25 March 2015, Talaandig Ancestral Territory, Barangay Sungko, Municipality of Lantapan, Province of Bukidnon.
I’m so happy that Datu Victorino Migketay Saway is now our Senior Consultant for the Right to Self-Determination of the Indigenous Peoples at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). His plaque of recognition is presented here by Willard Metzger (Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada) and Dann Pantoja (President of PBCI). This celebration featured Matt Epp, a Canadian singer and song writer who played music with the Talaandig artists.
PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee for Peace has been working with the Talaandig First Nation since 2007 in the areas of peace-building, fair trade, and cross-cultural understanding.
In February 12, 2012, we celebrated this partnership and formalized it through a ritual offered to the Creator — known to Hebrew writers as ELOHIM, to New Testament writers as THEOS, to the Talaandig people as MAGBABAYA, to the Muslim as ALLAH, and to the Western Christians as GOD.
In the Talaandig worldview, every aspiration, action, event, or project starts with spirituality. That’s how we, at PeaceBuilders Community, look at the world too. We start with the many common grounds with other cultures. We engage in honest, transparent, and relational dialogue when we encounter differences in our worldviews.
In all things, our relationship with the Talaandig people is grounded in the unconditional love of God.
PBCI continues to nourish this relationship that is framed within God’s justice and peace.
My reflections after this presentation:
- I will praise and worship the Creator of all mankind for revealing the DivineSelf through various ways in every people groups and cultures;
- I choose to continually be mentored by the wise perspectives of their elders like Datu Victorino Saway;
- I choose to listen more as our community learn and walk with the First Nations in their journey in advancing their right to self determination;
- I am determined to stand with the First Nations as they protect and nourish their respective Ancestal Domains.