A documentary series by filmmaker Paul Factora that examines the history and culture of the Balisong knife, aka "The most romantic knife in the world." Through three 40 minute episodes, Way of the Balisong takes the viewer on a fantastic journey starting from the neighborhoods of Batangas-Philippines to 80's Hollywood action cinema to a modern day internet subculture that spans the world.
Known by many other names such as the Butterfly Knife, ‘Balisong’ is the inherent name of the original Filipino Hand Made knife that was a popular souvenir for American GI’s who fought in the Philippines during WW2.
The knife was made popular again in America by it’s appearances in numerous films such as The Outsiders, Big Trouble in Little China, Face/Off and most recently Kickass, Mission Impossible:Fallout and Pacific Rim.
Currently the balisong has enjoyed a new boost of popularity as a modern day worldwide culture.
The unique design of the knife is easily recognized by it’s two folding handles that open, close and interlock in a dynamic action similar to the wings of a Butterfly.
The knife has been the center of controversy and deemed illegal in several states yet retains a prominent popularity and has a dedicated worldwide legion of enthusiasts, collectors, practitioners, producers and custom makers.
With various origin tales stemming from 8thcentury Asia through 15th century Europe and into the America’s and the Philippines via the Manila/Acapulco Galleon trade from 1565 to the 1800’s, the origins of the Balisong knife are shrouded in mystery.
One thing which is certain is that its modern day incarnation and popularity leads back to the small heritage town of Taal in the Batangas region of the Philippines.
Taal Town is a cornerstone of Philippine culture and history, rich with architectural landmarks.
Known as an inspirational pillar of Filipino identity it has deep roots and a lineage embedded within the evolution of the Philippines as a country and a people.
One wouldn’t expect a documentary about a knife to be the catalyst of insights into the human condition but Way of the Balisong (WOTB) is simply that.
A unique documentary series that takes audiences on an original and unexpectedly fascinating journey.
Starting from a century old industry in the Philippines to 80’s America and into modern day internet culture.
Through Way of the Balisong we explore the story of cultural preservation amidst modernization, set within the backdrop of one of the worlds most interesting countries.
A never before seen and in-depth look into one of the Philippines oldest cottage industries as it struggles to maintain its existence amidst a changing socio-economic landscape.
WOTB begins with a focus on one man’s noble fight to keep his towns inherent industry alive against all odds.
The story continues through into a tale of breaking barriers.
How this humble knife from the Philippines became the unlikely
catalyst for Asian-Americans to make waves in the industries of entertainment and cutlery manufacturing.
The series concludes with an examination of human expression and art as salvation, culminating in the fast growing world wide sensation known as balisong "Flipping".
In the Philippines you’d be hard pressed to find a single person who has not heard of the Balisong. It’s mystique has been embedded in the culture for many generations. In North America it is an icon for anyone familiar with martial arts and action movies for the past 40 years.
The dynamic new subculture of balisong flipping has evolved well beyond a fad. Much like the yo-yo and the fidget spinner the art of Balisong manipulation has quickly evolved to worldwide popularity.
Beyond it’s own fan base, Way of the Balisong seeks to tell a story that isn’t so much about a knife but is rooted in the original stories of interesting people and a historical town industry that sparked a worldwide culture.
The worldwide popularity of Balisongs have permeated the internet and social media resulting in some impressive view metrics.