With presidential encouragement from presidents Ramos, Estrada, Arroyo and Duterte, the Mindanao Week of Peace has been celebrated since 1998. This week-long festivities by peace loving Indigenous Peoples, Muslims, Catholics and Protestants through their respective institutions and associations begin on the Last Thursday of November. At times it is extended. The entire celebrations are coordinated by the members of the Bishops-Ulama Conference (BUC) members who are spread throughout the region.
The various activities highlight the importance and relevance of the theme provided by the BUC for every Mindanaoan. This year’s theme is: Respect and Protect Life: A Celebration of the Filipino spirit. The spiritual leaders hope that peace assemblies and programs will assure peace negotiators of the Government and the rebel groups that they have the support of the people, the real stakeholders in the peace process.
The following are the programs before, during and after, the Week of Peace: Nov. 18 Press Conference at PIA, Nov. 21 Public Announcement at City Hall flag raising ceremony, Nov.23 Poster Making Contest at People’s Park, Nov. 23 PEACE-tival at Brokenshire College, Nov. 24 Motorcade from Magsaysay Park (3 to 4pm) to ADDU Opening Program Program at 4pm, Nov. 28 Peace Village at ADDU campus, Dec. 01 Peace Walk from Roxas Ave to Rizal Park with short program/ Symposium (2-5pm) Brokenshire College Chapel, Dec. 2 & 3: Youth Peace Camp (DACS-sponsored) in Lumondao, Marilog District and Dec. 10 Youth Confluence for Peace (7am to 5pm) at BUC conference hall.
To all MWOP celebrators: “The peace of the heart is the heart of peace” (St.John Paul 11).