Today in Philippine History, November 19, 1850, Isabelo Tampinco was born in Binondo, Manila

Friday November 16, 2012 ()

On November 19, 1850, Isabelo Tampinco, one of the greatest Filipino wood sculptors who carved numerous religious wood sculptures in Manila and elsewhere, was born in Binondo, Manila.

His work included the Manila Cathedral's famous facade, the high relief on Santo Domingo Church's molave door, the main altar of Laoag Cathedral and wood carvings in San Agustin Church.

Isabelo Tampinco   
Isabelo Tampinco   

Tampinco started out at a young age, apprenticing in the various carving shops of Binondo and Santa Cruz districts. Later at age 15, he enrolled at Academia de Dibujo y Pintura, Manila's prominent art academy where national hero Jose Rizal was a classmate.

His interest in and talent for sculpture was not surprising since he was a descendant of Binondo-based Chinese carvers. The lineage of his mother can be traced to Rajah Lakandula, a native Filipino royal who lived before Spain colonized the Philippines.

Tampinco's first major feat as a sculptor came at age 26 when he was chosen as Philippine representative at the Universal Exposition in Philadelphia in the United States.

For his talent and skill, he received numerous awards

  • The Medal of Honor from Governor General Domingo Moriones
  • Silver medal at the Tercentenary Celebrations of Saint Theresa of Avila in 1882
  • Silver medal and Diploma of Honor at the Philippine General Exposition held in Madrid in 1887
  • Gold medal from art competitions held at the Universal Exposition of Barcelona (1888)
  • Gold medal at the Philippine Regional Exposition in Manila (1895) and
  • Gold medal at Saint Louis World's Fair (1904)

Tampinco died on January 30, 1933.

Philippine News Agency


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