Home Apo Whang-Od, not eligible for the national artist award

Apo Whang-Od, not eligible for the national artist award

apo whang od not eligible for the national artist award

MANILA, Philippines – Apo Whang-Od was not eligible to receive the national artist award according to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

Apo Whang-Od is the beloved and the popular tattoo artist from the Mountain Province and known as the oldest living mambabatok, the traditional way of tattooing in Kalinga.

Meanwhile, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) was established in 1972, the Order of National Artist (ONA) acknowledges Filipinos who made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts and letters.

According to NCCA Chairman Victorino Manalo, Whang-Od’s traditional tattoo craft doesn’t fit the qualifications stated in the guidelines for choosing a national artist.

Unang-una, ang artistic field ni Whang-Od ay hindi sa national artist papatak kundi sa GAMABA, Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan.” Victorino said. 

Pero nagkaroon na nang discussion tungkol dun, hindi na-award si Whang-Od,” Victorino added.

There are eight categories for the National Artist Award: Dance, Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film and Broadcast Arts, Architecture and Allied Arts, and Design.

The GAMABA also referred to as the National Living Treasures Award is an honor given to an individual or a group of artists recognized by the Philippine government for their contributions to the country’s cultural heritage.

Victorino added, “Pang-GAMABA talaga ang kanyang field. Pero nagkaroon na ng discussion tungkol sa kanya and nagkaroon ng desisyon na hindi siya bibigyan.”

The NCCA, in 2018, named Whang-Od as the recipient of the Dangal ng Haraya Award, an honor given to Filipino artists, cultural workers, historians, artistic or cultural groups, historical societies, institutions, foundations, and councils, for their achievements and impact on Philippine culture and arts.

She was also awarded with the HIYAS Award for Indigenous Art by the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in September 2022.

Whang-Od is currently in the running for the GAMABA, with deliberations by the committee still ongoing as of today.

Sources: (1), (2)

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