Environmental & Human Rights

It’s been almost a month since my last blog post.  In this case, no news means tons of news.  As in i’ve been keeping so busy that the thought of blogging for 15 minutes and thinking about which news to share for the other 15 minutes, definitely loses to the thought of just vegetating for 30 minutes, checking my facebook, playing words with friends and contemplating how I’m ever going to finish my newsletter with all the stuff going on. 

Lets see:  Last saturday I returned from a 3 week long absence from Davao where I first went to Cotobato City, South Cotobato to attend a Human Rights Safety Training.  While there I was called upon to create and deliver a lecture about digital security, because the original speaker couldn’t make it.  That was pretty cool, I learned a whole lot about digital security but I think I could definitely add on to that presentation, now that I’ve had time to think about what to say and how much we use the virtual world to communicate these days…especially in light of the new Cyber Crime Prevention Act that is going through the Philippine legislature right now (its already out but due to the number of cases filed against it for violated freedom of speech, its been suspended for a while for ‘review’)

My second week was spend in Western Mindanao as I traveled from parish to parish, and diocese to diocese interviewing church priests, pastors and bishops about the situation of human rights and human rights violations for my piece to the report on the status of human rights under Aquino, to be delivered to the United Nations in a couple weeks.  I’m still busy compiling my report for that, although lately it’s on the backburner with a ton of other stuff going on.

My 3rd week was in Cagayan de Oro where I, along with Laura Wise (the new MI) attended the Mindanao School of Peace 2012: Module 2.  The Panalipdan! environmental activist group was having a council meeting at the same time in the same venue and I had been asked by InPeace and Panalipdan! staff to give a lecture on Tailings Dams Failure Models: and the Environmental and Social Impacts of Tailings Dams Failure.  It wasn’t the first time that my geoscience background has been called upon (one of the seriously cool things about working in the Philippines) but it was the first time I gave a lecture to super important people for an hour.  It was difficult to balance the lecture, as even though all of the council members are engaged activists, they all come from different backgrounds, therefore their basic level of geology knowledge varied greatly. Overall I think I did a good job and I look forward to being called upon for similar tasks in the future. 🙂

This week, Laura and I put together a powerpoint for one of the Human Rights defenders visiting the United Nations in Geneva this week, for the primer on the Mindanao Situation.  We had less than 72 hours to put together a super cool powerpoint that will keep the UN human rights council members engaged with the Mindanao rights situation and hopefully encourage them to read our shadow report later.

Next week is the 1 year anniversary of Fr. Pops’ assassination (see archives.)  There is a big event in Kidapawon, high mass, followed by a tribute concert for Fr. Pops.  I have been asked to perform two of the songs featured on the tribute cd released earlier this summer.  As of right now, I don’t know either of the songs, or have them memorized, but hey, what can you do, that’s the life of a geo-missionary rockstar in Mindanao.

This month is UMC Laity month and I have been asked to speak at church on the 28th.  Still trying to decide what to talk about.  I have an idea that’s been bouncing around my head for the past 6 months or so, so maybe I’ll find time to flesh it out….maybe.

The icing on my busy cake, on top of all that’s going on, is GBGM placement paperwork, liquidation of receipts and just general quarterly evaluations, as well as trying to finish my newsletter and keeping up with my blog.  


Which hasn’t been really happening.  Except for just now, the 10 minutes before lunch. Speaking of which….


…it’s Lunch Time.


God Bless my food.





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