Background of Study

What is a Narrative?
If we’re being technical or universal about it, narrative is the object of story-telling. The Western mode of discussion would enumerate the elements of narrative as character, plot, setting, mood, etc. But for those who have yet to develop an actual system of recorded and written literature for their cultural narratives, their narrative traditions remain preserved orally.

What is cultural identity?
This is complex as it is more than just heritage and geographical placement of a group of people. It takes root into something more historical and integral than that.

Cultural identity is all about all these things all at the same time:

  • Music
  • Food
  • Traditions
  • Practices of Social Hierarchy
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Literature
  • Language

–       And so perhaps getting to know a certain culture is more complex than just reading an article about them or watching a documentary.


Challenge 1: how does one represent cultural identity via narrative?
o   Answer: maybe we can let the indigenous people themselves tell their own story, because (duh) these stories exist already

Challenge 2: these stories are embedded in oral tradition
o   Meaning: all attempts to research about it is only secondary source if you stop at the library or the internet
o   Conclusion: one must attempt a personal encounter (a primary source) of story-telling

What is, the angle for exploration of the Filipino IP’s cultural narrative?
Answer: their MYTHOLOGY
Their rich, incredibly colorful and enduring oral mythology


Characteristics of indigenous mythology

  • It’s considered as a “live” myth (Meaning people still believe parts of it)
  • And it’s still incorporated into their traditions and activities (it’s still sung and passed on for rituals of farming and marriage)
  • It’s alive compared to how the Iliad or the Odyssey which is barely a dominant aspect of modern Greek culture (no one prays to Zeus anymore, at least not really)
  • Culture is therefore represented, informed, and ultimately embodied through the rites and rituals of its mythologies


It’s been through a lot—colonization of the Spanish, the Americans, and the Japanese, THEN the Martial Law

Chances are, these narratives have been affected by the increasingly globalized and univocal expansionism of the world, to the point where even its most fundamental beliefs are not widely acknowledged as having been derived from an external source.

Identity is, therefore, more complicated now more than ever. And these narratives are in danger of extinction.

The existing study on Filipino Mythology
(My friend said:) “Folklorists such as Barton, Moss, and elders keen on re-sharing the narratives of their people, such as Vicky Macay and Calixto Batiyeg, have laid the foundations for the further academic study of the subject.”


Scope of Study (Suggested Thoughts)
Which IP group are we looking at here?

It’s not like we’re going to transcribe and survey all mythological narratives
o   There’s a lot—Bicolanos have them, the Cordillera region has them, Mindanao has tons!
o   So let’s just pick one

What is the goal of the approach
Once we arrive at the point where we’ve been an audience to these narratives, what’s the project, really?
o   Video game?
o   VR?
o   Idk…
What are you fighting for? Awareness of these myths? Wouldn’t turn it into a game a case for cultural appropriation?
Note: Be Careful, IP people elders are sensitive about misrepresentation

But right now, the appeal of the “myth” is really apparent.

Imagine having to meet epic heroes like Lam-ang of the Ilocanos, Baltog of Ibalong (Bicol lore), and the love story of Tungkung Langit and Alunsina.
–       the quests and the world-building has so many possibilities
–       for instance, these epic stories are really into weapons and are sensitive about what they wear (as it implies social status)
they also have their own courtship systems
the heroes journey (usually) to go triumphantly against a villain
or sometimes it’s really just a story without a plot but provides an explanation of what the rain means, it’s the goddess Alunsina crying

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