Captivated by the unique and diverse Cebuano culture and heritage influenced by various colonizers, architecture graduate and watercolor artist and Dr. Kiyoko Yamaguchi, launched her very first book and exhibit opening last April 7, 2017 at the Casa Gorordo Museum. The University of San Carlos Press officially launched Poblacion Houses in Cebu: Urban Architecture in the American Colonial Period by Yamaguchi.
The book, is grounded on Yamaguchi’s doctoral dissertation, exhibits the change of urban transformation and the plans and designs of structures built before and after the directorial transition from the Spanish era to the American colonial rule in the Philippines.
The book is divided into three chapters. It begins with a general discussion of Spanish ideas and practices up to the urban personal space in the American period. The book also states the significant changes in time and the role that planning played.
Throughout the book, the author’s watercolor sketches of ancestral houses, churches and other marks embossed by the Spaniards and Americans on Philippine urban architecture, mainly in the municipal domain can be found.
Yamaguchi first learned to draw buildings when she studied architecture and applied her learnings in her broad studies that led her to her doctoral dissertation. She decided to draw historical houses during her fieldwork in Cebu.
Dr. Yamaguchi shows that urban architecture during the American Period was eventually to teach the Filipinos that the Americans were “benign” colonizers compared to imperial Spain. Likewise the Municipal Hall and Provincial Capitol were supposed to embody and spring the spirit of democracy.
Dr. Kiyoko’s book shows the foundation and renovation of Philippine urban space during the American colonial period. Poblacion Houses in Cebu would open the readers’ eyes to the yet neglected aspect of the Philippine history hidden in urban architecture which has been taken for granted for years.