Our special blogger for this posting is Yolanda Ortega Stern (“Manang YO”) of the One World Institute, a private health and education foundation that provides humanitarian services to areas in conflict, where no one dares to go and help out. I have been moderating a community blog for OWI since late 2010. Please watch out for updates in this posting. The newest update will be the first entry after this introduction.
For a look at Manang YO’s educational columns, please read her opinion-editorials in her MINDANAO SERIES embedded below. Manang Yo told me that her columns will be a historic chronicle of failure — and intentionally waited before writing a new one. Now that a few predictions have come to pass, please read her columns. We look forward to a new one.
I have also started Yolanda Ortega Stern’s content curation about the Philippines-Sulu-Sabah-Malaysia situation, taken from her Facebook postings. This allows many newbies to learn more about the situation through Manang YO’s real-time OP-EDs and compilation of news sources. Quotes from her Facebook commentaries are also included.
Yolanda O. Stern, the esteemed Filipina American Philanthropist and Business “mover and shaker” sent her message about the current situation in her beloved Mindanao where her Projects for Peace are making a huge positive impact in bringing much needed services in health and education — in places that many Filipinos, tourists, and investors have been warned about from some media sources or travel advisories. “Manang Yo” travels to these beautiful islands, isles, and atolls — and is the Voice of Peace for these gentle “people of the currents.”
Together with her husband, Tom Stern, M.D., the couple continues helping out where they can.
I am a volunteer in many of “Manang Yo’s” projects. Not only am I learning more about philanthropy for peace, I’m becoming more and more appreciative about my heritage. I am Proudly Filipina!
Please listen to Manang Yo’s message — and do something to promote PEACE!
From: Yolanda O. Stern, c/o [email protected]
Date: Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 7:31 PM
Subject: Will No-Kidnap Zones Help Bring Investments?
NO-KIDNAP Zones (NKZ) in the Philippines:
One Man Dares To Do It First
- Do you believe that crime and kidnappings prevent development and investments from coming to the Philippines, especially to Mindanao?
- Have you been told that no kidnaps-for-ransom can take place without connivance between law enforcement units and their willing handlers who partake of the ransom?
-Have you been told that the kidnappings are a plot to keep Mindanao destabilized in order to further certain agendas?
- Are you aware that Metro Manila has kidnappings as well?
I have, for many years, been told many versions of why the lack of basic services, the absence of schools, the absence of health centers, the absence of lawyers…
The recent re-issue of travel alerts by the US and other foreign embassies after the kidnapping of the Lunsmann family in Tictabon Island off Zamboanga really hit some nerves. There are several kidnap victims who are still being held by somebody somewhere. Some have been held for so long because the families cannot come up with the ransom payments. Many foreign humanitarian aid workers and foreign missionaries suffer direct threats, forcing them to flee to “safer” havens.
How can we find out the truth about these kidnappings? And why can’t law enforcement protect the citizens?
One man has come up with the challenge. As the spiritual leader of Darul Jambanggan, the ancestral and historical seat of the ancient Sulu Sulanate, descendant and heir to Balambaggan (Spratlys), heir to the sultanate, he declares the first “NO-KIDNAP ZONE” in Jolo, Sulu and I quote:
“I can say YES, I will be truthful to everyone in this world that Darul
Jambanggan is a ‘No Kidnap Zone’ in Jolo, Sulu. I give my assurance
that our people inside Darul are faithfull to us and have no plans to
harm anyone regardless of race, religion etc. Please help me get this message to the media.” Rajah Muda Muedzulail Kiram, Darul Jambanggan, Jolo, Sulu
My friends, associates, pillars of the baranggays and municipalities, members of our bicameral legislature, we need to declare “No-Kidnap Zones Everywhere” and guard and protect the citizens within our areas of jurisdiction, and install kidnap hotlines everywhere before victims are killed or become impossible to retrieve. This business must end. or we will continue to hear from the suspected kidnappers that they are being blamed falsely, and the people will continue to fear being kidnapped and blame law enforcement units.
One man above, dares to do it, let’s try to get more leaders to do the same!
Suite 403, Cityland 10, Tower 1
156 H.V. dela Costa St.
Makati, Philippines 1008
UPDATE AS OF JULY 27, 2011
If your local government unit or region would like to PROCLAIM AN NKZ ZONE, here are some things you can do.
1. Issue a Proclamation.
2. Email a copy to [email protected]
3. Create NKZ road signs, billboards, and other collateral.
We will update you with more details.
Thank you for considering NKZ as an economic empowerment tool!
Definition of a NO KIDNAP ZONE
A â€œNo Kidnap Zoneâ€ is a community that has decided to focus effort on creating positive development within its economy and society. By refusing to serve as a tool for criminals to exploit or as a shelter for criminals to hide within, a â€œNo Kidnap Zoneâ€ exists as a community of peace, prosperity, equality, and justice. The inhabitants know in their hearts, that no person should be the victim of crime.
For those of you who are not yet aware about my 2011 project, “Pearls for Peace” at the One World Institute, now you know! Yolanda Ortega Stern, whose “Projects for Peace” totally engaged my curiosity about natural pearls in the Sulu Archipelago in Southern Philippines, shared the story of Basil Anik, the Fisherman-Artist, who created unique brooches, with the $25 per brooch donations going toward feeding the artisan-interns who work with him. There will be more pearls that I will be asking for donations from all of you, of course. I say: “Enjoy my pearls for peace because they go toward supporting sustainable livelihood in areas of conflict.” (HINT: I am accepting your on-going orders!)
“Manang Yo,” our fond nickname for this philanthropist, and her husband, Dr. Tom K. Stern, the philanthropist and best-selling “I-can’t-put-down-this-novel-because-it-is-so-thrilling!” author, devote time dealing with “the trade,” where they supply the natural pearls from T. Stern Natural Pearls or SternPearls.com to the people who work on this world’s unique and rare treasures and transform these natural pearls into exquisite (and very expensive) pieces of jewelry. Tom K. Stern is the inspiration behind the founding of the Natural Pearl Society.
On January 31 to February 6, 2011, at the Arizona Global Gem and Jewelry Show, Yolanda O. Stern will be one of the members from the Natural Pearl Society who will be educating “the trade” about the history, care, science, marketing, and the romance of natural pearls. Yolanda’s much-anticipated book about SEX — not sex for homo sapiens but about “SEX AND THE WILD PEARL” — is coming soon to our neighborhood. As a special preview, “Manang Yo” will be giving a couple of short readings (from her book) during this gem show.
I hope you can support me in my holiday non-profit project. If you’re looking for unique, meaningful gifts, I have something to offer online. It’s TheOneWorldInstitute.org’s “Pearls for Peace” project. They are featuring BASIL ANIK, a Fisherman-Artist from Jolo, Sulu, who creates one-of-a-kind brooches suitable for everyone. Video catalog at http://bit.ly/g5qVf4.
Your donations, starting at $25 per brooch, will help save many lives in areas of conflict. For more information, see http://OWIcommunity.tumblr.com. Special orders accepted atÂ [email protected]. Please pass on to your friends. Happy holidays!
Welcome to One World Institute’s “Pearls for Peace,” a project for the soul… Featuring Basil Anik, Artist, of Jolo, Sulu.
Bas and his wife have four children. He is saving money to send them to school. Living on the water at the Tulay (bridge) in Jolo, Bas is a fisherman who makes dried fish to sell.
Recently, he volunteered his humble house on the water for The One World Institute’s “Movie Nights” and a reading program for children sponsored by Thomas M. Ortega Stern. “Books for the Barrios” supplied the books.
Basil Anik’s home has been disrupted by many conflicts caused by war. Last year, an errant missile hit the Anik home and wounded his father-in-law, mother-in-law, and two sons. The year before, his home was ruined by a typhoon. People helped to rebuild Bas’ home for the fourth time — in true “rebuilding community” spirit.
When we first started “Movie Nights”, we were expecting 50 children. Instead, almost 300 came from all the stilt houses — but due to the unexpected heavy weight of these movie-goers, the bridge fell. We had to postpone the project until the community’s residents fetched bamboo from the mountains to rebuild and reinforce the bridge.
One day at a time, life changed for the residents of the Tulay…
Children come to read with volunteers from the local schools. Games and contests are organized for them during special holidays…
Bas is also now supervising a “Basketball for Peace Program.” Teams compete on a beach court when low tide sets in. Basketball teams’ uniforms are made locally for US$100.00 per team. The donor gets his own colors and company name on the uniforms. At the end of each final tournament, the players keep their uniforms…
Most of the young adults in 2010 came to get tutored at the Tulay. All of them have graduated. As they look forward to being in high school, we celebrate their achievements as milestones…
Bas began experimenting with creating brooches by following instructions from a “do-it-yourself” book. Today, your donation of every pin provides pocket money for food to the apprentices who come to assist in polishing and shining the finished products. Bas cannot make new brooches until he dispatches this batch because he had invested his savings for tools and materials…
In areas where war can wreak havoc and destroy communities, a sustainable livelihood through the artisan craftsmanship of these “pearls for peace” saves many lives.
We thank you for making it possible for Basil Anik and his team to continue creating one-of-a-kind brooches…
ABOUT THE BROOCHES:
“Sulu Wildlife Series. Materials: .999 Silver from Tongkil Island & Sulu Mother of Pearl.
The traditional brooches depict fruits and flowers of Sulu. The pins are worn by both male and female for the “sablay”— or to hold a shirt closed or to keep a scarf secure. Men wear it on their lapels and women pin it to their head scarves. There are many uses for the pin, so let your imagination go to work.
One definition of “sablay” is “a loose piece of clothing, worn by a person, that is simple yet elegant and joined in front by an ornament; as well as the draping object or fabric on the shoulder.”
Since the brooch is made of pure silver, it is soft to the touch and needs delicate handling. No two brooches are alike. Â
Brooches in 14/18Kt gold can be custom-made to your specifications, too. Please contact us at [email protected] for any special orders.
DONATION: $25.00 for one brooch; 45.00 for two brooches; Volume Discount: For 10 to 20 brooches, get 10% discount; For any brooch at $50 or more, get 15% discount for the Holiday Season. LIMITED QUANTITIES AVAILABLE.