First School to Establish HWPL Peace Monument in the Philippines

Siniloan Integrated National High School (SINHS) erected the first HWPL Peace Monument among the schools in the Philippines unveiled on February 21, 2022.

Municipal Vice Mayor and Provincial Directors of Siniloan, President of Laguna State Polytechnic University were also in attendance at the unveiling ceremony.

The Peace Monument serves as a landmark of peace in the school grounds being the highlight among their amenities, in support of the annual HWPL Peace Day celebration held last January 24.

The Peace Monument Project was initiated by an international NGO named Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in collaboration with partner schools, organizations and communities in the Philippines who signed a partnership for peace education to secure sustainable peace.

As part of the program, representatives from HWPL and DepEd Laguna – Siniloan District signed a Memorandum of Understanding for peace education, followed by the pinning of Champions of Peace and awarding of certificates led by Dr. Orlando Valverde, CID Chief of DepEd Laguna.

The MAPEH Teacher Dance Troupe also performed a folk dance for the celebration of the event.

Congratulatory messages were presented by Hon. Mayor Rainier A. Leopando, Municipal Mayor of Siniloan, Laguna, Dr. Mario R. Briones, President of Laguna State Polytechnic University, Dr. Cariza A. Dacuma, Provincial Director of TESDA Laguna, Dr. Gerardo R. Marasigan, Provincial Director of TESDA Quezon, and Atty. Raul Ancheta, President of One World Foundation and Bukid ni San Pedro Calungsod.

According to Mr. John Rommel Garces, the Chief Manager of HWPL Philippines, the objective behind establishing the peace monument in the school grounds of SINHS was so that when the students gather and hold the flag ceremony, the peace monument will serve as a reminder to them that they will be taking the role of peace messengers of this country.

In her speech, Dr. Cecilia Castillo, Principal of SINHS, said, “As the teachers, principals, and staff, we must serve as the role model in promoting justice and love, educating our students to be kind-hearted, caring, responsible, and peace-loving citizens of the nation and the world.”

Dr. Ronald L. Adamat, Commissioner of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), also declared during his speech that he plans to establish peace monuments in all the 25 state universities under his charge, as well as convince the CHED to do the same in all 112 status universities and colleges in the pursuance of peace.

As part of the partnership signed between HWPL and DepEd Laguna – Siniloan District, a peace education training was held for 11 schools in Siniloan on February 22 to 23 spearheaded by HWPL. By April, they will start the full implementation of peace education in the next academic year.

HWPL Peace Education consists of 12 lessons that aim to train the educators and students with the value of peace by raising awareness of the importance of fostering a culture of peace.

Since 2016, more than 200 educational institutions in 34 countries have been designated as HWPL Peace Academies, and Ministries of Education from 9 countries have signed MOAs for the implementation of peace education.

Meanwhile, HWPL that led the event has begun its peace initiatives in the Philippines since signing of the Peace Agreement between local leaders in Mindanao on January 24, 2014.

The agreement was initiated by HWPL Chairman Lee Man-hee, a Korean war veteran, to overcome the 50 years of conflict in the region.

Recognized for the contribution, peace monuments were built honoring the peace agreement in Mindanao. The first peace monument was erected in Buluan, Maguindanao in 2016 while the second was erected in Sultan Kudarat in 2016. In 2021, the third peace monument was unveiled in Cotabato City.

Being the first in Luzon, a peace monument in Dingras, Ilocos Norte was also unveiled last January 24 as part of the 8th Peace Day celebration of HWPL. Furthermore, the organization is planning to build a few more Peace Monuments in 2022.