Inspiration

Get to Know All the National Artists of the Philippines

Since its inception in 1972, only 73 individuals have been conferred this highest honor.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, ARTU NEPOMUCENO
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Fernando Amorsolo was the first Philippine National Artist in 1972 and since then only 73 talented individuals have been given this honor. It is the highest recognition given to Filipino artists (film, visual arts, dance, etc). In order to be considered for selection, the artist must meet certain criteria such as work towards nation-building and has reviewed prestigious national and international recognition.

The Order of National Artists is the highest recognition given to Filipinos who have contributed significantly to the status of Philippine arts, such as music, visual arts, literature, film, broadcast arts, theater, dance, architecture, design, and allied arts. The recognition is sparsely given to artists, with awards sometimes taking place years apart. 

Since its inception in 1972, only 73 individuals have been conferred this highest honor of becoming a National Artist of the Philippines. Of that number, 26 were awarded posthumously, including the first National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo.

Originally, the recognition was called National Artists Award, until it was elevated in 2003 by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to the rank of Order. The Order is conferred to individuals by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) at a ceremony in Malacañang Palace.

The rank and title of a National Artist, although conferred by the NCCA and the CCP, bears the power of a presidential proclamation.

To date, the Philippines has conferred the Order of National Artist to 13 individuals for music, six for dance, eight for theater, seven for architecture, design, and the allied arts, one for historical literature, seven for film, 14 for literature, and 17 for visual arts.

Selection Criteria for the National Artists of the Philippines

For a person to be considered in the selection of  the National Artists Order of the Philippines, he or she must possess the following qualities, according to Official Gazette

  • Must be a Filipino citizen;
  • Work has contributed to nation-building;
  • Their distinctive style and pioneering works impacts succeeding generations of artist;
  • There is excellence in the practice of their art form;
  • Their art form enriches artistic expression or style; and
  • Their work is prestigious national and international recognition. 

The List of National Artists of the Philippines

To date, there are only 73 Filipinos recognized as National Artists. The last recognition was in 2018, in which seven artists were given the distinction. The last one before that was in 2014. Below is a complete list of all the Filipinos who were given the National Artist Award.


National Artists For the Visual Arts


Napoleón V. Abueva (1976, Sculpture)

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Abueva is hailed as the “Father of Modern Philippine Sculpture.” Abueva made seemingly easy work out of hardwood, adobe, metal, stainless steel, cement, marble, bronze, iron, alabaster, coral, and brass.

Larry Alcala (2018, Comics, Posthumous Conferment)

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Alcala’s artworks were staples in the comics’ sections of magazines, newspapers, and comic books. His most famous creations are part of a series of illustrations called Slice of Life, which depict snippets of everyday lives of ordinary Filipinos. Barrio scenes and urban settings are common themes of Alcala.

Fernando C. Amorsolo (1972, Painting, Posthumous Conferment)

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Amoroso is the first National Artist of the Philippines. He was posthumously recognized in 1972 for his portraits which showcase his impeccable mastery of the painterly style and the manipulation of light and water. Some of his most beloved works feature countryside scenes showcasing the colors of the Philippine sun.

Benedicto "BenCab" Reyes Cabrera (2006, Painting)

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BenCab is one of the most sought-after painters in the Philippines today, whose works are frequent bestsellers. His museum in Baguio city features various galleries that highlight Philippine art as well as that of the Cordillera region, an inspiring spectacle that attracts visitors throughout the year. 

Francisco Coching (2014, Comics, Posthumous Conferment)

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Coching was regarded as the “Pillar of the Philippine Komiks Industry.” He was the creator of iconic Philippine Komiks characters such as Hagibis, Pedro Penduko, and Sabas, Ang Barbero. 

Victorio C. Edades (1976, Painting)

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Edades was a leading figure in the visual art scene, leading the revolutionary Filipino Modernists in creating modern paintings. Artistically, he found himself on opposing views with Fernando Amorsolo, who was a traditionalist and student of the painterly style. But Edades was not without support, for he led the likes of Botong Francisco, Cesar Legaspi, and Anita Magsaysay, among others in their modernist style.

Carlos "Botong" V. Francisco (1976, Painting)

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Botong Francisco was one of the giants of the modernists. As a painter, Francisco distinguished himself by his mastery of linear painting. Interestingly, Francisco was also responsible for discovering the prehistoric Angono Petroglyphs in 1965. Among his greatest works are Blood Compact, First Mass at Limasawa, and Filipino Struggles Through History.

Abdulmari Asia Imao (2006, Sculpture)

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Imao is the first Filipino Muslim to receive the recognition. His expertise is working on metal brass casting and ceramic sculpture. His themes are sometimes influenced by Islamic culture. He is known for intricate works using the okir and sarimanok designs.

José T. Joya (2003, Painting, Posthumous Conferment)

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Joya was the pioneer of abstract expressionism in the Philippines. His works are strongly characterized by bold brushstrokes, quick gestures, and dynamic spontaneity.

Ang Kiukok (2001, Painting)

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Kiukok gained prominence in the local and international art scene because of his unique style that fused expressionism, surrealism, and cubism. His imagery had been described as violent and gruesome, which contrasted his gentle and amiable personality.

César Legaspi (1990, Painting)

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Legaspi is famous for his abstract works that depict the anguish and dehumanization of laborers and beggars in the city. Some of his greatest works are Man and Woman and Gadgets

Arturo R. Luz (1997, Painting)

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Luz helped establish the Neo-realist school in Philippine art but is most famous for his cubist and minimalist works not only in painting, but also in sculpture. He participated in numerous international shows, including the Tokyo Print Biennial in 1974 and the 8th British International Print Biennale in 1984.

Vicente S. Manansala (1981, Painting)

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Manansala is recognized as a pioneer artist of transparent cubism, which is characterized by transparent and translucent tones, shapes, and patterns of various subjects that seem to be superimposed over each other. One of the best examples of this technique is his masterpiece, The Musicians.

J. Navarro Elizalde (1999, Painting)

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As an artist, Elizalde was versatile. He as both a painter and a sculptor. In 1967, he represented the Philippines in Sao Paolo Biennial in Brazil. Be began to work as a full-time painter in 1970. His style is characterized by bright, vibrant colors with abstract to modernist styles.

Hernándo R. Ocampo (1991, Painting, Posthumous Conferment)

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Ocampo was best known for his modernist abstract paintings. He was one of the few artists who was self-taught in painting. He made use of bold palettes and biomorphic shapes — figures inspired by the human body.

Guillermo E. Tolentino (1973, Sculpture)

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Tolentino is one of the greatest sculptors in Philippine history. His works are immortalized as national monuments, the most prominent of which is the Bonifacio Monument, which was unveiled in 1933. Instead of basing the figures from printed photos or Katipuneros, Tolentino actually interviewed some of them to get an idea of how to correctly execute the sculpture.

Federico Aguilar Alcuáz (2009, Painting, Sculpture, and Mixed Media, Posthumous Conferment)

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Alcuaz was a distinguished master in cubist paintings, which often depicted nude women, interiors, landscapes, and still life. His style is characterized by blurred edges, contrasted with heavy lines and shapes.


National Artists For Literature


Francisco Arcellana (1990)

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Arcellana was a journalist, essayist, poet, and critic. He is considered as the pioneer in developing the lyrical prose-poetic form in Filipino literature. He placed second in the 1951 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature for his short story, “The Flowers of May.” Some of his books include Selected Stories (1962), Poetry and Politics: The State of Original Writing in English in the Philippines Today (1977), and The Francisco Arcellana Sampler (1990).

Virgilio S. Almario (2003)

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Almario is best known as the country’s most reputable editor of the Filipino language. He has authored and edited the UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino, and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino: Manwal sa Masinop na Pagsulat. Apart from being a linguistic expert, he is an artist, poet, critic, translator, editor, teacher, and cultural manager. He is also a recipient of numerous Palanca Awards.

Cirilo F. Bautista (2014)

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Bautista was a recipient of several Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for poetry, fiction and essay in English and Filipino, and the prestigious Philippines Free Press Awards for Fiction. Some of his most notable works are “Boneyard Breaking,” “The Archipelago,” “Telex Moon,” and “Summer Suns”.

N. V. M. Gonzalez (1997)

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Gonzalez shot into prominence during the post-war era in 1947 when his stories, Seven Hills Away, were published in the Swallow Press in Denver, Colorado. As a master of short stories, Gonzales produced timeless pieces such as “Look, Stranger, on this Island Now,” “The Tomato Game,” and “The Bread of Salt.” Gonzalez’ short stories are staples in Literature classes in high schools and universities in the Philippines.

Amado V. Hernández (1973)

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Hernandez is renowned for his works that have socio-political themes, which defined much of his genre. His writing was heavily influenced by his experiences as a guerrilla, a labor leader, and a political prisoner.

Nick Joaquín (1976)

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In his generation, Joaquin was the greatest writer of Philippine Literature in English. He was one of the most prolific writers of his age, and was still writing and refusing to retire until his death finally took him in 2004 at the age of 86. He penned classics such as May Day Eve and The Summer Solstice, which are also some of his most important works taught in schools nationwide. His most prominent works were influenced by his traumatizing experience of World War II. Notably, despite the horrors, he expressed great optimism in the Filipino, which reflected in his opus.

F. Sioníl José (2001)

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Sioníl José’s writings were influenced by the works of Jose Rizal. His major works espouse social justice and societal change. Important works include the novel, Two Filipino Women, and the short story collection, Waywaya: Eleven Filipino Short Stories.

Bienvenido Lumbera (2006)

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Lumbera is acknowledged as one of the pillars of contemporary Philippine Literature (1946 to the 1970s), along with Nick Joaquin and few others. He specialized in poetry and drama. His most important works were produced during the Martial Law years: Tales of the Manuvu; Rama, Hari, Nasa Puso ang Amerika; Bayani, Noli me Tangere: The Musical, and Hibik at Himagsik Nina Victoria Laktaw.

Resil Mojares (2018)

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Mojares, also known as the Visayan Titan of Letters, is best known for his works on Philippine History, especially Visayan literature on history. Some of his major works are The War Against the Americans: Resistance and Collaboration in Cebu Province, and House of Memory: Essays.

Alejándro R. Roces (2003)

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As a writer, Roces works the expansive province of short stories. His mind is the creative genius behind titles like “We Filipinos Are Mild Drinkers,” which won Best Short Story at the University of Arizona during his freshman year there. Other interesting works are “My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken,” “Of Cocks and Kites,” and “Fiesta.”

Carlos P. Rómulo (1982)

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Romulo was best known for being the first Asian President of the United Nations General Assembly. He was a remarkable diplomat, and prior to that, a soldier. But he was also a journalist and literary author. Some of his most notable books are I Saw the Fall of the Philippines, Mother America, and I See the Philippines Rise.

Edith L. Tiempo (1999)

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Tiempo was one of the greatest Filipino poets of her generation. As a poet, she weaved words into intricate descriptions of profound experiences, yet managed to keep her poems from being scrupulously detailed. Some of her best poetry collections include “The Tracks of Babylon and Other Poems,” “Marginal Annotations and Other Poems,” and “The Charmer’s Box and Other Poems.”

José García Villa (1973)

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Villa is considered one of the greatest poets of the Philippines. He mastered and introduced the reverse consonance rhyme scheme in poetry. His works also make extensive use of commas, earning him the title of “Comma Poet.” As a writer, he used the pen name Doveglion, which was derived from the words dove, eagle, and lion. In a tribute to Villa, celebrated poet E.E. Cummings wrote a poem titled “Doveglion, Adventures in Value”.

Lázaro Francisco (2009, Posthumous Conferment)

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Francisco was a playwright, novelist, and essayist. He shot into literary stardom during the pre-war years when five of his novels gained critical acclaim. Two of his most important opus are Singsing na Pangkasal and Tatsulok, which won the Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940 and 1946, respectively.

Carlos Quirino

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Quirino is the nephew of former president Elpidio Quirino. He is recognized as one of the first historians to write a biography about Jose Rizal. As a historian, he gathered first-hand information on key historical figures, and wrote about them. He also wrote biographies of former president Manuel Quezon and painter Damian Domingo.


National Artists For Film and Broadcast Arts


Lino Brocka (1997, Film, Posthumous Conferment)

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Brocka is one of the rare heavyweights in the Philippine film industry for his ability to produce multiple masterpieces that earned international critical acclaim. Some of Brocka’s landmark films were produced in the ‘70s: Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang, Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag, and Insiang.

Lamberto V. Avellana (1976, Film)

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Lamberto was a film and stage director. Some of his most notable works include Ang Bukas ay Atin (1973), Bus to Bataan (1961), Death was a Stranger (1963), and Anak Dalita (1956).

Ishmael Bernál (2001, Film, Posthumous Conferment)

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Bernal is responsible for directing iconic films that defined Filipino pop culture in the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as Working Girls, Tisoy, and Playboy. Bernal also touched on relationships and social issues with films like Manila by Night, Aliw, Relasyon. His most prominent film, however, is Himala which starred Nora Aunor. Himala gained international critical acclaim, winning numerous awards from various circuits and film festivals around the world.

Gerardo de León (1982, Film, Posthumous Conferment)

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 De Leon is the most awarded filmmaker in the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences or FAMAS. He is also responsible for some of the country’s first horror flicks, which includes the 1959 Terror is a Man. Through the ‘60s, De Leon co-directed a slew of vampire flicks, including The Blood Drinkers, Blood is the Color of the Night, Curse of the Vampires, and Brides of Blood.

Eddie S. Romero (2003, Film and Broadcast Arts)

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Romero was one of the country’s most influential filmmakers. One of his most significant films was the 1976 movie, Ganito Kami Noon… Paano Kayo Ngayon? It depicted the Philippines in the 20th century when it revolted against Spain and was about to fall under American rule. Another important Romero film is Kamakalawa, an exploration of Philippine folklore during the pre-colonial years.

Fernando Poe Jr. (2006, Film, Posthumous Conferment)

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Poe is affectionately known as FPJ and Da King, and was arguably the most popular action star of Philippine cinema. His career spanned several decades until his death in 2004 at the age of 65. At the age of 14, he landed a starring role in the movie Anak ni Palaris. Some of the most notable roles he played were in movies such as Mga Alabok ng Lupa, Asedillo, and Durugin si Totoy Bato.

Manuel Conde (2009, Film and Broadcast Arts, Posthumous Conferment)

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Conde was responsible for giving the Philippines its first internationally acclaimed film in 1955, Genghis Khan. Then, in 1959, Conde directed Juan Tamad Goes to Congress, the very first satirical film shown in Philippine theaters. Conde himself starred as Juan Tamad in the movie.

Kidlat Tahimik (2018, Film and Broadcast Arts)

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Tahimik is considered by Filipino filmmakers as the “Father of Philippine Independent Cinema.” Tahimik pioneered independent filmmaking in the country with films such as Mababangong Bangungot, Turumba, and Sinong Lumikha ng yoyo? Sinong Lumikha ng Apoy?


National Artists For Music     


Levi Celério (1997, Music and Literature)

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Celerio is recognized as the most prolific Filipino composer, with more than 4,000 songs credited to his name. Some of his most familiar creations include “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” and “Kahit Kaunting Pagtingin.” He also wrote the lyrics for the folk song, “Sa Ugoy ng Duyan.” Celerio became a pop icon when for his ability to play music with using a leaf from a Japanese bamboo plant.

Ernani Joson Cuenco (1999, Posthumous Conferment)

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Cuenco’s hand in Philippine music is easily recognizable in compositions that elegantly fused ballad and kundiman. His compositions include “Gaano Ko Ikaw Kamahal,” “Bato sa Buhangin,” and “Nahan Kahit na Magtiis.”

Felipe Padilla de León (1997, Posthumous Conferment)

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De Leon is a composer and conductor who made a name in the world of orchestra. Some of his most notable orchestral works include “Mariang Makiling Overture” (1939), “Maynila Overture” (1976), and “Bataan,” tone poem (1947). 

Francisco Feliciano (2014)

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Feliciano is a Filipino composer and conductor. He composed and arranged numerous pieces, including “Buksan Mo ang Aming mga Labi” (1982), “Pokpok Alimpako” (2002), and “Pamugun” (2002).

Lucrecia R. Kasilag (1989)

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Kasilag was a composer and pianist. She rose to prominence because of her unique style of incorporating indigenous Filipino instruments into orchestral works, such as “Dularawan: Salakot na Ginto” (1969), “The Legend of Sarimanok (1963), and “Ang Pamana” (1966).

José Maceda (1997)

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Maceda was an ethnomusicologist. He studied the cultural and social roots of Filipino music, including indigenous music. Starting in 1952, Maceda researched and helped preserve ethnic Filipino music. He also investigated various ethnic music from Southeast Asia.

Antonio J. Molina (1973)

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Molina was a composer, conductor, and music academician. During his lifetime, he composed over 500 songs, and taught harmony, composition, music history, and cello at the UP Conservatory of Music.

Lucio D. San Pedro (1991)

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San Pedro was a composer, conductor, and music teacher. He is best known for his hymns such as “Nuestra Padre Jesus Nazareno (Our Lord Jesus the Nazarene).”

Ramón Santos (2014)

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Santos is one of the few Filipino composers who are also ethnomusicologists. He is recognized as a respected figure in Music Composition and Theory. In 1987, he was awarded the prestigious Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France. It is given to people who made a significant contribution to the arts.

Andrea O. Veneración (1999)

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Veneracion was the founder of the Philippine Madrigal Singers or Madz, whom she trained and molded to become one of the most respected choral groups in the world. The Madz have won numerous international awards and choral competitions, helping cement the reputation of the Philippines as powerhouse in choral competitions.

Antonio R. Buenaventura (1988)

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Buenaventura was a composer and conductor. He helped preserve ethnic Filipino folksongs by studying them and creating songs that made use of ethnic instruments and melodies.

Jovita Fuentes (1976) 

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Fuentes was a soprano singer. She was dubbed as the First Lady of Philippine Music and was the first Filipino to be awarded a National Artist award in Music. She debuted as Cio-Cio San in the opera Madame Butterfly in 1925. She also played Mimi in La Boheme, and Iris in Salome

Ryan Cayabyab (2018)

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Cayabyab is one of the most well-known composers of our time, thanks to his compositions penetrating pop culture. He formed the iconic singing group Smokey Mountain in the ‘90s. As a composer, Cayabyab is a go-to musician for movie sound tracks. He composed numerous tracks for movies, including songs for the musical Ang Larawan (2017). He is also credited for hit songs like “Tuwing Umuulan,” which was popularized by Regine Velasquez.


National Artists For Architecture, Design, and the Allied Arts


Pablo Antonio, Sr. (1976, Architecture)

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Antonio is considered as a pioneer in Philippine modern architecture. From 1938 to the 19502, he designed various buildings with art deco style. Among the prominent structures he designed are the main building of the Far Eastern University and the Capitan Luis Gonzaga Building 

Juan Nakpíl (Architecture)

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Nakpil’s projects as an architect are all over national hallmarks such as the University of the Philippines’ Quezon Hall, the Rizal Shrine, the San Carlos Seminary, and the Philippine Trust Co. Building (Plaza Lacson). He was also the architect of the now demolished Rizal Theater and the Capitol Theater.

Leandro V. Locsín (1990, Architecture)

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As an architect, Locsin’s works were grand and ambitious. Most of his projects in the ‘70s are characterized by brutalist design, including the Tanghalang Pambansa of the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Tanghalang Maria Makiling of the National Arts Center.

Francisco Mañosa (2018, Architecture)

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Mañosa was one of the most influential architects of the Philippines. His projects include the Coconut Palace and the EDSA Shrine. He is also recognized as the pioneer Philippine neo-vernacular architecture.

I. P. Santos (2006, Architecture)

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Santos is recognized as the “Father of Philippine Landscape Architecture.” He was responsible for landscaping numerous public areas such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines complex, the Manila Hotel complex, Nayong Pilipino, the Asian Institute of Management complex, Paco Park, San Miguel Corporation building, Rizal Park, and Tagaytay Highlands Gold and Country Club, among others. 

Ramón Valera (Fashion Design) 

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Valera was a fashion designer. He was responsible for designing the standard of what is recognized today as the terno. Designers today still use Valera’s blueprint of the terno: its construction, beadworks, applique, etc.

José María Zaragoza (Architecture)

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Zaragoza is credited with designing some of the most prominent religious buildings in the country, including the Santo Domingo Church in Quezon City, the Quiapo Church Expansion, and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. He designed more than 40 churches and religious structures.


National Artists For Dance


Francisca Reyes Aquino (1973)

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Aquino is credited for her unparalleled and extensive research on Philippine folkdance and traditional games. She painstakingly described, illustrated, and recorded these in her 1926 thesis titled “Philippine Folk Dances and Games.” Because of Aquino, Philippine folkdance and traditional games are preserved and immortalized in school curriculums nationwide as part of Physical Education. 

Leonor Orosa-Goquingco (1976)

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Goquingco was one of the most respected choreographers in the Philippines and abroad. She was the first Filipino who choreographed a ballet, The Elements (1940). After World War II, she formed the Philippine Ballet (not to be confused with Ballet Philippines), and choreographed Noli Me Tangere, bringing the novel to life in ballet as the Noli Dance Suite

Ramón Obusan (2006)

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Obusan was instrumental in promoting Philippine traditional dance and cultural work. He founded the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group, a folk dance company. He incorporated into it the vast data artifacts he had accumulated through his decades of doing research on Philippine folkdance.

Alice Reyes (2014) 

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Reyes is a dancer, choreographer, and the founder of Ballet Philippines. She brought Filipino culture to the ballet scene with works such as “Bungkos Suite,” “Carmen,” “Carmina Burana,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “Rama Hari”.

Lucrecia Reyes Úrtula (1988) 

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Urtula is recognized as the person who brought Filipino folk dance to the realm of theater. She led the adaptation of Filipino folkdance into the theater stage by transforming them from the simple repetitive routine to a livelier, colorful, and dynamic dance. Her creativity in choreography brought her and her Bayanihan Dance Company around the world, promoting Filipino culture.


National Artists For Theater


Daisy Avellana (1976, Film and Theater)

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Daisy and her husband, Lamberto Avellana, established the Barangay Theater Guild in 1939. They were joined by 39 other colleagues. She is recognized as the “First Lady of Philippine Theater.” On her own, she is a talented director, actor, and writer. She directed the Philippine theater scene in the ‘30s through the ‘70s elevated it to a higher level of professionalism. She helped establish numerous performing groups, further developing the Philippine theater culture.

Honorata "Atang" de la Rama (1987, Theater and Music)

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De la Rama is best known for her role in vaudeville, more commonly referred to as bodabil by Filipinos in the ‘30s. During the American occupation, she campaigned for the dominance of Filipino kundiman and sarsuela in performance stages. She was also a talented singer. She lent her voice to the sarsuela, Dalagang Bukid, which helped make her famous.

Rolando S. Tínio (1997, Theater and Literature)

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Tinio is recognized as one of the titans of Philippine theater. He led productions of the Ateneo Experimental Theater, in which he explored the concepts of being an actor and tested the limits of what was considered acceptable in theater culture. 

Salvador F. Bernál  (2003, Theater and Design)

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Bernal was a prolific theater producer, with over 300 works credited to his name. In 1995, he organized the Philippine Association of Theatre Designers and Technicians, which he used as a platform to introduce and promote Philippine theater to the world.

Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (1997, Theater, Posthumous Conferment)

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Guerrero was a playwright, director, and theater actor. His opus includes 100 plays, of which only 41 have been published. As a director, he was instrumental in the development of notable figures in Philippine performing arts scene: He was a teacher to Joonee Gamboa, Behn Cervantes, and Celia Diaz-Laurel. Some of his works include 13 Plays (first published in 1947), 8 Other Plays (1952), 7 More Plays (1962), and 12 New Plays (1975).

Severino Montano (2001, Theater, Posthumous Conferment)

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Montano was playwright, director, actor, and theater organizer. Throughout his lifetime, he produced numerous masterpieces that include 50 plays, 150 poems, and one novel. His four most significant plays that became tour staples around the world are The Love of Leonor Rivera, Parting at Calamba, The Ladies and the Senador, and Sabina.

Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio (2018, Theater)

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Lapeña Bonifacio is a playwright, puppeteer, and educator who earned her title as the “Grand Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater.” In 1956, she became a Fulbright scholar, an opportunity which she used to improve her craft. In 1958, she obtained a master’s degree in Speech and Drama at the University of Wisconsin. Some of her most important works are Anim na Dulang Pilipino Para Sa Mga Bata, and a puppet play, Abadeja: Ang Ating Sinderella.

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