The massive environmental destruction caused by Typhoon “Pablo” in mid-December focused national attention on Mindanao, inspiring leaders from different fields to come together to find ways of reducing the impact of natural calamities caused by climate change.
Those leaders, people who have launched initiatives that help build sustainable societies and are inspiring others to do the same, are converging on Davao City from Jan. 29 to Feb. 2 for the Liwanag World Festival on Creativity and Sustainability.
Artists who work for sustainable development will also attend the festival.
Among those coming for the festival are Tony Meloto, recipient of many global awards for social entrepreneurship; Barbara Marx Hubbard, the world’s leading exponent of conscious evolution and planetary transformation; Joey Ayala, world renowned musician; Seth Jordan of Occupy Wall Street; Mae Paner, aka Juana Change; Maria Ressa, CEO, Rappler.com; Bruce Cryer, global director of HeartMath, the leading heart intelligence organization; WawaySayaw, extraordinary musician from the Taalandig tribe in Bukidnon; Felipe de Leon Jr., chair of the National Commission on Culture and the Arts; Alex Lacson, inspirational speaker and nation builder; Dr. Cora Claudio, cochair of the Climate Change Committee of the Management Association of the Philippines; Gina Lopez, high profile advocate of environmental accountability among businesseses; Kublai Millan, the visionary artist who built huge public monuments in more than two dozen towns and cities in Mindanao; Jose Luis Oquinena, executive director of Gawad Kalinga; and Nicanor Perlas, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Prize.
More than 50 other artists and speakers have confirmed their participation in the festival.
“Never before has such a large array of inspiring and dynamic speakers and artists been brought together in one event,” said Nicanor Perlas, director of Liwanag World Festival.
“The Philippines and the world have the talent and the smarts to create a world of promise, excitement, and prosperity,” Perlas said.
Mission, or Movement of Imaginals for Sustainable Societies Through Initiatives, Organizing, and Networking, is organizing the Festival.
“Imaginals” means deeper and more strategic creativity that can rebuild a nation beset with challenges. It refers to creative human beings who walk their talk and establish initiatives in pursuit of sustainable societies.
Among the partners of Mission in organizing the festival are the government of Davao City, Lifebank Foundation, ABS-CBN TV network, Davao City Chamber of Commerce Inc. and the Philippine Women’s College (PWC) in Davao City.
The festival will be held at PWC’s new, 2,000-seat auditorium.
“I welcome the choice of Davao City as the venue for the Liwanag World Festival,” Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said.
“There is another world and another Philippines emerging in the very midst of decay and pain,” Perlas said.
“To reveal, see, experience and fully appreciate this world, is the task of Liwanag World Festival. To achieve this, Liwanag will showcase brilliant, heart-centered initiatives in all dimensions of sustainability: ecological, economic, cultural, political, societal, human, and spiritual,” he said.
The festival organizers chose the word liwanag (light) to link the aims of the gathering to the efforts of the independence fighters of 19th- and early 20th-century Philippines. Those heroes preferred “light,” contrasting it with ningning, or “glitter,” which is false light.
Perlas said Filipino heroes understood the importance of creating a new nation on the basis of profound inner change.
They believed only an encounter with the “true light” within people could set a nation free, he said.
In the festival’s context, “liwanag” also means a profound form of creativity.
Without creativity, sustainability is not possible, Perlas said.
“Our hearts will pound with resonance, excitement and love as we start to truly see and experience this diversity of inspiring initiatives,” said Gina Cembrano, associate festival director.
For more information about the Liwanang World Festival, visit www.liwanagworldfest.net.