Featured Filipino Artist: Fernando Amorsolo
Fernando Amorsolo became the first National Artist of the Philippines in 1972. He is often called the “Grand Old Man of Philippine Art.” He primarily painted Philippines landscapes and for his use of light. In particular, he developed a backlighting technique, intended to show off the Philippine sun. This “glow” often highlighted his subject. He often had people in the foreground who were smiling and happy. He painted and sketched more than 10,000 pieces in his lifetime.
Philippines Activities: Filipino Craft & Culture Activities for Kids: Pinoy Craft Activities
Featured Philippines Art Activity: Butuan Balangay Boat Replica
Balangay is a type of native wooden boat (bangka) and are the oldest wooden watercraft found in Southeast Asia. Woodcarving is one of the most important traditional arts in the Philippines, and it was especially used in boat-making. The balangay has only been found in the Philippines and the oldest ones have been carbon-dated to 320 A.D. and was found in Butuan City. Nine boats were found.
There is an annual Balanghai Festival of Butuan City to celebrate the balangay. It is even known as the national boat of the Philippines. You can make a model of your own!
- Air dry clay for younger children OR
- Soft soap and small whittling knife or pocketknife for older children (with supervision)
Watch the above video and learn about the balangay boats from Butuan. After learning about the boats, their importance to Filipino trade, and their lashed lug design, try to make a model of your own!
You can either form your boat out of modeling clay or you can take a small whittling knife and soft soap to try to carve your own!
Featured Philippines Art Activity: Homeland Landscape Painting with Light
Fernando Amorsolo loved to paint his homeland and feature beautiful landscapes. He especially featured light and used it to highlight beautiful aspects of the landscape.
Go outside – either in your backyard, to a park, or anywhere that is familiar to you and observe the light. Take your pencil or colored pencils and sketch what you see.
When you go back inside, fill in your landscape with paint, taking special care to add in aspects of light. Include how the light influenced your painting, and use light to highlight the most important subjects (people or things) in your painting.
Other Philippines Craft Activities for Kids
- Make a Filipino Christmas Parol Lantern (note that while this is very famous in the Philippines, it is a custom introduced by Spanish colonists)
- Rain and cloud craft
- Philippine Jeepney craft (one of the most popular methods of transport!)
- The modern yo-yo was invented by a Filipino immigrant to the United States. Try playing with one for yourself!