Press Release
June 22, 2013


Senator Edgardo J. Angara was honored last night by the different cultural agencies of the country for his invaluable contributions to the Philippine Arts and Culture sector. Angara was conferred by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) with the 2013Dangal ng Haraya award as a Patron of the Arts and Culture (Tagapagtaguyod ng Sining at Kultura).

The prestigious Dangal ng Haraya is the top distinction awarded by the NCCA to institutions or individuals with outstanding achievements that have made significant impact to the country's culture and arts.

The citation for Angara reads, "He has drawn upon his expertise, influence and stature to bring to light and attention one of the most neglected-but most important-fields in Philippine governance and society, creating a vital legacy that present and future generations of Filipinos will benefit from and look up to.

For all these things, we are indebted to Senator Edgardo J. Angara, who is the foremost proponent in the uplifting of the Filipino spirit and champion in the forging of national identity through the nurturing of creativity, proving to be an ally and hero of arts and culture in legislation." Angara was recognized for authoring the laws establishing the NCCA and other cultural bodies such as the National Museum and the Komisyon ng Wikang Filipino (KWF).

He was also credited for establishing the Gawad Manililikha ng Bayan or the National Living Treasures Award, which is given to outstanding traditional folk artists.

Other pieces of landmark legislation in the arts and culture were mentioned as well, such as the observation of the Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day every 30th of June and the National Cultural Heritage Act, which established a policy framework for the classification and protection of national treasures.

In addition to the NCCA, the KWF and National Museum, leaders from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), the National Library, and the National Archives each presented Angara with tokens of appreciation. In his short response, Angara said he was truly honored to have been able to work with brilliant and talented individuals, especially those from the arts and culture sector.

He explained how he witnessed much of the Philippines' turbulent history during the past decades, especially when government needed to revive a strong sense of nationhood and social cohesion. The outgoing lawmaker added, "My life's work in the preservation of our heritage and the promotion of Filipino culture and arts is perhaps about anchoring our 'collective imaginations,' our notions of nationhood, on things we can see, touch, or hear such as with pieces of art, songs and stories."

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