Sunday, February 19, 2012

High Energy Workshop Courage in Davao City

A total of 46 individuals finished the workshop including about 6 or 7 MISSION members. The energy level was quite high from Day 1 and maintained itself to the end. This afternoon, after the conclusion of the event, a significant number of participants were in tears and many more spontaneously danced when a MISSION-related music was played. The participants had an unusual capacity to stay focused and concentrated. Thus we often reached collective creativity at many points in the workshop.

An unusual number of civil society, government and business leaders were part of the workshop. The leader of the anti-coal power plant movement in Davao City was there. And so was the Secretary General of a Mindanao-wide peace caucus and several of her key staff. A regional officer of the DENR was there. A prominent Muslim from Sulu was also there as well as large contingent (8-10) of women leaders (in their 40s or early 50s) - all of whom contributed significantly to the profound mood of the workshop. Etc.

The Imaginal Tissue exercise was a huge success. The three groups of around 15-16 people each ignored both the facilitator and their merienda!! They preferred to continue polishing their dramatic skits, singing, dancing, and drawings. The energy in the room was palpable as well as loud laughter and excitement.

There was also a lot of excitement regarding MISSION's LIWANAG WORLD FESTIVAL ON CREATIVITY AND SUSTAINABILITY to be held in Davao City from January 29 to February 2, 2013. You will be receiving a copy of the concept paper of LIWANAG in the near future. Together with members of MISSION Davao, we will be doing a detailed planning session the next two days.

And, YES, five interns from our MISSION Volunteer Program (MVP) were also there. These are Peter from Australia, Corinna from Switzerland, Louisa from Germany, Philip from the USA, and Christian from Germany. They blended beautifully with the participants. They only arrived yesterday via China. They will be in the Philippines for about a month. They are really excited about MISSION!

From Ayyi Gardiola's perspective reporting:

This is our fourth MISSION workshop, and personally, it is really significant for me because

1. From the first workshop having 12 people and starting with zero funds; we now had 46, and we're complete with all the visibility materials like the tarps etc which we had collected from past activities;

2. Based on my observation, we have an easier time now "enrolling" people to join the workshop since they have already seen changes in the MISSION members and have seen some concrete initiatives by MISSION members; and I think this is also in relation to 'harvesting' the seeds we planted... meaning, I've experienced how each MISSION member would excitedly speak about things that inspire them about MISSION initiatives and their journey while doing it to family and friends, that when the time came for us to invite them, they were already willing to say yes...

3. My boss, the Secretary General of Mindanao Peoples Caucus, who is a very influencial and brave woman deeply involved in the GPH-MILF peace process joined, together with three other colleagues and a prominent Tausug woman who is in an imaginal 'battle' now against a prominent political figure in Sulu; things will get all the more exciting in our organization (MPC) now ;p

4. We only had one drop out on the second day (today) and I was so proud of all my "enrollees" (10) because they all finished the workshop, and I can relate that with the fact that I have learned from past workshops the importance of gently letting them understand the value of their presence throughout the entire workshop, and I guess they've seen how highly I value commitment, and how I value their growth, so much so that they really even ask permission once they need to get out for a while to do something very urgent...

5. Even at times when some people had to go around to get water or coffee do other stuff, etc., the attention never wavered, and the energy was such that the group felt so cohesive and I can feel the "collective consciousness" working... there were a lot of AHA moments and the reflections were deeply spiritual and grounded in actual community organizing experiences... There was focus, but the energy of fun and excitement were still there; I felt both a deep wisdom but at the same time the child-like wonder and 'bubbly-ness' in that collective, which I can relate to highly aware imaginals just waiting to connect with others vibrating on the same wavelenght. One group mate even commented 'these are all what I've experienced and learnt before, we just use other terms to describe them'

6. Although we have some imaginals who didnt (yet?) choose to formally join MISSION, they are also working very closely with us and complementing our initiatives, e.g. Brahma Kumaris and Peacebuilders Community/Coffee for Peace. Brahma Kumaris treated us to a scrumptuous vegetarian dinner yesterday and in that center we did a bit of meditation and sharing too, and early this evening we were in the company of imaginals of Peacebuilders Community, talking about the significance of social entrepreneurship in peace work and the significance of the Talaandig community in peace work... By the way, tomorrow, Sir Nick will be speaking and doing the ribbon-cutting at the launch of Kublai's new set of coloring books (Kalipay-Joy), (Kalinaw-Peace) and (Gugma-Love), created in partnership with Peacebuilders Community, proceeds of which goes to Psychosocial Interventions for Sendong survivors. The partnership for the launch happened in real time, as the workshop was ongoing... Kublai (fresh from Ilo-ilo trip with kuya Philip) mentioned he considered himself an imaginal, and invited sir Nick to speak; and Bennette, the book launch organizer (and member of Peacebuilders) was one of the MWC participants, together with colleague Mei...

7. We always started on time. During the imaginal tissue activity, and the excercise on determining what to do when we get back to the programmed world--there, we really lost track of time...

What else? I think two came all the way from Manila to take the workshop... and yeah, I was amazed at how organized we all were, despite the fact that we didnt really have meetings in preparation for the workshop... everything was organized over the cellphone and internet... (I just came back from Iligan, so did kuya Arjun and Philip, coming back from CDO and Ilo-ilo) but while the MISSION members were there, we all worked as if we've rehearsed these things... Alertly responding to the needs of the participants, the five interns and sir Nick...