“MAÑOSA: BEYOND ARCHITECTURE” is a three-and-a-half month retrospective exhibit on the architect’s life and work, which opened February 12 at the national museum in manila.

The exhibition was inaugurated during his 86th birthday, and tells the story of his work within the framework of six central themes namely, Buhay ng Gawa, Likas at Likha, Diwa ng Anyo, Lugar ng Laro, Danas ng Aliwalas, and Tagpuan ng Ugnayan.


And as the title suggest, the exhibit will showcase the other side of the architect’s prolific career as a toy craftsman, jazz musician, philanthropist, and a visionary among others.

As what his daughter Bambi Mañosa aforementioned on the welcome message, her father is more than just an architect; he is an eager learner, an enthusiastic teacher, a kind soul, an artist, a musician, a craftsman, a positive thinker, a caring mentor, a Peter Pan, and a die-hard Filipino, which all played roles in his becoming a visionary.

He was a jazz musician (which in fact his first love, until his father pushed him to study Architecture that served him well later on) who played the piano with the Executive Band, a jazz band founded in 1957 by then senator Raul Manglapus. He was also a toy craftsman with the conception of his unique brand of handmade wooden toys called BOBI TOYS in the 1970s.  A philanthropist as he believe architecture should also be an integral form of social responsibility, hence volunteering to design for non-government and religious organization to address the unmet needs of communities and empower them.


“I am a Filipino.

I love my country.

I practice architecture.”


FRANCISCO “BOBBY” MAÑOSA is one of the most influential Filipino Architects of the twentieth century. He staked out the ground for a vernacular consciousness to flourish in the post- colonial architectural scene. Highly regarded as the pioneering figure of neovernacular architecture in the Philippines, Mañosa designed buildings of primal beauty, revealing the vital virtues to both climate and local culture without indulging in nostalgia.

Born in February 12, 1931, Mañosa develop a style that was at once recognizable Filipino, yet modern. He championed the use of indigenous materials, and experimented with new technologies for transforming them into usable modern building materials.  (February 15, 2017 Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Mañosa has promoted the return to the use of vernacular concept of space and the utilization of native thatch, bamboo, coconut, and other indigenous materials, thus initiating a wave of neovernacular following in the1980s. his notable works that steered the neovernacular current include the shrine of Our Lady of Queen of Peace at EDSA, the Mary Immaculate Parish, Pearl Farm Resort, Mañosa Residence, Aquino Center, the Light Railway Transit Stations, The San Miguel Corp. Headquarters, Ateneo Educational building, the Coconut Palace, the Lanao Provincial Capitol, among others. His commitment to Philippine government to design its pavilions in international expositions and fairs.

Spanning more than half a century, Mañosa’s creative practice was intertwined with social entrepreneurship, religious responsibility, patriotism and philanthropy, jazz music and toy craft.

The exhibition is primarily guided by a compelling, uncompromising mantra: “I design Filipino, nothing else.” his body of work has stirred and moved a generation of architects and has become a corner stone, a pillar, and pinnacle of Philippine neo-vernacular architecture. (Gerald Rey A. Lico, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture, University of the Philippines Diliman)


Here are some of the highlights during my visit:

The design for the Light Railway Transit or LRT stations as prominent steep hip roofs similar to provincial houses.

The development, restoration, and landscaping of Corregidor Island.

The proposed Centennial Tower, also known as Luneta Tower at the Agrifina Circle in Rizal Park, Manila.

The structure designed by Mañosa was inspired from the Sulo or Bamboo torch to highlight the country’s Asian heritage and character. It was planned to have a height of 390 metres (1280 ft) and the diameter of the tower’s base was to measure 60 metres (200 ft). It was planned to be a memorial to the 100th anniversary of Philippine Independence but was never built.

(Source: Wikipedia/Luneta Park)




“Styles may change in this country, but this climate will never change. We have 6 months f rain, 6 months of sunshine, we have earthquakes. We must learn from this. We must learn from our ancestors, they knew best.”


“New Filipino architecture must be, in way, a return to the old. Its forms, materials, uses and applications must stem from its beginnings, from the age-old customs and traditions of the people and the lessons of the past. “


In my 80s I am happy Filipino Architecture is now seen in many places across my beloved native land. Let it spread and flourish. Because it is our monument to our culture.” – Bobby Mañosa



“Mañosa: Beyond Architecture” runs February 12 to May 31, 2017 at the trustee’s Hall, 4th floor, National Museum of the Philippines and Admission is free.

For details, you can contact Chinie Hidalgo Diaz at 8427499 or email her at


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