Docu on mining in GMA’s Cine Totoo
Produced by GMA News TV in cooperation with The Workshop for Infinite Media Inc., “Agbalbalitok (The Gold Prospector)” is a documentary that tackles small-scale mining in Benguet.
Directed by Ferdinand John Balanag, the docu, which is part of GMA 7’s Cine Totoo, follows John Ray, a young Ibaloi miner trying to support his growing family.
Centuries ago, the original settlers of Itogon—the Ibalois and the Kankana-eys—panned gold from the rivers and streams flowing down the slopes.
The arrival of the American prospectors in Benguet over 100 years ago marked the first gold rush in Itogon. Gold exploration in the mountains peaked with the establishment of some of the world’s biggest mining corporations, behemoths that relentlessly tunneled into the mountain—blasting, hauling, crushing and refining gold ore—until all the viable deposits were depleted.
The meteoric rise in the price of gold has spawned a 21st-century gold rush in the abandoned mines of Itogon as leftover low-grade deposits became big business once more.
In the mad scramble to extract more, mining corporations clashed with indigenous peoples and migrant small-scale miners over control of the land and its resources.
“Agbalbalitok (The Gold Prospector)” will be screened tonight, 8:45 p.m., at SM Megamall. Tickets are priced at P100 each.
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