By CAROLINE J HOWARD
MANILA, Philippines: A new documentary, currently in the production stage, is designed to change the way Filipino-Americans see the Philippines and the Filipino experience.
Titled “The Basco Balikbayan Project”, the feature documentary is the brainchild of two Filipino creative talents – TV producer Michael Carandang and actress Giselle Tongi-Walters.
Speaking to ANC, Carandang and Tongi-Walters talk about their new project.
“Dante Basco is a popular Fil-Am in North America who’s appeared in countless films. He’s very visible in Hollywood … The only problem is he doesn’t really know what it means to be a Filipino.
“He’s been wanting to come home to his motherland with his whole family to discover what it means,” Tongi-Walters said.
“It’s to encourage second-generation Filipinos who don’t want to speak Tagalog to come home, to explore and to find their roots,” added Carandang.
“The Bascos … they represent us but they’ve never been here, they don’t know their roots. It’s a great way for them to explore what makes them Filipino.”
Tongi-Walters said they have done shoots in Palawan, Boracay and Legaspi with the help of the Department of Tourism (DOT).
They are now editing material for 13 episodes.
“DOT assistant secretary Bong Bengson approved the project, so through his help and through his office, we have been able to go to these places,” she said.
“We’re still pitching it. We’re under negotiations to sell the content.”
“There are a couple of cuts. The first cut is going to be for television,” Carandang added.
After 12 years of living in the United States, Tongi-Walters said she returned to the Philippines to “produce content for the second-generation Filipino-Americans.”
Tanauan, Batangas-born Carandang, who moved to the US at age 13, for his part said he wants to give back to his home country.
He has been making a name in the US as a television producer, having worked with “The Jerry Springer Show” “The Tyra Banks Show” and “America’s Next Top Model”.
“We have to act like a team … let’s not think we haven’t been seen. We are represented,” Carandang said. – ABS-CBN News