upv If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Juan Arellano is one of the Philippine’s best, having been proclaimed as a National Artist for Architecture. He is responsible for the Art Deco Metropolitan Theater in Manila (now being rehabilitated).

In Iloilo, he designed two buildings, the more famous of which is featured above. The other one is the Jaro Municipal Building (now used as a police station). Arellano took care of the lay-out and design of this former City Hall but he left the embellishment of the façade to his Italian buddy, Francesco Monti.

By the way, I pass through that entrance almost everyday. Sometimes it hits me, “Wow, I’m in a National Artist’s building!” My favorite detail inside is the Art Deco chandelier (which Arellano himself must have also designed). It is made of capiz shells with a stylized bamboo design. Another is the grillwork of what was originally the cashier’s office for this city hall.