Art of Hosting in the Philippines

About a year and a half ago, New Stories Team Member Valmae Rose introduced me to Juan Kanapi, Jr.  It was just after the devastating Typoon Haiyan and Valmae hoped that my work in Japan’s disasters might offer some insights in the Philippines.  Juan and I started into a series of conversations which included introductions to a number of his colleagues.  I did what I could to listen and sometimes offer counsel from a distance. It was somewhat embarrassing in the beginning to realize I couldn’t even spell Philippines (one 1 and two p‘s — not the other way around!) and that I knew practically nothing about their local context.  I made video appearances in a conference or two and just kept being touched by the deep integrity and commitment of the people I met. Finally, this February, I was able to arrange an overnight stopover in Manila on my way to Japan and had a lovely dinner with Juan, some of his colleagues as well as another Team Member, Sarah Queblatin.

It was so good to be there, if only for an evening, to get a taste of these warriors of the heart.

I have the opportunity to work with wonderful people all over the world.  I find myself especially touched by “this work” in the Philippines.  Even my work in Japan’s disasters has been done from the comfort of relative stability.  I’ve never had to worry about getting shot up because of political violence.  Tensions between people with different spiritual outlooks have been minimal. That’s not the case in the Philippines where volatile conditions place those who host conversations that matter in harms way.

Just this week Juan shared a report on Art of Hosting in the Philippines.  Here’ what Juan wrote about the report in an e-mail to Valmae, close friend and colleague Toke Moeller and me:

It has been more than a year, since the AoH was brought to the Philippines and Future By Design Pilipinas was born.  In our first year, we in FBDP entered into every opportunity that was presented to us, to apply the AoH, in order to help groups become more effective in achieving their Vision and Mission.  We have kept notes of our experiences and found time to reflect on these.  The result is our very first document about what we learned about the practice of AoH, given Philippine realities.  
We would like to share our lessons learned from the field article with you, whom we consider as friends and  Elders in the practice of AoH.  It is our way of saying Thank You  for all the support you have given us so far, and hopefully this support will continue. It is also our way of inviting your thoughts about what we have written, when you find time to read the article and reflect on it.
This article will be shared, for the first time in the Philippines, with the participants of the very first Art of Hosting Playshop, that FBDPilipinas will run, this April 16-18, at the Eden Nature Park in Davao, Mindanao.  Participants will mostly come from Mindanao, who are Fellows of the Asian Institute of Management Center for Bridging Leadership.  We (Miren and myself) have journeyed with them when they were going through their Fellowship Program (2 batches, between 2010-13).  Other non-Fellows, were also invited, to make the conversations more divergent & interesting.  The article will be shared with our AoH classmates, from the 2013 training program, after this reunion of Fellows.  
That event is going on right now.  Wish I could be there.  At least I can share this powerful report:  Lessons FromThe Philippines

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