History of UAP

In The Beginning

The magic that attends all beginnings, the pains that accompany all births - these are privileged memories that belong to our founding fathers.

They were there when an emergent UAP burst into the light in 1975, a news-born whose proud genealogy could be traced back to the Spanish era, the descendant of many transmutations of brilliants genes. Its parents were the best architects in this land who in their youthful energies conceived, nurtured and labored to give it birth.

Lest we forget pure time, let us go back in time - to understand the proud origin of what we now casually call the UAP.

The Prologue

During Spanish time there were no schools of Architecture in the Philippines. The closest a Filipino could aspire to the title of an Architect or practice Architecture was to be a Maestro de Obra.  The first school of Maestro de Obra was founded by the Spanish government: the Escuela Practica y Professional de Artes Oficios de Manila. There were two classes: first, was with academic title Maestro de Obras-Academico; and second, those who acquired their expertise through practical experience licensed by the Ayuntamiento de Manila called Maestro de Obras-Practico. The first Filipino graduates were Julio Hernandez (1891), Isidro Medina (1894), Arcadio Arellano (1894) and Juan Carreon (1896).

However, the First Filipino Architect was Felix Roxas y Arroyo who was schooled in London and began his architectural practice in 1858.  In 1877 – 1880, he was employed by the Spanish government, as the Municipal Architect of Manila.  His outstanding works were the Santo Domingo Church and the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros, which, unfortunately, were both destroyed during the Second World War. 

The 1st Organization

In 1902 the first organization of architects was formed with the surveyors: Academia de Arquitectura y Agremensura de Filipinas. (AAAF). This was headed by Guillermo Gardiner (Maestro de Obras and Surveyor) as President; Arcadio Arellano (Maestro de Obras and Surveyor) as vice President, Jose Perez Siguereza, (Surveyor) Secretary, Tomas Arguelles (Maestro de Obras – Surveyor) and Jose Paras (Maestro de Obras – Surveyor) as Directors.

In 1903 the organization was transformed as the Academia de Arquitectura, Ingenieria y Agremnsura de Filipinas  (AIAAF). The Academia promulgated the first standards of professional practice for the practice of civil engineering and architecture, known as the Tarifa de Honorios. which was patterned from the AIA documents.

In 1921, the founding of the architectural profession in the Philippines was formalized by virtue of Philippine Assembly Act No. 2985 (An Act to Regulate the Practice of the Professions of Engineers and Architect) signed into law on February 23, 1921, prepared by AIAAF. This law created separate Board of Examiners for Architecture and Civil Engineering. The law also allowed practicing Maestro de Obras to be automatically registered as Architects   Tomas Mapua was given the number 1 license as architect and Carlos Barreto and Antonio Toledo as numbers 2 and 3. All the three of them graduated in Architecture abroad.

In 1933 the organization was transformed as the Philippine Architects’ Society with Don Juan Nakpil as president, Tomas Mapua as Vice president, Harold Keyes as Secretary-Treasurer, Carlos Baretto and Fernando Ocampo as Directors. The Constitution and Bylaws of the Society was patterned after American Institute of Architects.

In 1938, the Society drafted Bill Number 1850, proposing the separate statute for the practice of Architecture from that of Engineering, which was approved in the second reading by the National Assembly.

In 1941 the Society’s National Convention, with 96 members, was celebrated with a message from President Manuel L. Quezon, speeches from Vice President Sergio Osmena and the Manila Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez, Sr . The Professional Services of the Philippine Architects Society was promulgated. The architects in government service were allowed to become members of PAS, thus, Juan Arellano, Antonio Toledo and Elias Ruiz joined the society.

Then the Second World War came. The Architects formed a civilian group stationed in Fort Santiago through Harold Keyes (co-founder of PAS) as appointed by the U. S. Army Corps. The civilian group included Gabino de Leon,Angel Nakpil, Edmundo Lucero, and Arsenio Topacio.  Carlos Arguelles served as a member of the 32nd Armored regiment, First Reconnaissance Battalion of the U.S. Army stationed in the Philippines. 

After the war, in 1945,  the Philippine Architect’s Society re-organized with Fernando Ocampo as President, Cesar H. Concio as Vice President, Jose Zaragoza as Secretary, Luis Ma. Araneta as Treasurer; Juan Nakpil, Andres Luna de San Pedro, Gines Rivera and Gabriel Formoso as Directors. The name of the organization was changed to the Philippine Institute of Architects and Planners (PIAP)  which was later changed to the Philippine Institute of Architects (PIA) by a Resolution presented by Carlos da Silva.

In 1948, PIA presented to the President of the Philippines Elpidio Quirino a resolution offering professional services of its members to the government to assist in the preparation of plans for public works projects under the War Damage Commission.

A group of members of the PIA incorporated as United Architects, Inc. as a corporate body so that the members of the Institute composed of selected members can enter into Agreement with the Department of National Defense on the Design of the Veteran’s Memorial Hospital. However this much sought of project was awarded to another group of architects and engineers. 

At about this time 15 members of PIA formed another organization: the League of Philippine Architects (LPA) headed by eminent architects of the time – Pablo S. Antonio, Antonio V. Bañas, Pablo D. Panlilio, Jose L. Reynoso and Elias L. Ruiz – the splinter group elected the much younger Jose V. Herrera as its first president.

Under the 6th President of the PIA Cesar H. Concio, the repealing of Act No. 2985 was approved by Congress which was vetoed by President Quirino.

During these past five years,  PIA was working on the preparation of the Documents for the Practice of the Profession, such as the standard Forms of  Membership,  Architectural Competition, Awards, etc.

In 1947, the first Architectural Exhibition was held at the lobby of the Consolidated Investment Building at Plaza Goiti as part of the 3-day PIA Annual Convention, which was held at the Manila Hotel. The highlight of the Convention was in the Convention’s Honor Dinner wherein the first Architect of the country Carlos Barretto, one of the founders of PAS  and surviving member of AAIF , was elevated as  PIA  Fellow.   

In 1948, Congress enacted Republic Act No. 472, amending Administrative Code, Section 1901; which legalized the awarding of the design of public works and buildings to private architects and engineers, which may be considered as the magna carta of the practice of private architects against bureaucratic architecture and engineering.

In 1949 the Law which separates the statutes of the Architects from the Engineers was passed as Republic Act No. 544 andRepublic Act No. 545 (R.A. 545 has been repealed as R.A. 9266, as R.A. 544  still  governs).

In 1950, the first Gold Medal Award for a Filipino Architect was given to Andres Luna de San Pedro for the famous “Crystal Arcade “

In 1951, the Standards of Professional Practice prepared by the PIA was printed and released. 

In 1953, during the 20th Annual Convention of PIA, President Quirino hosted a cocktail part in Malacanang, the first time the Architects were honored  as guests by the President of the Philippines.

In 1954, during the 96th Anniversary of the American Institute of Architects, Carlos da Silva was honored as AIA Honorary Member, which was a  recognition and honor to  the Filipino Architect by the American Architects..

On January 23, 1957, the Philippine Institute of Architects was officially admitted as the National Section of the Union Internationale Des Architects (UIA).

In 1957 through the initiative of the PIA Committee on Professional Practice, PIA and LPA had joint meetings to reach an agreement on the Standard Schedule of Fees. This was an effort for the two organizations to be as one.

In 1958, the Architects employed in the government formed themselves  into another organization :  Association of Philippine Government Architects (APGA).

In the early sixties, another group of young architects tried to organize another architects’ group, which was called Molave. This did not prosper.

Through many years, much effort had been exerted to bridge the gap among the three groups.

The Philippine Council of Architects (1962) was a short-lived organization of , LPA and APGA, which eventually became, in 1962,  the Council of Filipino Architects (CFA), conceived to be the umbrella organization under which the three societies would come under one banner. PIA did not affiliate to the CFA.

In 1965, APGA, LPA and PIA unanimously approved the Architects’ National Code, the Architects’ Services and Schedule of Fees which were later approved by the Board of Examiners for Architects.

In 1969, during the presidency of Manuel T. Manosa , PIA; Librado Macalinao, LPA; and Luciano Aquino, APGA a memorable joint fellowship was held.

The Architect’ Bowling Club  (ABC) was organized with the members of the 3 organizations actively having tournaments, with members of the 3 organizations playing in teams decided by handicaps and “barcadahan” rather than the affiliation with the Architects’ organizations. There was also the Philippine Standard Invitational Ten-Pin Bowling Tournament joined in by the architects

Other sports activities were also organized such as basketball, golf, etc.  with members of the three organizations participating.

In 1971, on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Profession an Ad-Hoc Committee of young architects with Carmencita L. Rosales, as Chairman (PIA), . Maximo P. Candelaria (LPA), Vice Chairman, Remigio G. Abello (PIA) as Secretary and Luzdivina Barawed (APGA) as Treasurer together with some 14 young architects from the 3 organizations, the committee were formed. Margie Poblete. Of Architectscope was the Over-all Coordinator. It was a very successful affair, held at the Manila Polo Club. Most of the big names in the 3 organizations attended the affair as if there was only one organization of architects.  Pablo Ocampo, Cesar H. Concio, Juan Nakpil,  Gines Rivera, Eric Nubla  Ariston Nakpil Otillo Arellano,, Anastacio Bernal, Edilberto Florentino, Manuel Manosa, Deogracias Atienza, Contantino Agbayani, Jose Herrera, Aquiles Paredes, Luciano Aquino,  Norberto Nuke, Gabriel Formoso, Leandro Locsin, Felipe Mendoza, among more than one hundred architects, joined the celebration.  Oscar Mapua, representing his father  was awarded as the holder of the number one Architectural license in the country and then Senator Helena Z. Benitez ( later given a UAP Honorary Membership ) as a special friend in the government..

The first one hundred architects were acknowledged and awarded.     

During this time the members of  LPA and APGA under the name of the Council of Filipino Architects endorsed the resolution which designated the second week of December as the Nationwide Architecture Week by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.


Looking Forward to Professional Unity

The year 1973 was the year when the illusive goal of professional unity was explicitly conceptualized.

In April 1973, the LPA President Arch. Edilberto Florentino invited PIA President Ariston Nakpil to a meeting which started a series of conferences between the two organizations and eventually with Deogracias Atienza, APGA President. This culminated to the formation of the Panel of Negotiators.

The Panel of Negotiators  representing the 3 organizations was created by the 3 incumbent Presidents: Deogracias Atienza of APGA; Edilberto Florentino of LPA and Ariston Nakpil  of PIA composed of 3 the Presidents together  with Benjamin Meamo and Alfredo Tungpalan  for APGA; Luisito Guiang and Ricardo Poblete for LPA and Otillo Arellano and Carmencita L. Rosales for PIA. Antonio Asiniero of Marblecraft acted as the Moderator in all the meetings of the Panel of Negotiators and at the same time of hosted the group, together with other concerned members present at the Architectural Center Club Inc. (ACCI)  at the ABC Building,  Ayala Avenue..

On June 1973 President Ferdinand Marcos issued PD 223 creating the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC)  for the purpose of regulating the practice of all professions. 

On July 13, 1973, APGA-LPA-PIA Fellowship Affair was held at the Architectural Center Club Inc. (ACCI).

On September 4, 1973 – after a long span of time, enough to heal  the bruised knuckles and egos of the members of the three organizations, the Panel of Negotiators after the approval of each of the Boards of  the 3 Organizations signed the Joint Comunique defining the principles and guidelines of the Integration of the three Organizations headed by the  incumbent Presidents. 

On October 13, the Council of Filipino Architects endorsed the integration move, while the Panel of Negotiators formally communicated with the Board of Architecture on the proposed integration on October 24, 1973.

On December 9-10, the Architecture Week was jointly celebrated by APGA-LPA-PIA, highlighted on December 10, by the passing of  the Joint Board Resolution of Integration of  PIA, LPA and APGA. This Joint Resolution was  ratified without objection in a joint general assembly on December 16, 1973 at the Architectural Center in Makati.

The Joint Board Resolution laid down the objectives and concepts of the integration and created the Ad-Hoc Commission to implement the terms of integration and to prepare the constitution and bylaws of the proposed organization.

The members of the Ad-Hoc Commission were: From PIA came Adolfo Benavides (President), Ariston Nakpil, Otillo Arellano, Felipe Mendoza and Cesar Canchela; for LPA, Norberto Nuke (President), Edilberto Florentino, Aquiles Paredes, Victor Tiotuyco, and Jose Herrera; and for APGA, Deogracias Atienza (President), Benjamin Meamo, Alfredo Tungpalan, Benjamin Feliciano and Luciano Aquino.


The Journey to UAP

On January 1, 1974, the Ad-Hoc Commission assumed its function and formulated the Constitution and By-Laws of the proposed new organization which was approved on December 19, and ratified by the membership of APGA, LPA, and PIA on January 15, 1974.

A name for the organization had to be chosen. A Committee on Organizational Name was constituted on June 8, 1974, and composed of Architects Felipe M. Mendoza (PIA), Jose V. Herrera (LPA) and Deogracias Atienza (APGA) was tasked to submit to the Ad-Hoc Commission a list of names from which one may be chosen, suitable for adoption by the new national organization.

After a thorough analysis, review and evaluation, many drawn to the name United Architects of the Philippines and was chosen because it directly expressed the central concept on which the organization was founded: unity

On December 12, 1974, after the Ad-hoc Commission completed its task, the Boards of all three founding organizations unanimously approved the Constitution and By-Laws of the United Architects of the Philippines.

To take over the task of administering the affairs of UAP until the first Regular Board of Directors would have been elected, the life of the Ad-Hoc Commission was extended to become the Interim Board.

On March 26, 1975, UAP was incorporated and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission with Registration No. 60782 and on May 12, the Professional Regulation Commission with Architect Eric Nubla as the first Commissioner, issued Certificate No. 001 to UAP as the duly accredited professional organization of architects in the Philippines.

The members of the Interim Board were: Norberto Nuke (President), Cesar Canchela (VP for Private Practice), Deogracias Atienza (VP for Government Services), Aquiles Paredes (VP for Allied Fields), Benjamin Meamo (Secretary), Alfredo Tungpalan (Treasurer) and Luciano Aquino, Otilio Arellano, Benjamin Feliciano, Edilberto Florentino, Bernandino Lozad, Arturo Mañalac, Ariston Nakpil, Victor Tiotuyco and Evelio Valdes as directors.

Finally on December 12, 1975, the members of the UAP elected the First Regular Board of Directors, namely: Jose Herrera (President), Manuel Mañosa, Jr. (VP for Private Practice), Ruperto Gaite (VP for Government Service), Cesar Concio (VP for Allied Fields), Urbano Caasi, Jr. (Secretary), Librado Macalinao (Treasurer), and Felipe Mendoza, Ricardo Poblete, Constantino Agbayani, Corazon Tandoc, Jesse Mackay, Antonio Ascalon, Johnny Sulit as directors while Norberto Nuke as ex-officio.

Meanwhile, a group of PIA members led by Adolfo Benavides and some members of the Board of the PIA, did not choose to become members of the United Architects of the Philippines. PIA did not dissolve. Some members, while registered as members of UAP remained as members of PIA. Until came a time, during the presidency of Felipe Mendoza, UAP has drafted a Board Resolution, and later became part of the Bylaws of UAP,  dual membership to UAP and PIA was not allowed.  This led to the existence of PIA as another separate Professional Organization.

In 1976, UAP became  one of the founding members of the Philippine Federation of Professional Organizations (PFPA, , the Philippine Technological Council (PTC), and the Philippine Council for Planning and Housing (PCPH).

In 1979, UAP became  one of the founding members of the  Architects Regional Council of Asia. In 1988 UAP became the National Section of  UIA.


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