By MANUEL L. MORATÓ
Francisco “Bobby” Manosa passed away last Wednesday, February 20th, from a lingering illness at the age of 88 years old.
I’ve known Bobby since the 1950s as a young architect and he was the one who designed my building here on Tomas Morato (then Sampaloc Avenue) in 1967.
The Manosa Brothers were the architect planners of my building, the first building on Tomas Morato Avenue. Together with his brother, Manoling, the two brothers told me that the design they will do for me is patterned after the Modern Mexican design.
Bobby together with my half-brother, Eduardo “Dading” Morato were very active in the well-known and famous Executive Band they formed. Bobby was all around – jazz pianist, drummer and other instruments. The Executive Band was composed of businessmen who had musical talents and their group was very much in demand for, as I know, they performed and entertained gatherings for free.
Bobby was named National Artist in 2018. After receiving the award in Malacanang, he together with his wife and daughter went to Greenbelt in Makati to view the exhibit “Awit at Laro” where paintings “sa pintuan” by our local artists participated for charity.
I had left the exhibit after waiting for a couple of hours for Bobby to arrive. I left word to my nephew who stayed behind with his wife painter/artist Katrina Cuenca, to call me should Bobby arrive for the exhibit was to raise funds for charity and Bobby organized the affair. I was already at Edsa when my nephew called me that Bobby arrived with his wife and daughter in the event. I rushed back to Greenbelt; met with Bobby and his wife Denise and daughter Bambi. We took pictures together and he kept on smiling when he saw me.
I take pride that my building on Tomas Morato Avenue was designed by the “Manosa Brothers,” I believe the first in Quezon City followed by Sulo Hotel of the Enriquez family.
Bobby’s house in Ayala Alabang is a showcase of his talent and taste. He invited me to his house some years ago and showed me around his home he loved so much.
I take pride that my building was designed by the Manosa Brothers with Bobby and his older brother, Manoling together in their Architectural firm helped put up this building which I’ve preserved for some 50 years now and still looks presentable.
To me, it’s a monument in honor of my mother which the building is named after her, Dona Consuelo Building along the avenue in honor of my father, Tomas Morato Avenue who was the First Mayor of Quezon City appointed by President Manuel L. Quezon in October 12, 1939, the day the City Charter was signed.
My father was the Mayor of our hometown in Quezon Province and it took eleven days to arrive in Quezon City with the entire family which caused some people to say that President Quezon was the “first mayor” of Quezon City. But President Quezon was only the caretaker of the City for eleven days for as Don Pio Pedrosa, then Secretary of Interior, told me: “Your father was the First Mayor of Quezon City for a President cannot be President and Mayor at the same time. He would fall under the Department of Interior.”
This building done by Manosa Brothers I dedicated in honor of my parents.
Bobby’s remains, a most deserving nationalist artist, “will be at the Heritage Park up to Saturday evening. Necrological services are scheduled on Sunday at the CCP before burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani at noon.”
With my prayers for Bobby and deep condolences to his wife Denise and children Bambi, Dino and Gelo.
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