06/9/10

To the head Tamaraw’s lair: inside the FEU Administration Bldg.

We are now approaching the final leg of our little virtual FEU tour. So I thought it would be appropriate to end it in the FEU Administration, another Art Deco masterpiece from Pablo Antonio which was completed in 1949.

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Once at the lobby, you will notice yourself being surrounded by artwork, a series of 4 carved artworks to be specific, created by Italian sculptor Francesco Monti. Yes, the same Francesco Monti who designed some of the sculptures at Metropolitan Theater.

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What’s nice and cool about these artworks is how they are “framed.” There’s no actual frame that surrounds each of them. What does the “framing” for them are the benches at the lobby which form part of a hollow squared space that gives off an illusion of a frame from afar. Kinda hard to describe; here is a picture below to show what I mean.

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Pretty cool huh? And look! More “find the FEU” goodness in the building too!

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As you’ve seen, there’s no denying the FEU flavor in the building with the domination there of the school’s colors of yellow/gold and green. Did I also mention that the marble used on the floor is expensive Carrara type of marble? The same type of marble which is used in works like Michelangelo’s David. Colors and marbles aside, the lobby is an absolute charm.

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FEU's founder and first president: Nicanor Reyes Sr.

The Art Deco influence of the building is prevalent as you make your way to the upper floors of the building.

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stylized roofing at the Administration Bldg.

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glass works and stylized glass-encased lighting at the building

Not to mention some notable artwork like this mural from Antonio Dumlao.

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detail of Dumlao's mural: the woman in white is holding a replica of the Nicanor Reyes Hall Bldg.

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And some stained glass artwork also from Antonio Dumlao inspired by the culture of Filipino Muslims in Mindanao, particularly the Maranaos.

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Also found in the Administration Building is the FEU Auditorium, an Art Deco-influenced venue for the performing arts which also served at one time as Manila’s premiere venue for the performing arts during the postwar years (1950’s-late 1960’s), at a time when the Metropolitan Theater was heavily damaged by the war and long before the Cultural Center of the Philippines in the late 1960’s. While it longer holds the distinction of being such a premiere venue, it’s comforting to know that the FEU Auditorium has not lost its appeal, nor has it been a victim of neglect unlike a number of venues today.

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take note of the stylized FEU marking at the lower part of the photo

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the FEU sarimanok logo

With that, we conclude for now our little tour of FEU’s Manila campus. Until the next roaming adventure in the city!

To Part 1

To Part 2

© The Urban Roamer

06/6/10

Continuing the journey to the Tamaraw’s abode

At the western end of the Far Eastern University Manila campus is what can be perhaps called the flagship building and the oldest in the campus: the Nicanor Reyes Hall, named of course after the founder of the university. It also represented best the campus’s Art Deco flavor with its grandiose facade that is still intact in the face of the city’s changing landscape. Designed by National Artist Pablo Antonio and completed in 1939, it also has arcade walkways that are common among many buildings along Recto Avenue and Quezon Blvd. where it is situated.

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The campus itself has been elevated many times as a way to cope with the flooding in the area, to the point that it had already obscured the “FEU” mark found on the western gate.

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Inside the building is another piece of artwork: Malayan Heritage by Simon Saulog.

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One fun thing you can do while in the FEU campus is doing a little game I’d like to call “spot the FEU,” stylized and creatively carved FEU markings found throughout the campus which is another testament to the campus’ unabashed Art Deco influence.

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Right beside the Nicanor Reyes Hall is the Alfredo Reyes Hall, named after the son of the founder of FEU. One noteworthy aspect of the Alfredo Reyes Hall is the parent-child aspect with Nicanor Reyes Hall, not only because of the relationship I mentioned earlier, but also the relationship between the architects of the 2 buildings, the Alfredo Reyes Hall being the work of Pablo Antonio Jr., the son of Pablo Antonio of the Nicanor Reyes Hall. Coincidence? Methinks not. HR courses

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Right across the Arts Building is the Sciences Building which is also of the International Style of architecture. Like the Arts Building, its present height is lower than the original as it had to be “downsized” due to earthquake concerns.

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Student Pavillion

miniature botanical garden at the campus

At the campus’s southeast end are the Law, Nursing, and Education buildings. The Law and Nursing buildings in particular used to be the Boys’ High School, built in 1940.

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The Nursing building has a scenic elevator, which is not quite commonly found in campuses. On a more sober note, it was on the 7th floor of this building where poet and painter Maningning Miclat jumped to her death almost 10 years ago on September 29, 2000.

To Part 1

To Part 3

© The Urban Roamer

06/3/10

A journey to the abode of the Tamaraws

No we will not be going to Mindoro for this one. (0therwise, this blog will not be called the Urban Roamer)

I am actually referring here to the Tamaraws as the team monicker of that university based in Manila’s University Belt known as the Far Eastern University or FEU for short.

Art-Deco influenced "FEU" mark at the campus gates

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FEU logo originally designed by Galo Ocampo

First of all though, let me disclose that I have never been a student, not even a cross-enrollee, of FEU, though I did entertain the possibility of studying there at one point. Nevertheless, the things I’ve heard about the rich heritage of the campus along Nicanor Reyes St. and Quezon Blvd. is something I wanted to check out for myself. So thanks again to my suki travel guide friend Lawrence Chan, I got the opportunity to see FEU and the heritage it treasures up close. (to students and alumni of other schools, don’t worry; I will feature or visit your school at some point in the future)

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FEU main campus map

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While FEU does not have the same prestige that people associate with Ateneo and La Salle, nor does it have the history that University of Santo Tomas enjoys, it does hold a charm and prestige of its own as the only campus in the country, and one of the few in the world, that has a proud Art Deco-International Style flavor. In fact, it was recognized no less by UNESCO for the preservation done on the campus’s rich architectural heritage. Apart from the architecture, the campus boasts artworks from renowned Filipino artists which will be detailed later.

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First stop is the Technology building which used to be the site of FEU Hospital Building (before moved out to its new home in West Fairview in Quezon City) which was first built in 1955 by Felipe Mendoza. The building underwent renovation and vertical expansion some time ago; nowadays, this building is now home for IT and PE classes, among others.

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Right next-door is the FEU-East Asia Main Building which used to be the Girls’ High School building. First built by Pablo Antonio in 1940, it is now known as the building of FEU-East Asia College which deals with the university’s engineering and the computer-related courses.

Making our way to the FEU Memorial Square is a series of bronze sculptures done by National Artist Vicente Manansala done in commemoration  of the university’s 40th anniversary. Bronze was a deliberate choice because of its transformative properties which gives bronze its greenish hue over time and green being one of the primary colors of FEU. It’s a series of 4 sculptures which depict advancements in the arts and sciences

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Next stop is the FEU Chapel, which is another jewel in the FEU campus. First built in 1955 by Felipe Mendoza, it is built in the International Style of architecture and is also one of the most expensive chapels/churches built even for its time. It is said to worth around P50 Million, including the artwork which I will go into detail a bit later.

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image of Our Lady of Fatima at the chapel facade

DSC06510 The chapel boasts of artwork by another National Artist Botong Francisco who painted the murals which depicted the 14 Stations of the Cross…

…and the imposing mural of a crucifix.

There’s another work found in the chapel made by another National Artist: Napoleon Abueva’s Pieta.

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But going back to our tour of the campus, right beside the chapel is the Arts Building, another 1950′s work of Felipe Mendoza which is also of the International Style of Architecture. It was originally higher than its present height; it had to be “downsized” during the late 1960’s due to the effects of the 1968 Manila earthquake that hit many buildings, including Ruby Tower. The building also underwent renovations recently, adding a glass facade to some parts of the building.

Right across it is the open-air Grandstand where campus events and concerts were held.

But who would have known that at the back of the grandstand is a nice little garden which is dedicated to FEU’s founder, Dr. Nicanor Reyes?

time capsule bearing Nicanor Reyes' letters and other memorabilia

Nicanor Reyes, with the Philippine flag behind him

the gardens which are designed to look like a tamaraw, or at least that's how some see it

To Part 2

To Part 3

© The Urban Roamer