Indio-genius! National artist Kidlat Tahimik flips a derogatory term to rally the natural genius of Filipinos today

National Artist Kidlat Tahimik explains his vision of how Pinoys would impact the world if they embrace their inner “indio-genius.”

During the Spanish regime in the Philippines, Filipinos were labeled as indios (idiots) by the colonizers, treated as third-class citizens in their own country, and prevented from getting an education to remain in the dark about the atrocities being committed by their masters.

National Artist Kidlat Tahimik recently shared how he flipped the derogatory term into a positive one to embrace the genius of Filipino culture.

In a video for The Filipino Story, he explained his vision when he coined the term indio-genius, a flip on the OG word indigenous –to unravel what genius Filipinos can contribute to the world with their God-given skills, talents, and intelligence.

“If we can express the genius of the indigenous into our lives today, then I think we are the race of the future. The world is waiting for our contribution. But let me be clear, I’m not trying to go back to the Stone Age. I’m not telling everybody to wear a bahag like me, I’m just saying the wisdom of our grandparents is relevant until today,” he explained.