On ‘Indak’ (2019)

“We don’t want to be a copycat of Step Up,” director Paul Alexei Basinilio was quoted saying during a VIVA Convention prior to Indak’s release. “If you noticed in the baybayin translation…that’s indak. We specifically wrote this because we wanted to promote Filipino culture.”

Basinilio presented an interesting causality — to use baybayin is to promote Filipino culture — and some would argue that this was a rather misinformed reach.

Baybayin is just one of the many ancient scripts in the Philippines and it was mainly used by the Tagalogs*. To imply that baybayin is representative of an entire nation therefore reveals a seeming obliviousness to certain nuances surrounding the discourse on Filipino culture. Even using the phrase “Filipino culture” alone already invites further discussion; it suggests the existence of a monolithic (read: singular) identity which may not be true for a country as widely diverse as the Philippines.

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