The Bontoc Museum, Privacy Issues, and a Boon Award

Here’s an interesting video that you should watch. The first part contains footages taken at the Bontoc Museum and its artifacts of the past. The second part contains some footages of present-day Bontoc with its tricycles and all. It makes an interesting comparison between “then” and “now”. [UPDATE: Oops, as two of you pointed out, this really is not present-day Bontoc since the video must have been taken 20 to 25 years ago. Thanks for the correction Anonymouses 🙂 Our mistake, we should have known better. Cheers.]

Although we like the video, we hope that the footage of the old woman is removed because she clearly didn’t want to be videoed. Unless you are a public figure or are participating in a public event where video and photo shoots are expected, it IS invasion of privacy when someone takes your photo/video without your consent.

This is becoming a critical issue for us as a people because of the ease with which one can now secretly take videos/photos, the ease these can be published in blogs or web sites, and the proprietary attitude (i.e., this photo is exclusively mine, mine, mine) of some people who takes videos/photos of our people.

We can be rightfully accused of being hypocritical about this because we are using the above video anyway (and have previously used photos which we suspect were taken without the subject’s consent) but, in our defense, we uploaded it to start a discussion on the issue. Some questions:

1. What do you think of the video footage above where the old woman (our alapo) was covering her face? If it was up to you, would you still have included it in this video?

2. What do you think of the photos and videos of our people (particularly of old people and young children) that we see on the web? Do you think these were taken with the subject’s informed consent (meaning that they know that these will be uploaded for public viewing)?

3. What do you think about the way these photos/videos are presented? Are we being presented in the way that all people should be presented (i.e., with respect) or are we being presented more as objects of curiosity?

Just asking, folks 🙂 We do have other questions related to this issue but we’ll do it in another post before we totally become like a 1990s grim and determined activist hehehe.

Now, about the Bontoc Museum, we should give kudos to the Catholic Church for putting it up. And because we don’t think they get enough money from the entrance fees to keep the museum going, we should again give them kudos for subsidizing the museum’s continuing operation.

Hmm, now that we think of it, maybe we should give our friends in the Catholic Church a Boon Award which, if you remember, is our award for our kailiyans who are doing good things for our “ili”. I think we will all agree that collecting and preserving things of the past for the future is a good thing. [Exception siyempre yung ninakaw na mummies sa Egypt or sa Benguet, at dinala sa US.]

So we are giving a Boon “thank you for building a museum for our people” Award to the people behind the Bontoc Museum. Now, those of you who have not visited the museum should visit it when you are in Bontoc.

For more Boondock awardees, both the good ones and the bad ones, click here.

VIDEO CREDIT: waltwide.

5 Comments
  1. It makes an interesting comparison between “then” and “now”. <<< there is no "then" and "now".. the whole scene is bontoc about 20 yrs ago!!

  2. Ad sangassangad-um na, this video i’m sure was taken more than 25 years ago. San cha kami paylaeng mangaew ka filig. This was way back 1980’s.

  3. Hehehehe… Yes, Sir B, the video is not recent. As Sir TB pointed out, Bontoc looks more like Dagupan now with those tricycles=) Hmm.. Maybe I should get a video of Bontoc now to compare with that video. It even brought back memories of yesteryears for anonymous, when boys still go and gather firewood. Sa et nasiminto met a piman nan karsa idwani, pati id Loc-ong. Adi magtek nakumpleto.

    I watched this video before in Youtube but didnt like the music that went with it; kag horror movie. Yay!

  4. Hi Anonymouses,
    Thanks 🙂 I have updated the post hehe.

    Hi Fongakhan,
    Hehe, I really should buy a new monitor. My monitor has now turned black and white so it’s hard to see the obvious clues that this is not modern-day Bontoc. Mali mali tuloy sinasabi ko hehe.

    Really, you didn’t like the music. Mukhang okay naman sa akin. But different taste in music, I guess 🙂 Thanks.

  5. Regardless, better to have this visual documentation than not. Since I do not know the original purpose of visual documentation, it is tough to comment about choice of music, why specific images including the reluctant man. It is a good ride to memory lane.

    With youtube nowadays, we hope that there are more craftspeople and artists who create really nice ones whatever subjects are covered or messages intended.

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