Heritage Month in PH precedes 119th independence celebration

Annually in May, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Filipino Heritage Festival offer an array of cultural activities “to bring the Filipino people to a new awareness of age-old traditions, cultural practices, song, dance and centuries-old architectural wonders.”

In its 14th year, the Filipino Heritage Festival, together with all its partners relentlessly exerted all efforts to promote the awareness, interest, enthusiasm and strengthen everyone’s knowledge and information on the legacies of Filipino cultural history.

Realising the importance of the past and the present, FHFI believes in the importance to bond both through appreciation, understanding and responsiveness in all its efforts. With this in mind, FHFI and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through its Subcommission on Cultural Heritage headed by Fr. Harold Ll. Rentoria, OSA, lead the celebration of National Heritage Month in the Philippines with the theme “Malasakit Para Sa Pamana” or “Care for Heritage.”

The nationwide heritage month celebration kicked off in Ormoc City on May 3, 2017. A youth heritage forum, public concern featuring the Philippine Opera Company, and “Paduwa Pinoy Ormocanon” featuring traditional Filipino games were the highlights of the celebration. Youth participants from Ormoc were taken around the city in a guided tour of the city’s heritage sites.

Apart from the forum held during the Ormoc kick-off celebration, Youth Forums on Heritage are scheduled in five other areas namely: Ilagan City, Isabella; Mati City, Davao; Virac, Catanduanes; Cagayan de Oro, and Tayabas, Quezon, which will happen in June and will be completed in a series throughout the year.

Heritage sites are not the sole highlight of the month-long celebration. NCCA and FHFI also showcase Filipino traditional art, contemporary literary art forms and other manifestations of the richness of Filipino heritage.

Rachy Cuna’s exhibit Are Filipino, Art Installations was featured at the Conrad Hotel while the Metropolitan Museum of Manila hosted the “Abot-Tanaw: Tracing Local Horizons,” a photo exhibition of Philippine Sunsets which will run until June 23.

Musical performances were conducted by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Pianist, Dr. Raul Sunico, at the Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium while a musical play by the renowned Don Bosco Choir of Tondo graced the CCP Little Theatre.

Pangalay ng Bayan - Celebrating Women through Dance featuring Alun Alun Dance Circle and the Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Ligaya Fernando Amibangan, Ph.D. was held at the Robinson Place Manila last May 9.

The entire month’s activities were conducted in partnership with local governments of the cities and provinces involved; Cultural Center of the Philippines, Department of Tourism, Intramuros Administration, PAGCOR, Philippine Postal Corporation, National Parks Development Committee, the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII); BBB Foundation, Society for Cultural Enrichment Inc., Philippine Women’s University, FUNtastic Philippines Inc.; Malls – SM Malls, Robinson’s Place Manila, Starmalls and Vista Mall Taguig, Lucky Chinatown Mall and Ayala Center; the Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Business World, DDB Cares, AB Leisure and Security Bank Corporation.

The Celebration of Heritage Month was born out of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Proclamation No 439 on 11 August 2003, “declaring the month of May of every year as National Heritage Month. The event is in recognition of the need to create among the people a consciousness, respect, and love for the legacies of Filipino cultural history.”

National Heritage Month Celebration precedes this year’s celebration of the 119th Independence Day on June 12.

National Commission on Culture and the Arts


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