Where Did We Go?

September 05, 2018

At the height of the month celebrating Filipino original films and shows, one particular television series of GMA 7 had citizens slamming its alleged copycat version of a western movie. Although Norse Mythology is a public domain, Marvel fans are quick to point out the similarities between GMA’s ‘Victor Magtanggol’ and Marvel’s Thor.

The Philippines has been a subject to many influences, its islands have been conquered by different countries with some leaving a mark on its history. The impacts of these countries have left our nation searching for what is really ours and what is theirs.

So where do our originality ends and influence begins? The release of ‘Victor Magtanggol’ in GMA became a topic of criticism from many Filipinos as the main character Victor who upon becoming worthy of Mjolnir transform into Hammerman.

This issue created a mass noise in social media about the similarities and the alleged copying of a certain Marvel superhero, Thor. An idea can be easily created but hard to execute, but the way this show was created and executed is a proof of the still strong grasp of western influence to our society and poor innovation of idea.

Their originality ended the moment they started the show, and influence began when the idea of a tv series “inspired” by a western movie lit their lightbulbs. There are many creative tools out there, why not choose those clean and new one?

The month of August is the month of celebrating not just the national language but also the rich culture embedded in the very land we stand in. There are many ways this issue may lead the other way, the vast amount Filipino superhero and other untapped stories across the country should’ve been the start.

We have the iconic ‘Darna,’ ‘Captain Barbell,’and ‘Lastikman’ to name a few of our superheroes. We have thousands of lore and stories about gods and goddesses of our own like Bathala, Mayari, Apolaki, Idiyanale and more that spans different tribes in the country, not to mention ‘Bagani’ and yes, ‘Encantadia.’

Indie films and Filipino film festivals should be the other; they executed ‘Heneral Luna’ very well, why run a path that leads to a foreign soil? Why not choose our own rich soil? Where did our country failed in presenting us the most interesting stories of our great nation?

Maybe it’s about our continuous ignorance to our own origins. Maybe because we are quick to judge each attempt of trying what the west can do. Or maybe it was our own fault that we failed to look back on our own steps as we progress in the new era.

Everything originally Filipino made right now works hard in receiving recognition from its citizens. In the world full of influences and adaptation, be that someone who took the path of his or her own origin story because that moment in time was the beginning of a new adventure. You never know, maybe it will be the next great thing.