‘Make peace in the Philippines’

In June 2014, we visited the Philippines for the first time in twenty five years to meet Filipino friends of ours we met during our reporting on Filipino affairs in the 1980s through Japanese media, including the assassination in August 1983 of Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino, an exiled opposition leader, and struggles against the Marcos regime resulting in EDSA ‘people power’ revolution in February 1986, which brought Cory, Ninoy’s widow, to the Presidency.

We asked them about peace. In Japan, where we come from, peace seems to be something that has prevailed since the end of WWII, but they talked about peace as something that needs to be made.

Karen Tañada was Executive Director of GZO Peace Institute. In the Institute’s office, there was a banner on the wall: ‘Peace based on justice; Peace by means of peace’, and numerous posters, such as ‘Peace means food, freedom, jobs and justice.’ She explained to us two sources of armed conflicts in the Philippines: communists, and Moro, Muslims in Mindanao, the southern island, peace negotiation, and citizen’s role in peace negotiation. In addition, she talked about the role of remembering in peace-making, and took us to Bantayog Museum which is ‘dedicated to the Filipino youth, an offering from their elders, who resisted the martial law regime and triumph over it in the end.

Jojo Deles was a consultant on governance. He talked about lessons he learned on the internet from Scottish approach to law and order, where law enforcement through police is only a part along with understanding of causes of instability, civilian organisations’ activities to address these causes, and promoting community action.

Dan Sangco was President and CEO of PinoyME Foundation. Pinoy stands for the Filipino people, and ME for micro enterprise. He talked about peace through inclusive prosperity by uplifting numerous micro enterprises.

In addition, Karen suggested us to meet with elderly Filipino men, whose fathers were massacred by Japanese soldiers in Batangas, in February/March 1945, and we went there to meet with Alex Maralit and Segundo Manalo Mea. The meeting was arranged by Chito Generoso.

She also took us to her lecture on peace-making for United Nations University for Peace on Ateneo de Manila University campus, where we came across Michiko Fukuda, a masters’ student from Japan. Michiko talked to us about the stories she heard from former Filipino comfort women for Japanese soldiers during the WWII.

Interviewed guests in order of appearance: Karen Tañada, Jojo Deles, Dan Sangco, Chito Generoso, Alex Maralit, Segundo Manalo Mea, and Michiko Fukuda.


Camera: Fumi Nakabachi
Editorial Adviser: Hajime Kobayashi
Music: Marius Pirhonen
Directed and edited by: Yushin Toda
Producer: Fumi Nakabachi and Yushin Toda
43 minutes
Mostly in English, but partly in Japanese with English subtitles.
©2015 Japan Desk Scotland


This is the ninth documentary made as part of our Documentary Film Production.

The documentary has been screened:

(1) on Friday 7 February 2015 at University of Strathclyde Chaplaincy Centre, Glasgow, scotland, as part of Japan@Strathclyde 2014/15;

(2) on Thursday 11 June 2015 at the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Here and there (seven documentaries)’;

(3) on Thursday 25 June 2015 at Oshima National College of Maritime Technology, Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan;

(4) on Wednesday 16 May 2018 at Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Japanese Journeys@Kelvin Hall’;

(5) on Wednesday 13 February 2019 at Moving Image Archive, National Library of Scotland, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, Scotland, as part of ‘Japanese Craft Documentaries’; and

(6) on Tuesday 5 November 2019 at the International Study Group held in the Interfaith Room, University of Glasgow Chaplaincy, Glasgow, Scotland.