Meet Lola Aida: One of Philippines’ first female registered architects turns 100 years old

August 16, 2022 - 2:20 PM
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Lola Aida
Aida Cruz-Del Rosario and Muntinlupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon in this photo uploaded on Biazon's official Facebook page on Aug. 12, 2022. (Facebook/Ruffy Biazon)

(Updated 10:50 a.m.)  One of the country’s first registered female architects has reached 100 years old.

In recognition of the moment, the Muntinlupa City government gave her a cash gift of P100,000, as mandated by law.

“Happy 100th, Lola Aida!” Muntilupa City Mayor Ruffy Biazon said in a Facebook post.

“Personal ko pong binisita si Gng. Aida Cruz-Del Rosario para ibigay ang kanyang P100,000 Centenarian cash gift mula sa Pamahalaang Lungsod, sa pamamagitan ng OSCA Muntinlupa,” he added.

OSCA refers to the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs.

Biazon also shared a picture of the centenarian on his post.

Aida Cruz-Del Rosario was born on Aug. 11, 1922 in an American-era Philippines.

According to the city chief, she is the first registered female architect in the Philippines and the first female architecture graduate from the University of Santo Tomas.

A historian, however, said Cruz-Del Rosario is the ninth registered architect in the country with License No. 270.

Mercedes Raffiñan is said to be the first female architect, having License no. 45.

UST in a separate post said Cruz-Del Rosario is one of the first to enroll in its BS Architecture program.

“A Thomasian alumna who was one of the first to enroll in the BS Architecture program of the UST College of Architecture turned 100 recently,” UST wrote.

“Ms. Aida C. del Rosario was one of the early female students who entered the then-male-dominated profession, which now has in its ranks more female architects who received their education in our University,” it added

The university established its department of Architecture in 1930. At that time, Cruz-Del Rosario was just 8 years old.

By 1947, it was elevated to the status of the College of Architecture and Fine Arts. During this period, 25-year-old Cruz-Del Rosario had just graduated from the program.

Reports said Cruz-Del Rosario also placed seventh in the licensure exam.

Her husband is late engineer Jose del Rosario, with whom she has partnered to construct and design over 120 homes, edifices, and hospitals from Luzon to Mindanao.

Cruz-Del Rosario’s reported best works are mostly in Baguio, including some houses and some parts of the original structure of the University of Baguio.

Meanwhile, Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016 mandates the government to honor citizens who have reached 100 years of age to be granted the following:

  • Letter of felicitation from the president congratulating the individual for his/her longevity; and
  • A centenarian gift in the amount of P100,000

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to indicate that Aida Cruz del Rosario is one of the first female architects in the country. An earlier version of this mentioned that she is the first female architect in the country. This has been corrected to include Mercedes Raffiñan, recorded to be the first female architect in the Philippines.