Featuring a rich blend of elements from Malaysia, Spain, America and a whole host of other nations, the artistic culture of the Philippines is richly diverse. Many of the traditional tribes that can be found in remote areas of the country and on some of the smaller islands also have their own unique practices, that all fall into the melting pot that is the Philippines.
Artistic expression in the Philippines
The Filipino people are naturally very creative, and art forms an important part of the culture here. Many people seem to be able to pick up a brush almost at will and create stunning works of art, while other people are skilled at cooking, woodcarving and other skills such as weaving. Northern Luzon is full of fascinating tribes such as the Ifugao people who built the amazing rice terraces around Banaue around 3,000 years ago.
One of the best ways to discover the full range of artistic expression in the Philippines is during a festival, when people gather to share their skills and create colourful costumes as well as floats, special dishes and a whole host of other items.
There are countless art galleries to be found in the Philippines, and these are good places to discover the way that the artwork here has developed over the centuries. However, artwork in all forms can be found all over the country in various venues, from pieces that are proudly displayed in homes and businesses to those on market stalls and at the side of the street.
The oldest surviving written Filipino text was discovered near Laguna de Bay and has been preserved on copperplate. Dating back to around 900AD, this unique text is a record of payment of a debt using 856g of gold, and the language used resembles Old Javanese and Sanskrit.