Comedian Epy Quizon's new mission in life is dedicated to the country's forgotten indigenous tribes.
This is what Epy revealed to PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) during the opening of the Taiwan Film Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall. Epy's film Pinoy Sunday headlined the festival.
"Ang ginagawa ko kasi, to promote and protect culture. Lalo na yung mga tribal. Parang yun yung pinaka-misyon ko sa buhay ko," Epy said.
Epy, who admits to supporting a lot of other advocacies, wants to get funding to kickstart his newest project called Huwag Nating Kalimutan ang Ating Kuwento.
"We are actually documenting stories of our tribes. Yung mga indigenous tribes. Kasi alam natin yung mga sikat, yung mga Biag ni Lam-Ang. Pero ang dami pang tribes na maski yung pangalan ng tribe, hindi na natin maalala, like Talaandig. Alam niyo ba yung Talaandig tribe? O! Pero ang dami nilang kuwento!" Epy explained.
The Talaandig tribe of Bukidnon is among more than 100 tribal and indigenous groups in the Philippines. Many of these groups have already been forgotten by majority of Filipinos.
Epy said the Talaandig tribe is part of our heritage, and should be documented.
"Itong Talaandig tribe, actually sila, ang simple ng buhay nila. Ang buhay nila, gumigising sila, ang dasal nila, with nature, with the sun, may routine. Ang trabaho nila, gumagawa sila ng tambol... ng flute. Tapos, lahat pala ng ginagawa nila, may kuwento! May katumbas na folktale."
According to the respected actor/director, the advocacy is not really new. His wife, Rosanna Escudero, and other artists like Joey Ayala have been toying with the idea for some time now.
"Marami nang nag-conceptualize niyan, e. I'm just supporting the project," he said.
What Epy wants to do is to raise money for a good camera, so he and a cameraman can go around the country documenting groups like the Talaandig tribe.
"The goal is to come up with a story book sana, 'di ba? Pero stage one muna tayo. We want to gather funds to document stories ng mga matatanda, mga elders. Para lang malagay mo sa library. Once we have the stock footage, then we gather more funding, then we can tell more stories. Hindi siya makakalimutan. 'Di ba? Yung mga alamat ni gan'yan, ni ganito, marami pa e."
For this purpose, Epy wants Huwag Nating Kalimutan ang Ating Kuwento to be one of the beneficiaries of the third Pidol Cup, to be held in December.
The Pidol Cup is an annual golf competition hosted by Epy's father, Dolphy. Celebrities and politicians who play golf regularly attend the event.
"Maraming a-attend, mga celebrities, politicians. Monsour del Rosario, Buboy Garovillo, Zanjoe Marudo, sila Gov. Ace Barbers, sina Gov. Dy. Basta marami."
Now that Epy's pet project is assured of supporters, PEP had to ask: Why is he doing it?
Epy thought for three seconds before giving an answer. "Gumigising ako, kinukulit ako ng subsconscious ko na gawin, e. Siguro yun yung tinatawag na drive, siguro yun yung sinasabi na konsensiya mo... O kung anuman. Ang sa akin lang, kapag hindi ko pinansin e, hindi ako makakatulog, e. Kaya pinapansin ko, inaaksyunan ko."