The First National Conference and Festival on Karangalan

Briefing Paper on
The First National Conference and Festival On



21-23 January 2005

Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex


Sponsored by

Tindog Pilipinas!, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Philippine Advancement and Renewal through Threefolding Networking, Education, Research and Service (PARTNERS), AIM Alumni Association Foundation, Anthroposophical Society in the Philippines, Asian Social Institute, Bansalangin Movement, Center for Alternative Development Initiatives, Chrysalis, Living Asia TV, Organizational Change Consultants International, Professionals For Social Responsibility, Ikapati Farm, Lifebank, Lifebank Foundation, MMO Card, Salt & Light Ventures, TruthForce!

In Partnership With:

Association of Appreciative Inquiry, BAGLAN Art and Culture Initiatives, Bohol Goodwill Volunteers, DESK, Don Bosco Diocesan Youth Center, Eco-Waste Coalition, Greenpeace, Focus on the Global South, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, Global Network for Social Threefolding, Katilingbanay Foundation, John Maxwell Leadership Institute, Lingkod Tao Kalikasan, PETA, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., TAO Culture and Arts Foundation


ABS-CBN Network, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Lifebank Foundation, Living Asia TV, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, MMO Card, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star


The Philippines faces grave challenges. Corruption, violence, drugs, environmental collapse, fiscal crisis, economic decline, weak democracy, inequitable distribution of wealth, and massive poverty, among others, plague the country. Traditional politics offers little hope for stemming the tide of deterioration. There is widespread frustration, anger and despair. Over 4000 Filipinos are leaving the Philippines on a daily basis, migrating to other countries. Does the Philippines have a future?


The organizers of the Conference/Festival are confident—the Philippines HAS a future. Amidst the anger and frustration, there is also the reality of the other Philippines. This is the Philippines of moral strength, courage, vision, initiative, compassion, integrity, political will, socially-oriented businesses, artistic competence, social entrepreneurship, achievement and excellence. It is a reality that is here, right now. It is something not far away but already here in our midst, slowly but surely re-shaping the future of our country for the better.

It is a dramatic statement of present realities and future possibilities when, last year, the Philippines became one of the most globally awarded countries in the world. Filipino individuals and groups won no less than 10 of the highest global awards for their work in the areas of global justice, journalism, environment, culture including music and areas of art, social threefolding as an approach to peaceful societal transformation, sports, urban architecture, renewable energy, and sustainable town. And 2004 is already seeing the continuation of this trend. (See Appendix A for details.)

These successes are only some of the more prominent global achievements of Filipinos in recent times. In the past, other Filipinos have also won awards given by the UN Environmental Program, Global 500 Award, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and others. In addition, there are the yearly awards of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (T0YM), The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service Awards (TOWNS), The Outstanding Filipino Award (TOFIL), and Galing Pook Award, to name a few. Coupled with these, there are many Filipinos who are making a significant impact in their communities and regions behind the limelight of the public eye of media.

The presence, among our midst, of these pioneers, champions, leaders and especially ordinary people doing extraordinary positive things, all for another Philippines, plus millions seeking a better way of life and society, shows that we are indeed ready to and are in a position to create a different, a visionary Philippines.

Indigenous, pre-Hispanic Philippine culture instituted festivals, among others, to align themselves to a higher, sacred purpose; to give meaning and importance to their day-to-day life within the context of that purpose; and to celebrate outstanding deeds of courage and service by members of their communities in the pursuit of the goals of the community.

The yearly Karangalan Conference/Festival continues this tradition within the context of the 21st century. Karangalan comes from the word, dangal, honor. Karangalan therefore literally means "having honor", "having dignity". For that indeed is part of the Philippine reality. Yes, we have our weaknesses and challenges. But we also have dangal, our honor, our dignity. When we choose to focus on what enables us to live with dignity and uprightness, we mobilize the deepest aspect of our creativity and spirit to build the Philippines we all dream of.

A nation without a vision, lacking a sense of purpose and achievement, always complaining about its failures and addicted to its weaknesses and despair, will rapidly sink into oblivion. But a nation with vision and commitment, humbly conscious of its moments of achievements and the creative essence animating its outstanding deeds, will change its present and future and will make a positive contribution to the general advancement of the world.


The goals of the Conference/Festival are:

  • To highlight and celebrate the striving and successes of many Filipinos for a better way of life, for a better country;
  • To empower Filipinos, through an experience of the dozens of exciting initiatives all over the country, with a sense of vision and hope for their future and for their country;
  • To create a social space where diverse, prominent and little-known initiatives can come together and cross-fertilize each other – all towards the creation of a visionary Philippines.
  • To enable participants and the larger public to have a glimmer, of the present form and future possibilities of the visionary Philippines that is emerging in our midst.
  • To encourage the launching of new initiatives for a better Philippines.

The Conference and Festival will last for three days: from Friday, 21 January 2005 until Sunday, 23 January 2005. The theme of the First Karangalan Conference/Festival is "Mobilizing Excellence to Create a Visionary Philippines". Participants will experience the reality of the other, more hopeful Philippines through a diversity of presentations: plenary lectures, workshops, exhibits, and artistic performances. Aside from seeking appropriate sponsors, the organizers will charge a reasonable conference fee for the three days to help cover the cost of the Conference and Festival. Karangalan will have socialized registration fees for students and participants with reduced economic opportunities.

The event will feature the following:

  • Plenary lectures by individuals who have achieved global recognition for their work;
  • Performances by globally and nationally recognized Filipino artistic groups
  • Workshops by groups and individuals who have achieved national recognition as well as by ordinary people doing extraordinary local work worthy or national recognition; and
  • Exhibits by individuals and groups wanting to create a visionary Philippines.

The program has a mix of lectures, artistic performances, action-oriented workshops, and exhibits that organically weave and reinforce each together as a whole. Kindly see Appendix B (attached) for details. While most of the invited speakers and artists have confirmed, there may be last minute program changes due to unforeseen developments, due, among others, to the complex task of synchronizing the very busy schedule of plenary speakers and artists. The Final Program booklet will contain the details of the program, including the details of the artistic performances.

There will be two emcees for the Conference and Festival. They will contextualize and weave a "global" synthesis of the different plenary and artistic contributions. Nicanor Perlas, 2003 Alternative Nobel Awardee and 1994 TOFIL Awardee, and Ces Drilon, 2004 TOWNS Awardee and Director of ABS-CBN's Business News Group, have confirmed their role as emcees of the program. TOWNS is The Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service. TOFIL is The Outstanding Filipino Award.

Workshops/Exhibits and Range of Topics Covered

The workshop groups and Exhibits will cover a broad range of topics: ecological restoration, strategic micro-finance, sustainable agriculture, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, promising local government initiatives, innovative artistic approaches, holistic medicine, appropriate science and technology, new approaches to social movements, education for sustainable development, sustainable integrated area development, spiritual science, innovative leadership, appreciative inquiry, achieving a fuller human potential, creative approaches to fund raising, and others.

These various workshops will be organized under seven thematic areas which correspond to the seven dimensions of integral sustainable development (ISD). These are: ecology, economy, politics, culture, society (including social threefolding), human development, and spirituality. Kindly see Appendix C for details of the Karangalan principles guiding the Organizing Committee of the Conference/Festival.

Many of those listed as organizers and partners will be giving a workshop and/or an exhibit on their current initiatives.


The leadership of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) has agreed to provide its Main Theater (1800 seating capacity) as the main venue for the Conference/Festival. In addition, the CCP will also provide access to its other facilities throughout the event. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) has provided financial support for the artistic part of the program. ABS CBN is providing national and global coverage before, during and after the event. Similarly Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star will provide written news and opinion coverage of Karangalan. Living Asia TV Channel will air a post-event special. MMO card has taken responsibility for printing 3000 copies of the colored program. Lifebank Foundation has provided bridge funding for the whole event.


We despair about the Philippines. Yet in our midst are individuals and groups who are already creating the foundations of another, more visionary Philippines. We are holding this conference and festival of excellence to send a strong message that indeed the other Philippines is already in our midst. The ideas, the talents, the initiatives are there. We only need to come together to make our dreams a reality. KAYA NATIN ITO!

FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Nicanor Perlas at: Tel. Nos. 02-687-7481 and 02-687-7482. Email: Or also, call the Karangalan Secretariat at 02-687-0162 or email: .

Also, visit which will provide the website for the event and will soon provide media coverage leading up to, during, and after the event.