“Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo” recognizes 2 PCP members

PCP Congratulates Kara Santos and Vincent Go for the recognition given by the International Labour Organization and Probe Media Foundation,Inc. for their stories promoting indigenous peoples’ rights.

“Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo” (Recognition of Outstanding stories on Indigenous Peoples) recognizes the efforts of Filipino media practitioners who have been able to provide the audience with “real stories” that contribute to the advocacy on indigenous peoples’ rights. The ILO supports the media recognition, in partnership with Probe Media Foundation Inc. and the Philippine Press Institute, which aims to increase awareness on issues related to indigenous peoples.

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SUN.STAR Davao editor-in-chief’s cover story on the Matigsalog tribes published October 11, 2009 won her one of the three plums in the print category of the International Labor Organization’s “Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo” in an awards ceremony held at The Tent of Rockwell Powerplant last Monday.

“As precious as life itself” is a story of how in trying to comprehend resource valuation, community members of the Matigsalog tribe of Davao City instead relate why the environment cannot be quantified into any amount of money.

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Stella Estremera’s article is one of the 11 winning articles in four categories: online, print, television, radio, and photo essay categories.

Another Sun.Star article by freelance journalist Antonio M. Manaytay (Lost voices: Subanen asserts right for representation in governance) published online by Sun.Star Zamboanga was chosen as one of three outstanding stories in the online category.

The outstanding stories in all of the five categories were revealed in the ILO Year-end Reception that underscored the indigenous peoples (IP) as “partners in development,” and the journalists who presented them in unique storytelling that provided insightful glimpses of their culture, aspirations and indispensible efforts towards making a difference in their communities and showing the society their critical importance in nation-building.

The shortlist of outstanding stories from print, radio, television, online and photo essay was a result of a evaluation of more than 80 entries from August 2009 to August 2011, by a pool of experts on IP issues and from the media that comprised the screening committee and the judging panel.

The first ever “Pagkilala sa mga Natatanging Kuwentong Katutubo,” which served as the highlight of the reception that gave importance to members of IP communities, also showcased ethnic or indigenous dance, music, products and snapshots of the colorful life of the IPs in the country.

“It was a good mix of stories that show the other side of our IP brothers and sisters,” Joseph Alwyn Alburo, vice chair of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and member of the judging panel, said.

Both the screeners and the judges lauded the efforts of the writers who took time and effort to share to the public that indigenous peoples are “indeed partners in development” and that “more stories can be written about them in the future.”

“The stories are not about the journalists who produced them. They are about the IPs who are out there struggling to be part of a bigger community,” Ramon Tuazon, president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) and a member of the board of judges, said.

Secretary of Labor and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, who read the message of President Benigno S. Aquino III during the opening program, also lauded the efforts “for hailing the part that indigenous peoples plays in development.”

She said there are now IP desks in 16 regions of the country. “Ituwid ang daan para sa mga katutubo,” Baldoz added.

Estremera, in her acceptance speech on behalf of the awardees, said interacting with the IPs to listen to their stories and relaying these with their purest intentions at its most unadulterated narrative, is a journey into one’s soul.

“It is a rediscovery of our identity as Filipinos. Like any other journalist, I started looking and writing about them with pity in my eyes. That was until I listened to their stories and beliefs and saw in them the true resilience of the Filipino spirit, and a deeply ingrained dignity that has withstood the endless years of marginalization. Along with that came the realization that the pity is on us for sweeping these away to the margins and denying our children these stories. To ILO, thank you for this recognition, but the greater gratitude is for the IPs for waiting so long for their stories to be told. ”

In the end, she urged fellow journalists not to make them (IPs) wait much longer.

The Probe Media Foundation served as the project secretariat. The Philippine Press Institute was the coordinating arm for print entries.

The complete list of winners are:

Television: Michael Escobar, NBN Ylocos
Radio: Reyan L. Arinto, dyVL-AM Aksyon Radio Tacloban
Print: Jeffry M. Tupas, Romer S. Sarmiento, and Stella A. Estremera
Photo essay: Vincent Go of Vera Files, Edgardo V. Espiritu of PDO-Northern Luzon Bureau, and Kara Patria M. Santos of Travel Up.
Online: Antonio M. Manaytay (work published in www.sunstar.com.ph), Arthur L. Allad-iw of Northern Dispatch (Nordis) Weekly at www.nordis.net, and Ryan D. Rosauro of Inquirer.net.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 14, 2011.

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