June 18, 2009, Maasim Sarangani Province- An estimated 5,000 people from various sectors, Muslims, Lumads and Christians, employees of the provincial and local government, academe, religious sectors, private and non-government organizations filled the main streets of the municipality of Maasim, Sarangani Province for a five (5) kilometer “ Walk for Peace”, a unity parade aimed at promoting peace in the municipality. The activity organized by the 73rd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army opened the week-long celebration of the 37th Foundation Anniversary and 2nd Kestebeng Festival of the aforementioned municipality. Two groups were assembled from the West and East portions of the municipality covering the sixteen barangays. East group was led by Honorable Governor Miguel Rene Dominguez together with employees from the provincial office and participants from barangays Tinoto, Kamanga, Amsipit, Malbang, Seven Hills and Colon led by their barangay councils. On the otherhand, west group was led by Honorable Mayor Anecito Lopez, Jr. and participants from the barangays Lumasal, Kanalo, Nomoh, Pananag, Lumatil, Daliao, Kablacan, Kabatiol, Bales and Poblacion and other participating local government employees. The two groups converged in front of the municipal hall, a symbolic event showing the “Unity of the Tri-people” not only in Maasim but of the whole of Sarangani. Each barangay is well represented, from their barangay council led by their barangay captain down to the constituent level regardless of tribe and culture.
Walk for Peace opened the towns festivities which highlighted the ground-breaking ceremony for the Peace monument. Governor Rene Miguel Dominguez led the ground-breaking while Mayor Anecito Lopez Jr. on the lowering of the time capsule followed by the release of balloons and white doves.
After the morning activities, the participants of the Walk for Peace proceeded to the Maasim municipal Gymnasium for a short interfaith forum on Peace. The forum led by the local government unit with a theme “Muslims, Christians and Lumads Our Quest for Unity, Peace and Brotherly Love. Let`s Act on It”.
Speakers of the said forum encouraged every participant regardless of tribe, culture, status and age to do his/her share in promoting and advocating for peace.
The activity ends at exactly 4:00 o`clock in the afternoon with an ecumenical prayer for lasting peace from Muslim, Lumad and Christian.