Asia West Pacific – May 2019 

Creating Cultures of Peace Empowerment Workshop conducted for Academics, Campus Ministers, Counselors, Activists, and Students in Manila, Philippines

by Kins Aparece
Venue: Center for Lasallian Formation, 12th Flr, Bro Andrew Gonzales Hall, Taft Avenue, Manila Philippines

The participants wrote excerpts of their own personal commitment to peace and posted it on the board.

Twenty of the participants come from three De La Salle Higher Education Schools and one is from the Angel C. Palanca Peace Foundation. They practiced the peace empowerment tools together for three days.

One participant pointed out that “affirmation works. It works with people of different ages…”

The participants also learned that they must notice when they needed to use positive words to dissipate a tensed situation. Others also reflected that tools on affirmation and communication helps the use of a language of hope and appreciation. One key challenge that the participants felt is the need to bring back goodness “all around us.”

The workshop took place five days before the midterm Philippine elections.

So much polarization was going on. Exchanges on social media were heated, and even friends and families were sometimes divided. When the workshop progressed, the participants realized very strongly that peace is very much possible.

There are many alternatives to violence and one need not wait for a very special event for transforming power to take place. It happen in the ordinary.

Said workshop was jointly sponsored by the DLSU-Lasallian Pastoral Office and the DLS-College of St. Beniled Center for Lasallian Ministry.

Some participants taking a spontaneous pose after the I message activity.  Photo Credits: Dona-Jo Cruz

In this workshop, participants were given more time to reflect individually.  Photo credits: Kins Aparece