top of page



His dedication and love for
the arts continues to shine
through as he leads the
National Commission for
Culture and the Arts.




Art is indeed like love,” National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso waxes poetic, talking about the role of art in society. “Parang musika at balagtasan, kailangan marinig mo. Parang visual arts, kailangan makita mo. ‘Pag hindi mo naramdaman ang art, hindi ka pwedeng baguhin or bigyan ng pagbabago (Like music and a verbal joust, which you have to hear. Like the visual arts, which you have to see. If you couldn’t feel art, it couldn’t change you or bring about change in the things around you].”

Lizaso, who also chairs the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), says art is not something that’s only taught verbally. “Kapag nakikita mo kasi ang sining, namumuo sa iyong kalooban ang kahulugan. Ang kahulugan ay uusbong, lalago at magiging pag-ibig (Because if you see art, its meaning will grow and flourish inside you, turning into love),” he tells LEAGUE.

After working in theater, film, and television for over 60 years, the man’s fervor and passion for the arts has not diminished.

He has been an actor, director, writer, producer, and cultural advocate. Now in his golden years, he continues to play a crucial role in the preservation, development, and promotion of arts and culture in the Philippines through the programs of NCCA and CCP.

Sining Sigla, CCP’s outreach program, is exactly what the name suggests, says Lizaso. Its goal is “to make the arts come alive, bring these outside the walls of the CCP and closer to the people.”

The program started prior to the pandemic, as an effort of the CCP to bring the productions to different provinces all over the country. But when the pandemic restrictions were implemented, bringing live performances to a halt and closing down entertainment venues, CCP needed to pivot. It shifted gears and went on to digital platforms, it’s battlecry summed up in the line: “Sarado ang gusali, tuloy ang sining
(The venue may be closed, but art goes on).”

One of CCP’s online programs included a jazz festival aptly dubbed “Jazz Stay at Home,” featuring Filipino jazz talents. A series of puppet shows directed by Xian Lim also showcased an adaptation of literary classics Ibong Adarna and Florante at Laura.

bottom of page