Asia Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU)
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Policies and Actions


National level agency/organisation dedicated to preservation and promotion of traditional/folk performing arts

National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) – umbrella organization for all Government cultural agencies. URL :
National Museum (NM)
Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)
National Commission for Indigenous Peoples (NCIP)
National Library (NL)

Prominent NGOs working in this field

List of major groups that promote the preservation of traditional/folk performing arts:

1. Dance
Darangan Cultural Dance Troupe
Mindanao State University, Marawi City 9700

U.P. Filipiniana Dance Group
College of Human Kinetics, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Leyte Kalipayan Dance Company
22 Arellano St., Tacloban City 6500

Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Ensemble of Laguna
Gen. Taiño St., Pagsanjan, Laguna 4008

Hwa Yi Ethnic Dance Center
Unit 504 Moraga Mansion, Plaza Moraga, Binondo, Manila

Philippine Baranggay Folk Dance Troupe
131 Scout Fernandez St., Diliman, Quezon City 1128

MSU Sining Pananadem
Mindanao State University, Cultural Affairs Office, Marawi City

Tambol Dance Ensemble
Osmena St., Tambulig 7025, Zamboanga del Sur

Alun Alun Dance Circle, Inc.
13 J.P. Rizal St., Calumpang, Marikina City 1801

UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe
Office of Student Affairs, University of Sto. Tomas, España, Manila

Philippine Folk Dance Society
Folk Arts Theater, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City

2. Music
Kasarinlan Music Ensemble
70-A Boston St., Cubao, Quezon City

Kontragapi (Kontemporaryong Gamelan Pilipino)
College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City

Maguindanao Kulintang Ensemble
Blk. 17 Lot 10 Maharlika Village General S. K. Pendatun Ave., Upper Bicutan, Taguig 1700

Makiling Ensemble
70-A Boston Ave., Cubao, Quezon City

Polytechnic University of the Philippines Banda Kawayan (Bamboo Orchestra)
Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Banda Kawayan Office Sta. Mesa, Manila 1016

#3 Starline Road, Blueridge, Quezon City

3. Theatre
MSU Sining Pananadem
University Video Service Mindanao State University-Main Campus, Marawi City, Lanao del Sur 9700

MSU-Kabpapagariya Ensemble
Mindanao State University Tambler Campus, Gen. Santos City

Sining Kambayoka Ensemble
Mindanao State University Marawi City, Lanao del Sur 9700

Integrated Performing Arts Guild (IPAG)
MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology Tibanga, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte 9200

Kaliwat Theater Collective
8 Mercury St., GSIS Heights, Matina, Davao City 8000

Brief chronology-history

Brief chronology/history of the Preservation and Promotion of Traditional/Folk Performing Arts in the Philippines:

The preservation/promotion of traditional folk performing arts has been maintained by the various ethno-linguistic groups practicing indigenous forms of religion, the Islamic groups, and later the Christianized groups with syncretic cultures. There is a continuous evolution of forms not really as performance but in actual practice. In the southwestern ethnic practices were influenced by Islam, while central Mindanao island remained more or less indigenously traditional.

Northwards the country was affected by the intrusion of Western culture beginning the Spanish in the 16th century. It is at this point that performance as opposed to ethnic practice begun when in the attempt to introduce Christianity, dramatization of aspects of Christian doctrine were dramatized, and incorporated even in the visual arts and music – the advent of the Western concept of theatre and associated arts were initialized. Some of these forms are still practiced contemporaneously in different parts of the country, and which are presently being revived. Secularization of the performing arts also started then.

By 1898 secularization of the performing arts really took off, with the defined separation of the church and the state. The religious thrust continued, but the laic forms began to proliferate. This was reinforced by the institution of a national educational system.

Nationalistic movements by the 1930’s to the present increased local interest in indigenous cultural expressions. Universities were in the forefront in the organization of cultural performing troupes, incorporating elements from ethnic practices.

The foundation of the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 1966 and which received a legal status in 1972 gave the most powerful impetus for a resurgence of interest in the performing and traditional arts, further reinforced by the Folk Arts Theatre.

Due to the clamor of the cultural circles, the Presidential Commission for Culture and the Arts (PCCA) was formed in 1986, which was later re-organized into the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in 1992. A further boost in this thrust is the programme to recognize national living treasures in the folk arts – the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan

Legislation in this field

Philippine Constitution of 1986, Art.XIV
PD 15 – in the Cultural Center of the Philippines
RA 7355 – National Living Treasures
RA 7356 – National Commission for Culture and the Arts
RA 8371 – National Commission for Indigenous Peoples
RA 8492
Proc. 996
PD 260
PD 375
PD 373
Proc. 1683
Proc. 1743
Proc. 1492
PD 374
PD 1109
Cultural Heritage Law (Omnibus Cultural Code) – for enactment, pending currently at the Senate

Category/types of performing arts

Traditional Ethnic rituals/practices
Contemporary ethnic practices
Dance arts
Music arts
Theater arts


Various inventories/directories exist at:
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (Cultural Data Bank – including directories, listings on broad categories, artists, writers, performers, etc. ) (NCCA)
The National Museum inventories (NM)
The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP)

Audio・visual documentation collection

Forms: Photographs, slides, audio cassette, video tapes (VHS, Betamax), films, CD, VCD, DVD, transparencies

National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
National Museum (NM)
Cultural Center of the Philipppines (CCP)

Aspects of traditional/folk performing arts in education

Traditional/Folk performing arts are part of the curriculum in basic, secondary and tertiary levels of education programs in both public and private schools. Most major educational institutions have their performing arts groups in various categories. There are also extra-curricular training in this field in local, regional and national levels.

Data provider

Dr. Florentino H. Hornedo
Professor of Philippine Literature and Philippine Studies, Ateneo de Manila University;
Commissioner, UNESCO National Commission of the Philippines
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
Address: 633 Gen. Lura St., Intramuros, Manila 1002, Philippines

(Revised in July 2004)
Dr. Jesus T. Peralta
National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
633 General Luna, Intramuros, 1002 Metro-Manila, Philippines