National Arts Center


Naitonal Arts Center marker

"Here in this mountain retreat, Ferdinand E. Marcos sought sanctuary and solitude as a young man. In the midst of the legendary beauty of the forest of Mt. Makiling, the young Ferdinand, writer, scholar, and dreamer, yearned for a people reborn to greatness and envisioned a society sensitive, creative and humane, worthy of the heritage of the Filipino people.

Years later his wife Imelda built around this rock the National Arts Center of the Philippines in celebration of the vision of the young Ferdinand and as a fitting tribute to the ultimate dreamer: the Artist, the progenitor of civilization.

On the seventh day of April in the year nineteen hundred and seventy-six, the National Arts Center  of the Philippines was formally dedicated to the pursuit of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful."

The National Arts Center (NAC) situated in Mt. Makiling, Los Baños, Laguna is a center for aspiring young artists. The Philippine High School for the Arts, a boarding school for artistically gifted Filipino secondary school students, is located here.

The NAC's various facilitites primarily serve as educational resources for PHSA students. These facilities include cottages that serve as classrooms and dormitories. Other cottages may be rented out to guests for conferences/workshops, retreats, conventions, or family gatherings (The Executive House and Marvilla Cottages). The Clubhouse (Bulwagang Sarimanok) is typically used for wedding receptions and seminars.

The NAC Open Air Theater (Tanghalang Maria Makiling) is a popular attraction at the NAC. This red-roofed structure (without walls) is visible from the nearby towns of Laguna.

NAC Open Air Theater

This is where performances by PHSA students are held, but performances/concerts by other artists may also be held here. It has a seating capacity of 1,800 persons including the concrete bleachers set outside the theater.

concrete bleachers at NAC

The NAC serves as the lookout point to Laguna de Bay. The tourists and guests who come to the NAC are treated to the spectacular view of Laguna Lake, Talim Island, Crocodile Lake (a lake within a lake), and the surrounding towns of Laguna. Viewing these sights makes you feel like you're on top of the world! It is an exhilirating experience that you must try.

Laguna Lake

On the way up to NAC, you will pass by St. Marc's Chapel. It is a chapel without any walls; set against a forest backdrop, it is an ideal place for communing with God and nature. The chapel's cross was designed by National Artist Leandro Locsin, which features the outline of a crucified Christ from hollowed out cross. Garden weddings are usually held here as it provides the perfect background and atmosphere to a dream wedding.

St. Marc's Chapel

How to get to National Arts Center
If you are coming from Manila, drive through South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and take Calmaba exit. Go to UP Los Baños, pass by the Faculty Village and Kanluran Drive, and take the road going to Jamboree Site. On your left side you will see the huge stone arc of the Boy Scouts of the Philipines; go through this entrance and pay entrance fee to the guard. A road to your right leads to the NAC.

Entrance fee is PhP 30 per vehicle.
The National Arts Center is under the jurisdiction of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Inquiries and reservations should be coursed through the CCP Main Office at Roxas Blvd. Manila:

Theater Operations Department
Cultural Center of the Philippines
Tel Nos. 832-1125 loc. 1404 - 1406 / 832-3704 / 832-3678
Email: theater@culturalcenter.gov.ph

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