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Sagada Radio Embraces New Media to Empower Indigenous Communities

By Gwendolyn Gay L. Gaongen

Sagada Community Media Network's radio station, Radyo Sagada 104.7 FM, has seen a boost thanks to a year-long project called "Iyebkas mo, Ibikas ko." Funded by Cultural Survival's Indigenous Media Fund, the initiative ran from July 2023 to April 2024 and focused on enhancing radio communication skills and creating content specifically for Indigenous communities.

The project acknowledged the enduring power of radio, especially in remote regions like the Cordillera. By equipping Radyo Sagada with the tools to seamlessly blend traditional broadcasting with modern platforms like Facebook, the initiative ensured the station's continued relevance in the digital age.

A key aspect of the project involved incorporating research on traditional agricultural and resource management practices into the station's content. This research was then transformed into engaging audio-visual productions that serve a multifaceted purpose of enriching program content, strengthening ties with the Indigenous community, and providing valuable educational resources.

Radyo Sagada's inclusion of Indigenous practices fosters a deeper connection with his listeners, particularly those who hold Traditional Knowledge in high regard. These audio-visual programs additionally serve as educational tools, informing younger generations about sustainable practices, responsible resource management, and the importance of cultural heritage.

In essence, the project has empowered Radyo Sagada to leverage multimedia platforms for impactful storytelling and community engagement. This approach ensures the preservation and dissemination of invaluable Indigenous Traditional Knowledge for future generations.


--Gwendolyn Gay L. Gaongen is Station Manager Radyo Sagada in the Philippines.

In 2022, Radyo Sagada received a grant from the Indigenous Community Media Fund which provides opportunities for international Indigenous radio stations to strengthen their infrastructure and broadcast systems and creates training opportunities for journalism, broadcasting, audio editing, technical skills and more for radio journalists from Indigenous communities around the world. In 2023, the Indigenous Community Media Fund supported communities with 60 grants totaling $420,000 to Indigenous community media in 20 countries, supporting 87 Indigenous Peoples.