Kaloy: A Day Before Balay Mindanaw’s 18th

Finally, I am now able to accomplish a task I gave myself: a nine-day reflection series. I got this idea from observing my mother religiously do nine-day novenas in preparation for significant occasions like birthdays and fiestas.

On Balay Mindanaw’s Principle of Inclusivity

“Lead me not to the place of comfort but to where people struggle to survive”

Our journey began with a few good persons committed to work with and for the poor. We envisioned ourselves to be a small group of poor workers working in solidarity with the poor of Mindanao. Our first engagements were with the poor landless farmers and the marginalized tribal communities.

Eventually, we were introduced to the challenge of helping build inclusive peace. Believing that no one should be excluded in the work for equity, development and peace, we began to reach out to the other sectors – government, business, Church, academe, military and police, non-state armed groups, and all other stakeholders.

The danger of misunderstanding the concept of inclusive peace is that we might mistake inclusivity for acceptance of the status quo. We might begin to be lulled into complacency. We might begin accepting, instead of questioning, what is wrong in our society. We might begin to be comfortable with our material abundance as an NGO, and forget that inequities and widespread poverty continue to exist.

We are called to be held by our vision. We are called to embrace, and never let go of our vision.

We have to be careful not to be swallowed by the same situation that we seek to change.


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