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.’”
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2014/07/02/inclusive-growth-is-an-aspect-of-our-peace-and-reconciliation-advocacy/
May 31 2014
28-30 May 2014. Dr. Willard Metzger, Executive Director of Mennonite Church Canada, visited Mindanao and encouraged us during the joint spiritual retreat of the PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace. Willard was accompanied by Gordon Janzen, MCCanada Witness Facilitator for Asia.
Before coming to Davao City, they spent time with our sisters and brothers at Peace Church Philippines in Manila and then visited our PAR Team in Valencia, Bukidnon. Willard and Gordon met with Emmanuel Alkuino, our PAR Leader in the Province of Bukidnon, who is also a pastor, an inventor, and a community development leader. Emmanuel Alkuino showed them his brick factory, his bamboo processing technology, and various farm technologies geared for the Philippine economic context.
Both Dann and I were encouraged by the visit of Willard and Gordon, especially as we spent a few days travelling together, dreaming, and strategizing on various projects that would advance the Gospel of Peace in this part of the globe. Our interaction with them helped us crystalize practical approaches on how the Anabaptist convictions, as applied in the context of the Philippines, would bring spiritual transformation, psycho-social transformation, socio-political transformation, and economic-ecological transformation in this land.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2014/05/31/willard-metzger-joins-2014-pbci-and-cfp-retreat-in-mindanao/
Mar 20 2014
We are calling investors from among the Mennonite Church Canada to come and see for themselves what is happening in the economy of the Philippines, especially in Mindanao.
Our country’s economy remained to be on an upward trend even after the major floods, armed-skirmishes, super-typhoons, storm surge, and earthquake we have experienced in the past three years. According to the Asian Development Bank: “Despite natural disasters that devastated parts of the country in the fourth quarter of 2013, gross domestic product (GDP) grew by a solid 6.5% in that period, bringing full-year growth to 7.2%, well above the 4.7% average recorded from 2008 to 2012.”
The Philippines, according to Moody’s Analytics, may even lead Asian economic growth in 2014. Our gross domestic product (GDP) has the potential to grow between 5.3 to 6.5 percent this year, lower than last year’s 7.2 percent and the government’s target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for 2014. This is a little bit higher than that of Asian region’s projected growth, which is near 5 percent in the second half of 2014.
Last 31 February 2014, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III visited Malaysia and invited the business community there to invest in Mindanao. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports:
Addressing about 200 of Malaysia’s top businessmen, Mr. Aquino said the Philippines was past its days as a “laggard” and “the sick man of Asia,” with its economic rise recognized internationally through credit ratings upgrades and renewed global interest.
“Mindanao … has land so fertile that a patch of it left unattended for a short while becomes quickly overgrown. Now that lasting peace in that particular region has come within reach, perhaps investing this early in Mindanao is an opportunity that is presenting itself to all of us,” Mr. Aquino said.
“Now, you are presented with another opportunity to reap the maximum gains from a country that is experiencing rapid growth, and is set to sustain [that] growth over many years. May I pose this question: Is anyone here really willing to pass up this opportunity and set [themselves] up for regret somewhere down the line?” he said.
Yes. As the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro will be signed this month, let’s enhance the actual peacebuilding, reconciliation, and sustainable livelihood work on the ground.
The Philippine government invites the Malaysians to invest in Mindanao.
We now invite the Canadian business community to invest specifically with us as we expand Coffee For Peace!
ABOUT JOJI PANTOJA
Joji Felicitas B. Pantoja is co-founder and chief operating officer of both Coffee for Peace and PeaceBuilders Community. She graduated from the University of Santo Tomas (B.Sc., 1979). She also studied International Relations at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. She moved to Canada in 1986 and since then developed a successful career in the investment and financial industry with Investor Group Canada and then with Investia Financial Services.
She returned to the Philippines in 2006. In 2010 she became the Women Entrepreneur Winner of CitiBank-Business in Development Network, Philippines–defining her bottom lines as profit, people, and planet. She also received an award from the Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI) in 2010 for “Business with an Impact on the Bottom of the Pyramid.”
Asked why she left her career in Vancouver for Mindanao, she said: “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 holistic and sustainable economic development.’”
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2014/03/20/we-invite-our-canadian-partners-to-invest-in-mindanao/
Jul 03 2013
Part of our dream at PBCI is to be economically sustainable in our ministries in the Philippines.
But we don’t want to remain in a dreamworld. With God’s grace, we will continue with our labour of love to worship God and to realize our dream of peace and reconciliation in our land. In order to accomplish the vision of having Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) among our people, we must have a sustainable support system. A sustainable support system has to be a genuine partnership between national and international resourcing. Our global Mennonite family has been helping us in the initial stages of our vision and mission.
Now, we have to explore and build local economic programs to help sustain this peace and reconciliation movement. Here are some of the steps we’re making to build a sustainable, national PAR movement:
1. We have established a department at PBCI called “PAR Resource Development.” This department is dedicated to the on-going development of sustainable support programs of PBCI through the following endeavours: (a) new social business development; (b) promotion and marketing of our current coffee products and consulting services; and, (c) global trading of our coffee beans and other related products.
2. We have appointed a PAR Resource Development Coordinator. She is Dawn Albert Pates. Dawn started working with us as a volunteer in 2008. As a member of the University Peace and Reconciliation Team, she helped in peace education activities among students in various universities in Davao City. In 2013, she became a full-time staff member at PBCI. She excels in conceptualizing, organizing, and mobilizing resources for income generating projects to support our peacebuilding work. Dawn will help Joji in initiating and developing relationships with business corporations, civil society organizations, religious organizations, government agencies, and other possible partners or clients to promote our products and services. She will also take part in the PBCI Management Team.
3. We are intensifying the multiplication of our coffee farming communities among Indigenous People (IP). PBCI is now in partnership with 27 IP communities–we train them how to plant, grow, harvest, and process Arabica coffee. Our social business organization, Coffee for Peace (CFP), buys them at fair trade price. CFP then exports their coffee to Level Ground Trading in Canada.
4. We have entered into partnerships with business families who own real estate properties to develop model coffee farms and shared service facilities for farmers. Last month, we have signed a memorandum of agreement with a family to use one hectare of their land to build shared service facilities. This month, we will sign another memorandum of agreement with a business family in the Province of Bukidnon to use a 15-hectare land to develop a model farm for Arabica coffee. Both projects will be funded by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry to develop the IP communities in this province. PBCI will be the managing organization for these private-public partnerships.
5. We are beginning to be active in various business circles who are involved in the coffee industry. Last 25-26 of June, PBCI and CFP attended the First Philippine Investment Conference at SM Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City along with more than 1,000 participants. The event’s theme was “Investing in Priority Industry Cluster for Small and Medium Enterprises.” CFP products were put on the exhibit. During the event, the team was able to build relationships with organizations and people with the same vision of helping the farmers who are at the bottom of the pyramid. In this conference, we noticed that the term “inclusive growth” is becoming a byword in the business world.
Please pray as we work hard to eventually stand on our two feet, in the hands of God.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/07/03/economic-sustainability-takes-shape-as-part-of-pbci-dream/
Jun 06 2013
Our social business is small but its impact is getting bigger.
According to the Nobel Prize Winner Muhammad Yunus, a social business is “a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace of today. It is distinct from a non-profit because the business should seek to generate a modest profit but this will be used to expand the company’s reach, improve the product or service or in other ways to subsidize the social mission.”
Some of our partners, investors, observers, and even our critics, are saying that Coffee for Peace (CFP) is getting bigger in its impact. It is addressing the social issues that concerns our farmers, our environment, and the peace situation in our land. These are happening as we advance justice and fairness in the coffee industry.
- The Netherlands-based Business in Development Network listed CFP as one of 16 women-led business in today’s emerging markets. We submitted our business plan in this competition that empowers women entrepreneurs to drive growth. We were warned that the competition would be fierce. There were 752 applications from 115 countries. CFP’s business plan was evaluated by a group of world-class business critics. Their comment on the top 16 entrepreneurs is worth repeating: “While many people talk about the necessity for gender equality and the opportunity to improve societal attitudes to women in emerging markets, the competitors of the Women in Business Challenge are actually doing something about it.”
- CFP was featured in the January-February 2013 issue of The Marketplace–the official magazine of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA). They are helping us raise $250,000 to buy land and to construct a warehouse. We want to find investors who would journey with us towards holistic growth.
- Other non-government organizations, like the Catholic Relief Services and Kapwa Upliftment, have invited us into their communities to train the coffee farmers in far-flung areas where they do development projects.
- CFP supports the field operations of PeaceBuilders Community as they facilitate peace and inter-faith dialogue between the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
- CFP’s social business philosophy has been replicated in the context of the Bangsamoro culture and society. Datu’s Brew in Cotabato City was conceptualized through a coaching relationship between our leadership and the Bangsamoro women entrepreneurs who dreamed of a coffee shop that advances Maguindanao culture, arts, and history.
- Darnell and Christina Barkman are one of our investors. Their community in Manila, Peace Church Philippines, gathered one night to talk about the Good News of Jesus Christ and how they can proclaim that Good News to farmers and consumers. They decided to write a letter of intent to CFP management to buy and sell our products and hopefully to establish a franchise in Manila.
We invite you to join us at CFP as one of our investors.
:: Your investment will be used by CFP primarily to buy the premium quality coffee beans of the Indigenous People (IP) at fair trade prices. They will then be sold locally and globally at fair trade prices.
:: Your investment will be used to manufacture our locally-designed coffee roasting machines. They will be sold to CFP-trained IP entrepreneurs to help them put up their own coffee roasting business. This will help promote their own tribal coffee brand.
:: Your investment will be used to establish more coffee shops, featuring the other products of IPs who are in partnership with CFP.
As the Indigenous People earn their money through Fair Trade, they will also go through financial management training. And as they grow in managing their cash resources, they will be encouraged to invest in their respective community development needs, like —
:: Establishing their respective Schools of Living Tradition — to preserve and enhance their own cultural traditions and values
:: Establishing Community-Based Health Programs — to address the holistic wellness of their community
:: Establishing Peace and Reconciliation Teams — to address conflicts between families in their tribal community.
I’d be happy to connect with you personally if you’re interested to be our partner at CFP.
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/06/06/our-small-coffee-for-peace-is-making-a-bigger-impact/
Apr 20 2013
Our dream is to see one Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in each of the 80 provinces in the Philippines by the year 2020. This dream is spiritually motivated and is technically planned. We call this dream Vision 2020.
The dream was borne out of a spiritual realization that the church can, and must, be an effective agent of peace in the face of a post-911 global realities. This prompted my husband, Dann, to reflect on a biblical peace theology that can be applied in the historical context of the Philippines.
In January 2006, the Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, British Columbia commissioned us as peacebuilding missionaries to Mindanao, Philippines. We were sent with their love for God and for the people in this land, along with their prayers, pastoral care, and finances.
After several years of working in the field as conflict transformation missionaries, the local leaders began asking us to train them to form local community-based peace teams that would help in the on-going work of reconciliation within their respective areas of responsibilities. Out of necessity, a local peace team started organizing another peace team in the next village or in the next municipality. Thus, we thought of forming a province-wide leadership community who would coordinate the organization of local teams. We started referring to this provincial group as Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community.
Here’s an example of PAR growth in one of the provinces in Mindanao: In the early months of 2011, a group of bishops, pastors, business executives, academicians, and local government administrators invited us to conduct a series of PAR Seminars among them. After three consecutive months of training, the Region 10 PAR Community was organized. One of the graduates invited us to train the members of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Bukidnon (CECB). CECB in turn shared the PAR principles among the members of the Valencia City Evangelical Ministerial Association, Inc. (VCEMAI). Both CECB and VCEMAI decided to make PAR to be a major component of their ministry in the province. In partnership with PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee For Peace (CFP), they have started organizing PAR Teams in several municipalities and villages in Bukidnon like Dominorog and Manalog. They also helped PBCI to organize PAR Communities in the provinces of Maguindanao and Davao del Sur.
A PAR Community is an initiative to organize a group of local leaders—church leaders, local government leaders, non-government organization leaders, business leaders, academic leaders, or any mix of these—
- who have expressed interest to have a working relationship with us, who have made a commitment to embrace our Peace Theology;
- who have invited us to teach them our PAR Seminar Series;
- who have a vision to work with us in developing a PAR Program needed in their area; and,
- who have organized themselves as PAR catalyst group in their particular province in accordance with our Dreams, Values, and Team organizational standards.
Today, PAR Communities have been established in 19 out of 80 provinces in the Philippines. But we still have to nurture, stabilize, strengthen and facilitate the sustainability of these PAR Communities. A few weeks ago, PBCI appointed Tala Bautista, one of our newly-trained field workers, to be the PAR Mobilization Coordinator. Her overall job objectives are:
- to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate all activities and resource appropriation to reach the monthly, quarterly, and yearly objectives that would lead towards the realization of Vision 2020; and,
- to assist PBCI in establishing one PAR Community in each of the 80 provinces by 31 December 2020.
Imagine. By December 31st, 2020, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities! They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities. These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as conflict transformation volunteers in their respective families, churches, neighbourhoods, barangays, cities or municipalities. The PAR Teams would also get involved in PAR Programs that are relevant to their specific context.
God willing, by January 01, 2021, the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!
With the power of the Holy Spirit, Dann and I are more energized and motivated to surf God’s waves of peace and reconciliation in this beautiful land.
Thank you, our partners, for being with us through your prayers and support.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/04/20/the-dream-of-par-community-multiplication-is-being-realized/
Feb 14 2013
We hang out with them. We laugh with them. We journey in life with them. We pray with them. We eat with them. We learn with them. We do ministry together with them. We worship with them.
This is a small group in the Christian congregation where we belong in Davao City. This is our spiritual community. Most of them are young families. Dann and I are the oldest couple in this group. We’re the only grandparents. They call me Ate Joji. “Ate” means older sister. Dann is “Kuya”–older brother.
The co-leaders in this group are Pastor Norman and Rosabel Naromal. The regular hosts in most of our gatherings are Chito and Joy Legaspi. These two couples are also deeply involved in the ministry of PeaceBuilders Community. They are members of our Board of Trustees.
Having a community of friends who are also our ministry partners is a warm embrace of God. Every time Dann and I are in the field, we’re assured that we have a family of prayer partners who are thinking about us, monitoring our Facebook walls, checking on us through text messages or mobile phone calls, and making sure that we are well.
Dann and I have gone through many crises as peacebuilding missionaries in the Philippines. This group, in varying degrees of involvement and confidentiality, have been helping us tremendously. They are also our base of pastoral nurture here in Mindanao.
Because we are nurtured and supported by a local community, along with the love and support of our global community, we are able to love and nurture others.
We praise God for our community!
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/02/14/our-davao-group-of-friends-is-also-our-fun-group-and-spiritual-community/
Feb 07 2013
Part of my job here at PeaceBuilders Community is to deal with the economic and ecological issues we’re facing as a Mennonite peace and reconciliation consulting group. A big issue happening right now in Mindanao is that of mining our land’s precious minerals.
The under-developed Philippine economy needs the revenues that can potentially be generated through the mining industry. Every year, our country produces about a million individuals looking for a job but our economy can only produce about two hundred thousand jobs. The rest would be jobless, easy recruits by human traffickers, by criminal organizations, or by various non-state armed groups. Most government agencies and business corporations advocate for the accelerated development of the mining industry to help curve unemployment, poverty, and social injustices in the Philippines.
However, the Philippine political system is not yet mature to handle huge multi-national mining corporations who have more economic power than the government of the Philippines. Our system of governance is not yet capable to implement and enforce the existing laws that would guide the mining industry to be inclusive in terms of its financial benefits. In most mining operations in the Philippines, the financial investments, the tax revenues, and the financial income related with mining tend to corrupt the government, the family, and the society as a whole. A Jesuit scholar, Fr. Joel Taboras, describes this phenomenon well in his article, The Dancing Elephant in the Crystal Shop: SMI. In his critic of the government’s granting of “conditional Environmental Clearance Certificate” (ECC) to Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), he avers:
SMI will clear 3,935 hectares of forest – including 1,350 hectares of protected rainforest. It threatens 812 flora species, 247 of which are Philippine endemics and 52 of which are mainland Mindanao endemics. 55 species are under the Threatened Species list of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. For amphibians and reptiles alone, 28% are Philippine endemics and 20% are Greater Mindanao endemics.
With its 500-hectare large pit with the depth of two stacked Empire State Buildings and its similarly large fresh-water catchment, it will adversely affect the fresh water supply of the Koronadal Valley, including its irrigation system, and threaten its shallow aquafers with toxicity. The Mal River will be worst affected through the SMI construction of a fresh water dam just above the NIA’s irrigation dam.
Finally, the mine is in a highly unstable social area where not only old forests but the indigenous B’laans are to be displaced to make way for SMI’s open pit and fresh water catchment and toxic-waste mountain, and where the Free and Informed Prior Consent (FIPC) of most of the B’laans has not been secured. In fact, instead of the FIPC, there have been ugly killings of B’laans who have stood up to fight the mines, including Atari and Daguil Capion. Just yesterday, the Capions testified before a congressional committee in Koronadal how their relatives had been massacred. Here, unfortunately, the military and the police are implicated.
Meanwhile, 40,000 Muslims depend on fishing in Lake Buluan, almost certainly to be adversely affected by the SMI project.
In connection with this issue, we have been bombarded with questions by our partners, colleagues, and critics while in the field. Here’s the most frequent one: “Is the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) pro-mining or anti-mining?”
There is no simple answer to this. We decided to educate our position. So, we started by consulting with Rosabel Naromal. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology from the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Her passion is to use her expertise to serve God, to serve the Filipino people, and to help develop a proposal regarding mining issues from the perspective of advancing justice-based peace and development.
For the past six months, Rosabel has been doing research on mining from ecological, economic, social, and political perspectives. She reviewed the history of mining laws in the Philippines. She also reviewed the arguments in the on-going debate between those who advocate to accelerate the mining industry, and those who advocate to stop mining operations in our country.
Our staff also identified and discussed the various views and positions who make up the spectrum between pro-mining and anti-mining advocacies.
We also sent our field workers on a fact-finding mission to some mining operations in Surigao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Kalinga.
Next week, the reports of our field workers will be integrated into the paper that we are developing as a team.
Meanwhile, Dann is also working on a theological reflection paper on mining.
Soon, we will publish our position paper. But before that, we’d like to listen to you. Would you kindly share your perspectives on this issue of mining? Please share your view on the comment box below.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/02/07/an-economic-ecological-concern-should-pbci-be-anti-mining-or-pro-mining/
Jun 04 2011
Kublai Milan, his wife Maan, Dann, and I had a meeting about a children’s coloring project he’s working on in partnership with the University PAR Team of PeaceBuilders Community. We’re now ready to print them.
Book One is about Peace.
Book Two is about Joy.
Book Three is about Love.
Dann and I were so happy to see the whole Milan family. Maan and I had a few moments to update each other with our respective journeys.
Kublai shared his new huge visual arts projects in various places in Mindanao. It’s so energizing and refreshing to listen to his creative ideas.
Maan and Kublai also helped us take care of Akira–the daughter of Frani Catua, one of our baristas at CFP.
Kubing and Kunta, the two sons of Kublai and Maan, enjoyed our fresh juice and pastries at CFP.
What a great Saturday afternoon with a beautiful family!
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2011/06/04/kublai-and-family/
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2011/06/01/the-interest-of-the-poor-and-the-environment-in-a-winning-business-plan/