Philippines: Asian Leadership Conference in Manila
By Ms. Chooli Julia Nuyana, FFWPU Philippine
The Universal Peace Federation- Philippines hosted the Asian Leadership Conference on June 7-9, 2019 at the Hotel Jen by Shangri La in Pasay City, Manila, Philippines. On its theme, “Providing Vision and Leadership for Nation-Building and Peace;” the conference was attended by 97 VIP participants from different religious denominations, government and members of the academe who participated in order to learn about the importance of marriage and family as the cornerstones of peaceful nation-building, and the Universal Peace Principles as the envisioned by the UPF Founders, Dr. Sun Myung Moon and Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. The 3-day conference was composed of nine lecture sessions and two special sessions. During the Conference, the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) – Philippines was inaugurated and also during the Closing session, an Interfaith Peace Blessing Ceremony was held.
Among the participants, were five international delegates from Palau, Nepal and Myanmar. In attendance were the former President of the Republic of Palau, Hon. Johnson Toribiong, accompanied by former Senator, Atty. Moises Uludong. Dr. Kali Bahadur Rokaya, the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Nepal also flew in to attend this conference. Among the local dignitaries who attended were former chief director of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Atty. Jesus Dureza; International Grand Mufti of the Fil- Arab Alliance, Abdeljabbar M. Macarimbo; the Board Treasurer of the Married Priest Alliance of the Philippines, Samuel J. Yap, Special Envoy of the Philippines for Malaysia, Atty. Wencelito Andanar; and the Assistant Secretary for the Barangay Affairs of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Hon. Roosque Calacat.
A special highlight of this ALC is the launching of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development convened by religious leaders namely, Abp. Elias Soria, Abp. Robert Sisa, Imam Aleem Said Basher, Bp. Nelson Go, Bp. Ramon Woo and Bp. Ferdinand Lee. On the launchings theme of, “Addressing the Critical Challenges of our Time: The Role and Responsibility of Religious Leaders and Faith-based Organizations,” a Water of Harmony Ceremony, a Universal Prayer, Signing of Resolution and a Banging of Gong took place to signify the unity of different faiths and religions to enhance and encourage constructive capacities to contribute to peace and human development.
Current Presidential Spokesperson of the Republic of the Philippines, Secretary Salvador S. Panelo and Congressman and Mayor-Elect of Lingayen, Pangasinan; Congressman Leopoldo Bataoil delivered their Congratulatory Remarks. This was followed by a Special Message given by the UPF Regional Group Chairman for Asia- Pacific, Dr. Chung Sik Yong.
The second day of the conference was dedicated to the presentations of the programs and projects of the UPF which are available for partnerships and collaborations with local government units and other civil organizations. These were presented by Hon. Ek Nath Dhakal, Chair of UPF and IAPP Asia Pacific and Dr. Julius B. Malicdem, Regional President of UPF- Southeast Asia. Afterwards, the Blessing Festival was held and was participated by 19 couples who rededicated their marriage and love for each other, and determined to live a life as God-centered and lawful husbands and wives.
During this conference, Dr. Chung Sik Yong delivered two powerful lectures on the Attributes of True Love which have moved the hearts of the audience and have garnered wonderful reflections from the participants.
The other lecture sessions were delivered by Mrs. Ursula MacLackland, Secretary General, UPF Asia Pacific and Dr. Robert S Kittel, International President for Youth and Student for Peace.
The Closing Ceremony ended with five of the participants sharing their testimonies and reflections during the conference. Many of the participants expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the UPF and its Founders for the new learnings and for the wonderful, inspiration-filled experience, as well as their commitment to work together with UPF to realize its goals and vision.