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f landa jocano

The country’s primary agency for arts and culture, the National Commission for Arts and Culture (NCCA) headed by its chairman Felipe M. de Leon Jr. and OIC-executive director Adelina M. Suemith, is set to award the late, eminent anthropologist F. Landa Jocano with its highest honor, the Dangal ng Haraya, for his contributions to cultural and historical research.

The awarding ceremony is set for May 22, 2014, at the NCCA Lobby of the NCCA Building in Intramuros, Manila, at 6 p.m.Jocano was known for his pioneering works in anthropology in the Philippines, particularly his work in Philippine prehistoric civilization.

Born into a farmer family in Cabatuan, Iloilo, on February 5, 1930, ninth of eleven children, Jocano ran away to Manila after finishing elementary school because his family could not afford to send him to high school. He worked his way through high school at the Arellano High School. He returned to Iloilo in 1954 where he finished a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Central Philippine University in 1957. During this period, he developed an interest in folklore. He came to work at the National Museum through noted anthropologist Robert Fox. Through a grant, Jocano pursued graduate studies at the University of Chicago, earning a Master in Anthropology in 1962 and a doctorate degree in Social Anthropology in 1963.

When he returned to the Philippines, he taught at the University of the Philippines, where he served for more than 30 years until his retirement. At UP, he became chair of the Department of Anthropology of the College of Arts and Sciences; dean and professor of anthropology of the Institute of Philippine Studies at the Philippine Center for Advanced Studies (now Asian Center); and head of the Asian Center Museum Laboratory.

At 83 years old, Jocano passed away on October 27, 2013, due to cardiac arrest, leaving behind an important body of works that contributed significantly to Philippine anthropological scholarship and our understanding of the peoples of the Philippines. Jocano was a prolific writer dealing with a wide range of subjects including ethnology, folklore, pre-colonial history, international relations, and rural and urban community life. One of the earliest Filipino researchers with proper scholarly training in anthropology, he pioneered the use of participant observation as a methodology in Philippine ethnographic research and was one of the first scholars to suggest alternatives to H. Otley Beyer’s Wave Migration Theory in the peopling of the Philippines. Jocano’s contribution to the study of Philippine folk literature  is the documentation and translation to English of the folk epic Hinilawod of the Panay Bukidnon of Western Visayas. From 1955 to 1957, he spent time with the Panay Bukidnon chanters and eventually published the book Hinilawod: Adventures of Humadapnon (Tarangban I). His other books include Sulod Society (1968); Folk Medicine in a Philippine Community (1973); Slum as a Way of Life (1975); Ilocano: An Ethnography of Family and Community Life (1983); Hiligaynon: An Ethnography of Family and Community Life (1983); Filipino Indigenous Ethnic Communities: Patterns, Variations, and Typologies (1998); and Filipino Prehistory: Rediscovering Precolonial Heritage (1998).

During his career, he has earned several accolades, including the National Science Awards (1973), Republic Cultural Heritage Award (1971), Ten Outstanding Young Men (1965), and the Philippine Legion of Honor (2007) with the rank of Grand Officer. National Artist for literature F. Sionil Jose regarded him as “the country’s first and foremost cultural anthropologist.” The latest honor will be coming from the NCCA.

The Dangal ng Haraya was usually given together with the Alab ng Haraya (Flame of Imagination). The two recognitions were created under the leadership of NCCA chairman Jaime Laya and executive director Virgilio Almario, who would become National Artist for literature. Alab ng Haraya is given to artists, cultural workers, works, groups and institutions, who had made an impact and significant contribution to arts and cultural development in categories such as published series of articles on culture and the arts/cultural journalism or documentation, arts management, choreography in dance, library and information services program, production, individual recognition and cultural conservation. On the other hand, the Dangal ng Haraya is the lifetime achievement award.

The NCCA conferred its first Alab ng Haraya and Dangal ng Haraya awards on July 20, 2001. The Dangal ng Haraya awardees were Dr. Jesus Peralta for cultural conservation; Danny Dolor for cultural promotions; Felice Sta. Maria for cultural management; and E. Arsenio Manuel and Isagani R. Medina for cultural research. The next Alab ng Haraya and Dangal ng Haraya awards were given on Aug. 9, 2002, with Efren Abueg, Lourdes Saquing Dulawan, Purita Kalaw Ledesma, Augusto Villalon, Basilio Esteban Villaruz, and the Philippine Association of Printmakers receiving the Dangal ng Haraya. It would take five years before another set of winners were declared. On Feb. 23, 2007, the Dangal ng Haraya award was given to Dr. Rustica Carpio for writing and art criticism; Prof. Amelia Lapeña-Bonifacio for cultural management; and Dr. Samuel Tan for cultural and historical research. For the promotion of Philippine culture, the four were honored — Pura Santillan-Castrence, Corazon Iñigo, Gilda Cordero-Fernando and the Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit headed by singer-actress Mitch Valdez. A special Dangal ng Haraya was given to senator Edgardo J. Angara on for patronage of arts and culture on June 21, 2013.




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