Friday, January 11, 2008

Kidlat Tahimik and Katrin de Guia team up to form HAPI

Profile: Heritage and Arts Academies of the Philippines Incorporated (H.A.P.I.)

Realizing the importance of official networking of informally existing Filipino artist groups that were maintaining ancestral Filipino heritage, Dr. Katrin de Guia initiated the incorporation of the Heritage and Arts Academies of the Philippines Incorporated (H.A.P.I.), which was registered with the SEC in Manila in March 2001.

The founding of HAPI is one moment in 28 years continuity of cultural work by Filipino filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik and German-born artist/psychologist Dr. Katrin de Guia.
In the early 80ies, the artist couple began to open their Baguio residence to the community as an art-space and a temporary home for Filipino artists whose orientation, interests and creative style was rooted in Indigenous Filipino Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP).

Then known as the Sunflower Film and Video Collective, it offered equipment and informal training to artists who were interested in the audio-visual media. A back-yard sound-studio provided not only sounds for films, but invited young artists to experiment with indigenous music, as well. Especially a group of artists from Bacolod, whose presence in Baguio eventually led to the formation of the Pinikpikan band, were among the permanent guests in the Sunflower House.

In the late 80ies, both, Kidlat Tahimik and Katrin de Guia were both active leaders and creative forces in the Baguio Arts Guild, helping to shape many Baguio Arts Festivals and Guild activities together with the other leading artist of the Guild.

After the 1990 earthquake, Katrin de Guia moved to Quezon City to pursue a PhD in Filipino Psychology under the tutelage of the founder of Sikolohiyang Filipino, the late Dr. Virgilio Enriquez. Mrs. De Guia graduated in 1997. Her dissertation discussed indigenous world-views and lifestyles of Filipino artists within the framework of Enriquez’ Filipino personality theory, in order to come up with a profile of contemporary Filipino culture-bearers.

Kidlat Tahimik slowly rebuilt the Sunflower House and continued the work of the Sunflower Film and Video Collective with a project of teaching video to an up-land community in Ifugao.

In 1999, Dr. Katrin de Guia received a grant to further her research on culture-bearing individuals in the Philippines, which led to the publishing of her book Kapwa— The Self in the Other and to the organization of a pioneering 2 day international conference at the University of the Philippines in 2004, which put indigenous Filipino knowledge on par with academic Filipino knowledge.

Realizing how a unifying framework and the systematic networking/linking up of culture-bearing groups could help them to find support, as well as giving support to each other, resulted in this Foundation, as an initial step towards establishing local Heritage Academies all over the Philippines.

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