Joel “Art” Tibaldo, a committee member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, discusses the protocol for
cultural journalism during the first day of the training.
With the theme “Immortalizing the Indigenous Peoples’ Culture through Research,” a training on digital documentation of culture was held at the Mountain Province State Polytechnic College (MPSPC) in Bontoc, Mountain Province last May 30-31.
Joel Arthur “Art” Tibaldo, a member of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) – National Committee on Cinema, served as the resource speaker for the training.
Organized by the University of Baguio (UB) and the UB Alumni Foundation, Inc. (UBAFI) in coordination with MPSPC, the training gathered participants from some government line agencies and higher education institutions in the region.
The participants sat down with Tibaldo for a lecture during the first day of the training, where Tibaldo emphasized the protocol for cultural journalism. He underscored the concept of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC).
FPIC, as the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues has put it, requires that the indigenous people be consulted in a way which is appropriate for their customs and that there should be no manipulation or coercion employed to obtain their consent. It is a specific right of the indigenous peoples embedded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“Remember that you are capturing facts, not [some] legend. Present the facts as they are,” Tibaldo added.
Tibaldo, whose storied career includes a stint at ABS-CBN, also touched on the basic concepts of cinematography. In coming up with a video production or documentary, he noted that getting perspectives from different sources is highly encouraged. He said just as important as man-on-the-street interviews are interviews with the community elders and history professors, as well as hopefuls, pragmatics, doubters and critics.
Meanwhile, in presenting cultural stories through photography, he said use of varying shots will render the documentation more effective.
The participants engaged in a hiking activity on the second day of the training. The group visited Kalimbatawa, an eco-park in Otucan, Bauko which has become a tourist attraction. Obie Noe Madalang, a native of Mountain Province, led the group, pointing out key cultural points about the area. Tibaldo documented the day and presented a video snippet at the conclusion of the training.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has said digitally documenting heritage and culture would help preserve and restore them.
In a meeting on the Documentary Heritage for Sustainable Development in Africa, as reported in the media agency The Nation, Benda Fackson, programme specialist for UNESCO’s Memory of the World project, stressed, “We need to sensitize people on the importance of digitization… Digital documentation helps [in the protection] of culture; [it also] affords [people] universal access. It will help them enjoy them as widely as possible given the fact that with new technologies there is access.”
The training is part of a series of activities under the NCAA-funded Luzon Culture and Arts Festival project, penned and initiated by Dr. Rhoda Basco-Galangco, director of the UB Quality Assurance Office. It was co-spearheaded by Engr. Eleazer Demayo, president of UBAFI. Training sessions on cultural mapping and on ethnographic research were earlier held as part of the series, organized in cooperation with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples.
The training on cultural mapping, which tackled the tools in mapping the cultural assets of the different tribes in the Cordillera Administrative Region, was held last March and was participated in by researchers from state universities and colleges, non-government organizations, and line agencies in the region. Meanwhile, the two-part training on conducting ethnographic research was held last April, the first part of which was attended by researchers from higher education institutions in Baguio and Benguet while the second part included public school teachers from Baguio and Benguet as participants. The said training covered the nature and methods of ethnographic research as well as simulations and writing appropriate interview and focus group discussion questions, ethics in ethnography, methodological principles and analyzing and interpreting ethnographic data.
Photos by Oliver Celi / UB Research and Development Center
In his lecture, Tibaldo emphasized the concept of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC). As the United Nations Permanent Forum on
Indigenous Issues has put it, FPIC requires that the indigenous people be consulted in a way which is appropriate for their customs
and that there should be no manipulation or coercion employed to obtain their consent. FPIC is a specific right of the indigenous
peoples embedded in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Representatives from government line agencies and higher education institutions in the region attended the training.
Obie Noe Madalang, a faculty member of Mountain Province State Polytechnic College,
engages in a discussion during the lecture.
Tibaldo, whose storied career includes a stint at ABS-CBN, tests a drone. He touched on the basic concepts of cinematography in his lecture.
The participants were divided into groups for the workshop following the lecture.
The participants went on a hiking activity in Kalimbatawa, an eco-park in Otucan, Bauko on the
second day of the training. Kalimbatawa is increasingly becoming a tourist
attraction in Bauko, Mountain Province.
Elders and officials accompanied the group in the trek.
Tibaldo works a drone in the area.
Tibaldo also used a phone to document the activity.
Obie Noe Madalang, a native of Mountain Province, who led the group, pointed out key cultural points
about the area, noting that the indigenous people regard the spot as sacred.
"We do not own the land; it is the land that owns us," said Madalang, echoing the worldview of the
indigenous peoples regarding the sanctity of land.
Paddy fields dominate the view at Otucan, Bauko, Mountain Province, aside from forest lands and mountains.