Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

National Living Treasure (Philippines)

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Type  Medal
Status  Currently constituted
Awarded for  See Award
First induction  1993
National Living Treasure (Philippines)
Sovereign  President of the Philippines
Next (higher)  Order of Gabriela Silang

A National Living Treasure (Filipino: Manlilikha ng Bayan) is a person or group of artists awarded by the Government of the Philippines for their contributions to the country's intangible cultural heritage. The definition states "a Filipino citizen or group of Filipino citizens engaged in any traditional art uniquely Filipino, whose distinctive skills have reached such a high level of technical and artistic excellence and have been passed on to and widely practiced by the present generations in his/her community with the same degree of technical and artistic competence."



The National Living Treasures Award (Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan) was institutionalized in 1992 through Republic Act No. 7355. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, which is the highest policy-making and coordinating body of the Philippines for culture and the arts, was tasked with the implementation. This is in line with UNESCO's criteria of Living National Treasures.


To become a National Living Treasure, the candidate must possess the following qualifications:

a. is an inhabitant of an indigenous/traditional cultural community anywhere in the Philippines that has preserved indigenous customs, beliefs, rituals and traditions and/or has syncretized whatever external elements that have influenced it.

b. must have engaged in a folk art tradition that has been in existence and documented for at least fifty (50) years.

c. must have consistently performed or produced over a significant period, works of superior and distinctive quality.

d. must possess a mastery of tools and materials needed by the art, and must have an established reputation in the art as master and maker of works of extraordinary technical quality.

e. must have passed on and/or will pass on to other members of the community their skills in the folk art for which the community is traditionally known.

A traditional artist who possesses all the qualities of a Manlilikha ng Bayan candidate, but due to age or infirmity has left him/her incapable of teaching further his/her craft, may still be recognized if:

a. had created a significant body of works and/or has consistently displayed excellence in the practice of his/her art, thus achieving important contributions for its development.

b. has been instrumental in the revitalization of his/her community's artistic tradition.

c. has passed on to the other members of the community skills in the folk art for which the community is traditionally known.

d. community has recognized him/her as master and teacher of his/her craft.


The categories are, but not limited to, the following categories of traditional folk arts:

  • folk architecture
  • maritime transport
  • weaving
  • carving
  • performing arts
  • literature
  • graphic and plastic arts
  • ornament
  • textile or fiber art
  • pottery
  • Other artistic expressions of traditional culture may be added.

    List of National Living Treasure

  • Ginaw Bilog (d. 2003), artist and poet, Mansalay, Oriental Mindoro Poetry (Ambahan), 1993
  • Masino Intaray (d. 2013), musician and epic chanter, Brookes Point, Palawan, Poetry (Kulilal and Bagit)Music (Basal / Gong), 1993
  • Samaon Sulaiman (d. 2011), Musician, Mama sa Pano, Maguindanao Music (Kutyapi), 1993
  • Lang Dulay, textile weaver, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Weaving (T’nalak), 1998
  • Salinta Monon (d. 2009), weaver, Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Weaving (Abaca – ikat / Inabal), 1998
  • Alonzo Saclag, musician and dancer, Lubugan, Kalinga Province, Music and Dance (Kalinga), 2000
  • Frederico Caballero, epic chanter, Sulod- Bukidnon, Iloilo, Poetry / Epic Chant (Sugidanon), 2000
  • Uwang Ahadas, musician, Lamitan, Basilan, music (Yakan specifically Kulintang, kwitangan kayu, gabbang, agung, and tuntungan), 2000
  • Darhata Sawabi, (d. 2005), weaver, Parang, Sulu, weaving (Pis Syabit), 2004
  • Eduardo Mutuc, metalsmith / metal sculptor, Apalit, Pampanga, Metalwork (Bronze and Silver), 2004
  • Haja Amina Appi (d. 2013), weaver, Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi, Weaving (Mat), 2004
  • Teofilo Garcia, casque maker, San Quintin, Abra, Casque Making (Tabungaw), 2012
  • Magdalena Gamayo, master weaver, Pinili, Ilocos Norte, Weaving (Inabel), 2012
  • Yabing Masalon Dulo, master weaver, Polomolok, South Cotabato, Weaving (Ikat), 2016
  • Ambalang Ausalin, master weaver, Lamitan, Basilan, Weaving (Yakan tennun), 2016
  • Estelita Tumandan Bantilan, master weaver, Malapatan, Sarangani, Weaving (B'laan igem), 2016
  • References

    National Living Treasure (Philippines) Wikipedia

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