#ShareBaguio: Kidlat Tahimik: Hitting the cultural brakes


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Baguio-based filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik talks about how his hometown is the melting pot of Western influence and indigenous culture

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Eric de Guia was born and raised in Baguio City, where the weather is cool and life laid-back. He went to the premier state university for a speech and drama degree, and from there got into the renowned Wharton School of Business in the University of Pennsylvania for an MBA degree.

But Eric turned his back on a promising economic career and went back to his hometown. He took off his necktie and wore a bahag, embraced his roots, picked up a camera, and changed his name.

He now goes by the name Kidlat Tahimik. 

Now an internationally-acclaimed filmmaker, Kidlat produces films that center on the lives and culture of the Ifugaos. Relocating to his hometown, Kidlat says Baguio is the melting pot of Western development and the indigenous culture of the highlands.

It would be apt to say that Kidlat is representative of that melting pot. His education, although Western and cosmopolitan, juxtaposes itself with his roots – the indigenous Cordillera highlander.

“Baguio is unique,” he says. “Yung cosmopolitan mindset ng foreigners, ng Americans when they set up Baguio as a hill station, and that mixed with the indigenous mindsets of the Cordillera people.”

Watch this video for more of Kidlat’s insights on the dichotomy between Western influence and preserving one’s indigenous identity.

For more on Baguio, visit #SharePH– Rappler.com


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