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Happy International and National Women’s Day (March 8)

A Badjao Woman. We celebrate the beautiful, kind, strong, fervent and resilient Badjao womenfolk.

(LVN Photo: Rosa Rosal from the movie Badjao a cinematic take on the lives of the proud maritime people of Sulu Archipelago and Northern Borneo)

An LVN classic film, largely because of shining performances by Rosa Rosal and Tony Santos. It won the award for best direction (Lamberto V. Avellana, National Artist for Theater and Film in 1976), best story (Rolf Bayer), best editing (Gregorio Carballo), and best cinematography (Mike Accion) at the 1957 Southeast Asia Film Festival held in Tokyo.


A story about the Badjaos and the Tausogs, rival Muslim tribes for centuries. The Badjaos, a group of sea gypsies, ply the sea for food and for pearls. Hassan (Tony Santos), a son of the Badjao chief falls in love and marries Bala Amai (Rosa Rosal) who is a niece of Datu Tahil (Jose de Cordova), head of the Tausogs. At the urging of Bala Amai, Hassan decides to leave his tribe and join the Tausogs. Eventually, Datu Tahil learns of Hassan’s expertise in finding rare pearls in the sea, thus exploiting him for his own selfish interests. Hassan and Bala Amai resist him, feeling that their self-respect have been trampled on. They decide to go back to the Badjaos and lead a more humble, but nevertheless peaceful life. the Badjaos accept them with all their hearts.
LVN Archives. Lopez Museum and Library

Sultan Omar Kiram Gallery of Silliman University’s Anthropology Museum:

Recommended Reading:

The Guardian: The last of the sea nomads
For generations they have lived on the ocean, diving and fishing, and rarely setting foot on land. But now these marine nomads risk destroying the reefs that sustain them Earthwatch — Twilight of the Sea People

Ethnic Groups of the Philippines


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