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Title: The Cultures of the Peoples of the Philippine Cordillera in Radio Broadcasting in Baguio City (1959-2010)
Authors: Telles, Jason Paolo
Issue Date: 10-Mar-2018
Citation: Paper presented at the 2018 Joint Journalism and Communication History Conference at the Arthur Carter Journalism Institute of the New York University, New York, USA on March 10, 2018
Abstract: The practice of radio broadcasting, as a cultural product from the United States of America, which is one of the former colonizers of the Philippines, has been appropriated by the locals of the Philippine Cordillera region for various purposes. Among which is cultural expression. This research traces the history of the radio broadcast industry of Baguio, one of the cities located within the Philippine Cordillera region, and how it was used as a tool for the expression of the cultures of the peoples of the Cordillera. Apart from that, this research also looks into the forms of cultural expressions through radio that were utilized by radio practitioners in Baguio and the factors that influenced such expression through the years. Employing postcolonial theory and the political economy of media as frameworks, it is found that since the establishment of the first local radio station in Baguio City, the cultures of the peoples of the Cordillera have been expressed through the deejays’, the radio announcers’, and the scriptwriters’ usage of local Cordillera languages such as Ilocano, Kankana-ey, and Ibaloi; the incorporation, featuring, and discussion of the Philippine Cordillera–its peoples, cultures, practices, traditions, products, and locations, among others–in Baguio-based radio stations’ news, talk, feature, and drama programs; the inclusion of locally produced songs in their playlists; the featuring of local musicians, singers, and bands; and the hiring and interviewing of Cordillera locals. However, the activity is not devoid of political economic factors. Through the years (1959-2010), the expression of the cultures of the peoples of the Cordillera is/was done due to cultural influences, which include the locals’ aim for self-representation of their own identities and cultures, as well resistance against colonial and imperial cultures. Next are economic influences, which primarily refer to the owners of the local radio stations’ profit orientation and agenda. They have chosen to include and use aspects of the cultures of the peoples of the Cordillera to gain higher listenership, which would eventually result in more advertising profit for the station. There are also political influences. Some broadcasters include aspects of local cultures of the Cordillera in their programs to gain more audiences so that they would be able to have more chances to persuade them to subscribe to their political agenda. Finally, the expression of the cultures of the peoples of the Cordillera have been used for religious propaganda. Protestant Christian and Catholic stations incorporated local cultures to have more listeners, which eventually allowed them to have more chances to promote Christian beliefs, values, and catechism.
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