Lakan Sumulong

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.”

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PEACE NETWORK ENGAGES GOVERNMENT MILITARY IN A PEACE DIALOGUE

We learned that the new Division Commander of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the highest military officer in the whole Greater Davao Region, is willing to have a dialogue with peacebuilding civil society organizational leaders. We, at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee for Peace (CFP) immediately prayed for, and planned, a course of action to pay him a courtesy call. We also invited our civil society partners – Mindanao PeaceWeavers, Initiatives for International Dialogue, All-Out Peace Network, and Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict – to join us. Last 29 August 2022, MajGen Nolasco A. Mempin, along with his staff and ground commanders under him, received our group into the headquarters of the 10th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/08/31/peace-network-engages-government-military-in-a-peace-dialogue/

POPE FRANCIS’ CANADIAN VISIT: AN ANABAPTIST PEACEBUILDING WORKER’S PERSPECTIVE

Last 24-30 July 2022, Pope Francis visited Canada for an “Apostolic Journey.” Many expected that he would apologize for the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse of Indigenous children in the residential schools in Canada. Instead, he said, “I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples.” Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Pope’s two apologies, the one in Edmonton and the first one in Rome in April, “have failed to acknowledge the church’s institutional role in the residential school system.” Here’s how I see the pope’s Canadian visit as an Anabaptist peacebuilding worker.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/07/30/pope-francis-canadian-visit-an-anabaptist-peacebuilding-workers-perspective/

MOVING ON AFTER THE 2022 PHILIPPINE ELECTIONS: A PERSONAL LAMENTATION AND REFLECTION

As a Filipino citizen, I have been lamenting because of the unfortunate result of the candidacy of Leni Robredo, Kiko Pangilinan, and their senatorial team. As I lament, I’m reflecting on the seeming triumph of untruth and injustice. In the next six years, we will go through another socio-political darkness akin to the Marcos Martial Law and the Duterte War on Drugs. But hope, faith, and love allow me to see our short-term loss and our long-term victory as advocates of justice, peace, and reconciliation. I’m disappointed with the popular votes, but I see opportunities for a protracted, nonviolent, radical transformation of our land and our people.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/05/14/moving-on-after-the-2022-philippine-elections-a-personal-lamentation-and-reflection/

PRAYING FOR OUR NATIONAL SITUATION DURING THE 2022 HOLY WEEK

We look at our our national situation through the lens of shalom-based transformation — that is, harmony with the Creator (spiritual-ethical transformation), harmony with our being (psycho-social transformation), harmony with others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with the creation (economic-ecological transformation). This season when we commemorate the suffering and death of the Prince of Shalom, we reflect on the condition of our people and our land. This season when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we also want to celebrate the glimpses of renewed life in our society.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/04/18/praying-for-our-national-situation-during-the-holy-week/

THE HEALING POWER OF REMEMBERING: WHAT EDSA MEANS TO ME

EDSA is the term we use to signify the People’s Power Revolution that brought down the Marcos dictatorial regime in 22-25 February 1986. EDSA, or Efipanio Delos Santos Avenue, was the place where millions of people gathered together that led to the dismantling of the violent and murderous Marcos Martial Rule. This week, the government of the Philippines is officially celebrating the EDSA, but Duterte is not scheduled to attend any EDSA Revolution commemorative activity. Each year, I go on a retreat to personally celebrate and remember my fallen colleagues as part of my personal healing. Here is my journal this year.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/02/25/the-healing-power-of-remembering-what-edsa-means-to-me/

LOOKING BACK TO 2021 AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2022 THROUGH THE LENSES OF OUR VISION

We are still focused on our vision. The vision is that, by 31 December 2030, each of our provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities. They would serve as radical, peaceful transformation volunteers in their respective families, spiritual communities, neighborhoods, barangays, cities, or municipalities. The PAR Communities would also get involved in sustainable and regenerative programs that are indigenous to their specific context.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2022/01/07/looking-back-to-2021-and-looking-forward-to-2022-through-the-lenses-of-our-vision/

ON BEING A PEACEBUILDER AND A PARTISAN DURING PHILIPPINE ELECTION SEASON

On May 2022, the Philippines will elect a new president, vice president, senators, congress representatives and local government officials. This will be my first time to vote here in the Philippines since I returned from Canada in 2006. As in Canada, I’m aligning myself politically with a liberal democratic party. Here in the Philippines, a similar political ideology is being led by a woman presidential candidate. Families, religious communities, civil society organizations, business, academia and many other sectors of society are divided right now because of political differences. Although Joji and I are officially employed by Mennonite Church Canada Witness, this is our personal political choice and not, in any way, reflective of Mennonite Church of Canada.

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Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2021/10/15/on-being-a-peacebuilder-and-a-partisan-during-philippine-election-season/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

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