Sunday, June 24, 2007


A cigarette factory once stood on this four-hectare lot purchased by FEU on the corner of Claro M. Recto Avenue and Quezon Boulevard. It was soon to be transformed into an Art Deco campus.

The university was founded in 1928 by a group of educators led by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr., then head of the Department of Economics at the University of the Philippines. With Dr. Reyes were Dr. Francisco Dalupan (who later founded the Philippine College of Commerce and Business Administration in 1946, now known as the University of the East), Professor Antonio Aquino, Emmanuel Deymek and Clemente Uson, all professors at the University of the Philippines.

In celebration of Manila Day, Ivan Mandy gave a free guided tour of this finely restored UNESCO award-wining Art Deco campus last Saturday. Another walking tour is scheduled for next month, so please check out his website for details.

I will also be featuring additional photo essays on the various facets of the FEU campus soon.


posted by Señor Enrique at 6:14 AM


Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

One request, senor enrique. As you take your photo essay of FEU, could also take pictures of its context. -Of the foreground and its neighbors.

I know the beauty of a building is often marred or well-frame by the setting. How do the building/s address and is addressed by its neighbors? There are beautiful buildings that are not very neighborly, and neighborhoods that are not very appreciative of the building.

Streets and adjacencies can frame and highlight. Walls and gates can isolate and hide.

I think it would be good to see how a jewel like FEU regards the city and vice versa.


June 24, 2007 10:39 AM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

I spent one year of high school at FEU. I remember the stairs. What I can recall also was the heavily armed (M15 or 16)security guards in their black uniforms back then. The FEU Tamaraws. Predominantly "Combat" turf.

June 24, 2007 11:11 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the fifth picture and the staircase is so unique!


I'll be waiting for the photo essay Kuya Eric.

June 24, 2007 12:42 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ei nice! You finlly get to visit my alumni! :D how was it?

Our fine arts department is in the new building now though.

June 24, 2007 5:40 PM  

Blogger Ean said...

Sir a have a few new pics posted in my blog. (

Tell me what you think. I'm not sure about the things I said there. Hehe. ^_^

June 24, 2007 6:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to pass by FEU everyday on my way to work. I didn't know then that it was so beautiful inside. Great b&w photos Eric!

June 24, 2007 6:44 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what Ivan told us, Urbano, FEU officials had gone from one business establishment to the next on Morayta (now Nicanor Reyes) to convince their respective proprietor for a aesthetic makeover of their facades. The overall response was supposedly auspicious, which explains why most buildings along Morayta have been gaily repainted recently.

I will try to include these structures in one of my series of photo essays on FEU.

Many thanks for dropping by :)

June 24, 2007 7:17 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what I heard, the FEU Tamaraws are one of the favorite teams in the college basketball circuit, Pete.

The guards nowadays are the usual men in blue and white, and some in plainclothes with walkie-talkies.

Not sure if any gangs or frats dominate the campus as they once did during our youth.

But this is one beautiful campus now, Pete!

June 24, 2007 7:20 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Thanks, Kyels! You might want to check out this campus next time you come over for a visit.

Yes, I plan to feature more pics of the grounds and buildings of FEU soon :)

June 24, 2007 7:21 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

That new buikding, Ferdz, also was well designed. It seems to blend rather well with the older Art Deco structures of the campus.

It is really an impressive campus. Much different than during the times my brother studied here.

By the way, my father received his accounting degree here :)

June 24, 2007 7:23 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Toe! You might want to go in next time you're in Manila. This is really a fine campus, and I hope its students truly appreciate it :)

Incidentally, FEU campus is giving UST's a run for its money, so to speak ... hehehe.

June 24, 2007 7:24 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Ean, thank you very much for sharing your expertise on macro photography. Looking at your pictures, I was inspired to try it myself :)

Thank you and I hope you'll keep posting more photography tips :)

June 24, 2007 7:26 PM  

Blogger Francesca said...

maganda mga shots mo senyor, i wonder how do you do it, impress si frenchman!

June 25, 2007 2:44 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow Eric naka post ka na.. im glad weve finally met. next time ulit!

di pa ko naka pag post. got no time to resize and watermark stuffs. hopefully sa restday ko. ma p[ost ko na din...


June 25, 2007 3:15 AM  

Blogger carlotta1924 said...

i went to FEU once with my friend whose mum is a professor there. couldn't remember the interior though coz it was already night time and that was almost ten years ago hehehe.

will join the tour next time. =)

June 25, 2007 5:15 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

It was indeed a pleasure to have finally met you, Eric! As I've told you, I'm a fan of your site :)

I'm sure we'll get together again soon :)

June 25, 2007 6:02 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Francesca!

If I'm not mistaken, Art Deco and Art Noveau had their roots in Paris. And as Ivan said, it was the Americans who really made great use of it later on -- Empire State Building, Radio City Music Hall, Chrysler Building, and etc.

Perhaps, this may be one of the reason Frenchman liked the FEU complex :)

Merci, madam!

June 25, 2007 6:05 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I was pleasantly surprised, Carla, that this tour turned out to be more interesting than I've expected.

I used to roam around this campus during the '60s when my brother studied here, but never appreciated the complex then. Now, the FEU officials are doing a wonderful job in maintaining the beauty of the entire campus. A gem, indeed, as Urbano labels it :)

Yes, please take the tour next month. You'll enjoy it :)

June 25, 2007 6:10 AM  

Blogger rob (moderne melbourne) said...

Hello Senor Enrique

Enjoyed your photographs. Our society, Art Deco Inc., in Melbourne Australia, is keen to promote examples of Art Deco in Asia and would like to include an article on FEU in our journal, the Spirit of Progress (which is distributed around the world to art deco societies). see Would apreciate any other information you may have on FEU and other Art Deco buildings in the Phillipines. Keep up the good work
regards Robin Grow, President ADS


June 25, 2007 7:59 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Hi Rob,

Many thanks for dropping by.

I will forward your comment to Ivan Mandy. He is well-versed in the Art Deco structures here in the country, and I'm sure he can be of tremendous assistance to you.

You may also contact him directly at:

Thank you and regards,


June 25, 2007 8:07 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

very impressive looking building and the right idea when it comes to preservation of art. Also looks more intriguing with the black and white pics.

June 25, 2007 7:07 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice shots, Eric. My cousin attended FEU during her high school years. She was of the same age as me and I was then living with them in Pandacan, Manila at that time but she never mentioned what the building looks like.

June 25, 2007 8:59 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Yes, the school officials are to be commended for their efforts in restoring these buildings to their former glory, BW. And their efforts were duly rewarded with a UNESCO award.


June 26, 2007 5:49 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

I didn't even realize they have a high school division even during the days I used to meet my brother here when he studied Medical Technology. It was only last weekend I was told that there is, in fact, high schoolers in campus.

I was telling some folks in the tour that my father -- almost a seeming weekly ritual whenever I'd ask for my school allowance -- would suggest that I'd walk it to and from school to save some money like he did.

So I had to always retort that his was a much nicer and shorter walk -- from Ongpin to FEU -- while mine was from Batangas Street to Doroteo Jose and even as far as Intramuros on certain days.

June 26, 2007 5:56 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Eric, Thanks for these great shots of FEU campus, they did not only bring back some memories of my short stint there but I really appreciate the upkeeping of some of the last art-deco buildings.
Yes, there is the FEU Boy's high and Girls High dept., they are in separate buildings. Makukulit ang mga boy's high nuon, that was in the late 70's, I wonder how they are now, (Mas makulit?).Their Scouting Units are one of the most organized neighborhood of scouting in the Philippines then. I remember some of my students would tag along with me whenever I go to Toho to eat, salabas, barkada kami. I always remind them to drop the word "Sir" when they address me outside the campus, but they could not seem to let go of that kind of courtesy within them, so I just let it be.
About those FEU sikyu during the 70s-80s, they are like private militia of the Reyes family, very strict and arrogant young men, mostly from the outer regions of Metro-Manila. Well, they keep the campus in order, and I don't have a problem with that.

June 27, 2007 5:17 AM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Didn't I tell you I have something on FEU in store for you, Reyd? Hehehe.

It wasn't as nice back then, but now this whole campus and its facilities are just simply smashing, as the Brits would say :) I'd love to go back and do take more photographs in various natural light conditions, and hope my request receives consideration. It is truly a very photogenic complex!

My classmates and I also used to tag along with our Physics teacher in high school. Outside, he was more of a big brother to us, but somehow we always called him "sir" as well. I guess it was our respect for him that made us enjoy referring to him as such in and outside the campus.

When you come back home for a visit, Reyd, please spend an hour or two to visit FEU. I'm sure you'll love every minute of it :)

June 27, 2007 6:00 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Yeah, I was waiting for this, more..more..more... hehehe!
I always visit FEU in Morayta every time I'm in Manila. Although paunti na ng paunti ang mga kakilala ko dun, I will always cherish the fun times that I had there. I still get in touch with some of my former students, mostly just those in the westcoast. Minsan, amuyong pa ako sa reunions nila. (wala naman akong binagsak na estudyante) - hahaha!

June 27, 2007 10:53 AM  

Blogger houseband00 said...

Hi Eric,

I had the honor of working for the son of National Artist Architect Pablo Antonio, Sr., FEU's architect, back in the 90s. One of Architect Pablo Antonio, Jr.'s projects then was the renovation of the theater.

I remember going through the old original prints of the FEU buildings. I really admire the way it was drawn - such great attention to detail. In this day of computer-aided drafting, the technology still could not match the beauty of the hand-drawn line.

My late Grandfather, who was also into Photography when he was younger, has a vast collection of pictures of the UP Diliman campus from the 50s. Your black and white photos reminded me of the way my Grandfather took them - very Architectural.

June 27, 2007 4:35 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Glad not to have been a disappointment, Reyd :) Yes, I will hound FEU to grant me permission for more in-depth pictorial opportunity.

I think it's wonderful that you have somehow retained regular connection with your former students, and join their reunions. I get a feeling that you were a very popular teacher at FEU :) Good for you, Reyd!

June 27, 2007 9:20 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

From what I was told, hb00, Pablo Antonio, Jr. designed the gray building right next to FEU along Quezon Boulevard. And although no older than 10 years, the structure was intentionally created to look aged so as to blend in with the FEU building.

I just hope that the Art Deco, Inc. in Melbourne would know of how impressive the original prints of the complex were drawn. This way, they could include this fact in their coming up article on FEU.

Coming from an architect, you have no idea, hb00, how almost teary-eyed you made me with your compliments. Thank you very much.

June 27, 2007 9:26 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice, nostalgic photos you have señor. :p

I went to their IARFA unit to do some research. I hoped to have gotten inside the old building, but then the Institute was on the new building pala. It was a very nice new building, but then they should have considered allowing the style to flow from the old building to the new one.*sigh*

my 2 cents (centimos) lang po.

July 05, 2007 5:39 PM  

Blogger Señor Enrique said...

Viewing the new building from the campus grounds, I thought it blends rather well with the old structure next to it; but then again I'm no architect and not too well-versed with architectural designs.

I might be able to take an evening shot of it next time. I will post it when that happens :)

Thanks for visiting, Doy!

July 05, 2007 6:16 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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