The Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) is now a designated National Cultural Treasure (NCT). It was announced on the PICC Facebook page Sept. 27 that the architectural icon has been awarded the prestigious title, along with works by National Artists Arturo R. Luz, Jose T. Joya, and Napoleon B. Abueva.
Section 3 of the Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act defines National Cultural Treasures as “unique object(s) found locally, possessing outstanding historical, cultural, artistic and/or scientific value which is highly significant to this country and nation.”
The PICC was inaugurated on Sept. 5, 1976 under the rule of former president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin. Aside from being the venue for important cultural and international events (as well as our graduations), the brutalist icon itself is a work of art that is representative of the era it was designed and built in.
The four artworks that were also awarded the distinction of NCT are all housed within the walls of the PICC. These works are “Grid” and “Anito” by Arturo R. Luz, “Ang Pagdiriwang” by Jose T. Joya, and the carved wooden furniture inside the PICC by Napoleon B. Abueva.
Acknowledging the history and cultural significance of the PICC and works from National Artists are important to the growth of the nation. Art is a reflection of the culture and the times that they were created in, but we must also contextualize these works of art in order to accurately and truthfully understand their meaning.