The 6th Peace Monument in the Philippines Built at a State University to Spread the Culture of Peace
This past 15 July, the unveiling ceremony of the HWPL peace monument was held at Central Luzon State University (CLSU), making it the first to host such a monument among higher education institutions in the Philippines. Intended to plant seeds of a culture of peace within the hearts of students, this is the second monument built on a school campus in the Philippines after the monument built at Siniloan National Integrated High School in February this year. This is also the sixth monument in the Philippines.
With the establishments of the peace monument in Buluan, Maguindanao in 2015 and the Declaration of World Peace monument in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat in 2016, the hope and culture of peace were spread amongst the hearts of many citizens. After experiencing this, they united together to build the third peace monument in the Philippines in Cotabato City last July and the fourth peace monument in Barangay Foz, Dingras, Ilocos Norte this past January.
Dr. Ronald L. Adamat, a Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), announced the plan to erect peace monuments in all regions of the Philippines during the unveiling ceremony of the peace monument held at Siniloan National Integrated High School this past February. He noted that he would persuade the 25 state universities under his oversight, as well as the 112 peace-seeking universities through the CHED, to do the same.
While in attendance for the unveiling ceremony of the peace monument at CLSU, he expressed joy regarding the building of the monument, stating, “This is history unfolding. I feel so happy that my commitment last time was now realized through the establishment of the first ever peace marker here in CLSU. The other state universities and colleges can benchmark here and emulate CLSU. I hope this will go a long way in terms of promoting peace.”
Meanwhile, the HWPL peace monument is not the only monument presented at the unveiling ceremony at CLSU. In addition to the monument, there is a CLSU monument representing love for humanity and the promise to fulfill the role and responsibility in promoting peace as a messenger of peace. There is also a monument of the Volunteer Individuals for Peace (VIP), founded by Commissioner Adamat, that echoes the philosophy of the VIP: “Peace Builds One Nation, One Future.”
Dr. Renato G. Reyes, Vice President in Academic Affairs at CLSU, shared, “We are very happy and thankful for CLSU being recognized as one of the higher institutions in the Philippines that actually promotes peace. Now, we accepted the challenge and have so many plans. We have to engage our students, our faculty members, our staff and even the community in promoting peace. We will have a peace festival in September to inculcate into the heart of every CLSUnian the culture of peace. Peace has to be a way of life. That’s why peace education has already been integrated in the curriculum for our students, as well as for our faculty members and staff. We have to create an avenue where they can actually promote peace.”
Furthermore, Dr. Danilo S. Vargas, Vice President of Administration at CLSU, stated, “This will serve as the concrete symbol that will promote peace. Hopefully, the students and even the faculty, staff, and other visitors who can visit the peace marking on campus can internalize the true meaning of peace. It is very important to all of us Filipinos to promote peace.”
With momentum from the establishment of the peace monument, CLSU plans to have professors complete the HWPL peace educator training program and then provide students with peace education curriculum. Even after the pandemic, HWPL peace education has not waned but continues to be actively conducted, and about 2,551 educators from 557 educational institutions in the Philippines have received peace educator training, to date.