Cotabato Peace Camp Kids Present “Kalilintad”

Sept 29th 2010

T he student play “Kalilintad” (Peace) opens with a Mindanao rural scene where the villagers go through their daily routine of harvesting, weaving and living together peacefully until their lives are suddenly interrupted by the arrival of soldiers who are then ambushed by rebels. One of the soldiers, Bernardo del Rio (played by Ymaan Derogongan, a peace camper), is wounded and has to find refuge in the home of Fahad and his mother. Bernardo, a Christian, becomes close to the Muslim family who cares for him during his recovery. The news of this reaches the rebels and the soldiers have to flee from the village to protect them from any attacks. Just after Bernardo and companions leave with Fahad, the rebels come and demand that the soldiers be released to them. Since the villagers are unable to present them, conflicts arise and Fahad’s mother is shot dead. The tragic news meets Fahad on his return. One day some soldiers arrive, and Bernardo is among them. The fears of the villagers are allayed when the soldiers explain that for their assistance and cooperation, the village has been chosen as a Peace Zone and will given financial assistance by the government. The play ends with the villagers doing their daily chores in peace.

This drama presentation, so clearly carrying the message of peace and unity that were the themes of the CFA Peace Camps, was witnessed by CFA Training Head Ms. Bob Lopez and cameraman Dante Chua at the Notre Dame-RVM College of Cotabato City gym on September 1, 2010. It was written and produced as part of the peace program initiated by the 11 high school students who had participated in the Peace Camp held at CFA in Manila last April 19-24, 2010.

The camp participants’ peace program is intended to involve their classmates in their work for peace as they share the ideas, insights and media skills that they had learned. During the event, Ms. Bob explained the background of the CFA peace project to the 2,000 students who were present and showed them the video of the 6-day camp. She ended with words of encouragement for everyone to join the journey to peace which their campers embarked on earlier this year. The Cotabato program also featured a slide presentation of the camp pictures, using skills that Jorjani Sinsuat learned from the media workshop at the camp.

Integrated in the CFA visit were video interviews with students, teachers and parents of the school regarding the aftermath of the camp. Campers eagerly shared their views that because of the camp, they were able to discover and use skills they never thought they had. Others were very grateful for the boost of confidence that the camp experience gave them and this was echoed in the sharing session of the teachers and parents who had noticed a greater sense of responsibility and leadership among students who had participated in the Peace Camp.

The next follow-up activity for this Peace Camp program is the video workshop to be held in the summer of 2011 at the CFA compound and this will reunite the campers for a sharing of best practices in the past year while reinvigorating ties among themselves as they become more active ambassadors for peace. Then CFA will return to Cotabato later next year for the Peace Traveling Exhibit that will showcase the creative output and the video of the 2010 Camp.

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