Tala Alngag (Twinkle Bautista) left for Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA last 21 August 2018. She has been accepted to the graduate program of Eastern Mennonite UniversityCenter for Justice and Peacebuilding. Her objective is to plunge into the course towards the degree of Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation and finish it from SY-2018 to SY-2020.

The degree is part of her personal and career development. She will be on study leave and, God willing, we hope to see her serve as the Chief Operating Officer of Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) when she comes back.

Tala meets her new multicultural community of graduate students from around the world. “This is it,” Tala writes. “In the next two years, I will be in school. One of my biggest comforts,” she muses, “is knowing that I will be back in the place where my Creator has made my home. I thank Afuniyan (God) for this gift of a new chapter.” | The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding | Eastern Mennonite University | Harrisonburg, VA. | 22 August 2018. |

Twinkle “Tala” Alngag Bautista was born in 25 September 1986 in a village called Bulanao, Municipality of Tabuk, Province of Kalinga. When she was five years old, she saw on TV a soldier giving a boy to a nun. The boy was a survivor of a natural disaster. “At that moment,” Tala recalled, “I knew deep within me that I wanted to serve other people.”

Later, as a teenager experiencing the struggles of growing pains and seeking to determine what was real and what was not, she said: “The only thing that I was sure of during that time was that I wanted to serve the Lord with all of my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. I was rock bottom when Jesus showed He was holding me and was close with me all along.”  And thus began “another level of relationship” between Tala and her Creator.

In 22 April 2007, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. She’s also a licensed Secondary Education Teacher and an eligible Civil Service Professional. Her internship in Journalism was with ABS-CBN, the Philippines’ largest media corporation. Her first employment was with the Philippine Information Agency, the communications hub of the Government of the Philippines. Then she went back home to Kalinga to serve at the Cultural Heritage Research Center, Saint Louise College.

It was in December 2011 when Tala became a part of our community. After a one-year field mission in Bukidnon, the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in that province was established.

She has been serving with us at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. as Director of Peace and Reconciliation Community Development and concurrently as Senior Vice President of Coffee for Peace, Inc., working with indigenous peoples, civil society leaders, church leaders, and young social entrepreneurs in implementing peace and development (PAR) programs.

We, Tala’s peacebuilding community, are with her in spirit in her exciting journey as a graduate student in the USA.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2018/08/23/tala-takes-off-for-a-two-year-academic-journey/


We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.