Our daily operations are managed by competent people who are motivated by love and joy to help transform our land and peoples towards justice and peace.
aka REV. DANN PANTOJA
The “Rev.” before Dann’s name refers more to his being a “revolutionary” than being a “reverend.” 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).
Lakan Sumulong is our Chief Executive Officer and Field Operations Director
Asked how he looks at his current journey as a peacebuilding missionary: “My current spiritual journey has led me to commit my energies to help in the transformational development of the people of the Philippines based on a Peace Theology. Submitting to God’s sovereignty and motivated by the love of Jesus Christ, I envision to contribute to the salaam-shalom between various people groups representing different cultures and ideologies in this beautiful land.”
aka LAKAMBINI MAPAYAPA
Joji runs PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. as an organic system. She relates with PBCI both as a living organism and as a set of connected organizational parts forming a complex whole. She turns a vision from an abstract concept into a concrete, efficiently operating structure. At PeaceBuilders Community, her husband, Dann, is peace; Joji is the builder. Joji is relational — like a mother; but she is very professional — like a competency-based executive vice president.
Joji is our Chief Operating Officer and Support Operations Director
Asked what her objective is in running PBCI: “God willing, I’ll grow PBCI as a sustainable peace and reconciliation consulting firm. Growth is my passion. That’s the story of my life–growing holistically in my personal life; growing in marriage with the man I love; growing three little children into responsible adults; growing in my profession and career; and, growing this community of peacebuilders.“
TWINKLE ‘TALA’ BAUTISTA
We call her Tala — the Pilipino term for star. Tala is a proud member of the Kalinga First Nation and celebrates the fact that she belongs to the Indigenous People: “I’m an IP!” She’s a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. At an early age, she dreamed to be a missionary. Now that she’s part of PeaceBuilders Community, she testifies with much excitement that she is a Peacebuilding Missionary!
Tala serves as PAR Partnership Designer and Inclusive Development Mentor
Asked about her passion as a Peacebuilding Missionary: “I believe in the wealth of the indigenous knowledge… I dream of IPs rejoicing in their cultural heritage without shame, freely sharing the indigenous knowledge with the mainstream — the business world, academe, media, etc. The encouraging thing is, there are already steps done to uphold the IPs. We can build on them.”
MARIA LIGAYA JOSEFINA ROJO
We call her June for short. She has been serving as a local church pastor for more than 10 years. We got to know her when she served as a volunteer with PBCI for a year. We noticed June’s effective and efficient field leadership. Her community organizing skills have been remarkable. So, the PBCI Management Team agreed to invite her to become one of our provincial staff members.
June serves as PAR Partnership Designer and Inclusive Development Mentor
Asked how she’s adjusting from pastoral ministry to peacebuilding ministry: “Peacebuilding ministry puts into action what I have been preaching for years about getting involved in holistic ministry and about being a church outside the walls of the church building.”
CLAY N. ROJO
Clay graduated from Central Mindanao University in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture. His major was in Agronomy. Since 1991, he has been serving as Church Planter and Pastor. When PBCI started working in Bukidnon, Clay — along with his wife, June — gave assistance to our PAR Organizing and Consulting Team. The Rojos helped accelerate the organization and development of the PAR Community in Bukidnon.
Clay serves as PAR Partnership Designer and Inclusive Development Mentor
Asked what excites him in this peacebuilding ministry: “I have been dreaming of integrating my training in agronomy with my pastoral calling. Agronomy is the science of soil management and crop production. As I train coffee farmers to produce global quality coffee, and as I also share with them the Gospel of Peace, I actually advance spiritual transformation and economic-ecological transformation among our people.”
aka JOBELYN P. BASAS
Jobee obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development from Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato. She is a proud Aromanen Manobo — one of Mindanao’s indigenous peoples. Her tribal name is Sihaya Ansibod — “The Enlightened One”. Prior to coming to PBCI, she served as a psycho-social worker in an organization advocating and working for children’s rights. She has good working skills in dealing with various kinds of situations, proficient in working with computers, works effectively with PBCI office and field teams, and flexible in adapting changes in new settings.
Jobee serves as PAR Field Facilitator and Inclusive Development Worker
Asked about her experience working with PBCI staff: “Working with PeaceBuilders is an opportunity to learn new things and also having this unique experience of working with people I consider as family and friends. My co-workers at PeaceBuilders are family that love me, appreciate me, and motivate me; they are also friends that accept and respect me. I am happy that I belong to this community.”
GELLI AIZA ‘WANAY’ SANNADAN BALUYAN
Aiza is Wanay — a proud indigenous woman from the tribe of Banao in the Province of Kalinga. She is a Registered Nurse with specific expertise on health advocacy. Along her professional journey, she gained skills on event coordination as well as community-based learning facilitation. She is also a dedicated environmental activist. Her dream is to continue her passion to help her people in the area of community-based health care and inclusive development initiatives — such as coffee farming, processing, and marketing. While learning peace and reconciliation with PBCI and CFP, she is also dreaming to be a medical doctor.
Wanay serves as PAR Field Facilitator and Inclusive Development Worker
Asked how her indigenous cultural values would help enrich PBCI: “I was raised in my tribal community practicing our values and customs which are Caniyao, Ngilin and Fain. It is Caniyao when you harm any of God’s creation. Ngilin is to abstain from doing any act that is prohibited in our community that will harm the environment and the body. Fain is when you do not offer what you have to your neighbors and to other people. We value communal decision; respect to other people; and we have our own way of negotiating peace in a non-violent way with our neighboring tribes and to other people which we call Bodong.”
TYRON A. ORTIZ
Tyron started as a Barista at Coffee For Peace. We noticed his quick mind with numbers. He was invited to work part-time at PBCI as a trainee. We found him to be a fast-learner, diligent, and cheerful member of the administrative team. The Management Team invited him to be a full-time staff member at the beginning of 2013, while completing his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy, University of Mindanao. He still works par-time as a barista, mostly for fun, at the Coffee For Peace during his days-off from PBCI.
Tyron serves as our Team Leader, Administration and Finance
Asked how he looks at his office job at PBCI: “I have been a volunteer in the field and have seen how efficient and orderly PBCI works with the people we’re seeking to help and to work with. Now, I understand that all the successes in the field are actually a result, in many ways, of the logistical and financial preparations done in the administrative office. I am a peacebuilder!”
CHARLENE JOY ‘CHACHA’ DENILA HOMEZ
Chacha started as a helper at Coffee For Peace shop. She showed interest to become a barista; she also showed interest in coffee processing. We noticed her diligence and teachability. Later, the CFP management observed her efficient work with details, including documentation tasks. She was transferred to the PBCI office and was trained and tested to assist in bookkeeping and administrative errands.
Chacha serves as our Bookkeeper and Administrative Assistant
Asked how she understands ‘peace’: “For me, peace is love. If there is love, there is peace. What’s magical with love is that, it changes people. Love transforms us in ways we can never imagine. But it seems that, at present, we are living in a world of hatred and violence. I want to spread love and respect. In the end, peace will prevail.”
He is called Kuya Freddie. He fixes everything at the PeaceBuilders Community Centre. He makes sure that our workplace is a peace and reconciliation workers’ haven characterized by peace, beauty, order, and cleanliness. He’s also our master roaster who maintains that our office is flowing with 100% arabica coffee from 9AM to 5PM.
Freddie is our Team Leader, Centre Care – Main Office.
Asked what makes him so enthusiastic about his work at PBCI: “This is my second family. I enjoy being appreciated as I make sure that peacebuilding workers experience being at home when they come back from the field. I also enjoy our daily lunch together as a family.”
FRANI D. CATUA
Frani is a proud Ata Manobo and grew up with PBCI. She started serving with the Pantojas in January 2006 when she was still a teen-ager. When PBCI opened a centre in 2007, she was one of the first full-time employees. She was sent to study hotel and restaurant management at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. Now a mother of two, she continually surprise us with her healthy, delicious dishes served during our daily community meal, and within our budget.
Frani serves with our Centre Care Team, Food Services – Main Office.
Asked what working with PBCI means to her: “Love. Patience. That’s what I have been experiencing as a spiritual daughter growing up in this community. It’s not just working. It’s being raised up spiritually while serving other people. That’s all.”
Crecy was working for the building where Coffee For Peace is located. We noticed her diligence as a worker and we’re impressed by her excellent cleaning skills. We learned that the salary she receives from the owner of the building, minus the taxes and the fee from a janitorial firm, was not enough to support herself and her daughter. We encouraged her to submit her application to PBCI.
Crecy now serves with our Centre Care Team, House Keeping – Main Office.
Asked about the meaning of her work at PBCI: “I have the privilege of giving and serving other people as a single parent. I don’t have to be rich to give to others.”