Mountain Province

Mountain Province’s first IP radio gets achievement award from UP Los Baños

Sherwin de Vera

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Mountain Province’s first IP radio gets achievement award from UP Los Baños

AWARD. Radyo Sagada receive the Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting. It is the third to receive the award since 2022.

Altermidya Network

Radyo Sagada is the initiative of residents and local people's organizations, with the help of several alternative media organizations

BAGUIO, Philippines – The country’s only remaining indigenous community radio station and Mountain Province’s first community radio station received the Ka Louie Tabing Memorial Achievement Award in Community Broadcasting at the 18th Gandingan Awards ceremony held at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Los Baños on Saturday, May 4.

The Gandingan Awards, an annual event organized by the UP Community Broadcasters’ Society, promotes “the production and airing of developmental TV, radio, and online programs for the benefit of every Filipino.”

The organizers recognized Radyo Sagada-104.7 FM’s contributions and work in collaboration with various institutions, including government agencies. These collaborations have facilitated student internships, promoted disaster preparedness, enhanced election reporting, and supported agricultural innovations.

Leisure Activities, Music, Musical Instrument
ACHIEVEMENT. Radyo Sagada station manager Gwen Gaongen receives an award on behalf of her news organization during the 18th Gandingan Award in UP Los Banos. -UP ComBroadSoc

“The establishment of Radio Sagada was driven by the community’s desire to have a reliable source of news and information. It is a product of the unity of indigenous communities and various institutions to share local issues and events from our experiences and perspectives,” the radio station’s manager, Gwen Gaongen, said on Sunday, May 5.

Established in 2010, Radyo Sagada was the initiative of residents and local people’s organizations, with the help of several alternative media organizations. It was launched officially in June of 2011 with a transmission power of 200 watts and an elevation of more than 1600 feet above sea level.

The station is the last remaining indigenous peoples’ community radio operating in the country. Another one, Radyo Lumad, was forced to close down in 2019 because of threats and harassment, according to an October 2019 Kodao Productions report.

The organizers named the award after the late pioneer of low-powered community radio in the Philippines and Asia, Lucio “Ka Louie” N. Tabing, who also advocated for the access and involvement of rural and indigenous communities in media and broadcasting.

The award, read by Dr. Trina Leah Mendoza, chairperson of the Department of Development Broadcasting and Telecommunication of UP-Los Baños’ College of Development Communications, acknowledged the station for serving and involving Sagada and nearby communities in creating and sharing information, entertainment, and conversation on social issues.

“Their mission is to be a voice of the community of Sagada and other communities it serves, involving the people in producing and disseminating information and entertainment, providing a forum for issues and concerns, and creating a critical awareness for meaningful social change,” the citation read in part.

Accepting the award on behalf of the radio station, Gaongen dedicated it to the indigenous peoples and others who continue to support community radio, and those who continue to stand for free press.

“Radio Sagada has also faced many challenges. We have experienced difficulties related to funding and, of course, pressure in our broadcasts, but we have remained on the airwaves until now,” she said.

“Indigenous peoples are forced to face a lot of concerns in the coming years, and we hope that this award will give us the strength to be true to our calling and broadcast the concerns of indigenous peoples,” Gaongen added.

In October 2018, Radyo Sagada also won the best educational program for the radio category during the Cordillera Health Advocacy Media and Promotions Champion Awards in Baguio City. The award came from the Department of Health-Center for Health Development Cordillera, Doctors for Indigenous and Cultural Competent Training, Education, Networking and Governance, and the Benguet State University’s Department of Development Communications. –

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