GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 26 November) – Four virtual plays highlighting the continuing peace initiatives in Mindanao will take the centerstage in the week-long celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2020 that will formally open on Friday.
Hosted by the provincial government of Sarangani and the Mindanao State University (MSU)-General Santos, the annual celebration is expected to draw substantial participation from local stakeholders despite the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.
Jennifer Kamid, manager of Sarangani’s Sulong Kapayapaan-Kalinaw program, said Thursday they decided to hold the event virtually or via online platforms due to the restrictions on mass gathering.
She said the virtual plays, which will be performed by students of MSU General Santos, and other activities will run until Dec. 3 via dedicated Facebook and Youtube pages or accounts (Kilos Kalinaw at 33rd SFDA or Season and Festival of Dramatic Arts).
“The plays underscore the lessons and the continuing challenges of the peace efforts, not only in Mindanao but in the global scene,” Kamid said in a statement.
She said these will specifically tackle topics on interfaith dialogue, peace and conflict, healing and reconciliation, and violent extremism.
The first play, John Jay Morido’s “Ang Bigkas ng Pagkakabigkis,” will open the event at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and will be followed by Norman Ralp Isla’s “PanDasal.”
On Dec. 1, Karen Umadhay’s “May Tala sa Lupa” will be featured at 1:30 p.m., followed by Jaydee Paid’s “Tunglo.”
Kamid said each presentation will be followed by an interactive discussion dubbed “Talkback” that will be joined by professors of MSU General Santos and several peace advocates.
Aside from the virtual plays, she said there will be video presentations showcasing success stories of the peace initiatives in Sarangani communities, among them journey of Moro women weavers of Barangay Pinol, Maitum town and Barangay Tuyan, Malapatan.
Engr. Gerald Faciol, assistant provincial administrator of Sarangani, said they decided to push through with the event despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 to help sustain the peace efforts in Mindanao.
He cited the need to counter propaganda advocating violent extremism and efforts supporting terrorism.
“We can address that by recognizing and putting forward our common aspirations as Mindanaoans to live in peace, unity and harmony with each other, regardless of faith or religion and ethnicity,” he said in a radio interview.
The Mindanao Week of Peace celebration was based on Presidential Proclamation No. 127 that was issued in 2001 by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
This year’s event is supported by the Basic Institute for Dramatic Arts-GenSan, MSU General Santos Institute of Peace and Development in Mindanao, international non-government group Equal Access International and the SOX or Soccsksargen Messaging Hub. (MindaNews)