Jesuit Communications Foundation’s Inc. (JesCom) latest publication COURAGE! made a successful appearance at the Ateneo de Manila University Law School last June 1, Friday at the Atrium by the Chapel, APS Building.
Co-sponsored by the Ateneo Grupo ’58 Class Diamond Jubilarians, led by Ateneo Alumni Association Director Jess de la Fuente, the book’s Rockwell Campus visit was warmly welcomed by an esteemed cast of reactors composed of distinguished academicians, scholars, peace workers, human rights advocates, and lawyers.
Ateneo Law School Dean Sedfrey Candelaria opened the proceedings by commending Professor Ed Garcia’s newest book as “a message of hope amidst the anxiety and restlessness pervading our society today”.
Far Eastern University Institute of Law Dean Mel Sta. Maria voiced how COURAGE! rekindled the great sacrifice of the People Power Revolution for freedom and justice.
“It is our duty to make our country good again…The miracle of EDSA only marked the awakening that our precious freedoms will always be threatened if we don’t fight for them.”
Inspired by the heroic personalities mentioned in COURAGE!, Regional Coordinator of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion Sister Patricia Fox, remained steadfast and resolute in her mission to care for displaced Lumads and victims of Martial Law’s atrocities.
“When I think of access to healthcare, agrarian reform, people living in decent houses…this dream of Isaiah will be the kingdom of God in the here and now. We will overcome any sort of boundaries by not succumbing to fear, and we can all live in peace and justice. I believe the light will overcome the darkness, and we will become light to the world.”
Women’s rights advocate and Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies fellow Samira Gutoc recalled how her early encounters with Professor Ed Garcia’s paved the way for her journey into international peace work.
“When you first shook my hand, I was reminded that I was not alone in my struggle. As a woman, as a Mindanaoan, you inspire me to share your story to my people…this is the least I could do for my fellow Filipinos, for the missing people of Marawi…this is for you.”
De La Salle University College of Law Dean Chel Diokno reflected on how the “choices we make may alter the course of history” and reminded the audience to “welcome, not shun fear”.
The son of the late statesman Jose W. Diokno added, “No one can guarantee we will succeed, except God. All we can fight is the good fight, and leave the outcome in his hands. He will do what is best for us. It is dangerous to fight for our rights, but infinitely more, by not doing so…history has shown courage is stronger than fear, the humility of courage can stand up to the arrogance of power.”
Expressing their kind greetings and messages of support for their fellow 1987 Constitutional framer, via written letters, were retired Justice Adolf Azcuna, Ricardo Romulo, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide and Commission on Human Rights Chair Chito Gascon.
After a heartfelt introduction from their grandfather, former Senator Bobby Tañada, UP College of Law student Paolo Palanca and ASSIST-Asia’s Gabrielle Tañada called on their fellow millennials to “maintain the energy, zeal and courage to voice out the wrongs we see” and underscored how “courage as a virtue makes all actions possible.”
Concluding the event with messages of thanksgiving was international peace worker and renowned youth mentor Professor Ed Garcia himself, who expressed his sincere gratitude for JesCom’s invaluable contributions to his book’s success, and his Diamond Jubilarian batchmates’ staunch show of support for his project in their monthly First-Friday gatherings.
“Courage” is now available at all Tanging Yaman outlets. For inquiries on bulk orders, please call 426-5971 or 72 local 113. Like us on Facebook @ facebook.com/jescomph and follow us on Twitter @ JesComPH to get an exclusive look at the “Courage” book launch. (Photos by Roma Escaner)