The National Living Treasures Award, alternatively known as the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA), is conferred to a person or group of artists recognized by the Government of the Philippines for their contributions to the country’s intangible cultural heritage.
A recipient of the award, a National Living Treasure or Manlilikha ng Bayan is “a Filipino citizen or group of Filipino citizens engaged in any traditional art uniquely Filipino, whose exceptional 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 their community with the same degree of technical and artistic competence.
The National Living Treasures Award was institutionalized in 1992 through Republic Act No. 7355. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the highest policy-making and coordinating body of the Philippines for culture and the arts, was tasked with implementing and awarding. This is in line with UNESCO’s criteria of Living National Treasures.
Categories of the award include but are not limited to folk architecture, weaving, performing arts, pottery, literature, textile, or fiber arts.
The National Museum of Anthropology houses the Manlilikha ng Bayan Hall. Let’s get to know our National Living Treasures and their contribution to our heritage and culture.
A must-see for Filipinos to appreciate the beauty of our traditional folk arts!
National Museum of the Philippines
National Commission for Culture and the Arts
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