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LESSON 4

PROMOTION AND PRESERVATION OF PHILIPPINE ARTS


The Need for Arts Promotion and Preservation
Art is a national heritage that gives citizens consciousness and pride that is necessary in building the
nation and ensuring democracy. Through paintings, sculptures, songs, dances, poetry, and other art forms, people
are reminded of the origins, histories, struggles, and triumphs of the nation. For instance: when people look at the
Rizal Monument in Luneta, or sing the Philippine National Anthem, they participate in the expression of the
country’s nationhood. Consciousness and pride of the cultural heritage of the nation enable citizens to become
active agents in nation-building.

Government Agencies and Institutions Responsible for Arts Promotion and Preservation
The following are agencies and institutions in the Philippines which are responsible in the promotion and
preservation of the country’s art:
1. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
In 1987, President Corazon C. Aquino issued Executive Order No.118 which created the Presidential
Commission for Culture and the Arts. In 1992, by virtue of Republic Act No. 7356, it was replaced by the National
Commission for Culture and the Arts.
The NCCA is the country’s “overall policy-making body, coordinating, and grant-giving agency for
the preservation, development, and promotion of Philippine arts and culture”. It aims to promote and develop
art and culture awareness; and to disseminate culture and the arts in the various regions of the Philippines.
2. Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
The CCP serves as the premier venue in the country for culture and the arts. It has hosted numerous
shows and exhibitions on both performance and visual arts, and is responsible for bringing together the different arts
from various regions to the entire country and the whole world. It houses artistic resident companies such as the
National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA), Ballet Philippines, Philippine Madrigal Singers,
Philippine Ballet Theater, UST Symphony Orchestra, Tanghalang Pilipino, Bayanihan Philippine National Folk
Dance Company, and Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group.
3. National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)
The NHCP was created with a vision of “a Filipino society with citizens informed of their history, who
love their country, and are proud of their cultural heritage”. The NHCP promotes “Philippine history and
cultural heritage through research, dissemination, conservation, sites management, and heraldry works”. The NHCP
works for the identification, conservation, and restoration of historical sites around the different regions of the
country. Through its efforts, Filipinos may have “awareness and appreciation of the noble deeds and ideals of our
heroes and other illustrious Filipinos, to instill pride in the Filipino race, and to rekindle the Filipino spirit through
the lessons of history”.
4. National Museum of the Philippines
The National Museum of the Philippines is the country’s repository of archaeological artifacts, national
treasures, and rare specimens found and produced in the country. Its main task is to solicit, document,
preserve, exhibit, and promote the natural and artificial wonders of the Philippines. It is also responsible for putting
up a network of museums around the country to serve as a local destination of the diverse natural and cultural
heritage of the Philippines. It has two main divisions – the Natural History Museum and the National Art
Gallery.
Perhaps, the most valuable artwork housed in the National Museum is the Spoliarium, a masterpiece of
Juan Luna. It is the largest painting in the Philippines (4.22 meters by 7.675 meters). It is a winning masterpiece at
the Exposicion de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain, in 1884.

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5. National Library of the Philippines


It was established in 1901 and was then called as the American Circulating Library to serve as
“memorial to American servicemen who died in Philippine soil”. Today, the National Library of the Philippines
serves as a repository of the printed and recorded cultural heritage of the country and other intellectual
literary and information sources and provides access to these resources for our people’s intellectual growth,
citizenship building, lifelong learning and enlightenment. Rare books and documents housed in the NLP include
the Acta de la Proclamacion de la Independencia del Pueblo Filipino and the manuscript of the trial of Andres
Bonifacio.
6. The National Archives of the Philippines
Its history goes back to the Treaty of Paris in 1898, ”which stipulated the relinquishment or cession of
documents from Spanish to American authorities and provided for the preservation of documents”. Today,
the National Archives of the Philippines guards over 400 documents from the Spanish era dating 1522 to 1900, and
various records from the American period to the Republic.
One of the documents seen in the National Archives of the Philippines is a map and plan for the
Archbishop’s Palace of Nueva Segovia, as approved by the Governor General of the Philippines, dating back to
1883.
7. Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF)
The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (or Commission on the Filipino Language) was created via Republic
Acty No. 7104 of 1991. The commission is mandates to undertake, coordinate, and promote researches for the
development, propagation, and preservation of Filipino and other Philippine languages. To promote and develop
our national language, the KWF has annually given the Talaang Ginto: Makata ng taon for Filipino poetry, Aklat ng
Bayan, and other grants or programs on fundings, awards, and projects.
(from “Contemporary Arts From the Regions”, by Mario Mendez)

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