CCAD faculty writes chapter in new book on indigenous media and popular culture

Dr. Belinda Espiritu, UP Cebu College of Communication, Art, and Design (CCAD) Faculty, contributes a chapter on “Lumad Indigenous Values and Voices in Citizen and Alternative Media Narratives” in the book “Indigenous Media and Popular Culture in the Philippines.”

It’s the first book that features the roles and significance of indigenous media and pop culture in the Philippines and contributes new approaches in examining products by/for indigenous peoples in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

Dr. Espiritu’s chapter explores Lumad Indigenous values and their struggle for their ancestral domains and cultural integrity as depicted in selected citizens’ and alternative media narratives. The concept of cultural integrity encompasses various fundamental human rights, including the rights to culture, subsistence, livelihood, religion, and heritage.

Her study scrutinizes the representation of Lumad voices in relation to their Indigenous values, juxtaposed against the capitalist and corporate values prevalent in contemporary Philippine society.

These contrasting values include the commodification of nature, individualism, material accumulation, and the consumerist culture fostered by economic globalization. In alternative media narratives, Lumads, alongside cultural researchers, articulate specific Indigenous values that include reverential and spiritual perspectives on nature, the interconnectedness of the land with Lumad life, culture, and religion, communal land ownership, labor for the betterment of the community’s needs, education aimed at understanding and cherishing cultural identity and heritage, as well as the pursuit of inner peace and the defense of ancestral domains.

Her chapter also highlights the pressing need to reassess capitalist and consumerist values while embracing select Lumad Indigenous values, particularly those featuring a more respectful, if not spiritual, outlook on nature. It advocates for cultivating empathy toward the Lumads and the environment, thereby fostering the restoration of peace within Lumad communities and the preservation of Philippine cultural heritage.

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