TOWARDS A NEW DAY: Torch Parade Illumines a Never-ending Quest

Zamboanga City – THOUSANDS of people from all walks life marching in an early evening parade carried torches symbolising hope and change as this year’s Week of Peace ended on December 5.

The torch parade, which has become a tradition of the Peace Week celebration since it was initiated on 1997, re-affirmed the paraders desires to cultivate the seed of peace, as they pledged to continue to work for social harmony and solidarity and fight all forms of violence, during a short program at the CDCP Complex at Fort Pilar.

“Some were shouting the words of peace, some were flashing signs of peace, and some encouraged spectators to join them,” said a third year college student of Western Mindanao University, while hiking the three-kilometer from the Joaquin Enriquez Jr. Memorial Sports Complex to Fort Pilar.

The flares of the torches signified, too, the burning desire of the people to end violence in Mindanao in general, said Veronica Cadra, a government employee whojoined the parade.

Yellow flames lighted the stretch of the scenic R.T. Lim Boulevard as the paraders composed of students, urban poor, policemen, soldiers, government employees and religious leaders marched along the breezy shore.

Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) president Fr. Angel C. Calvo called on participants of the parade to strengthen the efforts to link cultures and sectors.

We have to reinforce our commitment and relationships to fortify our goal to strengthen the peace imitative in this city and in Mindanao in general, Fr. Calvo said.

“My week of peace experience magnified so much to me that every individual can enjoy inner peace,” said Sulaiman Jailani, president of the Muslim Youth Assembly for Peace.

Fireworks, dances, and a musical band performance capped the torch parade.

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