Art of the Philippines

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Art of the Philippines is diverse. The art includes:


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 teachings. 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.[1]

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 metals. [1]

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


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 dances.

Within the cordillera dances, there is Banga, Bendayan, Lumagen/Tachok, Manmanok, Ragragsakan, Salisid, Talip, 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.[2]

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.[3]

Two examples of traditional Filipino dances are Tinikling and Binasuan and many more. Filipinos have unique folk dances like tinikling where 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.[4]


Philippine weaving involves many threads being measured, cut, and mounted on a wooden platform. The threads are dyed and weaved on a loom.[5]

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 fish.[6] They also used weaving to make just about all of the clothing that was worn.

They weaved rugs that they used for quilts and bedding. The quality of the quilt/bedding was based on how soft, how tight together, and the clean pattern. The patterns were usually thick stripes with different colors and with a nice pattern.

However, during Spanish colonization, Filipinos used fabric called nipis to weave white clothing. These were weaved with decorative, flower designs.[6]


Traditional pot-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.[7]

Native Filipinos created pottery since 3500.[7] They used these ceramic jars to hold the deceased.[8]

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. [8]

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.[9]

Other Art Forms[edit]

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.

Past Filipino Artists[edit]

Past notable Filipino artists include Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Augusto Arbizo, Félix Hidalgo, and David Cortés Medalla. Present-day Filipino artists featuring Filipino culture include Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Fred DeAsis, Daniel Coquilla, Ang Kiukok, Lito Mayo, Mauro Malang Santos, Santiago Bosé, Francisco Viri Rey Paz Contreras, and Nunelucio Alvarado.[10] The Arts or Paintings by Zóbel, 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.


ManilaBahay TsinoyA typical Chinese house in the PhilippinesKaisa Heritage Center, 32 Anda corner Cabildo Streets, Intramuros, Manila
Casa ManilaA typical Spanish colonial house in the PhilippinesGeneral Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila
San Agustín MuseumA church museum with wide collections of catholic religious itemsSan Agustín Monastery, General Luna Street Corner Real, Intramuros, Manila
National Museum of the PhilippinesThe national museum which showcases Philippine ArtsP. Burgos Avenue, Manila
Malacañang MuseumA museum inside the Presidential Palace complexMalacañang Palace Complex, J.P. Laurel Street, San Miguel, Manila
Metropolitan Museum of ManilaA museum of contemporary artsBangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Manila
Museum of Contemporary Arts and DesignA museum of contemporary Filipino artsCollege of Saint Benilde, 950 P. Ocampo Street, Malate, Manila
The MuseumA museum of contemporary Filipino artsDe La Salle University, 2401 Taft Avenue, Manila
UST MuseumThe oldest existing museum in the Philippines. UST Museum has permanent display on natural history specimens, coins, medals, memorabilia, ethnographic materials and oriental arts objects.University of Santo Tomás Main Building, España Boulevard, Sampaloc, Manila
Museo PambataA museum for childrenRoxas Boulevard corner South Drive, Ermita, Manila
PasayCCP Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino and Asian Traditional Musical InstrumentsA museum of performing arts.Tanghalang Pambansa CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay
GSIS Museo ng SiningA museum of Filipino ArtsMacapagal Avenue, Financial Center, Pasay
MakatiAyala MuseumA museum of Filipino ArtsMakati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati
Yuchengco MuseumA museum of Filipino and Filipino-Chinese ArtsRCBC Plaza, Ayala corner Senator Gil Puyal Avenue, Makati
PasigLópez Memorial MuseumA museum of Filipino Contemporary ArtsBenpres Building, Exchange Road corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig
Quezón CityAteneo Art GalleryA museum of Filipino Contemporary ArtsSpecial Collections Building, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezón City
Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research CenterThe only museum in the Philippines with wide range of Philippine Arts from 1880 to 1960Roxas Avenue, University of the Philippines, Dilimán, Quezón City
TaguigMind MuseumA science museumJ.Y. Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
CebuPaulina Constancia Museum of Naive Art [MoNA]A museum of Naive Art, Poetry, & Sustainability110 Gorordo Ave., Cebu City

See also[edit]


External links[edit]