by: Robert Dela Peña and Genevieve Balance Kupang

In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals) and the National Cultural Heritage Act (RA 10066), Baguio Central University Senior High School students are showcasing artworks that emphasize the role of education in fostering cultural appreciation and understanding. These student projects embody SDG 4 by using education to promote cultural awareness. Furthermore, SDG 11 is reflected in the way these artworks highlight indigenous traditions, contributing to a sense of place and cultural identity within their communities. The collaborative nature of these projects from the different strands of the Senior High School (SHS) also mirrors SDG 17, underscoring the critical role of partnerships in achieving sustainable development goals.

Some of their artworks have already been purchased by buyers and art enthusiasts, including faculty and staff from other colleges, while others have been prominently displayed at the BCU main building. This reception underscores the impact and reach of their initiatives beyond the school community, further promoting cultural dialogue, appreciation, and entrepreneurial spirit among the SHS students.

Philippine legislation, particularly Republic Act No. 10066 (National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009), emphasizes the importance of safeguarding and promoting Philippine cultural heritage, aligning seamlessly with the students’ efforts to celebrate indigenous cultures through their art. Additionally, Executive Order No. 250 (Section 17, Indigenous Cultural Communities/Indigenous Peoples) recognizes and supports the rights and welfare of indigenous communities, resonating with the article’s focus on indigenous artistry. These legislative frameworks provide robust support for the cultural and educational initiatives undertaken by the students.

Felipe De Leon, former chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), championed the concept of “cultural democracy,” advocating for broad access to and active participation in cultural activities. The student artworks at Baguio Central University SHS embody this concept by celebrating and sharing indigenous cultures with a broader audience. By doing so, these artworks not only promote cultural understanding but also engage the public worldwide in the preservation and perpetuation of cultural heritage, echoing De Leon’s vision of cultural democracy.

Baguio Central University SHS Showcase of Visual Arts

In a colorful and vibrant showcase of talent and tradition, Baguio Central University students from various strands – HUMSS, STEM, ABM and TVL ICT & HE have come together to create stunning art pieces that pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of different indigenous groups in the Philippines.

From the intricate weaving patterns of the T’boli Dream Weaver to the lively celebrations of the Kaamulan Festival in Bukidnon, each artwork tells a story of identity, resilience, and artistic prowess.

Led by Harriet Lee Duday, Joana May Malucay, and Mitchie Wabe, this group honors the legacy of Lang Dulay, the renowned T’boli Dream Weaver. Their artwork beautifully captures the essence of T’boli weaving, with Lang Dulay’s portrait at the center surrounded by the intricate patterns she mastered. Flanking her are representations of people from other tribes who admire and respect her craftsmanship, symbolizing the unity and appreciation of indigenous artistry.

Essence of Ifugao: A Canvass of Culture.

Charisse Quimson, Annabelle Lansangan, and Krishna Galpao present a multi-dimensional exploration of Ifugao culture through their interactive art piece. Their mask-shaped artwork houses separate rooms dedicated to different art forms, including music, textiles, masks, cinema, painting, pottery, and architecture. Each room highlights the unique characteristics and significance of these art forms in Ifugao tradition, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in the diverse cultural landscape of the region.


Matago-Tago Tako Am-in (Traditions in Making).

Marion Nicole Balmores, Clesia Ann Marie Marcial, and Jesse Magalgalit showcase the vibrant traditions of Benguet through their portrayal of the Kanyaw (Cañao) dance and the region’s rich agricultural heritage. Their artwork captures the essence of Benguet’s cultural practices, from animal sacrifice rituals to the proud display of locally-grown produce. The inclusion of Benguet’s famous weaving patterns further emphasizes the intricate tapestry of traditions that defines the region’s identity



Benguet’s Pride.

Juan Miguel Antonio, Shira Mae Acosta, and Rich Sacwog pay tribute to the notable individuals who have left an indelible mark of Benguet’s history and culture. Through their artwork, they celebrate the achievements and contributions of these unsung heroes, ensuring that their legacy continues to inspire future generations.


Ripe Land of Binukid.

Hanie Jane Anabo, Christian Jhake Navarro, and Angelo Mar showcase the vibrant culture of the Bukidnon people through their stunning soil paintings and homage to Miss Salima Saway, a renowned artist in the region. Their artwork reflects the spirit of the Kaaluman festival, a gathering of Bukidnon tribespeople to celebrate their heritage and traditions. The sun-like image symbolizes the community’s vibrant energy, while the diverse colors represent the multitude of beliefs and values that unite them.


Here is a gallery of the works of art done by the students to promote cultural awareness, appreciation and understanding:

In conclusion, these collaborative artworks serve as a testament to the power of creativity and cultural appreciation. By coming together across disciplines, these BCU SHS students have not only celebrated the diverse indigenous cultures of the Philippines but also highlighted the importance of preserving and promoting these traditions for future generations. Through their art, they have woven a tapestry of stories that resonate with pride, respect, and admiration for the cultural heritage that defines the Filipino identity.
#SDG4 #SDG11 #SDG17 #CulturalHeritage #IndigenousArt #CulturalDemocracy #EducationForAll #ArtForChange #PhilippineCulture #SustainableDevelopment