Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Iligan City Celebrates the Week of Peace

(Friday6th day of December 2019)


Iligan City – LGU Iligan celebrated the Week of Peace on November 28-December 4 with activities and events held in different places all over the city.

The government recognizes the common aspirations of Mindanaoans to live in peace, unity, and harmony with each other regardless of status in life, religion or culture (Proclamation No. 127), as declared by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that the last Thursday of November up to the first Wednesday of December of every year is declared as the Mindanao Week of Peace.

Spearheaded by the mayor, vice-mayor, and Councilor Ian Uy, the celebration started in the Rizal Park (City Public Plaza) on November 28 where representatives from the three (3) major tribes living harmoniously in the city gathered and performed the symbolic handshake, releasing of doves, and the Handprints of Peace.

“Mga igsoon, naga-ampo ako nga niining sugod sa semana, ug sa among bahin sa Catholic Church in the Philippines, mo-lambo kining mga grasya sa diyalogo diha sa tagsa-tagsa natong mga kasingkasing: kining pag-paminaw, pag-salig, ka-abli, ang tinudanong pag-dawat, pag-sinabtanay, pag-tahod, ug pakig-higala, (Brothers and sisters, in behalf of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, I’m praying that this start of the week, the graces of the dialogue would flourish in each of our hearts: ability to listen, to  trust, have openness, real acceptance, understanding, respect, and befriending),” the newly-appointed Bishop of Iligan, Bishop Jose Rapadas, stated on his speech during the event. “Akong pag-hinaot nga kining atong pag-saulog karon mag-dala’g matuod nga pag-tagbo natong tanan, Kristyano man, Lumad, o Muslim, saulogon unta nato atong pagka-managsoon. Ang Diyos manalangin natong tanan nga iyang mga anak (I hope that this celebration would bring us real unity, whether you are Christian, Lumad, or Muslim, let’s all celebrate our brotherhood. May the Lord bless us all, his children),” he added.

“Ginagmay man ug lisod ang pag kab-ot niining kalinaw kay iglas kini kaayo, ato kining lakagon, busa it is worth celebrating. Matod pa, angayn ug matarong nga kitang katawhan sa dakbayan sa Iligan magsaulog gayud niining semana sa kalinaw. Ang kalinaw adunay blessings for our people. Ang una, ang epekto sa kalinaw diha sa matag-usa pinaagi sa dialogo, atong makab-ot ang maayong relasyon sa usa’g-usa. Bisan unsa ka nga klase sa tawo: bisan gikan ka sa taas o sa ubos, sapi-an ka o kabos, lahi nga tinuohan sa relihyon, kung adunay dialogo adunay kalinaw ug maayong relasyon. The very definition of peace is the right relationship with each other. The second blessing of peace nga atong ma-angkon aduna kita’y kausbawan, kauswagan, ug kalamboan sa atong dapit. Third, if there is a good relationship, if there is progress, ang tumong ug tuyo ug ang consequence of peace is happiness (Attaining peace may be difficult and gradual because it is so elusive, but we will chase peace, therefore it is worth celebrating. It is just right for the people of Iligan to celebrate this week of peace. Peace has its blessings for our people.

First, the effects of peace through dialogues would give us a good relationship with each other. Whatever you are: whether you’re from the top or the bottom, rich or poor, you may have different beliefs and religion, if we communicate and have dialogues, there’d be peace and good relationship. The very definition of peace is the right relationship with each other. The second blessing of peace would be having improvement, advancement, and development in our area. Third, if there is a good relationship, if there is progress, the aim and goal and the consequence of peace is happiness),” Vice mayor Vera Cruz stated in his speech. “If there is peace, there is happiness,” he added.

Councilor Ian Uy, the author of the ordinance institutionalizing the week of peace celebration in Iligan City said: “Today’s celebration is a symbol of unity and represents the important milestone in the history of Iligan as a platform of peace, engagements, and good relationships, and better friendships can help promote further development in our country in general, and in Mindanao in particular,” He also added: “Iligan will remain a steadfast partner, a supporter of the efforts to achieve the enduring peace.”

On November 29, there has been a Sambayang of Muslims. It is a talk or sermon about Peace in Mosques. On the 30th, activities like canvas painting, singing contest, and spoken poetry were done at the Robinson’s Place Iligan. Poster Canvas Exhibit was held on the Robinson’s Place Iligan with homilies by priests and Panglisig rituals of Higaonons on the 1st of December. The following day, December 2, the reading of the declaration of Week of Peace and the reading of excerpts from the Resolution/Ordinance was done during the flag-raising ceremony at the Anahaw Amphitheatre. December 3, The LGU Iligan together with different partners and media personnel launched End Local Communist Armed Conflict (ELCAC) in Limunsudan, bringing with them the Service Caravan and medical assistance. On the same day, the participants of the launching of ELCAC had a tree planting activity.

The week-long event ended at the Anahaw Amphitheatre with a friendship game participated by soldiers, policemen, MILF and NPA surrenderees and LGU Officials. And a Boodle Fight with the participants and the LGU Officials has been the cherry on the cake.


– Kristoff S. /CIO-Web