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The Promotional poster of Si Tokan placed in front of the Abelardo Hall in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Dr. Jose Buenconsejo, researcher-producer-director of Si Tokan: Ang Manggagawa ng Kulintang sa Maguindanao Ilaya (Tokan: The Kulintang Maker of Upriver Maguindanao) and Professor of UP College of Music and a Regular Member and former Chair of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP) Division of Humanities, initially planned to conduct the public screening of this ethnographic documentary video in 2020.

After two years, on 11 August 2022, this documentary has been finally shown to public and ultimately became a success as it eventually conveyed the purpose of the video, which is to enhance the public’s awareness and appreciate the rich traditional kulintang music of the Maguindanaons.

In 20 days of fieldwork and documentation, Buenconsejo laid well into the open the life and struggles of the Maguinandaonswherein free flowing conversations and laughter are heard which made the documentary even more true and appealing. This one-hour documentary shows the resiliencies of the Maguindanaoan. The beautiful rhythm and sounds of locally-produced gongs by a gong maker, and at the same time a gong player, make the event more meaningful. This tradition and knowledge must be passed on from generation to generation to preserve this rich culture of the Filipino people.

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In photo [from left to right]: Dr. Christine D. Villagonzalo (NRCP President), Dr. Marieta Banez Sumagaysay (NRCP President), Dr. Arwin Q. Tan (UP music professor), Dr Cristina Juan (SOAS University of London), Dr. Mayco Santaella (Malaysia), Dr. Jose S. Buenconsejo (Dean, UP College of Music and Director of Si Tokan), Papo Pardo (The Madz Alumnus), Dr. Fe Prudente (retired UP professor), Nicco Vitug (UP PhD student), Tusa Montes (transnational musician and UP PhD student), and Pau Jose (UP PhD student and professor of UP Visayas).

This public screening was joined by the media, music enthusiasts, professors, students, among others.

“I hope that an alternative representation like this and which I consciously want to make as a scholar in the future can rethink about our Filipino humanity beyond the glamour and imperatives of market driver spectacles that are, however, difficult to refuse in this age of pictures,” said Dr. Buenconsejo.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sumagaysay expressed her gratitude for Dr. Buenconsejo for producing such documentary video, and from continuing to conduct research that enables music and arts for the nation building.

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Left: Dr. Marieta Banez Sumagaysay encourages the attendees to read the Science and the Arts Book.

Right: Dr. Buenconsejo shares to the media how he produced the ethnographic documentary video.

This video was produced by the NRCP of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) based on the NRCP funded research "Music Cultural Flows and Exchanges in the Pulangi River, Maguindanao: The Making and Circulation of Gongs and Bamboo Music and Verbal Arts along the Pulangi-Cotabato River" and one of four music cultural flows series. (Jenny Leigh A. Daquioag, DOST-NRCP)

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