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NCCA’s Buhay na Buhay to return in ANC

September 24, 2020

Social media has effectively broken down barriers in communication and globalization has made us into a borderless world. But have these two also eroded the sense of identity of Filipinos?

An 8-part documentary series about the 8 sub-cultures that shape the Filipino returns on its second season beginning 03 October 2020, Saturday, 8:30 PM in its new home, the ABS-CBN News Channel with replays on Sundays, 10:30 AM. It is hosted by Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda.

Aptly titled Buhay na Buhay, the show is based on the life study of former chair of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and culture expert, Prof. Felipe de Leon Jr. on the following sub-cultures: Kultura ng Pagdidiwata (Harmony with the Deities, Creative Forces of Nature and Ancestral Spirits); Kultura ng Pag-uukir at Pag-uuma (Poetic Mysticism and Devotion to Islam); Kultura ng Pamamanata (Devotion to the Patron Saint and Village Community); Kultura ng Pananahan (Devotion to the Home and Family); Kultura ng Paglilining at Pangangatwiran (Culture of Reflection and Reasoning); Kultura ng Pag-aaliw (Culture of Entertainment or Sensations); Kultura ng Pamumuna at Pagtutol (Culture of Social Criticism, Concern, Protest); and Kultura ng Pagka-Filipino at Pagkabansa (Devotion to the Nation and Being Filipino).

After defining what these subcultures mean in the first season, Buhay na Buhay Season 2 explores the stories of groups and individuals in various parts of the country and how being Filipino emanates in their lives through arts, crafts and practices.

The first episode is aligned with the celebration of the National Indigenous Peoples Month every October where the ways and practices of the Tagbanuas in Aborlan, Palawan are highlighted. Through them, we appreciate the deep connection of man and nature and how it exists even in the present times; how we treat our environment reflects any remaining traces or disconnect with the belief that we are one with our world.

The second episode recounts the tales of popular Mindanaoan icons: the MSU Sining Kambayoka, the arts of Tugaya in Lanao del Sur and the search of identity of Chef Datu Sheriff Pendatun through food both in Mindanao and in Manila.

Episode 3 will take the viewers to the story of a devotee of the Turumba in Pakil, Laguna as well as the unwavering faith of balut vendors who named their business after the patron saint of Pateros–Sta. Marta. The story closes with the story of artisan, Anna India-Legaspi of Kalibo, Aklan and the practice of Patapak during Ati-Atihan.

Stories of 4 families will be featured in Episode 4: Kultura ng Pananahan. Here, the struggles and achievements of preserving an ancestral home are shown through the Concio House. Daughter of National Artist for Architecture, Arch. Pablo Antonio, Malu Veloso also shares how she grew up and how her grandchildren are able to meet her parents through their well-preserved decades-old home in Pasay. Finally, as a testament that the value of family transcends social classes, two families share how much it means to them to have a small home they can call their own and the lengths they will go through to provide for their family.

The same way this foreign concept was embraced, Episode 5 shares with the viewers the humble and inspiring journeys of Agnes Locsin, a choreographer now based in Davao and her neo-ethnic dance; Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan, former Health Secretary and now an adopted son of the B’laans in South Cotabato and his natural approach to healing and Felice Sta. Maria in her search for true Filipino identity through culinary arts. All these Western-educated individuals came to realize that the academic tradition’s intense search for truth and knowledge could be directed to discovering the insights and wisdom of their own culture.

The next episode digs deeper into the relevance of entertainment for Filipinos. It begins with the journey of a beauty queen aspirant for Miss Philippines Earth and how she ensures that her message of hope and her advocacy transcends the quick judgements of feminists and those who feel that pageants are no longer relevant. It is followed by the story of “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” director, Marlon Rivera and how this movie-series tackles not only societal issues but actual scenarios happening in the production industry. Finally, Director and choreographer Dexter Santos and performer, Menchu Lauchengco share their journey in forming “Ang Huling El Bimbo” -a highly successful theater act which highlights the success of jukebox musicals and the deeper message they want to convey to the public.

Episode 7 reveals the stories of six individuals who have demonstrated against various issues, showing that the Culture of Activism and Protest is very much alive. Atty. Maria Paz “Ipat” Luna speaks about her environmental activism and how environmental abuses continue to persist through the years. Floy Quintos, the brains behind “Tatsulok: A Trilogy of Change” shares how a musical was used to show environmental protest. Micheline Rama, founder of DAKILA, a socio-civic group that aims to bring out the strength in every Filipino either through arts or music shares how arts is used for protest as well. Noel Cabangon, a singer/composer also shares his story on being a protest musician back in the day. Artists Jose Tence Ruiz and Imelda Cajipe also share how they use their talents in the arts in communicating their “resistance” through various media.

This finale features all those values through two important events in Philippine history: Quincentennial Celebration of Historic Events that transpired in 1521 and Sine Sandaan, the 100-year celebration of the Philippine Cinema as well as the iconic and world-recognized, giant lantern festival of San Fernando, Pampanga.

As a staunch advocate for the culture and arts, Legarda shares, “My wish is to see the younger generation appreciating their roots through our culture in various forms. In a time where many ‘millennials’ search for their identity, this show aims to guide them and make them realize how proud they should be that they are Filipinos.”

De Leon expresses his optimism that through these stories, the younger generations will open discussions on their identity as Filipinos. NCCA Chair Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso hopes that Season 2 of Buhay na Buhay will truly reflect the vibrance, uniqueness and beauty of the Philippine Culture and ultimately, unite all Filipinos as a nation.

Buhay na Buhay Season 2 is written by lauded playwright, director and advocate for traditional arts and indigenous peoples, Floy Quintos. It is directed by Jon Steffan Ballesteros and produced by the NCCA through Marcus Phoenix Media Production Corp. led by Arch. Jonard S. Vital.

This series is a concept of Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda, NCCA’s Dangal ng Haraya Patron of Arts and Culture awardee.

Buhay na Buhay Season 2 premieres Saturday (October 3), 8:30 pm on ANC on cable with replays on Sundays, 10:30 AM.#