Behind the Scenes of Liwanag

Liwanag World Festival 2013 just ended… (but it just started!!)

I just have to commend and would like to say THANK YOU to each person part of the Liwanag Organizing Team (includes local/national organizers) [Nic P., Ate Shiela, Kuya Jagat, Ate Tressa, Tita Terry, Jim, Ate Tammy] , MISSION members [ Ate Monica, Nalini,  Dad, Mom, Darlene, Paolo, Kuya Jude, Tatay Felcon, Kuya Richie, Kuya Ome, Valerie, Louise, France, Ate Au, Kuya Sam, Ate Rina, Fr. Tito, Lola Bebot, Enrique, Herms, Kuya Vincent, basta lahat MISSION Members with us physically on the event or not], ELDOT (Extended Liwanag Davao Organizing Team), Friends of MISSION, Liwanag Artists, Plenary Speakers, Volunteers and Participants.

ELDOT, LOT, Artists, & some participants (it’s hard to gather the 16 together in one picture! I can’t see one perfect picture with everyone in it!!!)

All of us are volunteers. We have been meeting once a week for 7 months. and 2-3x a week for the next 2 critical crunch time months(December-January). There were like 16 of us. [ Leo, Gina, Melma, Maya, Tina, Kate, Ayyi, Ellen, Lorie, Lester, Carlo, Arjun, Nitta, Rhon, Nick S., Lilli ]. All the sacrifices, the series of lemniscates we all have to go through from personal to economical.

At the beginning of the event knowing the huge task at hand, we have jokingly warned each other: “I hope we are still friends after the event”. Knowing we may get into each other’s nerves, and even more than that have our different ideas clash with another person’s viewpoint.

If you really know each of the ELDOT, all of the personalities are STRONG. And it’s amazing how all our strong personalities was able to deal with each one – perfectly well. Yes, we all had our downtimes….. but as what Nic P. would have it: “Davao Team the ELDOT, handled it gracefully and by the eleventh hour it was even seamless”. (not the right words.. can someone supply the exact words? hehehe)

We had no petty dramas… siguro at the beginning… we’d argue… but then someone would always put the fire out and everyone would begin supporting one another again. It was Bayanihan… in a personal way. Each gained sensitivity to know who is “going through” something or who needs support or “space”.

What was the secret behind everything? We all handled our own demons/shadows before we confront another. If we see something wrong with another person, we confront ourselves first and ask these questions: “What is it in me that needs to be healed? What is it that I have to learn? What is it in me that is being brought to the surface? What would Liwanag do now?”

Of course, along the way… different spiritual practices aided us… and self mastery practices we got from various mentors that graced our path every step of the way. Yes, our journey was filled with teachers……

we have to make risky choices as a group…. and we encountered many “counter-forces” along the way even up to the last minute… almost having no venue *wink wink* at some point. but we stayed true… and committed (though some of us were falling off.. like me… around November on my part). Counter forces sometimes arrive not as something external but it arrives and “eats” you internally if you are not aware of it. It’s that dark moment, that passage you just have to go through… it can be fleeting.. it can be a long dark moment. And it can make you believe that you have a far more important life to live than to make Liwanag happen. But, the thing is… whether you continue the journey as an organizer or not.. Liwanag will always happen. You just have to hang on. To get back on track. And we all did…. on the day…. we picked up many heart-y volunteers… mixed with the curious… and now their fires are burning bright… ahhhh…. the life. 🙂

at the 11th hour of the event.. everyone is still smiling…. despite the challenges.Photo source: Liwanag World Festival 

maybe on some future post… i’ll acknowledge what gift that I saw in every ELDOT, and the LOT, the ones I personally know. Liwanag sure was not just an event. Each person involved in Liwanag was “purified” in every way…. i know most of the LOT, MISSION members were all going thru that… (just go back on those days when you started to be involved in Liwanag… and the moments/events that happened right after it).

Liwanag is something you embody within yourself and share it to others… thus Be The Light. Share the Light. 🙂

Nic P. even said: “The performance of the Bayanihan Dancers of the Singkil during the Liwanag World Festival, was like a physical representation and manifestation of how ELDOT handled LWF(a huge/complicated task) in a graceful way…which almost brought me to tears (i was holding back).”

Note: This post is an understatement to what each organizer experienced along the way. All our personal relationships, day to day life was rocked….. mind you. I’ve seen how each supported another, or gives space if one needs it… basta it was Bayanihan on a personal level.


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