Peace Road 2016 in Philippines
Peace Road 2016 Philippines Igniting the Spirit of Global Unity Towards Peace and Positive Change
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By FFWPU Philippine, Julius Malicdem
Twelve days before the commemoration of True Father’s 4th Year Seonghwa Anniversary, a great victory was offered to heaven through the successful staging of the Peace Road 2016 event in the Philippines.
Probably one of the biggest Peace Road gathering was staged right at the heart of the Philippines in Quezon City Manila last August 7, 2016 in spite of the challenging weather. Even amidst continuous raining even early morning, still a huge turn-out of more than 4,000 people including around 1,600 bikers and around 3,000 peace marchers and spectators converged at the historic Quezon City Memorial Circle. “Amazing! God has blessed us with perfect weather! God is with us!”, exclaimed by one of the VIPs who spoke during the Opening Program. “Unbelievable! Weather is truly cooperating with our event!”, said one of the peace bikers from the Philippine Army, after completing the 21-kilometer bike loop around the major roads in Manila which took the bikers around 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. Truly, God, our Heavenly Parent is in total control as the weather forecast reflected that last Sunday morning should have been filled with a lot of rains. But somehow, the rain stopped minutes before the event started and even the sun came out while the whole program was going on!
Even amidst the showers, as early as 5 in the morning, bikers coming from several biking associations and peace advocates assembled at the Liwasang Aurora in Quezon City Circle including bikers from the main stakeholders of peace in the nation, the military and the police. This is the 2nd time that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have fully endorsed and promoted our Peace Road event wherein around 150 bikers came from the Armed Forces of the Philippines representing the three major services, Army, Navy, Air Force and including the General Headquarters. Also, like last year, the Philippine National Police and Metro Manila Development Authority and the National Bicycle Organization were also in full force with hundreds coming from their groups from various places around Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces. Also, many members, peacemakers and supporters came to support this historic event.
This time, the Peace Road 2016 event in the Philippines which is spearheaded by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), together with W-CARP, Youth Federation for World Peace, Women’s Federation for Worlds Peace, Asian Clergy Leadership Conference, with the support of other affiliates like International Peace Leadership College, Sun Hwa International Academy and Professors World Peace Academy. Once again, the Quezon City Government, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the National Bicycle Organization are the major partners with the great support from the Philippine National Police, Philippine National Red Cross and Metro Manila Development Authority. The staging of the Peace Road event would not have been successful without the support from all these government organizations and NGO’s and volunteer motorized bike groups who served as marshals. Now more and more people have greater awareness of the Peace Road and the vision of our True Parents as many participants showed deeper interest with our advocacy and the growing popularity of our Peace road event.
Before the event, several build-up and coordination meetings were conducted with the major organizers and partners of the Peace Road event in the Philippines. Also, a live interview was held 4 days before the event in a national government television, in PTV Channel 4 in the program, “Good Morning Pilipinas!” where we had the chance to promote about the activities of UPF aside from Peace Road and the bigger vision of True Parents towards true and lasting peace.
The opening program started at 6:30AM with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and a Doxology. Then Rev. Julius Malicdem, National Leader of the Unification Movement and the Chairman of the UPF in the Philippines, gave a brief introduction about the Peace Road Project. He explained the history, significance and purpose of the Peace Road event and testified about the great vision and legacy of peace of the True Parents. Dr. Chung Sik Yong, Special Emissary and Regional President of UPF Asia, delivered the Keynote Message where he testified about the great vision of True Parents and encouraged all the participants, partners, bikers, marchers and peace advocates to truly become catalyst of bringing true and lasting peace. Many participants also became very much interested in the display booth featuring True Parent’s Autobiography book, “As A Peace Loving Global Citizen”.
Congratulatory Remarks was given by Director Pamela Ann Padilla from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process under the Office of the Philippine President. A 3-term Congressman from Quezon City, Honorable Dante Liban also gave Congratulatory Remarks where he lauded Father and Mother Moon for their inspiring works and vision to realize the dream of building one family under God. Then the signing of the Peace Road banner by representative leaders and participants followed. There were a lot of cheering as the Peace Road flag was handed over by Dr. Chung Sik Yong to the Representative youth which signaled the start of the Peace Bike tour and the Peace March. Everyone is in high spirits and fully animated as the excitement of seeing a variety of bikers started to make their way out of the venue and onto the 21-kilometer bike loop around Manila.
Right after the peace bikers left, more than 2,000 Peace Marchers went around the circumferential road just outside of the Quezon City Memorial Park. Several student organizations from various colleges and universities participated in the Peace March. After the march was completed, the participants started to affix their names and signatures in the Peace Wall to show their support for the advocacies of Peace Road. Then, performances followed coming from the International Peace Leadership College students showing great energy in their Tong Il Moo Do Martial Arts performance. Also the pupils of Sun Hwa International Academy entertained the audience with a beautiful Korean fan dance and K-Pop dance. Other performers included singers, band performances.
As the peace bikers are making their entrance back to the venue, loud cheers from the flag-waving participants welcomed them. Several of the major partners were then received Certificates of Appreciation from Dr. Chung Sik Yong and assisted by Rev. Julius Malicdem. The successful event concluded with three loud cheers of “Eog Mansei-Mabuhay!” led by W-CARP Philippine President, Mr. Rene Lansangan. The audience enjoyed longer after the Closing Program as the Peace Concert continued.
As the main organizers and partners converged on the stage after the completion of the event, a lot of handshakes and exchanges of “congratulations” were echoing. Many have uttered out of their gratitude to God for the victory, “we have God’s backing as He truly listened to our prayers.” One General from the military said, “I was worried about the weather this morning because the forecast was that it will be a rainy day, but amazingly… thank God, He gave us a perfect weather this morning!” Then he added, “I really admire your faith! When I asked several times whether we will cancel or push through, without a doubt, your answer is very clear, no postponement because God is with us!” Then most of the leaders of the bicycle groups said, “Let’s do it again next year! And let’s do bigger next time!” Somehow, now more and more people are taking ownership of the Peace Road event in the Philippines.
In spite of this victory, we still feel so sorry for we could not offer much. With all humility, please receive the hard work of our brothers and sisters as we offer this Peace Road event so that we may welcome the 4th Anniversary of our beloved True Father’s Seonghwa Ceremony more meaningfully and with greater inspiration. Thank you so much to our beloved Heavenly Parent and True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humankind for all your love and unending support for the Providence in our nation in the Philippines!
Our beloved True Mother, we shall continue on marching forward towards the realization of Vision 2020! Sungni! Sungni! Sungni!