National Artist of the Philippines

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The Order of National Artists of the Philippines (Filipino: Orden ng mga Pambansang Alagad ng Sining ng Pilipinas) is an order bestowed by the Philippines on Filipinos who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine art. Members of the Order are known as National Artists. Originally instituted as an award, it was elevated to the status of an order in 2003.[1]

The Order is administered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines by virtue of President Ferdinand Marcos's Proclamation № 1001 of April 2, 1972 and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The first award was posthumously conferred on Filipino painter Fernando Amorsolo.


The order of the highest state honor is conferred on individuals deemed as having done much for their artistic field. Deserving individuals must have been recommended by both the Cultural Center and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts prior to receiving the award. Such people are then titled, by virtue of a Presidential Proclamation, as National Artist (Filipino: Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining), and are inducted into the Order.


Categories under which National Artists can be recognized originally included:[2]

  • Music – singing, composition, direction, and/or performance;
  • Dance – choreography, direction and/or performance;
  • Theater – direction, performance and/or production design;
  • Contemporary Arts – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation art, mixed media works, illustration, graphic arts, performance art and/or imaging;
  • Literature – poetry, fiction, essay, playwriting, journalism and/or literary criticism;
  • Film and Broadcasting/Broadcast Arts – direction, writing, production design, cinematography, editing, camera work, and/or performance; and
  • Architecture, Design and Allied Arts – architecture design, interior design, industrial arts design, landscape architecture and fashion design.

However, National Artists have since been honored under new categories. The NCCA created the category of National Artist for Fashion Design when it nominated Ramon Valera, but subsumed that category under "Architecture, Design and Allied Arts". President Fidel V. Ramos issued an executive order creating the category of National Artist for Historical Literature before conferring the honor to Carlos Quirino.


The National Artist of the Philippines are based on a broad criteria, as set forth by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts:[2]

  1. Living artists who have been Filipino citizens for the last ten years prior to nomination as well as those who have died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death;
  2. Artists who have helped build a Filipino sense of nationhood through the content and form of their works;
  3. Artists who have distinguished themselves by pioneering in a mode of creative expression or style, making an impact on succeeding generations of artists;
  4. Artists who have created a significant body of works and/or have consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form, enriching artistic expression or style; and
  5. Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through prestigious national and/or international recognition, awards in prestigious national and/or international events, critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works, and/or respect and esteem from peers within an artistic discipline.

Nominations are then submitted to the National Artist Secretariat that is created by the National Artist Award Committee; experts from the different art fields then sit on a First Deliberation to prepare the short list of nominees. A Second Deliberation, which is a joint meeting of the Commissioners of the NCCA and the Board of Trustees of the CCP, decides on the final nominees. The list is then forwarded to the President of the Philippines, who, by Presidential Proclamation, proclaims the final nominees as members of the Order of National Artists.[3]


  • The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;[4]
  • The insignia of a National Artist and a citation;
  • A lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:
  1. a cash award of one hundred thousand pesos (100,000.00) net of taxes, for living awardees;
  2. a cash award of seventy-five thousand pesos (₱75,000.00) net of taxes, for posthumous awardees, payable to legal heir/s;
  3. a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits;
  4. life insurance coverage for Awardees who are still insurable;
  5. a state funeral and burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani;
  6. a place of honor, in line with protocolar precedence, at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events;

The Roster of National Artists

President Year Picture Awardee Province Category Notes
Ferdinand Marcos at the White House.jpg
Ferdinand Marcos
1972 Fernando Amorsolo.png Fernando Cueto Amorsolo
Manila Visual Arts – Painting posthumous conferment
1973 Francisca Santos Reyes-Aquino
Bulacan Dance
Botong Francisco 2012 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Carlos Modesto "Botong" Villaluz Francisco
Rizal Visual Arts – Painting posthumous conferment
Amado Vera Hernandez
Manila Literature
Antonio Jesus Naguiat Molina
Manila Music
Juan Felipe de Jesus Nakpil
Manila Architecture
Guillermo Estrella Tolentino
Bulacan Visual Arts – Sculpture
Jose Garcia Villa NYWTS.jpg Jose Garcia Villa
Manila Literature
1976 Napoleon "Billy" Veloso Abueva
Bohol Visual Arts – Sculpture
Leonor Orosa-Goquingco 2010 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Leonor Luna Orosa-Goquingco
Batangas Dance
Lamberto V. Avellana 2015 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Lamberto Vera Avellana
Mountain Province Film and Theater
Nick Joaquin Portrait from Fringe.jpg Nicomedes "Nick" Marquez Joaquin
Manila Literature
Jovita Flores Fuentes
Capiz Music
Victorio Candido Edades
Pangasinan Visual Arts – Painting
Pablo Sebero Antonio Sr.
Manila Architecture posthumous conferment
1981 Vicente Silva Manansala
Pampanga Visual Arts – Painting
1982 Gerardo de León 2013 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Gerardo "Gerry" Ilagan de Leon
Manila Film
Carlos P. Romulo.jpg Carlos Peña Romulo
Tarlac Literature
Corazon Aquino 1986.jpg
Corazon Aquino
1987 Honorata "Atang" Marquez de la Rama-Hernandez
Manila Theater and Music
1988 Antonino Ramirez Buenaventura
Bulacan Music
Lucrecia Faustino Reyes-Urtula
Iloilo Dance
1989 Lucrecia Roces Kasilag 2018 Philippines stamp.jpg Lucrecia Roces Kasilag
La Union Music
1990 Zacarias Francisco "Franz" Quino Arcellana
Manila Literature
Cesar Torrente Legaspi
Manila Visual Arts – Painting
Leandro Valencia Locsin
Negros Occidental Architecture
1991 Hernando Ruiz Ocampo
Manila Visual Arts – Painting posthumous conferment
Lucio San Pedro 2013 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Lucio Diestro San Pedro Sr.
Rizal Music
Fidel V Ramos official 2011.jpg
Fidel V. Ramos
1997 Catalino "Lino" Ortiz Brocka
Sorsogon Film posthumous conferment
Felipe Padilla de Leon 2012 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Felipe Padilla de Leon
Nueva Ecija Music
Wilfrido Guerrero 2017 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Wilfrido Maria Barredo Guerrero
Manila Theater
Rolando Santos Tinio
Manila Theater and Literature
N. V. M. Gonzalez 2015 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Nestor Vicente Madali Gonzalez
Romblon Literature
Levi Celerio 2010 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Levi Celerio Cruz
Manila Music & Literature
Arturo Rogerio Luz
(b. 1926)
Manila Visual Arts – Painting
José Maceda 2017 stamp of the Philippines.jpg José Montserrat Maceda
Manila Music
Carlos Quirino 2010 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Carlos Lozada Quirino
Manila Historical Literature
1999 Jerry Navarro Elizalde
Antique Visual Arts – Painting posthumous conferment
Ernani Joson Cuenco
Bulacan Music
Andrea Carriaga Ofilada-Veneracion
Edith Tiempo 2019 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Edith Cutaran Lopez-Tiempo
Nueva Vizcaya Literature
Daisy Avellana 2017 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Daisy Pardo Hontiveros-Avellana
Capiz Theater
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo WEF 2009-crop.jpg
Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
2001 Ishmael Bernal Ledesma
Manila Film posthumous conferment
Severino Montano 2015 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Severino Tabat Montano
Ilocos Norte Theater
F. SIONIL JOSE (2017).jpg Francisco Sionil Jose
(b. 1924)
Pangasinan Literature
Ang Kiukok
Davao del Sur Visual Arts – Painting
2003 Jose Tanig Joya
Manila posthumous conferment
Virgilio Almario 2019 (cropped).jpg Virgilio Senadrin Almario
(b. 1944)
Bulacan Literature
Alejandro Reyes Roces
Eddie Romero2007.jpg Edgar Sinco Romero
Negros Oriental Film and Broadcast Arts
Salvador Floro Bernal
Pangasinan Theater and Design
2006 BenCab2018.jpg Benedicto Reyes Cabrera
(b. 1942)
Manila Visual Arts – Painting
Abdulmari Asia Imao (1936-2014) Sulu Visual Arts – Sculpture
Bienvenido Lumbera

(b. 1932)

Batangas Literature
Ramon Arevalo Obusan
Albay Dance
Ildefonso Paez Santos Sr.
Manila Architecture – Landscape
Fernando Poe Jr 2010 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Ronald Allan "Fernando" Kelley Poe Jr.
Manila Film posthumous conferment
Ramon Oswald Valera
Abra Architecture, Design and Allied Arts – Fashion Design
2009Template:Ref[5] Manuel Conde 2015 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Manuel Pabustan Urbano
Camarines Norte Film and Broadcast Arts posthumous conferment
Lazaro Angeles Francisco
Bataan Literature
Federico Aguilar Alcuaz
Manila Visual Arts – Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media
การหารือทวิภาคีระหว่างนายกรัฐมนตรี และประธานาธิบดีสาธา - Flickr - Abhisit Vejjajiva CROP.jpg
Benigno Aquino III
2014[6] Alice Garcia Reyes van Doorn
(b. 1942)
Manila Dance
Francisco Coching 2019 stamp of the Philippines.jpg Francisco Vicente Coching
Manila Visual Arts posthumous conferment
Cirilo Bautista portrait.jpg Cirilo Francisco Bautista
Manila Literature
Francisco Espiritu Feliciano
Rizal Music posthumous conferment
Ramon Santos portrait.jpg Ramon Pagayon Santos
(b. 1941)
Manila Music
Jose Maria Velez Zaragoza
Manila Architecture posthumous conferment
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte 2017.jpg
Rodrigo Duterte
2018 Ryan Cayabyab.jpg Raymundo Cipriano "Ryan" Pujante Cayabyab
(b. 1954)
Manila Music
Francisco Mañosa (cropped).jpg Franciso "Bobby" Tronqued Mañosa
Manila Architecture and Allied Arts
Ramon Larupay Muzones
Iloilo Literature posthumous conferment
Resil Barretto Mojares
(b. 1943)
Zamboanga del Norte/Cebu Literature
Lauro "Larry" Zarate Alcala
Albay Visual Arts posthumous conferment
Amelia Ramolete Lapeña-Bonifacio
Manila Theater
Erik Oteyza de Guia (Kidlat Tahimik)
(b. 1942)
Benguet Film and Broadcast Arts

Template:NoteAguilar Alcuaz, Francisco, and Conde were all proclaimed in 2009 but the conferment of the order was delayed due to a controversy. The order was finally bestowed in a ceremony at Malacañang Palace in November 2013.[7]


Over the years there have been several controversies involving the awarding of National Artist or involving awardees.

2009 National Artist of the Philippines controversy

In August 2009, the conferment of the Order of National Artists on seven individuals by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo[8] became controversial when it was revealed that musician Ramon Santos had been dropped from the list of nominees short-listed in May that year by the selection committee, and that four other individuals had been nominated via "President’s prerogative": Cecilla Guidote-Alvarez (Theater), Carlo J. Caparas (Visual Arts and Film), Francisco Mañosa (Architecture), and Pitoy Moreno (Fashion Design).[4][9]

Members of the Philippine art community–including a number of living members of the Order–protested that the proclamation politicised the title of National Artist, and made it "a way for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to accommodate her allies." Specific protests were raised regarding the nomination of Guidote-Alvarez, who was also Executive Director of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, because it was purportedly a breach of protocol and delicadeza (propriety), and of Caparas, on the grounds that he was unqualified for nomination under both the Visual Arts and the Film categories.[9][10] On July 16, 2013, the controversy finally ended after the Supreme Court of the Philippines voted 12-1-2 that voided the four proclamations.[11]

On June 20, 2014, five years after he was originally shortlisted in 2009, Ramon Santos was finally conferred National Artist for Music by President Benigno S. Aquino III.[6]

See also

External links


  1. Executive Order No. 236, s. 2003 Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 The National Artists of the Philippines Guidelines. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (2007).
  3. mlq3. Proclaimed a National Artist, not awarded » Manuel L. Quezon III.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Annie Ruth C. Sabangan (August 1, 2009). "Fury over Arroyo's choice of national artists". the Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs.
  5. Aguilar Alcuaz, Francisco, Conde– deceased all–to be finally conferred National Artist awards in November.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Palace Declares New National Artists. Philippine Daily Inquirer (June 21, 2014)
  7. Aguilar Alcuaz, Francisco, Conde– deceased all–to be finally conferred National Artist awards in November.
  8. TJ Burgonio (July 29, 2009). "Arroyo names 7 National Artists for '09". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Kristine L. Alave, Bayani San Diego Jr. (August 1, 2009). "Palace choices of 4 nat'l artists protested". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on August 6, 2009.
  10. Gerry Alanguilan (2009). Bottom Line: Carlo J. Caparas is NOT Qualified. Komikero Comics Journal. Komikero Comics Journal.
  11. Mark Merueñas (July 16, 2013). "SC voids National Artist Award on Carlo Caparas, 3 others". GMA News and Public Affairs.