National Artist of the Philippines
|Order of National Artists|
|Awarded by Philippines|
|Awarded for||having made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts|
|Sovereign||President of the Philippines|
|Next (higher)||Order of Gabriela Silang|
|Next (lower)||Gawad Mabini|
|Same||Order of National Artists, Order of National Scientists, Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, Order of Lakandula - Special Class of Champion for Life|
|Ribbon bar of the order|
A National Artist of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Alagad ng Sining ng Pilipinas) is a title given to a Filipino who has been given the highest recognition for having made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. It was elevated to the Order of National Artists in 2003.
Such Filipinos are announced, by virtue of a Presidential Proclamation, as National Artist or in Filipino, Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining. They are then conferred membership in the Order of National Artists, the regalia of which is an ornate, gilden collar of honor. In addition to the collar, each newly proclaimed member of the Order is given a citation that is presented during the awardees' conferment ceremonies. The Cultural Center of the Philippines then hosts a Memorabilia Exhibit and Gabi ng Parangal (A Night of Tributes) for the National Artists at the Tanghalang Pambansa.
Other benefits received by National artists include a monthly pension, medical and life insurance, arrangements for a state funeral, a place of honor at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events.
The National Artist Honors is administered by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) by virtue of President Ferdinand Marcos's Proclamation No. 1001 of April 2, 1972 and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). The Government of the Philippines confers the award to deserving individuals who have been recommended by both the CCP and the NCCA. The first award was posthumously conferred on Filipino painter Fernando Amorsolo.
Categories under which National Artists can be recognized originally included:
- Music - composition, direction, and/or performance;
- Dance - choreography, direction and/or performance;
- Theater – direction, performance and/or production design;
- Visual Arts – painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation art, mixed media works, illustration, graphic arts, performance art and/or imaging;
- Literature – poetry, fiction, essay, playwriting, journalism and/or literary criticism;
- Film and Broadcast Arts – direction, writing, production design, cinematography, editing, camera work, and/or performance; and
- Architecture Design and Allied Arts – architecture design, interior design, industrial arts design, landscape architecture and fashion design.
However, national artists have since been honored under new categories. The NCCA 'created' the category of National Artist for Fashion Design when it nominated Ramon Valera, but subsumed that category under "Architecture and Allied Arts". President Fidel V. Ramos issued an executive order creating the category of National Artist for Historical Literature before conferring the honor to Carlos Quirino. As part of the 2009 National Artist of the Philippines controversy, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo proclaimed Carlo J. Caparas a National Artist under the category of "Visual Art and Film", but it was unclear whether the honor was given under the separate categories of "Visual Art" and "Film", or as a new, combined category.
Nominations for National Artist of the Philippines are based on a broad criteria, as set forth by the Cultural Center of the Philippines and the National Commission on Culture and the Arts:
- Living artists who have been Filipino citizens for the last ten years prior to nomination as well as those who have died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death;
- Artists who have helped build a Filipino sense of nationhood through the content and form of their works;
- Artists who have distinguished themselves by pioneering in a mode of creative expression or style, making an impact on succeeding generations of artists;
- Artists who have created a significant body of works and/or have consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form, enriching artistic expression or style; and
- Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through prestigious national and/or international recognition, awards in prestigious national and/or international events, critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works, and/or respect and esteem from peers within an artistic discipline.
Nominations are then submitted to the National Artist Secretariat that is created by the National Artist Award Committee; experts from the different art fields then sit on a First Deliberation to prepare the short list of nominees. A Second Deliberation, which is a joint meeting of the Commissioners of the NCCA and the Board of Trustees of the CCP, decides on the final recomendees. The list is then forwarded to the President of the Philippines, who, by Presidential Proclamation, proclaims the final nominees as members of the Order of National Artists.
Honours and Privileges 
- The rank and title of National Artist, as proclaimed by the President of the Philippines;
- The insignia of a National Artist and a citation;
- A lifetime emolument and material and physical benefits comparable in value to those received by the highest officers of the land such as:
a cash award of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00) net of taxes, for living awardees;
b. a cash award of Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P75,000.00) net of taxes, for posthumous awardees, payable to legal heir/s;
c. a monthly life pension, medical and hospitalization benefits;
d. life insurance coverage for Awardees who are still insurable;
e. a state funeral and burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani;
f. a place of honor, in line with protocular precedence, at national state functions, and recognition at cultural events.
List of National Artists 
- Levi Celerio
- Ernani Joson Cuenco
- Felipe Padilla De Leon
- Jovita Fuentes
- Lucrecia Kasilag
- Jose Maceda
- Antonio J. Molina
- Lucio D. San Pedro
- Andrea O. Veneracion
- Antonio R. Buenaventura
Theater and Film 
- Daisy Avellana
- Honorata "Atang" de la Rama
- Rolando S. Tinio
- Salvador F. Bernal
- Lamberto V. Avellana
- Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero
- Severino Montano
Visual Arts 
- Napoleon Abueva (Sculpture)
- Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (Painting, Sculpture and Mixed Media)
- Fernando C. Amorsolo (Painting)
- Benedicto Cabrera (Painting)
- Victorio C. Edades (Painting)
- Carlos V. Francisco (Painting)
- Abdulmari Asia Imao (Sculpture)
- Jose T. Joya (Painting)
- Ang Kiukok (Painting)
- Cesar Legaspi (Painting)
- Arturo R. Luz (Painting)
- Vicente S. Manansala (Painting)
- J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting)
- Hernando R. Ocampo (Painting)
- Guillermo Tolentino (Sculpture)
- Francisco Arcellana
- Virgilio S. Almario
- N. V. M. Gonzalez
- Amado V. Hernandez
- Nick Joaquin
- F. Sionil Jose
- Bienvenido Lumbera
- Alejandro R. Roces
- Carlos P. Romulo
- Edith L. Tiempo
- Jose Garcia Villa
Fashion Design 
(Categorized under "Allied Arts")
Historical Literature 
(New category created by President Fidel V. Ramos)
In August 2009, the conferment of the Order of National Artists to seven individuals by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo became controversial when it was revealed that musician Ramon Santos had been dropped from the list of nominees short-listed in May that year by the selection committee, and that four other individuals had been nominated to the title via "President’s prerogative":Cecilla Guidote-Alvarez (Theater), Magno Jose "Carlo” Caparas (Visual Arts and Film), Francisco Manosa (Architecture), and Jose “Pitoy” Moreno (Fashion Design).
Members of the Philippine art community, including a number of living National Artists of the Philippines, protested that the proclamation politicized the title of National artist, and made it "a way for President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to accommodate her allies." Specific protests were raised regarding the nomination of NCCA executive director Guidote-Alvarez, because it was purportedly a breach of protocol and delicadeza (propriety), and of Carlo Caparas, because he was allegedly not qualified to be nominated under the categories of either Visual Arts or Film.
- Executive Order No. 236, s. 2003 Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
- Annie Ruth C. Sabangan (2009-08-01). "Fury over Arroyo’s choice of national artists". GMANews.tv: the Official Website of GMA News and Public Affairs.
- "The National Artists of the Philippines Guidelines". ncca.gov.ph. National Commission for Culture and the Arts. 2007. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "Corruption of Culture?". Media in Focus. 2008-08-06.
- Proclaimed a National Artist, not awarded
- TJ Burgonio (2009 July 29). "Arroyo names 7 National Artists for '09". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Kristine L. Alave, Bayani San Diego Jr (2009 August 1). "Palace choices of 4 nat'l artists protested". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
- Gerry Alanguilan (2009). "Bottom Line: Carlo J. Caparas is NOT Qualified". Komikero Comics Journal. Komikero Comics Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- List of National Artists (NCCA). From the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) website.
- National Artists Guidelines (NCCA)
- The Order of National Artists - from the Official Gazette of the Philippines (Office of the President)
- National Artists in Waiting: Six in a Fix