The Ninoy and Cory Aquino Leadership Journey (NCALJ) community welcomed its 14th batch of Journey Companions in Davao City last February 27 to March 1, 2015. The Batch consisted of thirty-three Indigenous Peoples (IP) young leaders from different tribes all over the country, all of whom are graduating college seniors from the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education. This was NCAF’s first Journey run together with the Filipino IP community.
The IP student-leaders spent three days in prayer and reflection, guided by the core values of spiritual-leadership, founded on Ninoy and Cory’s legacy of faith-inspired servanthood.
The speakers who graced the three-day Leadership Journey were Ms. Queeny Velasco, the wife of renowned painter Joey Velasco, best known for his Hapag Ng Pag-Asa masterpiece; Miguel Ramirez and Niko Capucion, coming from Bo Sanchez’s Light of Jesus Family, a charismatic community dedicated in spreading God’s word; Ateneo de Manila Theology Professor, Bobby Guevara, and Teacher Sabrina Ongkiko from Culiat Elementary School. The Leadership Journey program closed with the talk of Pamulaan’s own founder, Ramon Magsaysay Awardee, Benjamin Abadiano.
In his concluding talk, Mr. Abadiano imparted to the Pamulaan graduating students: “When we experience the grace of being served and cared for, we are pulled to embrace this as a way of life, to share this same love and service to others.”
NCAF executive director, Rapa Lopa, expressed his deep gratitude to the participants for their openness and generosity, saying: “Usually, when we conduct seminars, we think we’re the ones who come to give something to the community, impart wisdom; but this Pamulaan batch, truly has been unforgettable. You have all inspired us to continue sharing God’s love to more people and more communities.”
The thirty-four IP young leaders were not without words of thanks for the entire Journey experience. Philip Ocquiola said, “I’d like to thank the NCAF Family. I really felt you were as if my own family. [Through the Journey] I realized that being a leader means not being demanding or being feared by others. What matters is your passion to serve.” Another participant, Mike Licyayo, shared: “I want to say thank you for these past few days. What I learned from this activity is that I must share the love I have received, to the people who are part of my life.” Mark Molero, likewise, echoed the thoughts of his fellow-participants, saying: “I was able to rediscover my faith in God, and now I want to pass my knowledge to my community. God has become clear to me. I now know where I want to go and what my direction is.” For more testimonials from the participants, click here.
The Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) traces its roots to the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation (BSAF), established by the late Senator’s widow in November 1983 to perpetuate his legacy. It seeks to build on the legacy of Ninoy and Cory Aquino by supporting activities that embody the spirit of People Power as a strong and positive force for social change in a robust democracy. Since 2008, the Foundation has made a deliberate effort to strengthen this advocacy through leadership formation development.
Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Education is an educational institution dedicated to the indigenous peoples in the Philippines. The first of its kind in the country, its main thrust is to create a culturally appropriate and relevant pathways of training and Formation for the indigenous children, youth, community leaders, and development workers. The Center hopes to produce graduates equipped with knowledge and abilities to initiate collaborative actions towards sustainable development of IP communities.