School Peace Happenings: Lights, Camera, Action!

SOME 20 secondary school students from the six partner schools of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) learned “art of peace video documentation” last Saturday, January 26.

The participants came from different secondary schools in the city, namely, Ayala National High School, Talisayan National High School, Southcom National High School, Sangali National High School, Tagasilay National High School and Talon-Talon National High School. All are partner schools of PAZ in the Peace Governance in Mindanao (PGM). The PGM project is being funded by the Davao-based Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

The young participants converged in the conference room of 4th Civil Relation Group-Civil Relation Service (CRG-CRS) in Western Mindanao Command (Wesmincom) for the day-long video documentation dubbed as “Inter-school Peace Video Documentation Workshop”.

Jupiter Pollisco, PAZ Junior Project Coordinator, said the video documentation’s objective is to train the students to mainstream the peace education into their school and respective communities to influence and bring about change from a conflicting violent perception into non-violent opportunities using the different media such as peace video documentation.

He said that many good and peace related stories are happening in the schools and in the community everyday that are not being well documented. Instead it is easier for some people to document negative stories in the schools and communities and most of these videos are being uploaded in the social media like Facebook and Youtube.

The participants learned the skills and the techniques of video documentation from the university professor Jose Maria Bue, who was the resource person of the workshop.

Bue is a journalist by profession who during his day as an active member of the media was assigned in the then Southern Command (Southcom) where his task is to cover the encounter of the government troops and the lawless elements in the hinterland of the provinces of Basilan and Jolo, Sulu.

During the workshop he shared that during that time he wrote stories about bloody encounters like the number of dead.

According to him at present he does not listen nor watch stories that are so negative. He said that it makes him feel sick to see or watch news about war.

The war journalist who transformed into a peace journalist said to the students who mostly are also active netizens that everyone wants to live a happy and peaceful life and being a peaceful person makes the world peaceful.

Bue also used peace phrases and quotations from the known civil and religious leaders around the world to let the participants understand the essence of peace in one’s life and in the community. At present Bue is a professor in Mass Communication Department of Western Mindanao State University (WMSU).

He also introduced to the participants his community page in Facebook named “Discovery Zamboanga”. He said that this page features stories and pictures of the beautiful places in the city and in the neighbouring provinces. This page is being maintained by his students who are under the developmental communication subject with him as its administrator.

Later in the afternoon, Sister Emma I. Delgado, PAZ Executive Secretary, introduced to the participants the six paths to peace workshop.

Ian Francisco from the 4th CRG-CRS conducted a lecture on the advantages of video documentation in peace building activities. He emphasized the how and what to document on a certain event.

In closing, the participants were given the opportunity to take some photos as part of the basic photography training where they were allowed to explore and experiment on the basic principles of photography.

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