PEACE MESSAGES like these will be painted on the EDSA walls of Camp Aguinaldo. This will form part of the 3.7km long peace mural dubbed as the "Lakbay para sa Kapayapaan sa EDSA". (Sketches by Dolphins Love Freedom Movement)
QUEZON CITY—Amidst all the saber-rattling by foreign countries in the West Philippine Sea, Filipinos are embarking on a major project aimed to promote peace.
Dubbed as the "Lakbay para sa KapaYapaAn sa Edsa”, the Armed Forces of the Philippines partnered with NGOs and other government agencies in creating the world’s longest peace mural using the security walls of the Philippine military’s main headquarters.
Employing a thousand of ‘Peace Volunteers’ that include young graffiti artists, people will paint the three sides of the walls with images that showcase Bayanihan, peacemaking and nationalism.
Soldiers and volunteers have started preparing the targeted walls that can be found along Boni Serrano Avenue, EDSA and the one fronting the Corinthian Gardens, spanning around 3.7 kilometers.
The project aims to break the Guiness record of around 1-kilometer long peace mural held by Chile in 2009.
Message for Peace
Bai Rohaniza Sumndad, the Country Director of Asia-America Initiative, is the major partner of the Philippine military in the peace mural project.
She has conducted several peace and development projects with the military in the past few years. She said that her organization will continuously support the government and other like-minded individuals in building a culture of peace among Filipinos.
“Through this project, we aim to show and promote cultural and religious understanding and appreciation amongst Filipinos,” said Sumndad a Muslim peace advocate in her own right.
Renown graffiti artists from Dolphins Love Freedom Movement (DLFM) and several other volunteer painting artists have supported the project.
VOLUNTEER ARTISTS listen as Bai Rohaniza 'Honey' Sumndad, the lead organizer of the peace mural project, discussed the background about the project which she dubbed as 'Our Project' which every stakeholder owns. (Photo by Cpt Gene Gabrido)
A.G. Sano, 25, is one of the volunteer graffiti artists who is also behind MMDA’s ‘Mga Haligi ng Kaunlaran’ (Pillars of Progress) murals that can be found along Kalayaan-Buendia flyover in EDSA.
He shared that he and his fellow graffiti artists have designed the murals that will be painted on the 1-kilometer AFP camp wall fronting EDSA.
“We are going to showcase Pinoy values and traditions which build the strong foundations for peace. These are the scenes that we normally see everyday in our lives,” said Sano.
Formerly known as the Highway 54, EDSA is the longest and congested thoroughfare in the Metropolis, catering at least 2.4 million vehicles daily.
The organizers believe that showcasing the murals in EDSA is the best way to convey the message of peace due to the influx of vehicles that ply along the route thereby making the peace mural project an effective tool to raise public awareness about peace-building.
“We hope that the general public will realize that we must be united in calling for peace. We must discourage anyone from embracing the life of armed violence regardless of his political beliefs or economic status,” said Major Harold Cabunoc, the Commander of the 7th Civil Relations Group which is one of the lead organizers.
Cabunoc also said that aside from delivering the message of peace, the project is also a potential tourist destination.
“We are proud to have the People Power Monument just outside the walls of Camp Aguinaldo. If this project will land in the Guiness Book of Records as the World’s longest Peace Mural, more people will be excited to come and visit the place,” he said.
It can be recalled that the contestants of the Ms Tourism Philippines visited Camp Aguinaldo on May 17 and expressed their support for the project.
Cabunoc likewise said that 1,000 volunteers have already signed up to participate in the launching of the project on May 26, 2013 during which the painting of the EDSA walls will be completed in a day.
He added that a thousand volunteers are also needed during the next two phases of the project until its inauguration that will be held on June 15.
“Those who want to take part in this historic mural painting activity can sign up through the website of the Asia America Initiative or the flyers that are posted in Kawal Pinoy FB page,” he said.
The project is a joint collaboration between Asia America Initiative (AAI), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), Dolphins Love Freedom Movement (DLFM) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) with major sponsors such as Davies Paint Philippines and Manila Water in cooperation with Bayani Brew and other corporations.
BEAUTIES FOR PEACE. The contestants of the Ms Tourism Philippines beauty pageant flock to the People Power Monument in EDSA to express support for the peace mural project on May 17, 2013. (Photo by Drey Roque)