Poitan takes about 7 minutes of tricycle ride from the Poblacion. The pretest site is about 30 minutes trek down to the middle Poitan in Banaue.
The barangay council graciously gave us part of their time during their council meeting for us to pretest our questionnaires and finalize details about the training that we’ll be designing for them as part of our research. We stayed for about two hours at the barangay hall and it was time for the trek back to upper Poitan.
Getting to the site is the easy part. It’s getting back to upper Poitan that’s challenging. It takes about an hour for us to get back to the main road. We take a lot of breaks to catch our breath and take in the view.
It’s all worth it. When people ask us what we do, I find myself lost in an explanation of the researches we have conducted. I’d abruptly stop upon sensing the boredom in the other members of the supposedly conversation (which has become a monologue). In frustration, I’d just say “We just make sure that research results, especially those funded by our taxes, will be used by someone.”
Development communicators highlight the human aspect of any research. Who can use these results? How can they be best introduced? How can these results benefit the community? The answers are never simple and the context is never easy. The answers come not from the researchers, rather from the community. What we do is ask the questions and facilitate the process to allow the community members to propose solutions for their own concerns.