The making of One World progresses only as citizens of
all nations sense a shared pleasure in knowing one another. This is a human dimension,
more fundamental than the political and economic rivalries which now divide us. As
popular, non-verbal art forms, music and the dance are uniquely fitted for this purpose.
From the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines the BAYANIHAN FOLK ARTS CENTER has
distilled and designed a superior choreography with appropriate musical score and songs,
costumes, stage settings and lighting. Such technical proficiency has been matched by a
regimen of disciplined training for the largely amateur dancers and musicians. Management
of performances at home and tours abroad has been fully professional, yet with the
enthusiastic cooperation of sponsors, parents and patrons in the best bayanihan
(working together) tradition. Recognition won by the Philippine Bayanihan Dance Company in
capitals of Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas is the product of such sustained
enterprise by all.
Philippine Women's University began research on dances and related epics among ethnic
groups throughout the Islands more than 40 years ago. Ancient rituals and ceremonials of
Muslims and Pagans were recorded and their artifacts collected. Diverse customs and dances
of the Christian communities were studied and later filmed. Scholars and artists joined
talents to develop performances evocative of the best they had learned.
Beginning with their first appearance abroad at the Pakistani Folk Dance and Music
Festival late in 1954, the dancers and musicians from Philippine Women's University
enlarged their repertoire for presentation at the Brussels Universal Exposition of 1958.
Applauded and invited to perform before ever-growing audiences, the Bayanihan Company
prompted creation of the FOLK ARTS CENTER. Supported by both the Bayanihan Folk Arts
Association and Philippine Women's University, the CENTER's performers have become a
popular international institution, appearing at World's Fairs in Seattle and New York and
winning new understanding of the Philippines from Caracas to Tel Aviv and Canberra. By
example, they have helped stimulate other Philippine folk dance troupes and so broadened
participation by young people.
In an era when the search for a sense of national identity often runs counter to the need
for international acceptance of man's brotherhood, the BAYANIHAN FOLK ARTS CENTER has
shown that both can be well served, the one in complement to the other. For discovering in
each other's folk traditions the universals of joyfully working and celebrating together
brings to persons everywhere a fuller sense of kinship.
In electing the BAYANIHAN FOLK ARTS CENTER and its supporting entities to receive the 1965
Ramon Magsaysay Award for International Understanding, the Board of Trustees recognizes
their projection of a warm and artistic portrayal of the Filipino people to audiences on