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International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace

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June 2019
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A Grand Festival Day in Manila

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Manila, Philippines - On December 12, 2007, the Philippines hosted the Global Peace Festival 2007 grand celebration at the historic Quirino Grandstand in the capital city of Manila. The event culminated a multitude of activities and entertainment under the theme of “Global Peace and One World Family.”

The day began with a clean-up of the city’s beach on Manila Bay. Afternoon activities kicked off with a huge parade that included a marching band, national and local political and civic officials, religious leaders, educators, student organizations, and athletic teams.

Following the parade, people assembled at the grandstand for entertainment that included performances by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Band and the Polytechnic University of Banda Kawayan using native bamboo musical instruments. Winners of the “Peace Cheerleading Competition” performed stunts and dance routines on the theme of “One family under God,” followed by displays of traditional Philippine culture by the Rizalistas “Rigodon de Honor” dance troupe and the famed Ilo-ilo Dinagyang Festival Dance Group.

Ms. Pops Fernandez, known as the Philippines “Concert Queen,” entertained the crowd with a song and expressed her appreciation to the Global Peace Festival for promoting the theme of peace throughout the world.

The main program commenced with a “Universal Prayer of Peace” led by representatives of the world’s religions expressing the belief that “We are brothers and sisters regardless of skin color, nationality, or religion; we are one family under one God.” This was followed by the National Anthem played by the Armed Forces of the Philippines Band.

Hon. Alfredo Lim, Mayor of Manila, gave the welcoming address, followed by Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr., Speaker of the House of Representatives, who expressed the belief that “understanding among the great religions and the great civilizations has become the only basis for global peace that will endure.” The next speaker was the festival chairperson, Philippine National Red Cross governor Leonida “Baby” Ortiz.

Following a rendition of the song “One World of Peace” by Ms. Fame Flores, a video portrayed the background of the Global Peace Festival.

Martin Luther King III, son of the famous civil rights activist and Nobel laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., encouraged everyone to “realize their dreams and goals,” adding that “those who lead with love leave a more lasting legacy.” The founder and CEO of Realizing the Dream, Inc., he quoted his father’s famous words: “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.”

Dr. Christopher B.H. Kim, Regional Chair of UPF-Asia, introduced the founder and keynote speaker of the Global Peace Festival, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon. Dr. Moon stressed that world changes begins within ourselves. “We are here to celebrate a vision for peace,” he explained. “Not somebody else's vision for peace but my vision and your vision for peace.”

“This is a vision for all of humanity,” he added. “It should be our dream since we have the same Divine Parent. Before we are Korean, Filipino, Japanese or whatever we call ourselves, we are first and foremost the sons and daughters of God and members of His eternal family.”

Dr. Moon called several notables onto the stage to voice their commitment to the dream of world peace: Dr. Primitivo Chua, president of UPF-Philippines; Bayani Fernando, president of the Metro Manila Development Authority; and world-champion boxer Manny Pacquiao.

Then Dr. Moon and his wife, Mrs. Jun Sook Moon, invited outstanding people working for peace in various fields of endeavor onto the stage to receive Ambassadors for Peace certificates. Recipients included Gen. Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., Chief of the Armed Forces; Gen. Avelino Razon, Jr., Chief of the National Police; Manila Hotel Vice President Ricardo Yap; Manila Hotel President Hon. Joey Lina; actor and Muslim youth leader Robin Padilla; and singers Jay-R and Fame Flores.

Bayani Fernando and his wife, Marikina City Mayor Hon. Marides Fernando, led the audience in the recitation of the “Pledge of one family under God.” In a deeply touching moment, peace candles were lit on stage while the festival’s theme song, “Where Peace Begins,” was sung by well-known Philippine singers Raki Vega and Mike Kilayco. Everyone in the audience had been given a candle in expectation of this moment. As the flames from one candle lit another and yet another, the light spread throughout the crowd.

Dr. Samuel Salvador, president of the Philippine Teachers’ Association for the Research of Principles, led a victory cheer, followed by a spectacular fireworks display above the Manila skyline. The evening closed with more musical performances, martial arts demonstrations, and dancing.

With a crowd reported to be 200,000, the event was described by The Manila Times as “one of the largest peace festivals in the world.” The Global Peace Festival aims to achieve a culture of peace and reconciliation among people of all nations, races, religions, and beliefs through coming together as one global family while promoting the universal principle of living for the sake of others.