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CHAPTER 3 SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND FINE ARTS 1938-1946

By this period, the university-wide expansion that began in 1927 was in full swing. More new colleges were opened, new courses were introduced, and the old ones were revised to suit the pressing needs of the time. As the

program shifted into high gears, the departments of Architecture and Fine Arts were fused together into one academic unit thus establishing the School of Architecture and Fine Arts (SAFA) in 1938. This merging of the two

departments was announced by Rector Magnificus, Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P., on October 26, 1937 during a meeting of the College of Engineering. In his announcement, Fr. Sancho declared that SAFA was to be a separate and independent from the College of Engineering. The original plan was to appoint a Dean to administer the new school and be responsible for all matters affecting its operations and organization. In the words of Fr. Sancho, O.P., next year the School of Architecture will be separated from the College of Engineering, with its own Dean, and if possible its own Professors and Instructors also.82
Justo N. Lopez, Minutes of the Meeting of October 26, 1937: College of Engineering, October 28, 1936, TMS (photocopy), 1.
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Another important milestone for the school of fine arts during that period was the official recognition of its courses from the government. The

then Secretary of Public Instruction, Jorge Bocobo, signed the on May 19, 1939 which recognized the School and empowered it to grant the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts to students who have successfully completed in accordance with the regulations of the Department of Public Instruction all of the prescribed work of the said courses.83 Pre-War Organization, 1938-1941 Administrators Only two Rectors were at the helm of the university during the schools SAFA years. They were Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho, O.P. and Rev. Fr. Eugenio Jordan, O.P. The former was Rector Magnificus when the period started. He was, however, not able to finish his term because the Pacific War erupted while he was in Spain on official business. He left for Spain on April 1, 1941 but the outbreak of hostilities late that year prevented him from returning to the Philippines to finish his term. Fr. Eugenio Jordan, O.P. took over the job and served the remaining term of Fr. Sancho as the university rector.84

83 84

School of Architecture and Fine Arts, UST General Bulletin 1939-40, p. 26. De Ramos, I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors, 85.

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The School of Architecture and Fine Arts was initially organized as an academic unit with two departments; the Department of Architecture and the Department of Fine Arts. Contrary to earlier announcement, no dean as

appointed to administer the school when it opened, so for the meantime, the Victorio C. Edades, the Director of the Department of Architecture, took charge of SAFA. He served in that capacity until 1941 because that year Director

Edades left for the United States to participate in the 1941 Golden Gate San Francisco World Fair and Exposition. He was to execute two murals during the exposition so he took a leave of absence because the preparations took up much of his time. While Director Edades was away, Architect Julio Rocha took over the directorship of the School. Director Rocha was head of the school when the Japanese invaded Manila.85 Faculty In 1939 the school, in what could be considered the most important appointments for that period, engaged the services of renowned Filipino artists Galo B. Ocampo and Carlos V. Francisco to reinforce the professional roster of its faculty staff. Ocampo and Francisco, together with Edades formed the

triumvirate that became the nucleus of the group which called itself simply the
85

De la Torre, The National Artists of the Philippines, 132.

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Thirteen Moderns.

The group served to provoke the intellectual and

emotional capacity of the Filipino artist to meet new problems and processes of art. Galo B. Ocampos first teaching assignment was to teach students in the new course of Industrial Designing. He taught Industrial Designing as applied to the promotion and support of Filipino commodities and industries. Carlos V. Francisco on the other hand was hired to teach Cartooning and Illustration. This was a new course that was designed to supply Philippine newspaper and magazines with better designers and illustrators. The plan to open a course in Sculpturing was also revealed. Severino Fabie, who had been with the School since the beginning was considered as the faculty member dedicated to the teaching of that course.86 Pre-War Enrollment and Curriculum Change In its July 10, 1938 issue, The Varsitarian announced that with the separation from the College of Engineering, SAFA undertook the improvement of its classrooms, fabrication of individual drafting tables, and the

modernization of its other facilities. It also recruited more teachers to augment

Filipino Artists Are Here To Teach, Unitas, Vol. 19, No. 1, (Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press, 1940), 102.

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the faculty roll.

But the news article also mentioned the revision of the

curriculum. The report says: to meet both the needs of the students and the stiffening requirements of the architectural profession, a new curriculum has been inaugurated this year in our local school of architecture, according to Victorio C. Edades who just returned from Europe and America and is different from any being given by local institutions.87 Although Director Edades announced it as curriculum change in the School of Architecture, he was actually referring to that of the department of Fine Arts.88 The revision resulted in the scrapping of Public School Arts and Interior Design. The decision to change the fine arts course offerings was the poor enrollment for these courses during the first four years of operation from 1935 to 1939. Table 9 below shows that only 16 students enrolled for the School Year 1935-1936. The following year, 1936-1937, there was no

enrollment at all. For the School Year 1937-1938 only four students enrolled. Finally in the School Year 1938-1939, there were only three new students. All in all only 23 new students enrolled in the UST School of Fine Arts during the four-period until 1939 after the schools launching in 1935.89

87 88 89

Ateliers Get New Deal, The Varsitarian, Vol. XI, No. 5, July 10, 1938, 1. School of Architecture and Fine Arts, General Bulletin 1939-40, p. 22-23. Office of the University Registrar, List of Students 1935 to 1940, University of Santo Tomas, 40.

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TABLE 9 BACHELOR OF FINE ARTS NEW STUDENTS ENROLLMENT DATA 1935-1939 School Year 1935-1936 1936-1937 1937-1938 1938-1939 Enrollments 16 0 4 3

Source: Office of the University Registrar, List of Students 1935 to 1940.

This information was later confirmed by Director Edades in a brief history of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts that he wrote in 1955 in connection with the Silver Jubilee Celebration of the College of Architecture. Edades wrote that there are at present three hundred and twenty future artists, painters who could hardly reach a dozen before the war [italics mine].90 This development prompted University and College officials to

undertake adjustments which resulted to the revision of its curriculum. And that was the curriculum change that was reported by The Varsitarian in 1938. In lieu of the two abolished courses, the school offered Bachelor of Fine Arts with specialization in Painting. The new curriculum although implemented during the School Year 1939-1940 did not immediately abolish Public School

Victorio C. Edades, UST College of Architecture Silver Jubilee Celebration, Souvenir Brochure, (1955), Photocopied, 9-10.

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Arts and Interior Design because there were still students who have not completed the course. The new course offering was thus designed in such a way that students who have enrolled in the two courses prior to the introduction of the new course were allowed to graduate according to old curriculums timeline. The group of Rafael Tayag, Jr., Alfredo Zamora, Gloria Cordero, Baltazar Villanueva, and Ricarte Puruganan who were affected by this development were able to graduate in 1941 because of this arrangement.91 In order to accomplish the transition, five Education subjects (20 units) were retained in the curriculum during the transition (see Table 10). These Education subjects as we already know were required for students taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Public School Arts to prepare them to be art teachers in public high schools. TABLE 10 BFA MAJOR IN PAINTING EDUCATION SUBJECTS Subjects Educ. 3 Principles of Secondary Education Educ. 20 Methods of Teaching Units 3 3

College of Architecture and Fine Arts, 1941 The Thomasian, (Manila: Published by the Graduating Class of 1941), n.p.

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TABLE 10 - continued BFA MAJOR IN PAINTING EDUCATION SUBJECTS Subjects Educ. 5 Observation and Practice Teaching Educ. 6 Educational Psychology Psy. 3 Mental Test and Measurement Total Units 8 3 3 24

Source: Curriculum for Painting, General Bulletin 19391940 (Manila: UST Press, 1939), 22-23.

The new curriculum also retained most of the fine arts and design (PSD) subjects from the old curriculum. Public School Arts, as shown in Table 11, had three design subjects; Industrial Art, Elements of Interior Design, and Lettering and Poster; Interior Design had two; Furniture Design and Interior Design; and Painting also had two; Lettering and Poster and Industrial Design. TABLE 11 FINE AND APPLIED/DESIGN SUBJECTS COMPARED Public School Art Art Structure Freehand Drawing Color Theory & Drawing Industrial Art Art Appreciation Interior Design Art Structure Freehand Drawing Color Theory & Drawing Furniture Design Interior Design Painting Art Structure Freehand Drawing Painting Still Life Perspective Landscape Painting Lettering & Poster

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TABLE 11 - continued FINE AND APPLIED/DESIGN SUBJECTS COMPARED Public School Art Elements of Interior Design Lettering and Poster Interior Design Life Painting Industrial Art

Sources: Public School Art and Interior Design Curricula, 1934-1935, 1935-1936 General Bulletin of the University of Santo Tomas, 199-189; Painting Curriculum, 1939-1940 General Bulletin of the University of Santo Tomas, 22-23

Two important additions to the BFA Painting curriculum were implemented that year; Thesis Writing and compulsory Military Science for men. Thesis writing constituted a study, a painting of a major problem in

composition, either as an easel painting or a mural and was required during the second semester of the fourth year.92 Military Science, taken during the first and the second year, was mandated by the government through

Commonwealth Act No. 1 of 1935.93 Female students were exempted from the training but were required to take up Physical Education during the first and the second years. Religion subjects were not only retained but were now taken

BFA Painting Course Description, 1939-1940 General Bulletin of the University of Santo Tomas, (Manila: University of Santo Tomas Press, 1939), 22-23. Establishment of Reserve Officers' Training Units in universities and colleges. See, Section 35, Article VI Reserved Officers and Commissioned Officers, Commonwealth Act No. 1, An Act to Provide for the National Defense of the Philippines, Penalizing Certain Violations thereof, Appropriating Funds Thereof, and For Other Purposes, http://www.chanrobles.com/commonwealthacts/commonwealthactno1.html#.UB2_M6CiBAU, accessed 08/05/2012, 1:41AM.
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in all year levels.

When before BFA students had four subjects in Religion,

they now have eight.94 War Interruption, 1942-1945 The implementation of all the Universitys expansion and development projects came to a halt when Japanese invaded the Philippines in 1942. It plunged the school and the whole country in general disarray and uncertainty. The likelihood that this dark episode in the countrys history would happen became clear as the Philippines entered the threshold of independence. Not a few political writers wrote that political reality during the late 1930 has pointed to the fact that the Japanese hierarchy viewed the country as an area of vital concern to its ultimate goal of dominating Eastern Asia. The country was strategically located, its military was weak, it could probably support three times its present population, its agricultural, forest, and mineral wealth were under-developed, it had a magnitude of Chinese interests, and above all, its political future was uncertain.95 In as early as 1907, the US government has already recognized this reality. In fact, Theodore Roosevelt had written that in the event of war with
94 95

School of Architecture and Fine Arts, General Bulletin 1939-40, 22-23.

Joseph Ralston Hayden, The Philippines at the Threshold of Independence, Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 215, America and Japan (Sage Publications, Inc. in association with the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1941), 106. Stable URL:http://www.jstor.org/stable/1022605 .Accessed: 30/07/2012 23:34

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Japan American people were not willing to bear the cost of maintaining American military and naval forces in the islands. So to diminish the risk of confrontation with Japan, President Roosevelt argued for Philippine

Independence. The pressure was further driven in as early as the 1930s by the economic hardships of the Depression. It galvanized the American

Congress resolve to grant the Filipinos their freedom.96 The Japanese action in 1931 in Manchuria offered the Americans a timely ground to establish the Philippine Independence Act in March 1934. However, when Japan moved into Indo-China on July 22, 1941, President Roosevelt froze all Japanese assets in the United States driving Japan and the US toward a confrontation. As a standoff ensued, the American government embarked into a crash military program to catch up with Japans power. However, it was just impossible to bridge in just a few months the forty-year gap between American policy and actual power. Moreover, General Douglas McArthur believed that the Japanese attack would not come before April 1942. But the attack on Pearl Harbor came on December 8, 1941.97
Richard Bruce Meixel, Manuel L. Quezon, Douglas MacArthur, and the Significance of the Military Mission to the Philippine Commonwealth, Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 70, No. 2, (University of California Press, May 2001), 260, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/phr.2001.70.2.255 .Accessed: 01/08/2012 22:22. Patricio Abinales and Donna Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines (Pasig City: Anvil Publishing Inc., 2005), 147
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The news caused chaotic confusion to reign over Manila. As a result classes were suspended at the University of Santo Tomas on December 7, 1941. The dreaded attack occurred with Japanese forces striking from all

directions. They overrun the archipelago and on January 2, 1942, Manila had fallen. The following day, January 3, Japanese forces posted themselves at the gates of the Espaa campus. Allied civilian prisoners from different parts of Manila were transported in. The university campus was converted into an

internment camp for these prisoners. The Main Building, the Gymnasium and an annex building behind the Main Building called the Domestic Arts building were used as their living quarters. Classes in the School of Architecture and Fine Arts were among those that were not allowed to continue due to the lack of space for school activities.98 Bataan fell on April 9, 1942, and not long after on May 6, 1942, Corregidor succumbed to the continuous assault of the Japanese forces.99 As soon as hostilities ceased in certain areas, schools were reopened, first the public elementary schools, high schools, colleges and the University of the Philippines, followed by the private schools, and the vocational and the
History, University of Santo Tomas Website, http://www.ust.edu.ph/index.php/history.html/accessed 24 June 2012, 5:07 PM. David Joel Steinberg, Philippine Collaboration in World War II (Manila: Solidaridad Publishing House, 1967), 25-26.
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specialized schools.

On February 11, 1942, the Commander-in-Chief of the

Imperial Japanese Forces in the Philippines decreed that the fundamental spirit of education was to make Filipinos understand the position of the Philippines as a member of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere and to lead the people to take the share of establishing a New Order. The Japanese Military

Administration advised the Filipinos to dissolve once and for all every vestige of their past reliance on western ideas and outlook on life.100 Arts during the Japanese Occupation Art activities in the country flourished somewhat during the Occupation despite some art historians claim to the contrary. Some artist like woodcarver Mariano Siauinco de Guzman and the eminent painter Fernando Amorsolo were intense in their works. In fact, in the later part of the occupation a large art exhibit draw participation from, among others, Carlos Francisco, Demetrio Diego, Bonifacio Cristobal, Jose Pardo, Galo Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, and Wenceslao Garcia. These artist all won prizes. It was during the occupation that Carlos Francisco, a faculty member of the UST School of Fine Arts, won the first award for his painting, Fiesta in Angono. In another competition, the one sponsored by the KALIBAPI, he won the first, second and first honorable
100

Ibid. 48-49.

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mention prizes. It stirred some controversy. The triumph of Carlos Francisco and other modernists during the Japanese occupation showed that young Filipino painters have broken away from the Amorsolo School and embraced modernism.101 Post-War Reorganization, 1945-1946 The battle to retake Manila in February 1945 was viciously fought room by room, closet by closet. When it concluded, Manila was 80 per cent

destroyed. The destruction was enormous that it ranked behind Warsaw as the most damaged city of World War II.102 After the war, the rehabilitation of the countrys capital was the immediate preoccupation of the Roxas administration when it came into power on July 1946. Funds for this rehabilitation were provided by the Philippine

Rehabilitation Act which was signed by US President Harry Truman on April 30, 1946. The law authorized the US government to release $620 million to repair some of the extensive war damage. Of this amount, $400 million was allocated

Marcelo Foronda, Cultural Life in the Philippines During the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945, Journal of History, Vol. XX No. 1 & 2, January-December 1975, (Manila: UST Press, 1975), 27-28.
102

101

Steinberg, Philippine Collaboration in World War II, 131-132.

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for property damage compensation. The increased construction activities that ensued stimulated the reawakening of the countrys economy.103 The war, however, caused a dearth in the supply of professionals in the fields of engineering and business. In order to meet the dire demand for

trained and skilled workers in those fields, colleges and universities almost immediately reorganized and opened classes. The enrollment data for the

period 1903-1955 contained in the Handbook of Philippine Statistics showed a sharp rise in the enrollment of higher education institutions almost immediately after the war. The 19,000 enrollment for 1936 jumped to 46,000 in 1946. The report also demonstrated a big explosion in the number of private institutions of higher learning that were established after the war. Estelle James wrote that the increase was premised in the swelling demand for business and engineering courses.104 Over at the University of Santo Tomas, enrollment for the school year 1945-1946 was 1,203 short of the 1941-1942 enrollment of 4,672. It swelled

103 104

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, p. 171.

Estelle James, Private Higher Education: The Philippines as a Prototype, Higher Education, Vol. 21, No. 2 (Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers and Springer, Mar., 1991), pp. 191, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3447414 .Accessed: 30/07/2012 22:50

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to 13,000 in 1948.105

Planning sessions for the postwar opening of classes

were conducted by University official as early as March 1945. As regards the reorganization of the School of Architecture and Fine Arts, they were assisted by Prof. Diosdado Lorenzo. When classes at SAFA opened in 1946 Secretary General, Father Florencio Muoz, O.P. assumed the position of the School Director because Director Edades was not immediately available to assume his former post after the war.106 He went to the United States in 1947 to fetch his wife and daughter. Director Edades reassumed his responsibilities at the

University of Santo Tomas when he got back to Manila, in time for the opening of the School Year 1947-1948.107 Academic Year 1946-1947 opened with course offerings for

specialization in Painting, Sculpture, and Design. courses lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

All these were four-year The curriculum no longer

offered Public School Arts. Sculpture as a field of specialization was offered for the first time. Severino Fabie and Graciano Nepomuceno were the first

instructors dedicated to the teaching of sculpture as an area of expertise.108


105 106

De Ramos, I Walked with Twelve UST Rectors, 124.

School of Architecture and Fine Arts, 1946-1947 General Announcement (Manila: U.S.T. Press, 1946), 139.
107 108

Ingle, Kites and Visions, p. 80-81. Ibid.

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Galo Ocampo and Carlos Francisco were also back as part of the faculty. According to the 1946 General Announcement Galo Ocampo handled subjects on Principles of Design, Theory of Color, and Industrial Art. Carlos Francisco on the other hand handled subjects in Freehand Drawing, Illustration, and Mural Painting. Severino Fabie, who was still very much around, taught

Modeling and Anatomy, while Ricarte Puruganan who graduated in 1941 handled Landscape and Watercolor.

Summary This chapter shows the abolition of Public School Art and Interior Design due to poor enrollment which prompted school administrators to decide to change course offerings. This decision was not without precedent. The

schools predecessor, the former Academia de Bellas Artes of 1785 was closed due to few enrollments in painting. In 1948, the Faculty of Engineering phased out the course on Mining Engineering owing to the decreasing number of students interested in mining. Just like in the aforementioned instances, school administrators decided that changing course offerings would attract more students.109

University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Engineering, Thomasian Engineer Journal (Thomasian Engineer Media, 2007), 4-8.

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One important development that would impact the transformation of the school of Fine Arts was the appointment of Carlos "Botong" Francisco and Galo B. Ocampo to become professor artists for the university. The "Triumvirate", as Edades, Francisco, and Ocampo were known, led the growth of mural painting in the country. At this point, public appreciation of modernism in the arts was gaining momentum. Botong Franciscos winning all of the awards in a painting competition during the Japanese occupation was hailed by Galo Ocampo as the triumph of fifteen years of struggle to bring modern art to the people and it showed that the influence of Amorsolo was on the wane. The modernists successes made UST, the bulwark of modernism, worthy alternative to the state fine arts school for students who wanted to pursue careers in the arts.110 Throughout this period, abbreviated by the Pacific War and continually challenged by the well-established school of Fine Arts of the state university, the school not only survived, its reputation was set. In view of this, the call to develop art consciousness among the students to make them more spiritual rather than materialistic was reiterated by Rector Magnificus Rev. Fr. Silvestre Sancho O.P. in an impromptu speech which he delivered before Architecture

110

Foronda, Cultural Life in the Philippines during the Japanese Occupation, 1942-1945, 28.

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and Fine Art professors in August 1940 on the occasion of the opening Industrial Course. Fr. Sancho reiterated the urging of Rev. Fr. Serapio Tamayo, O.P. to imbue Thomasian artists with Catholic values. To ensure the

attainment this stated goal, the new curriculum was revised to require fine art students four more semesters of Religion subjects. Meanwhile, school activities were disrupted by the occupation of the Japanese from 1941 to 1945 as university facilities were utilized as internment camp for allied civilian prisoners. appeared. At the end of the war another problem

The destruction of Manila in 1945, the displacement of landlord

power in the adjoining provinces, and the disruption of plantation agriculture were enough to destabilize the country. However, the Philippine Rehabilitation Act that was signed by US President Harry Truman on April 30, 1946 provided funds to repair some of the extensive war damage suffered by the Philippines during the reconquest of the islands from the Japanese.111 The Bell Act, its accompanying legislation, was approved by the Philippine legislature on July 2, two days before independence. The approval of the Bell Act although seen by critics as an inexcusable surrender of national sovereignty secured the release

Stephen R. Shalom, Philippine Acceptance of the Bell Trade Act of 1946: A Study of Manipulatory Democracy, in Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 49, No. 3 (University of California Press, Aug. 1980), 503-504, Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3638567 .Accessed: 30/07/2012 23:24.

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of $620 million in rehabilitation.112

This money was enough to pump-prime

business activities and caused the large-scale rehabilitation of ruined infrastructures. Consequently, Philippine economy was resuscitated creating

demands for professionals for both economic activities. It also emboldened the Dominicans to complete their aborted expansion program that started with the transfer of the UST to its present campus. Buoyed by these social and

economic developments in the country, University officials elevated the UST School of Architecture and Fine Arts to a college status. The Department of Fine Arts with its fledging population and evolving curriculum was brought along as a department under its wing. As a result, the College of Architecture and Fine Arts, or CAFA came into being. As a college, CAFA was an

independent and autonomous academic entity with its own Dean and set of faculty members. It was the longest period in its development and the most fruitful; but for the next fifty-four years, the school will be under the administration of an Architect Dean.

112

Abinales and Amoroso, State and Society in the Philippines, 171.

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