Tag: joji pantoja


Two of the young inclusive development leaders we’re training — Sihaya Ansibod (Erumanen Menuvu, North Cotabato) and Twinkle Alngag Bautista (Sumacher, Kalinga) — represented CFP at the BPI Sinag Accelerate 2017’s final social entrepreneurial booth camp. Last 10 November 2017, they competed with other leading young entrepreneurs from across the country. Their business plan made it to the Top Five Winners with a cash prize of PhP500,000 (around C$12,000).



Jobee obtained her Bachelor of Science Degree in Community Development from Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Cotabato. She is a proud Aromanen Manobo — one of Mindanao’s indigenous peoples. Her tribal name is Sihaya Ansibod — “The Enlightened One”. Prior to coming to PBCI, she served as a psycho-social worker in an organization advocating and working for children’s rights. She has good working skills in dealing with various kinds of situations, proficient in working with computers, works effectively with PBCI office and field teams, and flexible in adapting changes in new settings.


We call her Tala — the Pilipino term for star. Tala is a proud member of the Sumacher Tribe in Kalinga province and celebrates the fact that she belongs to the Indigenous People: “I’m an IP!” She’s a graduate of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. At an early age, she dreamed to be a missionary. Now that she’s part of PeaceBuilders Community, she testifies with much excitement that she is a Peacebuilding Missionary!



“BPI Sinag,” according to their website, “caters to entrepreneurs of all ages looking to make a difference. Created to discover, equip, and empower social entrepreneurs who can help uplift Filipino communities, this year’s BPI Sinag will focus on enabling these entrepreneurs to scale-up and expand, so they can further deepen their impact in community development. With this in mind, BPI Sinag Year Three will go beyond holding an enterprise competition and bootcamp, and move into building a social enterprise ecosystem.”

Based on Sihaya’s and Tala’s business plan, the award money will be used as part of Coffee For Peace’s capital to expand our post harvest processing plant among the Bagobo-Tagabawa tribal community in Barangay Managa at Mt Apo.

I’m so blessed to be called ina (mother) by these gifted women. They have been undergoing inclusive development and entrepreneurial management training with me for the past two years.

They are seen being recognized for their accomplishment in the official video of PBI Sinag Foundation (13:25) below.


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/11/12/my-inclusive-development-daughters-won-a-national-entrepreneurship-award/


Evolving leaders of PeaceBuilders Community—MetroManila: (L-R) AJ Moldez, Joji Pantoja, Boyet Ongkiko, Chi Ongkiko, Missy Moldez, Herman Moldez, Lakan Sumulong

The PeaceBuilders Community in MetroManila is being enriched by the participation of a few more people who are challenged to follow Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Many of them are especially attracted to the Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Theology and its application to the various issues in life and society that they are concerned about.

The Man of Peace in MetroManila, as far as the leadership of PeaceBuilders Community—Philippines is concerned, is the Rev. Herman Moldez, a retired pastor and a respected Christian leader in the Philippines. He was Joji’s mentor in the mid-1970s during her early days with the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Our paths crossed when his son, AJ Moldez, became an active member of PeaceBuilders Community and participated in our mentorship program at the PeaceBuilders School of Leadership. Soon, AJ’s parents invited us for dinner and started interacting theologically with us. Their family opened their discipleship training center and guest house in Quezon City to PeaceBuilders Community workers. We needed a facility like this whenever we pass through MetroManila, travelling from north to south and vice-versa. AJ has been referring to this place as “PeaceBuilders Hub Manila”.

Two weeks ago, Rev. Herman Moldez and I served as plenary speakers in a national mission conference.

Last week, AJ bought me a ticket and introduced PeaceBuilders Community to a group of young professionals. He has been sharing the work of PeaceBuilders to this group. Before our meeting is over, they made a commitment to be a long-term prayer and financial partner of PBCI, with an initial gift of P30,000.

PeaceBuilders Community—MetroManila is getting rooted in genuine relationships and a sincere commitment to grow together in advocating radical transformation, active non-violence, and inclusive development based on biblical peacemaking.

Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/11/03/peacebuilders-metro-manila-is-attracting-more-par-practitioners/


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).



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/05/12/a-new-partnership-begins-between-coffee-for-peace-and-dcup-coffee-republic/


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.





Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2017/02/12/mwc-allowed-me-to-share-anabaptist-peacebuilding-in-the-philippine-context-before-leaders-in-augsburg/




Joji is enrolled at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business at the Rockwell Campus in Makati City, Philippines. She actually started at the beginning of Fall 2015 but made an arrangement with the university to miss her initial classes due to our Canadian commitments and speaking engagements.


I enjoy listening to her. Here are some stuff I’m learning from her materials so far.


What is Inclusive Development?


It is a process that leads towards the goal of an Inclusive Global community.


It is based on understanding of 2 concepts:

:: inclusion

:: development

Inclusion is a process and a goal.


Diversity is a fact of life. Difference is normal. Some people are excluded from society because of difference. Difference can be due to a range of factors, some universal, some cultural and context specific.


Inclusion is about society changing to accommodate difference, and to combat discrimination. It sees society as the problem, not the person.


To achieve inclusion, a twin track approach is needed:

:: Focus on the society to remove the barriers that exclude — i.e. mainstreaming.

:: Focus on the group of persons who are excluded, to build their capacity and support them to lobby for their inclusion.

Because inclusion involves everyone in society at all levels, collaboration and networking are core strategies to achieve inclusion.


Development needs to be carefully defined.


The Millenium Development Goals provide a basic framework :


:: Develop a Global partnership for development

:: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

:: Achieve Universal primary education

:: Promote gender equality and empower women

:: Reduce child mortality

:: Improve maternal health

:: Ensure environmental sustainability


Key ingredients of development are:

:: poverty alleviation,

:: human rights

:: civil society participation.


Inclusive Development therefore is the process of ensuring that all marginalized/ excluded groups are included in the development process.



Through Inclusive Development, Joji is also very committed to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.




Inclusive Development upholds the Sustainable Development Goals:


People. We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.


Peace. We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.


Prosperity. We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.


Partnership. We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.


Planet. We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.



Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2015/12/03/joji-is-enrolled-in-a-masters-degree-program-in-entrepreneurship/



Joji finalizes her lecture preparation for her class.

17-21 August 2015. Joji is in Zamboanga City this week to teach the students of the Master of Ministry program at Ebenezer Bible College and Seminary (EBCS) for a week. Her modular course is entitled: Inclusive Development as a Christian Ministry of Transformation.


The objectives of the course are:


1. To identify our role as Christian leaders to be God’s stewards of all the resources entrusted to us;


2. To discover our creative skills as spiritual leaders to find avenues where we can do spiritual ministries and at the same time help our respective communities become economically sustainable;


3. To be able to conceptualize approaches, based on sincere listening to the people on the ground, that would address social issues in your community, and how we can journey with them in developing approaches towards inclusive development with five bottom lines for effectiveness — people, peace, prosperity, partnership, planet.


The leadership of EBCS started the partnership with PeaceBuilders Community when we journeyed with the churches in their area during the 2013 Zamboanga Crisis. The Christian leaders there invited us to conduct a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar among them. One significant result of that seminar was the decision of the leaders there to start PAR training among the bible school and seminary students in the area for a long-term preparation and equipping of Christian leaders for biblical peacemaking.


Since 2014, EBCS has integrated PAR courses in their curriculum. PeaceBuilders Community’s leaders have been invited to teach modular courses.  Joji’s course is the third of those courses.


Master of Ministry in Transformational Leadership.


This graduate course is designed for Christian work practitioners who desire (1) to enrich their knowledge about how to read the Scripture and the “signs of the times” (that is, where and how the Spirit is working in the world today); (2) to improve their ministry skills to meet the holistic needs of people in the church as well as in the world; and, (3) to develop a healthy Christ-like character befitting the children and servants of God.


There are 13 module courses in this program. To earn the M. Min. degree, a student must apply to be admitted to the program; enroll in the program; and, complete and fulfill all requirements for each course. Courses will be offered in cycles of two years. This is a non-thesis program but a comprehensive examination will be given at the end of the course.


A module course runs for six (6) days, Monday through Saturday, 8 AM to 12 NN and 1 to 5 PM. Professors set their own class agenda and grade the students according to their own standards. Course syllabi will be made available to students ahead of time.



EBCS Master of Ministries Program Description








Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2015/08/16/joji-teaches-inclusive-development-at-ebenezer-seminary/



The Philippine delegation at the MWC 2015 Assembly in Harrisburg, PA.


Joji accepted her new responsibility as chair of the Peace Commission of the Mennonite World Conference during its 2015 Global Assembly in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.


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.

MWC Peace Commission Information Page


As soon as she arrived, she shared with me this video report of the 2015 MWC Assembly.




Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2015/07/30/joji-now-serves-as-chair-of-mwc-peace-commission/



Joji is the “cover girl” of the January February 2013 issue of The Marketplace magazine, the official publication of the Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).

It was Gordon Janzen, our facilitator at the Mennonite Church Canada Witness, who introduced us to Wally Kroeker of MEDA.  Wally interviewed us and we freely shared our stories as he was asking questions.  Joji and I were surprised to see this published as a major story in The Marketplace.

We especially liked how Wally captured the story on how Coffee For Peace was conceptualized:

One day they were engaged in intense dialogue with warring sides in the conflict zone.

We told one leader to leave his weapons outside and join us for coffee,” says Dann. “We just listened to him talk. Then we had coffee with the guy he was fighting against, and we listened to him. Then we asked if they would be willing to have coffee with each other — and they did!”

Someone blurted out, “Let’s have coffee for peace.”

The phrase stuck, and an idea began to percolate in Joji’s mind.

She was no stranger to how the hospitality trade could enhance social outcomes. Years earlier, after graduating from a course in hotel and restaurant management, she had opened a cafeteria for street women and children.

Now she pondered adapting a simple social ritual to a higher purpose that could complement their peacebuilding efforts. She knew coffee was the world’s second most traded liquid commodity, after oil. Couldn’t the peace dividend be magnified by empowering coffee farmers?

“It was Joji’s idea to make it a brand name and open a shop,” says Dann.

We, at PeaceBuilders Community and Coffee For Peace pray that our small experiment in doing theology and mission in the context of our new global realities would inspire our colleagues in the ministry.  We particularly prayed for our sisters and brothers among the First Nations of North America when Gordon shared his heart’s desire:

It’s a really well written and inspirational story about your entrepreneurial vision and achievements.  The story makes me wish that we had a similar way to engage our aboriginal neighbours in Canada with a similar business for mission approach.  But that’s another region.

May the Gospel of Shalom be advanced among all Indigenous Peoples of the world through the Creativity of the Creator, the Peace of Christ, and the Energy of the Great Comforter.


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2013/02/21/the-marketplace-magazine-of-meda-featured-joji-and-coffee-for-peace/


Bennette Tenecio, Joji Pantoja, and Kriz Cruzado represented Coffee for Peace and PeaceBuilders Community at the PBSP-Citibank BiD Challenge 2010 Awarding held in Rockwell Tents, Rockwell Center, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Praise God! The Lord has confirmed among the business leaders in the Philippines that putting the interest of the poor and the environment in the heart of a business plan is not only possible, but financially viable. I, along with my team, are so excited and encouraged to pursue our dreams.

The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) and Citibank Philippines recognized the vision of Coffee for Peace (CFP) as a viable social enterprise during the Business in Development (BiD) Challenge Philippines 2010. CFP received a reward of PhP 100,000 from PBSP-Citibank as one of the ten winners in the BiD Challenge Philippines 2010.

In that same event, I was also surprised by another PhP 50,000 award given to CFP by The Foundation for Sustainable Society, Inc. (FSSI).  The award plaque says:

The Foundation for a Sustainable Society, Inc.
proudly presents
the Triple Bottom Award to
for rendering
the most inspiring enterprise story
of financial viability
while putting
the interest of the poor and the environment
in the heart of its business plan.

Their effort to achieving a sustainable society
is being greatly appreciated by all of us.

Awarded this 30th day of May in the year 2011.

Martin N. Tanchuling

The Triple Bottom Award refers to PEOPLE, PLANET, and PROFIT.

Now, God has given me more confidence in presenting this business plan to investors who share our heart and mind in doing business.


Permanent link to this article: https://waves.ca/2011/06/01/the-interest-of-the-poor-and-the-environment-in-a-winning-business-plan/