Dann Pantoja is beginning to use his Tagalog indigenous name -- Lakan Sumulong. This is a statement that our indigenous identities can be a redeeming factor in healing our 'being' (that is, who we are as a people); help symbolize our determination to contribute what we ought to be 'doing' as a nation (that is--active, non-violent, radical transformation); and, determine how we will prioritize what we will be 'having' (that is, inclusive growth and national development based on justice and peace). Asked what fuels his positive outlook in life: “It’s the influence of Jesus, a first century Palestinian carpenter who was executed by the imperial power of his time. He said: ‘Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.’ Jesus defied the ultimate negative factor in our cosmos--death.”
Christmas 2023 carries a somber weight, serving as a commemoration rather than a jubilation. The world, marred by conflicts in Gaza, the West Bank, and various oppressive wars, casts a shadow on the season’s usual cheer. The heartbreaking inaction of the international community in the face of genocide and ethnic cleansing further dims the festive spirit. It’s a stark reminder of the unfathomable cruelty humans inflict upon their own kind, underscoring the urgent need for compassion, solidarity, and genuine peace in a world torn by inhumanity. The sermon titled “Christ Under the Rubble,” delivered by The Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac, pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, strikes a chord within me. If Jesus were to be born today, he will be found under the rubble. This poignant sermon resonates deeply, emphasizing the enduring strength found in faith and the embodiment of hope, especially as we experience Christmas 2023 in the context of a decolonizing process.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/12/26/appropriate-and-authentic-2024-christmas-is-more-of-commemoration-than-a-celebration/
JUSTICE-BASED PEACEBUILDING IN THE FACE OF ETHNIC CLEANSING AND GENOCIDE: A PERSPECTIVE FROM MINDANAO
The imperialist colonizers have a common set of infamy — ethnic cleansing and genocide. The mindset of Spain and the United States of America considered our lands as resources to be exploited and our peoples as obstacles to be removed. This mindset laid the foundation for the systematic marginalization, oppression, and violence against the Indigenous Peoples of our archipelago. Driven by the pursuit of power, wealth, and territorial dominance, these empires embarked on expansive conquests that often involved the subjugation of indigenous populations in our country. Through our similar experiences of historical injustice, we see through the American and British instigated and perpetuated Israeli occupation of Palestine. Our on-going response to these historical injustices is justice-based peacebuilding.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/11/24/justice-based-peacebuilding-in-the-face-of-ethnic-cleansing-and-genocide-a-perspective-from-mindanao/
Christian Zionism is a war-mongering theology which was originally taught to early Filipino converts by fundamentalist American missionaries who, wittingly or unwittingly, were supportive of the colonial interests of their imperialist country, the United States of America. This ideology, wrapped in war-oriented American geopolitics, is still perpetuated among many fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches in the Philippines. I pray that Filipinos would be healed from this blindness and see what Israel really is — an illegal occupation force in Palestine, oppressing the Palestinians for the past 75 years.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/10/23/christian-zionism-is-complicit-in-the-75-year-oppressive-israeli-occupation-of-palestine/
The West Philippine Sea, referred to by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the South China Sea, has become a focal point of geopolitical tensions, primarily between China and the Republic of the Philippines. This maritime dispute has wide-ranging implications for regional stability, international law, and the pursuit of economic interests. Locally, our fisherfolks are struggling as Chinese Coast Guard vessels prevent them from their basic livelihood. Nationally, this is a challenge to our sovereignty as a nation against a superpower. As the two nations grapple with conflicting territorial claims and overlapping interests, the world watches closely, concerned about the potential for escalation and the impact on global trade and security.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/09/26/navigating-troubled-waters-philippine-china-dispute-on-west-philippine-sea/
In a world grappling with pressing environmental challenges and deep social divisions, we seek a dialogical harmonization between the worldview of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and the worldviews of various Indigenous People’s (IP) communities who welcomed us to journey with them. We seek to learn with them through equal partnership and mutual learning experiences. These learning processes reminds us that harmony is not an abstract dream but a tangible and achievable goal. It’s a call to action, beckoning Settlers and IPs to converge in fostering a more compassionate, sustainable, and harmonious local and global community. It’s a promise that by listening to the land and each other, we can find the path to a brighter, more harmonious future for all. Let us heed this call and embark on this transformative journey together.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/09/15/harmonizing-pbcis-worldview-with-indigenous-peoples-sustainable-and-regenerative-way-of-life/
The Sondawa Coffee Farmers Association (SoCoFA) held a two-day leadership training on value-based strategic planning last 26-27 May 2023, at the Mt. Apo Facilities of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC). The training was facilitated by PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP), who are partners with the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA) and EDC. This value-based strategic planning was a culmination of more than 5 years of journeying together and partnership between the MADADMA, EDC, and PBCI-CFP. Through those five years, a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community and a social enterprise have been established, and a set of well-qualified, equipped, and enthusiastic leaders were elected to sustain and regenerate this inclusive development program, which is partly a result of an on-going MCCanada peacebuilding ministry in the Philippines.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/05/29/socofa-holds-value-based-strategic-planning/
A group of civil society organizations consulted me and asked me to facilitate a seminar on how to understand the current conflict they are facing as they do their peace and development work. These organizations have been in dialogue with us since April last year. So, last 20-21 February 2023, I went to Zambales province and continued our partnership talks by listening to them and by seeking to understand their context while immersing myself in the community for a couple of days. Based on the needs I saw, I introduced to them basic conflict transformation and conflict mapping skills. These organizations are walking in solidarity with certain Aeta Indigenous communities in Zambales who are experiencing land-based conflict with certain powers.
Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2023/02/22/we-shared-conflict-transformation-and-conflict-mapping-skills-to-our-zambales-partners/