September 21, Before and Beyond
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - September 19, 2019 - 12:00am

In the Philippines, this day is remembered as the anniversary of Martial Law proclaimed in 1972, some 47 years ago by the dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Last year, on September 21, Supreme Court Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno publicly asked: “We suffered during martial law. That's why we're fighting for and upholding justice and righteousness to avoid a repeat of that. My fellow citizens, especially children, will we permit Martial Law to happen again?”

In a 2018 joint statement for the 46th anniversary of Martial Law, Ateneo de Manila University president Father Jose Ramon Villarin and De La Salle University president Brother Raymundo Suplido warned about the “evil tentacles of Martial Law: "Let us not allow those who seek to suppress our rights and freedom to hold sway over our future as a nation. In these present times, when our hard-fought freedom, love for democracy, and inalienable human rights are again being challenged – even by those mandated to protect them – we must bear in mind and take to heart the devastating events of that dark period in our history."

Globally, September 21 is observed as Peace Day-  the International Day of Peace established, since 1981, by a unanimous United Nations resolution. Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Everyone is enjoined to create Peace Day every day!

Here in Cebu, coordinators Sr. Sandra G. Clemente, RSCJ together with Henry Tumalabcad and Richard Alfajora are inviting everyone to “come and join the momentous events scheduled from September 21-29, 2019 and be one with the world in celebrating the International Day of Peace and our Cebu City Interfaith Movement.”

For September 21, PART 1 will start with a Walk for Peace with assembly from 6:00 a,m at Fuente Osmena. The group will proceed to Plaza Independencia at 7 a.m. Ribbon cutting will follow at the entrance of the plaza, then all are invited to proceed to the left side of the plaza where the PEACE POLE of the INTERFAITH is located.

PART 2, the Opening Program will start at 8:30 am where the interfaith leaders will begin sharing prayers individually on the theme: PEACE- PRAYERS FOR HEALING THE LAND/HUMANITY. Then, everyone will be invited to pray together the HARMONY PRAYER to be distributed that morning.

PART 3 is scheduled as the FESTIVAL OF RELIGIONS where different booths for food, music, dance, info sharing and more will be prepared for the public. This festival also wants to involve the children, through activities like Palarong Pinoy Para sa Kapayapaan and others.

From 4-6 p.m., PART 4, the INTERFAITH FELLOWSHIP NIGHT will have songs, dances, spiritual talks or “ just BE” moments where all are invited to interact or engage as good citizens in harmony and unity towards promoting peace through the interfaith movement.

Part 5 will take place from 6-8pm and will have different bands performing for a PEACE CONCERT.

From September 22-29, more activities have been lined up. Please contact the three coordinators of the Cebu City Interfaith Movement for details.

At the Apostleship of the Sea-Stella Maris Seafarers’ Center-Cebu, before and beyond September 21( the Martial Law Anniversary in the Philippines and International Day of Peace globally), various activities have been lined up to celebrate the 12th year of the Feast Day of Our Lady Star of the Sea and the 24th National Seafarers’ Day on September 29.

Novena Masses have started and will end by September 28. For more details, please contact AOS-Cebu front desk at 0928-841-9631.

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