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).

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MOVING ON AFTER THE 2022 PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS: A PERSONAL LAMENTATION AND REFLECTION 

As a Filipino citizen, I have been lamenting because of the unfortunate result of the candidacy of Leni Robredo, Kiko Pangilinan, and their senatorial team. As I lament, I’m reflecting on the seeming triumph of untruth and injustice. In the next six years, we will go through another socio-political darkness akin to the Marcos Martial Law and the Duterte War on Drugs. But hope, faith, and love allow me to see our short-term loss and our long-term victory as advocates of justice, peace, and reconciliation. I’m disappointed with the popular votes, but I see opportunities for a protracted, nonviolent, radical transformation of our land and our people.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/05/moving-on-after-the-2022-philippine-elections-a-personal-lamentation-and-reflection/

PRAYING FOR OUR NATIONAL SITUATION DURING THE 2022 HOLY WEEK 

We look at our our national situation through the lens of shalom-based transformation — that is, harmony with the Creator (spiritual-ethical transformation), harmony with our being (psycho-social transformation), harmony with others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with the creation (economic-ecological transformation). This season, when we commemorate the suffering and death of the Prince of Shalom, we reflect on the condition of our people and our land. This season, when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we also want to celebrate the glimpses of renewed life in our society.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/04/praying-for-our-national-situation-during-the-2022-holy-week/

THE HEALING POWER OF REMEMBERING: WHAT EDSA MEANS TO ME

EDSA is the term we use to signify the People’s Power Revolution that brought down the Marcos dictatorial regime in 22-25 February 1986. EDSA, or Efipanio Delos Santos Avenue, was the place where millions of people gathered together that led to the dismantling of the violent and murderous Marcos Martial Rule. This week, the government of the Philippines is officially celebrating the EDSA, but Duterte is not scheduled to attend any EDSA Revolution commemorative activity. Each year, I go on a retreat to personally celebrate and remember my fallen colleagues as part of my personal healing. Here is my journal this year.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/02/the-healing-power-of-remembering-what-edsa-means-to-me/

LOOKING BACK TO 2021 AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2022 THROUGH THE LENSES OF OUR VISION 

We are still focused on our vision. The vision is that, by 31 December 2030, each of our provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities. They would serve as radical, peaceful transformation volunteers in their respective families, spiritual communities, neighborhoods, barangays, cities, or municipalities. The PAR Communities would also get involved in sustainable and regenerative programs that are indigenous to their specific context.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/01/looking-back-to-2021-and-looking-forward-to-2022-through-the-lenses-of-our-vision/

BONIFACIO´S DEATH AND HISTORICAL DECOLONIZATION: REVISITING, BUT NOT REVISING, HISTORY

Emilio Aguinaldo ordered the execution of Andres Bonifacio. But we are not commemorating this today, Bonifacio Day. We are celebrating instead his birthday. Is it because our revolutionary narrative is marred by powerplay, jealousy, and murderous intentions among leaders? We, as a former colonized nation, may need to revisit our history. We may need to decolonize ourselves from Spanish and American narratives in our consciousness as a people. But beware of the Marcos historical revisionism that is corrupting our historical decolonization process.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/11/bonifacios-death-and-historical-decolonization-revisiting-but-not-revising-history/

LISTEN, RECOGNIZE, AND RESPECT THE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM OF THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

We are now documenting and processing all the facts and data from our field interaction last July with the Mandaya people in Caraga, Davao Oriental. The Indigenous People’s leadership there officially invited us — PeaceBuilders Community and CoffeeForPeace — through the initiative of the TriPeoples Development and Services Foundation. We are reminded once again that people have wisdom based on, and learned from, their varied experiences and contexts. We ought to listen to them. We ought to recognize their voices. We ought to stop treating them with condescending, or looking-down, attitude.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/10/listen-recognize-and-respect-the-knowledge-and-wisdom-of-the-indigenous-peoples/

OUR JOURNEY WITH EDSAL, A MERANAW PEACEBUILDING PARTNER, CONTINUES THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Our relationship with Edsal Edres started when our peacebuilding network visited our Meranaw partners during the Marawi Crisis. We got involved in peacebuilding activities together, including: fact-finding mission at the very heart of the war zone; Christian-Muslim inter-faith dialogue on peace; joint peacebuilding strategic planning among leaders of civil society organizations; lobbying at the Congress and Senate of the Philippines; and, livelihood initiatives among families affected by war. We are now focused on Inclusive Development and Social Entrepreneurship as an approach to help the war affected families to rise-up from the ravages of armed conflict.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/08/our-journey-with-edsal-a-meranaw-peacebuilding-partner-continues-through-social-enterprise/

PEACE JOURNALIST BREWS DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN MANDAYA TRIBE AND PBCI-CFP TEAM

28-30 July 2021. It’s energizing to reconnect with Rolivel Oliveros Elusfa and his team. He was my colleague in civilian ceasefire monitoring from 2006 to 2012 as part of a peacebuilding network. A few months ago, he contacted me and shared his passion to do peacebuilding and development among the Mandaya Indigenous communities. Now, we’re exploring a wider and deeper view of peacebuilding—where building peace is understood as encompassing a holistic and inclusive process of transformation: spiritual-ethical transformation, psycho-social transformation, socio-political transformation, and economic-ecological transformation.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/07/peace-journalist-brews-development-partnership-between-mandaya-tribe-and-pbci-cfp-team/

COMMEMORATION, CELEBRATION, AND REFLECTION: A SPIRITUAL JOURNEY WITH THE BAGOBO TAGABAWA

Friday, 25 June 2021. We rejoice with the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe for the completion of their cultural village and peace memorial complex. This was originally envisioned by Bai Jerlina Owok, the local chieftain at Barangay Binaton in Digos City, Davao del Sur. They started building their local village to make their community more visible and to tell their story beyond their tribal community. Because of their initiative, various sectors—government, business, civil society, and media—responded and helped concretize their vision. While celebrating with the tribe about these developments, we also reflect on issues regarding encroachment of certain powerful forces into the ancestral domain of the Bagobo Tagabawa.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/06/commemoration-celebration-and-reflection-a-spiritual-journey-with-the-bagobo-tagabawa/

A CRY FOR HEALING: PRAYING FOR COMPETENT LEADERS IN OUR COUNTRY

May we truly experience being healed as one country of many first nations, religions, ideologies, languages and cultures in this archipelago. May we all learn to listen to each other twice as much as we utter our words. May we learn to harmonize our differences like the different instruments and sounds in an orchestra, like the different colours in a mosaic, like the different parts of a healthy body.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/04/a-cry-for-healing-praying-for-competent-leaders-in-our-country/

CHURCH LEADERS’ APPEAL TO SUPREME COURT IN STRIKING DOWN ANTI-TERRORISM ACT OF 2020

In a statement released last 02 February 2021, Church leaders from various Christian denominations prayed for Supreme Court Justices to exercise “sound judgment” in striking down the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020. As an ordained pastor and as a church-based justice advocate and peacebuilding worker, I resonate with the prayer of my fellow justice advocates and peacebuilding colleagues in the Christian church.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2021/02/church-leaders-appeal-to-supreme-court-in-striking-down-anti-terrorism-act-of-2020/

BARMM LEADERSHIP INVITES CIVIL SOCIETY TO CONTINUE THE JUST-PEACE JOURNEY WITH THE BANGSAMORO

PBCI was invited to participate in reporting the results of the performance review of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA)—the new government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). A team from a network of civil society organizations, called Mindanao Peoples’ Caucus (MPC), was commissioned to do the Rapid Mid-Term Review on the Bangsamoro Transition Period. Upon learning the findings and the recommendations, the Bangsamoro invites the civil society to continue the justice-and-peace journey with them. PBCI commits to continue our humble presence in this journey.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2020/10/barmm-leadership-invites-civil-society-to-continue-the-just-peace-journey-with-the-bangsamoro/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.