Launched during the Center’s 30th Anniversary, the Working Paper Series is the result of SDRC’s efforts to revitalize its publications arm and to revisit a time in the Center’s history when the production and dissemination of research output was at its peak. The Series features nine papers dealing with some of the research thrusts being pursued at the Center, particularly in the areas of social protection for indigenous peoples, health systems development with respect to dengue control, and the social integration and participation of the Philippine youth.

SDRC Working Papers Series Abstracts

The Lumad's Struggle to Claim Ancestral Domain Right in the ARMM

By:  Ma. Elena Chiong-Javier

This paper focuses on indigenous peoples in Mindanao who are neither Muslim nor Christian, bur reportedly prefer to be distinguished as “Lumad,” a Visayan term meaning “native.” Among the estimated 18 Lumad ethnolinguistic groups on the island are the Teduray, the Dulangan Manobo tribe, and their cross breed, the Lambangian. While the Maguindanaoans or Muslims have organized armed revolts against external threats to the areas they control, the Lumad have remained isolated in inland villages, and have responded to external incursions by retreating farther up the mountains or into the forests. The paper defines the features of the Teduray, Lambangian, and Dulangan Manobo Development Council (TLADMADC)’s struggle.

Eco-Bio-Social Factors of Vector Density-Developing Effective Approaches to Dengue Control in the Philippines

By:  Jesusa M. Marco

Dengue is a disabling, acute infectious disease that is a leading cause of death among children in Southeast Asia. In the language used to describe how it is transmitted, a “vector,” or an organism that can carry a disease-causing agent (i.e. a virus) without itself succumbing to the disease, passes on this agent to a “host,” or a living being (such as humans) that can be infected by the disease. This paper is taken from an SDRC study that looks into factors that contribute to sustaining vectors and how they can be managed to decrease the incidence of dengue in the Philippines. The first phase of the study sought specifically to describe the ecosystem, vector ecology, socio-behavioral context and vector control programmes and activities; to analyze the relative importance of eco-bio-social factors associated with different levels of vector density; and to identify the interventions appropriate to the ecosystem under study.

Filipino Youth's Views on Mental Health

By:  Ma. Angeles Guanzon Lapeña, Maria Caridad H. Tarroja,
Maria Andrea S. Tirazona, and Katrina C. Fernando

This qualitative research looked into selected Filipino youth’s worries and concerns. Seven focused group discussions were conducted with Filipino youth with ages ranging from 13 to 20 years. FGD data revealed that the problems confronting youth include lack of resources and conflict within themselves or with others. They recognized that some of their coping strategies are positive (seeking help, actively resolving, and talking about the problem). They also noted how other strategies they use such as engaging in negative and escapist behaviors, excessive drinking, taking drugs, acting out, or simply ignoring the problem, are not desirable. This research showed that even without intervention, Filipino youth are able to cope with their difficulties by relying on their inner resources.

The Youth Speak: Forms, Facilitators and Obstacles to their Political Engagement

By:  Madelene Sta. Maria and Jose Maria Diestro, Jr.

Drawing on four focus groups with high school students in rural and urban environments, the researchers explored youth perceptions about their roles as political agents in Philippine society. Participants were also asked to share their ideas on what can hinder and facilitate their engagement of their roles. Both urban and rural youth groups emphasized their avoidance of criminal activities as a way by which they can contribute to societal change. While the rural youth were more particular about their engagement in community activities and the use of resources within the community in the engagement as political actors, the urban youth gave greater importance to participation in mass activities for the common good. Both youth groups see the lack of appreciation from others for their efforts at participation as a hindrance, and the sense of civic commitment as a facilitator to their participation. Differences between the two groups in their constructions of what can hinder or spur their activities as political actors can be found in the way the rural youth emphasized self-related factors, such as agency and knowledge, and in the way the urban youth emphasized non-self related factors, such as time and nature of political activity in the country.

Spirituality among Filipino Adolescents

By:  Ron Resurrección and Roseann Tan-Mansukhani

Majority of adolescents across different cultures believe that God or a Supreme Being exists although different cultures vary in religious beliefs and practices, as well as concepts of spirituality. This qualitative study focused on how Filipino adolescents conceptualize spirituality. Data from four focused group discussions with 32 Filipino adolescents were content analyzed. Results revealed that Filipino adolescents define spirituality in terms of faith in religion, personal relationship with God, and positive character. The indicators of a spiritual person are the following: faith in God, strong sense of morality, positive personal qualities, positive sense of self, positive relationship with God’ creations, altruism-based happiness and adaptive capacity to solve problems. Themes about their spiritual experiences involve self-transformation, divine intervention, extraordinary courage, self-insight and communion with nature. Spirituality develops through the influence of supportive significant others, exposure to religious beliefs and practices, overcoming difficult life experiences, reconnecting with God and constant recognition of the value of spirituality. The blocks to spirituality are lack of faith in God, materialism, myopic focus on problems and decreased level of morality.

Barkadahan: A Study of Peer Group Norms and Values among Filipino Adolescents

By:  Jennifer Ann Lajom, Nico Canoy, Rajiv Amarnani, Apryl Mae Parcon, and Paula Melizza Valera

Peer groups are among the most influential aspects of adolescent development. The present study is a qualitative investigation on the behaviors, norms, values, and dynamics in general of the adolescent peer group in the Filipino setting-the barkada. Four focus group discussions composed of adolescent peer group were held, two in the urban setting and two in the rural setting. Findings through thematic content analysis showed that adolescents in the barkada show the following norms: revelation of true self to peers, consistency of behavior, help and protection among the peer group, and pakikisama (or smooth interpersonal relations). The values found include valuing oneself, valuing others, a sense of resolve, and trust directed both to the other and to the self. Implications in terms of adolescent identity development, personal and relational self-concept, and dynamics within the barkada are discussed.

Relatedness and Competence in College Students' Response to Perceived Facilitators and Inhibitors of Learning: Adolescent Development in the Family Context

By:  Melissa Lopez Reyes and Adrianne John R. Galang

In five focus group discussions in Philippine universities, undergraduate students described and evaluated the activities in their courses, their teachers and classmates as they contribute to their learning, and their own motivation, learning strategies, and valuing of education. It emerged that supportive peers and teachers, highly relevant lessons, engaging activities, and valuing of both familial and personal welfare were seen as facilitators of learning by the students, while demoralizing classroom environments, the irrelevance of the subject matter, unreasonable requirements, and competing demands for student attention were perceived as inhibiting learning. The youth’s accounts of their learning strategies, motivation, and valuing of education in the face of these facilitators and indicators of learning revealed their construals of relatedness, competence, and their emerging adult identity.

Filipino Working Adolescents' Conceptions of Work

By:  Homer Yabut, Marshall N. Valencia, and Roberto Mendoza

The Filipino working adolescent is no longer uncommon. Studies show that the number of working Filipino adolescents is on the rise (NYC, 2001). The present study seeks to determine these adolescents’ conceptions of the meanings of, reasons for, and contributions from their work. Data was gathered from focus group discussions held with 11 rural- and 12 urban-based adolescents. Findings across rural and urban groups show that Filipino working adolescents give meaning to work as sustenance. They work because of financial difficulty. One positive benefit of work is being able to support one’s family, while the negative contributions of work include compromised studies, self-fulfillment, and health. Rural adolescents hold a maintenance perspective towards work, while urban adolescents hold a growth perspective towards work. Implications toward positive youth development are discussed and outlined.