100 Years of Architecture Profession in PH: Architects Group Kicks Off Celebration

The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) welcomes the centennial celebration of the architecture profession in the country with an architectural-historical tour in Intramuros, Manila last February 23.

The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) welcomes the centennial celebration of the architecture profession in the country with an architectural-historical tour in Intramuros, Manila last February 23.

Led by its National President Arch. Renato A. Heray, participants of the Architecture Centennial Coordinating Committee (ACCC) conducted a historical journey back in time in Intramuros and visited specific sites which are landmarks in the history of the architecture profession. 

These are the Ayuntamiento, Intendencia, and Mapua University, all of which are located inside the walled city. The Ayuntamiento building is a historical structure where the City Council or Cabildo approved the establishment of the Escuela Practica de Artes y Oficios. The school officially created a course for Maestro de Obras who were the forerunners of professional architects in the Philippines. The Intendencia building is the venue where the Philippine Legislature drafted Act 2985 which regulated the practice of architecture. Mapua University is also included in the architectural historical tour for being the first school of architecture in the Philippines.

UAP is leading ACCC which is composed of participating architectural organizations in the Philippines including the Philippine Institute of Architects, Architecture Advocacy Federation, Bangsamoro Architects, and Society of Moro Architects. 

After the tour, UAP also unveiled the 100 Years of Architecture in the Philippine Celebration logo and theme.

According to Arch. Heray, the celebration’s theme Isang Siglo Ng Propesyon, Pagyamanin Ang Arkitekturang Filipino calls on architects to take pride in what the profession has contributed to the Philippine landscape. “This celebration is not just a mere gathering,” he said in his speech. “This is a meaningful commemoration of our past, which paved the way for what we are enjoying now. And we enjoin all architectural organizations and chapters to come up with worthy activities that will promote the profession and dedicate it to the commemoration of the centenary of the architecture profession.”

Archt. Heray also noted the celebration’s importance for the future of architecture in the Philippines. “This occasion is important not only for us but also to the architects of the future generation. This shall serve as their guide and inspiration to continue what the profession has started 100 years ago.”

Moreover, he also highlighted UAP’s goal to be a champion of architecture in the country, especially in the time of a global pandemic.

“This year, as we celebrate the 100 years of architecture in the Philippines, it is UAP’s vision to see architecture continue to thrive in these trying times, and emerge as a leading profession not on in the building industry, but in rebuilding society as well in the next hundreds of years more,” he said. “Architects take the challenge of giving helpful contributions in adapting to the needs of the times and create sustainable living spaces for everyone.”

He added that as architecture embraces modernization, it still puts value in the importance of the past. “As architects, it is our goal to help in pushing for thriving cities while still doing our duty of architectural heritage conservation—one of the greatest manifests of our identity that we are embedded in,” he said. 

On February 23, 1921, Act 2985 was signed creating a Board of Examiners for Architecture that will conduct licensure exams every year to regulate the architecture profession. 

Since 1921, architecture professionals have helped shape and transform the Philippine landscape and participated actively as promoters of Philippine progress and development.

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