February 16, 2016

Peace Stalk by Kaloy Manlupig

Because we pursue peace cleverly, craftily, cunningly, foxily, furtively, insidiously, intelligently, shiftily, shrewdly, stealthily… Passionately. Inclusively.

I have finally decided to open this space to share with you my thoughts, some mundane, some trivial and hopefully some profound.

I have been getting some words of encouragement to pursue writing and sharing my thoughts but I have always hesitated. I am actually more comfortable just keeping my written thoughts in my phone or tablet. Sometimes they find their way to my fb posts.

While I may have some flashes of writing brilliance (ehem), I also know that I often suffer from what others call writer’s block – and what I call plain laziness.

Seriously now, what made me decide to do this?

I realized that there is big probability of waking up one day, and there would not be any chance to say the things I wanted to say. Say it now.

Here is my first piece for peace:

pace center cagwait 2.jpg

My brief remark during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the Peace and Resiliency Community Center :

A Partnership Project of Balay Mindanaw with the Municipality of Cagwait and Province of Surigao del Sur

Let me start by sharing with you the thought I have now:

We came here 5 years ago to look at armed violence in the eye. Instead, we were met by and are now holding hands with people who believe in just and lasting peace.

Let me sincerely thank you again and again, in behalf of Balay Mindanaw, – our dear partners in our partner-barangays, our partner municipalities of Lianga and Cagwait, our partner alliance Macasaltabayami, our partner province of Surigao del Sur, our partner government agencies, our security sector partners, our partner CSOs – for the opportunity and privilege to journey with you.

Today, we celebrate another milestone in our journey together. We are here to finally make the first concrete step towards the fulfilment of our dream – our Peace and Resiliency Community House. As we gladly turn over our modest contribution of P500,000 for the construction cost, we very sincerely thank the local government of Cagwait led by the Honorable Mayor and the Municipal Council, and the provincial government of Surigao del Sur led by the Honorable Governor and Provincial Council for the kind and generous offer of a space and resources, and other agencies like DILG and TESDA for the assistance. Again, we see real partnership in action here today.

Please consider this as a symbol of our commitment to a long-term principled, meaningful and fruitful partnership with you.

This will be the 9th community house that Balay Mindanaw helped build all over Mindanao. Of the first eight, we have completely turned over six to our partner LGU or tribe. I am telling you this because we also look forward to the day when we will be turning over this house to you. It is quite clear to us that we are just borrowing this from you.

As I always tell our partners, one of the best rewards we expect from this partnership is when the time comes for you to tell us to leave, to move on to the next partners because our presence here will no longer be needed. That is our understanding of success.

To the BM Balay CaLia Team, congratulations! Be assured of our full support.

May this community house be a true, happy, safe and secure space for all the peoples and communities as we together pursue our vision of equity, development, resiliency and peace.

Daghang salamat. Padayon…

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