The Philippines is a nation of 7,107 individual islands, but geography is not the only thing separating the citizens of this beautiful country. On the island of Mindanao, religious, tribal and political conflict is widespread. It is here on Mandanoa that Primitivo III Ragandang has boldly chosen to initiate the first MasterPeace Club in the Philippines.
We asked Primitivo what led him to dedicate himself to peace-building. He answered, “Growing up, working and studying on the most war-ridden island in the Philippines might explain my desire to get involved in peace building. For some time, I have longed for an organization that would advocate peace through youth mobilization. MasterPeace is the actualization of that longing.” The first MasterPeace Club in the Philippines is hosted at the Tagoloan Community College where Primitivo is an instructor in political science.
The members of MasterPeace in the Philippines have wasted no time coming up with innovative and exciting ways to promote the International Day of Peace on September 21. There were three main pillars of their celebration. The first is called “ReciPeace” – a competition in which students prepared creative international recipes to promote the dual concept of peace and nutrition. Another activity was “RocKalinaw” – a concert of progressive music that will capture the attention of the youth and promote the idea of peace. And finally, the “Peaceturesque” competition showcased some of the community’s finest photographers as they try to capture local photos that encapsulate the message of peace.
In the picture above, you can see Primitivo holding a sign that reads “Peace is not just the absence of war, but it is the presence of intercultural understanding towards a united and international cooperation and a sustainable development.” The Peace Day Celebration at Tagoloan Community College was a tremendous effort to create those elements of a true peace. Primitivo sums it up nicely when he says, “I am a Filipino. I will do this for my beloved country. But I am also a citizen on Earth. I will do this for the entire community.”