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asian living human treasures

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the country’s premiere agency for arts and culture headed by its chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. and OIC-executive director Adelina M. Suemith, will highlight Asian indigenous cultures and traditions as well as honor master artisans, folk artists and culture bearers in the First Ceremony for Commemoration of the Asian Human Living Treasures, slated for May 20 to 21, 2014, at the Manila Hotel in Manila, Philippines.

The event will include an exhibit of traditional cultures and crafts, talks and lectures by experts, a cultural tour, and an awarding ceremony for Asian master culture bearers.

The First Ceremony for Commemoration of the Asian Human Living Treasures will open on May 20, 2014, at the Maynila Hall of the Manila Hotel. The opening ceremony will have an opening ritual to be performed by a T’boli group of southern Mindanao. Laura del Rosario, Undersecretary for International Economic Relations of the Department of Foreign Affairs, will deliver the welcome remarks, while NCCA chairman De Leon will give an opening message. Sen. Loren Legarda will deliver the keynote speech as well as lead in the opening of the exhibit at 10:30 A.M.

A conference will follow the opening ceremony and exhibit inauguration. Topics will include “Philippine Initiative for the Conservation of the Philippine Indigenous Culture” by Chairman De Leon; “Human Living Treasures and Country Efforts in the Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Crafts” by anthropologist and NCCA consultant Dr. Jesus T. Peralta; “ Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan: Philippine Recognition for the Traditional Artists” by Corazon Alvina, committee member of the Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan; and “Human Living Treasures and Country Efforts in the Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Crafts” by Dr. Supanee Chayabutra, associate professor of the ASEAN handicraft Promotion and Development Association of Thailand.

The awarding ceremony will be held the following day. Twenty traditional artists and cultural masters from all over Asia will be recognized, including  J.A.D.G.D. Jayanisha from Sri Lanka; Kongthong Nanthayongduoangsy from Laos; Mao Mon from Cambodia; Lam Kezang Chhoepel from Bhutan; Nguyen Mai Hahn from Vietnam; Mohamed Al-Balushi from Qatar; Mostafa Akhavass from Iran; Pranom Thapaeng from Thailand; Farhat Shahid from Pakistan; Shri Mohan Lal Soni from India; Lucky Wijayanti from Indonesia; Nik Rahiman Nik Idris from Malaysia; and Abdulaziz Arti from Kuwait. They will be joined by the seven living Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan of the Philippines: T’boli weaver Lang Dulay; Kalinga musician and dancer Alonzo Saclag; Panay Bukidnon chanter Federico Caballero; Yakan musician Uwang Ahadas; Pampangan metalsmith Eduardo Mutuc;  Ilocano casque maker Teofilo Garcia; and Ilocano weaver Magdalena Gamayo.



For more information, contact the NCCA Public Affairs and Information Office (PAIO) head, Rene Sanchez Napenas at (632) 527-2192 or 0928-5081057; or email us at