Arts & Culture

5 Ways To Achieve Filipino Style

An amazing exhibit of the works of architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa reveals the secrets to efficient and beautiful Filipino design

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Filipino design has undergone many changes to become relevant in modern times, and many local designers have claimed to be purveyors of this movement. But the true champion of Filipino design is the multi-awarded architect Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa.



Both Mañosa and Filipino design are celebrated in the exhibit Mañosa: Beyond Architecture, currently at the National Museum of the Philippines. Curated by architect Gerard Lico with help from Patrick Flores and Timothy Ong, the exhibit brings together a body of Mañosa’s work that spans more than 50 years, with rare photographs, product prototypes, sketches, and scale models—some of projects that were never built.  There are no residential projects on display, however, except for Mañosa’s own family home (in main photo above), which he built as an example of all his design principles.

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At the launch last February 12, architect Gelo Mañosa, who continues his father’s legacy alongside sister Bambi and brother Dino explained how they dug through their father’s vast archives of projects: “We decided to look into materials that we felt were tipping points in dad’s career…some of these were never seen by the public, and some of the items are dad’s favorite projects and we thought it would be nice to share them with the public.” [To see Gelo Mañosa’s modern Filipino home, click here.]

The exhibit is divided into six sections, namely: Buhay na Gawa (A Life in Architecture), Likas at Likha (Materials and Processes), Diwa ng Anyo (Design), Danas ng Aliwalas (Experience of Space), Tagpuan ng Ugnayan (Settings of Social Interaction), and Lugar ng Laro (Place of Play). In the Lugar ng Laro section, museum-goers get a glimpse of the whimsical side of Mañosa, who designed wooden toys (his playrooms and bedroom for children are always delightful), played in a jazz band, and even designed the erstwhile Playboy Club in Manila.

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Mañosa: Beyond Architecture will run at the 4th floor of the National Museum until May 12, 2017, so drop by this weekend. Entrance is free. Get a sneak peek of Mañosa’s iconic projects here, and find out how to achieve Filipino style at home with these design ideas: 

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