ABS-CBN responds to "Bagani" controversy

8 Mar – ABS-CBN has recently released a statement in response to the concerns raised by Commissioner Ronald Adamat of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) about its new fantasy series.

As reported on PEP, in a press statement released to the media immediately after Adamat's letter made the news, the network stated that the drama is not a historical account of the Philippines' history or culture, but an alternative fictional universe with elements of Pinoy folklore.


The statement read, "The concept of ABS-CBN's new fantaserye "Bagani" is to feature warriors, protectors, and heroes who espouse Filipino values and beliefs.


"The production team did intensive research to determine a distinctly Filipino term that embodies a champion who fights for the common good of his tribe or family-somebody who is brave, honorable, self-sacrificing, and good-hearted. In the end, the team recognized that the term and concept of a "Bagani" best solidifies the traits that the program wants to highlight.


"With all due respect, the use of "Bagani" is not in any way intended to malign or to disrespect beliefs of the Indigenous Peoples' communities, but instead hopes to propagate the values, morals, and ethics that are inherent in a 'Bagani'--a Filipino warrior, protector, and hero.


"To be clear, the "Bagani" fantaserye does not purport itself to be a historical account of Philippine history or culture. The program has always maintained that it has created an alternative fictional universe with elements of Filipino mythology and folklore that simply serves as an avenue to creatively deliver and highlight Filipino values, beliefs, and heroism."


In his previous letter, Adamat expressed concern over the use of the term Bagani, which he said is totally detached from the actual meaning and importance to the Indigenous People.