‘Dear Peace’ Exhibit Launched and Traveling

Oct 29th 2007

E yes were moist and the room was perfectly still for a few seconds after the video premiere showing of “Dear Peace” at the Ramon Avance?a High School conference area in Quiapo, Manila. The CFA video documentary was launched on the occasion of the International Day of Peace last September 21st. The responsive school audience included all 29 of the teenage participants of the original Peace Camp organized by the Communication Foundation for Asia as part of its interfaith project, “Impressions of Conflict, Expressions of Peace”.

The Ramon Avance?a High School, where the Peace Camp participants originated from, is one of the few public high schools in Metro Manila with a substantial mix of Christian and Muslim students. The Peace Camp was initially organized by CFA in Taytay, Rizal in May 2006 to promote communication skills and dialogue among Muslim and Christian students. The Camp, the subsequent reunion workshop and the public speaking seminar at CFA became a journey of peace and cultural understanding for the teenage participants. The video documentary captures this peace-building process, told in their own words in the form of letters from the young students.

In his opening remarks, CFA President Fr. Filoteo Pelingon, MSC, said that if we Filipinos could only see through young people’s eyes, the problems of our nation would be easier to solve. He stressed the need to discover one’s own light in order to be able to relate with one another in compassion, understanding and peace.

In their responses, the DepEd representative, the RAHS teacher and parent officials expressed gratitude to CFA for the contribution the project has made to uplift the youth and promote Christian-Muslim peace communication. Two camp participants, Anisalam Moner and Marlon Anatalio, who are still studying at RAHS, spoke eloquently on the way the camp strengthened their character and helped them forge new friendships.

‘Dear Peace’ forms part of the traveling exhibit similarly titled ‘Dear Peace’, which opened to the public three weeks later at Robinson’s Galleria Mall in Ortigas. From October 11 to 13, mall-goers were able to view the participants’ paintings, photographs and writings, and the video documentary, which continuously played in the background. Some of CFA’s partners, including CBCP-ECID’s Fr. Carlos Reyes, Archbishop Antonio Ledesma of Cagayan de Oro, Ambassador Tita de Villa, RAHS Principal Ms. Isabelita Giron, visited the exhibit site. Amb. de Villa wrote a message to commend CFA’s efforts, saying, “Children—the hope of our future; Peace—the goal of our yesterday, today and tomorrow, May we support both in our daily life.”

‘Dear Peace’ is scheduled to travel to Cebu and around five cities in Mindanao in November until early December this year. It has already been exhibited at Titus Brandsma Centre in Cubao and at Focolare Mariapolis Peace in Tagaytay. The exhibit is also scheduled to be displayed again in CFA on Friday, November 9th, with the video documentary to be shown at the CFA Auditorium at 2:30pm during a public forum where Peace Camp participants will be on hand to answer questions.

The Peace Camp is a CFA project in partnership with the Bishops-Ulama Conference, CBCP Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue, Ramon Avance?a High School, NCCP and Young Moro Professionals’ Network, and was made possible with the support of EED, Germany.

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