Fr. President Approves Second Post-Pablo Reconstruction Projects in Baganga and ComVal

University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ approved the second set of post-Pablo reconstruction projects both in the Municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental and in the Province of Compostela Valley.  One year to the day of Typhoon Pablo’s furious landfall in Baganga on 4th December 2013, Fr. Tabora gave his seal of approval to another set of projects which will rehabilitate an elementary building with two classrooms in Barangay Mikit in Baganga, as well as rehabilitate a classroom in Consuelo M. Valderrama High School in Barangay Ngan of the Province of Compostela Valley.

The lead office of this project is the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, in coordination with the University Community Engagement and Advocacy Council (UCEAC).  It may well be remembered that the Arrupe Office initiated the first set of rehabilitation and reconstruction projects in Baganga in April to June of this year.  Hence, the university, through the UCEAC, funded two daycare centers in Barangay Mikit and Barangay Campawan as well as a wet market in Barangay Lambajon.  Continue reading

Commemorative Mass in Remembrance of Super Typhoon Pablo Today

         The university community remembers the survivors and their families who went through the harrowing experience wrought havoc by Super Typhoon Pablo which made a furious landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental, a year ago today, on 4th December 2012.

In a special noontime mass presided by Fr. Gabriel Jose T. Gonzalez, SJ, and sponsored by the Arrupe Office of Social Formation, the university recalled the devastation in eastern parts of Mindanao, including Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Agusan de Sur, and neighbouring places. The commemorative mass was offered to take a moment to remember the painful day which changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people and hapless communities who took a heavy pounding from Typhoon Pablo’s wrath, destroying their homes, agricultural crops, and sources of livelihood.  The mass paid  tribute to the courage of people in these areas who survived this imperious of storms ever to hit Mindanao last year, at the same time honor those who didn’t make it, even as the university continues to mourn the death and destruction of the Super Typhoon Yolanda which impacted on the Visayas region this October, the earthquake that rumbled in many parts of Bohol and Cebu also in October, as well as the man-made devastation brought about by the military siege in Zamboanga City in September that displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the maelstrom of conflict and violence.

The mass was also offered as a culmination of the university’s celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2013, imploring the end to violence and conflict in regions in Mindanao that have remained vulnerable, at the same time imploring God for a lasting and sustainable peace in this part of the Philippines.

       In anticipation of the International Volunteers Day tomorrow, 5th December, the mass was also celebrated by the Arrupe Office and its corps of student volunteers to continue to honour the countless, the nameless, and the faceless volunteers who have dedicated their lives to give of their time, energy, resources, and of themselves to peoples and communities in dire need of help and assistance in the spirit of loving service and generous volunteerism.  (By M. Isabel S. Actub, Arrupe Communications & Advocacy)

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