A community organizer among the urban poor, farmers, fishermen and indigenous peoples, “Pepz,” as he was fondly known, had an international reputation through his expansion of the Youth Leadership Development Programme in Singapore and Malaysia; the World Church in Britain Programme; and the Urban Rural Mission at the WCC.
Cunanan was a member of WCC delegations to the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil and the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. He participated at conferences and training courses around the world. He has published many articles and, on the radio, spoke often on agriculture, environmental issues and development.
“He was a creative, energetic, theologian, environmentalist, and social justice activist,” said Dr David Hallman, who previously coordinated the WCC’s Climate Change Programme.
"Pepz Cunanan brought joy to the ecumenical family. His smile was contagious, and his spirit was hopeful. He brought passion to the causes of the WCC wherever he was involved. He did so with a winsome personality, always open to hear, and always ready to share. His presence and work were a gift, enjoyed by others," said Rev. Wes Granberg-Michaelson who was the director of Church and Society at the WCC during Pepz’ time there.
Pepz was born in the Philippines. He was awarded his degree in anthropology from the University of the Philippines. He received further degrees in theology and his Doctor of Ministry from the Union Theological Seminary and Philippine Christian University. He was an ordained minister of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines.