ABS-CBN releases statement on "Bagani" 'misuse' of term issue


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MANILA, Philippines - ABS-CBN officially released their statement to clarify the use of the term 'Bagani' as title of Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano's newest teleserye, which will premiere Monday night, March 5.

Leading stars of 'Bagani' Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano in their mall tour in Makati.
Leading stars of 'Bagani' Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano in their mall tour in Makati | Photo courtesy of Star Creatives

This came after Commission on Higher Education (CHED) head Ronald Adamat questioned ABS-CBN for the alleged misuse of Indigenous Peoples' terminology. (READ: CHED commissioner hits ABS-CBN for misuse of term 'Bagani').

“It is not enough for writers and producers of movies and teleseryes to come up with concepts, titles, and characters that would sell and create blockbusters yet carry with them half-truths and lies that destroy and negate the real essence of an IP terminology, as in the case of ‘Bagani’, and instead bring injustice to the 14 million Filipino IPs,” the formal letter of Dr. Adamat addressed to Karlo Katigbak, president of ABS-CBN said.

"The concept of ABS-CBN's new fantaserye "Bagani" is to feature warriors, protectors, and heroes who espouse Filipino values and beliefs," the Kapamilya Network's statement reads.

ABS-CBN added that the production team did intensive research of the term. In the end, they decided to use the concept of a "Bagani," which best solidifies the traits that the program wants to highlight.

"With all due respect, the use of "Bagani" is not in any way intended to malign or to disrespect beliefs of the Indigenous People's communities, but instead hopes to propagate the values, morals and ethics that are inherent in a 'Bagani' - a Filipino warrior, protector and hero," ABS-CBN said.

The network also clarified that the fantaserye does not purport itself to be a historical account of Philippine history or culture. "The program has always maintained that it has created an alternative fictional universe with elements of Filipino mythology and folklore that simply serves as an avenue to creatively deliver and highlight Filipino values, beliefs and heroism.

— The Summit Express


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