Dung-aw is a historical and musical film that glimpses into the heroism of 18th century revolutionary leader Gabriela Silang (Armida Siguion-Reyna). Scriptwriter Mario O’Hara depicts the courage and compassion of Gabriela, despite limited information about her. Set in the time of Spaniards’ usurpation of land, products and the indulto de comercio, landowning couple Diego and Gabriela resorts to tricking the colonizers with the aid of their people. A farm hand betrays them, leading to the assassination of Diego. Diego’s death leads Gabriela to pick up her long knife and lead the revolution herself despite great odds. She is eventually captured and publicly executed. A young revolutionary in Gabriela’s army keeps his knife and awaits for the coming of a second Gabriela.
Dung-aw refers to an Ilocano tradition of extolling a deceased person’s good deeds, much like a pasyon in Lent. In the film, Gabriela’s dung-aw cries out her bravery and continuing quest for freedom.
Screening on August 10, 7pm at the UP Film Center as part of the 3rd Pandayang Lino Brocka Political Film and New Media Festival. Free admission (or avail of the P10 donation ticket).