OP ED OPINION-EDITORIAL | National Arts Month celebration channels creative energy toward nation-building


Imagination, innovation, and artistic expression are important elements in the Filipino identity. This year’s celebration of National Arts Month (NAM) highlights the significance of these elements, channeling creative energy toward nation building.  This observance was initiated by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 683 issued in 1991.


With month-long activities scheduled from Feb. 23 to March 21, prepared under the theme, “Ani ng Sining, Bayang Malikhain,” (Harvest of the Arts, A Creative Nation) the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), “aims to outline the notion that the bountiful harvest of a Filipino creative nation is derived from collective human imagination, not just individual aspirations.”


“Bayang Malikhain signifies a Filipino society that places a high value on imagination, innovation, and artistic expression as integral components of our identity and progress,” the NCCA said.

The NCCA said this year’s NAM “aspires to channel the creative energies of artists toward nation-building, synergizing the arts into the lives of diverse populations and communities, and stimulating critical discourse, awareness, and appreciation of various arts through different emerging platforms.” One of the highlights will be Sayaw Pinoy 2024: Dance for Healing and Peace which includes a National Tiktok dance challenge to popularize the NAM festival song.


Sayaw Pinoy, founded by its artistic director, Dr. Shirley Halili-Cruz, is a touring dance concert and the longest-running flagship project of the NAM. Under the Architecture and Allied Arts, there will be a series of seminars on the theme – Saan Ka Lulugar (SKL) 2024: Resiliency in the Built and Designed Environment. This year, the seminars are designed to highlight the youth’s role in shaping the nation’s future and their significance in community building.

“Rooted in Filipino values, SKL 2024 intends to encourage the youth to become innovators and visionaries, shaping them into Filipino architects, environmental planners, interior designers, and landscape architects.” The topic is timely, it will explore resilience in planning, designing, and creating the built environment.


The kickoff event will be held on Feb. 23 at Rizal High School in Pasig City with a variety of art activities featuring performances, workshops, and lectures designed to promote Filipino artistic creations.

The diversity of Filipino creativity will be showcased through art fairs, dance, music, literary and theater performances, Architecture and allied arts, and visual arts.

At the culmination of the NAM celebration, outstanding artists in nine categories will be honored with the Ani ng Dangal Awards (Harvest of Honors Awards), to inspire the young to bring their art form to influence the next generation of artists.


The celebration of a special month declared for art should not be taken as a “spectator event” where artists and viewers sit on separate sides of the venues whether these are the exhibit areas, stage or lecture rooms. Allow the art form – a painting, poem, music, play – to affect you. Art appreciation stokes imagination and creative energy. In this sense, art could transform our lives. As an artist observed, “When we connect with art we are ultimately connecting with our inner selves.”

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