by Celesti Bravo
Students of PHINMA-Cagayan de Oro College showed their love and support for Mindanao by writing essays and letters of hopes and wishes for Mindanao in a “freedom wall” that was put up by The Oro Collegian Publication in collaboration with the I am Mindanao campaign at the entrance of the school on November 18-19, 2016.
Ju Nice Marban, news editor of The Oro Collegian Publication, who led the said activities in the school said, “It (freedom wall) is important because it helped the COC-ians to realize their role as the youth of Mindanao and also it helped empower their pride as Mindanawons”.
Most students who passed by the board did not hesitate to write their letters and post it proudly for the whole school to see. The letters on the board contained wishes for peace, tranquility, unity, and respect not only for the island itself but also for Mindanawons. The freedom wall was an avenue for the students to express their love for Mindanao and take pride in being a Mindanawon.
Jhazz Eyranoj, a PHINMA-COC student stated, “Proud ko nga taga Mindanao ko kay as you can see, people who stand out are from Mindanao.”
(I am proud COC-ians Express Support for Peace in Mindanao
to be from Mindanao because as you can see, people who stand out are from Mindanao.)
The letters were then folded into paper cranes and added to the Letters of Love project, one of the activities of the I am Mindanao campaign which seeks to collect a thousand letters from Mindanawons and turn them into paper cranes. According to urban legend, when someone folds a thousand paper cranes, their wish will be granted. I am Mindanao’s wish is for hope and peace to spread all over Mindanao.
The said campaign started because of violent extremist incidents in Mindanao. The campaign aspires to educate college students, strengthen their sense of pride as Mindanawons, and empower the students in Cagayan de Oro to take part in activities that counter violent extremism. Through their messages to Mindanao, the world will know how much the students of PHINMA-COC care about Mindanao and the people living in it.