La Salle Academy celebrates Mindanao Peace Week with Pole of Peace inauguration ceremony

by Jay Velez and Fernando I. Sanding

AU PLE DE LA PEACE DEDICATION and EDUCATION TO PEACE

La Salle Academy (LSA) located in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao celebrated on 23e Mindanao Peace Week (MWOP) from November 25 to December 1, 2021. This annual celebration is consistent with Proclamation 408, amending Proclamation 207 by postponing the date of the MWOP to the last Thursday in November until the first Wednesday in December each year thereafter. ; with the aim of “providing a place of expression in various forms of the aspirations for peace of the people of Mindanao and of the convergence of peace initiatives”.

To celebrate this momentous event, La Salle Academy, in collaboration with the Office of the Vice-Principal for Student Management, the Secondary Night School and the Office of Lasallian Ministry, organized a Inauguration ceremony of the Peace Pole (PPDC) seen by members of the school community via Zoom and Lasallian Media Facebook Live on November 26, 2021.

The budding peacemakers from La Salle Academy who virtually participated in the Pôle de la Paix inauguration ceremony on November 26, 2021.

This highlighted the two months of preparation and the unique Eight-sided peace pole where local materials were used despite the limited resources available brought by the pandemic. LSA’s Peace Pole not only features its unique shape, but also the languages ​​written on it.Hiligaynon, Bisaya, Maranao, Filipino, English, Spanish, Burmese and Arabic.

The Prayer of the peacemakers composed by adherents of different faiths was recited as the opening prayer to connect with all of the island’s peacemakers from various religious backgrounds and cultures. The school community is pluralistic and multi-diverse in faith and tradition.

Mr. Yashio Mochizuki Program Director, International Affairs of the Goi Peace Foundation of Japan giving their message of peace.

Mr. Yashio Mochizuki Program Director – International Affairs The Goi Peace Foundation gave his message of peace and the opening speech. Here are some highlights of his message: “Dear friends of Académie La Salle. Kumusta from Japan? Congratulations on celebrating the 23e Mindanao Peace Week on the theme “Youth Voices on Building a Non-Violent, Sustainable and Equitable World”. It is a very appropriate theme for peace in the world today and the voice of young people is indeed the key to this goal. We are deeply honored and deeply touched by your initiative to establish a pole of peace on your campus, which we are promoting globally. The peace pole is a physical manifestation of our desire for peace. The first peace pole was made in 1970 with the message “May peace prevail on Earth”, emitting the vibration of the peace prayer that covers the entire grove from the spot … “

Towards the end of his post, he lovingly recalled in his post the valuable Filipino contributions and the key role of fire Mario “Toots” Fungo in the promotion of the peace pole in the Philippines. His pioneering work in promoting the Peace Pole now has many shoots growing in the country.

Dr Genevieve Balance-Kupang, Chair of the Special Interest Groups of the World Council for Curriculum and Education conveying a message of united peace to him.

The event was honored by Geneviève Balance Kupang, PhD, Chairman, Special Interest Groups (SIG), World Council for Curriculum and Education and the president of the Mandala Peace Arts Initiative, Inc. She, along with the late Mario Fungo (representative of the World Peace Prayer Society in the Philippines), is known to have helped various institutions to dedicate peace poles in the Philippines in partnership with the Goi Foundation for Peace. and May peace prevail on Earth International. She shared her message of peace and is quoted saying “remember that symbols or emblems like the pole of peace, the sign of peace or the sign of non-violence are important and inclusive reminders that we are children of light and of peace; defenders who promote the justice and integrity of creation. In the Philippines, you are 86e institution where the peace pole is dedicated. This is a special opportunity to broaden and deepen our advocacy for peace, non-violence, respect and harmonious coexistence with people different from us through education and public awareness.

The president of the school, Mr. Jay Velez, shared his Lasallian Passage of Peace to the entire LSA community– “This will be La Salle Academy’s commitment – to promote peace in school and in the community. As Lasallian educators, we must educate our students that peace begins with us. We model for our students. The program was organized and managed by the student body of the school headed by the chairman of the supreme student government- Hanz Buencamino and was hosted by Jackie Piansay and Richard Punongbayan.

Mr. Jay Velez, School President, La Salle Academy, sharing his Lasallian Peace Passage

The United Nations recognizes the Peace Pole Project movement as an international symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, which watches silently in a silent prayer for peace on earth carrying the message “Peace be on Earth”. Today there are over 200,000 Peace Poles planted in every country in the world dedicated as monuments to peace. A Pole of Peace is a way to bring people together to inspire, awaken and uplift human consciousness around the world. It is a movement aimed at bringing inner peace of mind and fostering peace in the world at large.

The Night High School Department and other faculty members participated in the PPCD.

La Salle Academy has the 12th Peace Pole dedicated to Mindanao since the last dedication ten years ago. In addition, LSA is the third La Salle school in the Philippines after De La Salle Lipa in 2010 and De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute in the Philippines in 2019.

We are one in the advocacy for the safeguarding and transmission of May peace reign on earth to the next generation.

Live Jesus in our Hearts. Forever.

LSA is preparing the ground for the Peace Pole. We are grateful for the loving collaboration of the maintenance staff of our school, Messrs Roger Balocot and Dodong Madjos, for the fabrication of the Peace Pole and its installation on its sacred ground. Thanks also to Sir Jojo Burda who directed and supervised the PP manufacturing process.

Br. Dan Sanding, FSC with Hanz Buenacmino, president of the student government and the technical team.

Sir Chris Murallon (Lasallian mission office), Sir Dianlou Suganob (night school, event organizer) and Sir Symonne Looc (Christian Living Teacher) before the unveiling of the Peace Pole.

La Salle Academy’s “peace educators” prepare the flags for the ceremony.


About the authors:

Mr. Jay Velez is the President of the La Salle Academy School. He has also been an English teacher and was Disciplinary Prefect, Deputy Director of Student Management, Deputy Director of Studies and Director before becoming President. He was the first lay associate to lead and serve the school for 19 years.

Br. Fernando “Dan” I. Sanding, FSC, is administratively the Deputy Director of La Salle Academy for Student Management and the Community Director of the De La Salle-Holy Infancy Brothers Community. This is his second assignment at La Salle Academy, Iligan City.


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