THE IDEA: An IP Experience
THE IDEA: An IP Experience

THE IDEA: An IP Experience

I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve given myself work and lots of things to do without anyone telling me to :)) I have this new project I want to get off the ground but before that comes solidifying the idea.

To start from the beginning, this all began on social media. Monica Manuel of ramblingsaboutanything followed my blog and after reading somewhere that a good way to get more traffic on your blog is by visiting others, I went ahead and looked at her site. There, I found this:

Check out her page here.

It was the actualization of something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time – a documentation of IP tribes around the Philippines and “break down barriers.” The whole time I had the idea of doing this thing, I’ve been daunted by it. It seemed like a mammoth task, I didn’t know where to begin, and I was alone. Now I wasn’t anymore!

We met up and it really was like I was talking to myself, but with much more life experience 🙂 We both wanted to make a website that would be an information source on the country’s ethnolinguistic groups, for shared reasons too. Information keeps the culture alive, banishes stereotypes, celebrates heritage and, indigenous people are just that interesting.

Another by chance meeting with JC Soriano of Magis Solutions and we had ourselves web developers and designers! (Told you I’ve been lucky lately.)

Last week though, we met up and some critical questions came up. How do we get people to even go on the site? How do we get critical mass? How do we ever raise funds and time for the research needed? My answers showed how being at Rappler has affected my way of thinking, and it’s what I really wanted to talk about in this entry 🙂

IDEA 1: CROWDSOURCE THE CONTENT. Get people who’ve gone and visited indigenous people or lived with indigenous people and get them to write. This a) makes generating content faster, b) makes the content more personal and possibly more interesting for readers, c) makes it easier to sell online.

IDEA 2: AN ARTIST’S IMMERSION. We partner with a travel group like Kultura Kamp, Route +63, Trail Adventours or any company that has close ties with an IP community and we bring 5 artists to join the immersion. After, the artists can produce something that says what the experience was like for them and what they’ve learned – drawings, music, photographs, videos, multimedia. It’s an experiment in a way, and also another fast way to get content and attract people. It’s possible also that the artists can hold workshops with the people there, OR EVEN the other way around!

I have a few misgivings with these ideas, misgivings I’m trying to put in focus because on the other side of the coin, I AM SO EXCITED 😀

One misgiving I guess is, these can/will become more about the people than the communities. Connected to that, I don’t know exactly how something like this can benefit indigenous people. When I think of the immersion idea, it’s a little like art for art’s sake – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

More importantly, is this the best way to cover indigenous people?

What do you think? Would you be willing to contribute or join an immersion?

I’d love to hear ideas 🙂

From Monica Manuel


  1. May

    You might want to look at artists-in-residence programs, there’s none in the country but there are programs in Australia and Europe and US for a pattern to guide you. I think Japan has some, too. They recognize the need to preserve culture through arts: Visual arts, crafts, photography, dance, music or writing. It’s a lot of work though, because you would need financial backing for a3-month to a year of residency for your artist/s. The program in these other countries have government back-up or else they are linked with a university or a foundation or philanthropist. After the residency period, the artist is required to be able to produce a work for publishing. Any art work that is inspired by the community concerned would surely be usable for advocacy for that particular community. That is an interesting project with lots of possibilities 🙂

    1. Hi May 🙂 Thank you for the input. I’ve never heard about artists-in-residence programs. It’s probably too ambitious for me to attempt this now but I’ll still look at programs like that, could be good to use them as a pattern. So interesting!

  2. amihan

    Hi Din! I think if you do have an immersion with the IP, make sure the artist groups go through an ethics seminar or something to that effect, just so they are sensitive to the IP and there isn’t any misrepresentation or what not. A lecturer for our Visual Anthro class, Ms. Ikin Salavador worked in the Cordillera region and wrote against Lars Grutak of Discovery Channel because his producers totally exoticized and misinterpreted the indigenous tatoos there – things like that. Btw, whatever service I can volunteer for this project, let me know!

  3. Archiebald O. Cabungcal

    Hi Miss Dindin, your idea is great and I’m happy you come up with this one. I am presently working on an IP community here in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. My suggestion is please have a copy of the IPRA Law before entering in their Ancestral Domains as there are protocols their to follow if you deal with the IPs. I am willing to assist you in whatever way i can. Good luck and more power. Archie

    1. Aaah really? I’ll check the IPRA law. As someone who works with an IP community, how do you think they would respond to a project like this? And do you think it would be possible for someone from such a community to go to an urban area and also produce art?

      Sorry, so many questions! 🙂

      1. Archie Cabungcal

        It’s OK. I’m sure they will respond positively, they are open to changes especially the youth. They love music and arts. I’m sure they will come out in the open and willing to go to an urban area.

Leave a Reply