PINTAKASI EMPOWERING A POOR THREATENED COMMUNITY TO DEAL WITH PROBLEMS OF SURVIVAL IMPLICATIONS FOR THE PRACTICE OF CLINICAL AND COMMUNITY PSYCHOLOGY IN THE FIELD
RHODIUS T. NOGUERA
Ph.D Psychology (OCTOBER 2009)
Department of Psychology
This paper is a qualitative exploratory field research of a community phenomenon called pintakasi. Pintakasi is an indigenous community activity in Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat. In pintakasi, the people help each other with no money involved and personal interest to equally benefit the community. Originally, pintakasi was used on farm activities. It was later used for non-farming activities like building bridges. Later it was used for church activities.
The study attempted to look deeper into the nature of pintakasi. The study also attempted to extend the benefits of pintakasi beyond traditional activities while still benefiting the community. Traditional pintakasi does not include planning and evaluation. This is understandable. Traditional farming activities, learned from parents over several generations, do not need to be planned. At best, what the farmer needs to know are the signs as to when an activity should be started, for example, the start of the planting season or the harvest season. Nor does the farmer need to evaluate an activity except perhaps to know that all the seedlings are planted in the fields or that all the rice stalks have been cut down and gathered.
Revised pintakasi was applied to a proposed activity, which was planned and implemented in the community. The researcher tried to have the participants evaluate the planning and the activity also using pintakasi This was the first time the participants did so because pintakasi has been used in farming activities and other traditional activities that do not need planning. This was also the first time that the community evaluated an activity involving pintakasi (while at the same time using pintakasi on the evaluation process itself.
The data in this study are of two kinds. The first is about the nature of pintakasi. The researcher has gathered preliminary data on pintakasi that was presented during the planning session. The second group of data is on how pintakasi was actually used during the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the community proposed activity.
The goal of the research was not only to understand nature of pintakasi. The attempt was to find out how pintakasi could respond to the concerns of Kalamansig communities. On the other hand, I also inquired on how these exploratory attempts could shape my role as priest and as a psychologist in the communities.
During the course of the study, Kalamansig encountered peace and order problem because of the series of attacks by the MILF. In this event, I discovered that pintakasi could create an avenue where a poor threatened community could empower itself to deal with problems of survival. This gives me an opportunity to see the implication of the use of pintakasi for the practice of Clinical and Community Psychology in the Field.
Thus, the exploration of pintakasi led to an important discovery. In my attempt to unravel the essentials of pintakasi, the following processes were brought out:
• The people applied pintakasi in non-traditional activities (TPO reorganization, TPO conflict management, TPO community consultation for peace, community disaster planning in Sangay, Sangay community prayer meeting for peace, and evacuation center activities).
• The community with the use of an indigenous process were able to work together to respond to the peace and order problem. Pintakasi became their psycho-social strength.
• The community became the main psychosocial resource of children traumatized by the armed conflict.
• The study also presents an important implication for peace process in Mindanao and the practice of clinical and community psychology in the field.