Earlier this week, K-drama fans celebrated when Filipino words were heard spoken in the new fantasy series starring Hallyu star Song Joong-ki– the “Arthdal Chronicles.”
In episode nine of the said series, an unnamed character said “Kaunahan tara isa kuma-on. Iban binug-tubig.” When translated, this means the man is asking for food and water.
To our delight, the character who said these words is a Filipino filmmaker named Nash Ang. In a phone interview, Ang told MB Life how this things come into fruition.
According to the actor, unlike the other members of the cast who underwent auditions, he was handpicked to do the role. “Yung ibang mga actors nakasali nago-audition pa talaga sila lalo na yung mga Korean actors,” Ang said. “Very rigid yung audition process nila para lang makapasok or makakuha ng kahit maliit na role.”
“So medyo may kaswertihan tayo dyan kasi napinpoint natalaga ako for the historical series. Kailangan nila ng talent from Southeast Asia to help them not just to be an actor, but also to help them research about the language that they will able to use,” he explained.
In case you’re wondering what Ang is doing in South Korea, he got a scholarship grant in Korea National University of the Arts in 2012. From then on, he had been seen in different Korean dramas such as “The Beauty Inside.”
The story of “Arthdal”
Story wise, “Arthdal Chronicles” is about the origin of Korea. And Arthdal kingdom conquered different lands and tribes. “Narratively, yung Arthdal in modern time is Korean. So sinakop nila yung nasa baba nila which is from Southeast Asia so that’s the reason may filming din silang naganap sa Brunei noong nakaraan,” Ang continued.
“Yung set nila sa Brunei, yung languages ng mga iyon, ng mga tribe na shinut nila ay yung languages natin. Which is Tausug and some Yakan,” he explained.
Tausug is the regional language spoken in Sulu, while Yakan is in Basilan. When asked why he chose to introduced these two language to foreign set, he said because what the series needs are indigenous dialects.
“Naghahanap talaga sila ng language na hindi masyadong distinguishable. Kasi creating a language itself is mahirap, magastos, and matagal. So practical na gumamit ng existing language pero hindi masyadong sikat. So maganda talaga yung nakasama ko doon parang nabawasan yung trabaho nila.”
Growing up as a city boy in Manila, Ang admitted that it’s his mom and family members who helped him translate the script into Tausug and Yakan. “Lumaki ako sa Manila. Hindi pa ako nakapunta sa province ko. Iyon yung reason nung nagtanong ng mga regional languages ang una kong tinanong, yung nanay ko. Naiintindihan ko yung Tausug pero hindi ako makapagsalita ng directly, in conversation lalo na’t ang lalalim ng mga salita,” he ended.
Ang is the director of “Seoul Mates” that was showcased in 2014’s Cinema One Film Festival. He’s also the CEO and Founder of Pinoy Seoul Media Enterprise and currently residing in Seoul, Korea.
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