Indigenous Peoples

Unity in Cultural Diversity: Route to Sustainable Peace

Posted on 2013/11/02

Peace? This five-letter word sounds easily attainable. However, my experience tells me that peace seems elusive. Elusive it may seem yet very important. The world needs it, the Mindanaon most especially where the Muslim-Christian conflict continues to bring havoc to the island of Mindanao. So, how important is peace for us? Peace makes us happy and comfortable with no worries. Peace provides opportunities for development of society. It enables people to freely practice freedom. It secures security and safety. All in all, peace is a very, very beautiful thing to have.

Most of us want to change the world, unite all races and put world in peace. But do we practice peace and unity where we are? There are more than 89 ethnicity living in the Philippines, But, is there unity?Do people in Mindanao respect one another?

In building peace among us, we must have unity. United with one aim we must build peace amongst us. Despite cultural differences, Philippines for example, especially in Mindanao, consists of 13 Bangsamoro Groups, Ten Lumad Groups and Christians. Peace and unity is an impossible word to most of the people in Mindanao. But these two words can be achieved if we are willing and ready to pay the price for it.

To be united, humility and respect should be present. As the Divine Law tells us that one can take from the world whatever will satisfy their needs, not their greed. We have the right and the freedom to enjoy our lives to the fullest without degrading others. The wars present in our society cannot contribute happiness to the people. Arms and weapons are not the solution to bring peace in our society. Respect cultures. For our Christian bothers, stop calling us Moro if it a notion of terrorism: instead, call us bothers so we can build peace. Martin Luther King once said that we have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love onto the veins of our civilization.

Culture is important because it is what makes a society unique. Cross-cultural understanding provides a basis for people to relate to and understand each other. Maranao are known for their Maratabat, so one should respect it. Christians have so many feasts and Muslims should respect that. The more knowledge we have of other culture, the better for us to forge our common direction.

As a citizen of this country and as a member of this society, we must be pushing our society in the gate of heaven, but through our doings and actions, we are pushing her to the crater of hell fire instead. Herclitus once said: you cannot step on the same river twice, all things are flowing. Our time, my brothers and sisters is flowing, but when will we act? Tomorrow? Next Week? Next Year? Next Century? In the end of the world? In hereafter? See? Our time is running faster, if we want to change and unite the world, we must act now. Let us act today, be a model of excellence in the world and bring peace to earth. Let us treat one another as brothers and sisters. Let us estimate the cultural barriers which serves as boundaries toward our friendship. if we want peace in the world, let us start the peace and unity in Mindanao. Peace comes to those who loves, pray and wish for it, but wishing for it is not enough. Actions speak louder than words, let us love, care, respect and understand one another. You don't need to be a Meranao to understand and mingle with us, you need to respect our practices and traditions. The way to peace is peace itself.


Is an Non-Government Organization Catering Youth Services


Liceo Legal Aid Center (LiLAC) doing business under the name and style of Center for Alternative Lawyering of Liceo is the legal aid center of Liceo de Cagayan University, a privately owned university based in Cagayan de oro City. The group is composed of law students, alumni of the College of Law of the University, and lawyers who are passionate in the practice of alternative lawyering. LiLAC is guided by its vision of a holistic formation of law students committed to the transformation of society by promoting justice, empowerment, unity and peace, through helping the marginalized sector of the depressed areas here in Mindanao, in the Philippines and in the world. While the group was registered only this year with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it has been providing services to marginalized communities in partnership with NGOs for more than 8 years now. LiLAC has more than 50 members, 15 of whom are taking the active role of running the groupís activities.


The Mindanao State University Legal Aid Clinic or Mindanao SULAC for brevity, is the Legal Aid Clinic of Mindanao State University College of law. It is the first and currently the only one of its kind to be established in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It strives to cater the legal needs of the underprivileged and/or indigent clients of the Region and to help promote the proper administration of justice as a key to lasting peace in the region and in the country as a whole.

Office Address: 1F MSU College of Law Bldg.,
MSU Main Campus, Marawi City 9700 Philippines
Contact details:
Mobile No.: (+63) 907 336 7762



The Notre Dame university is a Catholic Institution in Cotabato City run by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and member of the Notre Dame Educational Association Philippines.The Notre Dame University Legal Aid Center started sometime in 2009. Its members are the officially enrolled students of NDU-College of Law.

The following are the official pages and e-mail address of the group:


The Palawan Cradle of Rights is a unified composition of law students from Palawan State university school of Law, established last August 26, 2013 after the culminating activity of the Basic Orientation Seminar by the US Embassy in partnership with the MYVC.

Through our linkages and with the help of the different Government and Non-government organizations we aim to provide free access to people who need legal assistance.


The University of Mindanao Legal Aid Network (ULAN) is a non-stock, non-profit, and service institution of the University of Mindanao. As a service institution, it provides legal assistance, advocates human rights and social justice, and facilitates the formation of law students for alternative lawyering. It consists of law students and alumni of the College of Legal Education of the University of Mindanao committed to provide an adequate and greater access to justice of the community through its programs.


The CENTRO ADVOCACIA LEGAL is organized exclusively for charitable, socio-cultural and educational purposes, more specifically to serve the needs of the marginalized communities specifically children and youth and the minorities in Zamboanga City through Legal Aid Assistance and Human Rights Based Advocacies.