(Myth of the White Mangyans)
An I-Witness documentary
Airing Monday at midnight: January 28, 2008
GMA-7 (delayed by a day or two on Pinoy Tv overseas)
Howie Severino travels to Mindoro to investigate the legend of “lost tisoys,” a tribe of Mangyans called Olandes, mountain people in Mindoro descended from shipwrecked Dutch sailors.
Various people give conflicting accounts, including a scholar who proclaims that the “white Mangyans” are a myth, along with other popular beliefs such as Mangyans with tails.
But are the white Mangyans really a myth? In a Mangyan tiangge in the remote village of Bait, Howie is told of Mangyan tisoys in the local high school. He finds them there and learns they come from a mountain community called Panaytayan.
But it is not what he expected.
Descending not from Dutch sailors from centuries ago, the tisoys are four children of a Dutch priest who married a Mangyan and has lived in splendid isolation for four decades. He is now among the foremost experts on Mangyan culture. In the village, he has set up institutions designed to teach and preserve ancient tribal practices such as the script, music, and weaving.
His daughter Anya is a 23-year-old tisay who proudly calls herself a Mangyan and is following her father’s footsteps in championing the Mangyan while presenting a new face of the tribe to the outside world.
She accompanies her bahag-clad, betel-chewing uncle Anheng as he ventures down the mountain to town, faces of the old and the new Mangyan. As Anya and her siblings age and produce families of their own, the myth of the Olandes village may yet become a reality.
Cinematography: Egay Navarro
Director: JJ Villamarin
Field producer: Rommel Bernardo
Executive producer: Ella Evangelista