August 06, 2017

Outstanding Documentaries that Showcase Philippine Culture

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  • The Philippines is a diverse country that traces its roots from various cultural influences. Most of these influences are results of previous colonization, deriving mainly from the culture of Spain and the United States. Despite all of these influences, the old Asian culture of Filipinos has been retained and are clearly seen in their way of life, beliefs, and customs.

    The Filipino culture is not only about the identity that every Filipino is born with or possesses rather, it is how the reality of the Filipino experience is captured and preserved. Our distinct culture is one important thing that separates us from the rest of the world; it includes various traditions, language, arts, etc. which are found not only in museums, churches or galleries but, within the heart of the key cities in the country as a whole. Preservation of these practices are very evident and has largely been appreciated and even applauded in many parts of the world. We guide you to outstanding documentaries that feature Filipino cultures in general. Here are some of them:

    1. Brigada’s Apo Whang Od, Ang Huling Mambabatok ng Cordillera (Brigada’s Apo Whang Od, The Last Kalinga Tatoo Artist in Cordillera)

    Whang-od Oggay is a Filipina tattoo artist from Kalinga, Cordillera, Philippines. She is considered as the last mambabatok (traditional Kalinga tattooist) from the town of Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines that has been tattooing headhunters and women of the indigenous people in Kalinga for more than 80 years.


    2. I-Witness’ Ang Huling Prinsesa, Dokumentaryo ni Kara David (I-Witness’ The Last Princess, A documentary by Kara David)

    “Binukot”, the hidden princess of the Philippines, is a female individual member of a tribe who is treated like a princess where she is being bathed, combed, and served by her family. True to her princess status, the binukot receives only the best of things and is taught the tribe’s traditions like memorizing Sugidanon, a long verbal narrative which contains the epics of Panay through chanting.


    3.) Joey Velasco’s sa Kambas ng Lipunan (Joey Velasco’s Canvas of Society)

    Velasco’s painting of the Canvas of Society came to life because of his intention to enlighten not only his own children but all the other children out there to continuously count their blessings as there are children who are less fortunate and in dire need of help as well.  As emphasis and for inspiration, the artist himself looked for 12 children (in unison with Jesus Christ’s own 12 apostles)  in indigent areas around Metro Manila and Quezon City and for him to further be able to get to know them , he treated them to lunch, exchanged stories with them, and took pictures and videos of them.

    4.) Efren Penaflorida – CNN Hero of the Year [OFWD]

    Efren Penaflorida made Philippine education accessible to all. This legacy of the former slum dweller had come up with the most creative way of learning, through his project known as “pushcart classrooms”. The primary objective of his project is to make education a right and a privilege to everyone, especially for those street children.

    These documentaries aim to reach out to every individual to appreciate present conditions they face and later on be prompted to make better choices and be able to take certain actions that will uplift the preservation of the remaining cultures present in the country. Are there any more documentaries that you think are relevant to Filipino culture? Share it with us below!

    Written By: Patricia Antoinette M. Nacianceno
    Source: GMA, YouTube


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