Bohol’s father of architecture dies

Archt. Venerando Minoza Dumadag, known as the Bohol’s father of architecture will be laid to his final rest this afternoon at the Victoria Memorial Park.

The  91-year old Dumadag was the first Boholano registered architect who landed 7th in the Architects Licensure Examination in 1951 after completing his studies at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).

He died at the Ramiro Hospital last Monday dawn.

Aside from being a known architect who served at least three Bohol governors as the provincial planning officer, Dumadag is also a leader of the World War II veterans who has devoted his time in the service of his fellow veterans. He was an active member of the Lions Club and the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP)

He is  survived by his children Estela-Doming Lopez, Delia-Romu Laglagaron, Andette-Nena, Boy-Michael, Charmaine-Rene Usares, Ringkoy-Margie Corales, grand children and great grandchildren.

A requiem mass and necrological rites will preceed the burial at the St. Joseph Cathedral at 12 noon time today. Interment follows at the Victoria Memorial Park where he will be honored with a  21-gun salute.

Archt. Dumadag devoted 38 of his 46 years of architectural practice in government particularly in the province of Bohol.  Though hardly known outside Bohol, Dumadag is  synonymous  with  architecture  to  his  province-mates.       He  single-handedly introduced Architecture, both in practice and education as provincial and city architect and as Dean of the University of Bohol earning the title the Father of Architecture.  His non-partisan and apolitical approach to architecture earned him the unified   respect of various political parties and civic organizations in the province who constantly seek his advice and services on a variety of issues.

A 1950 graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, he placed 7th during the Architects Licensure Examination in 1951. Starting as a laborer at the District Engineer’s Office of the Bureau of Public Works – Manila, he worked his way through college while raising a young family.  He eventually became an architectural draftsman at the Division of Architecture of the same agency. In 1954, with an item of Architect I, he requested a transfer to Bohol, an opportunity to bring architecture to his home province.

The most important contribution of Venerando Minoza Dumadag to the architectural profession is his role as  architect in  the public service, bringing architecture closer to the people.   This contribution is of importance to many Boholanos as they experience architecture through public buildings, town plazas, and in  the attainment of  community goals with  respect to  housing, transportation, and environmental protection .  He has presented the role of architecture not only as a technical product but as part of a process of building communities.  It is of professional accomplishment that he has brought architecture to the people through his role in government breaking the common myth that architecture is only for the elite.

In the 1950s, architecture was unheard of in an engineer-ran Bohol government construction sector.  He demonstrated the role of architecture by working closely with engineers. His ingenuity and design prowess were illustrated when he transformed an unused huge concrete   water reservoir into an office building of the Philippine National Red Cross.  The experience he had in the Bureau of Public Works – Manila, drafting government buildings like the GSIS Building, V-Luna Hospital, Philippine Veterans Hospital, and the like was put to use when he planned and designed the various government buildings in his home province like the Bohol Stadium now known as the Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex, Bohol TB Pavilion and the municipal halls of Talibon, Guindulman, Cortes, Sikatuna, Alicia, Panglao and Mabini.

The   late 1950s and 1960s brought several housing constructions in Bohol.   He built architecturally designed homes for many homeowners.   More significantly he introduced homeowners to   the government financial assistance in home-building.   Financial incentives through real estate loans such as GSIS helped many Boholanos build their homes.  This decade brought intense architectural awareness in Bohol as many architectural homes were built.

As  architecture  was  starting  to  be  better  understood,    Bohol  was  ready  for  a  school  of architecture.    In  June  1962,  Dumadag  worked  part-time  as  instructor  of  the  College  of Architecture of then Rafael Palma College later known as the University of Bohol.   He later resigned from the Bureau of Public Works to work full time as Dean of the College of Architecture of the same school.  Dumadag’s zeal and love for the profession could not only be measured by the fact that he produced three architects among his siblings but also when he organized and headed the first and only architectural school in Bohol.

In 1968, the Province of Bohol appointed Dumadag as Architect Consultant. Two years later, he was appointed as the Provincial Architect of the province.   Notable projects brought public architecture as a way of improving the communities’ quality of life and enhancing and preserving the environment.  Examples include: the development of the camp sites of the Girl Scouts in Logarita, Bilar and of the Boy Scouts in Magsaysay, Bilar, Bohol; beautification of town plazas; the renovation of the gymnasium later to be known as the Bohol Cultural Center; the development of the Chocolate Hills Complex; and the Carlos P. Garcia Park, among others.

The late 1970s  and 1980s brought major developments to the Province.  Dumadag was named the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator of Bohol in 1981. This appointment allowed him to push the limits and leadership of the architectural field to encompass the interpretation of the social and economic development through physical development.  He led different government agencies in the formulation and implementation of the physical, economic, social and other development related policies and objectives of the province. As the Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator he took charge in the monitoring of the implementation of the various government projects.    This included working with different foreign consultants in the implementation of foreign-funded projects for Bohol.  His role in the  technical team provided final discussions with the Japanese Implementation Survey Team for the formalization of the Technical Cooperation Agreement for the Bohol Agricultural Promotions Complex Project.  He collaborated with Takao Mieyasaki of KUME Architects as field representative during the construction of the said project.

His retirement from government service in 1987 pave the way for his contributions as consultant to the different religious and civic organizations of the province.   Distinguished among these projects is the design of the monumental obelisk and landscaping of the St. Joseph’s Cathedral in commemoration of the golden anniversary of the Diocese of Tagbilaran.

Not long after his retirement, Architect Dumadag was designated as the UAP Bohol Chapter’s representative to the Technical Committee of the Pre-qualification, Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) of the city government of Tagbilaran for the proposed “Satellite City” and the provincial government’s proposed Capitol Commercial Complex. He contributed much in the conceptual developments of both projects.  He was later appointed as Project Manager of the city’s Project Management and Inspectorate Unit (PMIU) in the construction of the Integrated Bus Terminal and the Central Public Market which are the major components of the envisioned “Satellite City” of Tagbilaran.  With the completion of these two projects, his services was again tapped by the city government to sit with its City Planning Board for the formulation of development policies and objectives for the City of Tagbilaran.

His commitment as a public servant is not only limited to the three provincial and two city administrations he had served but also to his colleagues in the architectural profession.  He was instrumental in the formation of the United Architects of the Philippines in Bohol when he was tasked by then UAP President Jose V. Herrera to coordinate the over-all activities of the Boholano architects and to serve as a link between the regional office and its members.  He later became its first President and served his members for the years 1978 – 1980 and 1982 – 1984.

Architect Venerando M. Dumadag earned for himself the title “Father of Bohol Architects”, not only for the fact that he was the first Boholano registered architect but also because of his vast contributions in the development of the City of Tagbilaran and the Province of Bohol, as well as his continued passion in the upliftment of the architectural profession.
His life serves as a role model for other young architects to look into the practice of architecture in their home province.  By honoring him as a Fellow representing the best of the profession in the province of his choice will send a strong signal to the new breed of architects. The UAP not only recognizes excellence in Manila but also excellence in bringing architecture to the people in the provinces.

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One Comment to “Bohol’s father of architecture dies”

  1. reyp says:

    What about Melotte Dumadag Ybanez? as one of the surviving children?

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