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Marcos, Lucilla L. , Introduction to Humanities, Visual and

Performing Arts. 2006
Bascara, Linda R. et. al., Humanities and the Digital Art, Rex
Bookstore Inc. 2007

The Sarimanok


Philippines Mother and


Development of
Visual Arts in the
In the Philippines, painting is
compared to that of its counterpart
Impierno ca. 1850
in the pacific region. By nature,
Filipinos are imaginative and creative but whatever artifacts
available were eventually lost to oblivion because of two major
Nagtatanim ng Palay
factors; the first is that primitive art were made to last for a
very short life span. Maybe because of the medium used such as leaves and bark of trees which
could not withstand the harsh weather, and second is the coming of the Spanish colonizers left
them with no choice but to give up their way of life and accept the culture of the Spaniards.
Ethnic Art- This means native or indigenous Philippine design. This kind of art is influenced by
our southeast-asian neighbors. The Ethnic art has curvilinear and linear patterns or design. This
can also be traced from the primitive designs as demonstrated in Philippine Pre-historic pottery
used as surface decorations by way of painting or engraving.
Folk Art- It means Peoples craft as well as handicrafts. This is basically
made by the hands of the common people where the materials are crafted
together that the process itself is also an art form. The quality and style of
this products reflect the way of life of the makers.
Common Folk Art Motifs
1. The Serpent Demon of the Naga. The Naga design is said to be
Sanskrit in origin. This art has a counterpart in Indonesia as dragons or
mythical serpents. The Naga has the form of an elaborate mythical serpent
with a vigorous S-curve and numerous curvilinear motifs to suggest its


2.The Sarimanok. A cultural symbol of Mindanao, and is highly regarded throughout the
country, it was influenced by Indonesea and Malaysia and is said to have originated from the
middle east. It is depicted as a fowl with colorful wings and feathered tail, holding a fish on its
beak or talons. It is said to be a symbol of good fortune.
Tattoo Art. Tattooing was very prevalent among the early Filipinos specially among the people in
Central Visayas. Aside from being used for beautification, tattoo is also a symbol of rank, and is
believed to have magical properties. The practice has become very common that when the
Spaniards arrived they called these people as Pintados .
Modern Influence. The Spanish friars introduced Western painting in the Philippines to artisans
who learned to copy on two-dimensional form from the religious icons that the friars brought

from Spain,. For the first centuries of Spanish colonization, painting was limited to religious icons.
Portraits of saints and of the Holy Family became a familiar sight in churches. Other subject
matters include the passion of Christ, the Via Crucis, the crucifixion, portrayal of heaven,
purgatory and hell.
In the church in Paete, Laguna Josef Luciano Dans (1805- ca. 1870), probably one of the earliest
recorded painters in Philippine art history painted the Langit, Lupa at Impierno ca. 1850
(Heaven, Earth and Hell), a three-level painting which shows the Holy Trinity, Mary the Mother of
Christ, saints, the Seven Blessed Sacraments and a macabre depiction of Hell. During the early
part of the Spanish occupation, painting was exclusively for the churches and for religious
purposes. Occasionally, it was also used for propaganda. Secular subject matter in painting only
increased during the 19th century.
Several Filipino
abroad. Among
artists when they
won gold medal.
being dragged
War II, the Neonotable members

painters had the chance to study and work

them were Juan Novicio Luna and Felix
Hidalgo who became the first international Filipino
won the gold and silver medals in the 1884
Exposition. Lunas academic painting Spoliarium
It showed the dead and dying Roman Gladiators
into the basement of the Coliseum. After World
Realist school of painting emerged, with such
as Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala and

Modern Filipino


popularly known
mula sa Liceo de
he earned a
1981) was a
shapes, and

Amorsolo (May 30, 1892 April 24, 1972) He is

for his craftsmanship and mastery in the use of
Ipinanganak sa , siya na nakuha ng isang degree
Manila Art School sa 1909. Born in Paco, Manila ,
degree from the Liceo de Manila Art School in
Vicente Manansa (January 22, 1910 - August 22,
Philippine cubist painter and illustrator. He
transparent cubism , wherein the "delicate tones,
patterns of figure and environment are

Pottery. Among
design and
is evidence of
ancient times.
two men rowing
in an afterlife
water. Around its
dots. Extant
variety of shapes
designs were
Later, pottery
examples of
the tapayan for
pottery continues
traditions. The
which double as
found in pairs to
motifs are also
posts, as well as
spoons. In

Tausog of

Bonifacio Monument

our most ancient arts is pottery, which combines

function. The Manunggul Jar excavated in Palawan
the high artistic level which the art attained in an
This large burial jar has a cover which features
a boat, suggesting the belief of the early Filipinos
that one reaches after crossing a mythical body of
body is an incised geometric pattern of lines and
examples of early Philippine pottery show a wide
and decorative techniques, such an incision,
openwork and impression by rope and mat. Their
usually geometric with stylized nature motifs.
became more and more functional, principal
which are the palayok for cooking, the banga and
storing liquids. In the Ilocos,
the making of burnay
as a lively tradition.
Many parts of the country have lively woodcarving
Cordillera groups carve anito figures called bulol
ancestral spirits and granary gods. They are often
signify the value of fertility. Human and animal
integrated into parts of houses such as door
household objects such as bowls, forks and

Southern Philippines, the Maranao and the

Mindanao are known for their okir-a-datu,
curvilinear designs and motifs applied to

woodcarving. The principal okir designs are the sarimanok, the naga and the pako
rabong. The sarimanok carved in wood, simply varnished or painted in many colors (it is
also executed in brass).. The pako rabong is a stylized growing fern with a broad base
gracefully tapering upwards. Spanish Influence
Modern Sculptures. Of all the new art forms introduced, the Filipinos took to sculpture from the
Spanish instantly. The carving of anito was transformed into sculpture of the saints. These santos
were used primarily for the church altars and retablos. It also replaced the anitos in the altars of
the natives homes. The earliest known sculptor in the Philippines is the 17th century sacristan,
sculptor and silversmith Juan de los Santos (ca. 1590 ca. 1660) of San Pablo, Laguna. A few of
his extant works may be found at the San Agustin Convent museum.
Filipino sculptors came to be known in the middle of the 19 th century. Classical Philippine
sculpture reached its peak in the works of Guillermo Tolentino (1890-1976). His best known
masterpiece is the Bonifacio Monument, which is a group sculpture composed of numerous
figures massed around a central obelisk. The principal figure is Andres Bonifacio, leader of the
revolution against Spain in 1896. Napoleon Abueva (born 1930), one of Tolentino's pupils, is one
of the pioneering modernists in sculpture. He used various media. Abueva's most famous work is
Fredesvinda , which was included in the First ASEAN Sculpture Symposium held in Fort Canning
Hill, Singapore, from March 27 to April 26, 1981 shows the vitality of primitive forms.

Apayao House

National Museum . est, 1901

Barasoain Church. Est. 1630

Ancient Filipinos lived in big settlements along sheltered bays,

coastal areas, and mouths of rivers. Interior settlements were
established at the headwaters and banks of rivers and their
tributaries. The houses were usually constructed side by side along
the river banks or seashores.
Philippine architecture responds to the climate. Although there are
many variations, generally the roof of the first Philippine houses,
nipa huts, or bahay kubo, were high pitched and usually open
gabled to allow for ventilation. The steeply sloping pitch also
protected from the wind and rain in the typhoon season.These
houses were elevated three to four meters of the ground,
supported by wood or bamboo. The structure was usually fourwalled with tukod windows. The Bagobos and Kalingas people used
this type of house for protection from enemies and wild animals on
the ground. In the southern islands of the Philippines archipelago,
the Moros of Mindanao had distinct architecture of their own. It
was brought with them along with the Muslim religion.
Western Influence in the Philippines

Golden Empire Tower,


Spanish Period. This period refers to the religious and civil buildings erected with the style
influenced from South America and Spain. Examples of these are the Catholic Churches and the
famous town of Vigan.
American Period. Under the
many secular built such as the
National Post Office Buildings.
the neo-classical style of American
Post-Modern. The period of
There is an extensive use of steel
the fast developing urban
designs that could cope with the

Bungalow House

American Occupation,
National Museum and the
These structures reflect
imported architecture.
and glass which reflect
community. New building
weather is continually