7 Mar – Commission on Higher Education's Ronald Adamat has recently released a formal letter that was recently sent to ABS-CBN President Carlo Katigbak regarding an issue concerning the network's new fantasy series, "Bagani".
As reported on PEP, Adamat, a former representative of the Indigenous People (IP) Sector during the 10th Congress, shared the content of the letter on Facebook, and revealed that he wanted some clarification on the historical and cultural bases of the use of the word "Bagani" in the title, which he said is an IP term.
Parts of the letter read, "It is not enough for writers and producers of movies and teleseryes to come up with concepts, titles, and characters that would sell and create blockbusters, yet carry with them half-truths and lies that destroy and negate the real essence of an IP terminology, as in the case of Bagani, and instead bring injustice to the 14 million Filipino IPs.
"What is the historical and cultural bases of such if not of the IP's meaning of it? Being an Indigenous Person, I reiterate my demand for an urgent clarification and explanation as to how and why the IP word 'Bagani,' endemic only to the Indigenous Peoples, ended up on the storyboards of ABS-CBN.
"On the other hand, as Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the undersigned foresees a negative impact among Filipino viewers especially the young students, and is deeply bothered about the portrayal of Bagani in a teleserye as being a 'bayani with magical powers' that is totally detached from what the term actually means to the Indigenous Peoples communities.
"Further, as CHED Commissioner, I cannot tolerate the public showing of the said teleserye as long as ABS-CBN would not revise the format and concept in order to render 'Bagani' to become as educational as it can be, and make the same as historically-accurate and culturally-correct presentation of what the real 'Bagani' is from an IP perspective."
Even though he didn't specifically mention the exact meaning of the term, it was said to have been used by the Manobos to refer to tribal heroes who defend the tribe from outside threats.
This is the latest controversy to hit the show since it first made the news. Earlier, many criticised the production's choice of casting mixed-race actors like Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil in a show that is supposedly about pre-colonial Philippines.
However, Star Creatives' Mark Angos had since refuted the "brown-faced" claims, saying that the drama is not historical, and is set in a fictional world called Sansinukob.
(Photo Source: Star Creatives Instagram)