Culiat High School Peace Campers Light the Path for Peace

July 29th 2009

N ewly-designated peace ambassadors representing Culiat High School (CHS) who attended the 2009 CFA Peace Camp began their quest to spread the message of peace when they held a program for fellow CHS students in their school conference hall last July 24th.

The CHS Peace Campers’ program was shown separately to two batches of high school students and teachers. According to CHS campus publication adviser and Peace Camp teacher-chaperone Melda Medina, the audiences consisted of 63 freshmen and seniors who regularly attend the morning classes, and 57 sophomores and juniors who take the afternoon classes. Representatives of the CHS Student Council were also present at the same activity.

The program began with Christian prayers led by Mhaydyn Rivera, and Muslim prayers by Arham Udtog. It was also Arham, together with May Sarah Jacalal, who hosted the program. The two introduced their principal, Dr. Alejandro Referente, who welcomed the audience and exhorted those present to work for unity because despite differences in religious affiliations everyone is of the same color and race. Then CFA Training Head Ms Bob Lopez, provided an overview of what happened during the summer Peace Camp, which transformed the CHS participants into young ambassadors of peace. Another CHS student and Camp participant, Noraima “Bhai” Antao, shared the various commonalities between Christians and Muslims. Her presentation was followed by the showing of the video documentary on Peace Camp 2, which was held at CFA on April 27-May 2, 2009.

There were many excited reactions to the video, as well as the sharing of experiences by the audience. Several students said the video showed them the need for a more open attitude towards their fellow students of a different faith. Others noted that it reinforced their belief that we Filipinos should be united – Christians or Muslims.

After the sharing by the audience, the CHS Peace Campers provided a glimpse of what they had learned in their creative dramatics workshop. Mhaydyn, Arham, May, and Bhai, together with fellow Campers Ma. Nica Aple Hernaez, Caroline Michaela Triveles, Norhuda Maneged, Harun Lais, and Shaira Ysabel Cabra, reenacted a tableau they had originally presented during the closing program of the summer Peace Camp. After the upbeat rendering, Nica gave a personal testimony on how being part of the Peace Camp has changed her life. The program concluded with the singing of the official anthem of the 2nd CFA Peace Camp: Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.

After the program Ms. Medina noted that many of the students were very enthusiastic about the project, saying, “The fourth year students, especially, are very interested to sign up for the next Peace Camp.”

In the next few weeks, CFA plans to hold similar follow-up activities in the three other schools that had participated in Peace Camp 2 — Taguig National High School, the Nazarene Catholic School, and Ramon Avanceña High School.

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