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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  2. THE SPIRIT OF MAGBABAYA WAS THERE DURING THE TALAANDIG DAY FESTIVITIES — 2 comments
  3. ENJOYING STREET FOOD AND MASSAGE: A PEACEFUL DEFIANCE AGAINST TERROR — 2 comments
  4. OUR PAR INTERNS LEARN INCLUSIVE & REGENERATIVE DEVELOPMENT — 1 comments

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COMMANDER BRAVO’S VISION OF TRANSFORMING MILF CAMP BILAL INTO A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITY

Last Monday morning, 22 April 2024, our team was invited to listen to the dreams and aspirations of former combatants at Camp Bilal, the headquarters of the North Western Mindanao Front of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. BIAF is the armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The discussions happened at the office of MP Abdullah “Cmdr. Bravo” G. Macapaar. The ideas we were hearing resemble that of inclusive development through social enterprise. Brother Musa Mohamad Sanguila gave me time to briefly present the story of Coffee For Peace (CFP) and PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) as advocates and practitioners of Social Enterprise. It seems Commander Bravo and those around him, especially Ma’am Naglah Lailah Amenah Sanguila, liked the idea. Commander Bravo promised to officially invite us to conduct a training on Coffee Social Entrepreneurial Initiative. In Shaa Allah, we will return to start a partnership with this community.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/04/commander-bravos-vision-of-transforming-milf-camp-bilal-into-a-social-entrepreneurial-community/

A REFLECTION ON IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL: PERSPECTIVES FROM A PEACEBUILDING WORKER IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

Last Saturday, 13 April 2024, at around 20:00 GMT, Iran launched a massive aerial assault on Israeli territory, marking the first-ever direct attack from Iranian soil. The attack, dubbed Operation True Promise by Iran, comes just two weeks after an Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria. The Iranian assault lasted approximately five hours. Explosions reverberated across Israeli cities, prompting air raid sirens in over 720 locations as Israeli forces scrambled to intercept the projectiles. This drew applause from many Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday as rare payback for the Israeli offensive on their enclave. While many of my fellow Christian leaders are beating the war-drums calling the US and the Western powers to strike back at Iran, many of my Bangsamoro friends and colleagues celebrate Iran’s attack. Although I understand and sympathize with my Moro brothers and sisters as they perceive the Iranian military action as justice for the Palestinians, my inner conviction calls me to be faithful as active, nonviolent justice advocate and peacebuilding worker.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/04/a-reflection-on-irans-attack-on-israel-perspectives-from-a-peacebuilding-worker-in-mindanao-philippines/

THROUGH PRAYERS AND RITUAL OF UNITY, WE CELEBRATED OUR KINSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES OF MINDANAO

Last 08 March 2024, our PBCI-CFP Team travelled to the Ancestral Territories of the Talaandig Indigenous community to participate in the 12th Affirmation of Kinship among Indigenous Peoples, Bangsamoro, and Settlers. As active participants in the tri-people kinship affirmation, we have been privileged to witness firsthand the profound impact of kinship in promoting peace and unity throughout Mindanao. Since its inception in 2012, this annual celebration has stood as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the deep-seated connections that bind together the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), Moros, and Settlers of our cherished region. For us, the highlight of this kinship affirmation is our inter-faith prayer. Through our collective prayers and supplications, we affirm our common humanity and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of love, joy, justice, and peace for all beings.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/through-prayers-and-ritual-of-unity-we-celebrated-our-kinship-with-the-peoples-of-mindanao/

‘2023 CHRISTMAS’ IS MORE OF A COMMEMORATION THAN A CELEBRATION

Christmas 2023 carries a somber weight, serving as a commemoration rather than a jubilation. The world, marred by conflicts in Gaza, the West Bank, and various oppressive wars, casts a shadow on the season’s usual cheer. The heartbreaking inaction of the international community in the face of genocide and ethnic cleansing further dims the festive spirit. It’s a stark reminder of the unfathomable cruelty humans inflict upon their own kind, underscoring the urgent need for compassion, solidarity, and genuine peace in a world torn by inhumanity. The sermon titled “Christ Under the Rubble,” delivered by The Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, strikes a chord within me. If Jesus were to be born today, he will be found under the rubble. This poignant sermon resonates deeply, emphasizing the enduring strength found in faith and the embodiment of hope, especially as we experience Christmas 2023 in the context of a decolonizing process.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/12/appropriate-and-authentic-2024-christmas-is-more-of-commemoration-than-a-celebration/

JUSTICE-BASED PEACEBUILDING IN THE FACE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING AND GENOCIDE: A PERSPECTIVE FROM MINDANAO

The imperialist colonizers have a common set of infamy — ethnic cleansing and genocide. The mindset of Spain and the United States of America considered our lands as resources to be exploited and our peoples as obstacles to be removed. This mindset laid the foundation for the systematic marginalization, oppression, and violence against the Indigenous Peoples of our archipelago. Driven by the pursuit of power, wealth, and territorial dominance, these empires embarked on expansive conquests that often involved the subjugation of indigenous populations in our country. Through our similar experiences of historical injustice, we see through the American and British instigated and perpetuated Israeli occupation of Palestine. Our on-going response to these historical injustices is justice-based peacebuilding.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/11/justice-based-peacebuilding-in-the-face-of-ethnic-cleansing-and-genocide-a-perspective-from-mindanao/

NAVIGATING TROUBLED WATERS: PHILIPPINE-CHINA DISPUTE ON WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

The West Philippine Sea, referred to by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the South China Sea, has become a focal point of geopolitical tensions, primarily between China and the Republic of the Philippines. This maritime dispute has wide-ranging implications for regional stability, international law, and the pursuit of economic interests. Locally, our fisherfolks are struggling as Chinese Coast Guard vessels prevent them from their basic livelihood. Nationally, this is a challenge to our sovereignty as a nation against a superpower. As the two nations grapple with conflicting territorial claims and overlapping interests, the world watches closely, concerned about the potential for escalation and the impact on global trade and security.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/09/navigating-troubled-waters-philippine-china-dispute-on-west-philippine-sea/

HARMONIZING PBCI’S WORLDVIEW WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ SUSTAINABLE AND REGENERATIVE WAY OF LIFE

In a world grappling with pressing environmental challenges and deep social divisions, we seek a dialogical harmonization between the worldview of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and the worldviews of various Indigenous People’s (IP) communities who welcomed us to journey with them. We seek to learn with them through equal partnership and mutual learning experiences. These learning processes reminds us that harmony is not an abstract dream but a tangible and achievable goal. It’s a call to action, beckoning Settlers and IPs to converge in fostering a more compassionate, sustainable, and harmonious local and global community. It’s a promise that by listening to the land and each other, we can find the path to a brighter, more harmonious future for all. Let us heed this call and embark on this transformative journey together.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/09/harmonizing-pbcis-worldview-with-indigenous-peoples-sustainable-and-regenerative-way-of-life/

OBO MENOVU COFFEE FARMERS HOLD VALUE-BASED STRATEGIC PLANNING

The Sondawa Coffee Farmers Association (SoCoFA) held a two-day leadership training on value-based strategic planning last 26-27 May 2023, at the Mt. Apo Facilities of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC). The training was facilitated by PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP), who are partners with the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA) and EDC. This value-based strategic planning was a culmination of more than 5 years of journeying together and partnership between the MADADMA, EDC, and PBCI-CFP. Through those five years, a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community and a social enterprise have been established, and a set of well-qualified, equipped, and enthusiastic leaders were elected to sustain and regenerate this inclusive development program, which is partly a result of an on-going MCCanada peacebuilding ministry in the Philippines.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/05/obo-menovu-coffee-farmers-hold-value-based-strategic-planning/

WE SHARED ‘CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION’ AND ‘CONFLICT MAPPING’ SKILLS TO OUR ZAMBALES PARTNERS

A group of civil society organizations consulted me and asked me to facilitate a seminar on how to understand the current conflict they are facing as they do their peace and development work. These organizations have been in dialogue with us since April last year. So, last 20-21 February 2023, I went to Zambales province and continued our partnership talks by listening to them and by seeking to understand their context while immersing myself in the community for a couple of days. Based on the needs I saw, I introduced to them basic conflict transformation and conflict mapping skills. These organizations are walking in solidarity with certain Aeta Indigenous communities in Zambales who are experiencing land-based conflict with certain powers.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/02/we-shared-conflict-transformation-and-conflict-mapping-skills-to-our-zambales-partners/

PBCI SHARED JUSTICE AND PEACE CONCERNS OF CIVILIANS AT THE ARMY’S 10TH INFANTRY DIVISION

As part of our inclusive approach in peacebuilding, I and one of my Field Operations staff members, Arafat ‘Toto’ Balono, participated in a military-organized conversation on counterinsurgency, peace, and development in Davao Region. It was held last 24 January 2023, 0830-1300PHT, at the headquarters of the 10th Infantry Division (10ID) of the Philippine Army, Datu Balunto Hall, Camp General Manuel T Yan Sr., Barangay Tuboran, Municipality of Mawab, Province of Davao de Oro. We listened to the military reports and conversation between civil society leaders and Philippine Army officers. When given the chance, I shared our perspective on justice-based peacebuilding beyond the box of the counterinsurgency campaign of the military.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/01/pbci-shared-justice-and-peace-concerns-of-civilians-at-the-armys-10th-infantry-division/

BUDDING TALAANDIG SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS FINISH THEIR SECOND TRAINING SESSION

How does Social Entrepreneurship look like when seen through the lenses of Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices (IKSP)? Last 09-11 November 2022, our Inclusive Development Team travelled to the Talaandig Ancestral Territory in Bukidnon. With the guidance of Datu Migketay Saway and of some Talaandig women and youth, we invested a couple of days seeking to design a Social Enterprise development model that would be sensitive to the worldviews, value systems, and customs of Indigenous Peoples. This is made possible in partnership with the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao) and the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/11/budding-talaandig-social-entrepreneurs-finish-their-second-training-session/

THE SPIRIT OF MAGBABAYA WAS THERE DURING THE TALAANDIG DAY FESTIVITIES

“The Spirit of the Creator was there!” That was the constant existential feeling I had while participating at the Talaandig Day Celebration. It was held last 14 October 2022 in their ancestral territory at the foot of Mt. Kitanglad. That day of festivities was actually the final event of a whole week of rituals and celebrations. It was indeed a day when, from the perspective of our team at PBCI and CFP, we participated in activities that harmonizes us with the Creator, with our being, with others, and with the creation. Our team also accompanied the traditional leaders of the Bagobo Tagabawa Tribe to meet the traditional leaders of the Talaandig Tribe, praying and hoping that the two Indigenous communities become partners in inclusive development.

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Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2022/10/the-spirit-of-magbabaya-was-there-during-the-talaandig-day-festivities/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

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