PROVINCE ADVOCACY COORDINATING GROUP (PACG)
Last 17 November 2017, the PACG convened at the Alingal Building of Ateneo de Naga University to discuss the advocacy agenda of our various Jesuit apostolates. The PACG is a network of social representatives from our various Ateneos, the Bukidnon Mission District, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan, and the Commission on Ministries. It has been convening twice annually for the past three years, to forward a concerted advocacy effort among our various apostolates. In its last meeting, the PACG focused specifically on the need to support the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Reviewing the statement of the First Bangsamoro Youth Caucus that gathered in Ateneo de Davao the previous September, the PACG members reflected on how upheavals such as the Marawi crisis stem from fundamental problems of poverty and discrimination. In response to the challenge presented by the Bangsamoro Youth Caucus, the PACG made initial plans for a “BBL Roadshow” in our various Jesuit apostolates for the early part of 2018, to highlight the problem of radicalization among our Muslim youth, and to promote the BBL as the best hope for peace.
Also participating in this latest meeting of the PACG were the members of the Province’s Social Apostolate Commission (SAC), chaired by Fr. Pat Falguera SJ, who also had their own meeting in Naga the day before the PACG gathered. The presence of the SAC members helped in the coordination of the efforts between the SAC, the PACG, and SLB, and also enriched the discussions about pressing political, economic, and social problems in the Philippines today.
AL QALAM INSTITUTE: ATENEO DE DAVAO UNIVERSITY (ADDU)
Vinci Bueza of ADDU reports: “November 2017 marks one year of cooperation between the Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC) and Al Qalam Institute of ADDU (through its Islamic Finance initiative) in promoting a ‘Culturally Sensitive Housing Project’. This is a Shari’ah-based financing concept, pioneered in Zamboanga City. Through close coordination with former SHFC President Ma. Ana Oliveros, the partnership between these institutions was formalized with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) last February 2017.
Under this MOU, a series of workshops and seminars have been conducted both in Zamboanga City and Davao City. Continuous efforts to provide financial assistance to the local Zamboanga City community have been sustained in the past year. Housing loans for ‘Culturally Sensitive Housing Models’ are prioritized with the support of SHFC’s ‘mobilizers’ and the local government unit’s cooperation. With the present administration of SHFC, both institutions continue to maximize their efforts and expand the project throughout Mindanao. A Mindanao-wide learning exchange was held in Davao City on October 26 – 28, 2017 to further promote these efforts.”
MINDANAO WEEK OF PEACE: XAVIER UNIVERSITY (XU)
The Mindanao Week of Peace, commemorated from 26 November to 2 December 2017, had as its theme “Sustaining the Journey for Peace.” This latest commemoration was especially poignant given the recent events in Marawi. The week saw many communities in Mindanao, including many of our Jesuit schools and parishes, organizing relevant activities in support of peace.
In XU, the Week of Peace coincided with the University’s Xavier Days, the annual University festival. One of the highlights of the fiesta was “Bantawan Mindanaw” (“The Mindanao Stage”) which sought to promote the cause of peace through the performing arts. Various theater, song, and dance performances were held on campus as well as in the nearby Centrio Mall. Among the distinguished performers gracing the event was renowned singer Bayang Barrios (of Joey Ayala’s “Bagong Lumad” fame). After her performance in “Bantawan Mindanaw”, Ms. Barrios also visited barangay Bito Buadi Itowa near Marawi City, one of the outreach areas of the Tabang Marawi. She serenaded the community there as part of XU’s “Sining Para sa Kalinaw” (“Art for Peace”) social outreach program.
This bulletin is meant to keep our Philippine Province Jesuits and partners in mission updated regarding developments in the implementation of the Province Roadmap. Please email any news contributions from your respective apostolates to email@example.com.