Becoming an agent of change


“The Philippines and the world are undergoing profound change and challenges. Extreme weather events, earthquakes, tidal waves and other human-made and natural disasters continue to batter the country and many parts of the planet. The Philippine economy continues to underperform while debt-ridden European economies threaten to unleash worldwide economic depression. Climate and economic upheavals threaten the food security of poverty-challenged countries like the Philippines. Wars and domestic violence continue to shatter peace. Despite well-intentioned efforts, corruption remains pervasive, wrecking the moral fiber and retarding the progress of nations,” according to Nicanor Perlas, founder of MISSION (Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Through Initiatives, Organizing and Networking) in his concept paper about the Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability that will be held on Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, 2013 in Davao City.
“Resistance against faulty, oppressive, and manipulative institutions and development models, are important. They slow down the tide of destruction. But these are not enough. We need a creative vision of another world and make it happen,” he added.
Thus, MISSION has initiated the Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability that will showcase successful initiatives in government, business and society, and inspire participants to start one and sustain it.
MISSION is a global, independent, non-partisan, cultural, scientific and spiritual movement that advances sustainable societies on the basis of profound spiritual and personal mastery. "Imaginals" refer to creative human beings who walk their talk and establish initiatives in pursuit of sustainable societies.

BE THE LIGHT
Liwanag World Festival was launched nationwide last Aug. 18, 2012 during Davao’s Kadayawan Festival. MISSION nodes around the country held a simultaneous launching. The Iloilo launch was held at the Zarraga gym and was attended by Vice Mayor John Tarroza, village officials of Libongcogon, MISSION members and their family and friends.
“Filipino hero Emilio Jacinto once asked the Filipinos, ‘are you liwanag or are you ningning?’ I believe that this question resonates today. There are groups who create a better Philippines worthy of ‘liwanag’. It’s an old theory that we wait for the government to create change. Change is coming from enlightened people, new kind of politicians and a visionary government. It takes all three working together for a sustainable society,” Jim Sharman, founder of Gamot Cogon Institute in Zarraga, said during the launching.
Sheila Castillo, MISSION member and environmentalist, encouraged those present to use their talents to create a difference.
Tarroza said that in order for real change to take place, each one of us should perform our duties and responsibilities in order to be that “light”. “Many things happen in this world and we wonder how we can solve them. Through the bayanihan spirit which is basic of our Filipino culture,” he said.
He cited the efforts made by GCI in making the town of Zarraga famous because of its Steiner-inspired education. “Many parents remove their children from Iloilo City’s exclusive schools in order to transfer them to Cogon, because kanami sang development sang kabataan,” he added. He also recognized the Zarraga Multi-Purpose Cooperative for its help to the community.
“This is why we are developing our children. Let’s expose them to proper values. Then, they will also develop their children. Let’s be responsible to ourselves, our family and our community,” he ended.
This was seconded by Punong Barangay Villanueva by saying “Indi na kita magtudlanay” in taking action.
Francis Lacuesta, social entrepreneur and distributor of Human Nature in Iloilo, said that old practices no longer work today. “Sang una, ang punto sang negosyo, ang tag-iya ang ma-manggaranon. Subong, social enterprises na tungod nagapanaug sa grassroots level kag nagabulig sa mga farmers. Gakita man ang mga utod naton sa nubu,” she said.
Nick Solana, a resident of Davao, left his hometown in order to teach in GCI. “I took the road less travelled. I am here to effect changes because I believe that the light within us should not die. To educate a child is not filling a bucket but to light a fire. It’s the future that we are trying to give birth right now,” he said.
After the inspiring words, the participants lighted several candles and ended with this battle cry: “Seek the light. Be the light. Share the light.”
* * *
For more information about the festival, contact: secretariat@liwanagworldfest.net, Shiela R. Castillo through +63 932.854.1204 or Tina Suelto through +63 917.705.4599. Visit: http://www.liwanagworldfest.net. (The News Today)

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