Last night, I saw on BBC what I thought to be a travel documentary about the Philippines. Instead, I was treated to a disturbing social commentary that every Filipino should see. Explore with Simon Reeve is definitely not an ordinary travel series that gets stuck with beaches and views but is an extraordinary series documenting social and political issues in various countries.
Somehow in merely an hour, Simon Reeve and his co-travelers were able to pinpoint the biggest problems that are ailing Philippine society. I was also amazed how he bravely asked direct questions to various people. The Manila to Mindanao episode addressed issues like the Banaue Rice Terraces, poverty, the Reproductive Health bill, the Badjaos, our diminishing forests, and the war in Mindanao.
What I saw on the show disturbed me greatly. I am hunted by visions of extreme poverty that this episode brought to my living room and consciousness. I was angered by the continuous refusal of the Catholic church to stop meddling in affairs of the government. I was shocked after listening to a teacher in Muslim Mindanao preaching to her students in class that they should fight for independence from the Philippines.
Every Filipino should see Explore: Manila to Mindanao. Somehow it puts everything in perspective.
Have you seen the Explore: Manila to Mindanao Episode? If yes, how did it affect you? How did you feel after seeing Imelda's Picasso and Gauguin? Were you also shocked to listen to a Muslim teacher goad her young students to war? Were you also appalled at the sermon of the priest against the Reproductive Health bill?
I saw that there will be another episode from the same producers about the Philippines entitled Sex and Religion in Manila. It will air February 19 at 23:20 (I guess UK time) on BBC2.
2013 Update: I posted this in 2009 originally. I reposted it with the You tube link of the episodes. After 4 years, this documentary is still very much relevant unfortunately.
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