Anderson willing to visit conflict areas in MIndanao
MANILA (UPDATE) - President Aquino led the launch of the "I am for Peace" campaign, a way of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) to spread public consciousness on the peace process.
This coincides with the observance of the National Peace Consciousness Month.
Celebrities signed up to become national peace ambassadors who have been selected to serve as advocates for peace and help raise public awareness on peace and the peace process.
Taking their oath as peace ambassadors include celebrities and Kapamilya stars Gerald Anderson, Anne Curtis, Christian Bautista, Kiray Celis and Igi Boy Flores.
Also joining them were Epy Quizon, Megan Young, Apl.de.Ap, Noel Cabangon, Gloc 9, Rovilson Fernandez, fashion designers JC Buendia and Arnold Galang, among others.
Members of the Philippine Azkals will also help out in the campaign where they will share football skills across the country as their way of helping promote peace.
In an interview, Gerald Anderson said that he is willing to visit conflict-affected areas in Mindanao to help promote peace.
Anderson shared that he knew it was to live in fear.
"Actually, noong nag-sit down ako kasama sila, 'yun 'yung una kong sinabi na sana magkaroon ako ng pagkakataon para makapunta sa mga ganoong klaseng [lugar]. Ako kasi lumaki ako sa GenSan sa Mindanao and naranasan ko rin ho 'yung bomb threats, 'yung bombing mismo na five steps away sa eskwelahan ko narinig namin. So at nakita ko at naramdaman ko rin ho 'yung takot, 'yung fear ng mga tao doon, at six years later nandito ako in a position para makatulong sa iba," Anderson told reporters.
"'Yun nga sana ho ni-request ko na sana ho makapunta po ako sa mga places na 'yon na kailangan din nila ng kahit papaano inspirasyon and para maipaliwanag din namin sa kanila na kailangan din natin ng peace at kailangan nating, ano, magtulungan," he added.
Anne Curtis promised to set a good example and help in the peace education campaign.
"The best way that I can probably promote the peace process is by being a good example by using means of what I have, where I stand in my career might be social media, on TV, how I behave even when I'm not in front of the camera. I think that's the best way I can set an example and hopefully reach out to my followers," Curtis said.
Singer Apl. De. Ap said he will help promote awareness among Filipino-Americans by using social media.
"I wanna spread the awareness especially the Fil-Ams in the US and educate them on what is going on in the Philippines and the social issues. And also through a, you know, we're coming up with the ideas of creating a Facebook account and it's just strictly for 'I am Peace' and also through Twitter," he said.
The celebrities said they did not hesitate to sign up and help and that they are doing this for free and that will be not be receiving any talent fee.
"None, none whatsoever po. It is a peace process so me, I believe that I don't think any of us 'cause it has to come from your heart. The one thing when I spoke to my dad about it is that it really starts from one person, it starts from yourself and hopefully it becomes a domino effect and a chain reaction. So I think it has to be a personal conviction to yourself," Curtis said.
Gerald says, "It's our free will. Tinanong nila ako kung gusto naming sumali, umoo agad ako.
So-called business partners for peace were also recognized. These are companies that will forge partnerships with the OPAPP to spread the message of peace through in their own way.
These include ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, Golden Arches Development Corporation, Liwayway Marketing Corporation, M Concepts and Style, Philippine Seven Corporation, and Zest-O Corporation.
Presidential Peace Adviser Ging Deles described this day as a "Beautiful day for peace" thanking all participants for their willingness to join the cause.
Deles expressed optimism that peace is at hand, saying that the peace process is ripe between the government and the MILF.
President Aquino thanked the peace ambassadors for the help, encouraging others to join as well. He even encouraged apl.de.ap, Noel Cabangon and Anne Curtis to sign together as a way to attract more people to join the campaign.
"Talaga naman pong may katiyakan ng katahimikan kung lahat tayo nakikialam at, sabi ko, 'Kung ganito ang kalibre ng mga kasangga nating natutulak ng kapayapaan, paano tayo hindi magtatagumpay?' Lalo na kung maghihikayat tayo ng mga bagong miyembro; nandito po si apl, sinamahan pa ni Noel, at siyempre 'yung ating platinum awardee na si Anne Curtis-baka maghahandog ng awit habang naghihikayat tayo sa lahat," Aquino said at the end of his speech.