• Roamer's Roundup

    Manansala’s Philamlife Paintings at the National Museum

    When the Urban Roamer got the opportunity to visit the Philamlife Building at Ermita during its (sob) final days, one of the things I was fixated upon was the artworks whose artist was a mystery to me at that time. Thanks to a reader, I found out that those artworks were actually done by Vicente Manansala himself, National Artist for Visual Arts alongside with colleagues like Fernando Amorsolo and Botong Francisco. The paintings are a a series of 7 commissioned works completed by Manansala in 1961, the same year the Philamlife Building was completed, done in the cubist style Manansala was known for. While the issue about the fate of the…

  • City of Manila

    Ermita Icon: The Philamlife Building

    As the Philippines was recovering from the devastation of the Second World War, a surge of economic progress was beginning to take place beginning in the 1950’s. By the dawn of the following decade, new infrastructures, housing developments, and commercial establishments were beginning to take shape and arise in the horizon. One of these structures is the focus of this entry: the building of the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company at Ermita district in Manila. The Philamlife (or Philam Life, depending on your source but both forms are acceptable) Building was built in 1961 along Ermita’s major thoroughfare that we know now as United Nations Avenue (then known…

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