Celebrity football players of the Philippine Azkals and the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) extend their support to government’s efforts to promote the ongoing peace process, highlighting the observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month which started yesterday and will run throughout September, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos Deles said.
In a TV interview, Azkals Team Manager Dan Palami said that they will hold a football clinic at the Peace Month kickoff dubbed “1Goal for Peace” at the PhilSports Complex today, September 2. The Azkals will share their skills to some 100 less privileged children on the basics of the sport, as part of the peace month celebration. “We are actually dedicating all our games this September for peace,” Palami said.
For Palami, observing peace month is an avenue to “raise awareness of the situation of peace problem here in the Philippines.” He said the team “is happy to be a part of this celebration” and hopes that “we can finally see an end in the conflicts that we have in the Philippines.”
“1Goal for Peace is actually the kickoff ceremony for Peace Month. September has been declared as the Peace Consciousness Month since 2004, so now on its 9th year we have several activities that are lined up aimed “to mainstream the peace process and promote it to the general public,” said Polly Michelle Cunanan, Communications Unit Director and Spokesperson of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP).
Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo said that national football players, who are also in preparation for this year’s Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, will be taking part in the peace month, as new Ambassadors for Peace, through teaching football which he said is a “great avenue” to promote peace. “Just like (in playing football as a team), if you want to promote peace you need to work together, you put aside the differences.”
For her part, Deles said the government is glad in getting the support of the Azkals, who are much admired by Filipino youth, for the peace process. “I am, and I’m sure the country is thankful to the Azkals and the PFF for their support to achieve peace in the country.”
OPAPP leads the annual festivity of peace month with the theme “Ako. Ikaw. Tayo. Magkakaiba, Nagkakaisa sa Kapayapaan” urging different sectors, including government agencies, private and civil society organizations, to contribute in achieving a just and lasting peace for the country.
Azkals team player Jason Sabio said that the team relates to this theme. “We are mixed of different cultures and from different social classes. But we have shown that if we work together, we can achieve something and this is what we want to promote.”
Sabio also related the theme of unity and teamwork on the peace process. “In the peace process no one’s the same. (But) it’s really about finding a way to explore everyone’s uniqueness to increase the welfare of everybody. With football, being part of the team…we need to add on the strengths of each other to maximize the welfare. Just like when we are trying to promote peace or resolve conflict, we have to do the same.”
“1Goal for Peace,” the first event in the month-long celebration of peace to be spearheaded by OPAPP in partnership with the PFF, will be participated by various stakeholders of the peace process in hopes of rallying the message that peace building requires hardwork, collective efforts, and support of all members of the Philippine society.
Deles emphasized that “peace building is the job and concern of everyone in the country and anyone can show their support through their own means.” She called on all Filipinos “to be united in the shared goal of peace, where everyone can be victorious and benefit from peace and development.”
Aside from the football clinic, a peace fair will be held in partnership with the People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR), together with non-governmental organizations namely the Asian American Initiative, Generation Peace, PNoyPinay, and Muslim Alliance for National Advancement. The peace fair will gather Muslim and Christian kids, to give them the opportunity to know each other and participate in fun activities.
This September, other activities in line for Peace Month are launching of a massive “I Am for Peace” campaign involving famous celebrities launch on September 14; KaPEACEtahan, the Peace Month’s main event on September 21 which is a cultural and gala program showcasing peace process milestones, on a day that also marks the International Day of Peace; simultaneous “I Want Peace” Concerts on September 28 in key cities in the country; “Peace Lens”, photo exhibits in various malls in Metro Manila throughout the month; and “Teem up for Peace”, a golf fundraising tournament on September 28.
Several online contests will also be held via http://opapp.gov.ph/peace-month-2012.
FOR INQUIRIES: Contact Rhea Catada 0917-8799485, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process