Cultural Regeneration through Community-based Documentation

“Stories are like the flowing river, it should be constant and life-giving”

This is how the participants of the Appreciative Inquiry Documentation Workshop likened their local stories. For them, stories are meant to be shared. Like the water that flows around their community, their stories should nourish not only them but also others through its “palna-u” (lesson/values).

The three-day workshop was conducted last July 10-12, 2015 by iEmergence in partnership with the Missionaries of Jesus in MATAMIS, Barangay Demoloc, Malita, Davao del Sur. It was participated by 8 community partners who were engaged in the process of discovery sessions and sharing of insights. In the end, the group were able to identify core elements of a good Tagakolu story which in turn allowed them to outline their own framework for community-based documentation.
In one of the discussions, Fr. Joey Evangelista shared that although photographs and images can remind people to appreciate the things around them, it should not replace the real image the photograph represents. It should serve as an inspiration to locals in preserving their cultural identity and natural resources.

The AI Documentation Workshop preps up our local partners as the Indigenous Youth Leadership program approaches the full implementation of its curriculum. Mildred Albaracin, one of the Mission Staff involved in the IYL program expressed that the workshop helped her understand and appreciate her role as a documenter in the program.
The overall output of the workshop can be seen in “Ya Kanaten Kasampetanen”. It is an initial documentation of the participant’s hopes and dreams to discover and share local stories. Stories that can inspire community members and the society at large to support the Tagakolu cause in reclaiming their indigenous knowledge, skills, and practices.