IT IS with great awe that we watch on live TV the most vaunted and awaited World Cup in Brazil, where practically the rest of the world are agog at.

One could not help but wonder at the sea of humanity gathered in so huge a stadium that is filled to the rafters with football fanatics across the continent. The booming yells and cheers of the multitude that grew deafening by the minute makes the heart beat in crescendo simultaneously, as if one cannot but join the fun. Festivities for these advanced nations are usually held for a month, and most of the people join in the celebrations, a fact that poor countries such as ours may never have for most of our lives.

In juxtapose, we fight for survival, we fight for what we were denied of: to be fully human and to be free! We Filipinos fight ourselves in our own arena, not for any gold and adulation, but to be recognized and assured that each of our birth rights are respected. On hind thoughts, I am equally proud to be a Filipino here in Mindanao like the rest among countless peace advocates who are growing in numbers, who cannot help but rally on the active players that continuously work for real harmony to settle in our land.

When more and more people have come not only to watch and listen what is going on around us, but actively involve themselves in untangling the path for peace, there is a greater chance that we will come to understand each other better. There are no room for fence-sitters in our world today, when our children’s future are at stake. There is no other way but take our place in efforts towards making this world a safe place for the next-in-line. Yesterday’s Congressional Consultation that listened to a multi-stakeholders’ perspectives on the Bangsamoro that particularly focus on the Indigenous Peoples’ thoughts, apprehensions and misgivings was such a significant development in the on-going talks between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

It was a more concrete expression of concern coming from the House of Representatives Committee on National Cultural Communities and Indigenous Peoples (IP) that took the initiative to personally meet with different IPs belonging to various tribes living within the core areas of the Armm, and those adjacent or outside these areas. Headed by North Cotabato Second District Representative Nancy Cotamco, the five member committee which is joined by no less than our very own Gabriella Representative Luz Ilagan and Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate, the team are making the rounds in IP communities to meet with IPs in Mindanao. It is hoped by many IP representatives and Moro individuals who attended said activity that the new agreement may not divide Mindanao peoples further, just like what happened with earlier accords. Indeed, it is our fervent prayer that this Bangsamoro agreement will bring us the ultimate peace that all of us are seeking.