Kambilangatao: A Study of the Visual Grammar of Tarpaulins
Keywords:Visual Grammar, Language and Culture, Cross-Cultural Communication
The overwhelming number of tarpaulins posted in strategic places around the Meranaw communities in Marawi City, Philippines, have tagged the City as the “City of Tarpaulins”. For years, tarpaulins have been invading streets and walls. This multimedia landscape is not only a powerful product of the digitalized world but is also a strong representation of the modernizing Meranaw culture. This study ventured into analyzing the texts and photographs presented in the tarpaulins to better understand the contemporary concept of Kambilangatao or the Meranaw values of becoming a good person.Through the analysis, the study shows that the Meranaw in the contemporary era has evolved into a new identity. The study has brought out the 5k concepts of Meranaw values that make up Kambilangatao or the art of becoming a good person in thoughts, deeds, and actions, such as kapamagogopa or helping one another, kapamagawida or mutual support, kapamagadata or respect for one another, kaseselai or honoring one another, and kambangsa or pride in the family lineage. Through the tarpaulins a visage of the contemporary Meranaw is revealed. The visual grammar of the tarpaulins reveals that the contemporary bilangatao or an ideal person is described as a degree holder, achiever, confident, religious, honorable, and a good leader.
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