Philippine: National Peace Leadership Conference

International Day of Peace Commemorated in the Philippines During the 2nd National Peace Leadership Conference on Social Development

By Merly Christina Barlaan, WFWP Philippine

On September 20-21, 2017, the Women’s Federation for World Peace-Philippines (WFWP-P) in partnership with the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), and the Provincial Government of Isabela and the City of Cauayan hosted a two-day event  to commemorate the United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21) and the 2nd National Peace Leadership Conference on Social Development with the theme: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All” at FLDy Coliseum, Cauayan City, Isabela, Philippines.

The conference gathered around 240 women leaders and stakeholders from Asian countries, as well as from the provincial and local government, and the private sectors representing men and women from the academe, youth, and civil society.

A delegation of international women leaders from Japan, Korea, and USA led by Mrs. Lily Lin, International Vice President for WFWP-Asia, and Ms. Debra Chen, Vice President of WFWP-Taiwan attended the two-day celebration. They shared best practices in addressing critical issues plaguing the world such as terrorism, family breakdown, violence against women, teen-age pregnancy, drug addiction, HIV-AIDS, and poverty. A beautiful and moving Bridge of Peace Sisterhood Ceremony between Filipino women leaders and women from Japan, Korea, USA, and Taiwan served as the highlight of the celebration by promoting friendship, healing, intercultural understanding, appreciation, and partnership.

The celebration showcased a model and best practice in terms of partnership between civil society and government as co-owners and nation-builders. The role of influential women leaders and Ambassador for Peace such as Dr. Cecil Dy, President of the Isabela Green Ladies Organization, and several WFWP Officers who occupy key positions in the academe sector, particularly in the Isabela State University, WFWP Vice President Prof. Angeles Lorenzana, and WFWP Isabela Chairwoman Dr. Rimalu Serrano who worked tirelessly together with the local government units, taking ownership with a motherly heart, sincerely invested their time, money, and effort in the mobilization and preparation process is crucial in forging such partnership and success of the event. The city government headed by Mayor Bernard Dy sponsored the venue as well as the lunch for all 300 participants and staff, while Isabela Province Governor Faustino “Bojie” Dy, provided for the dinner and entertainment. Immediately during the Conference 38 women guests signed up for WFWP membership.

Prior to the Conference, on September 20, 2017, WFWP-Philippines conducted Service Projects in two locations:  Mobile Reading Caravan “Ohanashe Story Telling Caravan”, (a project initiated by Sampaguita Japanese Sisters) in Cauayan City, and Food and Culture Festival at Echague, Isabela as the first of the two-day event commemorating the UN International Day of Peace.  More than one hundred women leaders and children from the Mengal Green Ladies of Isabela led by its founder and president, Mrs. Jessica Gallegos-Dy, First Lady of Echague Municipality participated in the Food and Culture Festival by cooking and tasting food from various nations in Asia. The Mayor of the Municipality of Echague, Hon. Faustino Kiko Dy and his wife Jessica, hosted a Welcome Luncheon for all international and national delegates.

These service projects aim to raise awareness, inspire, and encourage family-friendly, community-based activities to promote the spirit of peace and unity, as the UN Celebration theme “Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All”. The two-day events solidified the partnership between WFWP, UPF and the Provincial government of Isabela as co-owners and partners in nation-building and peace-building. These events paved a wide pathway for families and communities to forge partnerships towards building a culture of heart.

When government leaders, educators, and the civil society work together in the spirit of friendship and unity for the sake of the greater good, a powerful higher dimension of synergy is created, it has the power to move a community and restore a nation.

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