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rts of the Philippines is diverse. It includes painting, dancing, weaving, sculpting, poetry, and many other art forms.



1 Paintings 2 Dance 3 Weaving 4 Pottery 5 Other Art 6 Past Filipino Artists 7 Museums 8 See also 9 References 10 External links


Artistic paintings were introduced to the Filipinos in the 16th century when the Spaniards arrived in the Philippines. During this time, the Spaniards used paintings

as religious propaganda to spread Catholicism throughout the Philippines. These paintings, appearing mostly on church walls, featured religious figures appearing

in Catholic teaching. Due to the Church's supervision of Filipino art and Spanish occupation of the Philippines, the purpose of most paintings from the 16th-19th

century were to aid the Catholic Church.


In the early 19th century, wealthier, educated Filipinos introduced more secular Filipino art, causing art in the Philippines to deviate from religious motifs. The use

of watercolor paintings increased and the subject matter of paintings began to include landscapes, Filipino inhabitants, Philippine fashion, and government

officials. Portrait paintings featured the painters themselves, Filipino jewelry, and native furniture. The subject of landscape paintings featured artists' names

painted ornately as well as day-to-day scenes of average Filipinos partaking in their daily tasks. These paintings were done on canvas, wood, and a variety of



During World War II, some painters focused their artwork on the effects of war, including battle scenes, destruction, and the suffering of the Filipino peoples.



It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Philippine Dance. (Discuss)Proposed since June


There are many different types of Filipino dances varying in influence and region. Types of Filipino dance include Cordillera, Muslim, tribal, rural, and Spanish style


Within the cordillera dances, there is Banga, Bendayan, Lumagen/Tachok, Manmanok, Ragsaksakan, Salisid, Salip, Tarektek, and Uyaoy/Uyauy. The Banga

dance illustrates the grace and strength of women in the Kalinga tribe. Women performing the Banga balance heavy pots on their heads while dancing to beat of

wind chimes. This mimics Kalinga women collecting and transporting water. Another dance, called Lumagen or Tachok, is performed to celebrate happy

occasions. When Lumagen is performed, it is meant to symbolize flying birds and is musically-paired to the beat of gongs. Another cordillera dance, Salisid, is the

dance to show courtship. In the Salisid dance, a male and a female performer represent a rooster attempting to attract a hen.


Tribal dances include Malakas at Maganda, Kadal Blelah, Kadal Tahaw, Binaylan, Bagobo Rice Cycle, and Dugso. Malakas at Maganda is a national folklore

dance. It tells the story of the origin of the Filipino people on the islands. Another dance, called the Binaylan dance, tells the story of a hen, the hen's baby, and a

hawk. In this dance, the hawk is said to control a tribe's well-being, and is killed by hunters after attempting to harm the hen's baby.


Two examples of traditional Filipino dances are Tinikling and Binasuan and many more. Filipinos have unique folk dances like tiniklingwhere assistants take two

long bamboo sticks rapidly and in rhythm, clap sticks for dancers to artistically and daringly try to avoid getting their feet caught between them. Also in the southern

part of the Philippines, there is another dance called singkil using long bamboo poles found in tinikling; however, it is primarily a dance showing off lavish Muslim

royalty. In this dance, there are four bamboo sticks arranged in a tic-tac-toe pattern in which the dancers exploit every position of these clashing sticks. Dancers

can be found trying to avoid all 4 bamboo sticks all together in the middle. They can also try to dance an entire rotation around the middle avoiding all sticks.

Usually these stick dances performed in teamwork fashion not solo. The Singkil dance is identifiable with the use of umbrellas and silk clothing.



Philippine weaving involves many threads being measured, cut, and mounted on a wooden platform. The threads are dyed and weaved on a loom.


Before Spanish colonization, native Filipinos weaved using fibers from abaca, pineapple, cotton, and bark cloth. Textiles, clothes, rugs, and hats were weaved.

Baskets were also weaved and used as vessels of transport and storage, and for hunting. These baskets were used to transport grain, store food, and catching



However, during Spanish colonization, Filipinos used fabric called nipis to weave white clothing. These were weaved with decorative, flower designs.



Traditional pottery-making in certain areas of the Philippines would use clay found near the Sibalom River. Molding the clay required the use of wooden paddles,

and the clay had to be kept away from sunlight.


Native Filipinos created pottery since 3500.


They used these ceramic jars to hold the deceased.


Other pottery used to hold remains of the deceased were decorated with anthropomorphic designs. These anthropomorphic earthenware pots date back to 5 BC. -

225 A.D and had pot covers shaped like human heads.


Filipino pottery had other uses as well. During the Neolithic period of the Philippines, pottery was made for water vessels, plates, cups, and for many other uses.


[edit]Other Art

Tanaga is a type of Filipino poetry. Kut-kut is an art technique used between the 15th and 18th centuries. The technique was a combination of European and

Oriental style and process mastered by indigenous tribes of Samar island.

[edit]Past Filipino Artists

Past notable Filipino artists include Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Augusto Arbizo, Flix Hidalgo, and David Corts Medalla. Present-day Filipino artists featuring

Filipino culture include Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Fred DeAsis, Daniel Coquilla, Ang Kiukok, Mauro Malang Santos, Santiago Bos, Francisco Viri Rey Paz Contreras,

and Nunelucio Alvarado.


The Arts or Paintings by Zbel, Amorsolo and many more could be seen in most of the art museums in the Philippines. Zobel's

paintings can be seen in the Ayala museum.






Bahay Tsinoy

A typical Chinese house in the Philippines

Casa Manila

A typical Spanish colonial house in the Philippines

San Agustn Museum

A church museum with wide collections of catholic religious items

National Museum of the Philippines

The national museum which showcases Philippine Arts

Malacaang Museum

A museum inside the Presidential Palace complex

Metropolitan Museum of Manila

A museum of contemporary arts

Museum of Contemporary Arts and Design

A museum of contemporary Filipino arts

The Museum

A museum of contemporary Filipino arts

The oldest existing museum in the Philippines. UST Museum has permanent display on natural history specim UST Museum medals, memorabilia, ethnographic materials and oriental arts objects.

Museo Pambata

A museum for children

CCP Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino and Asian Pasay Traditional Musical Instruments A museum of performing arts.

GSIS Museo ng Sining

A museum of Filipino Arts


Ayala Museum

A museum of Filipino Arts

Yuchengco Museum

A museum of Filipino and Filipino-Chinese Arts


Lpez Memorial Museum

A museum of Filipino Contemporary Arts

Quezn Ateneo Art Gallery City

museum of Filipino Contemporary Arts

Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research The only museum in the Philippines with wide range of Philippine Arts from 1880 to 1960 Center


Mind Museum

A science museum

[edit]See also X

By Alison Kroulek

Monday, December 24, 2007

The people of the Philippines are the heirs of an artistic tradition that dates back to long before the first European stepped foot on the island soil. Some of these ancient arts, such as wood carving, weaving and folk dance, are still practiced today. However, Filipino art has also expanded over time to include more Western practices, such as painting in both classical and modern styles. Today, the blend of different cultures found in the Philippines nourishes a thriving art scene. The earliest examples of Philippine art include carvings of gods and goddesses(anitos), ceremonial masks, and other artifacts.[1][2] Even today, some of these ancient art forms are still practiced. For example, the Ifugao people are known for

Another ancient Philippines art form was the intricate, full body tattoos worn by the Visayans, who were known as the painted people to the Spanish.
their exquisite woodcarvings, while the Badjo people of Mindanao are esteemed for the colorful weaving.

Another ancient art form that has experienced renewed popularity is traditional folk dance. Long before the Spanish colonized the islands, native Filipinos used dances to celebrate important community events, such as harvest and weddings. Many of these folk dances are still practiced today. For example, many traditional dance troops keep this ancient art alive. Some of these performers, including the Bayanihan, Filipinescas, Barangay, and Hariraya groups have received international acclaim.[3] Of course, traditional music was and is an essential accompaniment to traditional dance. Music is another art form that pre-colonial indigenous Filipinos were accomplished in. Native cultures had their own distinct instruments and styles of music. For example, in the northern islands, traditional indigenous music has much in common with Asian gong music, and utilizes a type of gong called a gangsa.[4] The southern islands also have their own distinctive style of music, featuring a type of native orchestra known as the Kulintanga. The instrument that carries the melody in the Kulintanga orchestra is called a kulintang. Basically, the kulintang is a series different-sized gongs laid side-by-side and played with wooden sticks.[5] In the kulintanga orchestra, it is joined by other instruments such as the dadabuan(a type of drum), the agong(a bass gong), and another type of gong called the gandingan. The orchestra plays 3 major types of music, usually in the following order. The first type of musical piece is the haunting, mournful binalig. This is usually followed by the sinulog, which is evocative of passionate emotions such as love or anger. Finally, there is the tidtu, which is a piece that showcases the talent of the musicians-basically a jam session.[6] Amazingly, none of the pieces have been written down-they are passed along by the examples of elders and can only be learned by listening and then trying to play. The traditional folk arts of the Philippines display a tremendous amount of skill and creativity. These arts would change with the coming of the Spanish, and later the Americans. However, even though the arrival of foreign influences changed the artistic culture forever, many of the ancient native arts have thankfully survived intact.

Modern or contemporary art, although a by-word for decades in the Western world, is a phenomenon of the postwar period in the Philippines. This is not meant to detract from the yeoman efforts of Victorio Edades, Carlos Francisco and Galo Ocampo, who were known as the Triumvirate in progressive art circles of the pre-war period. The art of

these three men was indeed contemporary in intention and direction, but their role was more needed historical and transitional rather than iconoclastic. A new group was needed negotiate the actual aesthetic breakaway from the established canon to the abstract, expressionist, symbolist and other modes of creative expression characteristic of the art of the modern world. For a while the Thirteen Moderns, a loose grouping which included the three men, appeared to effect the desired seachange, but somehow they did not have die necessary collective anima. This could probably be attributed to the enervating traumas of World War II. The iconoclastic role, instead, was assumed by a more dynamic group of six artists whose names are closely associated with the early years of the Philippine Art Gallery (PAG) in Ermita, Manila:

Romeo Tabuena, Hernando Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Victor Oteyza, Ramon Estella and Cesar Legaspi. Three of the Neo-Realists, as critic Aguilar Cruz called them, namely, Oteyza, Estella and Ocampo, were self-taught artists. But they were no mere Sunday painters. Ocampo's paintings, in particular, showed an almost scientific preoccupation with color and design that nevertheless seemed to spring from a feeling for organic form. A synthesis work entitled Ancestors was shown at one of the annual exhibitions of the Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), a national organization of artists and art lovers which was founded in 1947-48. In addition to Hernando Ocampo and his group, the PAG in its early years also started to attract other painters like

Anita Magsaysay Ho, Nena Saguil, Mario and Helen Roces, and Manuel Rodriguez. Rodriguez subsequently moved away to found his own Contemporary Artist Gallery and workshop. Although diverse in style and temperament, the Neo-Realists and their companions shared a common dissatisfaction with what they considered as the static art of the Establishment, as exemplified by the painters belonging to the ruralpastoral school of Fernando Amorsolo. The decisive battles between academic art and the new expressionism took place in the annual competitions of the early fifties. In an effort to avoid a direct confrontation and showdown, the AAP divide the entries into two categories, conservative and modern, artificial and untenable classification which was subsequently abolished. For all practical purposes, the war between the two camps was

won during the 1954 AAP exhibition at the Northern Motors showrooms. In protest over the choice of winning entries in the competition, a group of genre and landscape painters led by Antonio Dumlao walked out with their works and forthwith set them up on the sidewalks for public viewing. They then organized the Academy of Filipino Artists, which continued the sidewalk exhibitions for a few years in front of the Manila Hotel, only to disband unobtrusively later on and leave the field to the practitioners of the new movement. Before 1954, in fact, two painters, Arturo Luz and Fernando Zobel, who were to influence the directions of this new movement considerably, had started to show their works at the PAG and AAP exhibitions. The two represented a new breed: educated abroad, they stood for the painting for painting's sake point of view, the so-called painterly approach Luz through his spare lyrical style, with its

emphasis on neatness and linear values, and Zobel through his Matisse-like color improvisations but chiefly through his lectures on art at the Ateneo de Manila which have had a profound influence on Philippine art appreciation and criticism. Another painter of the same orientation and spirit also came back from studies abroad to strengthen the camp of the PAG group. This was Constancio Bernardo, who was a disciple of Albers and his optico-geometric colorism. Thus, with the entry of these newcomers and the walkout of the followers of Amorsolo and Fabian de la Rosa (and indirectly of Luna and Hidalgo), the controversy which had begun with the return of Edades in 1928 and had been exacerbated by his arguments with the sculptor Guillermo Tolentino and Dominador Castaeda on the nature of artistic distortion and representation came to an end. It was a

complete rout in favor of a new expression and expressionism. All that was needed now at this stage was the emergence of the daring ones who would plunge Philippine art into the mainstream of the international style of abstraction. Indeed, with the appearance of Zobel and Luz, new names began to assert themselves in the late fifties and early sixties: Cenon Rivera, J.E. Navarro, Jose Joya Jr., Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, Joan Edades, David Medalla, Lee Aguinaldo, Ang Kiukok, Jess Ayco, Zeny Laygo, Malang, Hugo Yonzon, Oscar Zalameda, Rodolfo Perez, and Juvenal Sanso. The majority gravitated this time around a new showplace, the Luz Gallery, which assumed the functions of the PAG as the latter gradually lost its old vitality.

Two painters, in particular, Joya and Aguinaldo, started producing canvases in the tradition of the New York school of abstract expressionism. Joya orbited into non-objective art while he was painting in Detroit, Michigan, with an explosion of spring colors entitled Magnolia Tree. Probably taking his cue from Zobel who was doing his saeta series which were paintings applied with syringe instead of brush, Aguinaldo started flicking threads of paint with palette knife onto canvas to produce expressive abstractions with monumental effect. Perez advanced the frontiers further by spraying his colors on, to produce vibrating tonal zones in the soft-edged idioms of Rothko. And, as if to dramatize the fact that Philippine Art had become international in grammar, spirit and geography, Aguilar Alcuaz left for Europe in 1956 and came back in

1964 still doing figuration but in a highly abstract yet viscerally disturbing style. The Philippine-artist-in-voluntaryexile is no new theme in the history of Philippine art, and the case of Aguilar Alcuaz is not unique even in recent times. In fact, Tabuena the most prolific and sensitive among the early Neo-Realists had left much earlier and has not come back so far, preferring an artist's life in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to painting in his own country. Nena Saguil had also left earlier, and ended up living and painting in Paris for 14 years before finally coming back to Manila for a retrospective show in 1968 at the new Solidaridad Galleries. Manansala, who paints in what he himself has called transparent cubism, has done some world traveling. Anita Ho has lived in Brazil, and now resides in Canada. Zalameda is an inveterate continental traveller. The gifted Medalla, who has abandoned painting in favor of kinetic sculpture,

has been living in England for the fast few years. Zobel and Sanso, who are Philippine-born Spanish citizens, sojourn mostly in Europe, although they come back periodically to Manila to show their latest works. How far Philippine contemporary art has progressed since Edades and his painting, The Builders, may be seen in the fact that at the 1964 Venice Biennial the painter chosen to represent the Philippines was abstractionist Jose Joya, together with the modernist sculptor Napoleon Abueva. Also, it was the first time that a Philippine painter ever took part in an international exhibition of this magnitude. The Philippines did not win any medals (Pop Art was the word then), but the participation itself was historically significant and prepared the way for other Philippine painters seeking international stature.

The following year 1965, Tabuena sent his works to Brazil to represent his country in the 8th Sao Paulo Biennial. Two year later, in 1967, the paintings of Hernando Ocampo were also shown in Brazil at the same biennial, while Aguilar Alcuaz represented the younger generation at the 5th Biennial de Paris. A painter of sardonic humor, Navarro also took part in the 1967 Sao Paolo exhibition, but in the field of sculpture. Indeed, a whole book can be written on the works of a number of' Philippine artists who have been active in both painting and sculpture. In the meantime, the mid-sixties also witnessed the maturation and emergence of a new generation of young painters who may be considered as the legitimate aesthetic offspring of the progressive elements of the immediate post

war period, especially of the Neo-Realists. Highly conscientious and competent, the young painters have been winning the big prizes offered yearly in national competitions. It is noteworthy that the older painters, apart from the fact that they are already well-known, have declined to compete against these young men in the annuals of the Art Association of the Philippines, preferring when they do take part to participate hors concours as guest artists. This new generation divides itself into two groupings, but with no real discernible organization or leadership. The first cluster consists of Roberto Chabet, Angelito Antonio, Florencio Concepcion, Charito Bitanga, Antonio Austria, David Aquino, Norma Belleza, Antonio Chan, William Chua, Veronica Lim, Leonardo Pacunayen, Angelito David, Antonio

Hidalgo, Noel Manalo, and Manuel Rodriguez Jr. The second cluster consists of Alfredo Liongoren, Kelvin Chung, Marciano Galang, Virgilio Aviado, Ben Maramag, Benedicto Cabrera, Edgar Doctor, Lucio Martinez, Efren Zaragosa, Raul Lebajo, Raul Isidro, Prudencio Lammaroza, Jaime de Guzman, and Lamberto Hechanova Jr. In the works of this new generation of Philippine painters are polarized all the progressive tendencies and thrusts of Philippine art, as well as the basic drawbacks inherent in the act of working derivatively within the continuum of the international art movement (and its various recent manifestations like pop, op, minimalism-maximalism, hardand soft-edgism, colorschoolism, and so on), to the detriment of the growth of national art, whatever that may mean. In any case, these young artists are the true heirs of

the Philippine contemporary art movement. Their performance in the next few years together with that of their more spirited elders will largely determine the shape of its content.