Message of Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda Virtual Launch Manlilikha ng Bayan Gallery/ National Museum of the Philippines 28 May 2021/ 2:00 p.m.

May 31, 2021

To our Manlilikha ng Bayan, partners, cultural communities, and indigenous groups, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!


As we conclude the celebration of the National Heritage Month, the National Museum of the Philippines, together with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and my Office, continues to honor the sixteen recipients of Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan from 1993 to 2016, through the upgraded Manlilikha ng Bayan or National Living Treasure Hall at the National Museum of Anthropology.


A Manlilikha ng Bayan section was part of the Kinahinatnan Gallery at the Museum of the Filipino People (now called the National Museum of Anthropology) in 2012. This master plan was concluded in 2014, and the Kinahinatnan Gallery was dismantled to give way to new exhibitions. Among the plans was a permanent gallery dedicated to the National Living Treasures, which was eventually inaugurated in May 2016, featuring the thirteen Manlilikha ng Bayan from 1993 to 2012. With the conferment of three new Manlilikha ng Bayan from Mindanao in 2016, the GAMABA Hall was enhanced and upgraded this year to feature the lives and works of Estelita Tumandan Bantilan of Sarangani, Yabing Masalon Dulo of South Cotabato and Ambalang Ausalin of Basilan.


Our National Living Treasures are proof of the rich and diverse culture and traditions of our different local communities and indigenous peoples. They are the finest traditional artists in the country who hope to pass on their skills and talent to the younger generation, for the preservation of their history, art, culture and tradition. Our sincerest gratitude to our Living Treasures, and their families for their creativity and their gifts to the nation that are presented in the GAMABA Hall.  Thank you as well as to the NCCA and the GAMABA Committee, who facilitated the turnover of materials, video documentation and works of our GAMABAs. Thank you also to Atty. Emil Marañon III, for gifting us with another treasure, a t’nalak textile believed to be one of the last textiles woven by Manlilikha ng Bayan Lang Dulay. In addition, we wish to express our appreciation to Manlilikha ng Bayan Magdalena Gamayo for the abel she gave during her 95th birthday in 2019. Last but not the least, thank you to all those who have made this project possible, from our fellow members of indigenous groups, and to our colleagues in research and documentation.


Despite the pandemic, which has gripped our world for more than a year now, we are still making time and room for art, for culture. I hope that you can all visit this exhibition as soon as the National Museum of the Philippines opens its doors to the public again.


Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.