Si Tokan: Ang Manggagawa ng Kulintang sa Maguindanao Ilaya

Tokan, the Kulintang Maker of Upriver Maguindanao

A Research Documentary by Jose S Buenconsejo, PhD

Everyone is invited to the initial screening of the above-captioned on Thursday, 11 August 2022, 2PM, Abelardo Hall Auditorium, University of the Philippines College of Music


This is a story of a remarkable traditional Maguindanaon musician nicknamed Tokan who plays for village celebrations and who also makes kulintangan instruments which are currently in demand locally and internationally. Rather than seen from an individualist lens, the documentary interprets Tokan’s life as wholly socialized, centered on group interactions, especially with his kindred. His work continues the music of Tangguapo which kulintang music was first documented by the National Artist in music Dr. Jose Maceda in 1954. The military encounters with Moslem separatists, settler paramilitary group Ilaga in late 1960s were the context of the continual displacements of the villagers to safe places theareafter, especially with military operations against insurgency in 1972. This displaced the culture bearers of the place, once the center of gong and lute music of the region. In 2015, a family returned to the sitio to bring back their lives to the land they were born into. But ironically for Tokan, it was his travels away from home, away from wars, that made his gongs move to faraway places.

The documentary is Volume 1 of 4 in the Music Cultural Flows Series.

The film is mostly in Filipino and English with some Maguindanao. Duration: around 80 minutes. Color.