Asia West Pacific 

Philippines: Cultures of Peace is Making Peace Among Neighbors

Nice Nelly exudes a happy energy to the group. She is also the most senior among the participants. Photo: Joel Dahiroc

Holding a workshop among neighbors in a family home came true after six years in the Philippines! On August 25-26, 2019, fourteen neighbors in a community of Taongon, San Vicente, Dimiao, Bohol, Philippines held a Creating Cultures of Peace Empowerment Workshop, an AVP Basic for peace and justice. They are the leadership of the Catholic Chapel of San Vicente.

The training was held in a family home. The host family rearranged the house furniture to accommodate the participants and make room for the activities. The community also brought food to share during the workshop. As the visual aids were mostly in cloth, some materials were pinned to curtains in the home.

Wonderful Wewax, the host and participant, shared that “…this (training) is very new for me! I’m surprised and delighted at how everyone comfortably shared their own life stories.” He further shared that creating cultures of peace can mean listening to people who are usually silent and shy. At first, he was apprehensive because workshops are usually very dull and tiring, but he appreciated this training very much.

Thankful Teofila, another participant suggested that as neighbors, they should practice the tools they learned. She appealed to everyone, “After all, what are neighbors for?” Good listening and good companionship was very beneficial, but through I-messages and empathy, as tools to conflict resolution, they noticed that they need to practice finding their voice and understanding themselves. After the workshop, the participants felt that they are more ready to take on more commitments and responsibilities for the community.

Beautiful Betty sharing about her expectations to the group. She invited us to organize the workshop in Taongon. Photo: Joel Dahiroc

The participants doing affirmation poster. Photo: Kins Aparece