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At the future's edge, a bounty of voices

Already, World Pulse has become my wakeful window. Here, the world opens to me more generously now, allowing me to see the previously unseen. At its PulseWire, the inspirational stories of womankind pour their copious light into my own life not so much as I reach out on dark nights to post my own firefly-flickers of ‘storya.*

By World Pulse’s open window to countless women’s lives, I envision a brave humankind valuing women’s rights, gender equality, a sustainable peace where women take lead in shaping our shared world. To its making, remaking and making-over, I shall bear witness as a journalist.

I move towards this vision in the meager act of re-making this small and finite realm that is my own life. In hindsight, my breakdown last year was a divine gift. In its wake, solitude became the fertile ground for an engaged self-transformation. I foresee a change of pace now, a subtle U-turning. This survivor of violence at-work will be downshifting, in transit from hectic mainstream reportage to in-depth citizen journalism.

Becoming a Voice of Our Future correspondent can provide me some headway in this starting-over at the future’s edge.How blessed to thread together the discontinuities in my life-scripts under the guidance of VOF mentors! I acknowledge this sheer need to learn what was taught in workshops I had coordinated for journalists in the past years, the courses that I missed out on because I was more into the mind-numbing routines of legwork and the after-care of others. I yearn to explore alternative storytelling forms for digital media. I desire to learn life-sustaining skills in the company of global peers.

I will carry on towards fulfilling this vision as I forage again for stories in Mindanao’s Bangsamoro (Moro Nation). With women peacemakers at the helm, the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front had signed an agreement to end the war last year. On the ground, a peace pact signed by women and men still doesn’t guarantee peace has come to stay. So, I will strive to be there where women’s lives are continuing sagas of peace building, among evacuees and ex-rebels making over their villages. Where is the girl who wore red on her grandmother’s funeral after the soldiers felled the outspoken leader on her way to harvest a field of yams? Are the witnesses to the massacre of more than 30 journalists in 2009 back from the safe houses? Which of their dreams remain undeterred in the unburdening of memories?

I hope to wield the power of conflict-sensitive journalism beyond being “the voice for the voiceless” in grappling with these questions. For I believe these women are gifted with voices of their own. Only that their voices have been muted by extreme poverty, silenced by everyday violence. These voices are stifled by discrimination and hushed by the inconsolable grief of losing loved ones in brutal extra-judicial killings.

In the slow and imperfect making-over on the peacefronts of Mindanao, I will witness the gifted tongues of grassroots women -- those who are muted and silenced, hushed and stifled -- re-claim speech and utterance.

I dream of New Media literacy workshops where women are encouraged to regain inner strength and sustain their own voices. The priority beneficiaries will be digital immigrants, those disenfranchised widows, war evacuees, the indigenous; women who have been denied entry into the cyberculture. In turn, these women will be the listening ears attuned to the dynamics of transformation in women’s lives within their post-conflict communities.

These workshops will hopefully find resonance on World Pulse’s thrumming beat, too -- multiplying empowered voices to reach a critical amplitude. And when the women shall have spoken their own truths on World Pulse’s global platform, I will be their drummer-girl, the herald of these bounty of voices and their coming of digital age.

Come, I invite you. Open your windows now so the sound of our voices can pour into your lives. Come, listen. As you read this, we are already en route to There that will soon be Here. Already, in the distance you can hear my Drum Song.

*’storya: Binisaya word for “story

Comments

Taha Mirani's picture

Blessings

God help you fulfill your dreams, drummer-girl :)
Powerful writing style. Bless you.

Love

Taha Mirani

libudsuroy's picture

Dearest Taha, Thanks a lot my

Dearest Taha, Thanks a lot my constant reader. You spark hope and joy!

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Walaa Salah's picture

Wonderful post!

"I envision a brave humankind valuing women's rights, gender equality, a sustainable peace where women take lead in shaping our shared world"

Dear libudsuroy

I can clearly hear your voice, I can clearly see your vision and I can really relate to you well written piece, I liked the way you articulate your vision, and yes we sometimes support people that we really want to be one of them, you are supporting journalists and you are definitely an amplified voice that deserve to be a correspondent.

Cheers

be the change

Walaa Salah

libudsuroy's picture

Dear Walaa, Thanks so much

Dear Walaa, Thanks so much for affirming our commonalities here at World Pulse. See you! I have dropped by at your Journal earlier today.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

libudsuroy's picture

Dear Walaa, hindsight

Dear Walaa,

I found out that due to some tech-glitch, I have posted my reply to you twice. And I cannot delete this. But I can edit it. Let me then use this space to record/note some hindsight on the things I have envisioned to do under the VOF program, things that I have not discuss fully in my essay.
- Mainstream coverage has often been about the sensational, the guns and the bombs. The post-conflict, back-to-villages part of the peace process is never media-genic. What I envisioned to do is go these post-conflict frontiers, and see how the people are not only surviving but thriving; moving on from being victims to survivors to actors in their very own development.
I am aware that there are several empowerment workshops and projects being implemented in my area, especially with the peace pact and the government post-conflict program now slowly being implemented. What I see as important is to go beyond a one-shot deal, pilot projects. The key is sustainability, so that whatever I plan should go beyond or include a time/sked beyond the VOF program, to allow for spaces and time to be absorbed on the ground. Of course, I understand that it also requires the commitment to continue the work beyond the five-month frame. And the grace to be able to find like-minded kin willing to accomplish these in the long run.
I hope I make sense as I am trying to think out loud...:)

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Aysha Ibrahim's picture

your dreams will come true

Your determination is reflecting from your words. You are brave, confident and strong girl with strong determinations. You are surely going to make difference. I am foreseeing your sparkling future, You with your fulfilled dreams.

Best wishes
Aysha

libudsuroy's picture

Thank you, Aysha for the

Thank you, Aysha for the positive energies of your prophecies for me!

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

CourtneyPaige's picture

citizen journalism

Dear Libidsuroy,

Thank you for sharing this post with us. I appreciate how you bring out details from the specific post-conflict situation in the Philippines, and tie them in with how an online community and working as a citizen journalist can broadcast the stories from the ground. There is so much potential here!

Keep writing!

Courtney

libudsuroy's picture

Hello, Courtney, Thanks for

Hello, Courtney,
Thanks for dropping by and leaving the note. I thank you too for acknowledging the potential of my 'dreamwork'/ 'drumwork' to work with women peace builders on the ground in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) after the peace pact had been signed and in the on-going post-conflict reconstruction.

Your note came in as I was reading a paper on Gender and Peacebuilding,at the Collaborative Learning Projects (www.cdainc.com) and was drawn to this part: "Despite increasing attention to women as agents of peaceful change, this work often operates at the grassroots, peace -writ-little level, far from Track I efforts.Often the argument for greater inclusion of women in peacebuilding processes comes from a social justice or human rights perspective:women have the right to participatea nd have equal representation at the table because they are fifty percent of the population. While compelling,this argument can fall upon deaf ears. With this issue in mind, researchers have shifted the questions to become,“How do we make a compelling case for the inclusion of women and gender perspectives in a broad range of peace processes? What were the specific themes that women were talking about in negotiations? If we look at governance [and post conflict reconstruction strategies] from a gender perspective, does it make a difference?”

I even think now that what I envision to do could be some kind of action research (not just a workshop) in the context of operationalizing the National Action Plan on the Implementation of the UNSCR 1325.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Frances Faulkner's picture

clarity

Dear Libudsuroy --

You have a poetic soul and beautiful vision for your new media workshops. I look forward to hearing how they unfold and following your work. There is a similar small program here that uses writing workshops in the community, especially reaching out to homeless and underserved populations, that has been very successful. People come alive when when they tell their own stories!

Thank you for your work!

Frances

libudsuroy's picture

Thank you, too!

Dear Frances,
You are welcome. And I thank you also for believing in the potential of my dream. I could surely learn from the experiences of those workshops for the disadvantaged. Could you perhaps show me how to access info on these endeavors? There had been several of these workshops here. The missing key is sustainability. It should not be a one-shot deal, it is not enough to empower them. We must have the commitment to mentor them in the long-term till they can stand on their own. And that takes a lot of energies.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Frances Faulkner's picture

workshop info

Dear Libudsuroy,

I work with a videographer, and she did this video telling about the organization I mentioned, which is called Write Around Portland. I hope it works for you to watch it -- the link to the video is: http://www.studiokate.us/write-around-portland/

The link to their website is: http://www.writearound.org

Enjoy and be inspired!

Frances

libudsuroy's picture

Thank you very much, Frances!

Thank you very much, Frances! I will visit these sites right now! :)

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Libudsuroy- This entry is immediately gripping, poetic, inviting. Your voice carries with it joy and hope. I have no doubt that you are already empowering those who read your writings. Your story-telling ability is evident. You will continue to give voice to the voiceless, and in fact your voice will fade as theirs rises. This is a good thing to be sure- that you will be the beat to which girls and women can sing, and their song will be heard by all.

Thank you for taking part in this, and for sharing your heart.

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

libudsuroy's picture

Michelle, Serendipity here! I

Michelle,
Serendipity here! I -- we-- have come full circle. I began working on my essays in April with your guide/tips in mind, honing each and every idea, trying to distill each thought the way you taught us as I dreamed awake.
And then, you be the last of my listeners for the last essay. :)
I believe in this 'dreamwork'/'drumwork'.
I will always be thankful to have met your kind here in World Pulse.
Here's to more serendipities in our shared future as womankind!

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Oh how I love full circles! I am both humbled and amazed.

Keep doing amazing things- just by being you!

Let us Hope together-
Michelle
aka: Cali gal

Listener
Sister-Mentor
@CaliGalMichelle
facebook.com/caligalmichelle

Leigh Cuen's picture

Powerful

Your passion is inspiring!

Leigh Cuen, @La__Cuen
Like Leigh on Facebook

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