Saturday, December 29, 2012

Davao City hosts global convergence in 2013

An impressive line-up of world-renowned movers in the different spheres of society will be featured in the upcoming Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability happening exactly a month from now. The Festival, taking place from January 29 to February 2, 2013 at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao, builds upon the outstanding achievements and reputation of the first two national Karangalan Conferences held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in 2005 and 2006. Karangalan highlighted the global and national achievements of Filipinos in many areas of life. More than 5000 people, including visitors from other countries, attended these two conferences.
The Liwanag Festival is now taking this success, giving it a new context and making it relevant to the second decade of the 21st Century—providing groups and individuals a creative space and opportunity to come together and share solutions to societal problems confronting us such as climate change, poverty, conflict, unequal distribution of wealth, lack of access to quality and responsive education, lack of livelihood opportunities, inadequate shelter, poor physiological and psychological health, unsustainable development practices, cultural decline, apathy, cynicism, and more. As part of this process, the proponents decided to locate the Festival in Davao City, being a city that is moving towards sustainability, having great leadership and a good track record (e.g. known for its Gender Development Code, Children Welfare Code, Firecracker Ban, No Smoking Ordinance, our own 911 emergency system, among other trailblazing practices).
Some of the topics and speakers in Liwanag are:
“Global impact and message of the Occupy Wallstreet Movement” Seth Jordan, co-founder and co-initiator of Think Outward and Occupy Wallstreet
“Revolutionary Discoveries in the Science of the Heart and Its Relevance to Creativity and Societal Sustainability Bruce Cryer, Global Director of Heart Math Health Care, a technique created to help people decrease their stress levels and increase their quality of life.
“The New Story of the Universe and the Future of Humanity Barbara Max Hubbard, President, Foundation for Conscious Evolution
Alongside these guest speakers are Philippines’ own leaders: Maria Ressa, high profile journalist and CEO of Rappler, will elaborate on The Strategic Importance of Independent Media in Sustainable Societies. For civil society, the powerhouse group of Dr. Alyssa Peleo-Alampay, Geologist, Dr. Laura David, Oceanographer, and Dr. Cora Claudio, Environmental Scientist—members of Ten Outstanding Women in the Nations Service (TOWNS) Team on Climate Change will help participants gain a deeper understanding of Climate Change and its impact on humanity. For the economic sphere, Ms. Gina Lopez, Executive Director of ABS-CBN Foundation, will encourage participants to follow their example in Mobilizing Business to Defend Nature; Mr. Tony Meloto, Founder of GK-Center for Social Innovation will likewise share how they Reinvented Philippine Agriculture through Social Enterprise. For the cultural sphere, Surallah Mayor Romulo Solivio, with Sculptor-Artist Kublai Millan, will share their experience onGovernment and Civil Society partnerships for the Rebirth of Culture.
Most importantly, a multi-stakeholder panel from Bayawan City will present Character First: The Liwanag Anchor of Bayawan City's Journey to Sustainability. Bayawan City, two hours away from Dumaguete,  Negros Oriental, boasts the title of being a “Character City,” a member of the International Association of Character Cities and a pioneer Department of Health certified “Healthy City” in the Philippines. Recently, it was recognized by the Asian Institute of Management city as “one of the Top 10 Best Cities to Live In in the Philippines (Small Cities Category)” under its Competitive Cities Survey 2007.
With this festival, the proponents want to emphasize that creativity and sustainability initiatives are alive, healthy and well, not only in Davao City but also in other parts of the country, and, of course, the world. Aside from the plenary presentations, hundreds of pre-registered as well as spontaneous parallel creative workshops, performances and exhibits will be taking place during the entire week, featuring participating individuals and initiatives with inspiring and innovative solutions to current challenges; local, national and international artists such as Joey Ayala (who also composed and performed the official Liwanag Festival theme song); ritualists from different tribes of Mindanao; Bayang Barrios; the Talaandig Artists of Bukidnon; performing artist-activist Juana Change; Sampsa Pirtola from Europe; Hinuguyaw Cultral Dance Troupe; Kaliwat Theatre Collective; Madayaw Cultural Troupe; Bayanihan Dancers, and other surprise artists.

“Two faces of the Philippines, two faces of the world mirrored in two forms of life. On one side, dense darkness amidst suffering and strivings. But on the distant road ahead are pulsing balls of light, like torches blazing trails of Hope – initiatives of some groups of humans in vigil for the herald of a new tomorrow. Brothers and Sisters, Let us glory on these strivings to change the face of the World.”

-The essence of Liwanag Festival on Sustainability and Creativity, as captured in words by Davao-based Palanca awardee Don Pagusara

Liwanag World Festival is initiated by the Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies through Initiatives, Organizing and Networking (, supported by the Lifebank Foundation, Inc. a microfinance institution providing financial opportunities for the poor, specifically women. For more details about Liwanag World Festival and how to join, log on to You may also contact Liwanag Secretariat through email:, landline: +6382.286.726, or visit us at: Door A6 2nd Floor, Lakitan Mall San Pedro St., Davao City, Phils. Look for Lilli Arellano 0918.914.1047, Melma Abasolo 0922.832.3244 or Nick Solana 0918.520.1400

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