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* The Philippines has a larger and more vigorous

artistic community than any other Southeast Asian nations because it has four cultural heritages - Asian, European, Mexican, and American. In Manila alone, the arts and culture capital, there are many art galleries showcasing the works of talented local painters, sculptors, muralists, and folk artists. Theatrical and orchestral performances are also very popular.

* In the last half of the 19th century, Filipino painters

showed enough maturity of concept and technique to merit critical acclaim. Damian Domingo got recognition as the father of Filipino painting. Towards the end of the Spanish regime, two Filipino painters won recognition in Europe Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo and Juan Luna. Hidalgos Antigone and Lunas Spolarium were both acclaimed in Europe as masterpieces of Filipino painting. In 1884, Luna won the first Gold Medal at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes for his Spolarium. This monumental painting shows fallen gladiators being dragged to an unseen pile of corpses in a chamber beneath the Roman arena.

* After World War II, the Neo-Realist school of

painting emerged, with such notable members as Vicente Manansala, Hernando R. Ocampo, Victor Edades, Arturo Rogerio Luz, Jose T. Joya, and others.

* The name of Jose Joya (1931 - 1995) is

synonymous to the best in Philippine abstract expressionist art. He produced an excellent body of bold and lyrical works.

* Filipino sculptors came to be known in the middle

of the 19th century. Classical Philippine sculpture reached its peak in the works of Guillermo Tolentino (1890-1976). His best known masterpiece is the Bonifacio Monument, which is a group sculpture composed of numerous figures massed around a central obelisk. The principal figure is Andres Bonifacio, leader of the revolution against Spain in 1896. Behind him stands Emilio Jacinto, the brains of the Katipunan. The Bonifacio Monumen t completed in 1933 -- marked the apex of Tolentino's career.

* Napoleon Abueva (born 1930), one of

Tolentino's pupils, is one of the pioneering modernists in sculpture. He used various media. And his stylization bordered on the abstract as in Allegorical Harpoon, in which the dominant horizantal thrust of the figure evokes the vitality of primitive forms.

* Abueva's more famous work is Fredesvinda ,

which was included in the First ASEAN Sculpture Symposium held in Fort Canning Hill, Singapore, from March 27 to April 26, 1981.

* This is generally inlay in silver and gold or

black. Brass is much used for the common things, such as bowls and trays, ladders, weapons, gongs, and other musical instruments.

* Textile weaving is an art that has been

performed in the Philippines since pre-colonial times. Each ethnic group has its own particular kind of textile, motifs, and method of production. The people of the Cordilleras weave blankets and apparel with a backstrap loom. T'boli people first tie-dye abaca threads in earth tones before weaving them into a fabric called t'nalak. For them and many other ethnic groups, weaving is more than a tradition, it is a religious ritual.

* * Pottery * Early Filipino painting can be found in red slip (clay mixed

with water) designs embellished on the ritual pottery of the Philippines such as the acclaimed Manunggul Jar.Evidence of Philippine pottery-making dated as early as 6000 BC has been found in Sanga-sanga Cave, Sulu and Laurente Cave, Cagayan. It has been proven that by 5000 BC, the making of pottery was practiced throughout the country. Early Filipinos started making pottery before their Cambodian neighbors and at about the same time as the Thais as part of what appears to be a widespread Ice Age development of pottery technology.

* Sari-manok * It is the legendary bird or artificial cock that

has become an ubiquitous symbol of Maranaw art. It is depicted as a fowl with wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its beak or talons. The head is profusely decorated with scroll, leaf, and spiral motifs.