We end our meaningful celebration of the Week of Peace 2015 with the traditional torch parade to signify our advance from the big and small achievements of our community’s peace-building and peace-making towards the exciting challenges and opportunities we together face in the new year. Yes, a new day comes for peace – awesome in its greatness, tremendous in its inevitability.

As we turn to this new day, we take this moment to render our gratitude and salute to all the personalities and organizations whose support and participation made the Week’s celebration so beautiful, meaningful and inspiring. We especially thank the many, many youths and other volunteers for jobs well done in all the activities, but in particular the youth camps and assemblies and fora. Likewise, to the Samabadjaos for their anniversary festival; to the SamaBangingi families of Simariki Island for the Historical and Solidarity Journey with us and triumphant return to their ancestral village after a short violent exile; to the five noble Peace Weaver Awardees and their families for stepping forward; to the schools and barangays for their individual initiatives; to the urban poor families who broke the groundfor their new homes in Barangay Sinunuc; to the thousands from various sectors and organizations led by religious leaders who marched in the interfaith opening parade and program.

And so we journey on, marching together to the beating of the drums of peace.The elections in May will be our opportunity to renew and strengthen good governance under a political leadership of integrity, who will orchestrate our collective efforts to achieve social justice, human security and communal harmony and peace. As stakeholders we shall climb new heights, turn new corners in the Mindanao peace process as the agreements between our government and rebel fronts are tested by fast-approaching milestones. As one human family inhabiting one global village called Earth, we shall have to undertake many projects for climate adaptation, disaster management and ecological enhancement for the survival – yes, survival – of our present and future generations.

Let us go forth boldly, with faith in God and our selves, with love and solidarity in our heart, with hope in our common destiny of many peoples in one society under one reign of peace.

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