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Faith-based groups to celebrate solidarity in Balangayan Conference

MANILA, Sept. 29 — Representatives from different faith-based groups will meet Saturday (October 1) at the University of Santo Tomas in response to President Benigno Aquino III’s call for change.

The Balangayan Conference, to be held Saturday morning at the Medicine Auditorium of the University of Santo Tomas, is part of a series of activities for Pilipinas Natin, a volunteer movement that the President launched in June intended for nation building through volunteerism.

The conference will become a venue for Filipinos of different faiths to unite in manifesting their common values and love for the nation.

It was also organized to debunk preconceived notions that diverse faith groups have a difficult time, finding common ground and working with each other. Eight hundred young Filipinos are expected to attend the event.

Participating groups include the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, the University of the Philippines Institute of Islamic Studies, Buddhist Light International Association, Tuklas Katutubo, The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, The Focolare Movement, representatives from Hindu community, The National Council of Churches in the Philippines, Theology professors, students from seminaries and Catholic universities, representatives from student councils and youth organizations, the National Youth Commission, and the Gawad Kalinga Community Development Foundation.

Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Sonny Coloma will open the conference with a talk on the diverse views and aspirations of Filipinos of different faiths from all over the country. Their estimations and hopes for the country will be delivered to the audience through a live presentation “Anong Pilipinas ang Gusto Mo?”

Representatives of the faith-based groups will then share the ways by which they manifest their love for the Philippines.

In the second section of the conference, PCOO Undersecretary for Special Concerns Jose Mari M. Oquiñena will encourage the participants to celebrate solidarity as Filipinos who care for others through his talk “My Brother’s Keeper.”

A question and answer portion as well as reactions from leaders of the different communities will bring to light the possibility of harmonious co-existence. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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