Archive for November, 2016


As the annual celebration of the Mindanao Week Of Peace, it is also customary for the spearheading Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP) group through the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) in bestowing a Peace Weaver Awards to worthy recipients that pushed and continues to work in the name of PEACE. Five individuals from the different sectors in the society were honored as PeaceWeaver Awardees for this year. Two were given the posthumous awards, and the other  three are still in the peak in continue working their respective deeds. Coming from the Farmer Sector, Mr. Maximo Ramillano, who was famously called as ”Ñor Max”, who was known for uniting the 18 farmers sectors mostly from the east coast far flung areas in the city, pushed for the rights of the farmers and the Bottom-Up-Budgeting program of the government. An Indigenous Peoples leader from the Samal tribe, Datu Hadji Ayu Mandi, who altruistically devoted his leadership in the early 1900’s known not only as a leader in Zamboanga City, but also those Muslims from Basilan and Zamboanga del Norte. He was a humble, soft-spoken and unassuming leader.  The two were honored Posthumous Awards in which their families whole heartedly acknowledged. The three others, from the Persons With Disabilities sector, Government agency and the Academe sector. For the first time in PeaceWeaver Awarding, a Person With Disability was conferred an award. Mr. Teddy M. Kahil, who was well-known for advocating and pushing for the Rights of the PWDs. Mr. Kahil is not only recognized in the local and national level, but currently nominated as the Secretary General for the World Blind Union. Coming from the government agency, Philippine Information Agency-ZamboSulTa Manager, Felipo David G. Malcampo who not only worked as a government employee that bestows his knowledge and information skills, but as a trainer to different Culture Of Peace and Disaster Risk Reduction Management seminars and workshops. Malcampo previously worked for a non-government organization for 20 years in Basilan for Peace and Development of the communities in Basilan. From the academe sector, Hadja Sarah L. Handangwas acknowledged for her selfless dedication to bring the education to far flung barangay in west coast. Despite the same salary rate of being assigned to the city schools, she still opted to ride the two-hour drive of Habal-Habal to the school upland knowing that these children need educators like her. She also was the reason Over the years, PeaceWeaver Awards are especially given to significant persons in recognition to their great contribution to the communities and the society in which their works highlight the impact on Peace and Development in the city and the region. 
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Thousands of individuals participated during the Grand Opening parade of the Mindanao Week of Peace which commenced early this morning, November 24. The Mindanao Week Of Peace formally opened with about 3km-hike which started from Sta. Maria Elementary School up to the Pasonanca Boys Scout Camp. 

Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) Vice President, Dr. Grace J. Rebollos gave a brief history of the humble beginning of the Mindanao Week of Peace which started in 1997 in Zamboanga City spearheaded by PAZ and SALAAM, which later on adopted by the Bishop-Ulama Conference and brought to Malacañang Palace.

MWOP was signed by former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada but was formally turned into a Presidential Proclamation No.127, s.2001 by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on November 3, 2000 which declares the last Thursday of November up to the first Wednesday of December as the Mindanao Week Of Peace celebration, not only celebrated in Zamboanga City but around Mindanao and even at other areas in the country.

With the theme, “Healing for Personal and Social Transformation”, Fr. Angel C. Calvo, Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) President and Interreligious Solidarity for Peace, Lead convener noted that over the two decades of Week of Peace celebration since 1997, the peace advocates  have continuously called for a unity in the midst of the differences, justice for those whose rights were disregarded and taken away, recognition and honor for the pains of those who have been damaged by a variety of current and historical forms of violence, and forgiveness for our own offenses against each other that continue to divide as a community, as a nation, and as a people.  “It is as basic as our survival as human beings.  It is as sublime as our noble destiny as children of a Divine Creator who keeps assuring us of the gifts of mercy and peace,” Fr. Calvo read in the ISP statement.

“Once more, as we mark the 19th year of the Week of Peace celebration we make the urgent call for healing and reconciliation…. now more than ever!” Fr. Calvo expressed.

The brief program ended with a symbolic releasing of the white doves and balloons while the Youth Solidarity for Peace and MWOP’16 volunteers and participants joined the flash mob.

The participants came from various institutions from the Non-Government Organizations, Civil Society Organizations, Schools, from Secondary, Colleges and Universities, Barangay Local Government Units, Government offices, and different sectors from women, children, urban poor settlers, indigenous peoples, security and many others. 


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