SYMPOSIUM ON DIALOGUE WITH CREATION
With the spirit of the World Interfaith Harmony Week Celebration, Silsilah held a symposium focusing on Dialogue with Creation. Silsilah has been giving special attention to creation as a part of its mission.
With this symposium, a documentary about creation entitled the “11th hour” featuring Leonardo Dicaprio was presented to the participants. At least four hundred participants attended this special event with the hope to understand more the concerns of our environment. This is also an occasion to re-launch and present the Dialogue with Creation Partners Movement and to recognize some of the partners.
Participants from different organizations, institutions and students from different schools registered for the event. People’s Organization from Baluno brgy. also attended the activity. The number of students from different schools was large and they were full of enthusiasm during the event.
The program started with the Welcome address of the President of Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Ms. Aminda E. Saño, EDC. She recognized the different organizations, institutions and schools who are present at the special event. She also shared the significance of celebrating the World Interfaith Harmony Week and the one of the Pillars of Silsilah which is the Dialogue with Creation. The first guest speaker was Dr. Reynaldo C. Navacilla, OCENR. Sir Navacilla emphasized the issues of environment especially global warming. The initiative of the Silsilah in Dialogue with Creation is what the society needs the most. He mentioned the different Zamboanga Watersheds and what OCENR - Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources is doing to protect our environment in the city of Zamboanga.
The presentation of the documentary 11th hour followed after the first speaker which focused on mankind’s stewardship of the planet. The objective of this documentary was to present the different works of people which really affects the nature. On this documentary, it clearly emphasized how exploitation, industrialization, globalization and population extremely damaged our environment to the extent of ravaging our forests for money and infrastructures. The documentary stated that 11th hour is a sign of the last moment when change is possible and the last chance for mankind to start repairing the damage. Students who attended this special event viewed a very educational documentary where we hope, that the students and even other groups and institutions will reflect and redirect our doings for the upkeep of our environment and our common home.
The 2nd speaker, Prof. Noel Salatan discussed about the “Ridge to Reef”. Ridge to Reef is a program which aims to protect, demonstrate sustainable approaches, and provide better economic understanding of the links between salt and freshwater ecosystems. In relation with the documentary, he explained that the Ridge to Reef program can help in protecting the environment especially the wetland and marine environments. This presentation is also a was to conserve and to solve water pollution. OPEN FORUM The participants were encouraged to raise their questions and clarification for the different presentations and the documentary.
The speakers answered the questions like “What is actually acid rain?”. Some students shared what their schools are doing to help protect the environment like proper waste disposal. Hja. Sarah L. Handang gave the inspirational message for the special celebration.
World Interfaith Harmony Week was really a significant week for all. Many activities were celebrated during the week. The symposium on Dialogue with Creation was one of the good initiatives where the event focused not only on the youth and community but also on the need of our environment. Hja. Sarah Handang appreciated this kind of initiative of Silsilah and also recognized the effort of the participants for attending the activity.
Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME giving the Closing remarks. Fr. Sebastiano, the founder of Silsilah Dialogue Movement is motivated by many initiatives. Silsilah is the Convener of WIHW and gave full attention and effort in gathering partners for this celebration. The symposium on Dialogue with Creation was one of the initiatives of Silsilah, with the hope that people can learn to take care of our environment as part of our daily mission.
The event will help us realize more that our environment needs to be healed. Our environment is one of the greatest examples we have of God’s power. This special event made a great impact to the participants. We should also make initiatives for our environment and remind people that the growing concern of the environment must be resolved. Our environment has always been a part of our survival. We are called as stewards of creation but we utmost failed to face this challenge. The state of our environment today is challenging us to do more.
Silsilah, as the frontline of this mission held a successful event and will continue to do more events in line with this initiative.