On The Wings of a Starry, Starry Dove

Zamboanga City – ACCORDING to design experts, a good logo must fulfil at least three essential requirements: it must be appropriate, aesthetically pleasing, and must reflect the institutions’ credibility it serves. Truly, the “Week of Peace” logo since it was conceptualized 10 years ago has been continuously creating waves of interests worldwide, observers said.

Renowned Tausug Zamboangueno artist Rameer A. Tawasil, who designed the unique bird icon, took at least 10 stages of research and numbers of trial and errors before he gave birth to it He now says it is the best graphic design he has done, so far, in his art career.

“You must have the right attitude to come up with a logo that completely conveys a strong message in just one look,” the artist told PeaceWorks. He added unlike the commercial companies’ logos he had been commissioned to designed, coming up with a logo that encourages people to understand the diverse culture of Mindanao has to dealt with extra care and delicate sensitivity.

His dove of peace bears Muslim, Christian, lumad (indigenous tribes) emblems as an expression of harmony. This is a symbol of the mutual sharing of aspirations and efforts in building a just and peaceful society, he explained.

With its colourful lines and grace, the peace dove is positioned to fly – an act, which Tawasil said is poised to deliver the message of oneness, love, freedom, understanding, and justice.

“When you look at the peace dove design, it gives an impression of acceptance,” said Pederico Ponse, a tricycle driver, who hanged flaglets with the logo at the rear portion of his tricycle, which he got from a previous Week of Peace celebration.

1997 was a time when physical violence engulfed the southern Philippines. Kidnappings, extortions, bombings, were on the headlines of every national daily. It was on the year when Peace Advocates Zambaoanga (PAZ) decided to initiate in a week-long event of prayers, discussions, and finding solutions in a hope to break the cycle of violence plaguing Mindanao.

Thus, it was also the time when the bright-yellow banners with the peace dove were hanged for the first time on every post in the city.

“As I stepped outside the highway, all I could see were streets full of the doves. That gave me an assurance that amid the violence I read and heard, there was hope, there were people out there, who worked for love and peace,” said Jeric Rivera, who was just in his secondary level at that time.

According to the International Institute of Social History, the origin of the peace dove can be attributed to the Old Testament, where in one story Noah sent out a pigeon from his ark to see if the earth was still flooded. The bird returned with a twig from an olive tree, proof that the flood waters were retreating and a sign of change for the better.

“The symbol of the dove was not restricted to the branch of peace activism based on the bible, it has spread all over the world,” it said.

The peace dove was adopted by famed international artist Pablo Picasso, when he came with a peace dove designed for the international peace congress in Paris in 1949.

“I was asked by Peace Advocates Zamboanga president Fr. Angel Calvo to also make a dove that will represent the call for peace in Mindanao, and so I did,” Tawasil said, who is a former design consultant of Manila-based Product Development and Design Center.

As this year’s Week of Peace turns a decade old on November 29 to December 5, Tawasil’s peace logo will once again adorn shirts, wrist bands, scarves, key chains, stickers, and button pins, to name a few.

The logo, which has become widely popular and is included in the international collection of peace doves, will continue to give hope to a war-weary people.

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