Marciano “Nonong” Bautista was born in Tarlac where he studied in public schools. An honor student in the elementary and high school, he gained entry to UP where he took up Civil Engineering, graduating in 1936.
After graduation he started working as a junior engineer in the Bureau of Public Works office in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. He was later promoted to civil engineer. In 1952, he was sent as the PHIBRA (Philippine Better Roads Association) scholar to Ohio State University. He graduated at the top of his class in 1953 and received the Offaril Highway Award from then Vice President Richard Nixon. He was the first Filipino and first Asian International Road scholar to take up graduate studies in highway engineering at Ohio State. As a graduate student, he won second place in an essay contest on Highway Engineering as Career.” He valued the award as he won it in competition with Americans for whom English was a first language.
Returning from his scholarship stint abroad, he was assigned as research engineer in the Department of Public Works (DPW). It was in 1957 when he was appointed Undersecretary of Public Works, and afterwards, DPW Secretary.
During his term as president of the UP Alumni Engineers in 1962-63, he designed and took part in the construction of the channelization at the Commonwealth Avenue-Univeristy Avenue intersection that leads to the University campus. It was also during his incumbency that the dedication ceremonies of Melchor Hall were held in April 1963. A bronze plaque with the name of Alejandro Melchor in his (Melchor’s) own penmanship was unveiled by Mrs. Catalina B. Melchor with the assistance of members of her family.
After Bautista’s retirement from government service, he managed the Filipinas Cement Corporation and later established his own construction firm.