Small Wars Journal

Trying to Save the Stories of a Philippine Culture, One Scan at a Time

Trying to Save the Stories of a Philippine Culture, One Scan at a Time by Regine Cabato – Washington Post

Manila - Long ago, a princess was abducted and taken to a faraway island. A dashing prince rescued her and brought her to his home kingdom.

It sounds like a familiar fairy tale. For some in the Philippines, however, it’s one of the many plots in a centuries-old epic song called the “Darangen,” which recounts the myths and feats of the Maranao culture from the southern island of Mindanao.

Now, a modern-day tale has been added to the lore: how a battle against Islamist militants destroyed some of the foundational texts of the Maranao people and how preservationists stepped in to digitize the pages that survived.

The effort is also another chapter in the wider reckoning over the cultural and historical destruction by the Islamic State and affiliated militias around the world — including damage inflicted on ancient sites and collections in Iraq and Syria.

In the Philippines, many of the archives of the Maranao, or the “people of the lake,” were destroyed when Islamic State-affiliated insurgents occupied the city of Marawi in 2017 on Mindanao…

Read on.