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Proposal for BIBBAK-Illinois to develop a

Conservation of Indigenous Knowledge (CIK) Fund Raising Program

By Rexcrisanto Delson

January 2011

Not for public distribution. For internal use within BIBBAK-Illinois members only.

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Dear friends, The purpose of this proposal is to bring to your attention an important matter that I hold close to my heart. As some of you know, I am a first generation Igorot who immigrated to America at the age of four and has lived here ever since then. My family’s assimilation into this country benefitted my family and I in many positive ways, but it has also resulted in many mixed feelings I now have as an adult. I came to this country speaking only my native tongue, Kankanaey. Eventually, the schools I attended, the friends I had and the American society in general led me further and further from my Igorot roots until I forgot my native tongue and lost interest in where I came from. Fortunately, both my Igorot parents never forgot their heritage, and although they made the mistake of speaking to me only in English, they managed to leave their Igorot imprint on me before they passed on. I am not alone when it comes to becoming distant with one’s heritage. There are many more Igorots like myself who have experienced similar circumstances. Sadly, there are also many today who begin down the same road I once traveled. This realization motivated me to help reverse this process by sharing my experiences through literary projects. As concerning as it is to know what today’s Igorot youth faces here in America, there is something that concerns me more. It has come to my attention that our culture is literally becoming endangered. Some of you know this more than I and are aware of the great number of people leaving the Cordilleras to live in cities like Baguio, Manila and different countries abroad. While it is good to seek better opportunities and education, it is sad to see how the modernization of our global society is robbing the very fabric we Igorots have been woven from. For this reason, I would like to steer your hearts toward a movement in the Cordilleras that seeks to document as much of our culture possible, and convert them into tangible media that will teach about our culture and encourage people to take interest in it as well. This is an undertaking that is crucial since our culture lacks so much documentation and has been preserved by the elderly, whom are quickly passing away before our very own eyes. This is where BIBBAK-Illinois can help save our endangered culture. Dr. Maria Luz D. Fang-Asan and other individuals of the Department of Extension Education & Development Communication at the Benguet State University has been working hard on projects to conserve the Indigenous Knowledge of our culture. I will share these projects with you in the following pages. Please read through it carefully to see if you would like to participate in future efforts by BIBBAK-Illinois to support the conservation of our Igorot culture. Sincerely, Rexcrisanto Delson President BIBBAK-Illinois 2


PROJECT #1 “Stories of Alapu” Book The following is Dr. Maria Luz D. Fang-Asan’s Project Background, Project Description, Project Benefits and Project Costs as it appeared in her Grants Proposal to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts of the Philippines (Republika Ng Pilipinas / Tanggapan Ng Pangulo / Pambansang Komisyon Para Sa Kultura at Mga Sining):

Project Background Indigenous knowledge systems are continuously being threatened not only by the influx of western or modern knowledge but more so by the fact that they are largely undocumented. Indigenous knowledge (IK) is mostly orally transmitted from one generation to the next and with the alarming death of indigenous languages all over the world today, the eventual extinction of IK is upon us. Recognizing the potentials of IK in attaining sustainable development, it is imperative that we do something to stop the total loss of this resource. The need to document IK, therefore, cannot be ignored. Another reason for documentation is the very rapid loss of indigenous knowledge. Many holders of such knowledge are in their twilight years and if their wealth of knowledge is not documented, they will be bringing it with them when they depart from this world. Furthermore, many of these IK are not observed anymore thus aggravating the rapid loss. Among the sources of IK are folklore, songs, poetry, and theater. These can reveal a great deal about a people's values, history, and practices. These are often not written down and need to be recorded (IIRR, 1996). But even folklores in the country are now fast disappearing. The Cordillera region is not an exception. While it is often described as having a very rich cultural heritage, fewer and fewer elders can readily narrate a folk story when asked. For one thing, Cordillera children of today no longer huddle close to their grandparents (alapu) to listen to their stories. Neither do they pick up a book to read to entertain themselves. Just like the children of mainstream society, they are in front of the television passively watching animé or in front of the computer viciously playing Ragnarok or Gunbound. The advances of technology have already invaded rural Cordillera and its way of life.

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Project Background continued This scenario presents three impending threats to our efforts in conserving our unique culture and in preparing our children for the future. First, the loss of our folk stories that have provided a very convenient and effective avenue in handing down time-revered values from one generation to another; second, the continuing decline in our children’s communication facility partly attributed to limited reading exposures; and third, the death of our Cordillera languages. While several Cordillera folk stories already found their way to the printed media, their accessibility is very limited to those who can afford to buy the books that are often printed in premium material and sold in establishments primarily for tourists. It has been observed that school libraries in the region have very few collections of local reading materials or even none at all. Conscious efforts, therefore, have to be taken not only to document these stories but also to make them accessible to children in a form that can compete with television and computer games, hence this project.

Project Description “Stories of Alapu (Mountain Province Edition)” is a collection of ten folk stories gathered from seven municipalities of Mountain Province. The stories were gathered and written in child-friendly format using the English Language by faculty members and students of Benguet State University. The English versions were later translated into the vernacular of the place where the stories were gathered. Colored illustrations were then incorporated to produce the storybook. There were at least two validation activities for each story – validation of the plot and validation of vernacular translation. The book was launched in April during Lang -ay 2008, the homegrown festival of Mountain Province. This publication project is part of the on-going campaign on folk stories among school children of the Cordillera Administrative Region. It aims to increase the number of copies of the book in order to benefit more schools. The first printing of the book produced 1500 copies which are being distributed to selected school beneficiaries in the six provinces of the region. The printing costs were handled by BIBAKNETS, an emailing group of Igorots all over the world and the organization of Igorot overseas workers in Taiwan. The members of these two groups chose the school beneficiaries, most of which were their members’ elementary alma mater in Mountain Province. The goal of the campaign on folk stories is to contribute to the implementation of an indigenized curriculum. This can be achieved through the following objectives: To produce a storybook that can be used in language and values education classes; To bring this material to school-beneficiaries through a variety of activities like dramatized book reading; theater plays depicting the stories in the book; coloring book sessions; and, To encourage teachers and their pupils to document more folk stories in the region while there are still surviving storytellers.

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Project Description continued The additional copies to be printed will be distributed to school beneficiaries outside Mountain Province. These will be identified by the Department of Education – Cordillera Administrative Region (DepEd-CAR). Each school-beneficiary will be given 30 to 50 copies depending on the average number of pupils per section. This is a deviation from the original plan to give each school five copies for the library. The evaluators suggested that enough copies for one section be given in order that the book can be used in their classes, instead of just hoping that the schoolchildren will go to the library to read it. These will be kept in the school library to be used by more classes.

Project Benefits The printing and distribution of the book “Stories of Alapu” will provide a reading material that depicts the unique culture of the region. This will not only increase the awareness of the schoolchildren about local culture but it will also keep alive the practice of teaching values to children through stories. The book will therefore contribute to the implementation of an indigenized curriculum not only at present but also in the future when more books on indigenous knowledge will be written as a result of this campaign. At 50 copies per school, 1000 copies will be distributed to 20 schools which has an average of 50 pupils per level. Since the book is for grades 3 to 6, in one school year, the book will be read by at least 6000 pupils.

Project Costs

ITEM

1. Personal Services: Honoraria Project Leader Proofreader Lay out artist

2. M.O.O.E a. Printing Expenses

PARTICULAR

P3,000/mox4 mos P5,000 P10,000

1,300 copies x 160

b.Transportation Expenses

COUNTERPART FUNDING (1st printing)

P 12,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00

208,000.00

FUNDING REQUESTED FROM NCCA (2nd Printing)

0.00

160,000.00

2,000.00 Total

237,000.00

TOTAL

P 12,000.00 5,000.00 10,000.00

368,000.00 2,000.00

60,000.00

P 397,000.00

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Excerpts from the Benguet State University’s “Sustaining Commitment Towards Excellence” literature:

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Excerpts from the Benguet State University’s “Sustaining Commitment Towards Excellence” literature:

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PROJECT # 2 How to Wear Native Attire Tutorial This is a project currently in progress. When completed, it will be a video tutorial of how to correctly wear the native attire (bahag/wanes, tapis, etc.) of all the different provinces in the Cordilleras. So far, support from Igorots in the U.K has provided some money to help support the production of this project so that there are some copies that can be sold to further support this project and future projects as mentioned below. FUTURE PROJECTS Future projects include, but are not limited to: Video tutorials of all the indigenous dances in the Cordillera Video tutorials of indigenous songs Etc. All these projects will be heavily research-based, and validated at the Cordillera community level. Sponsors and supporters are needed to continue paying the researchers and the production costs.

EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT If you feel that the projects shown herein warrants the support of BIBBAK-Illinois through fund raising & promotional events, please let us know. You can show your support by: Signing our petition form (this will be present on our January 29th Kickoff Potluck & Gathering. Leave us a message on our website in our “Guestbook� section. Send us an email

BIBBAK Illinois website http://bibbakil.blogspot.com BIBBAK Illinois email 8

Indigenous Knowledge Conservation for BIBBAK  

Indigenus Knowledge Conservation information for BIBBAK Illinois members.

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