Cultural Center of the Philippines

The Cultural Center of the Philippines (or CCP) is located in Pasay City, the Philippines and was opened in 1969 to promote and preserve Filipino arts and culture, and to become a mecca of culture and the arts in Asia. Since its opening, it has showcased the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal Danish ballets, as well as contemporary American, French, German, and Philippine companies.

The inauguration of the CCP gave Philippine culture and the arts a home. The CCP was created by President Ferdinand Marcos in 1966 through Executive Order No. 30 with the purpose of promoting and preserving Filipino arts and culture. It was formally inaugurated on September 8, 1969, starting a three-month long inaugural festival opened by the musical Golden Salakot: Isang Dularawan, an epic portrayal of Panay Island, as its initial presentation. The Center's formal inauguration was attended by a number of international personalities, including California Governor and Mrs. Ronald Reagan, who were representing President Richard Nixon.


Since its establishment, the CCP has sought to embody its logo of katotohanan (truth), kagandahan (beauty) and kabutihan (goodness). The logo was designed by Carlos "Botong" Francisco, National Artist for Visual Arts. Derived from Filipino’s ancient writing script Alibata.

The best artists from all over the country and around the world have graced the CCP theaters and galleries, enthralling Filipinos for over thirty years. The CCP is presently attached to the Office of the President and is under the supervision of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts as stipulated in Executive Order No. 30.

The CCP showcases Filipino artistic achievements, encourages the creation of original works inspired by Filipino themes and tradition and helps makes the arts accessible to all sectors of Philippine Society. It also initiates and supports the establishment of regional or local cultural centers in cooperation with local groups and brings together its own resident artists and other artists from the various regions through the CCP Outreach Program.

The CCP also covers film and broadcast arts, as well as the literary and visual arts, encouraging the growth of aspiring artists in these fields through numerous workshops, seminars, anthologies, exhibits, symposia, as well as through competitions and awards.

The CCP's Cultural Exchange Program supports the growth and development of arts councils all over the country through workshops and seminars. In addition, the CCP also established ties with various international organizations such as the Association of Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Centers, the Conseil International des Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Arts Traditionnels, the World Dance Alliance, and the International Theatre Institute Through exchange programs with these groups, Filipinos are able to appreciate different cultures as well as witness performances of highly-acclaimed artists from all over the world.

While the Center aims to bring the culture and the arts to the Filipino masses, it is widely considered to be "imposing, unapproachable, and elitist. In this regard, the Manila Metropolitan Theater is being restored to provide an accessible culture and arts venue for the masses.

Performance Venues of the CCP

Tanghalang Pambansa (CCP Main Building)

Built on reclaimed land in Manila Bay, the Tanghalang Pambansa, more commonly known as the CCP Main Building or the Theatre of Performing Arts, was designed by leading Filipino architect and National Artist, Leandro V. Locsin. It houses four theaters, a museum of ethnographic exhibits and a changing exhibit of Philippine art or ethnography, galleries, and a library on Philippine art and culture. It also houses the administrative offices and facilities of the CCP.

In 2005, the Tanghalang Pambansa and the CCP Complex were refurbished ahead of the 112th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Manila, whose opening and closing ceremonies were to be held at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. During the refurbishment, the marble façade of the Tanghalang Pambansa was cleaned and the marble trim, which was installed during its refurbishment in the 1990s, was replaced with travertine imported from Italy. During this particular repair, the building's main ramp was closed to traffic.

The 2005 refurbishment also included the repair and upgrade of the Main Building's toilet facilities, the repair of its main fountain and lagoon, the installation of a new air-conditioning system, replacing the 36-year-old system which was installed in 1969, and the installation of new carpeting. The refurbishment also brought additional grounds lighting for the CCP Complex, upgraded interior roads, including one which enabled access to the Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard. The landscaping of the 88-hectare complex was also extensively re-done.

The Philippine International Convention Center, which is located in the CCP Complex and was opened in 1976 for the Manila Summit of the IMF-World Bank, was also extensively repaired and refurbished.

This costs of the refurbishment were shouldered by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the offices of Senators Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan, and Malabon-Navotas Congressman Ricardo Sandoval, the Department of Public Works and Highways, and the CCP.

Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater)

The Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (TNA) or the CCP Main Theater is named after Nicanor Abelardo who redefined the kundiman and elevated it to artistic heights through his compositions such as Nasaan Ka Irog?, Bituing Marikit, Magbalik Ka Hirang, Kundiman ng Luha, and Mutya ng Pasig. The theater has four levels: Orchestra, Boxes, Balcony I, and Balcony II, and is able to accommodate a total of 1,823 guests. Upon entering the orchestra section, guests are greeted by National Artist for Visual Arts Vicente Manansala's brass sculpture The Seven Arts. The theater has a split orchestra pit floor and is equipped to meet the requirements of large theatrical productions such as ballets, operas, symphonic concerts, and other musicals. It also features a house curtain tapestry patterned after the Genesis (Simula) painting of the late National Artist Hernando Ocampo.

Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino (Little Theater)

The Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, commonly known as the Little Theater, is named after the Filipino playwright and dramatist whose works at the turn of the 20th century, like Kahapon, Ngayon, at Bukas depict his desire to see Philippine independence from its colonizers. The Little Theater is a conventional proscenium stage, designed for drama, chamber music, solo recitals, lectures, and film screenings, with a capacity of 421 guests. The stage curtain is a tapestry made in Kyoto, Japan, based on the painting of Roberto Chabet, former director of the CCP Museum (Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino).

Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater)

The Tanghalang Huseng Batute or the Studio Theater is named after Jose Corazon de Jesus or Huseng Batute, one of his many pseudonyms . He was crowned "Hari ng Balagtasan" and among his literary works is the nationalist poem Sa Dakong Silangan (In the East). He also wrote the lyrics to various songs including Contancio de Guzman's Bayan Ko (My Country) and Nicanor Abelardo's Kundiman ng Luha (Kundiman of Tears). The venue named after him is designed for experimental production and has two levels; the upper level serves as a Gallery, the lower level as a Studio which features a variable stage. As such, audience capacity varies depending on the size of the stage or acting area. The lone dressing room, which can accommodate five persons at a time, is situated at the Lower Studio Level leading to the Buffeteria. The lobby of the theater is highlighted by a work of the Paete Wood Carvers after the painting of National Artist for the Visual Arts Carlos V. Francisco entitled Abuse of Spanish Authorities.

Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas (Folk Arts Theater)

The Tanghalang Francisco Balagtas, more commonly known by its original name of Folk Arts Theater, this covered proscenium amphitheater is where popular concerts are usually staged. It has a seating capacity of 8,458 in ten sections. The theater takes its name form Francisco Baltazar also known as Francisco Balagtas, revered as one of the country's greatest poets. Florante at Laura is one of his best known and most beloved works and his poetry Balagtasismo has shaped generations of Filipino poets. The popular debate in verse, balagtasan is also named after him.

The building was commissioned by First Lady Imelda Marcos in 1974 for the Miss Universe Pageant, which was to be held in Manila. The theater was built in seventy-seven days and was designed by Leandro V. Locsin.

Tanghalang Manuel Conde (Dream Theater)

The Tanghalang Manuel Conde, also known as the Audio Visual Room is named in honor of Manuel Conde, a leading figure in Philippine Cinema. Manuel Pabustan Urbano in real life, he directed Genghis Khan, the first Filipino film distributed worldwide by United Artists. He was best remembered for his Juan Tamad series in which he starred and directed. The venue is used for film and video screenings, lecture forums, seminars or as a mini-conference hall.

This venue has also been retrofitted with equipment with which to receive, and subsequently feature, satellite direct-to-home feeds of art and culture films and videos on the arts of the Philippines. The venue, also named Dream Theater, is part of the joint endeavor of the CCP and the Dream Broadcasting Service to promote art films in the Philippines.

The venue has a seating capacity of 100.

Exhibit Halls

The Tanghalang Pambansa Building of the CCP also houses a number of exhibit halls:

Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery)

The Bulwagang Juan Luna, or the Main Gallery, is named after one of the greatest Filipino artists and figures of the Philippine Revolution, Juan Luna, whose most famous work is the majestic Spolarium. The Gallery is used for large exhibitions and located at the third floor, a rectangular space, has white walls and a floor area of 440 sq. meters.

Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo (Small Gallery)

The Bulwagang Fernando Amorsolo, or the 'Small Gallery, on the fourth floor is an intimate space for individual exhibitions and installations. It is named after the first National Artist for Painting who immortalized the quality of Philippine sunlight in his evocative paintings of the Philippine countryside. Amorsolo popularized the image of the beautiful and modest Dalagang Filipina (Filipino maiden) and was the first to extensively portray traditional Filipino customs and manners, fiestas, and occupations, such as fishing and farming. Many of his historical works have graced textbooks and calendars, shaping the visual imagination of many generations of Filipino children. The Gallery is a rectangular space with white walls and two columns on each end.

Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco (Little Theater Lobby)

National Artist 'Carlos V. Francisco was among the first-generation modernists who, with Victorio C. Edades and Galo B. Ocampo, made up the pioneering triumvirate that led Philippine art to new directions. The Bulwagang Carlos V. Francisco is located at the Little Theater lobby, opposite the Luz mural. It is a wall space with strips, measureing 4.8m by 19.8m and is ideal for large-scale paintings or wall-mounted works.

Pasilyo Victorio Edades

Situated at the east end of the Fourth Floor, the Pasilyo Victorio Edades is a bracket-shaped space where the works of new talents are usually displayed. It is often used for exhibits of panoramic works, photographs, drawings, prints and works on paper. The hallway was named after National Artist for Painting Victorio Edades who pioneered Philippine modern art. The longest wall measures 2.4m high x 18.8m wide.

Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino

Along Balcony 1 on the Third Floor, the Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino is used for regional art works or for exhibits in line with cultural agreements. The hallway is named for National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino who created the Bonifacio Monument. It is a wall space with white panels, slightly convex and measures 2.4m high x 30.2m wide.

Pasilyo Vicente Manansala

Located at the Second Floor, the Pasilyo Vicente Manansala is similar in size and shape as the Pasilyo Guillermo Tolentino. The Gallery is named after National Artist and painter Vicente Manansala, a member of the Thirteen Moderns and Neo-Realists and who was at the forefront of the modernist movement in Philippine art.

National Arts Center

See National Arts Center

Satellite Venues of the CCP

In response to the need to widen its audience for the arts and to bring its programs closer to the people, the CCP has established a programmatic partnership with the Assumption University in Antipolo and De La Salle Santiago-Zobel School (DLSZ) in Alabang, Muntinlupa. As CCP’s Satellite Venues in the East and in the South, these institutions commit to benefit from the exchange of goodwill and assistance through move-over productions, performances and artistic training workshops. Eventually, the center hopes to establish another satellite venue in the Northern part of Metro Manila.

The Angelo King Center for the Performing Arts

De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School established the Angelo King Center for the Performing Arts in 2000 with the aim of supporting the holistic development of its students. The Center pushed the development of theatrical and musical talents on campus. Activities, which have been organized at the Center, have been facilitated by highly acclaimed organizations including the UP Theater Arts, Centerstage, and the Royal Academy of Dance.

The Center also has a Ps150 million theater equipped with state-of-the-art lights and sound facilities imported form Germany. Inaugurated in November 2000, the theater has a seating capacity of 1,052 with balcony and orchestra sections, a two-level lobby, an orchestra pit, four air-conditioned dressing rooms, costume cabinets, a docking area, sixteen fly battens, two motorized curtain systems (vertical and horizontal), and comfort rooms. This is the only theater of its kind in a high school campus and is the only one located in this part of Metro Manila.

The Assumpta Theater, Assumption Antipolo

The Assumpta Theater was constructed in 1999 and inaugurated in 2001 and is located on the campus of Assumption Antipolo. It is envisioned to be a major cultural seat in the eastern part of Metro Manila and to serve as a venue for cultural education and development not only of its students, faculty and parents but also for members of the outside communities and schools neighboring municipalities of the Rizal Province.

The Assumpta Theater is home to modern light and sound equipment, 17 manual fly battens, a manual curtain system, a spacious stage area, an orchestra pit, fully air-conditioned dressing rooms, a docking area, stage wings, three-level seating arrangements, a lobby, and comfort rooms. The house area can accommodate 2,001 guests.

Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino (CCP Museum)

The Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino, also the CCP Museum, is an integrated humanities museum that was established in 1988. It gathers together the works of Filipino traditional artists and preserves Filipino artistic traditions; studies and interprets these to provide a deeper understanding of Filipino national culture evolving with and for the people; and strengthens the people's awareness of the integral, dynamic role of creativity and artistic expression in national life and culture.

A permanent exhibit entitled Diwa: Buhay, Ritwal at Sining showcases significant Filipino artistic traditions and explores the development of Philippine art and aesthetics in the socio-cultural context.

Another important permanent exhibit is the CCP Collection of Traditional Asian Musical Instruments from the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, Thailand, China and South Korea.

The CCP Museum also presents special changing exhibitions, provides curatorial assistance, and organizes workshops on indigenous art forms.


Since 1972, the Cultural Center of the Philippines has administered the Order of the National Artists, whereby the Board of Trustees of the Center, in conjunction with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, submit a list of recomendees to the President of the Philippines, who, by Presidential Proclamation, proclaims such as members of the Order of National Artists

The Center has also been host to the annual formal Presentation Ceremonies of the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

The Cultural Center is home to the following groups and institutions:


Emily Abrera is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Center. The members are:

  • Benjamin H. Cervantes
  • Nestor O. Jardin
  • Atty. Lorna Kapunan
  • Dr. Jaime C. Laya
  • Martin Lopez
  • Teresita O. Luz
  • Ruperto S. Nicdao, Jr.
  • Zenaida R. Tantoco
  • Nestor U. Torre
  • Isabel Caro Wilson
  • Atty. Bel Derayunan

Its current President is Nestor O. Jardin while the Center's Artistic Director and Vice-President is Fernando C. Josef.

Rehabilitation and Expansion of the Cultural Center Complex

An ambitious expansion and rehabilitation of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex is being proposed as an answer to the Center's perceived isolation from the masses. The proposed plan will turn the center into a venue for culture and the arts as well as a magnet for commerce.

The proposed master plan divides the current 88-hectare Complex into 5 clusters. Cluster 1, tentatively named the Lucresia Reyes-Urtula Promenade, will feature an extension of the current Baywalk, retail shops, and restaurants. A visitor center, ferry terminal, and dock facilities will be built for visitors who will be coming in by sea or by yacht. This promenade will also feature a contemporary art museum.

Cluster 2, or the Art Sanctuary, will be a strip that is solely dedicated to the arts. The Tanghalang Pambansa will serve as its anchor, along with the proposed Performing Arts Theater, which will house an expanded library, archives, and a storage facility. This will then stretch out to a 3-hectare open-air venue called Freedom Park. It will also feature a bandstand that will be named after Lucio D. San Pedro, an open space that will be named after Levi Celerio, the Antonio Molina Conservatory, and the Production Design Center.

The Breezeway, or Cluster 3, is to be a mixed-use corridor that will link the Art Sanctuary to other performance and events venue. This area will include an 8,000-seater multi-purpose hall, a Nick Joaquin Garden, an Asian Music Gallery, the National Artists Museum, the Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino (CCP Museum), and two artists' centers to be named after Andrea Veneracion and Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero.

The Art Living Room, or Cluster 4, is envisioned to be a high-density, high-rise establishment that will house condominiums and other exhibit areas. It will also feature a public transport hub to bring the masses to the Center. It will be home to the Design Arts Museum, the Juan Nakpil Boulevard, Arturo Luz's Building as Sculpture, and Leonor Orosa Goquingco's Dancing Fountain.

Cluster 5, or Seaside, is to be a medium-density residential and shopping area and will be linked to the Gil Puyat Avenue extension.

The master plan is envisioned to be completed in 4 phases, from 2004 to 2014; five billion pesos will be needed for the plan's first five years, and another 8 billion for the plan's latter half.

On December 8, 2005, the Center announced the winners of its design contest. Three firms won for their concepts, Syndicated Architects, Manalang-Tayag-Ilano Architects, and JPA Buensalido Design. The concepts of each winner will then be presented to prospective investors and stakeholders for final approval.


See also

External links

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