“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one who brings news of peace, who announces good things, who announces salvation… Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7): I was hiking down with Tala (behind me) after facilitating a Peace and Reconciliation training session with the Mt. Apo coffee farmers. The road was too muddy for our vehicle to pick us up.

When I first met Twinkle (or “Tala”), I had no idea how tremendously she would impact my life–spiritually and professionally.

I have been privileged to have her as my team leader ever since I became a full time staff member at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). I fondly call her “Kaps”, short for “Kapatid” (Filipino term for sister).

Twinkle has always been a good listener and a good mentor not only to me but to all the staff in our Community.  She greatly influenced and encouraged me to know deeper in my relationship with the Creator by being a good example of what it means to be Christ’s follower.

Whenever we are assigned to conduct a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar, Tala diligently prepares every training materials and design.  That is why it has been so efficient and easy for all of us to work as her co-trainers.  She has always done more than required.

Tala is a phenomenal teacher who introduces her trainees to the beauty of understanding things in a simple and culturally appropriate manner.  I saw how Tala sparks the interest of the people even in the most boring topic.  She has the ability to take beginner, intermediate, and or experienced trainees to encourage genuine discussions and to ask questions for a better understanding and a better grasp of the lesson at hand.  She has shown us that being a team leader is so much more than the position.

There have been numerous times though, that I just didn’t have the motivation or the challenge to work to reach my full potential.  It was during these times when Tala had always been there to believe and appreciate me.  She has shown me that the best way to achieve my ultimate goal was to work and reach the little ones, and once I attain one objective, create another.  As I get more involved in PAR facilitation, Tala’s modelling helped me appreciate the value of listening and sincerely addressing our audiences’ concerns.  Each PAR teaching encounter with various audiences became more meaningful to me. What a great feeling deep in my heart to be a part of this team who have been given a privilege to relate with various farming communities.  I would have not experienced these things if it were not for Tala.  She helped me to understand how imperative it is to pay attention to people and their respective cultures—dynamics, articulations, and sensitivities.  Even the most difficult piece can be made easy with the help of Tala.

I was a bit sad when she no longer worked with us here in Mindanao, but seeing my Ate Twinkle shining more brightly in her hometown gives me more inspiration to selflessly and sincerely serve the people.

I am grateful for the life of our “Kaps” — that little Tala (meaning star) who shared her brightness and touched the lives of many people.


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