Community Capacity and Governance – New Approaches to Development and Evaluation
This off center and tilted photo is of the abandoned luxury resort of the Marcos-era, Bagong Lipunan Lodge.
The photographer snapped the picture while standing on the slope underneath the building. The white
cement structure sits on a hill in the midst of the dense, green forest that surrounds it. The name Bagong
Lipunan Lodge is painted on the front in red. The building has no roof or windows, has numerous grey and
black areas where the paint has worn off, and the railing on the balcony on the second floor is missing its
The photo shows a beautiful and a wonderful community. This is one of the pride scenery of
the Philippines. It is one of the tourist destination among all places. “Paraiso ni Anton.”
This picture means peace, harmony, grace and wisdom.
Somebody would choose this picture for they know that this place is a place of love and
calmness and when the time comes you enter this kingdom, you will feel like you are in a past
year’s or a century’s temple of green or a king. This is a historical place for with this, you will
learn knowledge and make something description about the mast.
2.1.4. Community Capacity Analysis of Photos and Narratives
While the photos and the narratives portray what the group feels is representative of their
community’s capacity, further analysis can also be made. This sub-section will categorize the
photos and narratives into the appropriate SCOR attribute in order to better understand their
meaning in relation to the A-A-A. Some of the photographs that were described in the previous
sub-section are not categorized here because they do not have accompanying narratives, thus
making their categorization too speculative in nature. Furthermore, these photographs are
analyzed using only the SCOR component of the A-A-A because it was the prevailing concept
guiding the evaluation, whereas the other components were not introduced in detail to the
S: Sense of community – Starting with “The Long Road,” the sense of community in terms of
their collective vision is described as:
“A scenery that shows a straight alley represents that the people have a clear vision of
their dreams and direction in life of the people; the realization of their goals; the nearness
of morning; the pot of gold at the end of the shooting star is within reach.”
This view of progress and prosperity within reach of the people is consistent with, although in
prose, to the collective visions of progress and development as described by respondents of the
FPQ and the IDIs.
The photograph of “Bagong Lipunan Lodge” also shows sense of community, both because it
portrays the shared history that the community has both in terms of the area and the hotel
remnant. It also reaffirms the shared goal of becoming a prominent tourist destination. Tourism
development was often referred to as a shared vision in the FPQs and IDIs.
The photo “Weavers are Survivors” helps to define the identity of people in Pagudpud,
portraying them as industrious. The final lines of the narrative display this: “Weaving captured
the community man’s heart to be processed. This proves that they are very hardworking and
patient. For sure, they will survive!” The idea that people in Pagudpud view themselves as
industrious, hard-working, and patient is also something that came through the FPQs and the
IDIs. The photo “Caring Hands” confirms this view as well when it refers to the “pretty, loving,
and industrious mothers.”
“A Time to Reap the Golden Grain” shows the harvest of rice or palay, which is a vitally
important activity in the community and becomes intertwined with their identity. “The Boat and
the Shore” displays the other major component of occupational identity in Pagudpud, especially
in Pasaleng, fishing. Prominent activities like these that cultivate identity are a part of sense of
community. The written expressions for these photographs further defines that harvesting rice
and fishing are key components of the identity of the community and depicts how people
understand and sympathize with one another in the struggle to produce their products. One can
see that despite the arduousness of the tasks, there is contentedness and pride in the activities,
which further contributes to their sense of community.
Another component of sense of community that is related to identity is shared conditions and
values. The photograph “The Role of Waves in a Man’s Life” and its accompanying narrative
tells in prose some of the shared situations of people in the community, such as facing the rolling
waves while fishing, and the values shared by the community, such as reverence, respect, and
awe for the sea.
C: Commitment - “Caring and Helping One Another” is a photograph that contributes to the
understanding of commitment in Pagudpud because it displays the value of contributing and
working together to accomplish goals. Its narrative also speaks to the development of sense of
community and the achievement of objectives, but it clearly highlights the commitment to one
another as the necessary component to achieve their shared vision and objectives. This level of
commitment to one another, particularly without remuneration is often repeated in the IDIs.
The photograph “A Hard Way to Success” also shows commitment in Pagudpud as it tells
the story of children coming home from school with no shoes, describing the endeavor as
“[symbolizing] one of the challenges to success.”
O: Ability to set and achieve objectives – The narrative for the photograph “Are You Willing
to Help?” depicts the compassion of the authors for environmental preservation and overcoming
environmental issues in the community. This photograph and narrative together tell the issues at
hand, what the community would like to see done, and some things that they are doing to meet
these objectives. The narrative states:
“The serious problems of our times is how to save the earth from the destruction of man
himself because they abused their own planet. Are [sic, our] forest are denuded, are [sic,
our] rivers and lake are drying, are [sic, our] atmosphere is clogged with fumes emitting
from our factories. Unless nations joined together to soured these environmental
problems, the earth, which is the planet able to sustain life, will be destroyed. At this
moment, I want everybody of you to know that I’ve chosen this scenery to present here
today, was just to emphasize the importance of our ecosystem and how we Filipinos
taking good care of our natural resources given to us by our almighty God.”
Keeping the land clean and preserving the forests were reported as desirable objectives in the
FPQs and IDIs; however through this photograph and narrative, the importance of these issues is
“The Flag of Our Great Leaders” also describes the ability to set and achieve objectives, or
perhaps rather laments its misdirection. The narrative says “The foundation of the flagpole is a
rustic platform combined with a pedestal that conveys a message, ‘The quality of Philippine
education is declining.’ Our unwavering flag symbolizes freedom, dignity, and honor and the
aspiration of our country.” The message could be satirical in nature, calling for greater emphasis
on the educational needs of the community. Any way that it is construed, the photograph and its
narrative serve as a good stimulus for discussion in the community and brings up an important
issue that was not addressed in other components of the community capacity assessment,
While it may easily be considered to portray a sense of community, “The Girl Scouts of the
Philippines” can also be interpreted to display the ability to set and achieve objectives. The
participants in this organization do display community characteristics in their group, their
participation actually is mode through which objectives are set and achieved. This can be seen in
the community activities that the group undertakes, as well as the objectives of those involved to
become “respected women all over the world.” Their participation in the Girl Scouts places
them on the path toward their objectives, as well as displaying their commitment to get there.
R: Ability to recognize and access resources – “Creative Hands” shows a woman weaving a
mat using local resources, which is a direct representation of the resources that the community
has at their disposal. The last line of the narrative speaks to this as well: “I felt proud after
looking at this picture because people in the community know how to use the resources wisely!”
The photograph “Weavers are Survivors” describes the importance of not only the physical
materials needed for mat weaving, but the skills involved as well. Furthermore, sarakat, or
rattan, was repeatedly identified as an important local resource in the FPQs and IDIs.
The photographs “The Role of Waves in a Man’s Life” and “The Boat and the Shore” both
identify the sea as an important resource for the community. It is deemed important for the
products that it renders and its potential uses for the tourism industry. This again confirms the
findings of the FPQ and the IDIs.
In “A Time to Reap the Golden Grain” the skills and industriousness of the farmers are
described as valuable resources to community. This can be seen from this quote in the narrative:
“It contributes a lot for the economic life of the people. Through it, the farmers can send
their children to school and be educated. They can also build good houses, acquire
properties that help improve their life status. Aside from this, they can also create jobs
for the jobless, send their children abroad to look for greener pasture which after all can
contribute to the economic growth of our country.”
The hard work of the farmers is seen as the route through which other objectives of the
community can be met. The skills and characteristics of the people in the community are
sometimes referred to in the FPQs and IDIs, particularly in terms of sense of community, but
they may not be entirely recognized as a resource in the same way that this photograph conveys.
2.1.5. Participatory Photo Evaluation Trial Summary
Overall it seems that the photograph group participants enjoyed their experience with the
project, gaining technical experience in photography and narrative writing, working together and
understanding their community. The summary discusses the outcomes of the photo project. All
of the quotations are from the feedback survey that the group participants answered after they
completed the project.
One participant explained that he or she “enjoyed very much about this project for a reason
that I feel like I’m a professional photographer.” The participant felt he or she gained some
photography skills and was recognized for them. Another participant said “Participating in this
project is really an opportunity for us to share to this whole world the hidden beauty of our
place.” This quote demonstrates that the participant was happy to have his or her voice heard and
to share the community with others.
Specifically in regards to what was learned through the project, one participant said “What
I’d learn is on how to choose your subject to capture. I also learn on how to relate and
communicate to other people. I learn also what are the present problem here in our community.”
This statement confirms that participants gained technical skills in photography and critical
thinking through participation in the photo project.
In the free response section of the feedback survey one participant fully described his or her
“In this participatory photo, you are given the chance to show your talent and skills. How
to use the camera wisely and how to use your eyes in a resourceful way. Spread your
eyes and see the beauty of the world. In making presentations (essay) for those pictures I
learned how to manage my time wisely to finish them. Though it is hard to write them in
an English language; I have to dig out what is truly in my mind. And in that, I have
proven that I can. I am very rich in ideas.”
This quotation demonstrates the overall impact that the project had on the participant, which was
to solidify the tangible lessons and skills taught in the project, to recognize the value of things in
the community, and provide an opportunity for esteem building among participants.
The discussion of the community resources and issues was another area that participants
relished. One participant recounted their experience: “I enjoyed discussing with the group about
what we’ll going to take and why. I remember, it was raining, but that doesn’t stop us to
continue our work, we even laugh ourselves as we ran under the rain. I really enjoyed it.”
Many respondents noted that the project could be better if there was more time, organization,
and funds for the project. As one participant puts it: “It would be better if we have complete
tools and materials to used so that our project would be much good.”
Participants noted that they learned how to choose subjects to photograph, how to think and
interpret their community, how to communicate with people and work together, and about the
valuable things in their community. The additional comments generally reinforce the things that
the participants enjoyed, learned, or thought could be better about the project. However, many
also reflected on their personal experience and voiced concern about the direction they would
like to see their community take.
The group’s participants were empowered with the skills that they had learned through the
course of the project, in addition to the information that they shared and the knowledge that they
created. Furthermore, the findings of this project indicate promise for action research and nontraditional
media as evaluation tools. Although the participants did not fully understand their
role or the purpose of the project, through its process the participants learned and gained
confidence. Using a photography project as an evaluation method allowed for increased
expressiveness and information gathering through an enjoyable activity for which it was easy to
2.2. Participatory Video Evaluation Trial
The participatory video evaluation trial was run simultaneous to the PPE trial, however it was
run at a different schedule to better meet the needs of its participants. The PVE follows the same
principles as the PPE outlined earlier in this chapter and for the purpose of this case was similar
in every way but two. First, the group that was assembled to try the PVE was comprised of adult
local leaders that were personally invited to join the project by the mayor. A list of the
participants and their affiliated group can be found in Table 46.
Table - Participatory Video Evaluation Participants
April Faith Cartillo
Jovelyn I. Montenegro
Linda T. Viola
Virgilio Alcodia Jr.
Joel A. Pedronan
Edimar Jingo B. Ubasa
Daniel C. Lauro St.
Emelin Garvida Sales
Mila A. Tamargo
SK (youth group)
The second difference is that the main task of the group was to produce a video instead of
take photographs. This made the project more collective in nature because there was only one
video camera. Otherwise, I used the same Power Point slides, following the same objectives,
approach and concept. Furthermore, I facilitated the meetings following the same basic meeting
agendas that were used to guide the PPE trial. Since the PVE trial follows the PPE trial so
closely, it would be redundant to discuss the work plan in detail. Rather, the next sub-section
will look at the actual process of the PVE trial in Pagudpud.
2.2.1. Actual Process in Participatory Video Evaluation Trial
The PVE was scheduled to commence on September 24 and run
through October 1, 2008. On September 24 I presented the project idea to the mayor. We assembled a list of
twelve people to be involved in the video project. Although they are from various sectors of the community,
they are all within the mayor’s circle. The outcomes of the video are still interesting and useful, but the
tailored nature of the group is acknowledged. Tentatively the video group was scheduled for three meetings
the following week. Mayor Sales sent a memo to invite the participants to join the group, as well as the initial
meeting time. It was during this meeting that we arranged a joint presentation of the PPE and PVE outcomes
to the community on Monday, October 6 at the community recreation center.
The first meeting of the video group was September 29 at the Municipal Library. I introduced
myself and described my objectives and purpose. I then introduced the concept of community
capacity. The group stopped me to say they needed paper and pens to take notes. I was
embarrassed by my omission, but impressed with their eagerness to understand. This
demonstrated that the group were indeed willing participants and truly engaged in the learning
process. We then continued and they asked questions to clarify the concepts. They discussed the
meaning of community noting that it involves cooperation, starts from home and grows outward.
Mr. Ubasa was asked to translate and explain the concepts again in Ilocano.
After the completion of the concept introduction, the group broke into smaller groups to
discuss the concepts more in-depth and in Ilocano – they had been using mostly English for my
benefit. It was at that time the concepts became more clear and meaningful to the participants –
according to Ms. Linda Viola. Some group members, Mr. Virgilio Alcodia Jr., Mr. Daniel C.
Lauro St., and Mr. Joel A. Pedronan sat outside and wrote their own thoughts with little
discussion between them. The remainder of the group was writing and conversing together
inside the library.
After a while we reconvened and each member of the group gave their opinions and ideas. I
was pleased to see the expressiveness of the participants and how the various concepts could be
related to their lives and which things were important to them. Particularly, Mr. Pedronan, the
fisherman, spoke of the feelings of reverence for the water that he had since his childhood, as
well as his and other fishermen’s fear of typhoons in relation to safety and livelihood. Mr.
Lauro, the tricycle driver, focused on health as a primary issue for development. Ms. Linda
Viola discussed the traditions and values of the community. She particularly spoke about people
being hospitable and committed to their barangay or even the whole municipality, the tradition of
people getting together to show sympathy and help each other with rice and money in times of
need, and the local culture, for instance celebrating birthdays with friends and neighbors.
Mr. Ubasa led the group, talking mostly about eco-tourism and various development plans.
Many of the group members deferred to him because of his former leadership position – even
referring to him as SB19 – and his strong style. Ms. April Faith Cartillo, the youth representative,
spoke about young people liking sports, but have little time for recreation because of their
studies. She also talked about a community service event that her organization was holding to
plant trees and contribute to the beautification of their surroundings.
Ms. Jovelyn I. Montenegro, a K-therapist, discussed tourism that is in ecological and
biological balance and the need to focus on conservation, particularly keeping the community
green and maintaining a sustainable number of tourists. Mr. Alcodia, a farmer, took up the topic
of leadership, stating that leaders need to have the capacity to lead and serve, must be able to
take their responsibilities and set a good example in their family and in the community, need to
teach and encourage people in the community, and need to fight against improper things and
accomplish tasks. Ms. Mila A. Tamargo, a high school principal, talked about education and the
negative effects that household poverty and school underfunding has on the children in the
19 Peop l e we r e r e f e r r i n g t o h i s f o rme r po s i t i o n on t h e Mun i c i p a l Counc i l .
The group decided to film their clips in the order that they wished to presented and review
the film. Mr. Ubasa took the camera and everyone’s notes saying he would do the filming on
behalf of the group. Filming proceeded from September 30 until October 3.
The second video meeting was scheduled for the morning of October 4. Unfortunately, many
people decided not to come to the second video meeting, namely Ms. Catillo, Mr. Alcodia, Mr.
Pedronan, and Mr. Lauro. Three participants flatly cancelled, one I could not contact because he
did not leave a phone number, and one didn’t come. I asked those who did not attend the
meeting to join us for the public exhibition. I think that these participants chose not to continue
with the project because they were not fully included in the group discussion, had difficulty
communicating in English, and generally held lower socio-economic positions in the community
compared to the other group members, which may have led them to feel marginalized,
dissuading them from further participation. Mr. Ubasa’s command of the group further
exacerbated these issues, at one point even telling Mr. Pedronan that tourism was to be the focus
of the video, not fishing. Mr. Pedronan did not join in the group discussion much after the
comment from Mr. Ubasa. With the exception of Mr. Lauro, these participants did not
participate in the public exhibition either.
Since we could not use the library for this second meeting, the meeting was held at the
mayor’s house. As we watched the clips, the members explained what we were seeing and I
asked them to consider the concept of community capacity, as well as the reason the clip was
chosen, its meaning and feeling. From time to time I asked pressing questions such as “if the
people receiving aid are indigent anyway, what is the impact of aid?” Questions like this
stimulated the discussion of the group. For this particular question the group concurred that
helping people in their time of need is appropriate even if they will continue to be poor.
The video provided a wealth of information and grounds for interesting discussion. Although
the other members could not join, I still feel there was a benefit in our meeting, although limited
in scope. Again, Mr. Ubasa led the discussion and presented the material, particularly because
he filmed all of it, but some of the other members were at the same places he was filming. Ms.
Tamargo was the next most active member.
Discussion of the video occurred organically and was prompted by me as a facilitator. The
following question was asked to prompt discussion: “What are the linkages between the different
sectors of local production and the tourism effort?” Some answers included: a) “trying to kill
many birds with one bullet,” and b) “education plays a vital role in community because telling
the students to be humble, polite and hospitable will attract tourists.”
The group was also asked: “With such a positive sentiment toward leaving here to find work,
how can you convince people there is something here for them?” This question stimulated a
long discussion between the participants. The first assertion made by the group was that it was
possible to create jobs locally. Eventually, however, the conversation returned to reality to
confirm that many people, particularly professionals, do not wish to stay in the village because of
a lack of proper employment for them.
The discussion went on specify nurses, because there is a large amount of students who study
nursing and a local demand for nurses, yet people still leave the community for higher paying
nursing jobs abroad. One participant said “dollars equal progress” which speaks to the
commonly held belief in the community that progress is directly related to funding, specifically
from money that is earned abroad. Through the discussion it was also noted that the young
people want to be progressive and add to the improvement of their community; however, they
feel the best way to do that is to work overseas. Furthermore, it is seen as a sign of “self-
solidarity,” which is better than relying on government or patron generosity. This is just one
example of a discussion that was prompted and stimulated through the video viewing.
The video and discussion was quite lengthy, taking over two hours in total. The group was
visibly fatigued and “ran out of English” as they said, because they were using mainly English to
describe the scenes to me, although I tried to encourage further discussion in Ilocano. Finally, the
group decided to present the video at the public exhibition without editing it.
2.2.2. Video Contents
This section describes the various clips the video group included in their film. A description
of the clip is given, and some of the accompanying group discussion is included here to put the
clip into context and to give it meaning. The clips are given numbers in sequential order so that
it will be easier to analyze and discuss them later.
1. Gaway-gaway dance - The video begins with a dance performance at the induction of the
PTCA officers’ ceremony. When asked why this clip was chosen, the group deferred to
Ms. Viola because she was the most knowledgeable on culture and arts because she had
been a music teacher before her retirement. She said that we were seeing the gawaygaway
dance, a traditional dance celebrating the planting of gabi. She went on to explain
that during planting the husband and wife work together and they are “happy under the
sun”, which is what the dance is meant to depict. Ms. Viola said that the clip made her
proud because it is an Ilocano dance.
2. Palay (rice) fields - The next clip is that of some rice fields, which the group said is
meant to represent cooperation and unity. One participant explained samberga, a
traditional method of rice cultivation and preparation. They went on to say that using this
method preserves the local culture and is more useful to farmers in remote areas that are
difficult to reach with vehicles and modern equipment, such as thrashers. Next we see a
carabao, a grey, horned local bovine, which is the traditional way of transporting rice and
ideal for muddy roads. The irrigation system for the rice fields is also filmed, because, as
the participants explain, rice farmers “cannot rely on rainfall alone.”
3. Kubo-kubo consultation - The mayor is the subject of the next clip. He is filmed
consulting with community members at a kubo-kubo, a thatched-roofed sitting area found
in the barangays. The participants say that this is a way that the mayor discovers
problems in the community. One participant noted “The mayor is not only waiting in
Municipal Hall, but comfortable to interact with people.” Mr. Ubasa goes on to say that
“the mayor believes that ideas come from the bottom-up” and that this becomes his basis
for helping and planning for development.
4. The wake - A wake is filmed for the next clip. This clip shows the traditional way that
the community supports a family of the deceased, by coming to show support and not
sleeping, but rather staying awake all night playing games and listening to music, which
keeps the grieving family and the deceased company.
5. Public market – The group described the public market as the center of economy, but
noted that it was primitive and there are not enough tables for all of the vendors, leading
some to set up their display on the ground. There were calls for development of the
market. A few participants pointed out that the variety of products in the market shows
that there are plenty of resources for the people in Pagudpud and some products are made
by the vendors themselves.
6. Tricycles - This clip shows the “number one transportation in the municipality,” the
tricycle. Although they have been in use for more than twenty years, the participants said
that the tricycle represents progress and that they are partners in development. It was also
noted that tricycles are easy for commuters, that they transport people and products, and
can reach remote areas.
7. Patapat viaduct – The Patapat viaduct overlooks the sea and green mountains, which
shows the scenery of Pagudpud. One participant was pleased that tourists enjoy their
8. Dying sarakat – This clip shows some women in the community as they dye the
materials in preparation for mat and handbag weaving. They are outdoors mixing a
liquid in a half-drum over a flame and putting the sarakat in the mixture and stirring.
One participant elaborated that the sarakat is first bleached in the sun before it is colored,
then it is cut into small pieces, the smoke is used to infuse the color, then the pieces are
washed. Another participant pointed out that the sarakat products made in Pagudpud are
not like others because they still use natural and traditional materials. However, another
participant noted that if they had more advanced facilities, they would use them. The
group said that this process was a means to gain income to “uplift their way of life” and
“to keep their standard of living.” It was also noted that this dying clip was a part of a
government sponsored training that was conceived to address the needs of tourists.
9. Drying palay – In this clip, a blue net is spread out on the road with golden rice kernels
spread on it. The group explained that a net is used so that “when rain comes it can go through
and can be carried away.” “The farmers dry their palay and get it ready to be milled so that if
rainy season comes they have something to eat.”
10. Barangay officials – Here some local officials are having a meeting. Mr. Ubasa indicates
that it is an accounting meeting and that they are discussing what is going on in their barangay.
Another participant said that this shows the support of the Barangay Council and how problems
11. Kalibaro grotto, “Paraiso ni Anton” – In the video here a lush forest and small waterfall
can be seen. There is a small shrine up on the incline. The group indicated that this place is a
favorite stopover for tourists and that some claim the spring has healing power, while others use
it as battery solution for busses. It was also noted that the area was named after the Secretary of
the Department of Public Waste who developed the area. I then prompted a question regarding
the sentiments and significance of place to local people. One participant responded that local
people come here to get water. Another noted that grotto was built so people can pay respect to
the image (statue of the Virgin Mary) and there was a vision of one man to put a grotto there to
protect area. Yet another participant responded that this was “because we are religious.” The
group also said that the area is important to local people because there are stalls, which was a
project of the LGU, where local people sell their goods and this provides income for people.
12. Distribution of relief goods to typhoon victims in Balaoi – This clip shows the mayor and
others from the LGU distributing aid from the municipal, provincial, and national governments
at the purok center (barangay center) to those that had been adversely affected by the most recent
typhoon. Provisions include rice, canned goods, sugar, coffee, noodles, candles, and matches.
One participant noted that people cannot go out to fish after a typhoon, which brings about the
need for aid. The people were shaking the mayor’s hand after they received their provisions, and
one participant said that this was “a way of the people to say thank you.” The mayor wanted to
address the people, but there was no stage, so he climbed up onto an arch. I asked the group a