A New Season
What I love about September is that it marks the last quarter of the year and the beginning of a new season. The monsoon weather lifts, the economy finds its rhythm once more, and whatever personal wrestling match we faced in August… well, somehow, September allows us the liminal space to breathe! One has to wonder about the twinkling magic of September–is it because Christmas is around the corner (and don’t we Filipinos just ADORE Christmas?).
I’d like to think that September brings in more than the happy cheer of Christmas. Woven in the folds of the calendar is Rosh Hoshanah, the Jewish New Year, which starts on the evening of September 15 and ends on September 17. In this celebration, the Jews commemorate the beginning or creation of man, ushering in a period called the 10 Days of Awe where penitence, prayer, and charity are observed. Similar to our own holidays, Jewish families cook up a storm and blow on their trumpets–called shofars– declaring “Shana Tovah!” or “May it be a good year!”
Though we may not be Jews following their ancient traditions, I find that the celebration of life or of new beginnings always has its perks. After all, doesn’t a new beginning give us reasons to smile and hope? We can be thankful for the past and dream for our future.
Last July, One Voice Magazine, in partnership with International Orality Studies, Manobisa High School, Barangay Manobisa, Revival Generation, and Magpet Dawn Watchers, initiated an ethnoarts workshop in Magpet, North Cotabato. It was a workshop that allowed the older generation of Obu Manuvu to teach the younger generation aspects of their culture such as how to cook their heritage food, compose original songs, and dance their customary dances. The youth also learned the intricacies of their different tribal attire and their instruments. The workshop was certainly a time of education and deep remembrance; a time, too, for the crew of One Voice Magazine to know more about the Obu Manuvu and appreciate our tribal brethren.
Pictures, videos, and reflective write-ups of this event will be released at a later date due to protocols that the team has to follow with the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP). Just the same, we are already thankful for what this project has opened up to us, including working with our partners and donors. We are also amazed at the new partners that God has given us along the way.
We would like to thank the following groups who made the workshop possible: Manobisa High School, Barangay Manobisa, Revival Generation, Magpet Dawn Watchers, Ethnoarts Philippines Inc., International Orality Studies, Summer Institute of Linguistics, OMALRACDI, Civil-Military Operations Regiment, the Philippine Army, Military Christian Fellowship, Community of Faith Alliance Church, Asian Seminary of Christian Ministries, FL Capili Business Consultancy, Open Doors, Light TV Foundation, and UCAP Radio. We would also like to thank all our other financial donors, in-kind donors, and prayer warriors. The workshop was truly a collective effort that needed everyone’s participation!
After the July workshop, a crew from One Voice Magazine teamed up with Ethnoarts Philippines Inc. to interview key people for our print magazine, set to be released this December. The trip was a wonderful time as we “dug for diamonds,” interviewing individuals with key testimonies on nation-building, as well as entities like The School of Living Tradition among the T’boli in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; the Davao House of Prayer; and PEGSILE Ministries that does scriptural engagement and church planting among the tribes.
Online Radio, Memes, and Print Magazine
Now that One Voice Magazine can rest from traveling (although this will likely resume again soon), the team is busy with their respective assignments. I am delighted to inform everyone that starting September 12, 2023, One Voice Radio will come back to life with Karen Rey, one of our staff members, at the helm.
Also, our meme production has started again on our Facebook, with Star Maglajos overseeing our designs.
Our print magazine, which I oversee, is also busy with production for an exciting issue with the theme: “PHILIPPINES, AWAKE!” This magazine will delve into the prophetic destiny of the Philippines, giving insight from a number of key spiritual fathers, as well as tying information together from our past and present. Testimonies from people whose destinies God has touched, and stories from people who have been working to uplift this nation will also be part of the magazine.
If you are wondering why the Philippines is so special to the Lord and why we must contend for our nation’s destiny and calling, then you must grab a copy when “PHILIPPINES, AWAKE!” comes out! Pray for us, too, as we write and compile this issue. We will certainly be informing you of our distribution channels as we inch closer to our deadlines.
Whatever new beginning God is giving each of us this season, we can challenge ourselves to dive into His personal story for us, fully trusting His heart. God is filling in the gaps. Making our broken narratives whole. Touching the traumatized chapters. I love that He is always present as our Father, leading us to where we have to go and giving us wisdom for the next steps to take.
It really makes a difference knowing that we don’t walk alone. We have our Heavenly Father, yes, but we also have people like you, our readers and viewers, cheering us on and walking with us in faith and destiny!
Thank you so much and God bless you as you walk through your doors of destiny!
One with you in this journey called life,
Janina Marie Rivera
Janina Marie Rivera is the author of the book, A Night Bird Sings of Blindness and Fear and has co-authored the devotional, Dawns, published by OMF Literature. She is a contributing poet in the books Joyful Light and Whitmanthology: on Loss and Grief by Various Authors. She is the Editor-in-Chief of One Voice Magazine.