Jan 20 2017

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Datu Kharis M. Baraguir is my mentor in Bangsamoro history and culture. 14 May 2013. Datu’s Brew Coffee Shop, Cotabato City. Photo by PBCI-ICT.

Between December 2004 and June 2005, I lived among the Bangsamoros in the Municipality of Sultan Kudarat, Province of Maguindanao and shared life with this amazing people group. I was embraced by the people in Sultan Kudarat, specifically by the family of Datu Kharis Matalam Baraguir.  It was through their simple life and their daily prayers, seeking to submit their whole being to Allah (SWT), that I experienced the kind of Salaam (Peace) that many Bangsamoro are longing for.  It was in the person of Datu Kharis Baraguir that I found the Person of Peace in his peacebuilding journey in Mindanao.


Datu Kharis continues to serve as one of our senior consultants at PeaceBuilders Community.



Senior Consultant
Bangsamoro Historical Narrative and Culture



Datu Kharis was the first elected Vice Governor of the Province of Maguindanao.  He is a devout Muslim and a respected elder coming from the Maguindanao’s traditional leadership family.  He is a man of peace whom we look up to as our adopted father.  All staff and volunteers of PeaceBuilders Community, local and global, are required to go through Datu Kharis’ orientation on Mindanao Peace Process from the Bangsamoro perspective.


Asked what motivates him to work with a Christian peace building community like us:  Islam is a religion of peace (salaam). It is consistent with Islamic teaching to be friends and co-workers of the People of the Book who truly practice the ethical principles of their faith.  I am a Muslim member of PeaceBuilders Community.






About the author

Lakan Sumulong

Dann Pantoja is beginning to use his Tagalog indigenous name -- Lakan Sumulong. This is a statement that our indigenous identities can be a redeeming factor in healing our 'being' (that is, who we are as a people); help symbolize our determination to contribute what we ought to be 'doing' as a nation (that is--active, non-violent, radical transformation); and, determine how we will prioritize what we will be 'having' (that is, inclusive growth and national development based on justice and peace).

Asked what fuels his positive outlook in life: “It’s the influence of Jesus, a first century Palestinian carpenter who was executed by the imperial power of his time. He said: ‘Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.’ Jesus defied the ultimate negative factor in our cosmos--death.”

Permanent link to this article: http://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2017/01/we-honor-the-man-of-peace-who-welcomed-us-in-mindanao/

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