Two scholars from Mindanao conducted a series of talks on Mindanao epics and indigenous textiles at University College London (UCL) on 28 October. The talk, Tales of Mindanao: The Epics and Textiles of Mindanao, drew crowds of students, artists, writers, and scholars who were interested to know more about Mindanao.
Dr. Christine Godinez-Ortega, renowned Philippine poet and Mindanao scholar and the Director of the Iligan Writers Workshop introduced the various epics of Mindanao, juxtaposing these with contemporary literature by Mindanao writers who drew on these tales as inspiration for their work. Dr. Leonard Rey S. Cariño, on the other hand, engaged the audience with a comprehensive discussion on the different textiles of Mindanao and what these fabrics meant to the community using and producing them.
“Many foreigners and children of Filipino migrants do not know about our pre-colonial literatures. They are there for one’s learning about our country’s true self, values and truths,” said Dr. Godinez-Ortega. “These are in the legends, epics and poetry that should be advanced today lest we give the wrong image about our country. Before we realized our nationhood, colonialism cut this short. Our geography or groups of islands hasn’t helped. Everyone should help reimagine our country, embrace her diversities, and embrace the local towards internationalization towards the realization of a global Filipino.”
“Talks about Philippine culture and heritage, especially those that probe deep into the heart of our indigenous heritage, help Filipinos around the world to better understand our identity as a people,” said Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo. “These talks are also vital in introducing our culture to the rest of the world.”
The talk was organised by the UCL Filipino Society, an group of students in one of London’s most prestigious universities who share a passion for promoting Philippine arts and culture in the UK.