Mañosa shapes Eskaya into a unique Bohol destination

(The Philippine Star) - July 23, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Francisco “Bobby” Mañosa is among a rare breed of Filipino architects who championed the local style at a time when foreign influence was the vogue and the use of indigenous materials was limited to a few brave souls.

It is therefore not surprising that Mañosa has been tapped to put to life the vision of the owners of the uppity Eskaya Beach Resort & Spa who wanted to incorporate the local culture in Bohol, where the 16-hectare gateway is located, into its aesthetics, particularly on its famous thatched villas known as “balais.”

As a result, Eskaya, like Mañosa, has become a rare breed of a resort that while it exudes the Mediterranean atmosphere in colors and flavors, there is no denying that its soul is Filipino -- unique, unequalled, and unafraid.

Consider how the culture of the Eskaya tribe, which inhabits Bohol long before the Internet revolution conquered the province, was incorporated into its design philosophy. A tough task, but Mañosa delivered. That, and the centuries-old churches, ancestral homes, the province’s topography, its faura and fauna, all played an important role in making the resort as Boholano as its famous Chocolate Hills are.

The 15 thatched villas, as well as the other facilities inside the property including its restaurant and bar, all used local materials found in the province -- rattan, wood, cogon grass, stones, and bamboos. 

The writings of the Eskaya tribe, where the resort got its name, are also very visible in the entire resort, starting from the letters of the alphabet that were used to identify the property right at the main gate. “The biggest influence was the writings of the Eskaya tribe which not many people know still exist to this day,” says the architect, who credits his father for championing “Filipinism” in his works. 

“We felt an awareness of Filipinos to know who the ‘Eskaya’ tribes are and what sort of influences they have in the Visayas region. This brought my firm to a quest to try and uplift the awareness of the tribe through architecture.”

Mañosa also credits the Lim family, who owns the luxury resort, for giving him and his team the freedom in shaping up Eskaya into what it is today. The Lims even introduced the architect to the Eskaya people just so he could get a firsthand experience of the tribe’s culture and ways of life.

Mañosa is still involved in the expansion of Eskaya, including the building of additional villas. “We wanted to continue the spirit of the old resort, keeping its ‘soul’ which distinguishes the Eskaya design from other resorts,” he says.

For more information on Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa, log on to http://www.eskayaresort.com/ or call (+632)576-3082, (+632)576-3051, (+632)584-3180 or email reservations@eskayaresorts.com.


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