Safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in the Philippines

Authored by: Jason Vitorillo , Maria Sharon Mapa Arriola

Routledge Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in Asia

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138959927
eBook ISBN: 9781315660509
Adobe ISBN:


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The Philippines is a culturally diverse country having more than a hundred ethno-linguistic groups. The number of indigenous people in the Philippines is estimated to be 17 million (UNDP 2010). Thirty-one percent of this population is concentrated in Northern Luzon (Cordillera Administrative Region) and 61 percent in Mindanao, Southern Philippines. Intangible cultural heritage in the Philippines is shaped significantly by the country’s environment as an archipelago, as well as by elements both ‘human’ and ‘natural’ including the 171 living languages from the various ethnicities (Flores 2010). Republic Act 8371, commonly known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Acts (IPRA), of 1997 recognizes the rights of indigenous people to manage their own ancestral domain, and mandates the government to recognize, protect, promote, and fulfil the rights of indigenous people.

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