Republic of the Philippines
Republic of the Philippines
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600, Australia

ANU Philippines Institute screened documentary Hulagway on endangered Philippine languages

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Philippine Embassy, Canberra

1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600    *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*

07 June 2024, CANBERRA – Ambassador Ma. Hellen De La Vega congratulated award-winning filmmaker Alvin Yapan, writer and director of Hulagway, a documentary drama produced by the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts on endangered Indigenous Philippine languages at the film’s screening at the Australian National University (ANU) on 6 June. The ANU Philippines Institute hosted a free screening of the film in celebration of the Independence Day of the Philippines on 12 June.

The documentary featured Dupaninan Agta in Isabela and the Tandulanen Tagbanua in Palawan, which are both considered endangered languages. The movie, shot in Isabela and Palawan, showcased the beauty of the Philippines, an archipelago of over 7,600 islands with 187 languages. During the discussion with the director, Dr. Yapan gave insights on how language reflects the culture and values of a community. He addressed questions on the development of the national lingua franca vis-à-vis regional languages and gave examples of the rich and unique character of several indigenous languages in the Philippines. As a writer and educator, Dr. Yapan believes that regional languages can flourish alongside the official language.

The documentary was produced by the Philippines’ National Commission for Culture and the Arts to increase awareness on the country’s indigenous languages. Dr. Yapan reflected on his engagements with the indigenous communities featured in his documentary, made possible with the support of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.

Dr. Yapan is Associate Professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, a novelist and award-winning filmmaker.

In his remarks, ANU Philippines Institute Director Bjoern Dressel thanked Dr. Yapan for coming to Canberra and sharing Hulagway. The event was moderated by Dr. Merlinda Bobis, multi-awarded Filipino-Australian writer and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the ANU. -- END

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