This article was also featured on Tools4Development 🙂
How would you feel when people post your photos and sentiments on their social media pages without your consent?
I remember an elder from Itogon, Benguet sharing with me how bad the community felt after showing a ritual to a famous television reporter, then seeing this on TV a week later being dubbed as “animal cruelty.” First off, the reporter did not even go through all the processes required to ask for consent from the community to publish videos, photos and audios from the site. Secondly, it was wholly one-way: all for the glory of stats and markets for the station.
This is sad, to think the violation was committed by one of the top reporters in the Philippines, and by the biggest station in the country. If the people on top do not set a good example, how do we expect others to go through the proper process?
Like any other research, if you intend to do your study with indigenous groups, it is very important that you respect the culture, traditions and regulations of these communities. If your plans do not correspond with their comfort, please, find ways to meet their rules.
Here is a general guideline on “How to Conduct Research with Indigenous Communities in the Philippines.” If you’re interested with the more detailed guideline, contact me here.
I would like to send in my biggest thanks to Gale Villaflor, Mandeep Ranu and Joanne Chua, colleagues-slash-best-friends, whom I’ve worked with for the UNDP-PIPR (Protecting Indigenous Peoples Rights) project. Ate Gale offered her expertise to make all manuals to make this project possible. Together with Ate Gale, Mandeep and Joanne honed in the documentation techniques geared towards research in challenging environments.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’m no expert so for concerns I cannot answer, we’ll definitely ask for a mentor’s advice 🙂