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Order of National Artists 2023: Date, History, Facts, Activities

Since the pre-colonial period, the inhabitants of the Philippines have been painting. The country's art and culture were affected by each colonial era.

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On April 27, the Order of National Artists, or ‘Orden ng Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining’, recognises the meritoriousness of artists everywhere. This award is presented to all Filipino nationals who have made significant contributions to the Philippine arts and culture landscape. This is the utmost honour that can be bestowed upon a person in the Philippines, and only the most distinguished individuals are recommended for this distinction.

The background of Order of National Artists

Since the pre-colonial period, the inhabitants of the Philippines have been painting. The country’s art and culture were affected by each colonial era. The Islamic period of the thirteenth century was characterised by calligraphy, architecture, and painting, among other artistic achievements. When they arrived in the 16th century, the Spaniards brought artistic paintings.

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The resulting artwork is a stunning blend of the Renaissance, Baroque, and even the Modern Period.
The Philippine government acknowledged the value of the country’s artistic community and endeavoured to bestow official recognition on its artists and contributors. Thus, in 1972, the ‘Award and Decoration of National Artist’ was established to honour all outstanding contributions to Philippine art disciplines, including dance, music, theatre, visual arts, literature, cinema and broadcast art, architecture, and design.

In 2003, the Philippine government issued a proclamation elevating the award to ‘cultural order’ status. This award now ranks fourth in the Philippines, behind three other prestigious accolades. The ‘National Artist Award’ was renamed the ‘Order of National Artists’ to coincide with the new honour. Even today, the selection of artists to receive honours is a lengthy and laborious procedure.

The Order of National Artists Award Secretariat is composed of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (N.C.C.A.) and the Cultural Centre of the Philippines (C.C.P. They form a specialised research committee to ensure that the entire procedure is objective. Two special organisations, a panel of experts and a jury of experts, consisting of critics, researchers, scholars, and others review the initial recommendations. The jury of experts then evaluates the shortlisted candidates and provides the O.N.A.A. with their recommendations. The O.N.A.A., in turn, presents a final list to the Philippine president, who confirms, proclaims, and confers Order status upon the selected candidates.

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Admire the Filipino art and culture

Examine both old and new works that embody the Filipino character. Obtain works by former National Artists such as Fernando Poe, Jr. or Eddie S. Romero (film), Edith L. Tiempo or Jose Garcia Villa (literature), Ryan Cayabyab or Andrea Veneracion (music), and many others. Experiencing a new culture is even more thrilling.

Research former National Artists

Learn about their lives, their works, and the effect of their prestige on their lives. There are a few official websites and books written about this event where you can discover additional information.

Discover how Philippine art flourished.

Observe how the Philippines evolved from a culture influenced by traditional art to one whose influences are global. This complex history is documented in numerous books, videos, and written works, with examples from each period of influence included.


Specifically, one for ‘Historical Literature’ and another for ‘Fashion Design,’ which later fell under ‘Architecture, Design, and Allied Arts.’

In actuality, this event only occurs every three years.

National Artists receive a monetary award (claimed by legitimate heirs in the event of a posthumous award), the title ‘Order of National Artist,’ a life pension, and medical and hospital benefits.

The Philippines’ central bank mints a gold-plated medallion known as the ‘Grand Collar’ with the name ‘Grand Collar’.

Positionally, the Order of National Artists is comparable to the U.S. National Medal for the Arts and Japan’s Order of Culture.


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Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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