"Help us present at ICAL, Taiwan"
I started this gofundme account in order for generous folks like you to help us finance our travel expenses for the upcoming 13th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (13 ICAL) in Taiwan where Mike Pangilinan and I, Norman de los Santos, will be presenting our papers about "indigenous writing systems from the Philippines" with a panel of other linguistic scholars & culture advocates.
We need help in presenting our cultural heritage to a global stage so that we can empower others to take pride in our indigenous cultural diversity; to document our vanishing heritage and present solutions on how to preserve and enrich it further.
Mike’s expertise on Kapampangan language, history and culture has made him a sought after resource by both national and international scholars, advocates and enthusiasts. He is recognized as the expert who studied and fostered the use of the ancient precolonial Kapampangan script, Kulitan or Súlat Kapampángan. Mike is hailed as a Kapampangan living cultural resource.
But despite his academic achievements, Mike is at the mercy of the social-economic limitations and difficult living conditions in his home town. A situation that he passionately aims to change. By promoting cultural awareness & social advancement in his home province of Pampanga, he hopes for the betterment of his fellow Kapampangans.
Mike Pangilinan is the person who encouraged me to submit my paper and present at ICAL. We sorely need him there as he is the lead presenter on our panel. But he is strapped for finances and we hope to be able to raise enough for his visa & ticket to Taiwan.
A half-decade ago, befalling into a myriad of health issues has left me unable to do physical work. This obstacle has slowed me down but it did not dampen my passion for artistic and scholarly work. A detractor of our cause once told me that cultural advocacy is only for those who are healthy & financially able.
Help me prove him wrong.
Who am I, what do I do, and why?
I was once many things, but now I am a freelance graphic designer and culture advocate. I create digital fonts & typefaces for indigenous writing systems like Surat Mangyan from the Hanunuo Mangyan people of my home island of Mindoro, Philippines.
I hope to help preserve the cultural heritage of my people by empowering & encouraging the youth into furthering modern usage of their arts, language, and writing using their original scripts.
Promoting the arts, spreading awareness about their plight, helping education, and finding modern & technological solutions to extend their cultural reach & future livelihood are some of my causes & goals. I also volunteer my skills & services, from time to time, in documenting their vanishing culture.
My fonts provide starting off points for projects that benefit indigenous cultural awareness and provides extra income through art and native publications. I have donated my designs & services to organizations such as the Mangyan Heritage Center and the People of Coloring movement.
The International Conference for Austronesian Linguistics (ICAL) is held every 4 years in different places all over the world. It is hosted by the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica. ICAL provides forums for collaborative research and also publishes & archives research papers.
Our goal in attending and presenting in ICAL is similar to last year's International Workshop on Endangered Scripts of Island Southeast Asia conference where both Mike & I (along with our other colleagues) attended & presented our papers to in Japan. That one was hosted by the Linguistics Dynamics Science Project of Tokyo University.
We do these as part of our long-term goals to help protect and preserve our cultural heritage. Apart from my typefaces & fonts, I am pushing for modern reforms to our writing systems, in hope to keep them in sync with our spoken languages, thus giving it renewed life.
1) To have our papers presented and published by these international panels and academia. Thus having an internationally officiated copy of our reforms and manuscript. Thus legitimizing and giving merit to our years of independent research and proposals - even without having a PhD in Linguistics.
2) It legitimizes any other upcoming books or reforms that we publish outside of academia.
3) Gaining a bit of clout and legitimacy, we can then approach Philippine Academia and Government departments with a better chance of them not turning us away just because we're just freelance researchers with no university degree.
4) We can then be a better voice for the Kulitan, Mangyan, and Baybayin script and be effective advocates of indigenous communities.
Also, we get to network with professional linguists and scholars. We gain allies, resources, experience and knowledge from the bigger players in linguistics. We also get to see the bigger picture of linguistic diversity & similarities, compare strategies, share what works & what doesn't. In turn, we can then pass these things along to our community.
My humble adjuration: "Through my art, knowledge, skills, I try to manage and accomplish many advocacy goals on my own, despite my inadequacies and limited resources. I wish to continue my advocacy and efforts for the preservation of our cultural heritage. However, due to my currently uncertain and unstable financial status, I need to swallow my pride and accept that there are times that I have to rely on the generosity of others. Fortunately, there is always a network of good people and there should be a strong support for our cause. I am hopeful for the future." ~ Nordenx
Mike is aiming to empower Kapampangan culture into a global stage where it wont be overshadowed by the pervasively dominant Manila Tagalog culture that is disrupting the cultural continuum of indigenous minorities in the Philippines.
A message from Mike: "I, a Kapampángan cultural activist without a Ph.D. or Masters Degree in any field, will be heading the Indic scripts panel at the 13th International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics (13 ICAL) in Taiwan this Juy. Without government backing or any local academic or cultural organisation or institution to back me up as usual, I still don't have a visa nor the money for plane ticket and accommodations. However, I believe in all those who support me and believe in me and in my efforts to bring the study of Kapampángan language, history and culture to the international scholastic community. I thank you all in advance!!!" ~ Mike Pangilinan
How do we thank thee?
Anonymous sponsors/donors are very nice and we will forever be grateful for your help. But it doesn't feel right with us to not have something in exchange for peoples' generosity. So, I will be sending digital baybayin artwork and portrait commissions along with other perks for those who will support my endeavor.
First off, let me thank you all in advance for your kind contributions. A sincere and hearty thank you for just reading this far. ^_^
With my current limited time & resources, I will send most of our donors a digital calligraphy of their name in either Baybayin, Kulitan, or Surat Mangyan.
Others whose donations that went over and above shipping costs (TBA), will receive a small token of my thanks. So, to receive a perk, make sure you include your shipping address info when you donate.
Those whose donations that went over and above my usual digital artists' fee ($75-100+) can commission a manually drawn gray-scale digital portrait like the ones shown above. I just require that you send me your portrait photo (or your loved one's picture) through email.
And for the most generous among you, along with the offer to draw your portrait, I will name an upcoming baybayin typeface/font in your honor.
You can donate through PayPal and I will add the amount to the gofundme total. If you use the main PayPal site, my account is under my nordenx@ yahoo .com email.
Please contact either Mike & I for to coordinate with us. Mike can receive cash payments through remittance service centers like Western Union, Cebuána Lhuillier, or MoneyGram. And I can accept checks or money orders. We will also add the amount of any offline contributions to our gofundme tally.
For more information about Mike, visit his site: siuala.com
For more information about my typographic work, please visit: baybayinfonts.com
For more information about the Mangyan and the foundation I support, please visit: mangyan.org
Also, you can help me by purchasing some of my merchandize at: kakaiba.com
View some of my artwork at: nordenx.deviantart.com
Our previous papers: 2014 Tokyo papers
For more info about ICAL: 2015, 13th. ICAL
We will keep our gofundme page open throughout the duration of the conference. Just in case anyone would like to send us funds while we are there for the week. Gofundme is set to directly send funds to a debit card account (it takes a day or two to clear).
We wholeheartedly offer our thanks and gratitude to our very generous donors and supporters. I can not thank you enough!
As promised, several of my unnamed fonts will be named after a few of our donors, this shall be done after the conference.
So far, with your donations we were able to pay for Mike's registration fees. I will pay for mine when I arrive at Academia Sinica. We registered early so that we received the discount on our registration fees.
Currently, we can afford to pay for Mike's airfare and possibly his visa. Our final worry would be my plane ticket and accommodations. I have less than a month to raise funds for that.
In any case, many thanks again for all your support!