Welcome Remarks: 2nd Conversations on Mindanao Histories and Culture

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With the Al Qalam Institute on Muslim Identities and Dialogue in SE Asia and the Forum Ziviler Friedensdient (of Civil Service for Peace – ZFD), it is my privilege as President of the Ateneo de Davao University to welcome you to this Pakighinabi Room for the Second Conversation on Mindanao Histories and Studies.

We welcome His Excellency Hon. Mohaguer Iqbal, Minister of Basic, Higher and Technical Education of the BTA [or his representative], the representatives from the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, from HEIs or Associations of HEIs, from NGOs, and esp. the experts here gathered on Mindanao history and studies, many able to share material from their own experience.

We gather again in response to the “call for an equal and inclusive representation of the histories, cultures, and identities of Mindanao Indigenous Peoples, Filipino Muslims, as well as Filipino Christian Migrants by promoting intercultural exchange and cultural diversity” and today specifically to consider a proposed Roadmap intended to guide the process of “righting” Philippine history.  This would articulate concrete steps to “integrate Mindanao Histories and Studies in the Philippine Educational System.”  It would include the histories of the Bangsamoro, of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao, and corresponding studies in Mindanao art, literature and language originally recommended by the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission and now mandated by RA 10908.  It would promote values of openness, inclusivity, participation, cultural awareness and peace-promotion.  Its approach would adopt transdisciplinarity, countering biases and stereotypes, interfacing, and conflict sensitivity.

In coming together anew in pursuit of our goal, may we be blessed in each other’s wisdom and insight into Mindanao and may our conversations lead us to the output we envisage to improve the Philippine Educational System:  output that would help all Filipinos overcome their deficit in knowledge and appreciation of Mindanao.

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About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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