Weary of Marvel superheroes, Kidlat Tahimik leads PH’s ‘unsung sariling bayani’ film tilt | Inquirer Entertainment

Weary of Marvel superheroes, Kidlat Tahimik leads PH’s ‘unsung sariling bayani’ film tilt

/ 12:15 AM May 02, 2020

Kidlat at the 2019 Prince Claus Award recognition night

Kidlat at the 2019 Prince Claus Award recognition night

National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik is spearheading this year a short film contest focusing on the stories of what he called are our USBs, or “unsung sariling bayani,” and that he would like millennials to take part in it.

“You can submit any movie about our unsung Filipino heroes,” Tahimik said during the Facebook watch party organized by the Lockdown Cinema Club (LCC) on Monday night. “My main motivation is: How come the Filipino youth aren’t familiar with our heroes like Lapu-Lapu or Princess Bulakna, Lapu-Lapu’s wife who is also an arnis black belter?”


Tahimik also pointed out: “They also don’t know about Enrique de Malacca or Macli-ing Dulag. They’ve lost track of Bernardo Carpio and Maria Makiling. It’s because a lot of the heroes were upstaged; our young people are all over these Marvel heroes now. We don’t hear much about our USBs.”


Tahimik said the project has two goals: First is to collect interesting films by indie filmmakers; and, second, to be able to introduce to the youth who these heroes are. “I will try to get the DepEd (Department of Education) involved in this project. I hope that a lot of our senior high school students will participate. Just by telling stories, they will be able to enter the world of our USBs,” the director explained. “If we show these in schools, more students would get interested, or at least there will be balance to this overload of Captain Americas and Wonder Women.”

However, Tahimik was quick to say that “we can’t eliminate these Marvel superheroes—they’re already part of our world. At least the young people, with the current technology, will be able to tell stories about our own heroes.”

Kidlat Tahimik (right) with wife Katrin

Kidlat Tahimik (right) with wife Katrin

The watch party, titled “Happy Lapu-Lapu Day” and hosted by writer Jessica Zafra, is also a fundraising campaign for film workers displaced by the government’s order for an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which has been in place since March 15.

April 27 also happens to be the date we commemorate the Battle of Mactan between Lapu-Lapu and the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. This was also why a 30-minute version of Tahimik’s two-and-a-half-hour film “Memories of Overdevelopment” was streamed on the LCC Facebook site.

Tahimik’s film tells of the adventures of Magellan and his Filipino slave/interpreter, whom he christened as Enrique de Malacca. Tahimik began working on the project 35 years ago and would often describe it as “the never-ending film-in-progress.” In fact, he said he would release a reedited version later this year.

To conclude the hour-and-a-half watch party, Tahimik was asked to give a word of advice to his followers while on ECQ.


The director, who, as always, appeared wearing the Ifugao bahag (loincloth), replied: “No matter how uncertain the work is, even though you are faced with many obstacles, just exert all your best and make the most out of the situation you are in. Your body, mind, energy, even your connection to the Force above, bring all those together. Also, don’t get stuck reading the body count. Take precaution, wear the mask—tuck it in your bahag so you won’t forget—and just be creative.”

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