As a colony of the Spanish Empire for 333 years, the Spaniards introduced European colonial architecture in the Philippines. Christianity recognized the bringing of European churches and architecture that became the center of most towns and cities in the country. The Spaniards also introduced the stones as domestic and construction materials and the Filipinos combined them into their architecture to create a combination of architecture that was only found in the Philippines. Filipino colonial architecture can still be found in centuries-old buildings such as the Baruch Filipino churches, stone houses, homes, schools, convents, government buildings throughout the country. Find the best collection of Spanish colonial-era architecture in the walled city of Intramuros in Manila and in the historic town of Vigan. The churches of the colonial era are among the best examples and legends of the Spanish architectural Baroko called Earthquake that can be found only in the Philippines. Historic provinces such as Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo, Negros, Cebu, Bohol and Zamboanga del Sur also have buildings.
Previously, before the Spanish rule, the native cottage was home to native Filipinos. This is illustrated by the use of simple materials such as bamboo and knuckles as the main source of wood. The stove, cabbage leaves, and knuckle leaves are used as roofing. Ancient homes were built on the grounds because of frequent rainfall in the rainy season. Regional variants include the use of thicker and more intensive roofing in the highlands, or longer stretches of coastline especially when building on surface water. The architecture of other indigenous peoples is illustrated by the use of angular wooden roofs, bamboo instead of roofing leaves and ornamental wood carvings. The stone house was a variant of the hut that appeared in the colonial period.
The Main Building of the University of Saint Thomas in Manila is an example of Neo-Hellenistic architecture. Construction began on the building in 1924 and was completed in 1927. The building, designed by Father Roque Ruaño, O.P., was the first non-church earthquake in the Philippines. Islamic and other Asian architecture can also be found in buildings such as mosques and temples. Prehispanic households are still common in the countryside. Contemporary subdivisions and mixed-race neighborhoods are popular in metropolitan areas such as Greater Manila, Central Visayas, Central Luzon, Negros Island and other rich regions.
There have been proposals to enact a policy by which each municipality and city shall have an ordinance requiring all construction and reconstruction within the said territory to be inclusive of the architectural and pavement style of the municipality or city to preserve and conserve die-hard heritage areas of the country that are being swept away one by one because of urbanization, unscrupulous development, and a lack of visual urgent architecture. This policy has been used by countries that have preserved their architectural marvels, and throughout the city itself, for hundreds of years, such as Italy, France, Romania, Germany, and Spain. The proposal promotes the use and reinterpretation of indigenous, colonial, and modern architectural and pavement styles that are widespread or previously prevalent in a city or municipality. The proposal aims to improve the feel of Filipino tourism, especially in rural areas that could be transformed into a new town of architectural heritage within 50 years. Unfortunately, the importance of preserving the heritage of the Philippines-based architecture and engineering experts is lacking, as in the case of Manila, where business proposals to build non-structural structures are widely accepted and under construction. inclined to the architectural styles of Manila by such experts as effectively destroying the architectural architecture of Manila one by one. Moreover, the unique architecture proposal has not yet been adopted for actual policy as there is no Department of Culture yet. Only the city of Vigan enacted this ordinance which led to its declaration as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and to the grant of various recognitions for the conservation and preservation of its unique architectural and pedagogical style. In 2016, Senator Loren Legarda filed a bill that would establish the Department of Culture. The bill was introduced in the Senate in January 2017 and is expected to be passed in late 2018 or early 2019. The bill supports 9 more senators from various parties, namely, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, Francis Escudero, Juan Zubiri, Joseph Ejercito, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontiveros, and Sonny Angara. Three parallel proposals aimed at establishing the Department of Culture in the House of Representatives of the Philippines were also filed, authored by Christopher de Venecia, Evilina Escudero, and Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado.