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Philippine history according to Kidlat Tahimik

TURO-TURO – Claude Tayag – The Philippine Star

November 1, 2021 | 12:00am

Boat sails made of interwoven photographs by Kidlat de Guia

MADRID, Spain — For what is officially dubbed “Magellan, Marilyn, Mickey & Fr. Dámaso. 500 Years of Conquistador Rockstars,” Filipino National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik rewrites Philippine history from the point of view of a native in a mammoth exhibition at the Palacio de Cristal, Retiro Park, Madrid.

Tahimik underscores the significance of the timing of what he considers his swansong — the quincentennial of the first encounter between España y Filipinas.

“It’s an opportunity to highlight a historical moment in our history as the first resistance of the natives against colonialism. On April 27, 1521, Ferdinand Magellan was slain by the chieftain Lapu-Lapu at Mactan Island,” he wrote in his proposal to the Reina Sofia Museum director Manolo Borja Vilial.

All in the family: Eldest son Kidlat de Guia and Katrina de Guia

“Can I do justice to this great milestone in my country’s history?” he further asked. “At the same time can this colonized Filipino artist be audacious enough to correct the historic symbolism of your 1521 Spanish military tragedy — which, in the eyes of local culture, was actually our glorious victory?”

Whatever the case, it’s a release for Tahimik: “The exhibition is from the point of view of the colonized islanders to be presented, 500 years later, in the land of the colonizers! Finally!”

Indeed, the first circumnavigation of the world comes full circle, not presenting the point of view of the slain conqueror, but from a proud son of the first native to resist colonialism.

Kawayan de Guia’s interpretation of Juan Luna’s “Spoliarium”

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