"What this Country needs is not a change OF men but a change IN men" March 1980

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best of Region XII & ARMM featured at Intramuros History Town

The people of Region XII and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) will join hands today in welcoming visitors of History Town Philippines in a "gathering" for peace, the opening of the Best of Regions in Intramuros, Manila.

One hundred children garbed in colorful Muslim, Christian and ethnic attires representing distinct cultural groups and ethnic communities of the region will sing and dance their hopes for peace in a dramatic way everyone will always remember..

"The world-famous WOW PHILIPPINES is back again in Intramuros. Today it will feature the best of Region XII and the ARMM," Independent Senator Richard J. Gordon, who will lead the opening ceremonies, said.

"The Best of the regions forms part of our continuing advocacy and action towards achieving greater unity among Christians, Muslims, and other indigenous cultures," he added.

With the theme "Kuyog Tanu Ko Kalilintad (Together in Peace)", the tourism and trade event will feature the two regions' culture, history, heritage, and most importantly its people.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on tourism, said the opening ceremonies will be highlighted by the presentation of the letters written by 100 children of the regions. The letters will be deposited in a "lakub" (Vessel of Hope) and will be bundled up together to signify unity.

The Vessel of Hope will be kept in the Mosque until the closing ceremonies of the regional showcase on Feb. 8, when the vessel shall be taken out of the Mosque and all the letters will be buried in a symbolic tree-planting ceremony within Intramuros.

Gordon said the event will not only promote tourism, trade and investment in the region but more importantly, unite the people of the region, regardless of culture and faith, to advocate and achieve peace in Mindanao and largely, in the entire country.

He added that the exhibit will include a booth for the "Fruits of Hope" where fruits from provinces in the ARMM will be sold at low prices.

In 2007, Gordon launched the "Fruits of Hope" project, which embodies the hopes of varied groups and sectors for peace and prosperity in Mindanao and Sulu, to bring at least 30 tons of fruits from Mindanao to the markets of Manila.

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