Skip to content

Diwalwal, the Cursed Gold of the Philippines

Sunday 22 March 2015, 1400 – 1600, Room 3


Lost in the mountains of Mindanao, the rebellious province of the South Philippines, Diwalwal is an illegal gold rush town ruled by the guns and also, according to the highly respected Blacksmith Institute, one the top twenty actual worst ecological disasters of the planet.

On top of a mountain of gold surrounded by jungles roamed by tree active guerrillas, two Muslims and one communist, Franco Tito is fighting, corrupt politicians and unscrupulous multinationals, to protect the rights of the 40,000 small scale miners who are living in this infernal universe.

What seems to be at first a local political conflict happen to be a social, economical and sanitary international emergency which’s consequences are accumulating in the environment and oceans for eventually creeping back, through the food chain, in everybody’s plate everywhere.


Film screening to be followed by a roundtable discussion featuring:

  • Franco Tito (former Capitan, Barangay Diwalwal) 

Francisco Juegos TITO was Branagay Chairman in Mt Diwata (Diwalwal) in Mokayo, Philippines, for 13 years. A miner, he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Mindanao. His motto is “Those who are not afraid to die are fit to live.”

  • Philippe Couture (Filmmaker)

Philippe COUTURE Is a French award winning film director, who has been writing, shooting, directing and producing documentaries and commercial films in Europe, India, USA, China, Japan and South East Asia for over 2 decades. His reportages have also been published in major European picture magazines. He is now based in Hong Kong and involved in several sustainability development projects in Haiti, France and Hong Kong involving Permaculture designs & techniques.

  • Jowel Canuday (Ateneo de Manila University)

Jose Jowel CANUDAY is an assistant professor at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He obtained his doctorate in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Oxford in 2013 based on his thesis on cosmopolitan expressions of belonging and connections in the armed conflict zones of the Southern Philippines. He was formerly a journalist based in Davao City, Philippines covering the events at the nearby mining areas of Diwalwal. Jowel was also a Southeast Asian Visiting Fellow at the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford where he completed his book, “Bakwit: the Power of the Displaced” that won a 2009 National Book Awards in the Philippines.

  • Yuyun Ismawati (Balifokus)

Yuyun ISMAWATI is a Senior Advisor and co-founder of BALIFOKUS Foundation, a Bali-based environmental NGO. Yuyun has broad and rich experiences in urban environmental management issues, environmental health and sanitation, as well as climate and toxics issues.  Yuyun holds an environmental engineering bachelor degree from Institute Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia and MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford. Yuyun Ismawati is a Goldman Environmental Prize awardee 2009, Ashoka Fellow, LEAD Fellow and the Ancora Scholar. She is also serve as the Steering Committee member of IPEN and GAIA.

  • Chair: Aurelia Luzviminda V. Gomez (University of Philippines, Mindanao)



Duration: 52 min
Director: Philippe Couture
Release date: 2012
Co-production: Arts&Facts Zaradoc
Languages: English français
Broadcast format: Fichier numérique HD
Distribution: Zaradoc