Cover Episode still from "Heneral Tuna" / NCCA and Rocketsheep Studio

From the makers of "Hayop Ka!" and "Saving Sally" comes a new series of animated shorts that teaches values important to every Filipino

Here's the elevator pitch from an alien's space ship: "Why don't we conquer Planet Earth?" But the catch is, the one who was supposed to lead the mission was conquered the other way around. How? Despite all the technology that they have, we humans have a far better weapon—our values.

The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) in partnership with Rocketsheep Studio, one of today's leading animation studios in the country, is offering a new children's program entitled Heneral Tuna that will be available on the FDCP Channel and on Kumu. Set to release on October 15, this series of animated shorts attempts to educate Filipinos, young and old, of their roles in our communities through upholding the importance of Filipino values.

Heneral Tuna explores NCCA's Filipino Values Program which has four goals: value of creative excellence advanced, diversity of culture valued, promotion of culture sensitive governance and development, and values for common good inculcated.

Through this program, the institution together with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) conducted a two-year study that sought to determine the different values upheld across the country. The research sought to answer the questions "What is important for the Filipinos?" or "What Filipinos value at the present?". In conclusion, the research identified 20 common shared values. Seven of which were chosen as the central themes of the seven-episode long premiere season of Heneral Tuna.

At the helm of the project are equally award-winning writer Carlo Vergara (Zsazsa Zaturnnah) and animation director Avid Liongoren (Hayop Ka!, Saving Sally) with a crew of talented writers and artists such as Rob Cham, Charlene Sawit-Esguerra, Kevin Raymundo, and Manny Angeles who also lends his voice to the titular character.

Heneral Tuna narrates his journey to earth at the beginning of the pilot episode, where he is tasked to visit Planet Earth and observe the "Earthlings" in preparation of the planned invasion by his origin planet, Mingming. He crashed to the Philippines and by a stroke of luck, went to the fictional idyllic town of Hiraya and later gets adopted by an endearing and loving family.

Through its Filipino Values Program and in extension, the show, NCCA aims to contribute to the enhancement of Philippine social fabric towards building a high trust and resilient society. Vergara said that through the lens of the character of Heneral Tuna, it is important for the viewers to learn these values from a youthful, innocent, and objective perspective, and moreso have a fresh take on these amid mature knowledge of the world. Meanwhile, for Liongoren, he wanted to present a show that is not pretentious and preachy but instead teaches the values by showing it and making viewers empathise with the character.

Catch the weekly episodes of Heneral Tuna on FDCP Channel and on Kumu starting October 15, 2021


© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.