Kung Saan Man Tayo / Wherever We May Be

Kung Saan Man Tayo will be screened virtually by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa from 4 to 9 February 2022.

In 2014, filmmaker Adrian Alarilla sent a camera on an eastbound circumnavigation of the world. The camera, named Enrique after Panglima Awang/Enrique of Malacca, was to tell the stories of seven overseas Filipinxs, as part of an ongoing corrective to the stories of conquest, plunder, and exploitation that begun five hundred years ago.

For a few weeks in the summer of 2014, while I was reading for my comprehensive exams, I hosted Enrique in Toronto, on the first stop of a journey that involved Paris, Tübingen, Bangkok, Singapore, and Melbourne.

Adrian wove these stories into Kung Saan Man Tayo, an 80-minute documentary released in 2021.

Through a traveling video camera that circumnavigates the globe, a group of friends share their migration stories as they search for themselves and their place in the world wherever they may be.

Who is the Filipino émigré? Are we the hero of the new age? The breadwinner-martyr? The opportunist, the fortune-seeker? The Filipino émigré’s identity is a dynamic one, constantly changing and adapting to one’s adopted community, while at the same time attempting to compromise with one’s responsibilities with their family and with their Filipino culture. This documentary explores the stories of some of these 21st century Filipino émigré who used to be state scholars but have since followed other opportunities abroad

Alarilla’s video camera, now dubbed “Enrique,” after Magellan’s Malay slave Enrique de Malaca, becomes a vessel for his friends’ stories as it circumnavigates the world by courier. Starting off in Seattle, Enrique is sent one by one to the filmmaker’s friends, traveling further until it arrives back to him. While Magellan’s westward circumnavigation is one of territorial conquest for the colonial powers, Enrique’s eastward circumnavigation will be one of reclamation; of re-establishing broken ties and rebuilding the terrain of their collective psyche.

– – –

Kung Saan Man Tayo was awarded the Best Film of the Dreamanila International Film Festival.

It had been screened in the following film festivals:

Aporia International Village Film Festival, Injegun, South Korea, June 2022
Cinemaking International Film Festival, Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 3 to 6, 2022
Dreamanila International Film Festival, Manila, Philippines, November 19 to 21, 2021
Filipino International Cine Festival, San Francisco, USA, November 4 to 7, 2021
Boston Asian American Film Festival, Boston, USA, October 22 to 24, 2021
University of the Philippines Alumni Association of America 21st Grand Reunion & Convention, Las Vegas, USA, October 22 to 24, 2021
San Diego Filipino Film Festival, San Diego, USA, October 18 to 31, 2021
International Migration and Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Canada, October 9 to 16, 2021

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