“The Basi Revolt by Esteban Villanueva”, National Cultural Treasures, in Know Your North

Finally, a preview of “The Basi Revolt” (1821) paintings documentary that is part of the Victory Liner’s Know Your North series! After the pandemic-induced delay, we will be able to show you a number of short features leading up to the main one to celebrate the National Arts Month in February.

Your #NationalMuseumPH is happy to share this first video on the paintings by award-winning documentary filmmaker Gabriel Malvar. He shares with us the determination to continue celebrating the bicentennial of the historical paintings, which took place last year. In this four-minute video, the National Museum of the Philippines’ Director-General Jeremy Barns gives an overview of the 14 panels depicting the Basi Revolt of 1807 that in 2009 were collectively declared as National Cultural Treasure. He shares his insights while guiding us through some of the images in the panels that, apart from portraying scenes in the historical event, provide “glimpses of Philippine life at the time”.

Ilokana soprano Rosette Marie Aguinir of Vigan also renders lines of the Iloko folk song “O Naraniag a Bulan” (“Oh Bright Moon”) towards the end of the short feature, creating a haunting tone that reminds latter generations of Ilokanos one of the darkest episodes of their colonial past.

The video documentary on the “The Basi Revolt” paintings that are attributed to Vigan landowner and mestizo Esteban Pichay Villanueva was part of the commemoration of the paintings’ 200 th year. Together with a new publication featuring contemporary Ilokanos’ views of them, a video would contribute to the NMP’s campaign as well as continue its online presence since most of our museums were closed last year due to the continued threat of COVID-19. The partnership with the transportation company Victory Liner, Inc. (VLI) through Mr. Malvar and The Extra Mile Productions was forged through a Memorandum of Agreement in July 2021. Having developed the “Know Your North” project in 2017, they willingly agreed to join the NMP’s remembrance of the paintings’ milestone and the event that inspired it. More short features will follow as we anticipate the launch of the main documentary on the 200-year-old “The Basi Revolt”paintings in February. We hope you will enjoy this video. Please send us your feedback, and tune in for future programs!


©National Museum of the Philippines (2022), with the Victory Liner, Inc.