Philippines: The 4th International Youth Assembly
4th International Youth Assembly in the Philippines: Raising the Young People to Become Owners of True Parent’s Vision for the World
By FFWPU Philippine, Mr. Rolan Dagohoy and Dr. Julius Malicdem
Flared with burning passion and determination, the World Collegiate Association for the Research of Principles (W-CARP), Youth Federation for World Peace (YFWP), together with the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP) in the Philippines, successfully conducted the 4th International Youth Assembly (IYA) with the theme, “Peace-Loving Global Youth: Vanguards of Change Towards Sustainable Peace and Prosperity” on September 23-25, 2016 in Tagbilaran City in the province of Bohol. The 3-day Assembly was participated by around 500 student leaders from the different colleges and universities from different regions in the Philippines, and across Bohol province and International delegates from Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Albania, United States of America and Korea.
The IYA event commenced at the Bohol Cultural Center with the opening program which was graced by dignitaries from the City government of Tagbilaran headed by the City Mayor, Hon. John Geesnel Yap, who gave the Welcome Address. Dr. Chung Sik Yong, the Regional President of Universal Peace Federation in Asia delivered the Keynote Address for the Assembly. Rev. Yutaka Yamada who is the President of WCARP in Asia, gave the Opening Remarks. Dr. Julius Malicdem, Chairman of Youth Federation for World Peace and Universal Peace Federation in the Philippines delivered the first presentation on the topic, “Principled Youth as Agents of Change for a World of Sustainable Peace”. During the presentation, the youth delegates understood well the universal principles of peace taught by the True Parents, Dr. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, Founders of UPF. Other speakers during the first day of the Assembly included: Dr. Arceli M. Hernando, Director of the Students’ Affairs of Bohol Island State University who inspired the participants through her lecture about the Role of Academe in the Societal Development; Dr. Ronaldo Larioque, a very young school principal and leadership trainer who spoke on Leadership, Politics and Social Change; Dr. Robert Kittel, Director for Education of UPF Asia presented about the Unchanging Principles and Values in a Changing World – Pure Love, Filial Piety and Altruism; and Ms. Nina Taupier-Urbonya , Vice President W-CARP USA presented on Finding Purpose and Changing the World. The first day concluded with a night of socials dubbed as International Friendship Night.
On the second day, the delegates shared their wit and showcased their agility as they participated in the World Café in the morning wherein they were divided into different teams and had discussions and made proposals on important issues affecting the youth and students. Before that, some speeches were delivered, first by Mr. Chang In Hyuk from Korea who is the Director of Youth and Students, FFWPU Asia, and followed by the Director of the main campus of Bohol Island State University. Then Ms. Merly Barlaan, President WFWP Philippines gave an inspirational message to the delegates. In the afternoon, the IYAlympics was held at Bohol Island State University Main Campus-Activity Centre. Exciting team games animated the young delegates as they competed and enjoyed together. While some of the games are on-going, several participants also got themselves busy by preparing placards that will be used for the Pure Love Rally. In the evening, camaraderie and cultural appreciation was pictured as the Gala Night was staged, and the Induction ceremony for the officers of W-CARP from the national down to different chapters also took place.
The last day of the IYA was highlighted by a “Pure Love Rally”, a “Stand for Purity” Campaign, wherein hundreds of students converged at the Plaza Rizal right at the heart of Tagbilaran City and later march along the main streets of the city shouting chants and yelling their support for promoting and practicing purity before marriage and fidelity within marriage as well as raising their voice against immorality and sexual promiscuity. After the Pure Love Rally, a radio interview was conducted by a popular radio station in Bohol for some of the representative delegates.
The main event of the 4th IYA was conducted at the Bohol Wisdom School Gymnasium in the afternoon of September 25th where around 2300 student and youth leaders coming from more than 41 colleges and universities and 9 High Schools plus several youth organizations coming from all over the Philippines, especially from the island of Bohol. The dynamic spirit of the young people was so evident as they continued to cheer enthusiastically as the program was unfolding. The celebration started with entertainment and performances particularly the action-packed martial arts performance from the students of International Peace Leadership College. The Japanese delegation also presented a cultural dance. Dr. Robert Kittel then gave a very exciting lecture on Pure Love which really engaged the assembly participants. This was followed by a very loud and passionate recitation of the Pure Love Pledge by all the participants and guests of the IYA.
Then the Main event started with a doxology, entrance of colors and the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. Welcome Remarks was given by a representative of the Governor of Bohol, Hon. Edgar Chatto. Then the main address was delivered by Asia UPF President, Dr. Chung Sik Yong. It was a very powerful message which got the whole audience responding excitedly as Dr. Yong emphasized to the young delegates the importance of having a clear vision for the future and putting God as top priority. He challenged the audience to truly keep their purity and become the leaders who truly love God, love all people and love their country. He reminded the youth delegates to become owners in solving the problems of the modern society, to take positive action and become part of the solution instead of becoming the problem. Other speakers included: a multi-awarded TV host and youth leader from the government TV channel, PTV 4, Mr. Jules Guiang and Mr. Jun Angeles, one of the directors of the Government arm for the youth, the National Youth Commission. Also conducted was the awarding ceremony of Youth Ambassadors for Peace (YAP) and Collegiate Ambassadors for Peace (CAP) for some exemplary student and youth leaders. Dr. Julius Malicdem, Chairman of YFWP Philippines, gave the Closing Remarks where he thanked all the organizers and major partners of the 4th IYA and announced the expansion of the IYA next year and the launching of the Regional Youth Assembly.
The event was concluded with a resounding shouts of victory “eog mansei, mabuhay” led by WCARP Philippines President, Mr. Rene Lansangan, as the participants pledge to promote the values that they learned and bring them to their respective schools and communities. The event was made possible with the support of the City Government of Tagbilaran, Provincial Government of Bohol, and the Bohol Island State University (BISU) as the partners in realizing the vision for the young people, the vision of International Youth Assembly. Through the holding of the IYA every year since 2013, WCARP and YFWP could take root in several key cities and provinces and continue to expand its foundation in the nation. With the holding of the Regional Level Youth Assemblies conceived during the assembly, more and more young leaders will be engaged and raised up to truly become owners of True Parents’ vision and ideals.