CCP Finally Launches Encyclopaedia of Philippine Art 2nd Edition

Arts & Culture

December 5, 2018 | BY Franz Sorilla IV

The Cultural Centre of the Philippines (CCP) unveiled last November 28 the latest update of its definitive guide to Philippine arts and culture—12 volumes, over 5000 entries, 3500 photos and illustrations, and put together by more than 500 scholars and experts.

"The CCP Encyclopaedia is a project guided by cultural nationalism—not of the Japanese-born era or the New Society variety—but the nationalism of a society where the voices of all cultural sectors are heard and their common goal read," CCP Encyclopaedia of Philippine Art's editor-in-chief Nicanor Tiongson said during the formal launch and ceremonial distribution of the said encyclopaedia to select schools and universities.

"This project is more than just a matter of producing a comprehensive collection of articles on Philippine arts, for as editors have set up criteria for inclusions of works and artists and curated data included in the previous edition, I realised that this is also a collection of entries that reflect the characteristics of the Filipino national community that we want to have, and in effect, imagining the existence through the encyclopaedia."

Tiongson further explained that as the project is grounded with an ideal Filipino society in mind, the CCP Encyclopaedia brings together all the cultural traditions of the country: indigenous, ethnolinguistic, and popular; is inclusive of all forms of artistic expressions, including electronic and media arts; rejects the notions of "fine art and low art" and "fine art and popular art"; is gender-sensitive; encompasses works created for all classes; is people-oriented as it defends the rights of the powerless majority; and lastly, is as dynamic as the artworks and the artists that create them.

Compared to its predecessor, the updated edition includes a volume for Broadcast Arts, digital media in the Visual Arts volume, as well as interesting discourses and essays on popular culture and the LGBTQ community. Over all, it consists of 12 sections—three volumes on Peoples of the Philippines, two volumes on Literature, and one volume for each of the following: Architecture, Visual Arts, Film, Music, Dance, Theater, and Broadcast Arts.

"If we concentrate exclusively—which we don't—to science and technology, where do we get our soul? What makes Filipinos 'Filipino'? It is in our art, in our culture, this is why we should never ever let go of it," Department of Education Secretary Leonor Briones said. CCP awarded first sets of copies to the Department of Education, Department of Budget Management, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and the University of the Philippines Diliman. select state schools and universities and other leading educational institutions to further promote the readership of the encyclopaedia.

"Although we still need to build more classrooms, chairs, smart blackboards, the CCP Encyclopaedia of Philippine Art needs to have its pride and place in the libraries. Our teachers, school administrators, should encourage not only reading these books but savouring it. The challenge is to see to it that these books will go beyond decorating the libraries but be sources of inspiration for all Filipinos—something they could use to create or build art on," Briones reiterated. 


Undoubtedly, the CCP Encyclopaedia is the most authoritative and comprehensive source of information on Philippine art and culture today. There are over 5,000 entries featuring essays on art history, forms and types of art, aspects of production, major works, biographies of artists, and profiles of organisations. Moreover, the entries are complemented by over 3,500 arrestingly beautiful photographs and illustrations. This herculean task was surpassed by more than 500 respected scholars, experts, researchers, and writers from leading universities and research institutions.

The first edition was published in 1994 but with the new edition's upcoming digital counterpart, the entries can now be easily updated to current data and also have audiovisual clips. The digital edition also allows classroom and individual use with its online and offline versions with organised content suitable for both settings. The complete set of the books is available now for puchase at Php 50,000.

For reservations and inquiries, contact Leila Vibal of the CCP Cultural Research and Development Division or Gemma Marco of the CCP Marketing department at 832-1125

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