Filipino film Busong a reminder of indigenous peoples’ struggles around world

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      The grand prize winner of this year’s National Geographic Society’s All Roads Film Festival screens in East Vancouver on Wednesday (December 19).

      Set amid the lush landscape of the island-province of Palawan in the Philippines, the movie Busong touches on vanishing tribes and cultures, environmental degradation, discrimination, and personal transformation.

      The organizers of the film screening—Kathara Dance Theatre Collective Canada—couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate picture.

      Kathara is a Vancouver-based performance and theatre collective that celebrates the culture of indigenous peoples in the Philippines, who have been marginalized for centuries by dominant Christian and Muslim communities.

      Social justice and respect for the environment underline the work of Kathara, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

      Musical director Honorio “JR” Guerrero explains that Busong, which translates to “fate” in the Palawanon indigenous language, is relevant in a world where the first peoples in many countries are facing continuing threats against their traditional way of life.

      “By focusing a lens on the vanishing tribes of Palawan, Busong by extension is a powerful reminder about the threats facing the existence and culture of other indigenous peoples across the world, including Canada,” Guerrero told the Straight in a phone interview.

      Kathara will put on a special performance for film-showing guest Chief Ian Campbell of the Squamish Nation.

      Busong screens at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway). The December 19 event starts at 6 p.m. Ticket information is available via

      Watch the trailer for Busong.




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      Sir Crappy Von Crappinstein

      Dec 14, 2012 at 6:37pm

      Tell that to that giant American Reservation called The USA and their original Commander-in-Chief George Washington, and all of their elected President Diplomat Figureheads since. I'm pretty sure not all of the planets alien indigenous humanoid species are entirely helpless. They even peaceably occupied the Philippines!!