SILSILAH HARMONY POST: A SIGN OF SOLIDARITY AND PEACE FOR MINDANAO | June 15, 2011
On June 11, 2011 a symbolic obelisk in R. T. Lim Boulevard was unveiled by Congressional Representative of the 1st District
Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, witnessed by Mayor Celso L. Lobregat , members of the IFCL and other groups of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, friends from the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) and the officers of the Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and other individuals engaged in the promotion of peace and dialogue in the Zamboanga City and the neighboring places.
The symbolic obelisk, called the Harmony Post, has four sides that taper like a pyramid toward a pointed end to symbolize that people from different parts of the world (north, south, east, and west) and different cultures and religions have to move towards a center point that is God. Two of the sides prominently engraved with the name Inter-Faith Council of Leaders (IFCL) and the other two sides also carries the message “Live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace”. By planting Harmony Posts in public places it is hoped that these will serve as a reminder that all people – Muslim and Christians or of any other religion, – are called and challenged to be men and women of dialogue, harmony and peace. There is a Harmony Post in a place near the Provincial Capitol of Sulu, erected on January 10, 2009. One has already been erected in Zamboanga City in the year 1998 at Don Gregorio Evangelista Memorial School in Sta. Catalina during that time a recipient of the Harmony Award.
The unveiling ceremony of the post in R.T. Lim Boulevard commemorates the 10th year of the Inter-Faith Council of Leaders (IFCL) , an initiative of Silsilah. The IFCL in the last ten years has been an active group of Muslim and Christian leaders in Zamboanga City in the promotion of dialogue and peace. The group has also inspired other respected Muslim and Christian leaders to start the IFCL in their places. An IFCL group has already been established in Basilan and soon also in Jolo and Sibugay.
Mayor Lobregat in his message of support said, “…This Harmony Post is a tangible proof of the commitment and active support of the people who work for peace like Silsilah Dialogue Movement specifically for Zamboanga City. …We are very thankful and appreciative of the efforts and endeavors of the Inter-Faith Council of Leaders. The city of Zamboanga assures its commitment and shares with the cooperative and positive interaction upon which all of you representing different visions and derived from common ground. …We all want peace in Zamboanga, in the region, in the country and in the world.
Preceding the simple unveiling ceremony there was a short program at the nearby center used as the gathering place of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace. The occasion served as a sharing of the activities of the IRSMP and the IFCL in their respective approaches to the promotion of peace. The gathering was an opportunity for the two groups to one again come together and in its own way was as historic as the unveiling of the Harmony Post.