Architecture of the Philippines
The architecture of the Philippines (Filipino: Arkitekturang Pilipino) is a reflection of the history and heritage of the country. The most prominent historic constructions in the archipelago are based on a mix of indigenous Austronesian,American, and Spanish influences.
The pre-colonial architecture of the Philippines consisted of the Nipa hut made from natural materials but there are some traces of large-scale construction before the Spanish colonizers came but not well documented. An example of this is the pre-colonial walled city of Manila although later after the Spanish colonization, dismantled by the Spaniards and rebuilt as Intramuros.
During three hundred years of Spanish colonialization, the Philippine architecture was dominated by the Spanish influences. During this period, Intramuros, the walled city of Manila, was built with its walls, houses, churches and fortress. The Augustinian friars, along with other religious orders, built a large number of grand churches and cathedrals all over the Philippine Islands.
During this period the traditional Filipino Bahay na bató (Filipino for "stone house") style for the large houses emerged. These were large houses built of stone and wood combining Filipino, Spanish and Chinese style elements.
After the Philippines was ceded to the United States of America as a consequence of the Spanish–American War in 1898, the architecture of the Philippines was dominated by American aesthetics. In this period, the plan for the modern City of Manila was designed, with a large number of neoclassical architecture and art deco buildings by famous American and Filipino architects. During the Liberation of Manila by the combined American and Filipino troops in 1945, large portions of Intramuros and Manila were destroyed. In the reconstruction period after the Second World War, many of the destroyed buildings were rebuilt.
In the late 20th century, modern architecture with straight lines and functional aspects was introduced, particularly in the Brutalist architecture that characterised government-built structures done in the Marcos period. During this period many of the older structures fell into decay. Early in the 21st century, a revival of the respect for the traditional Filipino elements in the architecture returned.
- 1 Prehistory
- 2 Classical Period
- 3 Pre-Modern Era
- 4 Spanish Colonial era
- 5 American Colonial Period
- 6 Contemporary period (After World War II)
- 7 Churches of Iglesia ni Cristo (pointed Chapel)
- 8 Modern Era
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Banaue Rice Terraces
The Banaue Rice Terraces are 2,000-year-old terraces that were carved into the mountains of Ifugao in the Philippines by ancestors of the indigenous people. The Rice Terraces are commonly referred to by Filipinos as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".It is commonly thought that the terraces were built with minimal equipment, largely by hand. The terraces are located approximately 1,500 metres (5,000 ft) above sea level. They are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rainforests above the terraces. It is said that if the steps were put end to end, it would encircle half the globe.
Later on the invention of various tools allowed for the fabrication of tent-like shelters and tree houses. Early Classical houses were characterized by rectangular structures elevated on stilt foundations and covered by voluminous thatched roofs ornamented with gable-finials and its structure could be lifted as a whole and carried to a new site. Examples include the Ifugao House, Bahay kubo and the Royal Nobilities Torogan.
Skills in fortification
The architecture of the early Filipinos are also the skills that were used at the time of war and on the battlefield. Due to the creation of various thalassocratic states within the archipelago, trade began to flourish. Neighboring tribes would often wage war for territory and trade rights in certain areas, thids ultimately led to the fortification of villages and towns. Another reason for the development of these fortifications skills was that of prestige and intimidation, petty chiefs, Datus and Rajahs as they were called, often built forts and fortifications to intimidate other chiefs in their area.
With the arrival of Muslim scholars from nearby Indonesia, the native Filipinos were introduced to the concept of the Kota or fort. The Muslim Filipinos of the south built strong fortresses called kota or moong to protect their communities. Usually, many of the occupants of these kotas are entire families rather than just warriors. Lords often had their own kotas to assert their right to rule, it served not only as a military installation but as a palace for the local Lord. It is said that at the height of the Maguindanao Sultanate's power, they blanketed the areas around Western Mindanao with Kotas and other fortifications to block the Spanish advance into the region. These kotas were usually made of stone and bamboo or other light materials and surrounded by trench networks. As a result, some of these kotas were burned easily of destroyed. With further Spanish campaigns in the region, the Sultanate was subdued and majority of Kotas dismantled or destroyed. Kotas were not only used by the Muslims as defense against Spaniards and other foreigners, renegades and rebels also built fortifications in defiance of other chiefs in the area. During the American occupation, rebels built strongholds and the Datus, Rajahs or Sultans often built and reinforced their kotas in a desperate bid to maintain rule over their subjects and their land. Many of these forts were also destroyed by American expeditions, as a result, very very few kotas still stand to this day.
- Kota Selurong: an outpost of the Bruneian Empire in Luzon, later became the City of Manila.
- Kuta Wato/Kota Bato: Literally translates to "stone fort" the first known stone fortification in the country, its ruins exist as the "Kutawato Cave Complex" 
- Kota Sug/Jolo: The capital and seat of the Sultanate of Sulu. When it was occupied by the Spaniards in the 1870s they converted the kota into the world's smallest walled city.
Main Article: Ivatan people
The Ivatan people of the northern islands of Batanes often built fortifications to protect themselves during times of war. They built their so-called idjangs on hills and elevated areas. These fortifications were likened to European castles because of their purpose. Usually, the only entrance to the castles would be via a rope ladder that would only be lowered for the villagers and could be kept away when invaders arrived.
This Classical Filipino House have three types of house: is lawig the small houses, The mala-a-walai the large houses and the torogan. The existing torogans were built by the community and the slaves for the King in 1800s. This house of the King has no partitions and it is a multifamily dwelling where all the wives and the children of the Hari (king) lived. The windows of torogan are slits and richly framed in wood panels with okir designs located in front of the house. The communal kitchen is half a meter lower than the main house is both used for cooking and eating. The distinct high gable roof of the torogan, thin at the apex and gracefully flaring out to the eaves, sits on a huge structures enclosed by slabs of timber and lifted more than two meters above the ground by a huge trunk of a tree that was set on a rock. The end floor beams lengthen as panolongs the seemed to lift up the whole house. The torogan is suffused with decorations. There were diongal at the apex of the roof, also an intricately carved tinai a walai, okir designs in the floor, on windows and on panolongs. There were also brightly colored weaves or malongs hanging from the rafters, it was hung up using ropes around a particular territory for privacy. The house was built to sway during earthquakes. Twenty-five post of huge tree trunks were not buried but are freestanding. Sometimes, if needed, wooden pegs were used to secure the wood members. These were all used to prevent the house from collapsing.
The Bahay Kubo
The Bahay Kubo (literally "cube house") is the Filipino word for Nipa huts, they were the native houses of the indigenous people of the Philippines before the Spaniards arrived. They are still used today, especially in rural areas. Different architectural designs are present among the different ethnolinguistic groups in the country, although all of them conform to being stilt houses, similar to those found in neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries of Southeast Asia.
Spanish Colonial era
Spanish colonization introduced European architecture into the country. The influence of European architecture and its style actually came via the Antilles through the Manila Galleon. The most lasting legacy of Spain in terms of architecture was its colonial parish churches designed by innumerable Spanish friars. Many structures were made from local materials such as coral and volcanic rock.
Bahay na bato
In this era, the nipa hut or bahay kubo gave way to the Bahay na bato (stone house) and became the typical house of noble Filipinos. The Bahay na bato, the colonial Filipino house, followed the nipa hut's arrangements such as open ventilation and elevated apartments. The most obvious difference between the two houses would be the materials that was used to build them. The bahay na bato was constructed out of brick and stone rather than the traditional bamboo materials. It is a mixture of native Filipino, Spanish and Chinese influences. During the 19th century, wealthy Filipinos built some fine houses, usually with solid stone foundations or brick lower walls, and overhanging, wooden upper story with balustrades and capiz shell sliding windows, and a tiled roof. Excellent preserved examples of these houses of the illustrious Filipinos can be admired in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. In Taal, Batangas, the main street is also lined with examples of the traditional Filipino homes.
Intramuros is the old walled city of Manila located along the southern bank of the Pasig River. The historic city was home to centuries-old churches, schools, convents, government buildings and residences, the best collection of Spanish colonial architecture before much of it was destroyed by the bombs of World War II. Of all the buildings within the 67-acre city, only one building, the San Agustin Church, survived the war.
Fort Santiago (Fuerza de Santiago) is a defense fortress established by Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi. The fort is the citadel of the walled city of Intramuros, in Manila. The location of Fort Santiago was also once the site of the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suliman, king of Maynila of pre-Spanish era. It was destroyed by the conquistadors upon arriving in 1570, encountering several bloody battles with the Muslims and native Tagalogs. The Spaniards destroyed the native settlements and erected Fuerza de Santiago in 1571.
Paco Park was planned as a municipal cemetery for the well-off and established aristocratic Spanish families who resided in the old Manila, or Intramuros. The cemetery is circular in shape, with an inner circular fort that was the original cemetery with niches on the hollow walls. As the population continued to grow, a similar second outer wall was built with the thick adobe hollow walls with niches, the top of the walls made into a walkway circumnavigating the park. A Roman Catholic chapel was built inside the inner walls, dedicated to St. Pancratius. The landscape design was done by Ildefonso Santos from 1967 to 1969.
The order of the Augustinians, Augustinian Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of the Philippines, built many churches all over the Philippines. These magnificent structures can still be found throughout the Philippine Islands.
San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, is the most famous of these churches. This unique specimen of Filipino architecture from the Spanish area has been included in the World Heritage Sites List of the UNESCO. The church was built by the Augustinian friars from 1694 until 1710. It shows the earthquake proof baroque style architecture. The bell tower served as an observation post in 1896 for the Katipuneros during the Philippine revolution against the Spaniards, and again by the Filipino guerillas during the Japanese occupation in World War II.
San Agustín Church and Monastery, built between 1587 and 1606, is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines, and the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros during the Battle of Manila (1945). The present structure is actually the third to stand on the site and has survived seven major earthquakes, as well as the wars in Manila. The church remains under the care of the Augustinians who founded it.
San Agustín Church lies within the walled city of Intramuros located in the capital city Manila, Philippines. It is the first European stone church to be built in the Philippines designed in Spanish architectural structure. The church also houses the legacies of the Spanish conquistadors, Miguel López de Legazpi, Juan de Salcedo and Martín de Goiti who are buried and laid to rest in a tomb, underneath the church.
The church has 14 side chapels and a trompe-l'oeil ceiling. Up in the choir loft are the hand-carved 17th-century seats of molave, a beautiful tropical hardwood. Adjacent to the church is a small museum run by the Augustinian order, featuring antique vestments, colonial furniture, and religious paintings and icons.
It was named a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine government in 1976. Together with three other ancient churches in the country, it was designated as part of the World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993.
During the Spanish and American era many lighthouses were constructed around the Philippine Islands. The most Northeastern Lighthouse can be found in Burgos, Ilocos Norte.
American Colonial Period
After the Spanish–American War in 1898, the Americans took control of the Philippines until after the World War II. During this period, the Americans constructed many Neoclassical buildings in Manila.
In 1902 Judge William Howard Taft was appointed to head the Philippine Commission to evaluate the needs of the new territory. Taft, who later became the first civilian Governor-General of the Philippines, decided that Manila, the capital, should be a planned city. He hired as his architect and city planner Daniel Burnham, who had built Union Station and the post office in Washington, D.C.. In Manila, Mr. Burnham had in mind a long wide, tree-lined boulevard along the bay, beginning at a park area dominated by a magnificent hotel. To design what would be the Manila Hotel Taft hired William E. Parsons, a New York architect, who envisioned an impressive, but comfortable hotel, along the lines of a grander California mission. The original design was an H-shaped plan that focused on well-ventilated rooms on two wings, providing grand vistas of the harbor, the Luneta Park, and Intramuros. The top floor was a large viewing deck that was used for various functions, including watching the United States Navy steam into the harbor.
Many of these buildings were heavily damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945. After the Second World War, many were rebuilt. Many buildings in Manila were later designed by the Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano.
In 1911, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed the Manila Army and Navy Club at the shore of Manila Bay bordering the Luneta Park. The building consists of a grand entrance and has three stories that housed the various function rooms and the hotel rooms. Together with its sister, the Elks Club, it was the center of social life for many Americans for decades.
At T.M. Kalaw Street stands one of the remaining structures that survived the liberation of Manila in 1945, the Luneta Hotel, which was completed in 1918. According to Dean Joseph Fernandez of the University of Santo Tomas, the hotel was designed by the Spanish architect-engineer Salvador Farre. The structure is the only remaining example of the French Renaissance architecture with Filipino stylized Beaux-Arts architecture in the Philippines to date.
The Manila Metropolitan Theater is an Art Deco building designed by the Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano, and built in 1935. During the liberation of Manila by the combined American and Flipino troops in 1945, the theatre was totally destroyed. After reconstruction by the Americans it gradually fell into disuse in the 1960s. In the following decade it was meticulously restored but again fell into decay. The city of Manila is planning a renovation of this once magnificent building.[when?]
The sculptures upon the façade of the theater are by Italian sculptor Francesco Riccardo Monti, who lived in Manila from 1930 until his death in 1958, and worked closely with Juan M. Arellano. Highly stylized relief carving of Philippine plants executed by the artist Isabelo Tampingco decorate the lobby walls and interior surfaces of the building.
In 1940 the Manila Jai Alai Building was constructed along Taft Avenue, designed by architect Welton Becket. It was built in the Philippine Art Deco style. In addition to hosting jai alai, it included the famous "Sky Lounge". Unfortunately, demolition began on July 15, 2000 on the orders of Mayor Lito Atienza.
At the Far Eastern University (FEU) in Quiapo, Manila, five Art Deco structures on the campus were designed by National Artist Pablo Antonio. Three were built before World War II and two, after. Although FEU buildings were totally damaged during the war, the university was restored to its original Art Deco design immediately after. The university was given a UNESCO Asia Pacific-Heritage Award for Cultural Heritage in 2005 for the outstanding preservation of its Art Deco structures.
Art Deco theaters in the Philippines
During the rise of cinema in the Philippines as a form of recreation, several theaters were constructed in the 1930s to 1950s in the Art Deco style designed by prominent architects now recognized as National Artists.
The following are the Philippine architects who contributed and lead to the design of the classic Philippine theaters:
Contemporary period (After World War II)
Modern urban dwellings are typically two-story structures with a concrete ground floor, sides of brick, concrete blocks, or wooden slats, and an iron roof.
United Architects of the Philippines
The United Architects of the Philippines or UAP is the Official Voice for Architects throughout the country. The UAP was formed through the “unification” of three architectural organizations: the Philippine Institute of Architects, The League of Philippine Architects and the Association of Philippine Government Architects. It became the Bonafide Professional Organization of Architects upon receiving Accreditation Number 001 from the Professional Regulation Commission. Thus, UAP was the first professional organization recognized by the Republic. With the passing of the new architecture law or Republic Act No. 9266, UAP becomes the IAPOA or the Integrated Accredited Professional Organization of Architects. In 2014 they gave their highest award, the Likha Gold Medal Award, to Yolanda Reyes, who was the first woman to receive this award.
Examples of Filipino architecture in the Contemporary era
Parish of the Holy Sacrifice
The Parish of the Holy Sacrifice is the landmark Catholic chapel in the University of the Philippines Diliman. Known for its architectural design, the church is recognized as a National Historical Landmark and a Cultural Treasure by the National Historical Institute and the National Museum respectively. Five National artists collaborated on the project. The building was designed by the late National Artist for Architecture, Leandro Locsin. Alfredo Juinio served as the structural engineer for the project. Around the chapel are fifteen large murals painted by Vicente Manansala depicting the Stations of the Cross. The marble altar and the large wooden cross above it were sculpted by Napoleon Abueva. The mosaic floor mural called the “River of Life” was designed by Arturo Luz.
The image of "Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage" has been venerated in the church of Antipolo for centuries. The old church that housed the virgin was destroyed in February 1945 when the Americans bombed Antipolo as part of the liberation campaign of Manila. In 1954, a new church was built designed by the renowned Filipino architect Jose de Ocampo. This church is of a cupolaed design centered around the image of the Virgin. It functions as the center point of the pilgrimages to Antipolo.
Bahay Kubo mansion
In May 2008, National artist for architecture Francisco Mañosa, designer of the Coconut Palace, built his own two-storey Bahay Kubo mansion in Ayala Alabang Village, a wealthy suburb south of Manila. With only 3 posts or "haligi", it has five one-inch coconut shell doors, a "silong", Muslim room, sala, and master's bedroom with a fish pond therein.
Cultural Center of the Philippines
In 1965, Former First Lady Imelda Marcos have revealed her desire to build a national theater for the country. The Cultural Center of the Philippines is located on a reclaimed land along Roxas Boulevard. The Cultural Center of the Philippines was designed by Leandro V. Locsin and it is also considered as one of his most recognizable works. Today the CCP Main theater in now situated in an 88-hectare complex called the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, the complex will be divided into six clusters. First, the Promenade, it will be home to retail and other mixed-use facilities, as well as dock facilities. The second cluster will be the Arts Sanctuary, which will serve as the complex's cultural core. The third cluster will be the Green Zone, which will contain a mix of museums and parks with commercial and office spaces. Fourth, the Creative Hub cluster, it will contain spaces for creative industries. Fifth, the Arts Living Room, envisioned to become a high-density, high-rise area that will house condominiums and similar residential projects. The final cluster is the Breezeway, it will contain low-rise, low-density commercial structures with seafront entertainment facilities. Covered walkways, plazas and bicycle lanes are planned to connect various buildings and clusters to ensure a pedestrian-centered design.
Other prominent Filipino architects
- Leandro V. Locsin (1928–1994) was one of the modern architects who shaped the modern Filipino Architecture. During his career, he built five churches, over 30 different buildings, over 70 residences, and major landmarks in the Philippines including the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
- Juan Carlos Eugene Soler is the only Filipino to win the prestigious Glass Architectural Design Competition in Tokyo, Japan (2009).
Churches of Iglesia ni Cristo (pointed Chapel)
Iglesia ni Cristo church buildings primarily serve as places of worship and are used for other religious functions. These are described by Culture and customs of the Philippines, a book published by Greenwood Publishing Group, as structures "which employ exterior neo-Gothic vertical support columns with tall narrow windows between, interlocking trapezoids, and rosette motifs, as well as tower and spires." There are multiple entrances leading to the main sanctuary, where males and females sit on either side of the aisle facing a dais where sermons are made. The choir loft is located behind the dais, and in larger churches, baptistry pools for immersion baptism are located at the back of the church. Meanwhile, Fernando Nakpil-Zialcita, an anthropologist from Ateneo de Manila University, said that INC churches can be uniquely identified for "its exuberant use of fanciful forms and ornaments [and a] brilliant white facade whose silhouette is a cusped Gothic arch or a flattened Saracenic arch. The distinctive spires represent "the reaching out of the faithful to God." Churches were started to be built in this style during the late 1940s and early 1950s with the first concrete chapel built in Sampaloc, Manila in 1948. The Central Temple which opened in July 27, 1984, can accommodate up to 7,000 persons, and cost about US$2 million. The Central Temple features octagonal spires, "fine latticework" and ribbed windows. Recent buildings are variations of Carlos A. Santos-Viola's designs on the Central Temple. These are designed to accommodate 250 to 1,000 persons while larger churches in Metro Manila and provincial capitals can accommodate up to 3,000 persons. Prominent architects, such as Juan Nakpil (a National Artist of the Philippines for architecture) and Carlos Raúl Villanueva, had been involved in designing INC churches while the Engineering and Construction Department of INC, established in 1971, oversees the uniformity in design of church buildings.
Examples of modern Architecture
The Araneta Coliseum, known as The Big Dome, is an indoor multi-purpose sports arena located in the Cubao area of Quezon City, Philippines. It is one of the largest coliseums and indoor facilities in Asia, and it is also one of the largest clear span domes in the world. The Smart Araneta Coliseum is mostly used for sports such as basketball, it is the main venue of the Philippine Basketball Association. The Big Dome is also used for boxing, cockfighting, local and international concerts, circuses, religious gatherings, beauty pageants and more.
San Juanico Bridge
San Juanico Bridge is part of the Pan-Philippine Highway and stretches from Samar to Leyte across the San Juanico Strait in the Philippines. Its longest length is a steel girder viaduct built on reinforced concrete piers, and its main span is of an arch-shaped truss design. With a total length of 2.16 kilometers (1.34 mi), it is the longest bridge in the Philippines spanning a body of seawater.
Bagong Nayong Pilipino (Entertainment City)
Entertainment City (also known as Bagong Nayong Pilipino - Entertainment City) or previously Manila Bay Tourism City is Asia's Las Vegas-like gaming and entertainment complex that is underway by PAGCOR on 8 km² of land on the reclamation area of Manila Bay, Philippines as envisioned by the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation in 2002. It lies the western side of Roxas Boulevard and south of SM Corporate District (SM Mall of Asia), part of Parañaque City. Investments to the project can reach up to $15 billion, which is scaled down from the more recent $20 billion budget announcement that had been previously announced in 2007. All investments will come from private companies.
The Philippine Arena is a multi-purpose indoor arena being constructed at Ciudad de Victoria, a 75-hectare tourism enterprise zone in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan, Philippines. With a capacity of up to 55,000, it is the world's largest indoor arena once completed. It is the centerpiece of the many centennial projects of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) for their grand celebration on July 27, 2014. The legal owner of the arena is the INC's educational institution, New Era University.
Iloilo Convention Center
Iloilo Convention Center (also known as ICC or I-Con) is a state-of-the-art convention center in the Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Philippines. It's construction was completed in September 2015 in time for the APEC 2015 hosting. It is built on a 1.7-hectare of lot in the district of Mandurriao donated by the Megaworld Corp. The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority allocated P200 million for the construction of the convention center, while another P250 million was sourced from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Senator Franklin Drilon.
The state-of-the-art convention center designed by Ilonggo architect, William Coscolluela. The design was inspired by Iloilo’s Dinagyang and Paraw Regatta festivals. The paraw is a native double outrigger sailboat in the Visayas region, used in the annual Paraw Regatta Festival sailboat race. Abstract designs of the famous Dinagyang Festival are featured on the glass walls of the center. It is a two-storey structure with a total floor area of 11,832 square meters. The main hall on the ground floor has a 3,700-seat capacity and 500-seat function rooms on the second floor. A rooftop of 1,500 sqm is available for outdoor functions.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Architecture of the Philippines.|
- Arkitekturang Filipino
- "History of Philippine Architecture". Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
- "Architecture in the Philippines". Archived from the original on 2007-03-14. Retrieved 2007-06-08.
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- La Iglesia de San Agustin, Manila