ABOUT THE WRITERS
“I felt honored that they chose my book. I am thrilled with the potential that our message could be heard far and wide. It also gave me hope that many people will be aware of the needs of our indigenous and reach out to their needs.”
“Ironically, the world is much bigger than I thought, but our dreams and aspirations are almost all similar. We all just want better lives and will do whatever it takes to get there.”
Icko Gonzalez is the co-writer for OLIGASE. A man of many talents, Icko is an actor for both television and theater. He is also a host, director, visual artist, and a film enthusiast. Icko is also the head and director of the Superbook Team in the Philippines called “Batang Superbook”.
Occasionally, he also hosts the daily inspirational show, The 700 Club Asia. He has also played the role of Kuya Maki in the children’s educational program, “Oyayi”. Icko is also known for his role as Kuya Bok in the hit educational children’s show, “Sineskwela”. A gifted actor-director, he has played challenging roles in CBN Asia’s Holy Week Special, Tanikala, while also having directed several plays and films.
For OLIGASE, Icko’s passion and experience as actor-director became key, as he led acting workshops for the first-time actors from the Matigsalug tribe. He devoted his time with them – training, teaching, and interacting with them – completely immersing in their culture, tradition, daily lifestyle, and beliefs, helping him give more life and truth to the story of this indigenous tribe.
Icko views OLIGASE as a very special film that depicts some of the important social issues in our country – the lack of education, fear, and limiting beliefs. He is fully convinced that Filipinos must now know the truth about some of our indigenous countrymen and the harsh reality that is happening in some parts of the country.
He hopes that through this film, people’s eyes and hearts will be opened. He hopes that the message of OLIGASE will be heard and acknowledged, that Filipinos will be compelled to pray, care, and share what they can to help their countrymen.
Icko is happily married to his beloved wife, Mariam.
PIO GABAD ARCE
Pio Gabad Arce is the writer of the book OLIGASE, from where the film was adapted. In 1986, Pio travelled the jungles of Mindanao, working as a photojournalist for a mission organization. He then first met the Matigsalug people and felt God’s calling to work amongst them.
In 1994, Pio and his family went to Mindanao as missionaries. In 1996, they established the Simbahang Kristianong Lumad Inc., an indigenous church movement that sought to see indigenous people no longer as a mission field, but as a mission force.
The Arce family also established the Kalayag Child Care and Youth Community Center, an NGO that aimed to sponsor and send tribal youth to universities, providing them with technical and educational training.
Pio was moved to write OLIGASE after receiving the burden to reach out more effectively to the tribal people in remote areas of Mindanao where poverty and ignorance are widespread.
Pio has authored two books, OLIGASE: Demon of Fear; and PANGAYAW: The Right To Kill. He is currently working on his next two novels.
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