Healthy Environment and Democratic Governance as Pathways to Peace: An Experience from a Rural Fishing Village in the Philippines

Document Type : Primary Research paper

Authors

1 Department of Liberal Arts and Behavioral Sciences, Visayas State University,Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

2 Office of the Graduate School, Eastern Visayas State University, Tacloban City, Philippines

3 Office of the University Secretary, Visayas State University, Baybay City, Leyte, Philippines

Abstract

This study explores into the concepts of democracy and environment in relation to the notions of peace of the fishermen of the coastal fishing community of Sitio Lapawon, Barangay Santo Rosario, Baybay, Leyte. This study is qualitative in nature and specifically employed the method of ethnography and interpretative analysis. By delving into the experiences of the fishermen themselves, this researcher would try to determine the fishermen’s notion of peace in relation to their lives as intertwined with the behavior of the sea, examine the essence of democracy that lead to the realm of environment conservation and investigate into the effects of environment conservation as a result of the working of the democratic principles in the lives of the fishermen. This study has found out that for the fishermen of Sitio Lapawon, Barangay Santo Rosario,Baybay, Leyte, peace is understood in relation to the concept of pagbulig sa tawo sa kinaiyahan (human person’s support and care for mother nature) and pagbulig sa panahon (the natural environment’s favorable behavior towards the human person). These two concepts relate to the concept of democracy since they have semblances in relation to the concepts of citizen empowerment, peaceful life, and mutual help. This paper then concludes that peace can only be achieved if fishermen live in harmony with nature and that attaining peace is more enhanced if people striving for it live in a democratic society. Furthermore, this study also concludes that the notion of citizen empowerment is a significant factor in the fishermen’s attainment of peace. Lastly, this study concludes that the notions of mutual help and the quest for a peaceful life made it possible for the fishermen to arrive at a sense of peace.

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