Balangay Media Project

Recognizing the role of media in driving information and encouraging citizens to take part in resilience building, the OML Center aims to engage passionate communicators to increase science-based public discourse on climate change and inspire action. 

The Balangay Media Project seeks to create an ecosystem of journalists, communicators, influencers, and the like to cover underreported climate issues on the ground and how these affect other aspects of community life, such as food supply, employment security, arts and culture, heritage conservation, health and welfare, among others.

This project aims to organize local media practitioners and climate change advocates by building their capacities for science-based reporting and utilizing traditional, new, and out-of-home media to promote climate change adaptation and resilience-building of communities.

We are looking for diverse teams of communicators who will develop media blitz campaigns and research projects on relevant climate issues of communities.

Umalohokan Grants

Named after town criers of old, the grant aims to support participating teams in the conduct of a climate communications study on the knowledge, perceptions, values, behavior, and other meaning-making factors of the public towards strengthening the role of media to sway public opinion and inspire climate action.

Ten (10) teams shall be awarded a seed grant of PhP30,000 each based on their initial climate change pitches. 

Five (5) Teams with the best media blitz campaigns shall be given funding of PhP70,000 to fully implement their campaign and communication research plans.

The team who most creatively and successfully executes their blitz campaigns and research projects shall ultimately receive a final grant of PhP150,000.

Umalohokan Fellowship to the Climate Media Labs

Aside from being awarded the seed grants, teams shall participate in a Climate Change webinar providing the overview of the climate issue and in the Climate Media Labs, a specialized training program held over six weeks on the nexus of climate change and communications.

The grantees shall also be a part of our growing network composed of international experts on climate change and media advocacy. This would provide opportunities to be featured in their respective media outfits and dialogues.


Who can join?

Pitches will be accepted from teams based in the Philippines who will be able to produce objective community-based research and climate change reporting in print, digital, audio, video, or multimedia formats that focus on all dimensions of climate change, its impacts on a Philippine community or vulnerable group, and potential solutions. Diverse team compositions have an advantage.

What are the requirements/supporting documents needed?
  • Climate story pitch
  • Team composition listing team members and describing, in general, the role or contribution of each member. Provide a brief profile of qualifications (2 pages max) for each team member, including links to past work
  • Relevant letter(s) of recommendation / support on individual / team capability (Team members may not recommend each other.)
  • Two samples of implemented projects by members of the team 
    • If materials are posted online, kindly provide the link.
    • For materials published in local language / dialect, kindly provide translation in either English or Filipino.

What should the pitch contain? Is there a required format?

In under 1,000 words, provide a summary that answers the following questions:

  • What is the sector or issue that your team intends to focus on and why do you think it is relevant?
  • How do you think media, communication, research, or reporting can help catalyze action on this sector or issue?
  • What is the likelihood of successful completion of your concept / pitch within the project timeframe? (General project timeline is indicated in another section of the FAQ)

Do we need to make a pitch first before we could be considered eligible to join?

Yes, the pitch is a crucial part of the eligibility review. It is a requirement of the application.

Is it okay to build a team after a pitch is approved?

Part of the submission requirements includes a description of your team composition, which is a criterion for screening applications. The team you have at the time of your application may spell the difference in breaking a tie.

To whom should participants address the letters of recommendation?

The letters of recommendation/support should be addressed to the Balangay Media Project Review Committee.

Is there a required composition of the team?

Minimum required composition (any individual may hold two roles listed below):

  • researcher
  • editor
  • communicator / journalist
  • able to implement in at least 3 channels / outlets  (e.g. radio, print, social media, etc.)

Teams may be composed of, but not limited to, the following: 

Media practitioners and journalists based in the Philippines (print, TV, radio, online)

  • Community-based journalist groups
  • Online and social media influencers
  • Academe-based journalist organizations
  • Researchers (climate change or communications)

What should the team composition and profile of qualifications highlight?

Your team’s profile should have a summary of each team member’s relevant professional experience and skills, and links to previous work. Aside from previous work experience, these may include certification of relevant training, researches conducted, information on channel reach, and membership or association with groups relevant to the sector or community covered by your pitch. Brief description of the reach of work would be desirable.

How many members can a team have?

There is no limit to the number of members in a team.

Can team members come from and represent one organization (e.g. a non-government organization)?

Technically, yes, but please note that your team composition impacts your team diversity, and the feasibility of pitch success. These are criteria in screening applications.

Is there an age requirement for team members?

There is no age requirement for the members of the team. However, members under 18 years of age must secure parents’ consent (to request for the form, email [email protected]).

Are government employees allowed to join?

Government employees may join the Balangay Media Project. They are advised to check any government policies that may prevent them from receiving grants, awards, prizes or other related circumstances from this Project.

What sample projects of the team members do you expect? Is this related to media campaigns or publications?

Participating teams may submit any project that will help support their pitch and the feasibility of its success. These may include relevant media campaigns or publications, but may also include other projects successfully conducted in the LGUs, sectors, or vulnerable communities relevant to the pitch.

When is the deadline for submissions?

Submission must be received by the OML Center on or before 23 July 2021 (Friday), 23:59 PST. Only submissions made via the online Balangay Media Application Form will be considered. Documents uploaded should be in PDF format.

How will the climate story pitches be evaluated?

Pitches will be reviewed based on the climate issue, team composition, innovation/creativity of campaign approach, and feasibility of success should the pitch be implemented.

Who can join the applicants’ orientation?

The applicants’ orientation was held on  July 13 (Tuesday), at 10:00 am. The orientation gave applicants an opportunity to ask organizers about the mechanics and other concerns. This FAQ has been updated to include questions raised during the orientation.

The recordings of the Balangay Media project overview and mechanics are available on the OML Center YouTube channel. Orientation attendance is not an eligibility requirement.

What happens next after the submission of the requirements?

The OML Center team will contact eligible teams via email to participate in a Climate Change webinar on August 5, 2021.

Climate Media Labs will take place from August to September.

The top five teams will have September to November to implement and complete their projects.

Awarding of best campaign will take place in November.

How intense is the training under the climate media labs? How many days a week over the 6 weeks?

While we are still in the process of finalizing the formats and schedules of the climate media labs, each session should only be 2 hours long at most. There should be an average of 2 sessions per week. 

What do the research projects refer to? Is this separate from the blitz campaign?

The research component of the pitch is to ensure that campaigns are grounded in the climate risks or hazards and/or information and communication needs of the community or sector being served by the campaign. The research findings should feed into the full campaign proposal, as well as the implementation plan.

Are we allowed to source out additional funding from another funding entity during the implementation of the project?

We do not see any issues with sourcing out additional funding, unless there are potential conflicts of interest, such as conditions of the funding, priorities of the funder, etc.


Watch: 2021 Balangay Project Overview

Watch: 2021 Balangay Media Project Mechanics

Watch: Turning Climate Stories into Action: A Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Approaches to Climate Storytelling


Eleventh Hour: “Creating a safe space to walk the talk for the climate”

Multi-stakeholder forum opens up space to act on underreported climate issues

Eleventh Hour: “Traditional knowledge is a common thread that runs through climate change and resilience”

Eleventh Hour: “Animating local climate research through ‘Sanga Pulo’ media campaign”

Eleventh Hour: “Linking climate data and stories to amplify the voice of at-risk communities”

Multi-stakeholder forum looks into how climate storytelling and reporting could help bring about community action

Group highlighting importance of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices in local climate resiliency awarded Balangay Media Project final grant

Turning Climate Stories Into Action, a multi-stakeholder forum on approaches to climate storytelling to take place Dec. 10

Group of environmental advocates, researchers get grant to shine spotlight on Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices

Advocates get grant to narrate stories of how communities would look like 100 years from now

Climate advocates in Bicol region get grant to promote seed-saving, sustainable farming

Online journalists get cash grant to make videos that will document farmers adopting new technologies, practices

Artist’s group produce short videos about life on small islands that are threatened by rising sea levels

OML Center awards cash grants to five teams to implement campaigns on underreported climate stories

How can scientists and journalists work together? International speakers share insights during Climate Media Labs’ session on co-production and climate reporting

Communicating climate: Panelists during Climate Media Labs’ third session tackle challenges, opportunities

Addressing climate change: Climate Media Labs’ second session provide perspectives from policymakers and communities

Filipina scientists guide Umalohokan Fellows across key climate change concepts, impacts, and vulnerabilities

Balangay Media Project Umalohokan Fellows, seed fund grantees announced during climate change webinar