Iloilo and Bacolod Students Write to Peace

Jan 18th 2011

T he CFA Peace Trip exhibit and forum tour continued in the cities of Iloilo and Bacolod from November 18 to 26, 2010 sharing with more than 2,000 high school and college students the video documentary “Peace Trip” and photographs and art work of the 2009 camp, “Christian and Muslim Youth: Spreading the Message of Peace and Unity.” (See Peace Trip Trail: http://goo.gl/maps/qWzS)

During the forum, 3rd year students from Megumi Academy Bacolod City were asked to write letters to “Peace” and below are some samples from the activity:

Mahal kong Kapayapaan,

Nagdudusa ang langit gayun din ang lupa. Ba’t Muslim at Kristiyano’y kailangang magsagupa. Pare-parehong Pilipino, mapa-Muslim o Kristiyano. Digmaan nang digmaan, wala namang panalo. Kaming mga kabataan sandata ay lapis at papel. Pahiwatig na itigil ang digmaan kahit nanggigigil. Tayo’y mga Pilipino haharapin natin ang bukas. Lahat kapit-bisig kapayapaan noon hanggang wakas.

Nagmamahal, Ben Benedict Jochilo


Dear Peace,

Sana ay manatili ka sa aming bansa, upang kami ay magkaisa. Kinakailangan ka namin lalo na sa panahong ito, na nagkakagulo kami at hindi nag-uunawaan. Sana ay tulungan mo kami at gabayan. Masaya ako at nakilala kita. Umaasa ako na sana’y huwag mo kaming iwan. Dahil Peace, kung wala ka, siguradong maraming malulungkot at maraming magkakagulo. Salamat at nandito ka…

Ang iyong kaibigan, Gemini Lorenzo


The forum also exhorts the participants to put a stake on peace, inviting them to commit to contribute to peace in big and small ways. Here are some of their pledges:

“For peace we will change ourselves first and spread it to others who will then spread it to a larger community, forming a chain reaction of peace which is a key to a progressive and peaceful future not just in our nation but also in the world. Since God is the source of peace, we must be close to God” (Mary Beatrice Gison, Yasmin Anne Capatayan, Cena Love Alianza, Sainthia Joy, Sorilla, Frezel Geanne Tolosa, Grade 8-SEAS, Colegio de San Jose, Iloilo City)

“We can contribute to peace by helping those people who are harmed and abused and help those people to change their values and unlock their abilities for the good of mankind,” (Ralph Joseph Cabunducan, Marion Joseph Tanagon, John Felvir Huesca, Gymylh Labanero, Jonil Tan, 8-SEAS, Colegio de San Jose, Iloilo City)

Mary Joirlyn Mauricio AB1D of University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City wrote this reaction to the video:

The video really inspired me and made me realize that peace isn’t overrated at all… It made me realize that every act of kindness… even to people who are strangers to us, is an act promoting peace…

One scene/statement that moved me and struck me the most was the part where they had the bonfire, it was very symbolic and inspiring. When one kid said,“I could be a way/ step to attain peace.”

I was also struck when one kid said, “Kahit Muslim ka at Christian ako, magkapatid tayo.” Simply because it made me realize that there is no boundary between us. Yes, we have lots of differences but at the end of the day we will see and realize we are all brothers and sisters. And we have to respect that.

Through the movie I learned that peace is not simply the absence of violence but it is an everlasting harmony between people of different walks of life. It is not merely listening to them but it is understanding them… not simply promoting it but it is doing something to attain it.

From now on, I will erase all boundaries I make. I will listen and respect others. I will make and start kindness within me and spread it to different people.

The schools visited in Iloilo were: Ateneo de Iloilo (Sta. Maria Catholic School), Colegio de San Jose and St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary. In Bacolod, the team was able to hold forums in La Consolacion College, University of St. La Salle, Carlos Hilado Memorial State College (Fortune Town Campus) and Negros Museum.

Earlier in the month, peace forums were also held in the island of Bohol with 800 students of the Holy Spirit School of Tagbilaran City and 800 high schools students of Sacred Heart Academy of Loon, Bohol, challenging their peers to contribute to peace in small ways.

The tour will resume in February 2011 and will go to schools and institutions in Luzon.


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