Looking at language as a vital ingredient in peacebuilding and dialogue, Pakigdait CC has partnered and signed on February 7, 2008 a Memorandum of Understanding with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 103rd and 104th Brigades for the Maranao Language Program. This undertaking is an effort to teach the Government soldiers to learn the Maranao language for them to communicate more effectively with the Muslims in Lanao and to instill cultural sensitivity and understanding among the men in uniform as they will be immersed in the values and traditions of the Maranaos.
Pakigdait CC has been at the forefront in the declaration of March as the Lanao Month of Peace. This year’s celebration saw a series of activities spread throughout the whole month. Among these was the Panagtagbo sa Kalinaw (“Gathering for Peace”), a traditional convergence of religious, traditional leaders, women, youth and local government unit (LGU) officials through a colorful traditional parade at the Provincial capitol on March 17, 2008.
On March 26, 2008 over 60 cyclists travelled a distance of about 80 kilometers from Iligan City to the Provincial Capitol of Lanao del Norte—as they symbolized the movement of civil society organizations (CSO) in partnership with LGUs in their athletic rush towards attaining goals of peacebuilding in the province. This activity was the Bike for Peace program, the first of its kind in Lanao!
Seeing the religious personalities and leaders as the appropriate “disseminators” of peace using the pulpits in churches and mosques, Pakigdait CC conducted on March 24, 2008 the Pastors, Priests, Imams and Nuns (PPIN) conference where participants were trained to facilitate interfaith dialogues at the grassroots level.
After a series of consultation and planning sessions, the successful conference bore fruit with the creation of an Interfaith Council which comprised of 13 faith leaders from Iligan City and all over the province of Lanao del Norte. An Interfaith Covenant for Peace and Unity was composed and signed by the council members to seal their solidarity and commitment to work together in proactive cooperation and harmony.