Mindanao Week of Peace 2013

The Mindanao Week of Peace (MWOP) is celebrated annually with the intent of advocating for peace in the island of Mindanao. This annual observance promotes the culture of peace as an authentic lived experience, a way of life, and a spirituality that traverses religious and cultural boundaries. Hence, the yearly MWOP celebration carries the hopes and aspirations of the people of Mindanao in the belief that achieving peace is tantamount to achieving progress and sustainable development in this particular region in the Philippines.

Several activities in the university (tertiary level) will be conducted in observance of the MWOP, inclusive of the dates 28th November until 4th December. The Arrupe Office of Social Formation, Theology Department, College Campus Ministry, Office of Student Affairs (OSA), Ignatian Spirituality & Formation Office (ISFO), Mindanawon Initiative for Cultural Dialogue, Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Studies in Southeast Asia, University Community Engagement & Advocacy Council (UCEAC), Bahaghari and Piglasapat are running synchronized events in celebration of this year’s MWOF.

For the community’s guidance:

28th November  – Launching, Open Field, 2:30 p.m.

28th November – Paglantaw sa Kamatuoran: Peace Exhibit, Thibault Grounds

29th November – Forum on “Post-Zamboanga Siege: Reflections & Lessons Learned                                     Toward a Hopeful Future,” Finster Auditorium, 3:40 P.M.

29th November – Candle-Lighting and Prayer, Roxas Gate Entrance, 5:45 p.m.

30th November – Peace Summit, Finster Auditorium, 8:00 a.m.

2nd December – Salidahan: A Showcase of Mindanao Indie Films, 3:40 p.m.

4th December – Walk for Peace, 6:00 a.m.

6th-7th December – Peace Camp, Philippine Women’s College (PWC)

Alejo Offers Reflections on Zamboanga Siege for Mindanao Week of Peace 2013

Fr. Albert E. Alejo, SJ will offer his reflections and insights on the Zamboanga conflict in a forum entitled “Post-Zamboanga Siege: Reflections and Lessons Learned Toward a Hopeful Future.” The forum, initiated by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), will be held on Friday, 29th November 2013, at 3:40-5:40 p.m. at the Finster Auditorium.  Fr. Alejo is a member of the Zamboanga City’s Crisis Management Committee (CMC) at the height of the Zamboanga conflict that aroused from 9th to 28th September of this year. It may well be remembered that the conflict in Zamboanga City was precipitated when the forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), under the faction of the then Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor, Nur Misuari, laid siege to some barangays in the city, resulting to the displacement of thousands of civilians and the eventual burning of hundreds of residential and business establishments in the wake of the MNLFs retreat. Continue reading

“Don’t Be Blown Away, Science Will Help Save the Day” Forum Today at Finster Auditorium

In what promises to be a good occasion to integrate instruction, research, community engagement and formation in the context of climate change awareness, a forum entitled “Don’t Be Blown Away, Science Will Help Save the Day” will be held today, 26th November 2013, at the Finster Auditorium, from 1:15 to 5:40 p.m.  The forum provides a very good opportunity for the university and the wider community to be abreast of modern and scientific development in understanding the evolving science behind tropical cyclones and how they develop into massive storms that can cause tremendous destruction, particularly on people living in vulnerable area.  It then presents Super Typhoon Yolanda as a case in point, to be followed by a presentation on the hazards that can possibly inflict Davao City in the event of similar environmental calamities and the lessons that can be learned from them.  The forum likewise studies the sociological-anthropological effect of natural calamities on people’s adaptive behaviour.  The forum is expected to present not just the challenges brought about by natural calamities, but also possible ways forward on how best the university’s collective resource can help in educating and raising people’s awareness in understanding natural disasters caused by climate change.  The important aspect not to be missed in this forum is its formative component in the sense that it is through fora of this nature that can provide a springboard for the members of the university community and beyond to be conscious of the socio-cultural implications of natural calamities and disaster preparednes.

ADDU’s own geoastrophysicist Fr. Daniel McNamara, SJ will talk about The Science of Tropical Cyclones.  Atmospheric scientist Dr. Gemma Narisma, the current head of the Regional Climate Systems Program of the Manila Observatory, and who has just recently been awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Women in Nation’s Service (TOWNS) early this November, will do a presentation on Typhoon Yolanda: The Anatomy of a Disaster. Dr. Lourdes Simpol, director of TropICS, and Dr. Leah Vidal, chair of Department of Anthropology, will tackle the topics Have We Learned? Hazards and Culture, highlighting the results of the studies of TropiCS in relation to Typhoon Pablo and the Davao City flash floods, as well as highlighting the socio-cultural and anthropological aspects of coping with natural disasters.

A media briefing is expected to take place in the morning, prior to the actual forum in the afternoon.

The forum is jointly convened by the University Research Council (URC), the Tropical Institute for Climate Studies (TropICS), the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF), the Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology (CREATE), the Ateneo Migration Center (AMC) and the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)

ADDU’s Relief Operation for Yolanda Survivors Reaches Palo in Leyte

Just over a month short of commemorating the catastrophic effect of Typhoon Pablo, the university is at it again. And this time, it is responding to an even bigger challenge of mounting a relief and humanitarian operation to as far as the Municipality of Palo in Leyte, to reach those who survived the massive devastation wrought havoc by Super Typhoon Yolanda on 8th November of this year.

Reminiscent of the Ateneo de Davao University’s (ADDU’s) bold and massive response to last year’s devastating impact of Super Typhoon Pablo which rampaged through eastern Mindanao, the university community generously pooled together its available resources, including that of its donors, to send a mission team to Palo.  Consisting of Mr. Karl Anthony Ebol, the Community Engagement Officer (CEO) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF) who headed the five-man team, and assisted by members of the university’s service and security force such as Rolly Canete, Paterno Cascaho, Jocyl Lenaming, and Ramel Polancos, the mission team delivered sixteen (16) tons of relief goods (consisting of 2,204 food packs, as well as 176 boxes of water, clothes, hygiene kits and blankets) to the Archdiocese of Palo.  It also turned over medical supplies amounting to PhP 5 million (including fifty-five [55] boxes of urgently needed IV fluids) to a functioning emergency unit in Palo, courtesy of GBF Pharma which channelled its donations to the university.

Just as ADDU specifically directed much of its relief operations to parishes and a network of schools through the Davao Association of Colleges and Schools (DACS) when it deployed its humanitarian response in the aftermath of Pablo, it again made use of its diocesan contact through Fr. Oscar Florencio of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Palo in coordinating and facilitating the release of its relief goods. The medical supplies were directed to Palo’s Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital, through Dr. Agnes Aliposa (chief designate), one of the few functioning hospitals that survived Yolanda’s onslaught. Continue reading