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Legarda: Philippine Epics Reflect Colorful Culture, History

August 30, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda today lauded the conduct of a conference on Philippine epics, stressing that such intangible heritage reflects the rich culture and colorful history of indigenous Filipinos.

The Epikong-Bayan ng Filipinas: Tradisyon, Lipunan, Inobasyon conference from August 30-31, 2018 at the National Museum of Natural History in Manila, is a collaborative project of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) through Koro Bulakeño, in cooperation with the Office of Senator Loren Legarda, and in partnership with the National Museum of the Philippines.

“We hold this conference to enrich discussions on our Philippine epics, which are valuable sources of information with regard to the history of our forefathers, their traditions, beliefs, ideals and life values. This is part of our continuing efforts to promote and preserve our culture,” said Legarda, a patron of arts and culture.

Folk narratives such as epics, myths, legends and folk tales are at the center of the Conference that is envisioned to further expand the knowledge of scholars, teachers, students, researchers and cultural workers. It is also aimed to be a venue to launch new studies and research on Philippine epics, which could be discussed among experts and the participants.

NCCA Chairman Virgilio Almario, the main proponent of the project, stated, “Epikong-Bayan and kwentongbayan are part of our shared history and what bonds us as a nation. As the world evolves and changes, it is important to be able to look back at our nation’s intangible heritage to give us perspective on our collective identity and remind us why we should move towards progress hand in hand.”

The Conference has invited experts in Philippine Epic including Maria V. Stanyukovich to discuss Philippine Oral Epics in a Cultural Context. Stanyukovich is the Chair of the Department of Australia, Oceania and Indonesia at Peter the Great Museum ofAnthropology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Science, St. Petersburg, Russia. During the last two decades she has been studying the interactions of different indigenous groups across the political and linguistic borders in the Cordillera of Northern Luzon, the Philippines.

Other experts who are part of the conference are Dr. Ramon P. Santos, National Artist for Music; Professor Felipe de Leon, Jr.; Eufracio Abaya; Timothy Ong; Randy Madrid; Rosario-Cruz-Lucero; Rosario de Rosario; FelicidadPrudente; JonalynVillarosa; Anna RazelLimoso-Ramirez; Alicia Magos; Ivie Carbon Esteban; Hobart Savior;  Alvin Yap; Rodolfo Vera; Maria Christine Muyco; LaVerneDela Peña.

It also features performances by epic chanters such as Delfin Sallidao from Luzon (Ullalim); Rolinda Gibaliga and Romulo Caballero (Sugidanon) from Visayas; and Florena Saway (Ulaging), Rosie Sula (Tudbulul), Nilda Mangilay (Gingguman), and Paganay Kiyandatu sa Bumabaran) from Mindanao; as well as artists from the UP Dance Company and Banaue Miclat-Janssen.

The talks will be broadcasted via @epikongbayan, the official Facebook page for the program.