The New Philippine National Artists 2018 have finally announced! And seven remarkable artists were honored for their exceptional contributions to Philippine arts and culture.


President Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed the latest batch of the New Philippine National Artists (2018) at the Malacañang Palace on Wednesday, October 24.


Seven giants of the Philippine arts and culture were acknowledged and honored for their works in the visual arts, theater, music, architecture, literature, and cinema. And we have all of them, plus your reactions, right here!



1. National Artist for Visual Arts

Larry Alcala

The National Artist for Visual Arts is editorial cartoonist and illustrator Larry Alcala.


Through his works, he has shown the unique trait of the Filipinos—which is to laugh despite obstacles and difficulties. Alcala created hundreds of characters, 20 comic strips, six movies, and two murals in the 56 years he dedicated to cartooning.


And here are some of your reactions to his recognition as one of the new Philippines National Artists for 2018.


Did someone order a shot of nostalgia?

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I have fond childhood memories from the 1980's laying in my grandparents' bed with my cousins and having a contest on who could find first the hidden Larry Alcala in the Slice of Life" section in the Sunday newspaper. When I started collecting art, I wanted to own a Slice of Life original so badly but they were (and still are) almost impossible to find in the open market. In 2011, I sent a longshot email to a possible lead on acquiring a piece. The email reply came four years later on 2015 where I was notified of a few pieces that were available. I was shaking nervous just reading that email from my mobile phone. Since that was my wedding year, I could only afford one piece (I wish I got more!). Among all those offered, I chose this – Sidewalk Bistos because of how it depicts Filipino life with so much details: from passengers of a luxury car, jeepney, bicycle, and motorcycle all eating street food; to over 70 characters in the photo each with his/her own distinct expression; to the different food sellers from simple huts with patched-up roofs, food trucks, push-carts, makeshift tents, and fancy restaurants – it is all unbelievable how the master could put up so many details in one piece. My wife, @nericrystal, knew nothing about Slice of Life or Larry Alcala because she wasn't born yet when those were published. But she'd always tell me that if I die, she will sell my entire art collection except for this Larry Alcala piece because she likes it. The now-defunct Rogue Magazine also liked this piece enough to feature it in their October 2016 issue. Today, President Duterte proclaimed Larry Alcala as a National Artist for Visual Arts – a truly well-deserved honor because of his depictions of and contributions to Filipino culture. The rule I live by in art is simple: "Never buy for investment's sake, but buy because you enjoy looking at it." Up to this day, I still really enjoy looking at it so the value or national artist citation is of no consequence to me since this is a keeper. #larryalcala

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Congratulations, indeed!


Alcala was known for his works ‘Spice of Life,’ ‘Mang Ambo,’ and ‘Kalabog en Bosyo.’ Despite his unfortunate passing on the year 2002, Larry Alcala’s works continue to be loved and appreciated by the Filipino masses.


2. National Artist for Theater

Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio

Coined as the “Grande Dame of Southeast Asian Children’s Theater” and “Grand Lady of Philippine Puppet Theater,” Amelia Lapeña Bonifacio was the chairperson of the University of the Philippines’ Creative Writing Program.


And this talented lady also founded a children’s theater and puppetry troupe based in the said university, called Teatrong Mulat ng Pilipinas.


So its no wonder that you guys would be this proud of her!


Let’s go ladies!


Such inspirations, these new National Artists!


Bonifacio was the only female artist who was given the Philippine National Artist title for for this batch. And she was known for her works in writing full-length plays such as ‘Abadeja: Ang Ating Sinderela,’ ‘Papet Pasyon,’ and ‘Sita & Rama: Papet Ramayana.’



3. National Artist for Music

Ryan Cayabyab

The very well-known music composer Ryan Cayabyab got the Philippine National Artist for Music title.


Known as Mr. C, he composed numerous musical scores for award-winning films, operas, musicals, and more. He also continues to teach music, and even inspired a song from Cheenee Gonzalez.


You guys even got a selfie with him!



And you even posted some throwback photos with him to congratulate the guy!

Ryan Cayabyab is definitely a force in the original Philippine music. His compositions ‘Da Coconut Nut,’ ‘Iduyan Mo,’ and ‘Mamang Kutsero’ are only three of his many amazing compositions.


Yep, Da Coconut Nut sang by these guys? That was by Mr. Ryan Cayabyab.



4. National Artist for Architecture

Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa

Francisco ‘Bobby’ Mañosa’s approaches are modern interpretations of Philippine architectural design and use of indigenous materials. His style and take has led him to become well-known and respected locally and internationally.


Much love!


Aww! Well-deserved, indeed.


This architect is famous for his work on the Coconut Palace, Amanpulo Resort in Palawan, Pearl Farm in Samal Island, Shangri-La Hotel in Mactan, and the San Miguel building in Mandaluyong.



5-6. National Artist for Literature

In this batch, two big literary giants were able to claim the title for the Philippine National Artist for Literature, Resil Mojares and Ramon Muzones.


5. Resil Mojares

Cebuano Resil Mojares has won several National Book Awards from the Manila Critics Circle. Mojares founded the Cebuano Studies Center, a library and research center dedicated to the Cebu culture and history.


Here’s some praise from Leloy Claudio!


And fellow-Cebuana Ms. Chai Fonacier


He was a multi-awarded writer, historian, and literary critic. Two of Resil Mojares’ published works are ‘House of Memory: Essays’ and ‘Waiting for Mariang Makiling: Essays in Philippine Cultural History.’



6. Ramon Muzones

Distinguished for his outstanding works on West Visayan fiction and because of his intense take on cultivating art form, Muzones receieved the Gawad CCP award para sa Sining in 1989.


Hiligaynon reprezeeeent!


Tiyo Ramon, we stan!


Even with his disheartening passing in the year 1992, the Filipinos masses continue to feel the impact of his works such especially his Hiligaynon novel “Margosatubig: ‘The Story of Salagunting’ and ‘Shri-Bishaya’.”



7. National Artist for Cinema

Kidlat Tahimik

Another well-deserving national artist who was chosen ’cause of his take in undermining colonial narratives that tell epic and localized truths.


Kidlat Tahimik’s real name is Eric de Guia, and the Filipino masses calls him the Father of Independent Philippine Cinema. He received the University of the Philippines’ highest award recognizing achievements in media—the Gawad Plaridel Award.


Go Direk!


Yep the #FatherofPhilippineIndependentCinema, he is!


Kidlat Tahimik inspired a lot of aspiring filmmakers. And not only that, Tahimik was able to awaken as well the sense of nationalism amongst the Filipinos through his film ‘Perfumed Nightmare’ that won the International Critics Award at the Berlin Film Festival. Kidlat Tahimik’s other outstanding films are ‘Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III’ and ‘Turumba.’



How about you guys? Do you know the works of these New Philippine National Artists? Did their works touched you just like it did with the people above who expressed their pride for these guys? Tell us in the comment section below! Or better yet, send us a message on our Facebook and Twitter @UDoUPh. We would love to know what you think of these artists.