By Karl Gaspar
the adage that Mindanao is truly a Land of Promise.
It is the land that has been gifted by the Almighty - Dios, Allah and Magbabaya - to all the peoples who considers Mindanao their home. It is the abode of all our ancestors from time immemorial until today and will be passed on from generation to generation. Its promise is still to be fulfilled by the Lumad, the Moro and the descendants of the migrants who found their way here attracted by the possibilities that came with such a promise.
that Mindanao is truly a Land of unsurpassed Possibilities.
Indeed, there are still tensions, divisions and conflicts that have made Mindanao a bleeding land. However, I have reasons to look forward to a future when the shadows will give way to the light, when tears will turn to laughter, when war will disappear and peace will reign. Its possibilities will be collectively explored by everyone - peasants, fisherfolk, agricultural workers, laborers, businessmen, government officials, the military and police, women and children, artists and artisans - who can already glimpse at the precious outcome of such possibilities.
I HOPE AND PRAY
that Mindanao and its people will journey together towards a Peace-filled Tomorrow.
When the fruits of the land will be justly distributed among all its peoples.
When peasants have land, workers have jobs and families's needs are well provided.
When the governance system will favor no one but will instead protect the rights of everyone.
When those who look after the people's security will truly respect their human rights.
When the Mindanawons can truly respect and value each other's ethnicities, cultural and faith traditions.
When we can safeguard nature and cultures as legacies for the coming generations.
When women find themselves reclaiming the roles of our foremothers and nurturing these even further.
When children can run free and frolic across its mountains, hills, plains, seas, lakes and rivers.
to do my best, within the capabilities that the Almighty has gifted me, to
Live up to the demands of this Promise
Contribute to the fulfillment of these Possibilities
and to be truly part of this hope-filled
Journey towards Peace, Harmony, Justice, Equality and Freedom.