Visualizing Oral Traditions through Manga, “Golden Realms”


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Iloilo, Philippines – In the hinterlands of Panay, a form of poetry and performance called Sugidanun has been passed on through a long line of chanters with the current chanters tracing their lineage back to seven generations. This is the piece of oral literature that ThriveArt Projects and The Japan Foundation, Manila aim to transform into a contemporary medium, a manga entitled Golden Realms with the objective to introduce it to a wider audience. In line with the manga’s upcoming online release, the fourth webinar of the Golden Realms: Inheriting the Panay Sugidanun webseries will put the spotlight on the creation of the manga. The webinar will take place on Zoom at 10:00AM on November 27, 2021 and will be streamed live on The Japan Foundation, Manila Facebook page. 

Golden Realms is composed of three-chapters selected from sections of the Sugidanun. The project used recordings and transcription by the elders, Romulo Caballero and Leopoldo Caballero as basis of the stories that Adelle Pacificar and Allyn Canja wrote. The visualization process was done with the help of a research team led by visual artist Liby Limoso, whose research about Sugidanun spans more than a decade. Artists, Mia Reyes, Kristoffer Brasileño and Jay Vasquez led three groups of artists in putting the stories into the panels. Helping them bring form and colors to the Sugidanun world are Eric Barbosa, Jr., Brhyx Colacion, Isaac Bravo and Feldianne Aragon. During the development of the manga, chanter Romulo Caballero gave the artists description of the characters, objects and places. The group’s priority is to maintain the authenticity of the material based on the sources available. 

Golden Realms is under The Japan Foundation’s Asian Literature Project, Yomu, which bridges connections between literary traditions around Asia, and explores how literature is read today. 

The talk will be moderated by Ilonggo writer and educator, Early Sol Gadong of Hubon Manunulat.

[Click to register for Webinar 4: The Making of the Golden Realms Manga]

The online webinar is open to the public / Admission is free.

Join the LIVE webinar on November 27, 2021 via


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