I’ve always had a fascination for documentaries. Something is compelling about listening to the soothing voices of the narrators, the in-depth research that brings crucial information to light, and the meticulous storytelling that weaves facts into a cohesive timeline.
For years, I’ve spent hours watching documentaries produced by both local and international filmmakers to feed my curiosity about current issues, myths, and the truth behind history. These hours-long features provide more than just entertainment—they also encourage critical thinking and stir emotions in their viewers.
The Philippines is abundant with documentaries that highlight our history and culture, some of them even decades old. The Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) launched the DaangDokyu website last May 4, Wednesday, to preserve these feature films and give the Filipinos a platform to watch locally-produced documentaries and learn more about their heritage.
DaangDokyu is an initiative from The Filipino Documentary Society and a recipient of the CCP’s Innovation Grant in 2021.
“In 2020, Daang Dokyu, a festival of Philippine documentaries of 45 films produced from 1913 to the present, was viewed by hundreds of thousands with responses of subscriptions, attesting to the thirst for truth and the need for historical knowledge and diverse perspectives,” said CCP Board of Trustee Atty. Lorna Kapunan during the on-site launch of DaangDokyu.
She added that during a period of rampant historical revisionism, establishing the DaangDokyu website is a necessity to preserve and spread the truth.
“Our documentaries trace our story. Documentaries have had a long history in the country, parallel to the story of the nation. Documentaries have been made in and about in the Philippines,” said Jewel Maranan, a documentary filmmaker, and co-founder of The Filipino Documentary Society.
DaangDokyu also has international documentaries in its database for viewers to enjoy. Some titles already on the website include The Kingmaker by Lauren Greenfield, Tundong Magiliw by Maranan, and Yanbu by Aleia Garcia.
Maranan added they’ll continuously add more documentaries, both new and old, to the DaangDokyu’s website database.
As a documentary filmmaker herself, Maranan knows how challenging documentary-making can be. Yet despite a digitally-driven world, where people consume their media in mere minutes, she remains hopeful because the past DaangDokyu festival proved there’s still a demand for documentaries.
She said that people don’t need to be encouraged to watch documentaries. Instead, they need access to view the feature films they desire, just like what DaangDokyu is doing presently.
The website also serves as an educational platform where viewers can tap into the information from documentaries as references for a myriad of topics.
With the number of documentaries that have yet to be added to the website’s database, DaangDokyu also welcomes other documentary filmmakers to have their films featured on the website by sending its information to the team.
Giving Filipinos access to both local and international documentaries preserves the truth about history and appreciates the efforts of documentary filmmakers who poured their time, resources, and creativity into a feature film that educates and inspires its viewers.
Visit www.daangdokyu.ph for more information.