Introduction to Sections

Peoples of the Philippines


The peoples of the Philippines refer to the more than 100 known groups living in one or more of the 7,641 islands that are the Philippines. They are identified principally by their languages whose names often allude to the nature or characteristics of the territory which these groups occupy or used to occupy. Thus the names by which they now call themselves, their language and their culture: Tagalog, meaning “Taga-ilog” or “from the river”; Bukidnon, “from the hill or mountain”; Tausug, “from the current”; and Mandaya, “from upstream.”

Based on available literature, there are at least three major groupings of these peoples. The biggest is composed of the Christianized groups, found mainly in the lowlands and coastal areas of the archipelago. Constituting more than 90% of the total population, these include the Ivatan, Ibanag, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Pangasinan, Tagalog, Bikol, Cebuano, Ilonggo, Karay-a, Aklanon, Capiznon, Waray, Cuyunon, and other partly Christianized groups. The second grouping is the Islamized or Muslim-influenced groups, whose settlements are found in the Sulu archipelago and in southwestern Mindanao. Constituting less than 10% of the total population, these include the Maguindanao, Maranao, Tausug, Sama/Samal, Sama Dilaut/Badjao, Jama Mapun, and Yakan. The third grouping is comprised of the so-called cultural communities or indigenous peoples, also called lumad in Mindanao, who inhabit the hilly and mountainous interiors of Luzon, Mindoro, Negros and Panay in the Visayas, and Mindanao. Still possessing cultural traits which characterized the first two groupings before the coming of Islam and Christianity, these peoples include the various Aeta groups scattered in the archipelago; the Tinguian, Ibaloy, Bontok, Ifugao, Kalinga, Isneg, Gaddang, Itawit, Isinay, and other groups of northern Luzon; the Mangyan groups of Mindoro; the Tagbanwa and Palawan of Palawan; the Manobo, Bukidnon, and Bagobo and related groups in Mindanao.

Up to the present, the actual number of ethnolinguistic groups in the country cannot be ascertained. One obvious reason for this is that not all ethnolinguistic groups have been studied systematically and comprehensively. Some have not been researched at all. A few are questionable because researchers have not reached a consensus about them and they have not spoken for themselves. For example, some anthropologists have hailed the Tasaday of south Cotabato as a “stone-age people in the Philippine rain forest”; other scholars have questioned the authenticity of the group.

Another reason for the uncertainty is the shifting identities of some of these groups. As with any minority, the ethnolinguistic group identity that is accepted both by outsiders and by the group as a collective self-identity is not static or permanent. On the contrary, it is an identity that necessarily keeps changing or metamorphosing as the group comes into increasing contact with the cultures which are perceived to be dominant. Thus many traditional village communities lost their economic self-sufficiency and self-reliance as they adopted to the lowlanders’ market economy which is characterized by extensive and intensive resource extraction and the use of high-level technology for profit. Moreover, changes in the natural environment which originally provided the raw materials for economic, political, and cultural adaptations, including artistic expressions, have also contributed to the modifications, if not loss, of group identity.

A third reason for the confusion is the fact that outsiders project their opinions about groups which they have not studied from the inside. To most Filipinos, the indigenous peoples of Mindoro are called Mangyan. But the Mangyan think of themselves as either the Iraya, the Alangan, the Tadyawan, the Hanunuo, the Bukid or Batangan, or the Ratagnon. Similarly, most people would refer to all the dark-skinned and curly haired groups found in many islands of the country as Negrito, when in fact there is no group with the self-identity of Negrito. Each group has its own name.

A final reason for the difficulty in identifying groups is the fact that Filipino citizens as individuals and as groups generally have a number of identities which may differ in importance depending on a person’s needs and circumstances. Thus the daughter of an Ilocano father and a Gaddang mother may decide to take on a Gaddang identity because the government offers more educational privileges to cultural minorities, while she may emphasize her Ilocano father when she tries to get a job in a company owned and operated by an Ilocano. Similarly, a wealthy entrepreneur who grew up in Manila speaking Manila Tagalog may suddenly be recognized as a successful son of an Iloilo town which needs funding for the renovation of the parish church, even if that individual does not speak a word of Ilonggo and has never been to the Iloilo town that he is supposed to be a “proud son of.”

In the face of all this uncertainty, the editors and consultants decided that the best way to identify a group is still by its tongue. As the adage goes, by their speech you shall know them. While this cannot be an absolute criterion, it is still the most practical, and definitely the least unclear, at this point in the development of anthropological research.

Since the publication of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art in 1994, new research data on the peoples of the Philippines have become available to scholars through a range of publications from universities and research centers of various persuasions. Books, journal and magazine articles as well as theses and dissertations have shed light on newly documented aspects of both the material and nonmaterial culture of all ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines, both large and small. To these have been added a string of pioneering anthologies and critical studies of literatures, oral and written, gathered from groups from all over the archipelago and published by public as well as private institutions. For their part, government institutions have offered valuable data through official local government websites and publications and through revitalized agencies like the National Statistics Office whose censuses have gathered and summarized the latest data on the ethnolinguistic groups of the Philippines, including their number and distribution.

The last two decades have also witnessed significant developments in the political, social, and economic fields which have impacted the lives of many ethnoloniguistic groups, specifically, their social institutions, languages, and cultures. These developments include the establishment and operation of the Cordillera Autonomous Region and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao; the passage into law of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), which has defined the rights of the cultural communities to their ancestral lands and cultures; and the establishment of indigenous or sectoral organizations that address specific political or economic issues like the HAGGIBAT of the Mangyan in Mindoro, the Ibanag Heritage Foundation, and the Isinai Federation of Nueva Vizcaya. On the other hand, human displacement and/or disruption or destruction of the economic lives of the cultural communities have resulted from continuing militarization of many areas because of the conflict between the government and the New Peoples Army on the one hand, and the Muslim separatist movements as well as bandit groups in Mindanao on the other; from often state-sanctioned logging, mining, and other extractive industries that have resulted in ecological degradation; globalization; climate change; and natural calamities like the Bohol earthquake and the Typhoon Haiyan of 2013.

On another note, indigenous cultures have received some recognition from government with the establishment of the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA), which honors and supports folk masters in the traditional arts like weaving, kulintang playing, epic chanting, carving, and metalcraft. To make sure that the skills of these folk artists are transferred to the next generation, the government has also opened Schools of Living Traditions in the towns where these artists reside. Tourism-sponsored festivals have capitalized on indigenous cultures found in specific areas, packaging them in standard street-dancing format often influenced by the Ati-Atihan festival of Aklan. As a result, many traditional dances, customs, and costumes have given way to such exoticized and commercialized expressions of “ethnic cultures.” In media, on the other hand, inexpensive digital video technology has democratized filmmaking, allowing regional artists to depict many aspects of their regional culture from the inside, often with the help of film festivals like Cinemalaya, Cinema One, Cine Filipino, and, most of all, Cinema Rehiyon.

In spite of much criticism and cynicism that has grown around the construction/deconstruction of notions of nations and canons, today is an age in which the completion of the online edition of a work such as the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art retains an urgent and imperative value. This encyclopedia presents itself as both a history of the life processes of the nation—a living archive and catalogue of various sites of memory—and a history of ideas. In the context of a growing vacuum of social memory, especially in the face of rapid “internationalization” and “globalization”—in so many ways, rhetorical extensions of the empire—such a project is indispensable.

As a cultural canon, the encyclopedia makes no secret of its nationalist project. The very title of the series foregrounds its cultural agenda. The fact that a section was devoted on the Peoples of the Philippines signifies its emphasis on local cultures in the process of producing the nation. It gestures conspicuously toward regional memories so that they are accounted for in articulations of Philippine national identity, and insists on the mediation of the national through the local. All this is obvious. Yet the work does not insist on the immutability and permanence of certain knowledges; rather, it anchors itself on the dynamic processes by which cultural canons evolve in relation to historical phenomena. The encyclopedia’s challenge to readers and critics is to understand and examine the ways in which the work intervenes in history.

Ultimately, the project of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art is situated within the broader struggle of securing the place of the indigenous people in the nation. Benedict Anderson’s formulation of the nation as an “imagined community” ought to point us less toward the failure of ever “truly” forming the nation because it is perpetually deconstructible, than to the material relevance of actively imagining the nation—that remains, by our continuing efforts, a progressive, even revolutionary, exercise.


This area of the encyclopedia of Philippine art aims to put together in coherent and succinct fashion standard information on the peoples of the Philippines. While it is true that many theses and dissertations, books and monographs, tapes and records have been made on one or more aspects of various groups in the Islands, there is no one place where the student can go to get a “bird’s-eye view” of any group that includes all the basic information he or she needs to know—geographical location, history, economic system, political system, social organization and customs, religious beliefs and practices, architecture and community planning, visual arts, literary arts, and performing arts. In short, these volumes seek to paint a holistic picture of each ethnolinguistic group, including and combining its material and nonmaterial forms.

In the other areas of this online encyclopedia where the eight arts—architecture, visual arts, dance, music, theater, film, literature, and broadcast arts—are treated principally as art forms, this section on the People of the Philippines is meant to situate the arts in the context of the communities that gave birth to them. Here they are seen as expressions by a group or by individuals chosen by a group, who create in response to the needs—economic, political, social—of the community. In short, the arts are here presented both as the products of a culture in process and as catalysts for change in the community.

With these basic data on the groups assembled online, it is hoped that the student will get a better understanding of what gives a cultural community its identity, and by extension, what in the culture of the ethnic groups could form the base for a national identity. There is no denying that the natives of the Philippines have been divided by the events of their history. Islam made the Tausug different from the Tboli. Spanish Christianity reshaped the Kapampangan so that they now find it hard to identify with the Ifugao and the Maranao. But even a cursory reading of the essays in this section will show that through all the changes and fragmentation wrought by history, analogous patterns of behavior and value systems, as well as parallel institutions springing from similar environmental conditions or social changes, prove that a continuity does exist between and among Philippine cultures. It is hoped that these communalities will yield a more scientific basis for Filipinos working together as a people, so that the country may finally become a full-fledged nation in terms of culture.

In addition to the objectives already set by the 1994 edition of this encyclopedia, this edition seeks to update all the entries of that first edition by rewriting the entries to incorporate data from researches done previous to 1994 which were overlooked for one reason or the other and from studies made after 1994. Updating was done in all the sections of each essay, enriching the data both on the social institutions as well as the arts of each group. Names were also updated based on the latest NSO census which identifies the names by which some groups now want to be known by. Thus, the Ilongot are now Bugkalot, the Pampangos are now Kapampangan, the Kinaray-a are now Karay-a, the Badjao are now Sama Dilaut

A second objective of this edition is to include new ethnolinguistic groups that have new research data on them and/or the writers to put together such data. Three groups have been added to the original 51 of the 1994 edition: the Agta, found mainly in Luzon; the Ifiallig, who are related to the Bontok of Bontoc Province; and the Ata Manobo who are found in Davao in Mindanao. Another addition to the essays on certain groups is the Media Arts section, which comes right after the Performing Arts section. Research done on the Broadcast Arts yielded data on the radio and/or television stations that cover the areas where certain ethnolinguistic groups are found. Furthermore, the new Media Arts section includes the films, both mainstream and independent, that have been made on certain groups, sometimes by members of those groups themselves. Films have been made on the Ivatan, Ilocano, Pangasinan, Pinatubo Aeta, Kapampangan, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Bikol, Mangyan, Maguindanaon, Tausug, and Sama Dilaut, among others.

A third objective of this edition is to provide not only verbal but visual information on each of the ethnolinguistic groups. Black and white as well as color or colorized images of the groups show them as they were documented in sketches made by foreign artists for foreigners who visited the country or by photographs from the period of reform and revolution against Spain, the Philippine-American war, and the American colonial period. In using pictures made during the Spanish or American periods, the editors consciously avoided sketches or photos which had an obvious colonial agenda (e.g., Worcester pictures showing the “backward” and “half-naked” native standing beside a tall, white American in full military attire) and photos which were colorized in hues and tones that would not have been possible, probable, or logical during the period when the photo was taken. Effort was also expended to include pictures of the group as they are in our day, wearing, not ceremonial costumes, but everyday clothes as they work in the fields or on their baskets and textiles. Exoticized and “abject” images taken mainly by foreigners were outrightly rejected. Finally, to better understand the location of the settlements of each group, the maps of the first edition were revised and interpreted in color for easy identification of their areas of habitation or migration.

In updating, expanding, and illustrating the essays on each of the 54 groups in this edition, the encyclopedia hopes to a) show the groups dynamically evolving in history as they respond to the many challenges (economic, political, social) that confront them from the inside and the outside; b) describe the architecture, visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, and media arts of each group in the context of their history, economic, political, social, and religious systems; and c) present a synthesis of their culture that will define their unique identity as a group in the larger nation.

Content and Division

This area on the Peoples of the Philippines features ethnographic sketches of 54 ethnolinguistic groups in the country. Each essay has 11 parts: a short introductory section detailing the basic ethnolinguistic features, geographic locations, and demographic distribution of the group; a section on history tracing the development of the group from the precolonial period, to the colonial eras, to the republics; a section on economy looking at the groups’ various modes of production across history; a section on political system examining the traditional, or indigenous, leadership structures and laws and their transformations vis-a-vis the colonial governments and the development of the Filipino nation-state; a section on social organization and customs surveying the groups’ kinship patterns, social codes, and conventions; a section on religious beliefs and practices fleshing out indigenous cosmologies and world views and the later interventions of institutional religions; a section on architecture and community planning describing traditional conceptions of space, structure, and spatial organization; a visual arts and crafts section, which surveys expressions of their material cultures; a literary arts section, which gives an account of their mythologies, folk narratives, and poetic traditions; a performing arts section, which records songs, dances, and mimetic rituals; and a new section on media arts, providing a preliminary look at how these indigenous identities have been represented, or have represented themselves, in film, video, television, radio, and other mediated formats, to constitute the knowledge of these indigenous communities in the popular imagination. The essays on the Peoples of the Philippines encapsulate the spirit in which the other art forms hope to be appreciated: as situated within distinct histories, sociopolitical, and economic systems, and cultural worlds out of which they emerge.

Certainly, the project is an ambitious one, but the Peoples section do not intend to comprehensively cover all aspects of the lives of indigenous group, nor purport to present a complete discussion of all their art forms. The work is a survey, signifying toward possibilities rather than exhausting them.

The updates to the original articles in the 1994 edition serve an important function in rendering these indigenous groups, their histories and cultures, as dynamic and in constant movement and struggle, especially in relation to the developing nation-state. For too long, they and their material cultures have been relegated to museum pieces and cultural commodities, their customs and traditions to visual spectacles, and their domains of life to rich sources of raw materials. In textbooks, they appear as historical footnotes, as if they continue to signify an inaccessible “past” rather than participate in the continuing struggles of the nation and in nation-formation.

As part of a conscious counter-narrative to such touristic, exoticizing, and reductivist framings of the life processes of indigenous groups in the Philippines, this section painstakingly trace the demographic shifts, geographic movements, cultural osmoses, linguistic adjustments, and sociopolitical engagements of each ethnolinguistic group. A multitude of data was processed for each of the articles: comparing and contrasting accounts of different ethnolinguistic groups, drawing out historical facts from opinions in accounts mangled with religious or political bias, exploring links between folk references and historical occurrences, and accounting for gaps and contradictions in translations of oral narratives despite limited access to the native languages.

The updating of the encyclopedia involved the conscious writing of a critical history for each of these groups, with a conscious eye toward their narratives of resistance and struggle, to circumscribe their acts of and will to power, and to glean the systematically enforced constraints upon their agency. Rather than romanticize the marginality and victimization of national minorities, it highlights the ways in which their marginality and victimization relate directly with developments in the socioeconomic, political, and cultural realms of the nation-state.

All these hard data of historical-social-political context are embedded in the arts and their development/transformation—and pointing toward this embedding is precisely the encyclopedia’s invaluable contribution to discourses on indigenous studies and on Philippine arts. The Sama Dilaut diaspora accounts for the mass appropriation of Sama music, collectively called the sangbayan, in popular imagination. The pakiring has become known nationwide as the song “Dayang Dayang” (Princess) since it became a radio hit in the late 1990s. While the lyrics of the popular version are nonsensical, they are based on those of the Sama Dilaut original, which was traditionally sung during weddings and other joyful occasions. Since then, the pakiring has found itself adapted and remixed even to disco and rock versions, and spurring parodies such as Yoyoy Villame’s “Dayang Daya” (Much Cheating), about a stereotypical Indian merchant and moneylender dealing with customers who renege on their payments.


The whole project of seeking and writing the indigenous peoples of the Philippines in a state-sponsored project like the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art inevitably surfaces the tensions between the beautiful but necessary myth of the nation and the historically oppressive and violent hand of the nation-state. But it is also precisely within the nationwide scale of the canonization project of the encyclopedia that such tensions and contradictions are negotiated.

Most of the essays in the Peoples volumes were written collaboratively, drawing from locally produced researches and regional publications to internationally circulated journals. Very significantly, the Peoples volumes were produced, not only by “outsider” (i.e., Manila-based, non-indigenous) scholars, but also by indigenous scholars and contributors. Among these are Vel Sumingit (Subanon), Scott Saboy (Kalinga), Jimmy Fong (Ibaloy), Stanley F. Anongos (Bontok), Alex Castro (Kapampangan), Ruchie Mark Pototanon (Capiznon), Kristoffer Esquejo (Romblomanon), Ma. Crisanta Nelmida-Flores (Pangasinan), Dandan Masinaring (Mansaka), and Michael Jude Tumamac (Tboli). Davao-based John Bengan updated Resil Mojares’s Cebuano essay and added data on the Cebuano in Mindanao. University of the Philippines (UP) Baguio-based Analyn V. Salvador, contributor to Isinay update, is an established researcher and author on Isinay blankets and Cordillera tattoos. John Barrios updated Aklanon (with Alex de Juan), Ilonggo (with Rene Trance, who is with the West Visayas Studies Center, UP Visayas), and Karay-a. All eight Bikol co-writers and updaters are Bicol-based, except Raniela Barbaza, who teaches Bikol regional literature at UP Diliman.

Style and Use

The encyclopedia was designed specifically for the student, and hence it avoids obfuscation. Ideas are outlined clearly in each essay and subheadings used. The language is simple and the style is straightforward and declarative. Technical terms or native terms are immediately explained with their meaning in English. As a rule, the encyclopedia follows the oldest way in which a name is spelled. Thus in the case of the so-called Aeta, Ayta, Ita, and Ati, the encyclopedia chose Aeta because this is the oldest recorded spelling of the name of the group. In the same vein, the encyclopedia used Maranao instead of Maranaw, Bulacan instead of Bulakan, because the first terms are older. If the contemporary spelling is the only version of the name used today, it was followed: thus, Pakil instead of Paquil, Palawan instead of Palauan. Excerpts from texts illustrate specific points or artistic forms. Photographs and captions sum up and serve as guideposts to the article. Sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them, and provide the family name of the author, year of publication of the work, and page numbers which correspond to entries in the references at the end of each article. These references serve as acknowledgment and lead the student to more important sources of information.

Terms native to the language of the group are set in boldface the first time they appear in the essay; other native and non-English terms not related to the group are set in italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations of the native terms are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus kaluluwa (soul). Titles of books, plays, dance pieces, large musical works, and paintings are set in boldface italics each time they are mentioned; if they are in a native language, they are followed by English translations, enclosed in parentheses, of the title and the year of publication or performance, separated by commas; thus, Banaag at Sikat (Glimmer and Light), 1907. Proper names, including names of publications, are not translated. For consistency, diacritical marks on native terms have been omitted, since they were available and complete only for certain groups, like the Palawan.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books found in the various areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine architecture is the sum total of the domestic and public buildings that have been built by natives of the Philippines on Philippine soil and over the centuries, in response to various climatic, geographical, and cultural conditions prevailing in a given place and time.

The term “Philippine architecture” has been the subject of discussion and debate. One extreme view denies that there is such a thing. Buildings of the indigenous or precolonial tradition are not considered architecture because, according to this view, they lack magnitude, durability, and aesthetic value. The architecture of the Hispanic period is regarded as entirely European in the case of forts and the Intramuros churches, or, in the case of provincial churches and houses, poor imitations of Spanish architecture. The architecture of the American and contemporary periods are viewed as unabashed copies of Western buildings. While colonial and contemporary buildings are accepted as architecture, they are not acknowledged as authentically Filipino.

The extreme opposite view contends that any architecture produced in the Philippines is Filipino, not only because of its geographical setting, but also because it is, for better or for worse, a part and expression of the culture. The essays in this volume are founded on the premise that there is such a thing as Filipino architecture, and that this encompasses ethnic, Spanish, and American colonial and contemporary architecture.


This area of the encyclopedia aims to enable the reader: first, to be familiar with and to appreciate and be concerned with Filipino architecture; second, to appreciate architecture as such; and third, to be aware of what is Filipino in architecture.

In addition to the above, the principal aim of this area on Philippine architecture is to revise the entries in the 1994 printed edition, by rewriting or updating them and by including new entries to the different sections of the encyclopedia—all based on the most important developments in Philippine architecture in the last two decades, including but not limited to, the new researches that have come out both here and abroad, the new declarations of heritage buildings and sites by the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), the most recent achievements of Filipino architects and organizations, and the notable events that have affected historic structures, like the earthquake of 2013 and the typhoon Yolanda of Nov 2013.

A secondary objective of this area is to call attention to the need of preserving, restoring, and conserving historic structures. Toward this end, 29 more historic structures have been added to the list of architectural works, in the hope that their inclusion in the encyclopedia will convince the decision makers in church and government of the areas where they are found to cherish them as heritage structures that are part of the history of their towns. Similarly, the new subsection on Heritage Areas has been added to foreground the significance of particular buildings in these places to the history of the town as well as that of the nation.


This area is divided into the following sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Production, Works, Heritage Areas, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources. The Historical Essays include first, an overview, then the essays on the indigenous, Hispanic, American, and contemporary traditions. Three essays have been added in this edition: Republic III, 1946-72; Republic IV or the martial law era, 1972-86; and Republic V, 1986 onward. The focus is on “tradition” rather than “period” since architectural styles introduced in one period could extend their influence into the next periods. There are also essays on allied arts, namely, interior design, and landscape architecture, and an essay on the evolution of communities. The historical section also includes a study of sources and influences, namely the Southeast Asian, the Islamic, the Chinese, and the Hispanic; the various styles that influenced Philippine architecture during the Hispanic period, namely, the classical, gothic, renaissance, baroque, rococo, and revivalist styles, and the 20th-century movements, like art nouveau, art deco, and modern architecture.

The section Forms and Types describes in alphabetical order various kinds of shelter and structure, again belonging to the traditions: indigenous, hispanic, American, and contemporary. The indigenous buildings include caves, lean-tos, treehouses, boathouses, and the houses on stilts; the Spanish colonial covers the bahay na bato (stone house), churches, government buildings, forts, bridges, cemeteries, and lighthouses; the American colonial and contemporary include government edifices, private commercial buildings and theaters, schools, apartments, tsalet (chalet), one ­and-a-half-story houses, and bungalows.

The section Aspects of Architecture deals in alphabetical order with various aspects of the art and profession of architecture as well as the professional formation of the architect. The creation of a building begins with the process of planning and design, an activity that involves both art and science. The outcome of this process is the set of drawings which the builder follows in the construction of the building, providing the materials that are specified and employing particular methods that are prescribed. Through the process of construction, the architect’s ideas are translated into a functioning reality. Organizations serve to promote the development of the profession and determine standards for professional practice. Outstanding achievements are recognized through the awards granted by professional organizations or by government or civic entities. Research is undertaken by scholars for the purpose of documenting the country’s architectural heritage and fostering historical consciousness to enrich creative endeavor.

The section Works is further divided into two subsections: Structures and Studies. Structures describe notable buildings in alphabetical order. A new subsection, Studies, was also added which lists down and documents architecture studies. These include specific books or articles on an aspect of Philippine architecture written by Filipinos and foreign scholars both here and abroad, which can be considered “must-read” materials for anyone wanting to have a deeper grasp of Philippine architecture.

A new section—Heritage Areas—has been added to this edition. Heritage areas situate buildings and other sites in a landscape or town setting rather than as stand-alone structures. In this section, important structures, that can be classified under Major Works but cannot be written yet as independent entries because research on them is still inadequate, can be briefly discussed or at least mentioned. The heritage zones included are sites which have been declared either as historic centers, heritage areas or heritage zones by the National Historical Institute (NHI), later the NHCP, as well as by the NMP.

The section Artists and Organizations gives brief accounts of the life and works of major architects who are listed in alphabetical order, as well as profiles of organizations related to the promotion of Filipino architecture. A major architect is one who has produced works of magnitude, particularly public buildings, and works notable for their originality or for their significant application of a current style. A large number of works, a consistently high level of performance, recognition by professional organizations, leadership in the architectural profession, and at least 20 years of professional practice were among the criteria in the selection of architects to be included in this category.

In addition, the architect must have shown an orientation toward community, which, in the present context, involves concern for the environment where a community lives and works. Furthermore, a major architect strives toward creating a Filipino style that connects with tradition, shows knowledge and concern for heritage, even as the architect remains open to foreign influences which is adapted to and appropriated for the Philippine context. A major architect may also play a pivotal role in the development of architecture by introducing creative and innovative works as well as fields and programs that subsequently affect the direction of Philippine architecture. The contributions of major architects are reflected in the recognition accorded to them by their peers, historians, and the nation. Major landscape architects and interior designers are included in this section.

The section General Sources lists down all the works used as sources in the essays and includes titles of other books deemed important as sources for the study of Philippine architecture.


Most of the information contained in this area was drawn from books, periodicals, and journals. In addition to library research, the authors of the essays and articles on architecture went on field trips to various parts of the country. Some trips had been undertaken in past years in connection with other publications, and the information unearthed then proved to be still useful. For the biographies, published sources were consulted for data on the early architects. Living architects were requested to furnish their curriculum vitae or in some cases were interviewed. Relatives of recently deceased architects were requested to provide information.

This area, however, had to work within certain limitations. Although this area contains an essay on the indigenous tradition in architecture and an article on the indigenous house in the section on forms, it does not contain detailed descriptions of the various types of indigenous house, such as the Ifugao, the Mangyan, and the Maranao. These will be found in the area Peoples of the Philippines under the entry for each group.

A number of outstanding houses of the Hispanic colonial period are not featured among the major works because no historical data are available. On the other hand, a large number of churches of the Hispanic colonial period are included, first, because many of them are unique, and second, because historical data are available and generally reliable.

A number of buildings of the Hispanic and American colonial periods that could qualify as major works are not included in this area either because historical data are not available or the buildings are no longer in their original state, having been modified inside or outside, or having been allowed to deteriorate. However, some buildings that no longer exist are mentioned because of their acknowledged historical importance and because information on them could be gathered. One example is the Crystal Arcade.

The area on architecture does not have as large a number of biographical entries as the other volumes, since professional Filipino architects emerged in significant numbers only in the 20th century. Sources from the Hispanic colonial period mention architects and builders, most of them Spaniards, whose works are of historical and architectural value. The biographies include persons who are not major architects under the criteria, but whose buildings are of special significance in Philippine architectural history. Landscape architects and interior designers are included in this section.

The names of architects or builders of important buildings are not always known. Neither are the dates of construction. Some buildings have been rebuilt or reconstructed more than once. In such cases, the date of construction that is supplied is of the present structure. Many new buildings are not mentioned in the section on contemporary architecture; neither are they listed among major works. Similarly, some biographies lack such information as date or year of birth and death, or names of parents, because no records are available or the sources did not provide them.

Style and Use

The encyclopedia editors followed the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition). The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms or equivalents or in the context in which they appear. Subheadings help to clarify the organization of ideas and ease the search for particular data. Pictures and captions illustrate the principal points being made by the essay. Sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence that uses them and provide the family name of the author, the year of publication of the work, and the page numbers, which can be checked against the sources at the end of an article.

Architecture-specific terms, such as panolong, sabungan, and simbahan, are set in boldface the first time they appear in an essay; Filipino and foreign terms not specific to architecture, such as komedya and gobernadorcillo, are set in italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations or equivalents of terms, whether architectural or not, are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, bahay na bato (stone house). Titles of books and periodicals are set in boldface italics each time they are mentioned; if the titles are non-English, they are followed by English translations, enclosed in parentheses, of the title and the year of publication, separated by commas. All diacritical marks on native terms are removed until such time as they are consistently and systematically recorded by scholars, especially among the smaller ethnolinguistic groups.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine architecture as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.

Visual Arts


The term visual arts includes both the canonical forms adopted by Filipino artists from the beaux-arts academies of the West as well as the many and varied indigenous and folk expressions evolved by the native peoples of the Philippines over the centuries. The volume endorses a broader and more democratic concept of art, one that is not confined to “fine arts” productions of a Western or elite mold. In this way, this volume gives due and ample recognition to the many traditional arts, like pottery, woodcarving, metalcraft, mat and textile weaving of the indigenous artists, and the religious sculpture, furniture, embroidery, and fiesta art forms of the Christianized folk as well as to the more recently developed technologically based arts, like photography and komiks.

Since the publication of the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art in 1994, a wealth of research data on the Philippine visual arts has been published in books, pamphlets, catalogues, and articles or made available in theses and dissertations from various academic institutions. These have brought to light, among others, early forms of the visual arts like the Maitum jars, folk art creations such as the palaspas and carved santos, art movements such as social realism and protest art, periods of art production such as the Japanese occupation, photography in the Spanish period like that of Felix Laureano or the American period such as that of Harrry Whitfield Harnish, and dress such as those on the baro’t saya, terno, and barong tagalog. The bulk of these publications, however, have concentrated on the life and works of 19th-century artists, such as Damian Domingo, Honorato Lozano, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, and Isabelo Tampinco; the early moderns like H. R. Ocampo, Botong Francisco, Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi; and the generations after them including Napoleon Abueva, Federico Aguilar Alcuaz, BenCab, Ramon Orlina, and many others.

Over the last two decades new art forms and art practitioners have expanded the scope, typology, and meaning of the visual arts. In addition to the established forms of painting and sculpture, more and later artists have ventured into or opened new directions: in assemblage, artists such as Gabriel Barredo and Jose Tence Ruiz; in installation, Leeroy New and Mark Salvatus; in performance art, Lyra Garcellano and Judy Sibayan; in video art, Yason Banal and Martha Atienza; in sound art, Tad Ermitaño and Lirio Salvador; in multimedia or transmedia art, Kawayan de Guia and Alwin Reamillo; and in effigies used for rallies and demonstrations, artists of UGATLahi Artist Collective and Tutok. In these new genres, the borders of the traditional art forms are transgressed, with visual arts merging or interacting with the performing arts, the literary arts, and the cinematic and broadcast arts.

Notable developments in the field of visual arts since the 1990s have affected the production, dissemination, and validation of Philippine art works. The rise and proliferation of new collectors in the Asia Pacific, both institutional and private, has led to the phenomenal growth of the market for Philippine art, especially in established and new art auctions. The rapid increase in the number of art exchanges, residencies, biennales, and festivals that feature visual artists from all over the world, including Asia and the Pacific, has stimulated the production of new art, exposed Filipino artists to new concepts and styles of art, and introduced a new way of validating artists and their art works. With the emphasis on the decentralization of art making after the EDSA revolt of 1986, artist collectives have taken the initiative to establish, expand, or consolidate their own groups and exhibition venues all over the archipelago. In Metro Manila, significant are Surrounded by Water, the Green Papaya Project, and Big Sky Mind; in the Cordilerras, the Baguio Arts Guild, the Tam-awan Village, and the BenCab Museum; and in the Visayas, the Mariyah Gallery and Viva Excon. All the above developments underscore the need to revise the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art.


The Visual Arts area of this encyclopedia aims to present the totality of the achievements of the Filipino in the visual arts and to show how these visual arts sprang from, shaped, and enriched Philippine culture. It presents a consolidated view of all Philippine visual arts and the varied forms which were developed by Filipinos in the indigenous, Spanish, and American colonial and contemporary traditions. Given this objective, this edition attempts to present the latest and most comprehensive documentation of the Philippine visual arts, which has been needed by Filipino students and scholars for a long time now.

Through the wealth of information and examples offered by the essays and photographs in this compendium, the editors also hope to inform young Filipino artists about the country’s rich history and heritage, in the hope that they can draw inspiration and technique from the past for their own contemporary expressions. Critics have noted that many contemporary Filipino artists tend to be heavily influenced by art concepts and trends emanating from the art centers of the West. With this edition, the editors hope to encourage artists to study their own indigenous folk traditions and see how these can help them create art works which will be distinctly and palpably Filipino.

Even as this edition seeks to showcase the many and varied researches already done on Philippine visual arts, it also hopes to infect students and enthusiasts in academic institutions all over the archipelago with the passion for further research. A cursory reading of the volume will reveal the many areas that have hardly been touched by scholarly documentation, much less written about or published. The volume especially wants to convince and conscript scholars in the regions to devote more time and effort to the discovery and dissemination of art works and artists in their region whose artistic achievements may have enriched the culture not only of their region but of the country as a whole. Such local researches are ideally undertaken by scholars born and bred in those areas.

In a wider perspective, the Visual Arts area of this encyclopedia also hopes to remedy the acute lack of information on Philippine visual arts in international art studies. This lack of materials has resulted in the marginalization of the achievements of Filipino artists in the history of world art. In fact, in most discussions of oriental art, the Philippines is hardly ever mentioned, in spite of the rise of interest in Philippine art works sold at auctions in commercial centers of the West. It is hoped that the present compendium will rectify this situation by making available to the general public basic knowledge about the history, forms, and practitioners of the Philippine visual arts.

Content and Division

The Visual Arts area is divided into these sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Production, Works, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources.

The section Historical Essays focuses on the various traditions that have contributed to and enriched Philippine culture. The division into traditions has been favored over periodization because traditions imply artistic contributions which, while associated on the whole with a particular time frame, such as for instance, the Spanish colonial period, have a continuing influence and viability to the present. What began as foreign influences, even interventions, became, with their adaptation to the local context, indigenized as traditions. On the whole, traditions imply a cultural layering that creates the rich polyphonic density characterizing Philippine culture. On the other hand, periodization would tend to confine these cultural and artistic contributions to strictly bounded time frames and would allow for much less fluidity and interaction between the art of the different periods when, in fact, a good grasp and comprehension of Philippine art, especially contemporary Philippine art, demands precisely this sensitive perception of the different traditions as they continually interact and fuse with each other in the cultural process.

The historical essays include: the general essay on Philippine visual arts, and the essays on the indigenous, the Hispanic, and the American traditions and transformations, and sources and influences. For this edition, new essays were also developed for the following historical periods: the Ancient Past and Cultural Links which utilized the archaeological studies on precolonial Philippine artifacts; the visual arts during the Japanese Occupation (1942-45); the martial law period as the crossroads of Philippine visual arts (1972-86); and the condition of globalization and transnationalization of the visual arts (1987 Onward). While the scope of periodization was based on important political events, the chosen nodal points were useful to demarcate one period from another with the full understanding that some art forms can transgress the parameters of time and space. Thus, the thematic thread of traditions and transformations in art serves as guide posts in understanding Philippine art.

The section Forms and Types covers a wide range of forms, from indigenous and folk to contemporary modern, arranged in alphabetical order. The approach to each form and genre traces their beginnings, which can go back to precolonial times, and gives an overview of their development to the present day. Woodcarving, pottery, basketry, bamboo art, textile art, tattoo art, personal ornamentation are discussed from earliest beginnings to the present. The category of painting includes easel painting introduced during the Spanish period as well as other contemporary “two-dimensional expressions” in oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, and collages. Sculpture includes traditional anito anito and santo, as well as modern works in stone, steel or glass, assemblages, installations, earthworks, and the Paete taka. The popular visual art forms of komiks and photography are also treated in historical fashion. The section was also expanded to include contemporary art forms such as effigies, assemblage, installation and site-specific art, video art, sound art, and performance art. Tattoo as an art form merited its own chapter to acknowledge its importance in our cultural heritage. Changes of terms from “Costume” to “Dress” and “Multimedia” as “Transmedia” reflect the shifting discourses in the field.

The section on the Aspects of Visual Arts has been revised and updated to reflect a continuing flow of the narrative based on the following themes: Medium and Materials of Art; Knowledge and Discourse of Art which include discussions on art education, art criticism, art scholarship, collections, and archives; Modes of Validation which include discussions on patronage, the art market, awards, law, censorship, and ethics; and Initiatives and Engagements, which discusses organizations and collectives, regional art organizations, public art initiatives, and community-based projects. Art scholarship in the form of book publications was also included in this section.

In the section of Works is incorporated a layered discussion of the artwork, how it contributes to our understanding of Philippine art history, and its importance to the development of Philippine visual arts. Admittedly, there are more works that can be included in the revised edition, given the vast amount of art activities since 1995. But given the limitations of publication, art scholars from various academic institutions vetted the new entries which are considered either important in the art history of the Philippines, or exemplify best practice in a particular form. Selected works are not strictly confined to art collections and museums, but may be found in churches, as in the case of popular religious icons, or may be effigies which were used in political rallies.

Significant artifacts unearthed through archaeological methods are included because of their importance to our art history. Photography, used in art practice and photojournalism, was expanded in the new entries. In particular, iconic images of the Filipino which circulated through the print media were given importance as these images constructed Filipino representations in our collective memory.

In general, the works were arranged alphabetically. However, some art works are more known for their moniker or shortened names, in which case, these were used together with the original name.

The selection of art works followed a number of criteria. To be included, the work should have been recognized, particularly within the period in which it was produced, as an outstanding work of art through notices, criticisms, government recognition, and institutional awards; or it is considered by art scholars as a milestone in the stylistic or thematic development of Philippine art. Care was taken to include most of the major works produced in the country. If any have been inadvertently omitted, this has been due to the limitations of research.

The section Artists and Organizations presents the biographical sketches of individual artists as well as basic data on important art organizations, such as the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura and the Art Association of the Philippines. For this edition, the section was expanded to include new entries not just on individual artists, but also scholars, organizations, and collections, which had an impact on the development of art in the Philippines.

A number of criteria were evolved for this section. To be included, artists should have created works that contributed to the stylistic development of Philippine art and have been recognized during their lifetime as major artists through notices, criticisms, government recognition, and institutional awards.

New entries for this section were vetted by art scholars with the following general criteria: 10 years of creative output in visual arts with an extensive body of work, and awards and recognition accorded to them by reputable institutions. Exemption to these guidelines were made for artists whose practice may not be considered part of the art world, but represents an outstanding art practice in an emerging field or in the regions. Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) winners in the field of indigenous and folk arts are included in the new entries to give proper recognition to their contribution to Philippine art and culture. The entries were alphabetically arranged using their last names, except for artists who are known for their professional names such as BenCab.

Art scholars included in the new entries are those who practice art history, art criticism, curatorship, art management, and art education. The criteria that were used were: 10 years of active study and publication on visual arts; two books or 10 refereed articles on visual arts; awards and recognition; and significance of their contribution to art scholarship. Art scholars, who participated in the vetting process, chose not to be included in the entries for ethical reasons.

A significant addition to this volume are the collectives and organizations in recognition of their role in facilitating art engagements with different communities and for the advocacies they represent. The criteria that were applied to the selected groups include sustained activity for at least 10 years, body of works, and level of engagement with communities and advocacies they represent. A certain leeway was given to groups who were not able to meet the 10-year criterion but nevertheless became part of the fabric of Philippine art history.

Lastly, art collections and art archives are recognized in this volume as key players in the production of knowledge on Philippine art. The criteria that were applied are 15 years of active collection and maintenance of collection; quality and extensiveness of collection; and the significance of collection to art history and contemporary creativity. By including these resources on Philippine art, this online encyclopedia hopes that more research can be done by accessing and studying them by other art scholars.


For this revised edition, the editor-in-chief invited the then chair of the Department of Art Studies (DAS) of the College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines Diliman, to serve as principal area editor of the visual arts volume. She in turn invited another colleague from the same department to assist her as co-area editor, and the two, in democratic spirit, held three long meetings to consult the members of the DAS faculty on how the old entries should be updated, expanded, reorganized or rewritten, what new entries (artists, organizations, art works) should be added, and how these new entries should be vetted.

After a consensus was reached on these matters, the faculty members, all of whom had published research articles on some aspect of the Philippine visual arts, then chose the topics they wanted to write on, based on their completed or on-going research or their research interest. The rest of the articles were farmed out to DAS lecturers and other writer-researchers and experts from other academic institutions. Guidelines were formulated and disseminated to all the assigned writers, specifying the coverage, organization, language, and references needed for each type of article—historical, biographical, and analytical. It was decided the twin approaches of historical and art criticism would be used. As the articles were submitted, they were first edited for content and style by the area editor, then passed on to the editor-in-chief who suggested changes, additions, or deletions or simply reedited the entries himself.

Research was done in libraries for all kinds of materials, including the published (books, journals, periodicals) and the unpublished (theses and dissertations). To augment data from the libraries, interviews were held with art experts as well as with artists themselves. For the biographies of artists, questionnaires were sent out to particular artists. The internet was used extensively but also selectively. Data from Internet sources were usually checked against other authoritative sources. While the majority of sources on the Philippine visual arts were consulted, this revised edition still cannot claim to have complete data in all the entries, because many lacunae remain in visual arts studies that need to be filled by future research. Moreover, there are topics that cannot have entries either because they have not been studied at all or because the subjects to be studied have vanished, having been destroyed by natural calamities, neglect, or human conflict, such as the Battle of Manila in 1945 when priceless art works and architectural masterpieces in Intramuros were bombed out of existence by American planes.

Style and Use

The form of presentation is designed for the student. The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms and equivalents or in the context in which they appear. Subheadings help to clarify the organization of ideas and ease the search for particular data. Pictures and captions illustrate the principal points being made by the essay. Sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them and provide the family name of the author, the year of publication of the work, and the page numbers. The complete details of this source may be checked against the sources at the end of each essay or in the General Sources section. The references at the end of some essays not only serve as an acknowledgment but also lead the student to more sources of information in the general bibliography.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms in the visual arts, the art works, names, concepts, and books in the visual arts area as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine film includes all the motion pictures produced by residents of the Philippines for exhibition in the country or in other parts of the world. These may be in silent or talking format, black and white or color, in the commercial mainstream or alternative cinema. Although most of these are features, they also include the documentary, animation, experimental, and other types of films.

The youngest of the Philippine arts, film was introduced into the country only in 1897 but it has now outpaced all the other art forms in popular acceptance. From one tip of the archipelago to the other, its millions of viewers cut across classes and age groups. As an art form, it reflects the concerns of the audiences it caters to, even as it shapes their consciousness and taste.

Since the publication of the first edition of the film volume of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art in 1994, major developments have happened in Philippine Cinema. The second half of the 1990s signaled the advent of digital technology that would influence filmmaking in the country. The new technology made possible the democratization of filmmaking. Shooting equipment, as well as editing software and post-production facilities, became accessible and this development had a tremendous impact on independent filmmaking and, consequently, on Philippine Cinema.

The activity in filmmaking resulted in a more lively scholarly work. The Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino (Critics of Philippine Cinema) came out with three more of its Urian Anthology covering the years from 1980 to 2009. Pelikula: A Journal of Philippine Cinema was published in 1999-2001 by the College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines. Ideya: Journal of the Humanities at De La Salle University devoted a special issue on Philippine Cinema in 2005. Moreover, various books on Philippine Cinema have been published, led by critics like Bienvenido Lumbera, Nicanor Tiongson, Rolando Tolentino, and Nick Deocampo.


The primary objective of this online edition is to revise the film volume of the first edition by updating or rewriting existing essays and by including new entries, to reflect the most significant developments in the Philippine Cinema in the two decades after 1994, in the matter of cinematic output, institutional or organizational changes, the continuing growth of productivity of veteran actors, and the rise of a new breed of filmmakers.

The secondary objective of this revised and updated edition is to serve as a source of information on Philippine Cinema for film students, teachers, cineastes, scholars, and the general public. There is not one source book today that has the range and wealth of data on Philippine Cinema that this encyclopedia offers.

The third objective of the present work is to provide the historical framework for film scholars, filmmakers, and film enthusiasts alike that can make their appreciation of Philippine Cinema much deeper. This edition is aimed at providing a sense of Philippine Cinema that can inspire and inform other works.

Content and Division

The film area of this online encyclopedia discusses the various aspects of the film in the following sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Films, Works, and Artists and Organizations.

In the first section, the re-periodization of the existing historical essays was made. Originally, the Historical Essays were composed of three essays. The first presented a historical overview of Philippine Film. The second and third were detailed articles on two main periods: Philippine Film 1897-1960 and Philippine Film 1961-92. This periodization was deemed too broad and had to be revised to cover shorter periods that witnessed major historical developments in the country. While the content of the original essays was retained, the division was revised into the following periods: Philippine Film 1897-1945, to cover the pre-World War II period; Philippine Film 1946-72, to cover the period of the Third Republic; Philippine Film 1972-86, to cover the martial law period or the Fourth Republic; and Philippine Film 1986 Onward to cover the period after martial law up to the present. The essays on the martial law era and the post-martial law period are practically new essays written for this edition.

Other historical essays were written for this edition to give emphasis on recent developments in these fields: Independent Films, which continues and updates the original essay on Alternative Cinema, Gay and Lesbian Cinema, Political Films, and Regional Cinema. The essay on Sources and Influences was updated to include other sources that have recently influenced Philippine Cinema like the new media.

Similarly, revisions and additional entries were done in the succeeding sections. The section Forms and Types discusses in alphabetical order the traditional forms of Filipino films that the movie industry has explored and developed. A discussion of the definition, typology, historical development, and outstanding examples and practitioners of each form is included. This section uses terms that should be understood in the context of Philippine Cinema. Thus, terms like bomba and drama have local nuances. Bomba refers to the soft-core sex films of the 1970s while drama refers to a form of film that not only covers melodrama but includes films that, for lack of a better term, are characteristically “dramatic.” The difference between historical and period films has also been clarified. All in all, the entries have been updated with recent examples. Moreover, a new entry on the Short Film has been added since this form has risen to prominence since the 1990s among independent and student filmmakers. Raymond Red’s Anino (Shadow), which won the Palme d’Or for short film in 2000 at the Cannes Film Festival, focused attention on this lively form of film.

The section Aspects of Production presents in alphabetical order not only the complicated process of making a film from scripting, directing, acting, production design, cinematography, to screening but also the multiple considerations which can at any point impel or retard the progress of the art of the cinema, such as audiences, distribution, criticism, censorship, and taxation. Some entries in this section like Taxation, Marketing, and Distribution have been updated and new essays on Digital Filmmaking and Producing have been written for this section.

The section on Works now has a subsection on Film Productions and another on Film Studies. From the original list of 90 Films, 10 entries were updated (e.g., A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, Maynila: Sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, and Himala which have been restored and have gained international recognition). For new cinematic works to be included, they had to satisfy at least three of the following criteria: 1) award/s from respectable award-giving bodies; 2) unusual record of popular success; 3) positive reviews and critiques; 4) contribution to a genre of film; and 5) critically acclaimed work from a regional cinema. The new film production entries total 133, which include a number of independent works and documentaries. Moreover, a new subsection has been added to this section on Works: publications that comprise important studies on Philippine Cinema. In the 1994 edition, the books on Philippine Cinema were included in the volume on Literature. It is only proper and more useful for these books to be included in the film volume of this new edition. The new entries for Film Studies were chosen based on the contribution of the work to film scholarship and/or recognition from award-giving bodies and critics. New works written after 1991 have been included, e.g., Native Resistance: Philippine Cinema and Colonialism 1898-1941, National/Transnational Subject Formation and Media in and on the Philippines, The Cinema of Manuel Conde, and Dream Factories of a Former Colony: American Fantasies, Philippine Cinema. A total of 12 new entries have been included in this subsection.

Under the section on Artists and Organizations, the achievements of filmmakers who continued to work after 1992 have been updated. For inclusion in the list of new entries on filmmakers, at least two of the following criteria should be satisfied: the filmmaker must 1) have been recognized in major national and international festivals or by respectable award-giving bodies; 2) have at least 10 years of active involvement in filmmaking; 3) have a substantial body of works or achievements; or 4) have been recognized for making a particularly significant artistic and/or technical contribution to Philippine Cinema. Among the 332 filmmakers in the original edition, 207 entries have been updated and over 100 filmmakers have been added. As for the entries on film organizations, companies or groups that have been in existence for at least 10 years and have produced a significant body of works were included. Ten new entries have been added to the list of film organizations.

Certainly, this section on Artists and Organizations will continue to be a work-in-progress. New titles, new filmmakers, and organizations will be added in the course of time, particularly in the online edition.


While the aim of this film volume was to cover a wide range of topics to make its scope encyclopedic, it remained necessary to set guidelines in the choice of entries. At the outset of the project, the Area Editor gathered prospective writers who were active in film scholarship. The group set the criteria for the possible films, filmmakers, organizations, and publications that could be included in the revised and updated edition. The criteria and lists assembled by the group were presented to the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial board composed of the Area Editors of other volumes, as well as to a group of film scholars, for suggestions and refinements. Another meeting was held with the prospective writers, and the list of new entries was drawn up following the approved guidelines.

The writers chose the films, scholarly works, filmmakers, and organizations that they felt qualified to write about. The original drafts were edited by the Area Editor and checked by the Associate Editor for adherence to the format set by the Editor-in-Chief and the editorial board. Finally, the edited drafts were submitted to the Editor-in-Chief for further editing and approval.

The cut-off date for new entries was the end of 2013. New films that were produced after 2013 were not included as separate entries, except as minor mentions in the filmographies of directors and other filmmakers.

Style and Use

The editorial board has decided to use the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition) to maintain a standard format. The language is simple and accessible to a wide readership, including high school and college students.

Some conventions have been followed in the use of fonts. Terms related to film are in boldface on first mention; succeeding mentions are in normal font and no longer in boldface (e.g., komedi for the indigenized version of the genre, dokyu for local documentaries. Non-English words not specific to film per se are in italics only on first mention, e.g. komiks, sarsuwela). Titles of films, however, are in boldface and italics every time they are mentioned (e.g., Giliw Ko, Tunay na Ina, Pakiusap).

Philippine Cinema continues to be a vibrant medium in the country, a popular art that appeals to a wide audience. Its growth, which has been nothing short of phenomenal, needs to be charted to have a useful guide for practitioners, scholars, and enthusiasts and to ensure an even greater development in the future. This volume on Philippine Film aims to contribute towards that goal.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine film as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine music includes all the forms which today exist side by side though acquired during different historical periods: an old aboriginal Asian music, a 19th-century European-influenced religious and secular music, and the American-influenced popular and contemporary serious music of the 20th century. It also includes all the musical instruments, groups, artists, and works associated with the indigenous, hispanic, American colonial and contemporary traditions.

Since the first edition of the encyclopedia in 1994, vast improvements in digital technology and long distance communication made possible the acceleration of exchanges of information and knowledge on a global scale. This development happened even as people moved across nation-state borders in search of work, resources, and opportunities for advanced training and study abroad. Because of these developments, increased cultural exchanges across nation-state borders materialized, affecting the development of music in the Philippines.

In the last two decades, a good number of studies on different genres of Philippine music was initiated, completed, and published both by established music scholars like Ramon P. Santos and Ma. Elena Rivera Mirano and by younger counterparts like Ma. Alexandra Chua, Raul Navarro, Christine Muyco, Richie Quirino, and Arwin Tan. These studies have covered a wide range of musical works, genres, personalities, and historical periods—from Agusanon Manobo music to the kirial of Baclayon, from concerto and jazz music to rap and hiphop, from Nicanor Abelardo to Angel Peña, from the Spanish regime to the martial law period.


The area on music in this encyclopedia of Philippine art is an attempt to consolidate important information on Philippine music. With vast data available in the internet, the challenge has been to produce a synthesis of information. This means finding connections between the different aspects of music making and then writing a coherent account about it. In pulling together all basic data on Philippine musical traditions, forms, groups, instruments, works, and personalities, this compendium seeks to create a holistic picture of the country’s music which will serve as a handy reference for high school and college students as well as music aficionados. It is hoped that the compilation will afford its readers a balanced and true picture of Philippine music, past and present.

With the consolidation of information on Philippine music, the editors likewise hope that this edition will help to show young composers the variety of traditions, the number of indigenous and adapted forms, the many types of instruments and music groups, and the different aesthetic systems that have come into the country’s history, enriching it and offering multiple options for contemporary expressions. The researches on indigenous music of the Mindanao and Cordillera groups have inspired concertos, pop songs, and avant-garde pieces, lending a new musicality to compositions which afford glimpses of what it is to be Filipino. The volume hopes to encourage more composers in this direction.

Research on Philippine music for the last two decades has exhibited an interest in interdisciplinarity. This reflects broader patterns of thinking about the subject in the context of new developments that have interconnected things and everyone in ever deepening ways. The present edition therefore aims to offer novel and critical ways of understanding Philippine music that is in tune with the spirit of the times.

As composers may find in this compendium a rich source for creative inspiration, so may researchers discover in the essays of this volume many personalities, groups, instruments, forms, and works which need or demand further research. Although the editors tried their best to present a coherent and complete panorama of Philippine music, their best could never be good enough, not for lack of trying but for dearth of data on many aspects of the country’s music. It is hoped that the lacunae will be viewed as a challenge to be filled by future writers of masteral and doctoral theses as well as by seasoned ethnomusicologists and music scholars.

Content and Division

This area of the encyclopedia covers the various aspects of Philippine music under the following sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Groups, Musical Instruments, Aspects of Music, Works, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources.

The Historical Essays section opens with an overview of Philippine music which in effect is a concise history of Philippine music. The remaining essays serve as a development of the initial historical exposition, dealing with each of the mainstreams of Philippine music that emerged in historical chronology. The essay on the indigenous tradition discusses the precolonial, Islamic, and Southeast Asian influences in Philippine instrumental and vocal music, from which a variety of styles, concepts, and structures were created and/or adapted by the numerous tribal groups from north to south, where this type of musical tradition has been explored and preserved. The essay on the Spanish colonial tradition touches on the three centuries of Spanish colonial rule and the conversion of the Filipinos to Christianity, which brought forth an entirely new musical culture that is European in origin and discipline, and which somehow diminished, but did not totally dislodge, the presence of the older indigenous musical tradition. This essay also provides an account on the first orchestras and conservatories of music which were established in the country, and discusses: the liturgical and extraliturgical music, which was well integrated and imbedded into the religious and diurnal life of the Christian Filipinos in many forms, like the Gregorian chant, the pasyon and the pabasa, the jota and the habanera, and the bati and the villancico, among others; and the secular music, which shows the merging of European elements and native musical styles, as exemplified by the kumintang and the kundiman.

The essay on the American colonial and contemporary traditions covers the Western classical and semiclassical repertoires, which were taught and propagated by newly established schools of music and organizations related to music; and then discusses the emergence and eventual pervasion of popular music, the growing desire to return to the indigenous roots of Philippine music, and the ways and means with which the Filipino composers have innovated on the traditions laid before them. In addition, three new essays on the musics of the three Philippine Republics appear: Philippine music during the Third Republic (1946-72); Philippine music during the Fourth Republic (1972-86); and Philippine music during the Fifth Republic (1986 onward). The essay on sources and influences traces the confluence of Asian, European, and American traditions on Philippine music, and shows how these traditions have been reshaped by the Filipinos to suit their aesthetic demands. All these essays provide the readers with the variety of traditions that have converged in the vastness of Philippine music grounds; and discuss how all these traditions have inspired the Filipino composers to create music that is distinctly Filipino. The essays also capture the varying musical ethos of particular historical periods, which is not to say that this ethos was absolutely homogeneous in a single period or that it ran continuously through a single line from one period to the next.

The section Forms and Types contains an alphabetical enumeration of principal forms and genres as found in Philippine music. The genres of Western-influenced classical music are categorized according to the performing media—art songs, chamber music, choral music, solo instrumental music, and symphonic music. Some specific forms of classical music, such as the sonata, opera, and concerto, are also included. Commonly encountered dance types of Spanish origin comprise another category—balse, habanera, jota, marcha, pandanggo, polka, and rigodon. The great variety of orally transmitted vocal and instrumental music is difficult to classify into clear-cut types. In this section, only three indigenous types—the ballad, chant, song-debate—and two hybrid indigenous-hispanic types—the kundiman and pasyon—are included. Other indigenous vocal and instrumental genres are discussed individually in other essays as well as in the area Peoples of the Philippines. Another category of genres based on function is included: protest music, Pinoy pop, and liturgical music. The impact of technology and cultural exchanges is also most evident in the new additions to the section. In the teaching of music in the past, which emphasized classical music, multimedia music failed to get proper attention because scholars shied away from music that was conjoined with images, voice, and narrative. Film music, because it occurs “subliminally,” was not considered important. The new edition takes keen interest in these topics as well as in rock music, which the academe has generally misunderstood because of its “distorted” sound aesthetics, humorous novelty songs that were once branded as “lowly” but nonetheless embody a distinctive Filipino sensibility, hiphop which has been dismissed as shallow entertainment, and sound art which is a distinctive millennial expression for it fuses electronica and ideas from the internet with performance art.

The section Groups has five essays: bands, choral groups, orchestras, rondalla, and bamboo ensembles. The articles include names of specific groups that actively participated in musical performances from the 1900s onwards. An important group that appears in this edition is the contemporary musikong bumbong (bamboo orchestra). Musikong bumbong is a local adaptation of the European wind bands whose foreign-made instruments are not easily available to poor Filipinos. Today, these bamboo bands continue to thrive in some Tagalog-speaking towns. The inclusion of bamboo music in this edition brings home the point that Philippine musical practices exist in the plural and that, to achieve equitable representation of the diversity and heterogeneity of Philippine society, dominant categorizations of music have to be questioned for their hidden ideologies.

The past decades have seen the multiplication of choirs in the country. Well-known ones have been legitimated from their experience of traveling abroad and winning in international competitions. The proliferation of wind bands and choirs in the volume shows what is considered valuable in Philippine society. In such music, Filipinos foster the value of group-centeredness and social cooperation.

A noticeable limitation of this listing of groups is the absence of indigenous-musical performing ensembles. There are numerous groups of this type, such as the Maranao kulintang ensemble, the Manobo tanggungo ensemble, the gangsa ensemble of the Cordillera highlanders or the Ibaloy sulibaw ensemble. Though these groups are not included in this section, many are described and discussed under the heading Instruments within this volume as well as in the essays on specific ethnolinguistic groups in the Peoples of the Philippines.

Twenty-nine entries appear in the section Instruments, each entry accompanied by pen-and-ink illustrations. Eighteen of the entries are categories of indigenous musical instruments, covering aerophones, idiophones, chordophones, and membranophones. English terms are used for each category—such as gongs, lutes, flutes, drums, wind instruments, string instruments, and percussions. Within each article, the native terms prevalent among different cultural groups are given. The music played on the instrument is briefly described together with its use and social significance. Aside from the indigenous instruments, specific hispanic-influenced instruments are included, particularly those that make up the rondalla—the bandurria, laud, guitar, and octavina. The most widespread Western instruments played are likewise described—piano, harp, violin, organ, and synthesizers.

The section Aspects of Music tackles the following: the process of composition, venues of performance, criticism, and awards and grants. In addition, related support which contributes towards creation, performance, and dissemination are pursued, namely, music education, research in music, music organizations, music patronage, sound studio recording, and music recordings. Other entries in this section include one on Session Musicians and String Instrument-making and repairing.

The section Works highlights 179 titles of Philippine musical compositions—classical, semiclassical, and popular. The editors followed set criteria for choosing works. In the field of serious classical music, inclusion was based on historical significance and/or the number of times a work was performed, its longevity or its revival. It must be pointed out that many other titles of serious classical music, though not separately entered in this section are included and even discussed under other entries—such as the composer’s biography, the historical essays, or forms and types. In the field of light popular music, criteria for inclusion were historical significance (e.g., first of its kind), artistry, and number of performances, revivals, and recordings.

Also included under Works are those known throughout the Philippines by young and old alike—either regional folk songs or songs whose composers are no longer known and which have been adapted as part of folk culture. These are exemplified by “Bahay Kubo” and “Ay Kalisud.” In the choice of works, care was taken to assure regional representation. Other categories under major works are best-loved kundiman pieces and songs popularized through cinema or radio through several decades which have become part and parcel of the musical consciousness and vocabulary of most Filipinos.

An important addition in the Works section is the list of key studies on Philippine music from the late 19th century to the present. This set of books, which excludes the self-promotional biographies of musicians, is mostly evidence-based and has had a wide impact. The tradition of writing about Philippine music began only in the 1880s when an awareness for things Filipino emerged, one that was secular in outlook and focused on the musical object. Beyond the travel books produced by foreigners for the foreign market in the mid-19th century, it was in the last two decades of that century when unique popular Philippine music and dance were first defined.

At the present moment, there are still lacunae in genre studies that pertain to Philippine popular music, be that in light classical music or in the popular variety espoused by alternative musicians or even by industry-endorsed mainstream artists. While this edition has partly tried to make up for this lack, the enormous dearth of scholarly work on popular music remains a challenge that future scholars must address, if the encyclopedia is to be consistent with its philosophy of inclusiveness.

The section Artists and Organizations presents a listing of Filipino composers, conductors, and performers in the serious and popular fields. It was impossible to include everyone and choice of names was based upon criteria set by the board of editors, though there were some instances when the editors exercised their prerogative to include artists who may not readily come up to the criteria, but whose achievements are deemed significant and therefore worthy of a biographical entry. In a few cases the editors also reserved the right to postpone inclusion of certain artists, especially if serious questions have been raised about them or their works.

Performers and composers in the realm of serious classical music were divided into two groups: those born before 1950 and those born after 1950. Performers belonging to the former groups included in the listing were those who had been actively participating in the musical scene for at least 25 years. This covered the various fields of performance—opera, sarsuwela, large or small ensembles, solo. Composers born before 1950 who were included had to have composed at least 15 extended works of not less than 10 minutes in duration in various categories—solo, chamber, large ensemble (i.e., band, orchestra, or chorus), or theater.

More specific criteria were adopted for performing artists of classical music born after 1950. Such artists must have been actively performing for 10 years and must still continue to hold professional performances or paid concerts, in solo recitals or with orchestra. In addition, these artists must have won at least five major awards—either locally or internationally. In lieu of an award, five additional public performances could be substituted.

Similar criteria were set for composers of serious music born after 1950. Composers included were those who had been actively composing for the past 10 years and who still continue to compose. Works must include at least 10 extended compositions of not less than 10 minutes in duration, of which five must have been for orchestra, theater/multimedia, or any other large ensemble. These works must have been featured in at least 10 separate public professional concerts. In addition these composers must have won at least five major local or international awards. In lieu of one award, three additional extended works could be substituted.

For artists and composers of popular music, the editors set the following criteria. Performers and recording artists of popular music must have recorded at least 10 albums, including one which got platinum or two gold record awards duly certified by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI). These artists must have been visibly active for the past 10 years and must have appeared in five solo concerts with a crowd of at least 2000.

Composers of pop music must have been visibly active for 10 years and must have included in their output 10 songs that have received a platinum or two gold-record awards but not necessarily coming from one album. It was earlier suggested that arrangers be included in the listing, but the lack of a standard number of arrangements on which the inclusion of an arranger could be based later led to the decision to include only those who arranged and composed music.

For jazz or alternative music which is usually performed by and for minority audiences, different criteria had to be evolved. For inclusion, these artists must have been visibly active for at least 10 years, have performed in five solo concerts in big or small venues, and have produced at least two recordings.

The section General Sources lists down the works used by the essays and provides the titles of other important works on music.


The valuable data on Philippine music in this edition was collated from varied sources: specialized studies on music—theses, dissertations, articles in journals, discography; related studies in anthropology, linguistics, and social sciences; documents, reports, and travelogues from the 17th century onwards; and valuable data and recordings made by field researchers.

Much of the material included in the biographical sections was collected from personal interviews and Internet sources like the social media. In some cases, however, not all the desired information, such as place and date of birth, parentage, schooling, was available though these were the exceptions rather than the rule.

Much of the material included in the biographical sections was collected from personal interviews and Internet sources like the social media. In some cases, however, not all the desired information, such as place and date of birth, parentage, schooling, was available though these were the exceptions rather than the rule.

Style and Use

The form of presentation is designed for the student. The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms and equivalents or in the context in which they appear. Subheadings help to clarify the organization of ideas and ease the search for particular data. Pictures and captions illustrate the principal points being made by the essay. The sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them and provide the surname of the author, the year of publication of the work, and the page numbers, which can be checked against the general references at the end of the volume. The references at the end of some essays not only serve as an acknowledgment but also lead the student to more sources of information in the general references.

Music-related terms, such as pasyon, balse, bodabil are set in boldface the first time they appear in an essay; Filipino and foreign terms not related to music, such as beaterio and balyan, are set in italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations or equivalents of terms, whether musical or not, are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, gobernadorcillo (town mayor). Titles of books and periodicals are italicized and set in boldface each time they are mentioned. Any title which is not in English is followed by an English translation, enclosed in parentheses, and the year of publication, separated by commas: thus, “Bituing Marikit” (Beautiful Star), 1926. All diacritical marks on native terms are removed until such time as they are consistently and systematically recorded by scholars, especially among the smaller indigenous groups.

Non-English common names of musical instruments and groups, such as pateteng and rondalla, are set in boldface when first mentioned in an essay. Titles of popular songs, protest songs, marches, hymns, art songs, solo instrumental pieces, short choral pieces, and ballads, as well as a minor part or a movement of a larger work, are set in normal type and are enclosed in quotation marks. Larger works of music, like symphonies, overtures, concertos, operas, suites, symphonic or tone poems, chamber music, as well as titles of movies, television and radio programs, sarsuwela, and plays, are set in boldface italics every time they are mentioned. Acronyms of schools and institutions are written after each name has been spelled out, and are used in succeeding references to the school or institution.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine music as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine dance encompasses all the dance forms that have been used by the Filipinos through the centuries to express themselves. As types, they may be classified as folk, ritualistic, occupational, mimetic, or aesthetic in nature. These dances may either be products of the people’s creativity or imagination, or may have been the result of their exposure, assimilation, and reaction to the varied cultures and traditions introduced by the waves of colonial rule that have reached the Philippine shores. They can be performed in an enclosed venue or an open space, to an appreciative and/or participative audience, and almost always to the accompaniment of music.

Philippine dance has become a more diverse field since the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art came out in 1994. Well-established groups such as Ballet Philippines and the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group continue to flourish, but other dance troupes have emerged or have tremendously prospered from their incipient stage. A number of them are based in the regions or in small communities or schools, such as Sanghiyas Pangkat Mananayaw, Sining Kumintang ng Batangas, Silliman University Dance Troupe, and Sining Palawan Dance Troupe. Many of them have reinvented existing dance forms in the country—whether rooted in the indigenous cultures or resulting from the Filipino’s exposure to various Western and Asian traditions—to cater to contemporary taste. Such organizations include Airdance Theater, AlunAlun Dance Circle, Dance Pull School of Performing Arts, KALOOB Philippine Dance Ministry, Leyte Dance Theater, and Dance Forum. Postmodern dance practices and more recent dance forms like hip-hop and cheer dance have become popular and these, together with the use of nontraditional venues like thoroughfares, basketball courts, and malls, have brought this kinetic art closer to the masses. Moreover, many unpublished theses, publications in print and digital form, as well as videos, were produced in the last two decades. These researches are about dancers and choreographers, the process of choreography, dance companies, and performances.


The general objective is to present a many-sided perspective on Philippine dance, coming from a holistic orientation that includes the broad spectrum of dances and dancing among various groups and sectors in the Philippines and among Filipinos overseas, covering precolonial times up to the early 21st century.

This edition has three specific objectives. One is to revise and update the essays published in the 1994 edition with fresh data from secondary sources and from the field. Second is to broaden the coverage by expanding the scope of dance history; increasing the essays on dance productions, artists, and organizations; and adding more dance genres from various sectors and dance forms originating from the indigenous groups of the Philippines. Third is to enrich this edition with well-chosen images—majority of which are full-color photos—as well as selected video clips, to illustrate the specific movement vocabulary, to display the beauty of the dancing form, to present the sets, properties, and costumes, and to allow the actual context of dances recorded in the field.

Content and Division

The area on Philippine Dance is arranged into groups of entries with the following main sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Dance, Works, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources.

The section on Historical Essays begins with a historical survey of Philippine dance, whose individual traditions and transformations are detailed by the following essays: the indigenous traditions essay, which discusses the ritual dances, the life-cycle dances, and the occupational dances found among the cultural minorities of the islands; the Hispanic traditions essay, which focuses on the types of dances introduced by the Spanish colonizers, like the jota, balse, pandanggo, mazurka, polka, rigodon, paseo, chotis, and surtido, and their respective variants; the American traditions essay, which touches on the types of dances that were introduced during the American occupation—bodabil dancing, classical ballet, modern dance, folk and social dancing—and which continue to prosper in the contemporary Philippine dance scene. These three essays trace in general how the dances belonging to each tradition came into being, how they were adapted and refashioned by the Filipinos to suit their aesthetic expressions, and how they influenced contemporary works in Philippine dance.

Four new historical essays were added in this edition. The essay “Philippine Dance During the Third Republic (1946-72)” covers the postwar era when a growing nationalist movement began to push for the preservation and promotion of indigenous dances amidst the Filipino’s neocolonial penchant for Western dance performances; “Philippine Dance During the Fourth Republic (1972-86),” which documents the 14 years of martial law, during which classical and traditional forms developed side by side with dance movements that served as militant expressions against a dictatorship; “Philippine Dance During the Fifth Republic (1986 Onward),” which covers the period after the 1986 EDSA Revolt when the dance scene became more democratized, more experimental, and more accommodating of dance practitioners from the margins; and “Filipino Dancers Abroad,” which takes a closer look at dancers in diaspora in the 21st century. The historical section ends with “Sources and Influences” which discusses the various stimuli in creating dances such as musical works, literature, visual arts, folk dances, traditional practices, religious rituals, social issues, theories and themes, and historical phenomena.

The section Forms and Types goes into a detailed discussion of a variety of dances belonging to the three traditions. The entries, arranged alphabetically, elucidate the history and development of every existing type of dance performed in the Philippines, including the steps, formation, time, rhythm, and gestures; the venues and occasions where these dances are performed; the region where these dances have evolved and are popular; the appropriate costumes and the paraphernalia attached to the performance of a particular dance; and the innovations done by contemporary artists on these dances.

The section on Aspects of Dance expounds on the aspects involved in dance creation and performance, like choreography, design, folk dance steps, gestures, and formations, and audience, time, and space. It also looks into topics related to the creation of dance, like awards, companies, criticism, education, music, and research and documentation.

The section on Works includes a listing of dance pieces deemed by the editors as significant landmarks in Philippine dance history, as well as a separate section on dance studies. The inclusion of a dance work is based on its overall importance—its scope and insight, its artistic integrity, and its historical significance. Most of these works belong to the categories of classical ballet, modern ballet or dance, modern ethnic dance or ballet, dance drama, folk dance choreography, dance suites, and rock opera ballets. The number of acts, the dates and places of performance, the names involved in the production, and the synopses of the work are also included. Quite significant is the inclusion of dance studies in the Works section, as this reflects the remarkable growth in dance publication that became evident during the Fifth Republic, when more dance practitioners started doing their own research and made use of various critical methods and frameworks in their writing.

The section Artists and Organizations presents profiles of dance personalities and institutions. In choosing the artists, the editors took into consideration that dance, especially dance theater, tends to be an art for young practitioners. For inclusion, individuals and organizations must have at least 10 years of commendable artistic record in various fields such as choreography, production, education and training, scholarship, and cultural heritage preservation. Awards and publications were also considered as well as peer recognition and professional affiliations.

In terms of institutions, the list includes only the groups that have proven their vision and influence in Philippine society. There were a few institutions which were initially considered, but upon closer evaluation were eliminated because their importance got diminished or modified when research data on them were completed. On the other hand, other groups, which had shorter lives, were included because they had great impact on the profession and promotion of the dance.

General Sources lists down the works used by the essays and provides the titles of other important works on dance.

Methodology, Style and Use

The writers gathered information and materials from primary and secondary sources. Books, articles in journals, magazine and newspapers, programs and brochures of dance companies, unpublished theses and dissertations, and online articles from official websites were consulted. Reviews of selected performances were written by those who watched the actual performances or studied the video documentation of the productions. Personal interviews of key informants were also conducted.

The master list of dance personalities found in this edition was based on certain measures agreed on by the editorial board. Dancers of ballet and other Western classical forms must have reached principal or extraordinary soloist status. Community-based dancers or dance teachers must have persevered in the preservation and conservation of indigenous or traditional dances through constant practice, with program and activities to teach the tradition to younger members of the community. Choreographers or directors must have created a substantial body of works and must have choreographed for a considerable period of time. Artist-teachers must have exerted real leadership and strong influence on their respective dance communities. The editorial board took into consideration the awards, publications and other scholarly contributions, peer recognition, and professional affiliations of all the aforementioned practitioners.

The inclusion of new dance groups was based on how these organizations created an impact on the situation and development of Philippine dance, whether through innovative works, popular acceptance, artistic excellence, compelling concept, and new theory. The temporal limit for the coverage of new entries—artists, groups, and works—was set at 31 Dec 2015. All biographic and institutional entries have been updated in this edition by scholars or experts in the field of dance who conducted either face-to-face or online interviews with the artists, or resorted to using reliable secondary sources of information found in libraries and online databases. This whole online edition on dance has been thoroughly reviewed by editors and consultants.

The style follows the prescriptions of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. The form of presentation is designed for the student. The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms and equivalents or in the context in which they appear. Subheadings help to clarify the organization of ideas and ease the search for particular data. Pictures and captions illustrate the principal ideas or forms being discussed. Sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them and provide the surname of the author, the year of publication of the work, and the page numbers, which can be checked against the sources at the end of an article.

Dance-related terms, such as pangalay, subli, balse, rock and roll, are set in boldface the first time they appear in an essay; Filipino and foreign terms not related to dance, such as mambunong and convento, are set in italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations or equivalents of terms, whether dance related or not, are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, teniente (lieutenant). Titles of books are italicized and set in boldface each time they are mentioned; they are followed by English translations (if the title is non-English), enclosed in parentheses, and the year of publication, separated by commas. All diacritical marks on native terms are removed until such time as they are consistently and systematically recorded by scholars, especially among the smaller ethnic groups.

Titles of popular songs, marches, waltzes, hymns, and one part of a larger dance work, are set in normal type and enclosed in quotation marks. Titles of complete ballets, movies, television and radio programs, sarsuwela, and plays, are set in boldface italics. Acronyms of schools and institutions are written after each name has been spelled out, and are used in succeeding references to the school or institution.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine dance as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine theater is the sum total of mimetic performances developed and presented through history on occasions and for purposes determined by social purpose and need. It ranges from the rituals, dances and customs of indigenous cultural communities, through the folk plays and dramatizations of hispanic influence, the dramas learned from the west in the American colonial period, and the contemporary performances of the present that synthesize, build on, and move beyond the influences from global theater. All of this, at least four centuries of theater, is amazingly visible—in varying degrees of availability—in contemporary Philippines.

The first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art came out in 1994. Since then, significant developments in theater both as an art form and a field of study have occurred, necessitating the preparation of a new and updated edition of the theater volume of the encyclopedia.

Theater groups, both new and old, produced new plays or explored new directions and styles, and introduced a new generation of theater artists. Some of these theater groups are ENTABLADO, Dramatis Personae, and Teatro Pabrika. An expanded research in the regions revealed similar developments with the emergence of groups such as Sorsogon Community-Based Theater Group, ARTIST, Inc., Tanghalang Saint Louis University in Luzon; Portal Players, Kalingaw-ang Teatro Hiligaynon in the Visayas; and Sining Kandidilimudan and MSU Kabpapagariya Ensemble in Mindanao.

Some aspects of production, namely, costume, lighting, music and sound design, and sets, have developed significantly, so that many of them have come to be viewed not only as part of producing a play but as distinct art forms. Theater design, in particular, has been recognized as an art form and as a profession with the rise of production designers with degrees in theater design and with the proclamation of theater designer Salvador F. Bernal as National Artist for theater design.

There was also a major advancement in scholarship that focused on Philippine culture, including theater arts, mainly, with the growth of graduate studies during the period. This resulted in a considerable harvest of significant research outputs and publications, such as studies on traditional forms and practices like the luwa, moryonan, and putong. These studies provided data for updating the historical essays in the present edition, as well as for the articles on theater forms and types, and aspects of production. A whole new sub- section was added to highlight this body of theater scholarship.


The preparation of this online edition is anchored on several objectives. First is to gather in one site basic and relevant data on the development of Philippine theater, specifically on its aspects, forms and types, scholarship, major productions, artists, organizations, and venues. Since most of the data are dispersed in various sources, some of which are no longer available or are not easily accessible to contemporary readers, this site becomes an indispensable resource for teaching, research, and production.

The second objective is to provide the historical framework for a deeper understanding of theater as an art form and a cultural expression through the historical essays, as well as articles on forms and types and aspects of theater which are written with a historical perspective. These essays may also help scholars or researchers identify silences and gaps which they can fill through their own research undertakings.

A third objective is to aid artists in need of information for their projects and productions. In conceptualizing and mounting their productions, the sections on historical essays, forms and types, and aspects of production could be of great help in establishing the period, acting style, and design of their own productions.

Content and Division

The articles on Philippine theater are grouped under the following sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Theater, Works, and Artists, Organizations, and Venues.

The Historical Essays start with a survey of Philippine theater, tracing it from the indigenous theater of rituals that follow the cycle and landmarks of community life; to the plays and dramatizations from the Spanish colonial tradition; and the performance pieces in adaptive and modern styles of the American colonial era and the contemporary theater. This is followed by essays that focus on each component part—the indigenous, Hispanic, and American traditions and transformations—with more detail and analysis, following the development, citing the trends and achievements, naming the major works and influences, groups and artists, and finally examining the epilogues: manifestations and developments in current theater. The essay on American Traditions and Transformations in Philippine Theater was further divided into three essays: Philippine Theater during the Third Republic (1946-72), Philippine Theater during the Fourth Republic (1972-86), and Philippine Theater during the Fifth Republic (1986 Onward). This periodization allowed for a more detailed narrative of the dialectical relationship of theater and its various historical and social contexts, because each of these periods introduced social changes that had an impact on the arts. Another new essay, Philippine Theater in the Diaspora, focused on performances and other cultural activities mounted by Filipino artists in sites of migration such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, France, Netherlands, and Australia, which have become much more commonplace in the last 20 years or so. A final essay on the sources and influences that shape the theater—history, folklore, foreign and indigenized literature, global theater trends and styles, Philippine lifeways and real-life events—closes this section.

Essays on Forms and Types present, in alphabetical order, the more important styles of expression, their artistic guises, their conventions of presentation, the theatrical shapes they took through the years. There are, for example, indigenous forms like the ritual, the Philippine Ur-drama, and mimetic dances, customs, games and jousts, examined as theater and for their social purposes. The large number of forms adapted from Spain is evidence of the hispanic influence on staged drama. There are religious dramas and dramatizations, like the dapit, flores, hudas, huling hapunan, moriones, osana, paghuhugas ng paa, pangangaluluwa, panunuluyan, pastores, salubong, San Roque, siete palabras, sinakulo, soledad, tatlong hari, and via crucis that follow the events of the liturgical year. These show that costumed and scripted drama started, as it did in Europe, in the church, then moved out into the courtyard and the community. Other forms of the era often also have had religious overtones and connections, but became the forebears of secular theater: the carillo, drama, komedya, loa, moros y cristianos, sarsuwela, saynete, and velada. From the American colonial period come forms of Western drama that may be said to have “modernized” Philippine theater, some of them linking earlier traditions (e.g., theater with music) to newer forms, like bodabil or the stage show, the political drama simboliko, and musical theater. The contemporary theater, which draws from all past traditions in adaptation, synthesis and renewal, and then invents the forms called for by contemporary events, includes such forms as theater of the absurd, Brechtian theater, children’s theater, dramatic monologue, tula dula, political theater, puppet theater, realism, street theater. In each case the foreign form is reshaped by the Philippine reality it presents, and the audiences it seeks to reach. None of the forms and genres, however, is contained in its period, since revivals have often resulted in updating, as well as in influence and development. Ritual has influenced contemporary theater; the sinakulo and sarsuwela have become vehicles for current issues; musical theater stretches from the mimetic dance to the rock opera. The articles on forms and genres, therefore, journey back and forth through time, illustrating the liveliness of theater that feeds on its own history and grows to create its own future.

The section Aspects of Theater focuses on individual aspects of production and shows them in the contexts of traditional and contemporary theaters. Each article also names the major figures who, in this relatively young theater, contributed to the art and the profession.

Acting is shown as imitation or mimesis in the ethnic tradition, representational in the folk plays of the Spanish colonial theater, and the fruit of method, philosophy or ideology in the contemporary period. Directing takes different guises in the hands of the master of ritual, the direktor who occasionally is also author, prompter, and producer of the folk play, and the contemporary director who directs art and craft, and provides vision. Lighting is traced from the general illumination of the sinakulo and komedya, to the lighting of indoor theaters for the sarsuwela, and the ingenious or high-tech devices of the present. Music in theater is shown to include background music, incidental music, songs that accompany or replace dialogue, and other combinations. Costume for theater ranges from the shamanic robes of the babaylan, which delineated his function, to the identifying colors and accessories of the sinakulo and the komedya, to the social indicators of the sarsuwela, and the mood and character dressing of the contemporary play. The written script did not exist in indigenous theater, but assumed primacy in the folk theater, where it developed conventions of performance, style, and structure and the notion of authorship. Sets started with the clearings and fields of ritual, dance and ceremony, and developed into the biblical settings of the sinakulo, the kingdoms of the komedya and the special miraculous or magic effects to go with both, the living rooms of the sarsuwela and drama, and the scene designs of contemporary theater.

The article on audience, time, and space considers viewers and spectators, the times and occasions for theater, and the space—indoor or outdoor—since these define the context of theater and to some extent shape it. Awards and grants are seriously considered, since these forms of recognition and support give considerable life to playwriting and theater in the context of a developing country. Theater organizations are shown to supply not only players and workers, but support and continuity, whether they be community samahan, school- or community-based troupes, semiprofessional or sector-based groups, or government institutions. Training has developed from the exposure to and participation in indigenous theater, to the apprenticeship of folk theater, and the schools, workshops, seminars, training abroad, and outreach programs of the present.

A piece on criticism, and another on scholarship, trace the efforts at research, documentation, and evaluation of Philippine theater, and thus the growth towards criteria for and theories of, theater. An article on translation and adaptation shows that this form of learning started in the Spanish period, with translations into Spanish from European theater, and translations into the vernacular from the metrical romances, which resulted in the komedya. Translations—mainly from English, but also from other vernaculars—went into high gear in the American period, and much later evolved into adaptation, which made theater an intercultural and not just an interlingual experience.

In the Works section, entries were chosen according to a specific criteria. One criterion was the significance of the work in terms of starting a new style, form or movement in Philippine theater or in representing the apogee of best practice or creativity in that particular style, form or movement. In the selection of entries, the editors also paid attention to the recognition or awards received by a production from respected critics and/or award-giving bodies. An added consideration was given to regional productions which were considered valuable in Philippine theater history by critics or scholars from the regions. Those productions which could not make it as separate entries were given spaces in the introductory essays. There are some plays which, though deemed significant, did not make it as separate entries, as the data on them were inadequate.

The Works section now includes as well important scholarly works on theater. The abundance of scholarly works in the form of books, articles, video documentaries, theses, and dissertations within the last four decades made necessary the inclusion of a distinct Scholarship and Publications section with 61 new entries in this edition. These works provide vital historical and critical frames for a deeper understanding of the various topics presented in this volume and show research as a valid and crucial concern of the Philippine theater community in the coming decades. Some of these works first appeared in the Literature volume in the 1994 edition.

In the Artists, Organizations, and Venues section, the editors created criteria for inclusion for groups and individual artists. For new theater groups, an active existence for 10 years was deemed necessary, and seasons of two to three productions a year to qualify. Awards and recognitions were also noted and considered, as well as the overall significance of the repertoire of the group. However, regional and sectoral groups working under different contexts and conditions from those in Manila required a different basis for inclusion, mainly, significance of the group to their region of origin as declared by credible artists and cultural workers from the region. In addition to the above criteria, artistic merit mattered as well.

Generally, the overall criteria for inclusion of playwrights, translators, and dramaturgs are body of works produced, as well as the mandatory 10-year active participation and production in Philippine theater which is required of all artists. Actors should have appeared in several major roles. For directors, designers, choreographers, song and music composers, their body of works were considered. Awards received from credible and prestigious local or international award-giving bodies and other forms of recognition were noted, as well as reviews by established scholars and critics in journals or reputable magazines and newspapers. Theater groups and artists who were qualified, but for one reason or another, failed to make it in the first edition are included in the present volume: groups, such as the Far Eastern University Theater Guild, DLSU Harlequin Theater Guild; artists, like Herminio Hernandez, Fonz Deza, and Leo Rialp. Some artists were not included if they failed to provide information on themselves or due to limitations of time, editorial allotments, and resources. A number of entries on individual theater artists who worked in different art forms were transferred to other volumes or to this volume from others, depending on which art form they were more productive in. Because of their significance in the production of Philippine theater, the most important theater venues (e.g., of the Spanish era) were included in this section.

Traditional artists, groups, and works that had a long history were given priority. Komedya and sinakulo groups, with available data on them and existing for many decades, were assured entry. Seasoned theater artists who were unreachable during the production of the first edition are finally making their appearances in the pages of the second edition. Entries on artists like Vicente de San Miguel and Jose Quirante, who practiced theater arts before the war, were finally included, thanks to research by Edward B. Defensor and Wilhelmina Q. Ramas, respectively. In hindsight, more entries on traditional artists could have been included if researches had already been done on them.


The preliminary listing of possible entries for the sections Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Production, Major Works, and Artists and Organizations was done by the area editor, and then presented in general consultation to the editorial board. The lists were refined and revised, and then assigned to writers, the area editor, the editor-in-chief, and other authorities in the field. Researchers were fielded as needed to retrieve written material in libraries, archives, theater programs, private collections, and the like, and also to interview authorities, artists and heads, or members of organizations. All articles list references briefly; these references appear in complete form at the end of each article. The majority of the articles were edited by the area editor, and then submitted to the editor-in-chief and his staff for verification and finalization, and in some cases for merging and rewriting.

A select group of scholars specializing in theater, performance critics, theater directors and cultural administrators was tasked to draw up a possible list of new entries in 2013 to start the process of updating for the second edition. From there, the work force expanded. Some people were tapped to collect information, and many were encouraged to write new articles, update existing ones, validate articles, and contribute visual materials. In particular, the contributions of theater practitioners who have earned graduate degrees were especially valuable. Consultations with old timers, heads of seasoned theater groups, and a theater union took place.

The cut-off date for new data was the year 2015. However, certain pieces of information which came after 2015 such as awards and years of demise are reflected in a few entries, but only in the Artists, Organizations, and Venues section. The three-year working period caused some unevenness among the entries, but all means possible at our disposal were taken to even out the playing field.

Many entries have multiple authorship, specially those which involved the updating of 1994 entries. This is due to the fact that many first edition writers were no longer available for the updating of entries they wrote. In some instances, the current pool of writers shared the by-lines with 1994 writers, if the revisions made comprised roughly 50% of the entry.

An obvious limitation in the work was the fact that early theater has no written sources. Theater of the Spanish period may survive in scripts, but without evidence of production dates or methods. Even contemporary theater groups do not always maintain archives and records. There was therefore great dependence on the work of scholars, researchers, and writers as well as thesis writers, teachers, and journalists. Still, the limitation in this is that not all regions of the country, nor all ethnolinguistic groups, nor all periods of theater have been the objects of theater research. There is no repository for the physical evidence of theater: costumes, props, sets, stage devices. Since theater is often a community enterprise, and not supported by the government, there are no official records, except those relating to people and edifices (e.g., the protocols of the National Archives have material on playwrights, but not on their work).

The data and documentation contained in this edition, therefore, is a first sweep through the evidence of all kinds, through the history and through the story of Philippine theater. It is hoped that this effort will invite others to sweep through their regions, their family records and treasures, and their memories, to fill in the blanks, close the gaps, and complete the history in some future volume for which this one is simply prologue.

Style and Use

This encyclopedia was designed specifically for the student. Ideas are outlined clearly in each essay and subheadings used. The language is simple and the style is straightforward and declarative. Technical terms and native terms are immediately explained with their meanings in English, with or without parentheses. Photographs and video clips illustrate specific points or act as artistic guideposts to the article. In text citations, the second name of the author, year of publication and page numbers are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses sources that need to be identified. The complete data of these citations may be found at the end of some articles.

Theater-related terms are set in boldface the first time they appear in the essay: thus, komedya. Other native and non-English terms not related or specific to theater are set in italics the first time they are mentioned: for example, comite de festejos. Translations of native terms are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, pusong (trickster). Titles of books and plays are set in boldface italics each time they are mentioned; if they are in a native language, they are followed by English translations enclosed in parentheses, and the year of publication, all separated by commas: thus, Tanikalang Guinto (Golden Chain), 1902. Proper names, including names of groups and publications, are not translated or italicized. For consistency, diacritical marks on native terms have been omitted, since they were not available for all native languages.

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine theater as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.

Broadcast Arts


More than twenty years ago, the Cultural Center of the Philippines published the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art. It included volumes on Visual Arts, Literature, Music, Dance, Theater, Film, Architecture, and the various arts and cultural expressions and practices of indigenous groups in the Philippines. The second edition—available in print and digital formats—not only expands and updates the first. It also includes this new compendium on Broadcast Arts. This is so far the most public recognition in the Philippines of broadcasting as an art form. Often dismissed as superficial media of entertainment that dumb down their listeners and viewers, radio and television are regarded more for their role in the economy and their political or even propaganda function, and less for their value as art.

This view may be understandable given that the structure of broadcasting is that of a commercial enterprise, such that the various broadcast stations and networks are collectively called the broadcast industry. This model developed in the United States, which has been the mode of broadcast operations followed in the Philippines since its beginnings in the 1920s, and now increasingly in other parts of the world. The business of broadcasting is capital intensive, and businessmen who invest in it expect returns on their investments, often through advertising that depend on the patronage and loyalty of large audiences. Of course, there are noncommercial broadcast stations such as those operated by the State and religious organizations that do not expect financial profits from their broadcast operations. But even they expect a kind of income from the tremendous amounts of capital required in the running of broadcast stations. The State hopes for political acquiescence while religious organizations crusade for the conversion of souls. All produce programs that they believe appeal to mass audiences. This is often the explanation given for the quality—or, put another way, the lack of redeeming artistic quality—of most broadcast programs, which presumably necessarily appeal to the so-called “least common denominator,” a disparaging reference to the allegedly undiscriminating masses, who supposedly have appreciation only for the simple, the banal, the predictable, and, to use a colloquial term, the “baduy.”

Others who might concede to apply the term art to broadcasting consider it as popular art or popular culture, a label many scholars use to refer to the culture widely accepted in a society at a given time. The products of popular culture are mass-produced. Some examples are popular music, comic magazines, video games, the mass media, and today countless cyber sites; as well as concepts like superheroes and the supernatural, the so-called kitsch, celebrities, and spaces like amusement parks and malls. A common characteristic of popular art, apart from its accessibility, is its operation as economic activity, fueled by its popular subscription. The term popular culture or popular art is loaded because it implies an opposite, which is high culture. In the binary high culture/low culture, popular art occupies the realm of the latter, that of low culture; and broadcasting is oftentimes counted in this category.

The dichotomy high art/low art may be traced to the distinction between fine art and craft, or functional art. The former is appreciated for its sake, thus the saying “art for art’s sake,” and is valued for its ability to induce aesthetic contemplation. Products of high art are deemed as complex and unique, with moral and spiritual value. Its audience is small and limited to the highly educated, sophisticated, and with “cultivated and discriminating tastes.” Craft or functional art, on the other hand, is merely entertaining instead of edifying, utilitarian rather than aesthetic, formulaic and simple rather than complex and intricate. The first in the high art/low art binary is valued more highly than the second. Examples of this binary are symphony music versus rock music, classical paintings versus comic strips, ballet versus hip-hop dance, and Shakespearean theater versus telenovela.

Telenovelas, which can be traced back to the soap operas created decades ago in the early stages of commercial radio by advertising of laundry detergents and bath soaps, is one of the more pervasive genres of broadcast texts. Others are sitcoms, comic gags, and variety shows, which in turn evolved from bodabil or the Filipino version of vaudeville; reality shows, game shows, song and dance competitions, sports coverage; and various permutations of talk shows and news programs. All have popular appeal. Some can be sensational or controversial. Some are criticized as cliched, trivial, trite, and pedestrian, yet most have high entertainment value. Even the news is produced with entertaining production values. It is all these that relegate broadcasting to the category of low art or popular culture.

So why is broadcasting found in this edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art?

First, the CCP Encyclopedia has the audacity to do away with the traditional distinction between high art and low art, a dichotomy which places broadcasting in the latter category. While recording, examining, and celebrating all artistic and cultural expressions of the Filipino today, the CCP Encyclopedia ignores the high culture/low culture binary, equally valuing all artistic products and performances regardless of function and utility, and no matter their diverse meanings and histories. This places the CCP Encyclopedia in the transgressive and defiant role not only of expanding the meaning and realm of art but, perhaps more importantly, in recuperating the traditional Filipino concept of art that is lived in the everyday, and in examining and illustrating the implication of art on the concept of a Filipino nation. This stance has made the CCP one of the first Philippine institutions promoting and nurturing Filipino culture and the arts, to have the foresight and conviction to name and recognize broadcasting as art. In 1986 the CCP included Broadcast Arts in its reorientation and reorganization, which became the basis for its incorporation into the concerns of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 1992.

The second point is that, in broadcasting is actually found a convergence of the other art forms, a meeting point of expressions, meanings, feelings and thoughts evoked by art, and even actions. Broadcasting expands the circulation of sounds and images that carry the other art forms—music, dance, theater, literature, visual art, film, and even architecture. Broadcasting may in fact be seen as an amalgamation of re-expressions of all art, whether high or low, in the process erasing such a boundary. To give just a few memorable examples: Short stories and novels were early favorites on both radio and television. Severino Reyes’s short stories for children published in Liwayway Magazine were produced for both radio and television for many years with the title Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (Stories of Grandma Basyang). One of the 1960s television drama anthologies on then Channel 5, Balintataw (The Mind’s Eye), whose style is still copied in today’s telenovelas, includes among its episodes Alberto Florentino’s adaptation of Nick Joaquin’s “May Day Eve,” titled “Isang Gabi ng Tagsibol” (One Night of Spring) and Lino Brocka’s adaptation of Bienvenido Santos’s “The Day the Dancers Came,” titled “Kudyapi” (Lute). The first miniseries on television, Malayo Pa ang Umaga (The Morn Is Yet So Far), aired on then RPN 9 in 1979, was based on Stevan Javellana’s World War II novel Without Seeing the Dawn.

It may be argued that, as broadcasting re-circulates performances of art, it transforms art such that the resulting form exists in liminal space, creating new spaces; in the process eliminating hierarchy in art, and demolishing the binary. Consider how the technology of broadcasting and the resulting conventions of textual production transform the performance of music, dance, and plays. Not only do the broadcast microphone, the multiple moving cameras, and the special effects provide distinct audience perspectives. The interaction between text and audience alters the adapted art form. One result is that countless narratives have been specifically written for broadcast, such as those based on true-to-life events. Early examples of this are the programs Kasaysayan sa mga Liham kay Tiya Dely (Story of the Letters to Aunt Dely), Lovingly Yours, Helen, and Kahapon Lamang (Just Yesterday), which were all based on tear-jerker stories of life’s challenges confronting letter-senders, for whom advice was dispensed by Dely Magpayo, Helen Vela, and Eddie Ilarde.

Moreover, the conditions of reception of broadcast signals in the everyday spaces of home, work, community, and other public and private spaces allow audiences various levels of engagement with the broadcast text, ranging from absent-minded connection when broadcast sights and sounds are relegated to the background, to full attention when, for example, one is watching a favorite show or watching out for announcements of typhoon signals in the hope of enjoying class suspensions. Because broadcast signals are woven into the daily lives of audiences, the broadcast text alternately saturates our spaces or seep into the backdrop of our everyday.

Which brings up the third point—that broadcasting functions to forge a nation of the everyday. Broadcasting, as the art of the everyday, or the quotidian, provides a common cultural experience among diverse and even dispersed Filipinos. Physical and ideological distances separate Filipino audiences from each other, whether within the country or throughout the world. Filipinos speak over a hundred languages and dialects, not to mention the languages they have adopted and adapted from other lands. The conditions of the Filipinos’ political, economic, and social lives are disparate. Their aspirations and visions of the future diverge and even clash. Yet, to use Benedict Anderson’s concept of imagined communities, Filipinos are able to imagine themselves as one nation, with a common identity as Filipinos, and this imagination, this volume claims, is largely facilitated by the media, and particularly by broadcasting.

But the extraordinary moments are always preceded by a long lead-up embedded in the ordinariness of everyday broadcasting. The Filipinos’ engagement with broadcasting, whether as content producers or as audiences, creates a hub or a meeting point for the articulation of common dreams, but also of conflicting desires, thus generating debates and competing discourses on and off the air, and opening up spaces for dissident undercurrents, resistance, negotiation, accommodation, and change. These possibilities, however, often remain unnoticed in the dailiness of the art of broadcasting. Consider, for instance, the slow but steady shifts in the worldviews expressed in the media, particularly broadcasting, which are in turn woven into and debated about in day-to-day conversations—such as views about gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, children as well as aging, poverty and human rights, war and the seeming unattainability of peace, work and love, leisure and the daily reality of struggling to survive. A comparison of programs produced at different eras, and how audiences engaged with the texts, may illustrate this point. Perhaps one of the most dramatic and liberating examples are the shifts in the imaging of gender and audience readings of such images, such as in programs like the telenovela My Husband’s Lover, the unlamented variety show Wowowee, the various programs where the gender identities of LGBTQ like Ice Seguerra and Jake Zyruz are taken for granted, and even in the anchor panel of news programs, where women now have an unmistakable presence, whereas until the 1990s, women had merely a token presence in newscasts. Doubtless, contending views about these issues remain, but spaces for radical ideas have also been etched into everyday programming.


This area of the Encyclopedia has the ambitious objective of serving as the first comprehensive record of the broadcast art and industry in the Philippines, to document as painstakingly as possible and collect into one volume the scattered histories of the men and women, the organizations and institutions, and the contexts in which they produced and sustained the practice of broadcasting, mirroring the rhythms of the everyday, no matter the political conditions of the times. The volume attempts to examine this practice to offer an understanding of how radio and television have seeped into our consciousness. On the other hand, it is conscious of where broadcasting is today, and thus it claims the digital, interactive media as new arenas for broadcasting, rather than consider them as new media, even though they present new challenges and alter both the production and distribution of texts, as well as audience experiences.

The Broadcast area of the CCP Encyclopedia tries to illustrate, particularly through the historical narratives, how radio and television are inextricably linked to the politico-economic elites of the country, and how broadcast texts are produced to serve the interests of the powerful. Conversely, this area, like the other areas, aims to document and account for how an art form is shaped by, and in turn helps define the contours of, the concept of a Filipino nation. In the process, it is shown that broadcasting’s particular contribution to the project of nation is its daily immediacy and proximity to citizens, the personal and intimate familiarity it inspires, and the imagination of connection and oneness it arouses among its listeners and viewers.

Content and Division

The Broadcast Arts area is divided into six sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Broadcast Arts, Works, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources.

The Historical Essays begin with Philippine radio’s birth in 1922 during the American colonial period; through the frightful years of World War II under Japanese occupation; its tremendous growth and the entry of television after the war; through the dark period of media control during the martial law years; and the remarkable time of growth and change following the EDSA revolt in 1986, not only because of the radical changes in the political environment but also because of technological advances in telecommunications and the transnationalization of media and communication that such technologies and the economies behind them have tended to impose upon nations. The essay on sources and influences of broadcast content, as well as appropriations from other art forms, such as folklore and literature, theater, komiks, and film. The sources of broadcast material include true-to-life events, religion, legal cases, and today the social media. Radio and television’s influence on each other, as well as content and style inspired by foreign broadcasting, are also in this section.

Even as new forms and types and hybrids of existing ones are forged everyday on the air, the volume attempts to discuss as exhaustive a list as possible of formats and genres of programs. Among these are the various renderings of drama such as soaps, telenovelas, horror and fantasy narratives, action dramas, drama anthologies that are commonly integrated with counseling or legal advice, animated narratives, and sitcoms. Music program types that are part of the section include musicals, music-and-dance in variety shows as well as arts and culture shows, music videos, and music on radio. The talk shows that are found among the essays come in many genres, such as magazine programs, documentaries, news, investigative reports, and talk shows about entertainment. This section has essays on programs that are classified as educational and instructional, as well as those that are about health and agriculture. Other essays are on children’s shows, reality TV, game shows, faith-based programs, and sports. The balagtasan, which survives today’s programming mix, is also in this section. The teleradyo, a hybrid of radio and television, is discussed in this section, as well as programs called specials, which are not part of regular programming but are produced to celebrate special events of high audience interest. While not considered a program, ads, which permeate programming, are also described in an essay in this section.

The third section tackles the aspects and issues of production that impinge on the conduct of the broadcast business (it remains a business, after all), the ideological and technological production of content, and audience experience. Many of the essays are about issues that concern legal, regulatory, and economic considerations, such as intellectual property rights, censorship, ethics codes, labor issues, advertising, audience ratings, audience research, blocktiming, franchising, management, and transnational broadcasting, which today pose challenges as well as promising potentials. The other essays focus on the creative aspects such as scriptwriting, directing, editing, performance, production design, sound design and musical scoring, and videography. Essays on education and training for careers in broadcasting, broadcast studies and criticism, and broadcast awards are included in this section.

The fourth section is about Works which was further divided into two subsections: Programs and Studies. A key consideration in selecting works is their social relevance. Of particular scrutiny were the contexts in which the artists, programs and organizations attempted to re-invent the medium, particularly in moments of national crisis, such as World War II and the EDSA revolt. Resistance to the invading Japanese during the war produced historical pieces like the announcement of the Fall of Bataan in Salvador P. Lopez’s “Bataan Has Fallen” on the Voice of Freedom. The uprising on EDSA inspired the four-day marathon programming annotating the progress of the rebellion on Radyo Bandido. The aftermath of such crises also produced historical watersheds, such as the rise of Tagalog programming on radio following the war and the bold appearance of television documentaries critical of the social condition immediately following the EDSA revolt, which actually began to bravely appear on the air in the late martial law period.

Significant works produced in moments of peace and safety and when formats and genres themselves required a re-assessment of their contents and aesthetics and the processes of their production and distribution are in this section. For example, pivotal to a major change in programming is the introduction of imported telenovelas in the mid-1990s, which pushed the early evening news off its traditional airtime and which incidentally gave birth to an adjunct television industry that dubbed imported programs such as dramas and cartoons to Tagalog and other Filipino languages. Some works are included due to their longevity, such as soap operas and noontime variety shows that aired daily for many years or even decades, with a few still on the air as of this writing. This resilience also implies a sizable and loyal audience, whose daily reception of the programs help construct the everyday. Early programs have also been selected to help the reader imagine what radio and television were like in their infancies, restricted however by the limited availability of data.

The last section contains entries on important artists (broadcasters) and their organizations. A critical objective of the volume is to recognize the broadcasters, their programs, and the stations, networks and other organizations that have made broadcasting lively and dynamic, that in many occasions have made the media controversial and impossible to ignore, and that have woven broadcasting into our everyday. This is the part of the volume that will perhaps generate the most interest, although it may also be the source of much disappointment as the volume admittedly is an incomplete collection of all the broadcast minutiae that matter to different people.

Many artists in the field of broadcasting, particularly those in the first several decades, came from the grassroots or from pop culture—considered low art—such as bodabil. Unfortunately, they were and are largely invisible and ignored. Many, deceased or alive but retired, have faded into oblivion, so finding them or their families and colleagues and accessing their personal narratives, which could have also provided narratives of broadcasting, was a struggle. On the other hand, selecting who and what to include among the broadcasters and programs of recent decades was also problematic. In consultation with colleagues in the Department of Broadcast Communication of the University of the Philippines and the editorial team, the vetting process was initially based on awards. However, it quickly became clear that awards are not the only, or even always, reliable indicator of the value of the artists, organizations, and their works. There were no award-giving bodies until the mid-1960s, so this selection criterion would have excluded the significant broadcasters and works prior to the 1960s. At present, there appears to be a proliferation of awards, so distinguishing the merit of each one is a delicate task.


The editors began work on this volume by conducting workshops with their colleagues in the UP Department of Broadcast Communication and the encyclopedia’s editorial team to prepare a list of entries that they judged should be part of the volume. The initial list underwent many revisions not only in the process of evaluating and re-evaluating the merits of each entry but also considering their viability in terms of the availability of data required to complete an entry. At the outset, the volume attempted to be national in scope, consciously including programs and broadcasters from the regions or the areas away from or far from the central position of Manila. It also tried to include not only the most highly rated programs and most popular broadcasters but also those less well known.

However, the limited availability of materials, especially primary sources, was challenging, especially for the historical essays. Very few records and materials during the American colonial period and World War II, for example, survived the war. Moreover, live broadcasting does not require a record of the programs, so archiving has not been part of the practices of broadcast stations, especially radio, except beginning in the 1990s when digital technologies made archiving less costly, but mostly only in big television stations.

Research even for the postwar and later years was also trying. A lot is forgotten or unrecorded. Some have more details than others, such as names of the production staff of programs. There are also inconsistencies on dates, names, and other details, which may be partly explained by the changes in program titles, program hosts, production crew, and broadcasters and programs moving stations or networks. Even photographs and recordings of programs are uncommon. There are only a handful of scholarly materials and historical studies that served as sources. The scarcity of both primary and established secondary sources forced the editorial team to guardedly use sources that are usually regarded as less reliable, such as various wikis online.

Data gathering in the regions presented other limitations. In some parts of Mindanao, for example, security concerns kept researchers away. The mere act of asking for data about station and artist provoked suspicion and put their lives in danger, reminding us of one aspect of all arts—that they can be politically provocative and, consequently, potentially dangerous.

Contributors from academia—faculty and students—as well as some media practitioners researched and wrote the entries following a format established for the encyclopedia. Apart from fact-checking and polishing the submissions, the editors of this volume led the teams that wrote the historical essays as well as other long articles.

This volume, admittedly, is an incomplete record of broadcasting in the country. However, it is a beginning, and the CCP treats it as a living document, subject to addition of those forgotten and missing, so they can be accounted for in the reckoning of the everyday. The everyday may seem constant, durable, normal, and automatic, like tuning in to radio while rushing to school or work in the morning, watching one’s favorite television show while having dinner, or unwinding before going to bed. Broadcasting helps maintain this apparent predictability and stability in everyday life, but the constant flow and interruption of often incoherent sounds and images ironically also provides the gaps and breaks in the text that allow questions to seep in, demanding answers that ultimately alter and adjust the everyday, even if imperceptively. And it marches on—the airwaves forging a nation of the everyday.

Style and Use

This volume was designed specifically for the student. Ideas are outlined clearly in each essay. The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are explained either in synonyms or equivalents or in the context within which they appear, for example, in several essays, blocktiming is explained as the network practice of selling durations of airtime to individuals or groups. Other terms not in English are either followed by English translations, enclosed in parentheses, or translated within the same sentence, such as in the essay on arts and culture shows: “The balagtasan or poetic joust, usually about a social issue or a cultural tradition, is one of the early forms of arts and culture shows on radio beginning in 1934.”

Subheadings make the search for particular data easy. Photos, video clips, and captions complement the text. Sources of data are in parentheses after the sentence or paragraph which uses them, with the family name of the author and the year of publication, or the identity of a primary source such as the family name of the interviewee and the year of the interview or the name of the collection of an archival material. The citations may be checked against the reference list at the end of each essay and in the General Sources. They serve not only as acknowledgement but also to guide the student in searching for more sources of information.

Titles of programs, films, and musical compositions as well as books and periodicals are italicized and set in boldface each time they are mentioned. Titles of works not in English are followed by English translations, enclosed in parentheses, for example, Eskuwelahang Munti (The Little School).

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine broadcast arts as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.



Philippine literature is that collection of texts, both oral and written, whether published as books, serialized in periodicals, recorded in tapes, mimeographed in loose sheets, etched on bamboo, chanted at home, or recited around a fire, which are created by Filipinos of all ages and stock, in languages local and foreign, in forms indigenous, borrowed, or adapted, which portray the experiences of Filipinos.

Since the first edition of the CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art saw print 24 years ago, the Philippine literary terrain has changed seismically. In some places, it has become less rugged and has proved to be more habitable—or rather to have been long inhabited but hitherto ignored. The clearing of ground reveals new vistas but also puts old plots in sharper focus.

For encyclopedia editors, the passage of 20 years has meant accretion and revaluation. First, much has been added to the store of Philippine literature—more fiction, poetry, and essays written, new forms invented, and traditions renewed or revised. More scholars have also recovered or recorded literatures from the regions whether these be oral or written. Second, the renewed vigor of the local publishing scene since the EDSA Revolt of 1986 and the emergence of nontraditional modes of publishing, including self-publishing, have resulted in the exponential increase in writers and texts. Third, currents in literary theory and criticism have given birth to new modes of perceiving literature, authorship, and reading. This edition of the encyclopedia reflects those developments.

The general goal of this edition is to guide the pilgrim of Philippine literature, specially the student, along familiar terrains, such as the landmark works of Rizal and the Revolutionists, as well as along those shaded, secluded pathways where only a few have hitherto trod, such as Chinese-Philippine literature, the komiks, and translation.

Consciously avoiding the equation of Philippine literature with modern expressions in English, this volume covers the literatures of the different Philippine languages, whether majority, like the Tagalog, Cebuano, Bicol, Ilocano, Ilonggo, Waray, Pangasinan, and Kapampangan, or minority, like the Aeta, Ivatan, Ifugao, lbanag, Mangyan, Tausug, Maranao, Maguindanao, Bagobo, and Manobo (the full treatment of these and other literatures may be found in Peoples of the Philippines). It also covers literature written by Filipinos in foreign languages, namely, English, Spanish, and Chinese. The volume includes the various literary forms and modes—whether “legitimate” or not—produced in these languages, such as sugilanon, komposo, prosa romantica, pasyon, balak, guman, songs, letters, and “underground poems.”

The specific objectives of this edition are: to plot the development of the principal literary traditions in the Philippines and highlight the major achievements and the key figures who introduced, crystallized, revolutionized, or broke away from trends, traditions, and significantly affected the Filipino consciousness; to show these developments within the larger context of Philippine history and society, for literature is inextricably enmeshed with sociopolitical and economic forces; and to acquaint scholars and literary enthusiasts with so-called “regional writing,” and thereby give a more comprehensive picture of the country’s literature, and generate more research into often marginalized regional lore.

In sum, this area on Philippine literature is a chronicle, with attempts at more equitable representation in language, form, and tradition. The essays included in this edition primarily aim to inform. Interpretations or judgments implicit in the essays, as for instance the classification of poetry into the following traditions: ethnic, Spanish colonial, reform and revolution, American colonial, and postcolonial, is generally agreed upon by respected scholars of Philippine literature.

Content and Division

The volume is divided into five sections: Historical Essays, Forms and Types, Aspects of Literary Production, Major Works, Artists and Organizations, and General Sources. This scheme was devised to systematically cover as many facets of Philippine Literature as possible, including often neglected or subordinated topics.

The historical essays, arranged chronologically, survey the general developments in Philippine literature. The first essay on Philippine literature provides a sweeping, if cursory, profile of the different literary traditions, each of which is treated at length in the succeeding essays: the indigenous tradition, which describes, with a garland of examples, such indigenous forms as the folk speech (e.g., the riddle and the proverb), the various kinds of lyric poetry (e.g., ambahan, laji, tagay), and the narrative forms (the epic, folktales, legends, and myths); the Hispanic tradition, which describes the entry of newer forms (e.g., ladino or bilingual poetry, pasyon, awit, manual de urbanidad, the exhortative essay, among others) side by side with the imposition of a new political order, and their continuing legacy in Philippine letters, as evidenced, for instance, in the romantic and didactic tendencies of many a vernacular novel in the 20th century; and the American tradition, which recounts the arrival of a new colonial conqueror, the emergence of writing in English and the marginalization of literature in Spanish and, for a time, in the vernaculars. The last essay also discusses the introduction of modern literary forms, largely inherited from the West (e.g., the short story, free verse, and literary criticism), the formation of literary societies (e.g., Ilaw at Panitik, UP Writers’ Club), the literary revolutions (e.g., the appearance of Alejandro G. Abadilla’s terse and cryptic verses in defiance of floridly sentimental, linguistically puristic, and formally restrictive balagtasismo), and the literary debates of the time (e.g., Villa’s aestheticism versus Lopez’s relevance), which continue to concern critics and writers today.

Three essays—“Philippine Literature during the Third Republic (1946-72),” “Philippine Literature during the Fourth Republic (1972-86),” and “Philippine Literature during the Fifth Republic (1986 Onward)”—bring the story of Philippine literature forward to the present time. More than an enumeration of titles and authors, these articles situate literary activities and output in historical contexts and cardinal events: the postwar reconstruction in the 1950s, the rise of activism in the 1960s, the imposition of martial law in the 1970s, the glorious EDSA Revolt of 1986 and its less than glorious aftermath. The literature produced by the exodus of millions of Filipinos is described in another new article, “Literature of the Diaspora.”

There are also essays that show the historical development of Philippine Literature in Spanish, Philippine Literature in English, and Chinese-Philippine Literature. The first covers works in Spanish produced from the three centuries of Spanish rule to the present. Attention is given to the poetry and prose of the so-called “Golden Age of Literature in Spanish,” 1900-1940, and the factors that led to the rise and quick decline of this literature. The second essay chronicles the struggles and the triumphs of a group of writers grappling with and then mastering a foreign tongue which was to become one of the leading world languages-English. The formal innovations initiated by Jose Garcia Villa and Paz Marquez-Benitez, the sociopolitical thrust of Zulueta da Costa and Lopez, the future of this literature in an increasingly nationalistic milieu—these and other issues are here presented and explored. The third essay dwells on a still amorphous body of works, written in Chinese, English, or in any of the local languages, by the Chinese Filipino—from its origins in Spanish times to its development in the 20th century.

The essay on children’s literature focuses on the many forms of literature for children as these have evolved throughout the ages: from the caton of the Spanish times to the adaptations of folktales (e.g., the Adarna series) today. The essay on sources and influences traces the diversity of Philippine literature to borrowings from and adaptations of Asian literatures, as well as the Spanish and Anglo-American literary traditions. Germinative figures in Philippine literature, such as Jose Rizal and Alejandro G. Abadilla, who greatly influenced generations of artists, are also discussed.

The section Forms and Types consists of essays, alphabetically arranged, on the epic, the essay, folk narrative, folk poetry, folk song, the komiks, the metrical romances, the novel, the pasyon, poetry, and the short story. The essays cover the indigenous forms, the Western genres traditionally accorded an esteemed place in literary studies, and the popular genre. Discussion of the drama has been reserved for the volume on Theater.

The essays on the indigenous forms offer generous samples to highlight their characteristics. These are on the epic, which outlines the conventions and gives brief summaries of the longest and possibly the oldest form of oral lore; the folk narrative, which classifies the different kinds of folk stories into myths, legends, and folktales, further divided into numskull tales, trickster tales, fables, and marchen; the folk poetry, which describes the different kinds of folk speech (e.g., riddles and proverbs), poems (e.g., loa and bulong), and poetic jousts (e.g., the balagtasan and the dallot); the folk song, which discusses both the ballad or sung narrative (e.g., komposo, idangdang) and the many species of non­narrative songs (e.g., oyayi, ida-ida wata, kundiman), which relate to love, marriage, work, play, childhood, death—indeed to every phase, pleasure, and pang of Filipino life.

The forms inherited from the West are surveyed in the following entries on: the essay, which discusses the formal, the informal, and the critical essay; the metrical romance, which details the conventions of the awit and korido, such as their formulaic titles and patterns of plot, while showing how these have been affected by Philippine mores and customs; the novel, which follows the four streams of didacticism, romanticism, realism, and radicalism that make up the genre; the pasyon, which not only outlines the development of the religious verse narrative but also describes how radical artists have molded it from a means of subjugation into a potent tool for liberation; komiks, which discusses the popular genre derived from the American comic book, and its history, its form and function, its conventions and contents, and its many transformations into the big screen. The essay on poetry showcases the bounty of poetic forms, ranging from the indigenous to the modernist, burgeoning in the different regions, tongues, and historical periods. But as certain forms decline, others take their place. For example, the komiks, once the best-selling form of Tagalog literature, has faded owing to both internal and external pressures; its near kin, the graphic novel, serves a different readership and draws on a different stock of references from those of the komiks.

The section Aspects of Literature contains various essays on subjects essential to but often neglected in literary studies. They are on: audience, which describes the readers or listeners of Philippine literature as they act and react to, and are in turn formed and influenced by, oral and/or written texts; awards and grants, which surveys the different organizations and groups that bestow recognition and give support to writers; criticism and scholarship, which describes the ways by which Philippine texts have been perceived and studied through the centuries; organizations, which lists down the literary coteries representing the multifarious, sometimes conflicting, concerns of writers, such as PAKSA, WOMEN, and GUMIL; publications and publishing, which explores the routes through which writers have displayed their works; training, which details how writers have honed their craft and whet their skills; and translation and adaptation, which mentions works that have been translated or adapted either from foreign languages into the Philippine languages or from the local languages into world languages.

The Works section is composed of summaries of texts deemed significant in Philippine literary history by the editors and consultants of this volume. The range of works spans both oral and written lore, and considers “legitimate” and “illegitimate” forms, either in local or in foreign languages. For easier access, these are compartmentalized into Poetry, Short Story, Novel, and Essay. The first includes epics like Hudhud, awit like Ibong Adarna, single short works like “Mi ultimo adios,” long verse narratives like the Pasyong Genesis, and collections or anthologies of poetry like Kutibeng and Poems 55. The second includes collections of short stories in the different Philippine languages. The third includes novels from the different regions as well as those written in English and Spanish. The last includes critical works like Literature and Society, editorials like “Aves de Rapifta,” speeches like “Homenaje a Luna,” single works like “Sobre la indolencia de los Filipinos,” and collections of essays both formal and informal.

Of the 266 new entries in the Works sections of this edition of the encyclopedia, 60 (or almost a quarter) pertain to literature written or produced in languages other than English or Tagalog. Included here are works originally in Spanish, Bikol, Ilocano, and the Visayan family of languages like Waray, Ilonggo, Cebuano, and the Visayan variety in Mindanao called Bisaya. The updates made to the articles in the sections Historical Essays, Forms and Types, and Aspects of Literature likewise testify either to the vigor of literary production in places outside of Metro Manila or, where it has not been so robust, its increased visibility through translations and commentary.

Among the guidelines for the selection of works were regional/linguistic representation and generic representation. Thus, oral forms and works considered in their regions as significant were included. Key works which influenced other works or began a trend, such as Abadilla’s Ako ang Daigdig at Iba Pang Mga Tula, were included, as were works of historical and literary significance, such as Rizal’s two novels which moved the Filipinos to forge revolution and a nation. The popularity of a work, in spite of negative critical feedback, was also a guideline in the selection of works. Thus, an awit like Gonzalo de Cordoba was included, as it spawned a host of adaptations despite its failure, in New Critical esteem, as an artefact. In making its choices, the editorial board was guided by the conviction that there can be no absolute, ahistorical standards of significance or greatness, especially when scholars are confronted with a multitextured literature woven from various cultural and linguistic strands.

The selection for the section Artists and Organizations was done along similar lines. Traditionally canonized authors such as Francisco Baltazar, Inigo Ed. Regalado, Lope K. Santos, Antonio M. Abad, Jesus Balmori, Jose Garcia Villa, and Nick Joaquin, were included. However, added to the list were regional writers, considered significant in their respective regions, such as the Ilocano Pedro Bucaneg, Leon Pichay, and Leona Florentino, the Pangasinan Maria Magsano, the Kapampangan Zoilo Hilario and Amado Yuzon, the Cebuano Vicente Sotto and Vicente Ranudo, the Ilonggo Ramon Muzones and Magdalena Jalandoni, and the Waray Eduardo Makabenta. Included too were epic or ballad chanters like the Karay-a Elena Gardoce and the Palawan Usuy.

Contemporary writers, or writers who began to publish in the 1980s, were chosen according to more objective, numerical criteria. To be included, these young writers should have won at least six national awards or have published at least two books (but not by their own funds), or have won three awards and have a book published. Editorial work was also considered. There were, however, a few very exceptional cases where the editorial board included young writers who may not have accomplished all of the above, but were deemed significant.

For this encyclopedia, only writers in the traditionally accepted literary forms were considered. Although these writers were easy enough to pinpoint in poetry and fiction, they were not as readily identifiable in the essay, which theoretically encompasses all forms of prose that is not fictive, including journalistic, historical, economic, political, anthropological, sociological, and psychological writings. Thus, this encyclopedia has decided to focus only on essayists whose writing is more expressive rather than merely analytical or scientific. A few anthropologists and historians have been included, not primarily for their scientific studies but for their poetry or fiction or essays written on certain forms of oral or written literature.

The expansion of the corpus of Philippine literature owes in no small measure to the presence of book publishers. University presses like the Ateneo de Manila University Press and the University of the Philippines Press, trade publishers like Anvil and New Day, “small presses” like Giraffe and High Chair, and institutions with publishing as part of their activities or mission like the Iligan National Writers Workshop and Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran—these and other groups, whether independently self-sustaining or state subsidized, have kept writers in print. The last 20 years also saw new players, like Visprint, joining the field and some of the older publishers striking out.

The Internet and other technologies have also provided platforms for self-publishing and conditioned the emergence of new forms and even new aesthetics. The new article “New Media” recounts these developments.

Critical theory has reshaped the way literature is studied, challenging traditional notions of authorship and distinctions between “high” and “low” cultures, among other things. Thus, in the thoroughly revised overview article, “Philippine Literature,” Urbana at Feliza is treated in relation to street signs. The updates in “The Indigenous Tradition” and “Folk Narrative” reflect a more nuanced understanding of what “indigenous” and “folk” signify, avoiding their easy slippage into the “precolonial.” After all, epics continue to be chanted or sung, heroes and antiheroes take on fresh avatars, and new versions of old tales are spun and respun—the weft of novelty woven around the warp of tradition, which makes for textures of vibrant colors.


The principal and assistant editors began by constructing a master list of Filipino authors and works that can conceivably be described as “major” in the purview of Philippine literature. Combed and consulted anew were library catalogs, serials databases, and winners’ lists, in all the major Philippine languages and in English, Spanish, and Chinese.

The preparation of the master list was guided by the following criteria, which were approved by the new edition’s editorial board:

For authors: (1) sustained literary activity over 10 years; (2) two major awards; (3) two major book or book-length publications; (4) recognition of peers, scholars, or critics; and (5) influence on fellow authors or on the development of a literary tradition, a form, a trend, a movement, or a genre.

For organizations: (1) sustained activity in the form of publications, recordings, conferences, or workshops; (2) influence on the literary community; and/or (3) the membership of major or canonical writers.

For scholars and critics: (1) 10 years of active study of an author, a body of works, or a field; (2) two books or 10 articles in journals of significant value; (3) awards and similar evidence of recognition; and (4) citation count.

For works: (1) possession of a “pivotal” quality (are they trailblazing, form defining, or trendsetting?); (2) status as the “epitome” of a form, trend, movement, or genre; and (3) possession of national and/or regional significance.

For this edition, the temporal limit for the coverage of new works and writers was set at 31 Dec 2015. This new master list was then cross-checked with the first edition table of contents for the editors to avoid duplication.

To update, verify, and, in some instances, correct details in the 609 biographies and organizations in the first edition, questionnaires were sent to the writers themselves or to close relatives. Where there was no response or a way to get in touch with the writer, the updaters resorted to secondary sources of information found in libraries and to reliable online databases and institutions like the Philippine Statistics Authority.

The task of making this edition of the encyclopedia more inclusive and more accurate was aided by regional editors, consultants, and reviewers.

Style and Use

The style follows the prescriptions of the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition. The writing was designed specifically for the student, and hence it avoids obfuscation. Ideas are outlined clearly in each essay. The language is simple and the style straightforward. Technical terms are immediately explained either in synonyms or equivalents or in the context within which they appear, as, for example, in the overview essay: “Many complimentary verses were written by the so-called ladino, poets versed in both Spanish and Tagalog.” Subheadings ease the search for particular data; bountiful excerpts from the texts illustrate specific points. The illustrations and captions adorning each essay are visual guideposts to the article. Sources of data or quotations are placed in parentheses right after the sentence which uses them, and provide the family name of the author, year of publication of the work, and page numbers which can be checked against the sources at the end of the article and in the General Sources section.

Literary terms such as daniw, crissotan, and costumbrismo are set in boldface the first time they appear in an essay; Filipino and foreign terms not related to literature, such as pamlang, diwata, and pere are set in italics the first time they are mentioned. Translations of the terms, whether literary or not, are usually enclosed in parentheses: thus, manananggal (a self-segmenting ghoul).

The encyclopedia uses headline style capitalization even for works that are not in English (e.g., Noli Me Tangere, “Ang mga Biyaya ng Fraile”). Titles of books and periodicals are italicized and set in boldface each time they are mentioned. Titles of works not in English are followed by English translations, enclosed in parentheses, of the year of publication, separated by commas: thus, Ing Capalaran (Fate), 1923. Book titles are also set in boldface and italics whether they appear as part of the title of a short work (e.g., Agoncillo’s essay “Ang Banaag at Sikat ni Lope K. Santos”) or they are part of a translation (e.g., Banaag at Sikat: Metacriticism and Anthology for Banaag at Sikat: Metakritisismo at Antolohiya). Chinese words and names are generally rendered in pinyin, except when the alternative form has become standard (e.g., Mao Tse-tung versus Mao Zedong) or when the author in question has a preferred transliteration.

All diacritical marks are removed until such time as they are consistently and systematically recorded by scholars, especially among the smaller ethnolinguistic groups, but are retained where they occur on words that have entered the English language (e.g., vis-à-vis, coup d’état).

Filipino words that have entered the English language and whose meaning in English match their Filipino originals’ are no longer set in italics (e.g., aswang, babaylan, tuba). When a book is bilingually titled, a slash separates the titles (e.g., Writing the Nation/Pag-akda ng Bansa) and no other translation is given. Titles that appear across volumes are uniformly translated (e.g., Marcelino Pan y Vino [The Miracle of Marcelino], Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang [Stories of Grandma Basyang]).

In discussions of the Commonwealth Literary Contests, titles of book-length works are enclosed in quotation marks when they were entered as manuscripts but set in boldface and italics when they were entered as published books (e.g., Salvador Lopez’s Literature and Society versus R. Zulueta da Costa’s “Like the Molave,” which though copyrighted in 1940 was actually published in 1941).

When authors use multiple names or aliases, the encyclopedia alerts readers to the fact (e.g., “Rogelio Sikat aka Rogelio Sicat”).

For the researcher, the Search function of this online encyclopedia is the most helpful first stop. It lists all the major terms, forms, names, concepts, and books in Philippine literature as well as in the other areas of the encyclopedia.