Terrorism in the Philippines has forced Orly Ongkingco of Manila to temporarily halt his research on kites throughout the archipelago. Ongkingco was the recipient of a grant from the Drachen Foundation to document the broad-spectrum kite culture of his country—the various types of kites, their makers, raw materials, tools, history, mythology. He was not only charged with doing written research but also with making photographs, as well as collecting choice examples of kites.
This is one of several Drachen country projects in effect currently. Other important ones are now being conducted in Cambodia and Guatemala.
Because the Philippine culture apparently began in the south, at Mindanao (where Orly was born and raised), he began his study there in early October. He was on Siargao Island doing his first interview when Moslem rebels set off a bomb in nearby Zamboanga which killed several people and injured hundreds more. “Mindanao is a hotbed of the Moslem rebel movement,” Orly observes.