Table of Contents

2017 March • Friends Peace Team to the Philippines

Friends Peace Teams to Manila Luzon 4, 5, 6 March 2017

Nadine Hoover gathers participants for a three-hour lecture on Foundations of Peace and Resiliency (De La Salle University, March 5, 2017)

4 March Lecture  by Nadine Hoover at De La Salle University for students of psychology, counselling, theology and formators “Foundations of Peace and Resiliency”. The team for the weekend, our main host Cyril Lituañas, Nadine Hoover plus Kins Aparece, Frence Boiser, Jonel Reyes and Valerie Joy were in attendance. Introductions, opening prayers and Silence set the tone for this event which was well received by the 24 attendees. De La Salle University was the major sponsor, with strong support from SCAP (Student Catholic Action Philippines).

Caring Cyril does the agenda review. (Rediscovering Faith Through Inner Healing, De La Salle University, March 6, 2017)

 

Sunday 5 March- Refresher for all former AVP participants. The numbers were 12 plus we had 3 friends of the participants, who took part enthusiastically. Comments were how refreshing it was to have this deep sharing after a gap of 2-3 years. “We can build peace through fun”.

A participant shares her core self to the group. (Rediscovering Faith Through Inner Healing, De La Salle University, March 6, 2017)

The L&L’s were greatly enjoyed. In the future planning session, it was agreed that a workshop would be held on 27-28 May for Luzon participants. Nadine has introduced a new perspective on facilitation. It is the intensive training before workshops of people who have shown commitment to AVP that is more important than having done a T4F. This will open many more opportunities by inviting apprentice facilitators to join teams.

Mon 6 March “Recovering Faith Through Inner Healing” 3 Facilitators, 3 Apprentice Facilitators, and 30 Participants. Cyril’s boss who agreed on the whole program, joined us until morning tea and has since said she wants the program to continue at DLSU.

A mixture of students, administrators, counsellors and teachers took part. There was a good gender and age mix. Timing was 9-4pm with a 1 hour lunch break.

 

Participants experience affirmation in pairs (Rediscovering Faith Through Inner Healing, De La Salle University, March 6, 2017)

Evaluations:

Even though the group was large, by skilful actions, we got through much of the content of an AVP Basic. The spiritual aspects were always present and the depth of the sharing I found remarkable. The agenda included “Approach and Road Map”, “Affirmation in Pairs”, “Cooperative Agreements”, “Core self”, “Good companions”, “Stories of Violence”, “Stories of non-violence”, Transforming Power, Personal Commitment, Concentric Circles, Reflection, Evaluation and Closing. Many L&Ls were included and we commenced with Silence.

Conclusion: The achievements of the past 3 days have been that AVP in Luzon has had a kick start and an enthusiasm to continue. The directions need to be carefully discerned. I hope it can include some work with schools. Some people expressed interest in prisons. One participant came with an expectation this training could be useful In her work with the Military. There are some very able and committed people involved and with this new approach to involving plenty of apprentice facilitators, more people can become involved. Quarterly refresher training will assist here. Collecting stories of non violence is another target.

Participant responses:

How did you find the program?

Replies: Very interesting, enjoyable and enlightening + 4 similar; Fantastic, very enriching, self-realization of personal values; Fun, relaxing and stress-relieving +3; made me secure in this violent world; excellent for de-stressing, great help for self-discovery; Simple yet substantial and very fitting and appropriate to the needs of our times; helpful for personal self-discovery, well organised +4;  exciting and full of joy +3.

Workshop participants conclude the day looking up for a group photo. (Rediscovering Faith Through Inner Healing, De La Salle University, March 6, 2017)

What was your most significant learning experience?

Replies: That I can “exercise” so I can unload (forgive) be patient once again, i.e. return to my “core”; Affirmation. Interaction w/ others and openness to others; Affirmation, Concentric Circle, Power of Non-violence; Appreciation of the self and others are two most basic things to transform life and live in peace; The whole program was great but what I enjoyed the most is talking to each other and sharing your experiences; It was that I discover different stories and different ways to have a non-violent interaction; I think it’s about being observant and cooperative. It helps us to improve our inner self; I learned that expressing oneself is fine and nothing is wrong with it as long as it does not affect others in a violent way; The physical movements of releasing the core self is where strength comes from. I like the story sharing of people; To humble myself that I need to be listened to;  The most significant learning/experience this day is when I learned different stories and experiences from different people; The program introduced me to a different approach of formation; The most significant was learning to appreciate life. This was the most incredible experience; My most significant learning/experience was I met new friends and it will be more helpful for me to be a better person; I learned the spirit of groups and building a safer community for all; The beauty of speaking and listening. Even though there are different experiences we managed to share The most significant learning for me would be the transforming power because it gave me direction; About opening our life to other people without knowing them; The story of non-violence; That everyone is not thinking about stress but is happy with everything.

What would you suggest to improve the program?

Replies: Have it over a longer period- nice if it could be done live-in for more intensive groupings and sharing +5; More games +2; Better in a smaller space; a larger group of people; I need not mention more- keep up the good work, keep spreading peace +3; Nothing- it’s almost perfect +3.

 

 

Friends Peace Teams visit to Bohol on 7-18 March 2017

An aspiring program was conducted at the University of Bohol, which has been the home of AVP in the Philippines since 2013. Nadine Hoover led the facilitating team with Kins Aparece, Siarol Divino, Ludwig Bon Quirog and Valerie Joy. Apprentice facilitators were involved – Angelita S. Borja, Teresa C. Garcia and Merry Grace P. Cepe.

 

Senior High students draw their “Core Selves”

March 8: “Making the Choice to Create a Culture of Peace Approximately 500 students in the University of Bohol – Senior High School participated in the 1-day AVP Workshop held at the UB-Nursing Skills Laboratory. Nadine facilitated the workshop through a power point presentation thus, inviting the students to draw their core self. Students formed into three (3) groups and shared about the AVP Approach – see Appendix for Approach (at the end of the report).

The workshop also emphasizes the definition of conscience which is the “inward knowledge of right and wrong- a desire to do right grows as we pay attention to it”. Hence, the care extends to the land where choices in shopping should be influenced by whether production workers were treated badly or well. Slavery on the other side is wrong and is now illegal, and in the same way war is wrong and needs to be outlawed. Military generals in the U.S. are now calling for an end to war after witnessing the effect on civilian populations and on soldiers themselves. We have tools for peace work- STOP! Calm Down!

 

The Diamond group on their Concentric Circle activity.

March 9: “The Power of Resilience” Attended by almost 100 participants, mostly teachers and staff of University of Bohol, a productive 1-full day workshop was held at the UB-IRC.

The Agenda included: Gathering “Name and a Power for Good I Have is…”; Affirmation Name; AVP Approach; Roadmap; Cooperative Agreement; Big Wind Blows; Affirmation in Pairs; Core Self; Good Companions: Animal Parade; Concentric Circles; Stories of Violence; Sun and Umbrella; Stories of Non-Violence; Transforming Power; Personal Commitment; Companion Groups; Reflection and Closing.

The participants were divided into a smaller groups; the group of Stars, Heart, Circle and Diamond for them to easily identify their respected groups during the workshop. The theme “The Power of Resilience” suits the participants’ atmosphere since they were all flexible and participated in every activity and each group sharing. The activities contained a great deal of content from a Normal Basic AVP Workshop.

The day was worthwhile and means that a high percentage of UB staff have now had an involvement with AVP-workshops commenced there in 2014. The University President, Atty. Nuevas T. Montes, also participated in the workshop.

 

 

The group at Loon in Rural Bohol on March 11, 2017

The group at Loon in Rural Bohol on March 11, 2017. Trauma roused in the province of Bohol especially in the town of Loon after the massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake on October 15, 2013. In 2015, a full AVP Basic was run with Sally Herzfeld, Kins Aparece, Ludwig Bon Quirog and Valerie Joy. The program was fully supported by the Barangay Official, Jeanette, and printed materials were translated into Visayan (local language) to be understood by the people easily. The facilitators were Marge Angalot, Siarol, Nadine, Valerie and Ludwig and a productive discussion took place on what changes have taken place since 2015. The sharing ran efficiently and most of the participants’ responses on the changes since 2015 were that they have more skills; they are able to care better; they are able to listen better- they have learned to stop and look at someone in a conversation; they have the courage to do the right thing; are more self-confident; and they don’t use “put downs”.

The importance of using positive words were emphasized during their “Next Steps” and resolved to get together regularly to practice the activities. Like for instance, when we are stressed or angry we lose words, it was suggested to put positive words around their bedrooms.

They will meet every second Saturday of the month at 3:00 in the afternoon and try to go to Tagbilaran to do advanced AVP training.

 

Empowerment, Resiliency and Discernment Workshop on March 13-17, 8:30-5:00pm Facilitators were Nadine, Kins, Siarol, Ludwig and Valerie- they were named as “The Peace Practitioners”. The facilitators took turns in taking the lead for one day. There were approximately 16 participants who joined the one week AVP workshop. The first two days covered the AVP Basic Workshop. Day three began with “Stand on a Line” activity where we looked at our responses to self-care. On the same day, topics for Stress, Distress, Stories of Trauma, Stories of Violence and Nonviolence were also practiced and so with the Transforming Power. Nadine shared a Zone of Adaptation where we can see if we are over stretched or in the manic zone or down below in the depths of depression.

 

From Thursday afternoon through Friday, we used exercises in Discernment, the major ones being River of Life, Speak up, Picture Sharing, Breakthrough, Journaling Commitment to Self and Community; Whisper Circle, Personal Reflection and our Closing was the song “Let it go” by Leunig, followed by the Weaving Song.

Novel Nadine and Resplendent Rose reflect on the Power to transform a conflict.

 

Nice Nenette and Valuable Valerie share insights on their Core Selves, before embarking on an exercise in Trauma Healing.

Feedback on Workshop:

It is a very liberating process of experiencing community life in a nonjudgemental way. Tools are practiced and memories reprocessed. I am very thankful for having found this program in my lifetime.  - Calm Kins

POWERFUL! I had been searching for a while for a program that liberates and brings people together at the same time- and this is it!  - Resplendent Rose

AVP is amazing- this made me a better person. - Special Siarol

AVP is a wonderful program-Awesomely Very Powerful. AVP is a wonderful program, also liberating me. I think this program is important for many people, and I’m so thankful for the chance to be a part of it. – Fruitful Felecia.

AVP is the best program to spread the good things to other people who went through a lot of Distress in life. As far as I know, this program provided the tools for me to be able to use it and continue it with other groups of women in Florida and fulfil its purpose and goodness! Thank You AVP. I learned and loved it a lot! – Inspiring Imelda

AVP is contagious; it needs to be spread out over the earth, so people will experience long lasting PEACE & LOVE. – God’s Gift Gie-Gi

It was a wonderful and useful seminar. This is another approach and tool that I can use for helping others. Continue to share to others. God Bless! – Truthful Tess

AVP is truly awesome! It is an eye opener and a truly enriching experience. May many people not only those who experience violence, but also those who want to promote peace and goodness in life- do AVP. Thank you for sharing this with me. God Bless you all. – Radiant Randy.

We had time to travel to the Chocolate Hills, which was a lovely break from our work. The rain was warm.

 

The Next Steps:

• People met in five separate groups to plan how they can continue practicing AVP. This will mainly involve Good Listening, Good Companions, and I Messages.

• A Student Catholic Action group with Melvin, Felecia, Jonel and Randy will link up with the Manila group, convened by Cyril Lituanas at De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.

• Four Guidance Counsellors from UB, Siarol, Tess, Gie-Gi and Meg, will meet to practice on first Fridays at 9.30-11.30 am

• Teachers Rona, Joy and Nenette will meet at 6:00 in the evening, every first friday of the month.

The Light and Lively Limbo Sticks is fun but frustrating. Try as we will, the sticks keep going up, when our intention is to lower them to the floor. Query: Is our intention to make peace sufficient?”

Planning Staff: Kins, Yscel, Mesh and Imelda will meet every Tuesday at 8:30 – 10:00 in the morning

Others: Rose, Ludwig and Valerie will meet by email. Rose, Meg, Siarol, Mesh and Yscel will look after materials and certificates; keep lists of apprentices, participants and enquirers.

Archivist: Kins (Valerie to provide early history of AVP in the Philippines)

Guide: Ludwig

Social Media: Ludwig, Randy, Kins

Join the Facebook Group: AVP Philippines

Sign up to volunteer to be an: Apprentice Facilitator, Support Team; to Organise Workshops.

Other resources: avp.international; fpt-awp.org; rc.org; consciencestudio.com; power-of-goodness.info

 

Speak Out is a very strong exercise in speaking up against injustice, oppression and cruelty. Below are Fruitful Felicia, Merry Mesh and God’s Gift Gie-Gi speaks out against incredible cruelty parents dealt to their two year old baby.

Conclusion:

In 2013, Valerie Joy of AVP Queensland, Australia brought AVP to Bohol with 13 people completing the full training. Since 2014, AVP has expanded primarily through the University of Bohol (UB), a private university in Tagbilaran, the capital city of Bohol. Due to the generosity of University President Atty. Nuevas T. Montes, and the incredibly work of Dean of Planning and Development Office Atty. Kins E. Aparece, and Guidance Counselor Ms. Siarol Divino as well as Quaker Meeting member Ludwig Bon Quirog, AVP has prospered. In Manila, two strong bases support AVP, Student Catholic Action Philippines (SCAP) and De La Salle University, where AVP is progressing with great enthusiasm.

 

A National AVP Support Team was established in March 2017 to coordinate communication, directories, materials, outreach and archives, comprised of members from Davao, Tagbilaran and Manila. Regular, monthly AVP refreshers have been scheduled: two in Bohol and one in Manila. Annual schedules organized with consideration for team building and apprenticeship opportunities will be critical for ongoing development. As this occurs, procedures for developing and recognizing facilitators over time will need to be clarified. Four Filipinos, who remain instrumental in the strength of AVP Philippines today, attended training in Peace Place in Pati, Central Java, Indonesia. We highly recommend assistance be provided to send AVP Filipino facilitators for training at Peace Place annually.

-Valerie Joy

 

 

Facilitators were thanked: From left: Kins, Valerie, Ludwig, Nadine, Siarol

Appendix:

Approach:

1.       There’s goodness and capabilities in everyone

2.          Everyone teaches, everyone learns

3.          We learn through experience and reflection

4.           Every person’s journey is different

5.           Focus on Learning and Personal change in private and public life, not religion or therapy.

6.           Attend voluntarily, not coerced or forced

7.           We discern directions based on everyone’s best sense of what rings true

8.           Practice! Be joyful. Playful, curious, awestruck, surprised, creative, hospitable and loving!

 

Other resource material is available on request to valuable1@optusnet.com.au