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I-Witness

David bags US award; the uwang trade

June 14, 2007 6:33pm

Tags: Kara David
Episode on June 18, 2007
Monday late night after Saksi



I-Witness’ Kara David and executive producer Lloyd Navera have just returned from Los Angeles, California, where they received the Silver Screen Award at the US International Film and Video Festival. They won the prestigious prize for “In the Eyes of Ekang", a documentary about a four-year-old girl growing up in a criminal family.

This Monday night, Kara, Lloyd and their multi-awarded I-Witness team again bring a shocking reality to the fore – the secret export of beetles – known by natives as “uwang" – from the island-province of Palawan to countries throughout Asia.

A single beetle can reportedly sell for as much as $80, tempting numerous people to involve themselves in the underground trade.

I-Witness documentarist Kara David investigates how the insects are exported. In the lush forests of Palawan, she joins the Pala’wan tribe as they climb trees as high as four-storey buildings to gather the special beetle. After many hours of walking to the nearest towns, middlemen collect the beetles from the tribesmen. The middlemen wrap them like candy in plastic and bring them to Manila where they are surreptitiously shipped abroad.

In Taiwan, Japan and Korea, the uwang are kept as pets or made to fight one another in various games. They are also mixed in food and drinks and sometimes made into décor.

The Philippines has quietly been exporting beetles over the past ten years. This surprising trade is uncovered in Kara David’s I-Witness episode airing Monday late night, over GMA-7.





Uwang

Kakauwi pa lang ni Kara David at ng kanyang executive producer na si Lloyd Navera mula sa Los Angeles, kung saan nila tinanggap ang Silver Screen Award mula sa US International Film and Video Festival. Ang kanilang award-winning documentary, “Sa Mata ni Ekang", ay tungkol sa isang batang lumaki sa pamilya ng mga Kriminal.

Ngayong Lunes, ilalantad naman nina Kara at ng kanyang award-winning team ang isa pang tagong katotohanan sa ating bansa – ang sikretong pag-eexport ng uwang o beetle.
Umaabot hanggang $80 dollars ang presyo ng bawat isang uwang kung ito’y malaki, kaya naman natutukso ang mga Pilipino na pasukin ang ganitong negosyo.

Inalam ni Kara David kung paano nakalalabas ng bansa ang mga insekto. Mula sa masukal na kagubatan ng Palawan, kinilala ni Kara ang mga tribong Pala’wan na siyang umaakyat ng mga punong kasingtaas ng apat na palapag na gusali para lang makakuha ng uwang. Ibinababa ito sa pamamagitan nang tatlong oras na lakaran. Pagdating sa baba, ibinebenta na ito sa middleman at binabalutan ng plastic na parang mga kendi bago ibiyahe hanggang Maynila.

Pagdating sa Taiwan, Japan at Korea ginagawa na itong alaga, pinagsasabong at pinagpupustahan. Ang mga uwang ay inihahalo rin nila sa kape at pagkain at minsang ginagawang décor o alahas.

Sampung taon nang nabubuhay ang sikretong “Uwang Trade", ito ang nakagugulat na katotohanang mapapanood sa I-Witness ni Kara David ngayong Lunes ng hatinggabi, ika-18 ng Hunyo, sa GMA-7.
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Tags: Kara David



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