Educating for becoming peace

By: Sofia Aliño Logarta September 27,2017 - 10:40 PM


Many would say that these are challenging times for assisting the young to grow and become people of peace. Being with Our Lady of Joy Learning Center (OLJLC), a certified member of Advocates for Living Values Education (Alive), has blessed me with many circumstances to facilitate this kind of education.

Innerspace, a meditation center, invited me to a session on peace of mind. The group that gathered that Saturday evening, each person there was showered with peaceful vibrations starting with rose petals expressing the wishes for joy and serenity. More greetings followed.

In cards: “You are at peace with yourself and the world outside. You are a peaceful soul”; “I am a Pure Soul. My heart is full and open, flowing with pure good feelings and good wishes for everyone”; “You always remain cool, calm and stable because of your special ability to forgive and forget.” We shared our thoughts on the cards.

Then we prepared art work to reflect our sense of peace. I painted a pair for open palms believing that it expressed my acceptance of whatever life had to offer, hence a sense of peace.

A month before, Alive President Nancy P. Berame sent a communication on the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Peace Celebration. It reminded OLJLC and its School Directress Mary Rose Villacastin-Maghuyop that Alive will be on the 14th year of the International Day of Peace celebration, leading it.

The year’s theme is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for all.” It also proposed activities like music, arts and dance presentations; reading and peace prayers from various faiths; a service project; acts of love, kindness and service to promote peace and others.

So Alive led the International Day of Peace celebration at the SM City food court on September 21, last Thursday. An Interfaith Prayer of the Nations opened the program. The national anthem was sung with a dance of OLJLC Performing Arts Group.

They were attired to represent different communities of our islands. The females of Women & Children’s Desk of the Philippine National Police, led by Capt. Shiela A. Gurtiza, followed with the International Eucharistic Congress Jubilee Song in action. OLJLC pupils in clothes representing the various nations of the world sang “Hello! Bonjour!” Singing the greetings of the countries of the world, the children made the peace walk in available areas of SM.

There were many songs and messages of peace from the United Nations, Zonta Club Cebu 1, Rotary Club of Mactan, Nancy Berame Childcare Center, LAW Center, Inc., James Alfafara, Ms. Ellen Luna, and Atty. Virginia Palanca-Santiago.

Ms. Delia Aliño-Villacastin narrated the history of the International Day of Peace. A symbolic candle lighting marked the opening for the International Day of Peace celebration 2017.

The Mindanao Commission on Women and Mothers for Peace distributed bookmarks with: “GIVE A MILLION thoughts and acts of peace. Give minutes of peace by creating positive and peaceful thoughts through silence, prayer, or meditation.

Share peace by doing acts of peace. Care for the sick and the elderly. Write a poem, compose a song. Allow an elder to sit comfortably in a jeepney. Organize a peace event.”

Philippine Panorama, the Sunday Magazine of the Manila Bulletin, had a very beautiful and informative peace issue on September 3. The cover had children bearing “Peace for Marawi” and their fingers forming peace signs. Page 3 had “The Cost of War in the Philippines: We don’t pay it with money, we paid with lives.”

The article presents both the lives and money lost in the wars mostly in Mindanao and the war on drugs in the country.

Other articles make the readers realize the complexity of peace and bringing about its realization: Go, Glow, and Grow, Mindanao What Ingredients does it need. Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki is quoted: “’Peace’ means dignity, well-being for all, not just an absence of war. Peace means access to education, health, and essential services especially for girls and women. It means giving every young woman and man the chance to live as they choose. It also means developing the planet’s biodiversity.”

What is needed: “Empirical evidence shows that progressive places—not just in the Philippines but worldwide—are on the path of good governance. According to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, “good governance has eight major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable, and inclusive and it follows the rule of law.”

“The Widows of Marawi Club” by Loraine Balita-Centino is a very heartwarming, inspiring description of “How the widows of Marawi are moving and finding inner peace after the death of their husbands” by having a chat group where there is sharing of not only the pain but also the hope. “Covering the Peace Talks” with texts and images by Rocky Nazareno make us understand why the author declares “There is still hope.”

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