7 Things You Can Do to Honor These 7 Great Names in Arts and Culture
by Maria Romero, November 13, 2018 4:15pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
The global art scene is well aware of the unique artistry of Filipino artists. Our vibrant art district, whether mainstream or underground, is proof that drives this point home.
Last October, seven giants in the field of arts and culture were named as National Artists by the Malacañang Palace under the virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1001. These Filipino artists were given the highest recognition for their significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. But other than sharing this glorious news, there are simple things you can do to extend your gratitude for their contributions.
Francisco Mañosa, National Artist for Architecture
Francisco Mañosa is "the most outspoken champion of indigenous Filipino architecture." He has been shortlisted for the National award since 2013. Manosa's designs are known to incorporate native materials combined with marble, metal, hardwood, and concrete glass. This was evident in his obra, the Coconut Palace in CCP Complex.
How to honor him? Promote the use of indigenous materials in constructing buildings and crafts. For instance, you should support small-time businesses selling rattan furniture and handicrafts, woven abaca or pina cloth, and other handmade or carved trinkets.
Larry Alcala, National Artist for Visual Arts
Larry Alcala is the man behind cartoon series Slice of Life in the Weekend Magazine, Mang Ambo in the Weekly Graphic, and Kalabog en Bosyo, the first comic strip where characters spoke in Taglish. His works usually portray how Filipinos are able to laugh despite trials.
How to honor him? Continue your remarkable resilience and continue patronizing the local print comics. His proclamation as National Artist is posthumous as he died in 2002.
Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music
You’ve probably seen Mr. C countless times on national television as he is the composer of some of the music you’ve grooved in such as the classic “Tuwing Umuulan at Kapiling Ka” and “Da Coconut Nut”. He is also the brain behind Philippine Popular Music Festival PhilPop.
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How to honor him? Promote Original Pilipino Music through buying physical albums, streaming their songs on official streaming sites, and actually going to an artist or band’s gig. OPM is not dead, and it never will be.
Ramon Muzones and Resil Mojares, National Artists for Literature
Ramon Muzones is the author of the “Margosatubig: The Story of Salagunting”, a story about a fictional state in Mindanao and the struggles of its hero. His proclamation as National Artist is also posthumous as Muzones died in 1992.
Meanwhile, Mojares is a multi-awarded writer, historian, and literary critic. His works include Origins and Rise of the Filipino Novel, The War Against the Americans, and books about eminent Filipinos, such as Vicente Sotto, Pedro Paterno, Isabelo delos Reyes, and Trinidad Pardo de Tavera.
How to honor them? Appreciate the Philippine Literature more instead of consuming those written by Western authors.
Kidlat Tahimik, National Artist for Cinema
Kidlat Tahimik is often regarded as the father of Philippine independent cinema. His passion to forge films created on independent vision and not of commercial considerations earned him the title. One of his films Perfumed Nightmare has won the International Critics Award at the Berlin Film Festival. In 2009, he received the UP Gawad Plaridel Award.
How to honor him? Pay for tickets to independent films on their show dates or at local cinema houses.
Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio, National Artist for Theater
Amelia Bonifacio promotes children’s theater and puppetry through the plays she writes and is lauded as “Grande Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater”. She has penned 40 plays, 20 books, and 30 stories. Bonifacio was the chairwoman of the University of the Philippines’ Creative Writing Program and founded Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas, a children’s theater and puppetry troupe based in UP.
How to honor her? Recapitulate the fight in supporting children with your capabilities by means of engaging in the advocacy campaigns for them. Better yet, watch one of Bonifacio’s plays.
Artists, no matter how talented they can be, would be nothing without the support of their community. And on most times, climbing the ladder of success is something unimaginable for them. By all means, support local artists in any way you can, whether by simply showing up to their shows or galleries, sharing their arts online, or helping empower their advocacies. A sincere gesture that shows support will go a long way.