Rosalio “Boy” Restubog, Jr. says that while his elementary classmates were occupied with games, he was quietly immersed in sketching and drawing. “Teachers, classmates, schoolmates and friends were my first clients”, he fondly recalls. He shares that that his time in high school turned an idle hobby into an artistic passion. “I moved on to physical creation and construction. I conceived and constructed cut out letters to full size models of props for the school stage and grounds for school programs and presentations”, he explains.
“I was first immersed in the artistic and design world in high school. Foreign magazines and periodicals sent by my overseas relatives helped me realize that I was mostly concerned by the exterior appearance, interior ambiance and the totality of an edifice or an object. I knew that I would not be an engineer or builder, but an architect and designer”, Boy muses. He continued his studies at Mapua Institute of Technology and graduated from National University with a degree in Architecture. He was one of the top twenty to pass the Architecture Licensure Examination in 1975.
In his senior year in college, Boy was offered a drawing job to create the office and showroom of a local fashion house. Working on this project, Boy practiced color choices and combination, texture and material composition, comfort and convenience considerations. He soon became busy with menial planning and drafting works for a leading architectural firm of the period. At the same time, he was also a product designer for an export firm, stating that “creating product designs of furniture, table accessories and decorative items helped me master the relationship of form and function and harmony of compositions. Working as a consultant for a world bank funded government project at that time provided me the professional scale to work on and work with”, he continues.
As a celebrated architect who has worked with local and international celebrities on many high-profile projects, Boy has his share of memorable experiences. He relates how he was personally asked to plan and design stores of a world-famous brand with an Italian head office. “Another one that I will always remember is a vertical construction project. It was a 30-storey high condominium building along EDSA in Mandaluyong City. Its facade, lobby and units with lofts set a trend.
Boy cites architect Frank Lloyd Wright as his hero. “His vision, uncommon perceptions, respect for nature, vast knowledge of natural materials and the drive to pursue challenging structures made me a follower”, he states. He also says that architect Leandro Locsin inspired him with his ability to perfect the harmonious relationship between dwellings and dwellers.
Following the brilliant example of his design inspirations, Boy defines his own design trademark as capricious, classic and personal. “Capricious in the sense that I do my best, use only the best to make the very best. Classic because I create things that will last a long time and will not go out of style. I achieve this with thematic designs and classic materials. Finally, it is personal in approach because I always come up with projects that reflect the identity of either an individual project owner or corporate and institutional project proponent.
Boy advises up and coming designers to be a true professional with anybody, anywhere and at any given time. He also reminds them to take note of important lessons from senior designers and to never stop learning. Boy certainly practices what he preaches because he indulges in classical music, cultural shows and local and international travel not just for recreation, but to be re-educated in present and future trends in design and construction.
From filling his notebooks with sketches to working with religious, political and entertainment figures in both low-cost and high-profile developments, architect Boy Restubog, Jr. has certainly come a long way. In the face of his remarkable skill and talent, it is his kindness and humility that leaves an unforgettable impression.
Written by Therese Dehesa
Photographed by Greg Mayo (portrait)
Additional photos from MyHome archive