Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

There seems to be a strong desire for Filipinos to earmark their identity, at a global scale. Of course, national pride is engrained in every culture and societies celebrate its members’ victory in every competition arena.

Manny Pacquiao is the most celebrated 21st century Filipino athlete. In his last bout where he lost, Filipinos got disappointed and many turned sour to disfavor him later on. Others vent that he should have retired earlier on, so as to avoid this losing streak. While others deny the fact, by believing that it was an unfair match. In the field of sports, the Philippines is poor performing, yet the Filipino pride still glories in hope, with wishful thinking that its athlete could grab an Olympic Gold Medal.

Above sports competition, Filipinos are always hopeful to bring home an international beauty title. The country has less than a handful of top winners, compared to the runner up titles it has had. Internet brought some better to hope for the Filipinos, as it is one of the world’s most active internet users, that the Philippines lead in some online voting. Showcasing the beauty of the Filipina and even the males and gays, extend to the baranggay level, because that’s how Filipinos in their family and communities aspire for titles.

Like with any other nation or nationality, the Philippines has competitive chance to be at par with other global players. This notion stems from the fact of how Filipinos are actively contributing to the world economy. Yet, employment statistics would show that most of the Overseas Filipino Workers land skilled jobs and are working at their best at mismatched occupations as to their educational qualifications.

Such situation can be viewed still being competitive, justified by the conceptual virtue of flexibility and industriousness. There too are Filipinos who excel in their fields. Across the world, there are Filipino researchers, educators, engineers, scientists, analysts and IT experts, although we have no Noble Laureate yet.

Recently, the Philippines had another Saint, Pedro Calungsod, to pride the Cebuanos. Now, here is the situation where the name of Luis Antonio rings a bell as a candidate for papacy. From the time Pope Benedict XVI expressed his intent to retire from his post not called for by death, the Internet has been filled with the Filipinos hope for a pontiff coming from the country.

The expressions of this desire to have a Filipino pope, is extended to the regional level while tagging Tagle as Asia’s hope. Various memes, posts, comments, pictures and news proliferate in Facebook and in other online resources. Mementos of some people with Cardinal Tagle were also posted in some individual’s walls. Vigils were set in churches. Prayers are called for Tagle, to become the next Pope.

If news were right and credible to reflect genuine investigative reporting on Tagle’s credentials, his qualifications are supportive of his competence to lead the world’s Catholic Churches. This is the thinking of the ordinary man. The secular and spiritual minds will have another take. The Catholic Church has its own code of electing the pope.

Any adult Catholic male can be elected to papacy, as what happened to Urban XVI in 1937, but historically, the popes the church had were mostly from the College of Cardinals. The elected pope should obtain 2/3 of the voting members, and all are entitled to be elected. The Front Runners are those papabile or pope-able and they are identified by feeling the Cardinals. Thus, such pope-ability is dependent on Cardinal’s attitude towards another.

The process is not like the politics outside the Church, were candidates are nominated, debates are held and long campaign periods take the trail. The Cardinals vote in a conclave, for and amongst themselves, until a conclusive vote is cast.

Amidst the wait for a new pontiff, there are fervent calls that reflect the Filipinos idiosyncracy online in hope for the 1st Filipino pontiff, one can read these all over the Internet. While the Cardinals are in a conclave, they are not to communicate with anyone from outside. So, it must only be God, checking his FB wall, like any other online users who could read such posts! If God would be reading similar posts from every nation and culture, which prayer would he choose?

The Internet or the World Wide Web began with the ARPANET technology in the 1970s (general knowledge needs no citation).  Through this technology many innovations have sprung, creativity flourished, knowledge expanded and individuals in every part of the world were able to communicate – unrestricted by any legislation in a geopolitical system (blogger’s opinion, check with Turn It In for indicators of plagiariasm).

End-users, producers, web developers and everyone has benefited with technology (blogger’s gut feel, can be substantiated by others’ observation), without a cybercrime law institutionalized. Netizens operate under private individual – private business agreements (check any Wiki if you need citation, this is the blogger’s educated guess). Users were not inhibited to present themselves as private individuals in a public domain.

Domains are owned by the website operators – private companies, organizations and individuals who have business  or public service interests. They depend on the traffic flow which refers to the number of users accessing the sites. From the user’s traffic, they gain profit directly or indirectly through shares and advertisements. The more traffic they get over time, the higher the company’s net worth becomes.

With a cybercrime law in effect (not necessarily in the Philippines, because the law is not limited to this country alone), when the provisions are rather broad and terms are not specific, and when its provisions contradict the basic right to freedom of expression, netizens within a geopolitical system become restrained. They are prevented in one way or another to exercise their right using information communication technology.  That itself interferes in the natural system of communication for digital natives in the virtual world. (the rest of the paragraph are the blogger’s opinion, no malicious intent, but mere critical thinking)

If the latter is an acceptable truth, then the law itself must be punished by its own letters, for it caused system interference. Systems in the virtual world are creations of private individuals, corporations and businesses, worldwide. The system is composed of nodes that communicate freely, and actively. (Check the Internet Traffic for this)  Does a country’s legislative mandate cover the whole world, when it strikes on the World Wide Web? Is there anything higher than the statutory law?  (these are products of the blogger’s critical thinking, like many other political individuals jailed their minds were never imprisoned).

Freedom is essential in a democracy. In a democratic environment where freedom resides, reasoning flourish and the society gains from it. Freedom is not absolute, like one can not steal anything from another. Taking someone’s ideas and making it one’s own is plagiarism, but plagiarism is not like that of stealing . Plagiarism is a rather moral issue, only law of conscientiousness and the value for individual integrity can pacify it. Fact, (general truth) even with Intellectual Property Rights Law, plagiarism has been rampant, not only in the academe, in the business industry, but even in politics.

Thinking again, the blogger of this site could not blog so well (blogger’s opinion, needs no citation), because of the law and not because of his passion to blog. Picture is taken from the net from PIFA which freely gives the rights to anyone to post it and repost it. By the way, the Internet does not only operate with copyright protection, there are many other resources operating on Copyleft system (from IEEE, 2010 conference). The blogger apologizes for the inconvenience of using parenthetical notes, when in fact, mostly everything included in this post were his ideas which are product of critical and free thinking. Should he be in jail for any malicious interpretation of any reader, please visit him sometimes.

Since the 1960’s when the left movement in the Philippines started, the term “imperialist” point to the United States alone. This pertains to the American’s extension of political, economic and cultural influence over smaller undeveloped countries that depend on US financial aids and protection. The US was seen as an economic and political superpower, and it was blamed for the many issues and problems the Philippines has suffered, because imperialism kept the  country in neo-feudal state with the Philippine government as a loyal ally bootlicking the United States.

Uncle Sam has been figured as a great collaborator coercing other nations. With its military might it kept a grand alliance with great nations that polarized political power. Historically, it was able to show its powers over dicators, pacifist and other colonizers. Doing so, expanded its territorial influence, dividing the world economically to be conquered anew. All these, the United States did as guaranteed by its constitution and its great love for freedom and democracy, as a great advocate of sovereignity for all nations. To others, these are  a grand scheme to keep capitalism at the helm.

Liberalism is married to capitalism. The latter is understood on the other end as the evil that chains many other nations in the shuckles of poverty. The many and the worst problems of the world can be theoretically traced as well to be rooted in the curse of capitalism. Because capitalism exploits on liberalism, while the alternative to capitalism will take away some accustomed liberties in the society, contemporary politics see no point in the alternative. At the extreme, even the minute problem in the Philippines is immediately linked to US Imperialism.

Down to US Imperalism. That was the call before, and even until now, in lighting rallies that hit the streets from time to time. The Philippines is young republic. It has to learn and work interdependently with other great nations. Diplomatic ties, treaties, agreements are signed bilaterally and multilaterally to ensure the country’s economic and political stability. It happens often though, that in many of the agreements the Philippines got into, that country ends in win-lose situation. Who then should be blamed for this: colonial mentality, incompetence in argumentation, political consciousness, capitalism, hegemony, imperialism?

Recently, the Philippines is at a tension with China, and it is not only China, but also Japan and other countries in the southeast Asia. China has been building garrison, testing political waters to extend its territorial boundaries, heightening tension over disputed waters and claims. Since, China opened its doors to capitalism in the 1990’s, economic power has shifted and it has invaded the world with its cheap products, killing many other local businesses.

Think of any product, and sure there is a China made counterpart of that, available in the local market. Big brands from the US, UK, Canada, Japan and the countries of Europe have counterfeit versions from China.  Is this not a form of economic imperalism? Even the local brands in the Philippines have China-made versions, sold in a much lower price, but come in cheaper quality. Overprice and quality, the China-made products are an auspicious find for those in a tight budget. Countries shifted production in China, which gave it an opportunity for growth. After conquering the world economy China is going beyond the market.

The Chinese people are Filipinos’ cultural brethren. The ties built by the earlier Chinese tradesmen in the archipelago, from since prehistory, brought the Filipino Chinese Mestizo. These Chinoys residing in the country have adapted to the Philippine culture and they have been considered as part of the multcultural make-up of the country’s population. Most of them are wealthy businessmen, and the tycoons the country has. Economically, Chinese businessmen own many of the industries in the country, and Filipinos have learned to live with that.

Imperialism is a construct of political and economic powerplay. It is now more difficult to distinguish who the imperialist is when the eyes just look at one. Who is the imperialist now? Who’s allowing the imperalist to take its strides?

This month, just before the start of the Philippines’ hosting for the meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Philippines’ official tourism campaign was launched through CNN, American-based international news network. The campaign bills the slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” to invite for local and international tourists.

Viral, youthful and vibrant – simply rolled as fun. That describes what makes this campaign a click. Prior to this campaign, the Department of Tourism in the previous administrations had “Wow Philippines” and then “Pilipinas Kay Ganda”. The country is indeed amazing with regards to its people, its diverse flora and fauna, and in its exhilirating natural beauty. Sadly, most Filipinos have not seen all these so far. The campaign is just a click, although it is questioned as to its originality, being the same slogan used by Switzerland in its 1951 tourism campaign.

The campaign is viral, simply because it was initiated to involve the public for a certain cause with the least cost. Launched in January 2012, it asked the Filipino people to make their say about what they think is more fun in the Philippines. The campaign was simple, people just need to tag the slogan and create their own to an original picture that shows tourist attractions in the country. That was fun because it gave the Filipino a voice, and that the campaign went overboard the traditional brainstorming among ad experts. It went viral through the Internet that engaged the young digital natives.

The advertisement launched presented a youthful perspective on what’s fun in the Philippines. Possibly those pictures posted online were taken by young people, since the process of laying over text to a picture is more common to those generation. The ideas are fresh, very inventive and innovative, something that only the non-traditionally thinking could have made up, just like that of “status update”, “high five”, “mountain biking”. Such are things related to the experiences of the youth.

Nonetheless, the images that go with the messages may not necessarily connect, but they do appeal to the various senses of a tourist. Youthful and vibrant as the images and tags are, the campaign reaches the target tourism market so well, expanding from its regular market of retirees and elderly to the hip and preppy generation. It does invite also the locals to experience the fun in thier own country.

The advert presents images from across the country, its festivities, party, natural wonders, activities to do in the beach. Such images are enticing to anyone to simply let go of worries and stresses, and just have fun while going around the Philipines. Atop these, the element of humor was wittingly applied. The technicalities of the video editing was simple ending it with “what else to see?”. The music was upbeat but not irritating to the ear. Overall, it was an awesome advertisement to boost Philippine tourism.

The Way of the Cross is a religious ritual Filipinos do during the Holy Week.  This can be done at one stop in a single church. But, for penitence’ sake, devout catholics extend this into a Visita Iglesia, where they would read the novena by visiting several churches. Sometimes one station per church.

I didn’t join my family for the visita iglesia, because I would want to hang out with my PhD classmates. I thought Bonifacio High Street would be dull, but to my surprise it was just full of people. People were lining up, families and friends. Curiousity pushed me to check what people are up to. What caught my attention was an Art Installation of the Way of the Cross, at the middle of that posh and classy shopping center.

It has 14 interactive stations, postmodern representations of the way of the cross. It uses non traditional art multimedia, glass, plastic bottles, stones, wood, metal among others. Music is also played in the background. It didn’t have any face of Christ, neither Biblical passages. Instead, on the black panels that served as post for each station, were literary excerpts that describes various author’s constructs of each segment of Christ’s passion. After each, description is a writing about how that segment of Christ’s passion applies in one’s life.

I didn’t have the chance to check all the 14 stations, but my eyes were really fascinated with what I saw. There is a station on Christ’s betrayal where the penitent needs to pick up a pebble, as representation of someone he has hurt in life. There is a station, where people can experience carrying a huge cross and moving it from one point to another. There is a station where the penitent would hit a nail with the hammer, on a huge slanted black cross.

It is an innovation, that blends well to the contemporary times and the culture of people. It challenges the people of the same moral, religious and spiritual reflection in an artistically interactive way. While there were still those who would read their novena’s at each station, others would just read what is presented to them in the panels and take the act suggested.

On the shirts of those assisting the pilgrims was a print that says “Church made simple”. This to me sends a concrete message, that the Church is not really about dogmas, that the church is not a house of stone, but a congregation of believers. The Church in the ebb of times ought to evolve to have meaning on people, reverberating the same Gospel in ways that present generation of believers would be able to understand.

In a society, where individuals are given control of things at the touch of their fingers, this art installation brings a new face to religious practices. In a society of people whose multi-sensory perceptions should be stimulated before they could understand, this reinvention of a religious tradition brings people back to their sense of spiritual self in a postmodern way. It is hard to determine though up to what extent will this work though.

While that place is full of pilgrims doing their penitential way of the cross, at the sides the restaurants are full of diners, eating and drinking with gusto. There’s a festive mood. I, myself was there not to do penitence, but to hang out with my friends. Religious tradition anyway is but a practice. True religion is an expression of faith to unseen God who came into flesh to bring salvation to all. With that my altar of faith is not limited to a specific place or time.

Billions of people have access to online social networks. Facebook, MySpace and Multiply are among the many social networking sites available for anyone with Internet access. Purposively, they are functional in many ways, but as a glass house of interconnected users, these platforms serve as space basically to see and be seen and to interact with people in a borderless and timeless spa.

Privacy is utmost important to almost everyone. Socially, privacy is an individual right. Psychologically, it is a construct of self-preservation from others. These are contradicting forces that should constraint anyone from joining an online social network. Being in a network makes one a part of a virtual open communication space that is vulnerable to make one’s private life obvious in the public.

Privacy and security are intertwined. One whose privacy is invaded may tend to feel less secure. While individuals have their own sense of security, the security features of a social network may not necessarily meet all one’s requirement. Privacy breach is a security issue. This could lead to stalking, malicious or fraudulent transactions and even identity theft.

While social network developers have the responsibility to put in security devices in the network, the accountability of protecting one’s life and valuable information rest on the social network user. Social networks have functions to publish information from personal facts to the location one is at an instant. It is optional to place these information, and access to these can be limited only to those in one’s network.

However, there are features that identify the user to other users. To illustrate, an FB user’s homepage may be locked for other users, down only to one’s name and avatar. Personalizing one’s wall with one’s picture is one possible way to be identified by other users. The network provides another function in that page to allow for possible connection with that user. Here, the owner of the page has the right and the responsibility to give access to anyone outside his or her network.

With search engines built in the network, any user can find another user. This may take awhile depending on the information made available for the searcher. With millions of profiles in a social network, the searcher will have to be patient in browsing all those results or should be more clever in narrowing down the search terms. With this feature, privacy if that is not being able to be found in a social network is not possible.

Social networks are platforms that connect a user to another user or to multiple users, intantantaneously. Privacy, then, is one’s responsibility. A user may possibly send an invite for a friend to get access to one’s network. The owner then should be able to assess and make a decision whether to accept that person’s request or not. Without really doing some background check on that person, the network may become vulnerable to spams that come through bogus profiles.

One young user, at the age of 8, has in his profile a link that connects to gay porn site. This child does not seem to have any malice or sexual interest yet at his age. His father also has a social network account and is his friend in the same site. But, the father does not seem to be aware of that link in his son’s profile page. Has this child placed the link personally, or someone who had access to his account did for him while he was not aware of it at all?

Full privacy is not possible in social networks. That would be damn right anomalous. The only way to free one’s self from being exposed and vulnerable to other online social network users is not to join any social network at all. The next case then, is whether an account is totally deleted once a user opted to shut it down? Anything and every information people put about their selves can be accessed and used by some total stranger. The permission for that was granted through the social network once the user signed up for an account.

* A reflective discourse originally presented by the blogger to Dr. R. Guioguio for the requirement in a post-graduate course on Philippine Communication Environment, University of the Philippines-Diliman, 2010. Permission for reprinting is granted as long as proper citation is observed, according to the principle of creative commons’ sharing of online resources.

Climate change is a major environmental problem that represents social and economic threats to everyone in the globe. Risks have become higher as the potential danger of natural disasters looms to almost unmanageable extent – longer periods of rain, harsher storms, prolonged dry spells, extreme heat and cold temperatures, more frequent hot days and nights, flash floods, forest fires, rising sea level, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and the warming global temperature are among the many signs that “mother earth” is now ringing a sick call to all her children.

The peril resulting from climate change is no way particular to creed, wealth, faith, age, gender, race or color. It spares no one. The ecology of all things in the world suggests that every creature will experience the impact of climate change.

Climate change is a global concern, but it has impact which is specific to communities and sectoral groups. The problem is too broad to manage for a sector, yet there are enormous possibilities for a sector to contribute to its resolution; at least for their own adaptation, to mitigate climate change impact and to sustain community-base development. The indigenous are communities of people who contributed the least to the problem of climate change, but they are not spared from its impact. Economically and socially marginalized, the indigenous far greatly suffer from the impact of climate change and to international mitigation measures.

What is the potential impact of climate change to the indigenous people? What are  the existing and needed adaptation means to climate change specific to sustain survival and livelihood of the indigenous? How important is a communication framework in climate change impact mitigation for the indigenous people? These questions call for some reflective thinking.

Impact of Climate Change to the Indigenous People

Climate change has an impact in the culture, communities, resources, knowledge and the livelihood of people.  For the indigenous people contemporary climate change poses great challenges, unlike with that of the climate change that their predecessors have overcome from since prehistory. The alarming impact of climate change is now experienced by these vulnerable people at a global scale, yet scientific data warns of what is worst to come. Officially, the National Commission on Indigenous People of the Philippines (2003) reports that 110 ethnolinguistic groups are to be found in the country and they number to 8,067,100:

Subsistence of the indigenous people is much dependent on the biodiversity and their environment. These make them more vulnerable in light of the impact of climate change in their habitats and to their cultural identity relative to: being dislocated because of the disruption of subsistence; facing threats to their lives, health and properties; declining and losing biodiversity and the confronting environmental forces that damage their crops; having inadequate knowledge about issues on climate change; and being challenged by their limited economic means and the lack of skills for alternative livelihood.

Those five concerns confront the already marginalized IP groups and make them even more vulnerable to the impact of climate change. The indigenous groups comprise a relatively small size of the Philippine population, like 10% or even lesser. The NCIPP 2003 data indicates a disparity in the IP population as compared to its 1998 estimation of the IP population which was around 12 to 15 million.

The issue of climate change has been around since the 1990s. How climate change contributed to this decline of IP population and how it impacts their lives have not been examined empirically. The issues of IP sector has long been a struggle for their rights to habitat and their cultural identity (Molintas, 2004).

 “Vulnerability is the degree to which a system is susceptible to, or unable to cope with, adverse effects of climate change, including climate variability and extremes. Vulnerability is a function of the character, magnitude, and rate of climate change and variation to which a system is exposed, its sensitivity, and its adaptive capacity” (IPCC, 2007).

The indigenous people comprise the minority of the Philippine population. Perhaps, they are the most vulnerable of all people to the impact of climate change. They belong to a culture – which social and economic subsistence are inextricably and directly linked to the natural environment. Climate change has a direct impact to the biodiversity of their lands and habitats. The Filipino IPs live in the hinterlands, hilltops, mountain tops, by the sea and lake waters and in small islands.

These structures in the ecosystem are vulnerable to climate change. Harsh storms can cause  landslides, severe drought suck up the lake water, change in global temperature affects the biodiversity and even the marine life. Where they dwell are freshwater resources, so prone to vector-borne diseases. These impacts of climate change exacerbate the vulnerability of the indigenous people because they are the inhabitants of marginal ecosystems.

The indigenous people are direct descendants of nature and they have performed so well throughout history as stewards of the environment. Their communion with nature brought them resiliency and adaptive skills. Being residents of a marginal ecosystem, they do not have access to information and education that can equip them with adequate knowledge about the issues of climate change. Economically, they rely on their crops and livestock as for those groups which have advanced their agricultural skills. For those groups which still rely on hunting, the loss of biodiversity or its decline would have impact to their food security and livelihood.

The challenges of climate change are nothing old, that even science which claims to possess the knowledge of nature is baffled by the perplexing magnitude and potential impact of this environmental problem. It has become evident that climate change brought enormous concerns both to the contemporary postmodern world and to the indigenous people. The threats of economic development are becoming more evident in the changes in the world’s climate, leaving the IPs in more danger.

Climate Change Adaptation and Impact Mitigation

Like any group of people, the indigenous are trying to adapt to the impact of climate of change. The way the indigenous adapts to immediate environmental changes based on their culture, traditions and community decisions. To go on with their lives, adaptation is basic in this situation. Some IPs deal with the situation as a community, but others resort to push through with their individual choices by abandoning their culture.

Migration and relocation – There are direct links to connect the migration issues of several indigenous groups in the Philippines to social order and economic situations. Theoretically, in an environment where there is economic sufficiency and social order, people continue to thrive. Livelihood that relies on farming, fishing or hunting is affected by climate change which results to decline in crops, livestock and catches. Hence, it becomes an adaptation option for IPs to migrate or relocate to other areas.

Fajardo (2007) pointed to the loss of livelihood and mining development projects as some of the issues that push IPs to migrate or relocate, and described this diaspora to cause further impact on IPs’ affect. The movement of one community to other locations is a sign of migration and relocation. After the Pinatubo eruption, the Aetas of Zambales have decided to settle in other communities.  However, IP members sometime resort to individual disenfranchisement or abandonment of their community.

Individualism and abandonment – Fajardo (2007) reported on the individual members of IPs forced by poverty to abandon their natural habitation, either as a family or as an individual as they relocate to other places in or outside the country. Since they settle in isolated marginal ecosystems, those community members who are not able to sustain their basic needs in their environment are left to take the option of moving out and integrating to urban areas.

Sporadically, some members of the indigenous community roam the streets of urban cities as beggars and mendicants. Whether their presence in these places is syndicated or not, it can still be understood, that the decision for them to abandon their community for some amount of money was still individual decision. Government efforts in the guise of development had displaced the indigenous from their own land (Molintas, 2004). Given this condition, some indigenous people have no other option but to abandon their culture in exchange for some amount, while others relocate and persist.

Resourcefulness to find alternative livelihood – The indigenous people, dwelling in the rainforest, are more often hunters and gatherers. However, the impact of climate change to the biodiversity of the forest would have an effect on their food subsistence. Most of these hunting and gathering forest people have gradually adapted to an agricultural economy and are becoming semi-sedintary (Macchi, 2008).

Resourcefulness is a must to find an alternative livelihood for their survival and subsistence. Change in climatic conditions allowed for some indigenous to adapt new or alternative techniques (Salick & Byg, 2007). With limited resources, i.e. food catch, crops and hunts, some indigenous resort to making crafts or gathering items from their natural environment to be sold in nearest market.

Traditional wisdom – The traditional knowledge of the indigenous people about the diversity of species, their habitats, behaviors, and their traditional ways of managing and protecting natural resources allow them to have a sustainable relationship with the environment upon which we all ultimately depend for our welfare and survival (Carino, n.d). Their exceptional culture demonstrates the harmonious relationship of the Ivatan people with their environment as a means of surviving and coping with these various ecological stresses (Uy & Shaw, 2000).

Indigenous knowledge about climate change is not parallel to what science has inquired about. There are cases that the indigenous people attribute the changes in climate to something else, like the “wind,” or to modernity and development, or a supernatural force because the land has been violated. This reflects the need for correcting misconceptions about climate change.

Resiliency and concession – in times of crises some IPs obtain food and other necessities from external sources (Salick & Byg, 2007). In this way, the IPs demonstrate resiliency by modes exchange with non-IPs. They do this by trading their surplus products, handicrafts, forest products, wage labor and other goods.   “Indigenous peoples of the Philippines have preserved many of their own customary practices, traditions and livelihood and resource systems, showing great resilience against centuries of foreign domination and their exposures to lowland and market influences” (Rebuelta-Teh, 2004, p.87).

The Ivatans of the Batanes province are an illustration of indigenous resiliency, over harsh weather conditions, by applying traditional knowledge in their architectural landscape and in the sensitivity to weather patterns. The adaptation of the indigenous people does not mean to be all best practices that can help in mitigating the impact of climate change.

The rate of growth in net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a critical issue in the Philippines, and therefore managing the country’s natural resources wisely to protect their supply and quality and to maintain their diversity is critical for sustained economic growth (USAID, 2008). Since, they are marginalized economically and live in a marginal ecosystem, pressed with land rights issues; they are thinly focused on fulfilling their role as stewards of the environment. Somehow, their mindset is too politicized to pay attention to the issue of climate change, while they crumble to find food.

Climate Change Communication

“While Climate change is a threat to humanity as a whole, the report indicates that it is the poor – a constituency with no responsibility for the ecological debt that the world is running up – who face the most immediate and most severe human costs in climate change” Malayang (2008).

In his view, Manalang  may not represent the academe nor the university where he is the president. This opinion is highly political. Yet it is true, it does not encourage communitarian effort to mitigate the impact of climate change. Instead, such views prevent public participation, reducing the issue of climate change as a political struggle and a diplomatic feat.

This is the very same view that leaders or representatives of IP organizations declare, voicing out that the IPs have not left footprints that adversely affected climate change, yet they suffer from international pressures to reforest their lands with trees not even endemic to their environment. They say that the development f renewable energy resources and planting crops that can be used for making bio-diesel displace them from their land. Such views are critical to a communitarian effort on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Science and the public do not speak the same language about climate change. This knowledge or information gap is a result of the differences between the ways scientist and non-scientist inquire and communicate about environmental problems. Chalecki believes that “If impact assessments were more closely related to issues of public interest, the links between individual behavior and global changes in the environment might become more apparent, and public frustration over environmental issues might be transformed into environmentally responsible actions(2000, A2-15). In this concern, communication has a role to bridge the gap in knowledge, to translate scientific information into useful knowledge, and to reach the public who will act on the problem.

Human-induced climate change is a product of the cumulative impacts of billions of people going about their daily lives; and the challenges that go by this point to the scale of the issue requiring unprecedented cooperation, while there may be a sense of helplessness for the individuals faced with other important and competing issues (Andrey & Mortsch, 2000). Communicating the climate change issue requires the imparting of information to fulfill three expectations: 1) to raise awareness; 2) to confer understanding; and 3) to motivate action (CCCC, 2000). Communication is essential to facilitate the delivery of climate change communication, reinforce adaptation skills and address mitigation issues.

Climate change communication must be sector-specific, yet still focusing on three key concepts – impact, adaptation and mitigation. It is audience-centered, so it must be contextualized within cultural boundaries of a community or sector. It is not ambitious and it cannot stop global warming. It is neither a panacea to prevailing environmental problems. It has a pivotal role to turn things around particularly in the aspect of correcting wrong perceptions, changing attitudes, creating public awareness, processing knowledge, transforming behavior, developing skills, integrating technology and instituting new practices. It is a vital social action to coordinate individuals and group into cooperative eco-sensitive actions.

Communication Framework to Address the Challenges of Climate Change and Development

Figure 1  illustrates a framework for communicating climate change to the indigenous. It considers a cultural framework in organizing an active network of community members by using the available indigenous cost-efficient resources, integrating knowledge-management strategies, skills development and technology integration. The framework emphasizes social justice in helping IPs adapt and mitigate the impact of climate change while integrating it with a community and sectoral development perspectives.



Andrey, J., & Mortsch, L. (2000). Communicating About Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities, WP 1-11. In Climate Change Communication Conference. Proceedings of an international conference. June 22-24, 2000. Ontario, Canada.

Chalecky, E. (2000).  Same Planet, Different Worlds: The Climate Change Information Gap. A2 15-22. In Climate Change Communication
Conference. Proceedings of an international conference. June 22-24, 2000. Ontario, Canada.

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