestral Houses, 1980, which docu- ments the evolution of the bahay na bato from
the 1810s to the 1930s. The bahay na bato is dissected from a structural point of
view and is shown to have in- corporated design concepts from the bahay kubo
(nipa hut). An important study which situates and explains important structures in
its sociohistorical context is Casa Gorordo in Cebu, Urban Residence in a Philippine
Province, 1983, by Resil B. Mojares. Commissioned by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation

which turned the house of the Gorordo's into an important museum, the study
relates to the urbanization of Cebu in the 19th century.
BOOKS. The Interest In architecture uniquely Filipino Inspired research Into different
types of Philippine structures. Landmark publications Include, left to right, Folk
Architecture, 1989, Philippine Ancestral Houses, 1980; and Simbahan, 1991.
(Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
205
I
ASPECTS
The return to the Philippine roots of architecture in the folk and ethnic tradition was
stimulated by the abundance of data on dwellings contained in numer- ous
ethnographic studies in which architecture was studied in the context of a people's
lifeways. The earliest ethnographers, although they did not call themselves so, were
the conquistadors and mis- sionaries of the Spanish colonial period, whose duties
included sending periodic reports to their superiors. The earliest reports of ethnic
dwellings come from Ferdinand Magellan's chronicler Antonio Pigafetta, 1521, who
described at great length the houses he saw in Butuan. Later chroniclers, such as
Pedro Chirino, Ignacio Alzina, Pedro Aduarte, and Juan de la Concepcion, give helpful
descriptions of ethnic houses, although from a Western viewpoint. The 19th- century
Cartas Edificantes of the Jesuit missionaries in Mindanao contain information on the
dwellings of the Tiruray, Mandaya, and other indigenous peoples. American interest
in ethnographic data arose from curiosity about the new possessions in the tropics.
Among the important studies in the early 20th century were: Albert E. Jenks, The
Bontoc Igorot, 1904; Fay-Cooper Cole, The Wild Tribes of Davao District, Mindanao,
1913; and John M. Garvan, The Manobos of Mindanao, 1913. In 1929 Fr Francis M.
Lambrecht, a Belgian mis- sionary in the Cordilleras, published Ifugao Villages and
Houses, a work significant for its thoroughness. William Henry Scott, in Cordillera
Architecture in Northern Luzon, 1962, proposed classifications of Cor- dillera houses
into what he called the northern and southern strains. Studies on the different
groups in the Cordillera include: Morice Vanoverbergh, "Isneg Buildings," 1953;
Moises C. Bello, "Some Notes on House Styles in a Kankanai Village," 1963; Edward
P. Dozier, The Kalinga of Northern Luzon, 1967; Carmencita Cawed, The Culture of
the Bontoc Igorots, 1972; and Kate Botengan, Bontoc Lifeways, 1976. Other
ethnographic studies on Luzon groups are; Lawrence L. Wilson, Ilongot Life and
Legends, 1967; Ponciano L. Bennagen, "The Agta," 1969; Marcelino N. Maceda, "A
Brief Report on Some Mangyans in Northern Oriental Mindoro," 1964; and Florentino
H. Hornedo, "The Traditional Ivatan House," 1983. Studies on the Mindanao groups
include: Jesus T. Peralta, "The Maranao," 1969; Turan Ikiali Jainal, G. Rixhon, and D.
Rupert, "Housebuilding among the Tausug", 1972; Harry Arlo Nimmo, The Sea
People of Sulu: A Study of Social Change in the Philippines, 1972; Nagasura Madale,
"A Look at Philippine Mos- ques," Salam, 1976; Cesar Adib Majul, " Mosques in the
Philippines," 1977; and GabrielS. Casal, Tboli Art in Its Socio-Cultural Context, 1978.
206
Studies on prehispanic settlements and dwellings based on archaeology include
Robert B. Fox's "Look- ing at the Prehispanic Community," 1977, and Karl Hutterer's

An Archaeological Picture of a Pre-Spanish Cebuano Community, 1973. Surveys of


folk and ethnic architecture include: Julian Dacanay Jr, Ethnic Architecture, 1988;
Felipe M. de Leon Jr, "The Architecture of the Philippines: A Survey" from Philippine
Art and Literature, The Filipi- no Nation, Vol III, 1982; and Rodrigo D. Perez Ill, R.
Encarnacion, and Dacanay Jr, Folk Architecture, 1989. Interest in folk and ethnic
architecture was prom- oted by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
travelling exhibit "Balai Vernacular." Based on docu- mentations made by
architecture students from all over the islands, the exhibit documented three types
of shelters: the ethnic house, the bahay kubo, and the shanty. Corazon Hila,
Dacanay Jr, and Perez III syn- thesized the findings of the exhibit in essays published
in the book Balai Vernacular, Images of the Filipino's Private Space, 1992. Video
documentaries and monographs on the Phi- lippine arts have been prepared by the
CCP under the general title of Tuklas Sining. Included in the series of 28 are:
"Arkitektura, An Essay on Philippine Archi- tecture," 1990, by Perez III; "Philippine
Ethnic Architecture," by Hila, 1992; "The Spanish Influence on Philippine
Architecture," by Trota Jose, 1992; and "The American Colonial and Contemporary
Traditions in Philippine Architecture," by Perez III, 1993. A general survey of
Philippine architecture is Winand Klassen's Architecture in the Philippines: Fili- pino
Building in a Cross-Cultural Context, 1968. The book posits that architecture mirrors
a particular group's quality of life. Klassen adopts the term ver- nacular architecture,
rather than folk and ethnic architecture, for structures built by groups based on
traditional wisdom. Inspite of advances in architectural research, much remains to
be explored. Many gaps remain. For instance, no in-depth studies on the American
colonial period and art noveau and art deco have been under- taken. Important
structures such as schools, bridges, and forts have not been given the attention
they de- serve. R. Javellana
References: Ahlborn 1958, 1960; Bello 1965; Casal1978; Castaneda 1964; CorderoFernanda 1978; Coseteng 1972; Dacanay 1988; De Leon 1982; Diaz-Trechuelo 1959;
Folk Architecture 1989; Gonzales 1946; Hornedo 1983; Jose 1991; Lambrecht 1929;
Legarda 1960, 1981; Merino 1987; Mojares 1983; Norton 1971; Ortiz-Armengol1958;
Perez III 1980, 1990; Reed 1978; Repetti 1938; Scott 1966; Vanoverbergh 1953;
Zialcita and Tinio 1980; Zobel de Ayala 1963.
SCHOOLS
Architectural schools are formal institutions of learn- ing, where courses in the arts
and sciences of building structures are taught to students. The builders of ethnic
houses were not trained in schools. They learned the skills of gathering materials
like bamboo, reeds, nipa, cogon, wood, and vines, and of building houses from these
materials from their elders or from the masters in the group. Specialized skills like
that of carving the okirlukkil was learned by apprentices from master carvers. The
building of the house itself was done through a system of coopera- tion, where the
owner took care of the meals and other needs of the builders during the
construction period. There was no school of architecture in the Philip- pines during
the Spanish regime. There was, however, the Escuela Practica y Profesional de Artes
y Oficios de Manila, founded by the Spanish government in 1890, which granted the
title maestro de obras (master build- er). One of its first graduates was Arcadio
Arellano. The Liceo de Manila, a private institution founded in 1900 and headed by
Leon Ma. Guerrero, offered an academic course for maestros de obras. In 1902 the
Academia de Arquitectura y Agrimensura de Filipinas, a professional organization for

architecture, civil en- gineering, and surveying was founded. It was later called the
Academia de Ingenieria, Arquitectura y Agrimensura de Filipinas. In 1904 the
Academia estabSCHOOLS
INSTITUTE. Founded 1925, the Mapua Institute of Technology In lntramuros, Manila
was the first school to offer a four-year course In architecture. (Mopuo Institute .-4 of
Technology Collection)
lished the Escuela de Ingenieria y Arquitectura, which offered a five-year course in
civil engineering and architecture. It was attached to the Liceo, and its facul- ty
included members of the Academia. It closed after one year. In 1908 it was
reopened, this time offering a three-year course for architecture, civil engineering,
and electrical engineering. It ceased to operate in 1912. In the first decades of the
20th century, young Filipinos went to the United States to study architecture. The
first US-trained Filipino architects in- clude Carlos Barreto, Tomas Mapua, Juan
Arellano, and Antonio Toledo. In 1925 Mapua founded the Mapua Institute of
Technology, a night school for working students, which offered, aside from
engineering, a four-year course leading to the degree of bachelor of science in
architecture. In 1930 the University of Santo Tomas (UST) opened its school of fine
arts and architecture. Adamson University opened its school of architecture in 1941.
In the same year, the Philippine College of Design was founded by Juan Nakpil,
Andres Luna de San Pedro, Juan Arellano, Fernando Ocampo, Victorio Edades, Pablo
Antonio, Angel Nakpil, and Gines Rivera. It did not survive WWII. The Cebu Institute
of Technology opened its school of achitecture in 1946. This was the first Philip- pine
school of architecture outside Manila. In 1947 the National University established its
school of architecture. Two years later, in 1949, the first school
207
ASPECTS
of architecture in Mindanao was opened by the Minda- nao Colleges in Davao City; it
closed in 1953. Subsequently, schools of architecture were opened by the following
institutions: Far Eastern Air Transport Inc or FEATI,1952; University of San Carlos in
Cebu City, 1953; Far Eastern University and Manuel L. Quezon University , 1954;
Francisco Colleges, 1955; the University of the Philippines (UP), 1956; the University of San Agustin in Iloilo City, 1960; St Louis University in Baguio City,1962;
and the University of Mindanao in Davao City,1970. Presently there are 40 schools
of architecture throughout the country, 15 of which are in Metro Manila. Since its
foundation in 1956, the UP College of Architecture has offered a five-year course. In
1967 the four-year bachelor's course in all other schools was extended to five years.
Under the five- year, ladder-type course introduced in 1978, a student receives a
certificate of draftsmanship at the end of the
208
second year, and a certificate for construction supervi- sion at the end of the third
year. The architecture curriculum includes architectural design, building technology,
utilities, landscape architecture, site plan- ning, urban and regional planning,
housing, history of architecture, theory of architectural design, and pro- fessional

practice, as well as drawing, color rendering, drafting, perspective drawing, and


presentation tech- niques. Mathematics and science subjects include algebra,
trigonometry, analytic geometry, differential calculus, integral calculus, physics,
earth and life sci- ences, and architectural structures--covering timber, concrete,
and steel. The UP now offers courses leading to a master's degree in architecture
and in tropical landscape architecture. The UST offers a graduate course for the
degree of master of science in architecture. R.D. Perez III
Reference: Arkitektura Folio 1973.
~!II'lf'
.'

MAJOR WORKS
ADUANA
Customs House. Location: Intramuros, Manila. Built 1823-1829, reconstruction
begun 1874. Architects: Tomas Cortes, Luis Cespedes. A set of instructions
regarding the fortification of Manila, approved and promulgated in 1796, specified
that the Aduana or Intendencia be built within the walls. This would be an incentive
for the merchants to remain within the walls rather than outside it, as had become
the practice. This customs house, an octagonal two-story trading house of stone
and wood, was pre- viously located in Alcaiceria de San Fernando on the northern
banks of the Pasig, within range of the guns of Fort Santiago; the previous building
was authorized in November 1752. The new building was erected along Aduana st
(now Andres Soriano st). Tomas Cortes, who suceeded lldefonso de Aragon, as chief
engineer, was given charge of the project. In 1822 Cortes sent the first drafts of the
project from Cavite where he resided. The structure was con- structed between
1823 to 1829, notwithstanding objec- tions that the building was inadequate for the
bur- geoning international port of Manila, mainly because it was too far from the
port and offered too little space for warehousing. Nonetheless, the building was
consi- dered a beautiful piece of classical architecture, well- proportioned and
monumental in appearance. The building had three principal entrances, two courtyards, and two principal staircases. The building's roof was repaired by the firm of
Manuel Perez in 1861,
210
following the plans of Luciano Oliver. This handsome building of cut stone was
seriously damaged by the earthquake of 1863. The abandoned building suffered
rapid deterioration, being damaged further during the earthquakes of 1869 and
1872. Reconstruction of the Aduana was awarded to Luis Perez Yap-Sionjue who
began work on 19 Jan 1874. He was given two years to complete the project. Two
plans for the reconstruction were submitted to the consultative body of the Obras
Publicas, the first by Felix Roxas Sr and the second by an anonymous architect. The
latter's plans were followed as the Roxas plans were considerably deficient. The
plan, which was further improved by Luis Cespedes to whom the building is
attributed, hewed closely to the older neo- classical plans. The renovated aduana

became the offices for the central treasury, and there were plans to renovate the
old Alcaiceria de San Fernando, then a military barracks, into another aduana to
meet the needs of Manila as an international port. The presently ruined Aduana
Building once housed the Central Bank of the Philippines. R. Javellana
ANTIPOLO CHURCH
Rorr 'm Catholic Parish Church of the Inmaculada Concepcion. Location: Antipolo,
Rizal. Built 1630- 1653, renovated after 1863. Architects: Juan de Salazar, Luciano
Oliver.
CUSTOM HOUSE. The aduana was built In the early 19th century In the classical
style that evokes the renaissance. (National Ubrary Collection)
In 1578 the Franciscans established the Antipolo mission; then in 1591, while still a
visita (outlying district) of Taytay, Antipolo was ceded to the Jesuits. According ,to
local tradition, the old town site of Anti- polo was about 1 krn east from its present
location. By 1596 the Antipolo parish had three barrios, each with its own chapel. In
1603, under the direction of the Jesuit Diego Garcia, a wooden church wa:- built in
Antipolo at the cost of P1,500. In 1626 Gov Gen Nino de Tabora brought a dark
image of the Inrnaculada Concepcion from Acapulco to the Philippines and entrusted it to the Jesuits in 1632. Meanwhile, from 1630 to 1653, Juan de Salazar built
a stone church in Anti- polo. Tabora was one of its principal donors. Accord- ing to
local tradition, the Virgin herself chose the church site, as the dark image enshrined
in the earlier church had a habit of disappearing and being found at the top of the
tipolo tree after which the town was named; hence Ang Tipolo, the popular name of
the image of the Virgen de Antipolo. Not after the towns- people had carved a base
from the tree for the image did the mysterious disappearances of the Virgin cease.
Before 1639 the image was solemnly enthroned in the church Salazar had built. In
1639 and 1640 Chinese rebels destroyed the church interior and desecrated the
statue of the Virgin and a crucifix. To prevent its further destruction, the image was
hidden by the townspeople in the forest of Guinapo. Later it was transferred to
Cavite and designated patroness of the galleon for many decades. In 1645 an
earthquake darn- aged the church fabric although not seriously enough to warrant
its demolition. As a safety precaution three
ANTIPOLO CHURCH
MARIAN SHRINE. Shown Is the church oiAnHpolo as It looked In the late 19th
century. This building was destroyed lnWWII. (White 7898, Naf/ona/ Ubrary
c611ecflon)
courses of stone were removed from the nave, the height of the church tower
reduced, the pediment removed and a new one constructed. In 1684 the image was
moved from a side altar to a renovated main altar. By this year six reliefs depicting
the history of the Virgen de Antipolo had been completed. The church underwent
another major renovation in 1726. Tuscan columns replaced Doric columns, and the
convento was expanded. In 1824 an earthquake shook down a portion of the church
roof and damaged its walls. The earthquake of 1863 brought down part of the bell
tow- er. Repair was done on the church following the plans of government architect
Luciano Oliver. In the late 19th century, the upper story of the convento was renovated and a decorative volada (gallery) added. From 1943 to the end of WWII, the

image of the Virgin was kept in Quiapo for safe keeping; thus it was saved when in
1945 both church and convento of Antipolo were bombed by US Air Force planes.
After the war Mgsr A vendaiio constructed a completely new circular church set a
few meters away from the site of the 17th-century structure. In 1982 the Antipolo
munici- pality became the seat of the Diocese of Antipolo, comprising most of the
towns of Rizal province. The 17th-century Antipolo Church has been im- mortalized
in photographs and paintings, notably those of Felix Martinez and Fernando
Arnorsolo. These visual records depict a church built on top of a hill, buttressed by a
fine stone wall. The church was cruci- form, its nave strongly buttressed. Pictures of
the facade portray it as it was after the 1726 renovations. Tuscan columns define
the vertical sweep, and a
211
MAJOR WORKS
triangular pediment crowns the squat structure. A bell tower flanks the church on
one side. The convento is built parallel to the church facade. The interior is typical
of colonial churches, where arcos torales (semicircular arches) divide the transept
crossing from the apse. During the 19th century, the main altar housed the image of
the Virgin in a shrine of chased silver. Bas-reliefs from the 17th-century side altar
decorated the church walls. Very little remains from the old Antipolo church, aside
from the image of the Virgin which still bears the marks of the lances that
desecrated it in 1639. Two of the high reliefs from the side altar of the Virgin, still
bearing traces of gesso, gold lea, and paint, are preserved in the San Agustin
Museum. One relief shows the Chinese rebels in Span- ish garb burning the image in
the uprising of 1639. Four molave images, about 2.25 m high, representing San
Ignacio, San Francisco Xaier, Santa Catalina de Alexandria, and Santa Ana, are
kept in the sacristy of the present church. These images used to decorate the
facade. Another image of San Ignacio is preserved today in Xavier House, the Jesuit
Provincial's resi- dence in Santa Ana, Manila. It was a gift to the Jesuits in 1931 from
Mgsr Camero, then parish priest of Antipolo, who found the image in the Antipolo
cemetery. R. Javellana
ARGAO CHURCH AND CONVENTO
Roman Catholic Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de la Consolacion. Location: Argao,
Cebu. Built ca 1788-1830. The coastal town of Argao, 66 km south of Cebu City, was
established in 1608. Having separated from Carcar, it became a parish church in
1734 with Fr Ignacio de Olalde as first parish priest. Argao's first patron was San
Miguel Arcangel. The parish also has a devotion to Santo Tomas de Villanueva. The
present church was started in 1788 and com- pleted in the 1830s during the
incumbency of Fr Mateo Perez, 1801--1836. Fr Perez also built the present convento. Both church and convento used to be a refuge in times of crisis. Classes of
the Colegio Seminario de San Carlos were temporarily held in the convento after
WWII. The church was of cut stone (red corals), bricks, and hardwood before the
turn of the 19th century. The roof, formerly of locally made tiles, was replaced with
galvanized iron. Preserved are the original rafters of
212

hardwood and the walls of massive or cut stone. The atrium and the northern side
of the church were paved with bricks. The damaged portions have been recently
restored. A low wall of cut stone encloses the three sides of the quadrangular patio.
The outer side of the wall is decorated with husk garlands, fruits, and festoon. Four
corners of the patio have capillas posas (small outdoor oratories), a unique feature
among Cebu's colonial churches. The church is a simple rectangular building. Its
cruciform plan is formed by a single nave from which extends a short transept. Its
three-story belfry, de- signed by Bp Santos Gomez Marafi.on of Cebu, is attached to
the main structure of the church by what was once a camarin de los campaneros
(bell ringer's quarters), now a baptistry housing a stone baptismal font. The bell
tower has semirounded windows with balustrades and is crowned by a dome. Like
the first organ of the church that still exists, five of the bell tower's original eight
bells have been well preserved. The facade has three levels formed from two lines
of cornices and three segments formed from five sets of decorative Corinthian
columns, four of which are paired. The third level, a large triangular pediment, is
highlighted by the sculpture of San Miguel at the center. On the second or choir-loft
level are two semi- rounded windows at either side and a rectangular win- dow at
the center. On the first or ground level is the main door, arched and topped by a
carved eagle. The facade walls are decorated with various reliefs includ- ing the
Augustinian coat of arms, floral motifs, and angels. The nave and transept doors are
similarly adorned, e.g., the wooden transept door, dated 1788, features a sculpted
floral centerpiece. The church interior is baroque blended with folk rococo. Wellappointed fenestrations include splayed doors and windows, and variations in
interior space such as arches and tunnels of increasing height. An old choir loft,
supported by a stone arch ornately de- signed with lattice railings and flamelike
cartouche pinnacles, is flanked by twin tribunas (tribunes). The wooden vaulted
ceiling has colorful murals of biblical scenes from the entrance to the intersection of
the nave and transept, with a 1930 painting of Canuto Avila portraying the
temptation of Adam and Eve. Even the cornice and the beams are painted, leaving
little bare space on the ceiling. The main two-story rococo retablo of San Miguel, a
carved pulpit, and side altars inlaid with gold leaf further adorn the church. The
convento is made of stone and wood. The ground floor was built of mortar and lime
or rubble- work. Compact earth paved the ground floor of the
bodega. The upper level is of a variety of hardwood, such as a pi tong, rnolave, and
ipil. Dividing walls are of tabique pampango (wattle and daub construction). The
roof is also of galvanized iron. The convento adjoins the church from the north side.
An L-shaped two-story structure facing west, it encloses the west orchard and the
side doors of the church leading to the west gate. Its ground floor is an old bodega
of disposed church properties. Upstairs are a spacious veranda, a sala, and large
rooms. A passage from the veranda leads directly to the choir loft of the church. The
entire tail end of the convento accommo- dates the dining and kitchen areas. P.
Labrado and M.P. Consing
AYUNTAMIENTO
City Hall of Manila. Location: Intrarnuros, Manila. Built 1887-1885. Architects:
Eduardo Lopez Navarro, Felix Roxas Sr, Juan Hervas. Although popularly known as
Ayuntamiento, (from Spanish "ayuntamiento"), city corporation, a more accurate
name for this building is casa de ayunta- miento (house of the ruling body); or casas
consistor- iales (meeting house), roughly equivalent to city hall. The hall housed the

cabildo or city chapter, composed of the offices of the alcalde and his regidores or
the city mayor and councilors, the city jail, and other offices including that of the
governor general.
AYUNTAMIENTO BUILDING
RARE ROCOCO. The Argao Church Is a treasury of baroque and rococo art that Is
fortunately well preserved. (Renafo S. Rastrollo 1991, Cultural Center of the
Philippines Ubrary Collection)
Thirty days after the official foundation of the City of Manila, Miguel Lopez de
Legaspi mapped out the site for the future casas consistoriales, henceforth to be
referred to as Ayuntamiento. However, for lack of funds not even a structure of
wood and nipa was raised, and thus for some years the city chapter meet- ings were
held where convenient. The building of the lntrarnuros walls occasioned such a
delay. Not till the incumbency of Gov Gen Francisco Tello did work be- gin on a
permanent horne for the Ayuntamiento ca 1599. Morga, ca 1607, described this
building as made of cut stones, monumental and pleasing to behold; its first floor
housed the courts of first instance presided by the mayors and judges, and the
municipal jail. The second story may have housed the meeting hall, the customary
chapel, the administrative offices, and the archives. The building may have been
just one wing, as later reports describe the old hall as "incomplete." The effects of
the earthquakes of 1645 and 1658 on the structure are inadequately documented,
but a docu- ment of 1684 pleaded for funds to restore the structure ruined by so
many quakes. The Ayuntamiento at this time held its sessions in a house rented
from the Jesuit college of Manila. On 31 Jan 1735, during the incumbency of Gov
Gen Fernando Valdes Tarnon, the cornerstone for the second Ayuntamiento was laid.
The year given for its completion, 1738, is highly doubtful since the chroni- cles of
the Franciscan Franciso de San Antonio state that as of this year the building was
still being constructed. The building survived well into the 19th century when the
earthquake of 3 Jun 1863 heavily
213
MAJOR WORKS
LOOKOUT. A mass!ve, fortressllke bell tower stands like a sentinel beside the 18thcentury church of Baclayon. (Manila Bulletin Library Collection)
damaged the structure so that it had to be rebuilt. The chief engineer of the islands
Eduardo Lopez Navarro was commissioned to draw up plans for the reconstruc- tion,
since the city architect failed to deliver them after almost a decade since the quake.
The construction of the new Ayuntamiento was scheduled to begin on 29 Apr 1879,
but work had to stop a few months later because of an earthquake in 1880. The
structural soundness of Navarro's plans had to be studied and necessary revisions
made, after which work continued on 4 Apr 1881. Another work stoppage occured
on 21 Mar 1885. The completed building served at one time as the office of the
American governor general. In 1907 the first National Assembly of the Philippines
held its sessions here. This third building of the Ayuntamiento was ruined during
WWII. As planned by Navarro, the Ayuntamiento was a quadrilateral structure built
around an atrium. It had two floors made of cut stone. Presenting a fa- cade in the
neoclassical style, it was severe, well- proportioned, and with quadrilateral windows

and arched entrances arranged in a balanced manner. To relieve the simplicity of


the quadrilateral plan, the main entrance at the center of the building and the
corners of the building projected outwards, and its upper stories sported balconies,
flushed to the walls, in contrast to the main halls which had floor- to-ceiling
windows. Gone were the bulbous wrought- iron balconies of the Ayuntamiento of
1735, as well as the arcaded walk and the clock tower which gave the older building
its characteristic facade.
214
The three arched doorways led to the interior which Juan Hervas renovated at the
turn of the 19th century. He was responsible for renovating the build- ing's
vestibule, its imperial stairway, and the ballroom or "Marble Hall." The vestibule had
a harlequin floor of black and white marble and sculpted lions decorat- ing the
stairway that led to the second story. The stairway had a wrought-iron balustrade
decorated by vinelike motifs. All the second-floor rooms opened to a corridor, which
in turn opened into the atrium planted with a variety of tropical plants. Tall persiana
or louver doors along the corridor could be closed so that the glare and heat from
the atrium would not enter the upper story. The corridor was often used for receptions and meals. In this building was the mayor's office-a room sparsely decorated
with a desk and a highback chair, some Vienna chairs, and paintings by Filipino
masters and European artists. There were separate waiting rooms for men and for
women who had business to transact with the city government. These were
provided with furniture and bric-a-brac from Europe, giving them an overstuffed
Victorian air. The session hall of the city chapter had a number of tall and large
doors that led into it. Its ceiling. was painted with allegorical scenes, and from it
hung glass chande- liers from Europe. The "Marble Hall" was rectangular in shape
with numerous doors leading into it. A cof- fered ceiling and chandeliers of brass
and glass made this an elegant hall for soirees and social functions of the Manila
elite. So popular was this room that the whole Ayuntamiento was also called the
Marble Hall. R. Javellana
BACLAYON CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Immaculada Concepcion. Built before 1727. In
1596, when the Jesuits Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sanchez arrived in Baclayon, the
town already had its own church, built at the instigation of the enco- mendero. This
must have been of wood for the first re- corded stone church did not appear until
much later, i.e., in 1727, 10 years after Baclayon was raised to the status of parish.
Mostly intact, this church is one of the best preserved Jesuit churches in the country.
Records of repair and renovation are scanty. In 1768 Baclayon was ceded to the
Recollects, who regilded the church altars in the late 1700s. Around 1777 the lower
part of the bell tower in front of the church was completed, as attested to by the
inscription on the bell tower. In 1779 silver frontals and ornaments were purchased,
some of which still remain. A new convent wing was built in 1872. The cruciform
transepts of the church is all of finely cut coral stone. The crossing has a squarish
cupola made of tabique (wattle and daub construc- tion). Although the Jesuits had a
residence within the fort, they preferred to live in the baluarte which was a separate
structure located about a hundred meters from the church and very near the sea.
The structure was torn down in 1984. The residence within the walls appears to
have been three rooms built above the sac- risty which was an extension of the

epistle transept. This extension, all of coral stone, is not immediately visible
because the 1872 renovation has hidden part of the wall behind a wooden volada
(gallery).
PAINTED DOME. The domelike ceiling over the transept of fhe Betis Church hovers
over an octagonal balcony. Trompe l'oeil paintings adorn fhe walls of fhe church.
(Renata S. Rastrol/o 1990, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
BETIS CHURCH
The fortification walls extend from the end of the 1872 wing to a corner bulwark,
where it turns north, then west and south, .meeting the church near the end of the
gospel transept. With the fortification are ruins identified by tradition as a well,
kitchen, and stables. Within the fortification are other structures apparently built by
the Recollects, i.e., an octagonal baptistry and a visita (small chapel). A low
perimeter wall protected the flanks of the nave. That wall has been removed in
parts and greatly reduced in others. There are two church facades. The Jesuit-built
facade follows the classic San Ignacio-type design; i.e., a triangular pediment
surmounts a bipartite lower structure. The Recollect-built facade is an arcade of
Roman arches with the upper story and pediment chastely adorned by windows.
The Baclayon retablos, the most outstanding in the Visayas, have merged the occidental in its arrangement of statues, and the oriental in its compact central
portion above. R. Javellana
BETIS CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of Santiago Apos- tol. Location: Betis, Pampanga.
Built 1660-1770. Like many of the country's older towns, Betis grew as a religious
unit under the Augustinians before it evolved as a political district. It was a visita
(outlying district) of Tondo and then of Bacolor as early as the late 16th century, but
municipally remained part of Lubao till the start of the 17th century. Fr Fernando
Pinto, probably a visiting priest from Lubao, ca 1596-1604, erected the first
buildings. Fr Jose
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MAJOR WORKS
de la Cruz began the construction of a stronger church and convento which took
from 1660 to 1770 to com- plete because of the lack of voluntary labour. Repairs
were undertaken in 1789 and in 1885. During his 30- year service, 1868-1898, Fr
Manuel Camaftes restored both buildings and added a cemetery. He also dug an
artesian well at the center of the plaza fronting the church, a unique feature said to
be a precedent in Philippine architectural history. The church illustrates rococo at its
height. A re- cent addition, the intricate portico, is itself an art piece but distracts
from the facade's other attractions, i.e., the lattice and stained-glass windows, the
decorative rather than functional columns, and even the hanger- shaped pediment.
Much charm is achieved by the combination of various shapes, like the alternating
semirounded and rectangular windows of the belfry. The convento is entered
through sculptured wooden doors bearing the Augustinian emblem. A similar
wooden door, with carved angels, leads to the richly adorned interior of the church.
Simple wooden floors look up to a painted ceiling, the main mural portraying Christ

the King. The walls have trompe l'oeil windows, medallions, and other decorations.
The small windows have bright-colored glass panes arranged in checkerboard
patterns. The rococo retablo is one of the best of its kind in the country. It has two
stories-with five niches and two relieves on the first story, three niches and two
relieves on the second story and one niche on the pediment. Salomonica columns
on the first level and Corinthian columns on the second level separate the
216
niches and reliefs of Augustinian saints. A bust of God the Father peers down from
the top center of the retablo's pediment. M.P. Consing
BOAC CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of the Inmaculada Concepcion. Location: Boac,
Marinduque. The Franciscans were the first to evangelize Marinduque island,
formerly Malindig. The first per- manent Franciscan missionary to Boac Fr Esteban
Ortiz arrived in 1579. The following year, he founded the town of Boac and named it
Montserrat de Marin- duque. Fr Alonso Beftol became the first resident par- ish
priest in 1584. In 1613, for lack of personnel, the Franciscans returned Marinduque
to the Archbishop of Manila. The archbishop appointed a cathedral canon as the proprietary priest of Boac. When the canon died, the archbishop requested the Jesuits
to take charge of the island. They initially sent men on extended tour from the
Silang residence. The Jesuits assigned a resident missionary between 1621 and
1622. They also had to refound the abandoned towns. Lying south of Batangas and
in bPtween the Bicol Peninsula and Mindoro, the island of Marinduque was
strategically important for the defense of Manila. The island was along the pathway
of both the galleons and southern raiders. In inclement weather the galleons would
take shelter in its harbor at Balanacan as they would in neighboring Puerto Galera in
Mindoro isFORTRESS-CHURCH. Boac's massive fortress- church, on the top of a hill, was built
as lookout and refuge during pirate raids. (Rene Javellana Collection)
land. Because of its importance, Marinduque's coasts were lined with fortresses and
watchtowers, usually built on hills or promontaries. The fortress church of Boac has
a two-story facade with a triangular pediment and heavy buttresses for its single
nave, a style common to churches in less war-prone areas. It is located on top of a
hill and surrounded by a wall. In case of an attack the church would become the
second line of defense. Although the dates of the con- struction of Boac's defensive
walls are not known, they were probably built sometime in the latter part of the
18th century when raids were frequent. The walls, then as high as 3 m, crown the
top of the hill, now called Mataas na Bayan (Higher Town). There are six sides to the
walls, each side of unequal length. At every corner are bulwarks with openings for
artillery. A sixth bulwark doubles as a sacristy. Two gates pierce the wall; one at the
northern side facing the river, and the other at the southern side facing the hills. A
third breach has been recently cut into the walls. The east- ern bulwark has been
demolished, an archway made, and a road for cars laid out. The convento behind
the church opens to a vista of the Boac River and distant Laylay, where at a rivermouth delta stands the ruins of an old watch-tower. This unusual placement of the
convento and its multi- ple passages may have been designed for defense; thus one

can go from church to convento without being exposed. The convento itself is
defensive. In- stead of the regular plan using a wooden second floor, both floors are
of stone and brick. A veranda sur- rounds the convento on two sides, perhaps as a
pasBOLJOON CHURCH AND CONVENT
ASCETIC FACADE. The simple facade of the Boljoon Church belles its rich baroque
interior. The tower recalls Mexican counterparts. (Renato S. Rastrollo 1991, Cultural
Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
sage way for look-outs. Below the convento is an emp- ty hall identified by tradition
as a cuadra (stable). R. Javellana
BOLJOON CHURCH AND CONVENTO
Roman Catholic Parish Church of Nuestra Senora de Patrocinio de San Jose.
Location: Boljoon, Cebu. Begun 1783. Formerly a visita (outlying district) of Carcar,
the parish was said to have been founded simultaneously with the town after
Boljoon was made capital of the second vicariate south of Cebu in 1692. The
Augusti- nian Fr Nicolas de la Cuarda was its first prior. For lack of priests, the
convento was turned over to the Jesuits in 1737; it was recovered by the
Augustinians in 1747. The first buildings were probably ruined during the frequent
Muslim raids in the 18th century, particu- larly in 1872. The present church was
begun by Fr Ambrosio Otero and finished by Fr Julian Bermejo, who enclosed the
complex within stone walls. In- scribed dates-like 1789 above the south wing door;
1801, above the main entrance door; and 1829, above the side door near the belfrymay indicate suspen- sion of work, renovation, and expansion (evidenced by the low
roof extending from the south wall). Both church and convento were restored by Fr
Leandro Moran, Boljoon's last Augustinian prior, 1920-1948.
217
MAJOR WORKS
CHURCH AS PHOENIX. The construction of the Calaslao Church dates back to the
17th and 18th centuries. Destroyed by fire and earthquakes, the church was rebuilt
and repaired several times. The facade was rebuilt after the 1990 earthquake.
(Renata S. Rastrollo 1992, Cultural Center of the Philippines Library Collection)
The stone church measures 65 m long, 12m, wide, and 12 m high. The classical
facade is accentuated with rococo motifs, floral and geometric-on the panels and
pilasters. It consists of three levels, including a large triangular pediment. Its only
openings are the arched main door on the ground level and the two arched windows
on the second level. These windows are on either side of a niche housing the statue
of Nuestra Senora de Patrocinio. To the right of the church is a two-level belfry
attached by a gable-roofed baptistry to the main struc- ture. The other bell tower,
holding more bells of va- rious sizes and now facing the municipal hall building, was
once used as a watchtower. Massive and rec- tangular, this used to be connected to
a large house at its north wall; the house deteriorated, leaving only few stone
remnants. The church interior is baroque. Wooden tracery adorn its pulpit and choir
loft. The hexagonal pulpit, five panels of which are missing, has an elaborately

designed crown. Still in the choir loft is the old organ installed in 1880. Other
highlights include gilded re- tablos, two minor altars at the transept similarly decorated with gold leaf, and the vaulted ceiling painted with biblical scenes. To the right
of the church is the L-shaped conven- to. The church can be entered through the
convento's ground floor; a door opens to the church at the south- wall. A grand old
staircase from the basement leads upstairs to the spacious main sala overlooking
the sea. The sala is only half of the horizontal section of the convento. The other
half consists of larger rooms. A volada (gallery) linking the sala to the dirty kitchen
protects the storage rooms and chambers of the parish priest and his assistant from
sun and rain. In addition to the kitchen and bathroom, these rooms occupy the
218
vertical section of the convento. The ground floor has turned into a garage,
bodegas, and pens for domesti- cated animals. From the outside, the convento' s
ground level may be mistaken for a prison and its second level for a dance hall. The
ground floor windows are narrow and protected by semicircular wooden balustrades.
There are two doors of hardwood and wrought iron, with metal locks; a semicircular
door faces east, and a flat and wider door faces south. Persiana windows encircle
the entire second floor. Plain wooden panels close what should have been the
ventanillas (window shut- ten~) and transoms. The convento' s steep roof is made
of tiles. P. Labrado and M.P. Consing
CALASIAO CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of San Pedro y San Pablo. Location: Calasiao,
Pangasinan. Built before 1763, probably 1753-1758. After establishing their
headquarters at Binala- tongan (now San Carlos), the Dominicans extended their
operations to Gabon where they established a second house. In the chapter of 1588
the houses at Binalaton- gan and Gabon were officially accepted as quasipar- ishes,
both dedicated to Santo Domingo. Escaping death threats and much hostility in
Gabon the Domini- cans transferred to Calasiao. After reconciling the war- ring
chiefs of the neighboring settlements of Nalauan and Dinaloan, they persuaded
them and their follow- ers to form one community at Calasiao. In 1592 the Casa de
Santo Domingo de Calasiao was included in the official roster of houses belonging to
the Domini- can province. In 1596 the town church was placed under the advocacy
of San Pedro de Calasiao. In 1621
the church was renamed San Pedro y San Pablo de Calasiao. A much bigger and
newer church was prob- ably erected in that year. An early church, said to have
been built from 1753 to 1758, was burned at least three times, i.e., in 1763 during
the Palaris Revolt in 1840 or 1841, and again in 1852. After each calamity the
church was repaired although the extent of damage cannot be determined. In 1771
the Synod of Calasiao was convened in this parish to discuss problems affecting the
Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Manila. An earthquake in 1890 brought down
the upper parts of the bell tow- er, which was later rebuilt. The last major renovation
during the Spanish era was done after the 1892 earth- quake which ruined the
church facade. The church as it stands today has a single nave flanked by aisles. At
the end of the nave is a narrow presbytery. The facade is flanked by a bell tower to
its left and a convento to its right. A spacious plaza, enclosed by a low stone wall,
faces the church and its left side. Examination of the masonry reveals that the

structure was built at different times; the apse, bell tower and three-fourths of the
wall and buttress are all bricks while three fourths of the nave walls and the lower
half of the apse are covered with paletada (pro- tective stucco layer). The brick bell
tower, the most interesting part of the complex, is said to belong to the structure
burned in 1763. The typical form of an 18th-century tower is followed. A photograph
of the church facade after the 1892 earthquake shows a pediment reminiscent of
the facade of the Cagayan Valley Church, also built by the Dominicans. The cracked
pediment has been replaced
STONE RELIEF. The Calumplt Church Is unique for the carved ornaments on Its
facade. One side portal depicts the VIrgin and her cousin Santa Isabel, flanked by
exuberant foliage growing from a pair of ums. (Galende 7987, Cultural Center of the
Philippines Ubrory Collection)
CALUMPIT CHURCH
by a simple triangular one. The facade has three doors corresponding to the nave
and aisles within. Linking the convent and church is the remnant of an older
structure, possibly a convento. The church interior is quite spacious. Three large
wooden retablos correspond to the presbytery and the two side aisles. Two more
altars are found on the sides. The barrel-vault ceiling of wooden slats is ornamented
with religious symbols. The five altars and the interior decorations date from the
19th century. R.T. Jose and R. Javellana
CALUMPIT CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of San Juan Bautis- ta. Location: Calumpit, Bulacan.
Strategically located at the confluence of the Baliuag River and Rio Grande de
Pampanga, Calumpit was the first town in Bulacan to be Christianized. In 1572,
together with Lubao and Betis in Pampanga, Calumpit became a visita (outlying
district) of Tondo under the administration of the Augustinians. Three years later the
town received its first prior. Its religious territory was extensive, comprising what are
now the towns of Candaba, Macabebe, and Paombong which were former visitas.
Construction history of the church and convento is practically nil since the parish
archives, within both buildings, were burned by the revolutionaries during the
Philippine Revolution. These buildings were re- built before 1779. The bell tower was
reconstructed in 1829, although its upper stories were recently altered.
219
MAJOR WORKS
The ornamentation of the facade is unique in the country, distinguished by bands of
figurative carving and a multicurved roofline over the pediment. The bands of
carving, representing various biblical person- ages, run horizontally along the
middle of the facade's lower level and the arch over the main entrance. Simi- lar
carvings frame the entrance of the south side. Much of the carving, especially that
of the garlands and foliage, is curiously swollen and recalls certain 18th- century
Mexican churches. A similar technique was used for the two escutcheons on the
facade of the church in Pakil, Laguna. The one-of-a-kind silhouette crowning the
facade unfortunately .lost its vitality when it was incorporated into a larger, gableshaped pediment several years ago. The facade of adobe blocks has also been

cemented over; in contrast, the sanctuary walls were stripped of their stucco
covering to reveal brickwork. R.T. Jose
CARCAR CHURCH
Roman Catholic Parish Church of Santa Catalina. Location: Carcar, Cebu. Built 1860-1875. Carcar (formerly Sialo or Siarro) was a visita (out- lying district) of Santo Nino.
Its first church, erected in 1599, was burned by Muslim pirates. This did not hinder
the rapid growth of the parish nor of the con- vento's treasury which, in the 17th
century, was re- portedly one of the largest in the Visayas. In 1860 the
220
Augustinian Fr Antonio Manglano began constructing the present stone church
which Fr Manuel Fernandez Rubio completed in 1875. The church is classical with
Muslim influence. Tall and rectangular, it measures 68 m long, 22 m wide, and 12 m
high. An integral part of the facade, framing the main door and the pediment, are
the two three-story bell towers capped by cupolas; these resemble minarets.
Beneath a grand arch linking the twin towers is the arched main door. Apart from
the order's coat of arms, a blind rose window, and floral designs above the door, the
facade is bare of embellishment. The pedi- ment is more ornate, with a round clock
at its center. Recent additions in the patio fronting the facade are statues of the
apostles. The interior has one central and two lateral naves. A square apse houses
the sanctuary and sacristy. The original wooden pulpit and the choir loft have been
retained. The columns dividing the naves are thick and square; on each are
attached small pedestals, the lower for a station of the cross, and the upper for a
statue of an angel. The ceilings are carved and painted with geometricized flora.
The roof over the central nave rises above the roofs of the lateral naves. This was
designed to accommodate 10 clerestory windows for natural light- ing. The side
walls of the church have nine evenly spaced arched windows. All walls have been
finished with plain cement plaster. P. Labrado and M.P. Consing
NOBLE FACADE. The recessed portal of the Carcar Church Is flanked by stately
towers and crowned by an omate pediment. Arches In the renaissance style are the
dominant moHf. (Cultural Center of the Philippines Ubrary Collection)
MAJOR WORKS
,:t
was raised to an archdiocese and three dioceses were created as its suffragans: the
Santisimo Nombre de Jesus in Cebu, Nueva Segovia in Vigan, and Nueva Caceres in
Naga. Until 1865 the Diocese of Cebu in- cluded all the Visayan islands, Mindanao,
and the Marianas. In 1934 Cebu was elevated to an archdiocese with the dioceses
of Calbayog, Jaro, Zamboanga, Baco- lod, and Cagayan as its suffragans. The Cebu
Archdio- cese is dedicated to the Santos Angeles de la Guardia. Although the
cathedral was reconstructed after WWII, its facade and walls go back to the 18th
century. The construction of the first church began on 10 Aug 1595. Originally made
of wood, bamboo, and nipa, it was later provided with stone walls. Bp Juan Lopez's
report to the King of Spain in 1667 described the sorry state of the cathedral. In
1689 Bp Diego de Aguilar began the construction of a larger building, but the
project was discontinued. His successor Bp Miguel Bayot began an entirely new

structure, but again this did not go far beyond the initial stage. Describing the
building under construction as no- thing but a ''bam," and finding it too small, the
new Bp Sebastian de Foronda discontinued the project. In 1719 new plans were
prepared by the military engineer Juan de Ciscara who had been summoned from
Man- ila. Ciscara designed a large church with a wide nave and ample lateral ais