WE PARTICIPATED IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE 22ND FOUNDING ANNIVERSARY OF THE MINDANAO PEOPLES’ CAUCUS

09-11 February 2024, Cotabato City.  A gathering of Civil Society Organization leaders who compose the Mindanao Peoples Caucus (MPC) marked the commemoration of the organization’s 22nd Founding Anniversary. The event also served as a poignant reminder of MPC’s transformative role within Mindanao’s social fabric. We have had the privilege of being part of MPC since 2006, and it’s been an incredibly transformative experience for us. Through our involvement with MPC, we’ve witnessed firsthand the power of dialogue and collaboration in fostering peace and understanding among diverse communities in Mindanao. Together, we’ve participated in forums, engaged in discussions, and worked towards common goals of social justice and reconciliation. MPC has provided us with a platform to contribute to positive change in our region, and we are grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a vital movement for peace and development.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/02/we-celebrated-the-22nd-founding-anniversary-of-the-mindanao-peoples-caucus/

TOP SIX COFFEE PRODUCERS FROM LANAO DEL SUR RECEIVE ADVANCED ‘FARMERPRENEURIAL’ TRAINING

30-31 January 2024. Our CFP-PBCI Inclusive Development (IncluDev) Team hosted the most productive farmers from Lanao del Sur for Coffee Farmer-Entrepreneurial Training. In the morning of the first day, they were brought to the Davao Peace Hub to enhance their skills in practicing and sharing Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Principles; they also had coffee roasting and packaging workshop there. In the afternoon, they were welcomed to the Coffee for Peace Cafe to learn about coffee tasting and aroma appreciation. On the morning of the second day, our staff at the Malipayon Peace Hub facilitated a workshop on post-harvest processing skills; they also presented the coffee beans they brought from their farms which were evaluated by seasoned coffee entrepreneurs.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/01/top-six-coffee-producers-from-lanao-del-sur-receive-advanced-farmerpreneurial-training/

ALONG WITH OUR COLLEAGUES, WE WELCOME THE RESUMPTION OF THE NDF-GPH PEACE TALKS

We, at PeaceBuilders Community, join our colleagues in expressing our support and appreciation to both the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in resuming the Peace Talks as communicated in the Oslo Joint Statement signed last 23 November 2023. Our perspective from the ground compels us to amplify the voices of the people with whom we’ve been working. We pray that both GRP and NDFP would focus on resolving the root of armed conflict — that is, the persisting landlessness of the farmers, widespread poverty, depressed wages of workers, and the lack of local, inclusive, industrial development. We are listening to the fresh perspective of the GRP and to the clarifying focus of the NDFP as they both approach the negotiating table. May the God of justice and peace sustain and bless this resumption of peace talks.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/01/along-with-our-colleagues-we-welcome-the-resumption-of-the-ndf-gph-peace-talks/

‘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.

Continue reading

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

PBCI-CFP FAMILY HOLDS ‘DAY OF GRATITUDE’: TO THE CREATOR, TO THE JOURNEY OF BECOMING, TO OUR COMMUNITY, TO THE CREATION

18 December 2023. In the tapestry of our existence as members of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP), gratitude serves as the golden thread that weaves together the fabric of our lives. It is a powerful force that connects us to the Creator, the journey of becoming, our community, and the vast creation that surrounds us. In this season of remembering the Birth of Jesus Christ in the context of the 2023 ethnic cleansing and genocide in the Land of Palestine — his country of birth, we spend a day of reflection together. We delve into the profound significance of expressing gratitude in these various dimensions of our existence. Gratitude goes beyond mere politeness or saying “thank you”; it is a heartfelt and intentional practice that can have transformative effects on both individuals and communities.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/12/pbci-cfp-family-holds-day-of-gratitude-to-the-creator-to-the-journey-of-becoming-to-our-community-to-the-creation/

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.

Continue reading

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/

OUR SPEAKING AND MEETING TOUR ACROSS CANADA WAS ENRICHING AND ENERGIZING

Last 12 October to 12 November, Joseph “Boyet”Ongkiko, Tala Alngag Bautista, and I went through a cross-Canada tour, sharing the story of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP). It was a time of face-to-face visits with our friends and supporters, celebrating our accomplishments together as partners in the work of PBCI and CFP. It was also a time to share the vision of establishing a permanent home of PBCI and CFP in one location we refer to as Malipayon Peace Hub. We started in Eastern Canada, then westward to Central Canada, and concluding the tour in British Columbia. Our message as a team is threefold: I presented the journey of PBCI-CFP from 2006 to the present. Boyet shared the new vision of educating young leaders from Indigenous Peoples’ communities through IncluDev. Tala shared her vision for the next generation Peace and Reconciliation initiatives framed in decolonization.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/11/our-speaking-and-meeting-tour-across-canada-was-enriching-and-energizing/

CHRISTIAN ZIONISM IS COMPLICIT IN THE 75-YEAR OPPRESSIVE ISRAELI OCCUPATION OF PALESTINE

Christian Zionism is a war-mongering theology which was originally taught to early Filipino converts by fundamentalist American missionaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, were supportive of the colonial interests of their imperialist country, the United States of America. This ideology, wrapped in war-oriented American geopolitics, is still perpetuated among many fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in the Philippines. I pray that Filipinos would be healed from this blindness and see what Israel really is — an illegal occupation force in Palestine, oppressing the Palestinians for the past 75 years.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/10/christian-zionism-is-complicit-in-the-75-year-oppressive-israeli-occupation-of-palestine-2/

THE ‘MALIPAYON PEACE HUB’ CONSTRUCTION IS ON TARGET AND WITHIN BUDGET

Last Wednesday, 05 October, our team visited the Malipayon Peace Hub construction site for an exciting update! The owner of the 3A Modular PreFab, the company entrusted with this project, joined us to provide a comprehensive technical overview of the construction’s current status. We are thrilled to report that the progress is right on target and is comfortably staying within the allocated budget. This inspiring journey of building a hub dedicated to justice-based peacebuilding and reconciliation is progressing smoothly, thanks to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved, especially our impact partners.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/10/the-malipayon-peace-hub-construction-is-on-target-and-within-budget/

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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

PBCI-CFP INCLUDEV TEAM EXPLORES PARTNERSHIP WITH P.I.N. IN COFFEE SOCIAL ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT IN BASILAN, SULU, AND TAWI-TAWI

The Inclusive Development Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP) is exploring a partnership with People in Need (PIN) in doing peace and economic development initiatives in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team is composed of community development and social entrepreneurial advocates and practitioners. They also provide training on peacebuilding and conflict resolution. “A partnership between PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team and PIN would be an energizing servant for good in BaSulTa,” says Joji Felicitas Pantoja, President and CEO of Coffee for Peace and a 2020 honoree of the Oslo-based Business for Peace Foundation. “The two organizations,” adds Ms Joji, “would be able to combine our expertise and resources to help the people create a more sustainable and peaceful future for their Island Provinces within the BARMM.”

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2023/08/pbci-cfp-includev-team-explores-partnership-with-p-i-n-in-coffee-social-enterprise-basilan-sulu-and-tawi-tawi/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

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