Golden years of an architect

Published July 3, 2022, 9:25 AM

by Deedee Siytangco

Nestor S. Mangio celebrates 50 years in architecture

Nestor S. Mangio

In high school, Nestor S. Mangio excelled in geometry. So impressed was his teacher that he advised the young lad to “Take up architecture. You will be a great architect!”

So the boy did and now, Architect Nestor S. Mangio has just celebrated 50 years as a professional architect. He graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (UST) in 1972 and passed the board the same year.

At The Lakeshore Tent in Mexico, Pampanga, one of his flagship projects, employees of his architectural firm Nestor S. Mangio & Associates gathered to celebrate his milestone.

His associates and employees from the ‘70s to the present were also given plaques of recognition for their contribution to his achievements. Among them were architects Rene Mangio, Josephine Paras, Joey Punzalan, and his son Brian Mangio, who is a managing partner at his firm.  

Mangio recalled that this architectural profession started when his parents enrolled him at the UST, where he took up his choice course—Architecture.

After passing the board, he started his office modestly, in his bedroom in Palawi, San Fernando. He met clients during the day and did the manual drawings till late at night. He could finish five sheets in one day.

In 1975, the young up-coming architect married Marion Panlilio. They were able to build their dream home in 1978 in Villa Angelina, Angeles City. He built an office beside it, with his wife Marion assisting him and a secretary.

In 1982, they were able to build their vacation house in Green Valley, Baguio City.

The houses that he built advertised his work, especially in Baguio, where his neighbors were from Manila. Hence he also started getting projects in Manila. He designed the Paskuhan Village that won an Excellence Award from the National United Architects of the Philippines.

Mangio also designed the Pampanga Convention Center, various commercial buildings, and lots of residences.

The Paskuhan Village was a stellar tourist attraction as it was in the shape of the giant “parols” of San Fernando City. It was where you could shop for Christmas items the whole year round, and it had Duty Free Shops, inspired by the thousands of OFWs who were flocking to Duty Free Shops in Metro Manila.  President Cory Aquino asked that something be designed in Central Luzon so the returning OFWS from the North could do their shopping there. It was also Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor, who supervised the project

Mangio was also able to create his own projects by “Build-and Sell” of residences in Angeles and condos in Baguio City. 

His eldest son Brian passed the board in Architecture and joined his firm NSMA as partner and his daughter Hazel managed the build aspect of the Design Build Services.

Mangio became active in the UAP, founded the UAP Angeles City Chapter, was elected regional director for Region 3, became VP for Operations, treasurer, and eventually national president for two consecutive terms. His administration hosted the Arcasia (Asian Architects) Conference.  He was elected fellow of the UAP, chancellor of fellows and Arcasia fellow.

NS Mangio Architects & Associates expanded its services by obtaining a license from the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) on Environmental Planning (Urban Planning), Interior Design, Design Build and Real Estate.

Aside from his PRC licenses in Architecture, Environmental Planning, Interior Design, he was also a real estate broker. Architect  Mangio was also awarded the Professional of the Year for Architecture in 2005 by the PRC.

In 2020, he was awarded by the United Architects of the Philippines the highest honors to be bestowed upon a Filipino architect—the Likha Gold Medal Award.  He is the 15th architect to be conferred this award.

In recent years, he was able to tap corporate clients like Century Properties, Federal Land, San Miguel Properties, Dolmar, Marubeni, etc.

Mangio and his son Brian are now at the helm of NSMA as they continue to provide architectural services, master planning, interior design, and real estate brokering.

On his 50th anniversary as an architect, he intends to continue his passion for design, real estate development, interior design, and building services. And he is grateful to his hard-working associates and staff for all the years of fruitful collaboration!

People often ask him if he still does design work. He is in fact designing more challenging projects now like affordable housing at 45 square meters each that should appear and feel spacious.

And yes, he was awarded Professional of the Year in Real Estate Service by the PRC in June 2022. Congratulations, my dear friend Arch. Mangio, whom I met while he was serving in the community of our common spiritual mentor, the late healer. Fr. Fernando Suarez. More creative years ahead!