Neighbors in Harmony
World Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration was spread the message in Brgy.
Baluno, a barangay in Zamboanga City located in a mountainous part of Zamboanga
far away from the city proper. The Silsilah Dialogue Movement is known in this
barangay because of the Silsilah Harmony Zone and the Escuela de Siembradores
initiatives of Silsilah.
Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME decided to spread the message of World Interfaith Harmony Week in this area for them to be part of this long week event. Almost 40 people in the community attended the activity.
Cristina Santos, a silsilah staff who is also residing in this
barangay organized this activity with the help of the Brgy. Kagawad and a staff
assigned in Baluno farmers, Christopher Bagay. The event started with the
Harmony Prayer lead by Mrs. Cristina Santos.
Mrs. Santos first appreciated the effort of the participants for coming for the event. She shared the importance of the World Interfaith Harmony Week, discussing that this week was yearly celebrated by the Silsilah Dialogue Movement every first week of February.
She shared that she invited people in the community with the hope that they will participate with their own initiatives and activity on the next WIHW.
Mr. Ricardo S. Revilleza, the Punong Barangay of Baluno shared his experiences staying in the Barangay and how he started collaborating with Silsilah. He shared how other religions in their community are living in Harmony.
He appreciates Silsilah for remembering them during the WIHW Celebration and decided to have their very own activity on WIHW next year. He is the Barangay Kagawad of the barangay and he witnessed the development of the area even if it is located in rural part of the city.
Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME shared the history of the World Interfaith Harmony Week and how Silsilah became the Convener of this event. He shared the recent bombings and Mindanao and how it affected the people especially the Muslim-Christian relation. He shared the good message of the World Interfaith Harmony Week with the hope that the theme: “Celebrating Truth, Sincerity and Forgiveness” will be reminded to people who experience conflicts.
The people in the community shared their experiences on Muslim-Christian dialogue especially in their Barangay. Confidently, they said that the people in their community is living in respect and harmony with each other and continue to hope that this relationship will last forever.
Mr. Christopher Bagay, a Silsilah staff is in charge of the farmers in Baluno. He shared his experience with Silsilah and how the initiatives of the program help the farmers in Baluno.
In the spirit of the World
Interfaith Harmony Week, he shared that this activity is very meaningful to
them because they feel that they are part of the celebration. He is hoping for
more gatherings like this where they can reflect and share their good
relationship among the people in the community.
The activity was successful and the participants gathered together for a group picture. Indeed, World Interfaith Harmony Week is not only for government sectors, schools, youth and religious congregations, but small communities like Baluno can be a venue and be part of this celebration. The people in the community were very glad to have this kind of celebration in a special way. This activity might not be considered as a big event but this activity is a very meaningful activity, where we realize that celebrating an event in small communities will occupy a big space in their hearts.