November 9 to 10, 2013
IBC FUNCTION HALL, BAYAWAN CITY
November 9, 2013 commenced with the ascent of the morning sun hours after a devastating typhoon Yolanda battered major fractions of the country and made every Bayawanon agonize for shelter and subsistence. It was still a beautiful day even so. Recalls of the recent flood were still in the fringes of shared memory. And, on that day, all roads led to Integrated Business Center (IBC), Bayawan City for the anticipated Mission Courage Workshop with Nick Perlas, Co-Founder of Movement of Imaginals (MISSION).
Those who arrived with me at IBC Function Hall I at 8:30 that morning represented a respectable cross section of Bayawan society. Registration sheets detailed an interesting selection of thirty-two names coming from the Local Government Unit (LGU), civil society (including the academe, faith-community, and POs), and business sectors. Diverse though we were, we all communicated a collective care about our future, the fate of humanity, and the decline of our ecology. We responded to the invitation forwarded by Character First Bayawanihan Office to establish a so-called “social and sacred space” where we were challenged to offer varied perspectives on issues, scholarships, stories, creative experiences, and reflective vistas of understanding about the creative “self” vis-à-vis true social transformation and its layered and complex challenges as perceived in practical Filipino experience.
Through the virtuosity and charisma of Sir Nick Perlas, international author, awardee, organic farmer and lecturer, Workshop: Courage aimed to usher all participants to MISSION’s framework of societal revolution for creative individuals (a.k.a. “imaginals”). The ultimate objective was to mentor a conscious and collective “becoming” and “acting together” to realize plans, initiatives, and advocacies. Expectedly, at certain junctures in our interactive exchange of inner human discoveries for two fruitful days, we felt too small and too insignificant to do anything about the massive problems that have, to this hour, continued to overwhelm Bayawan City, this hopeful nation, and our waning world. Then we sought the benevolence of history, psychology, education, science, philosophy, and even Sacred Scriptures for clear enlightenment. And in the end, as concerned, gifted individuals, we stood together with prayerful courage to articulate plans against impossible odds for the communal benefits of Bayawan City, its sacrosanct goals and plans, its unfolding history of heroism, and its people.
The two-day experience was for everyone a testament of synergy and convergence; of friendship and community; of laughter and hope. Most of all, it was also a benchmark event underscored by true witness and leadership as our very own City Mayor, Gerry Saraña, Jr., if truth be told, thoroughly “broke bread” with us in the processes, interactions, group dynamics, and discourses. His presence was a real dose of inspiration. And before the workshop’s curtain call that Sunday afternoon, we heard him implore: “We should encourage independent thinking in our employees. Let us apply Mission Courage Workshop process and dialogue.”