Joji Pantoja

Joji (aka Lakambini Mapayapa) graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (B.Sc., 1979). She also studied International Relations at the University of the Philippines. She moved to Canada in 1986 and since then developed a successful career in the investment and financial industry. She returned to the Philippines in 2006. As CEO of Coffee For Peace, Inc., she became the Women Entrepreneur Winner of CitiBank-Business in Development Network, Philippines in 2010. She also received, in 2015, an N-Peace Award from the United Nations Development Program – Impact Investment Exchange Asia (UNDP-IIXAsia) in behalf of the women who comprise the 80 percent of the farming farmers of Coffee For Peace, Inc. She was invited for the N-Peace Awards Ceremony at One UN Hotel, New York, NY. In October of 2017, Lakambini completed her Master of Entrepreneurship in Social Enterprise Development, Ateneo de Manila University - Graduate School of Business. Asked why she left her career in Vancouver, Canada for Mindanao: “I can’t imagine having a summary of my life printed on my tombstone as: ‘Spent her life managing rich people’s money.’ I want to be remembered as: ‘A person who walked with the people as they find dignity through sustainable economic development.’”

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Last 08 July 2017, I passed my thesis for the Master of Entrepreneurship (ME) from the Ateneo de Manila University – Graduate School of Business. The program started in September 2015 and concluded this month, July 2017.

The ME program, according to the Graduate School of Business Handbook, “is geared towards honing the entrepreneurial personality.” It fits well with my busy schedule because it is designed as “a course in creative leadership,” integrating my peace and reconciliation fieldwork as the laboratory of my training as an entrepreneurial development leader. This holistic approach to a master’s program assisted me in developing Coffee For Peace, Inc. “to optimum levels of productivity, profitability and professionalism.”

The week-long classroom sessions were held every month for 18 months. Those classroom discussions with fellow entrepreneurs had been a series of sometimes-painful, sometimes-comforting learning and growing processes. Those were precious time and space for me to reflect on all my experiences — both the failures and triumphs — as co-founder and now the chief executive officer of Coffee For Peace, Inc.

The most grueling part of the program is the process of writing-rewriting-correcting-rewriting-critiquing-rewriting-defending-rewriting-passing of my business plan. This journey allowed me to expose myself to a critical process of learning with my peers and to sharpen my perspectives through the knowledge and wisdom of my mentors. Now, I have a business plan that I believe is a systematized, clear, efficient, and viable set of proposals to bring Coffee For Peace, Inc. to a new level of growth and effectiveness.

I have been blessed to receive this C$7,500 worth of academic training through a full scholarship program based on my role and performance as CEO of Coffee For Peace, Inc.





Coffee for Peace Communities practicing relational harmony; enjoying quality life by being engaged in a sustainable coffee value chain.


To engage Coffee for Peace communities in a sustainable, ecological way of producing coffee, towards a productive enterprise.



  • To establish Coffee for Peace Community in coffee growing areas.
  • To uplift the socio-economic situation of coffee farmers
  • To make CFP enterprise sustainable in promoting coffee with peace.




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L-R Donnie Friolo, Dann (Lakan), Adette Purto, myself, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo, Ramon Quevedo: The Koinonia Group introduced Coffee for Peace to D’ Cup Coffee Republic. 22 April 2017, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Last 22 April 2017, Elizabeth Bantican-Quevedo — along with her husband Ramon Quevedo and our mutual friend, Donnie Friolo — introduced us to Adette Purto, Chair of D’ Cup Coffee Republic in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila. After exchanging our stories during that initial meeting, I felt Adette has been a long-time friend and sister! The similarities and diversity of our dreams are so complimentary! I felt we, at Coffee for Peace, found a partner and a sister company.



D’ Cup Coffee Republic is a book cafe and events venue in Mandaluyong City inside Pioneer Street  Market. It has a spacious dining area that can comfortably accommodate 80 persons, plus a book lounge area good for 20 persons, and an enclosed function hall good for up to 100 persons, making it a perfect venue for meetings, workshop classes, special gatherings. View our venue and function hall which you can reserve online. We also invite you to visit our site regularly for workshops, classes, and other events. [Facebook Page]




When Elizabeth arranged the meeting between us and Adette’s team, we were simply expecting to sell our coffee brand to this coffee shop. Our presentation was scheduled for only an hour. After our 45-minute story-telling and presentation, she kept asking questions — deep, penetrating questions that went beyond the quality, price, and origin of our coffee. Her questions focused on peace and reconciliation, on the dream about contributing to a God-centered, radical, nonviolent, transformation of our people and our land

The meeting went beyond two hours.

We didn’t say good bye. We immediately talked about “What’s next?”


Adette and I felt we have been friends for a long time even though this was our first time to meet each other; we’re now sisters-in-vision. 22 April 2017, 1800H-2100H, D’ Cup Coffee Republic, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.

Koinonia Group. Elizabeth, Ramon, and Donnie are part of the leadership of the Koinonia Group.  I’m grateful to these faithful friends and partners whom we consider as our long-time community. Koinonia Group started in 1982 when Dann and I were serving as community organizing workers in the City of Olongapo. I was raising our little children and Dann was a young social science teacher at the Columban College. A group of outstanding students became regular visitors in our apartment. Elizabeth was one of them. We soon became a fellowship of followers of Christ working for justice and liberation of our people from the oppressive dictatorial regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. We referred to our liberation-oriented activist band as Koinonia Group.

Ramon and Elizabeth met in a workplace abroad, got married, and returned to the Philippines to continue their careers, and later started an entrepreneurial endeavor in Metro Manila.

Donnie was Dann’s fellow leader at the Koinonia Group since our days in Olongapo.

We’re now scattered all over the world. But we’re still connected. The long-distance connections grew stronger because of social media. We all update each other of our lives, family development, career development, and respective ministries.

Coffee for Peace’s journey with D’ Cup Coffee Republic. Our relationship with Adette and her team at D’ Cup Coffee Republic has been growing fast. Last 12 May 2017, she and her team visited us in Davao and observed the operation of our coffee processing yard. We also compared notes on the similarities and differences of our respective coffee shops based on our differing contexts.

As I write this blog, both of our teams are talking on how our social businesses can work together to advance Peace Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices together so we can establish at least one PAR community in each of the 81 provinces in this country.


In 12 May 2017, we were visited by our partners from D’ Cup Coffee Republic, led by their Chairperson, Adette Purto. Here, we took some moments to capture their visit to the Coffee for Peace Bistro in Davao: L-R Sihaya, Tala, Elysse, Arlyn, Adette, myself, and Lakan (Dann).



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I was delivering this message on ‘Anabaptist PeaceBuilding in the Philippine Context’ before the plenary session of the executive meetings of the Mennonite World Conference in Augsburg, Germany, with the help of an interpreter. Thanks to Brother Agus Setianto for taking this photo. Sunday, 12 February 2017.

What is Peace and why is it important in the Philippine context?


The history of our country is just like any colonized countries. The voices of the people are decapitated to express their desires and the will to dream for the future. The soul of peace is silenced. What shows, are the feelings of distrust, the lack of hope, and the lack of will.


The work of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) started with a heavy burden in our hearts — a missionary couple sent by our home congregation, Peace Mennonite Church, in partnership with Mennonite Church Canada. The burden turned into a passionate vision that grew out of a God-given desire to bring the Gospel of Peace in a conflicted society of the Philippines.


But how? In what form?


We started reflecting on the word of Christ saying: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)


Jesus — the Originator of Peace — is leaving His Peace to us. We have to acknowledge it first and harness it, so that we can pass it to others. That means, we needed to do a self-assessment and learn self-mastery to harness the Peace that was given to us.


One manifestation of Peace is Relational Harmony. My experience of peace will affect others and how I view the world. It starts with:


PBCI started working with the people who are in conflict for almost 30 years. Just like Columbia, people from Mindanao were hoping to see peace to happen. Conflict causes death, displacement, and starvation. Conflict disrupts any development happening in the country.


As PBCI immersed in the dialogue, the common drink served was coffee. Coffee became the vehicle for the peace messages they wanted to promote. In 2007, Coffee for Peace was born. They wanted to promote quality coffee as part of continuity of carrying the message of the Culture of Peace.


The farmers that reside in the highland were trained to produce quality coffee that brought income to the community. Suddenly, for those communities, peace is now tangible! It has economic expression. It is not merely an idea that they cannot touch.



How do I see peace applied in the Philippine context?


For a country that has been through so many wars and colonization, experiencing a kind of peace that is close to their basic, daily struggle is very important. The message ought to be closer to their heart, closer to their stomach.


It did not happen overnight, though. It started with relationship-building with the community. Active listening and constant motivation were needed. We started by identifying the person of peace in the community. We walked with the community and listened to their dreams. We helped facilitate the visualization of their dreams.


After 9 years, we’re now working with 570 well-trained farmers in 13 communities from the northern part to the southern part of the Philippine archipelago. 7 communities are already selling their own coffee and are able to send their children to school, and build a more stable house for their family. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through Impact Investment Exchange in Asia (IIX-Asia), documented our journey and gave Coffee For Peace, Inc. the 2015 N-Peace Award. 6 more communities are looking forward, and working hard, to experience the same.



So, how do we want to see the Anabaptist theology and ethics in the context of the Philippines?


We want to see the people of our country to be full of hope and dreams using a framework that manifests all the aspects of relational harmony. We want to see creative Filipinos. We want them to have Hope! We want to see a people with self-mastery that could assert their desire towards peace, characterized by harmonious relationships.


We cannot give what we do not have. When we want to give peace, it starts from the Originator of Peace, who is Christ; then it will grow in us as we nurture such Peace. Embracing this peace that transcends understanding is a choice that we must cultivate moment by moment. We choose to live the Peace of Christ consciously.


We want to see communities practicing and living the Culture of Peace in the midst of a growing culture of violence and an imposed legislation of death which are perpetuated by global and local powers.


We use coffee as a medium or vehicle to educate people to actually experience relational harmony — with the Creator, with their being, with others, and with the creation. Coffee is just one of the media we use. There are other possibilities to continue spreading the Culture of Peace.


Let us continue to articulate the Peace of Christ. Let us be more creative in bringing the Peace of Christ into an actual experience of holistic, harmonious relationships, as Mennonites often do — From the Ground Up.





The Peace Commission offers MWC member churches a wide array of support: enabling talk about the peace issues facing individual churches, countries and continents; providing a conversation forum in which churches can consider together peace-related questions and issues that they would otherwise face alone; strengthening the common peace identity through mutual reinforcement and discussion; and further enabling cooperative efforts on select peace initiatives.


Commission Members

Joji Pantoja, Chair (Philippines), Andrew Suderman, Secretary (South Africa), Namshik Chon (South Korea), Garcia Domingos (Angola), Antonio González Fernández (Spain), Kenneth Hoke (USA), Jenny Neme (Colombia), Robert J. Suderman (Canada)

From left: Antonio Gonzalez, Garcia Domingos, Kenneth Hoke, Joji Pantoja, Robert J. Suderman, Jenny Neme.





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I’m so excited about the on-going construction of Coffee For Peace Bistro, the second Coffee For Peace (CFP) shop. It was first conceptualized 18 months ago when the management team realized the growing market demand for our products and services. The various awards we have been receiving also prompted our clientele, our partners, and our network to suggest the possibility that we can actually provide impact investment opportunities. Coffee For Peace Bistro is our pilot project for this new phase of growth.


Ate Edna. This major project will be managed by Dann’s elder sister, Edna Pantoja, who just decided to retire from her 17-year food business in Shanghai, China. Ate (Elder Sister) Edna has been in the food business and entrepreneurship since she was a young woman, trained by Dann’s mother, the late Mrs. Librada Alba Pantoja. For almost two years, Ate Edna and I have been in dialogue about CFP and her probable involvement in this social enterprise. Last year, she and her business partner, Mary Selorio, visited Davao and took our Peace and Reconciliation Course. They also travelled with us to various fields where our farming partners live. When Dann and I felt that they actually understood what Coffee For Peace is all about, and what it means to be an investing partner in this inclusive development endeavor, we invited Ate Edna and Mary to join us. They agreed to invest in CFP, bringing with them their years of expertise in a global-standard quality food service. They decided to move to Davao and actually risked their retirement savings along with our own meager retirement funds. Our joint investments are dedicated to the establishment of Coffee For Peace Bistro.


Bistro Team. As I continue to have the corporate oversight of Coffee For Peace, Inc. as its CEO, I’m so at peace and have full confidence that this Coffee For Peace Bistro will be managed efficiently and effectively by Ate Edna. She will be assisted by the following key staff:

  • Byron Pantoja, who went through the training conducted by the Specialty Coffee Association of America, will be the master barista;
  • Nite Alparas, a graduate of the Center for Asian Cullinary Studies, will serve as the chef;
  • Mary Selorio , a professional baker who was trained in the United States, will design and serve the pastries.

Ate Edna’s team is now training the newly hired baristas in accordance with CFP’s global quality service standards, which will also include Peace and Reconciliation Course.

The Coffee For Peace Bistro is designed by Swito Architectural Designs, Inc., a Mindanao-based company. I’m so happy that they have interpreted the vision of Coffee For Peace well and have translated it into their poetic design.


Dreams. CFP started as an income generating program (IGP) of the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI). To enable PBCI to become self-sustainable, an IGP was created to support its mission. However, due to the organic social involvement of CFP, it became a separate business entity with the following mission:

Coffee for Peace has been training farmers on Arabica production, the principles of fair trade, trading policies and pricing since 2008. Aside from working in Mindanao, CFP has also trained coffee farmers in the Cordillera Region and is looking forward to train more in the different provinces of northern Philippines.

We remain faithful to our company’s Learnings and Commitments:


  • We are being taught by the Indigenous People in the Philippines to join them as they journey towards their right to self determination. We will support their view of their future and we will help preserve and nurture their respective Ancestral Domains.
  • We have learned to respect the dreams of their elders and we are enriched by listening to the visions of their young people. We will walk with them towards their dream of a sustainable livelihood that respects their culture and dignity as a people.
  • We are seeing a lot of Indigenous People living on mountains higher than 500 meters above sea level who have existing coffee trees. We will share a coffee processing technology that would meet the highest local and global standards at Fair Trade prices.
  • We are invited to look to the future when all the Indigenous People in this land are trading fairly in local and global markets. We will assist in developing their entrepreneurial skills by practising direct trade philosophies and inclusive business models to the coffee industry.
  • We are facing the reality that our resources and the money earned may lead to conflict if we as a community do not prepare or plan for our financial future. We will journey with community leaders and their people in basic conflict resolution approaches and financial management strategies to ensure the sustainability of their culture and resources.



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Your Native Title,
I sincerely acknowledge.
This land is your land!

(Lakan Sumulong)


Jobee Basas, our current intern, and I are excited to receive a very important document from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) in Region 11. The NCIP has released its Certificate of Compliance to the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) to the PeaceBuilders Community for the establishment of coffee drier and processing plant in Sitio Malipayon, Barangay Managa, Municipality of Bansalan, Province of Davao del Sur., with a corresponding resolution by the Bagobo-Tagabawa indigenous communities.

The coffee products would later be bought and marketed by Coffee For Peace.

The Support Team who accompanied Jobee and I in this task includes Tyron Ortiz, Byron Pantoja, Chacha Denila, Fred Abelitado, and Nite Alparas.

Good job, PBCI-CFP Team!


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Coffee For Peace Canada. A group of Canadian investors who see life and reality from the lenses of Peace Theology and are committed to help build justice and peace among coffee farming communities around the world.

These are women and men who are convinced to invest in companies like Coffee For Peace that aims to generate specific beneficial social or environmental effects in addition to financial gain. They are involved in Impact Investments.

Impact Investments are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. Impact investments can be made in both emerging and developed markets, and target a range of returns from below market to market rate, depending upon the circumstances. 

The growing impact investment market provides capital to address the world’s most pressing challenges in sectors such as sustainable agriculture, clean technology, microfinance, and affordable and accessible basic services including housing, healthcare, and education.

Global Impact Investing Network

Imagine again. A Coffee For Peace bistro somewhere between a university campus and a business complex in one of the most economically dynamic and populous place in Canada. It’s attached to another building where customers sipping their cup of Coffee For Peace look through a glass wall through which they see the green beans being poured into a roasting machine, packaged, and then loaded to vehicles to be distributed to various coffee outlets, churches, beverage shops, offices, community centers, and restaurants throughout the region.

Imagine further. Coffee For Peace Canada can be the hub of an international operation where investments can be directed to countries like Colombia, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia. These are some of the countries where coffee grows and where communities committed to Peace Theology are present.

Because socially and environmentally responsible practices tend to attract impact investors, companies like Coffee For Peace can financially benefit from committing to socially responsible practices, and investors also tend to profit. A 2013 study by GIIN and JP Morgan found that over 90% of impact investors reported that their investments were meeting or surpassing their projections.

Impact investing appeals largely to younger generations, such as millennials, who want to give back to society, so this trend is likely to expand as these investors gain more influence in the market. By impact investing, individuals or entities essentially state that they support the message and the mission of Coffee For Peace, and they have a stake in CFP’s welfare. As more people realize the social and financial benefits of impact investing, more companies will engage in social responsibility.


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The staff of PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace gathered for a special fellowship to celebrate Christmas 2015. Everybody participated to make this modest celebration a loving, just, peaceful, and joyful demonstration of our relationships as a community.


The Administrative Staff designed to make this event more memorable by being simple and yet meaningful. We avoided expectations and obligations that are commercially-influenced. Gifts for children were chosen based on its fun-filled educational values. Gifts were given based on various creative expressions of each individual and family.


The Coffee For Peace Staff prepared a simple program designed to attract voluntary participation from everyone. The emphasis was to express some aspects of our being rather than a focus on having. The PeaceBuilders Staff prepared the food — specially prepared but within our budget.


The themes that energized the whole event, from afternoon to evening, were Gugma (Love), Katarong(Justice), Kalinaw (Peace), and Kalipay (Joy). These were the insights we have observed while reviewing the event surrounding the birth of a Jewish Palestinian baby boy who was actually God’s Love in flesh and blood — whose parents were forced to leave their homes during his birth month for the purpose of taxation under an unjust political system. There were the shepherds, representing the poor and the powerless segments of their society, who were first invited to witness and to share such a humble, cosmic giga-event. There were extra-terrestrial messengers of the Creator proclaiming peace on planet Earth and singing joy to the whole world.


We ended the celebration praying The Lord’s Prayer — imagining the reality of God’s kingdom and God’s will coming on earth “as it is in heaven.”


A new world is possible. We believe.




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The Indigenous Peoples and the Moros of Mindanao have affirmed their commitment to justice-based peacebuilding during the celebration of their kinship last March 08, 2015 in Tulugan, Barangay Sungko, Lantapan Municipality, Bukidnon Province.

The IPs are un-Islamized and un-Christianized Austronesian peoples of Mindanao, namely Erumanen ne Menuvu`, Matigsalug Manobo, Agusanon Manobo, Dulangan Manobo, Dabaw Manobo, Ata Manobo, B’laan, Kaulo, Banwaon, Teduray, Lambangian, Higaunon, Dibabawon, Mangguwangan, Mansaka, Mandaya, K’lagan, T’boli, Mamanuwa, Talaandig, Tagabawa, Ubu`, Tinenanen, Kuwemanen, K’lata and Diyangan.

The Moros are made up of three larger tribes and ten smaller tribes. They are the Maguindanaon of North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces, the Maranao of the Lanao provinces and the Tausug of the Sulu Archipelago. Smaller groups include the Banguingui, Samal and the Bajau of the Sulu Archipelago; the Yakan of Basilan and Zamboanga del Sur, the Illanun of Lanao provinces and Davao and Sangir of Davao, the Molbog of southern Palawan and the Jama Mapuns of Tawi-Tawi Island.

We, at Peacebuilders Community, have witnessed this growing and deepening reaffirmation of kinship between them for the past four years.

This kinship is based on 5 pillars established in the traditional peace pact of their ancestors:

  • Co-operation;
  • Mutual Sharing of Information;
  • Mutual Protection of Life;
  • Recognition and Respect; and,
  • Mutual Obligation to Help the Needy.

They also expressed their support to “All Out Peace” in Mindanao.





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Coffee For Peace (CFP) won second prize in a national business competition called “Developmental Social Enterprise Award–Solution for Social Change”. This award is a new venue to showcase social enterprises that are committed to delivering impactful ways to solve social challenges.

CFP is one of the social enterprises in the Philippines that qualified to participate in this contest.  A screening committee, composed of judges from various sectors such as the academe, social enterprise sector, government, private business and media, have selected the finalists and top winner.



Congratulations to the CFP Management Team —Byron Bee Pantoja (Production, Warehouse, & Trading), Dawn Albert Pates (Marketing & Coffee Shop Innovations), and TYron EkZeteo (Finance & Administration).



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“Her sense of creativity cannot be boxed within the programmable cells of MS Excel.” Twinkle “Tala” Bautista and I enjoyed our time together while she’s sharing her dreams for her people starting with her new arabica coffee seedling yard in Kalinga.

We, at PeaceBuilders Community and at Coffee For Peace, have learned to respect Tala as a person who enjoys leading people and who is patient in managing things. She has no trouble talking with people and loves to organize them. When assigned a leadership task, she can anticipate problems and provide solutions even in circumstances that are unpredictable. She works best under pressure; the higher the pressure, the more she’s challenged, and the better the performance she gives.

Tala does not function well in office routines.  Not because she is not able.  She’s so capable.  Her adventurous being doesn’t fit in the air-conditioned Consultants’ Room at the former PeaceBuilders Community Center. Her sense of creativity cannot be boxed within the programmable cells of  MS Excel. The chronos-time that measures efficiency is not enough to handle the kairos-time that energizes her effectiveness.

Twinkle 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 Twinkle 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. In fact, PAR Bukidnon is right now the strongest PAR community in the country.

Just before we released Tala back to her home province, she was assigned to be a part of a PAR teaching team in Zamboanga City in the first week of October 2013, right after the Zamboanga Crisis of 08-28 September. It was there when she was assured that the God who called her is the same God who will ultimately bring Jubilee in this world.

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