Miriam: Wang-od Oggay and Ligaya Amilbangsa, national living treasures
If Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago had her way, noted Igorot tattoo artist Wang-od Oggay and traditional dance advocate Ligaya Fernando Amilbangsa should be considered "national living treasures."
“The admirable contributions of these two women cannot go unnoticed. In an era where distractions abound thanks to information technology, they successfully raise awareness on traditional art forms that are otherwise dying,” said the senator.
She filed Senate Resolution 1602, expressing the sense of the Senate to nominate Wang-Od and Amilbangsa for the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasures Award), which is "conferred on Filipinos who are at the forefront of the practice, preservation, and promotion of the nation’s traditional folk arts," according to the official government portal, www.gov.ph.
Republic Act 7355 provides the framework for their recognition, and provides for an initial grant of P100,000, as well as a monthly provision of P10,000 for life, in addition to a plaque or medal.
13 recipients have been given the Gawad sa Manlilikha sa Bayan, including Tboli princess Lang Dulay, for producing intricately patterned T’nalak cloth from abaca; Iloilo epic chanter Frederico Caballero, and artist and poet Ginaw Bilog from Oriental Mindoro. – with a report from Lou Gepuela/Rappler.com