I wish to invite those residing in Manila to preview my first film, a documentary entitled
The River of Exchange:
Music of the Agusan Manobo and Visayan Settler Relations in Caraga,
Mindanao Island, Philippines
It will be held on Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 24, 2008, 5:00 to 6:15PM
at the Abelardo Auditorium
University of the Philippines College of Music (Diliman, Quezon City)
Admission is free. All are welcomed.
[The film has also been scheduled for screening at the national meeting of the Anthropological Association of the Philippines in Pampanga in October 2008)
The making of this documentary was made possible through an equipment grant from the Prince Claus Foundation for Culture and Development of The Netherlands and partial fieldwork funding from the Office of the Chancellor, University of the Philippines.
Hereunder is the synopsis of the film:
This is a story of the encounter and consequent cultural exchanges
between inland, aboriginal Manobos and coastal, Visayan settlers in an
“out-of-the-way” place in Agusan Valley, Caraga, Mindanao Island,
Philippines. It explores, in particular, the varied embodiments of this
social history in traditional Manobo song and ritual and in performances of recent, Visayan-brought electronically-amplified sounds. In Manobo ritual, spirits possses the body of the medium as a means of divination for curing, but these spirits indicate as well Manobo imaginative perceptions of their relationships with outsiders, including the Visayan spirit whose voice is incorporated in the Manobo body.
With the introduction of modern cultural practices, Manobo rituals have
been erased and displaced to the margins but some are altered, as in the incarnation of the Visayan spirit, to accommodate the unassailable
Visayan presence that is felt in Manobo day to day life. This spirit is
addressed as a friend, a form of recognition that resonates with the
Christian compadrazgo social relation. Cultural exchanges come full
circle with the performance of Manobo heritage in recent street ethnic
dancing competitions with Visayans mimicking Manobos. Whether a spirit is incarnated in these festivals or not is a moot question. The mimicry seems instead to reproduce a mere pictorial representation of heritage minus its really real links to the world.
Thank you. Hope to see you in the event.