People of International Alert Philippines

Diana Moraleda is the Senior Program Manager for Communications at International Alert Philippines. Before joining Alert in 2017, she worked as a communications officer for various NGOs and she also has a background in political science and multimedia journalism. Diana got involved in International Alert Philippines because she was interested in peacebuilding and wanted to enhance her skills in communications work.

Maureen Lacuesta or Mau, is the Senior Communications Officer. She has been with Alert since 2017 and began right after graduating university. She produces communications materials, such as videos and infographics, manages the social media accounts, and engages in research as well.

Q: What is one piece of advice you have for Philippine society? What are your hopes for the future?

DM: “Listen to each other. It is important to be able to learn about what another person is experiencing and to understand what another group’s situation is because we all are embedded in our own communities. While there are different institutions that shape us and we have different interests, our interests do not need to clash or clash forever. There is always a narrowest agenda on which we can collaborate. One point towards peace and harmony is actually listening to each other and talking to each other, so that the conflicts that we experience do not result in violence. I think this applies everywhere in the world.

This is also my aspiration. Just for people to sit down, work through things, and have the respect to listen to each other and learn from our mistakes. Learn from what has been done and what works. Look at the data, look at the evidence. Life gets messed up when people think that they know everything.”

ML: “It is really important to listen and understand where someone else is coming from. My work with Alert was the first time I really interacted with the Muslim community. Prior to my involvement here, I had a very outsider point of view of what Muslims were like, in part based on what the media usually feeds us. When I joined Alert, my whole point of view changed. Your perspective can really shift when you get to listen to peoples’ stories and understand where they are coming from.

Through development work, I have always carried this understanding that we have different realities. It is important that you do not impose your beliefs or knowledge on other people, because they may live a very different reality. It is important to be able to listen and understand other people. I hope that more Filipinos can do this. If you get to know others’ point of views, then we can be more understanding of one another in the future.”

Q: What motivates you in your work? 

DL: “What I really appreciate, and what keeps me going in the work that I do here, is the belief that when you give people enough opportunities and when you help remove impediments to personal growth and development, such as the reality and the threat of violent conflict, then everyone can achieve their full potential and we would be in a better place.

I see what we are doing in Alert as helping that process. It is not parachuting into communities. It is not assigning our own norms and our own values, but really working with people and reflecting with them on how they want their communities to run and then working together towards those goals.”