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J. de Venecia: Address to World Summit 2015

Address to World Summit 2015, Seoul, Korea, August 27 to 31, 2015

On this World Summit, in our search for peace among nations, we continue to celebrate the teachings of one of the great leaders of our time, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who has, in his lifetime and beyond, gained prominence for his vision for achieving global peace, [which is] based on the true love of God.

To me, however, he will always be a father figure. His guidance helped me survive the most agonizing misfortune in my life, the death of my daughter KC [who passed away] in a fire that gutted our home in December 2004.

Losing a child is the loneliest, most desolate journey a person can take, [and becomes] more [lonely] when you celebrate the child’s birthday.  Surprisingly, on KC’s first birthday after her passing, my husband Jose and I were invited by Rev. and Mrs. Moon to a conference here in Seoul.  

Recognizing perhaps my suffering, Rev. Moon did not waver in offering his thoughts on mortality and the spiritual world.  After listening to his counsel and Mrs. Moon’s compassionate advice, I had a deeper understanding of God’s love and the assurance that someday my daughter KC and I will meet again.  

God’s healing started with me and my family.  Because the only people who can come close to understanding the pain [I experienced] are those who share [a similar] experience, I was encouraged to bond with other mothers, who, like me, were wounded by the untimely death of their child. 

Together, we organized a national movement that aims [to support] fellow orphaned mothers.  In 2006, our efforts resulted in the establishment of INA Healing Center in Quezon City, which provides free psycho-social support to parents who have lost a child.  

As I was healing, I became more active in three national welfare institutions that I had built with the help of spouses of congressional members.  These are:

  • The Haven for Women and its fifteen regional centers throughout the Philippines, which rehabilitates abused women and victims of rape;
  • The Haven for Children with its four regional centers that shelter street children, who are drug dependent and are starting lives of crime before they reach their teens; and
  • The Haven for the Elderly, which serves as a home for senior citizens who have been abandoned by their family.

Empowered by Rev. Moon’s philosophy that “the success of society is not just centered on the victories of men, but also of women,” I also decided to explore the best way I could use my talents to help create a more compassionate society. Thus, in 2010, I was elected as a congresswoman and later on, as the president of all the women legislators in the Philippine House of Representatives.

Time and again, Rev. Moon had taught that without an understanding that we are part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to our very existence. 

This ideology is made more relevant by the disturbing events in recent years due to  religious and racial discord, [which has been] perpetuated by extremists like the ISIS, poverty and hunger as a result of war and man-made disasters,  and terrible natural calamities due to climate change.

Faithful to the vision of Rev. Moon, each of us should then act individually and together to create the necessary conditions for a peaceful world.  We must continue to strengthen existing alliances, forge new partnerships and build coalitions based on common interests to ensure our regions are thriving and peaceful.

From my end, I am leading a delegation of fifteen Philippine women lawmakers on a people-to-people, parliamentary visit to China this coming month of September, to contribute our small share of diplomacy, help strengthen bilateral ties between the Philippines and China, and to help find a peaceful settlement on the maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea, the South China Sea.

I am saying this to underscore the transformative power of Rev. Moon’s teachings. Three years after his death, we still see his ideologies restoring faith and hope that have been lost in various places in the midst of cynicism.

Fellow delegates, as we conclude this mourning period for Rev. Moon, we are filled with joy to hear that Mrs. Moon and the family are doing well, and her leadership is continuing the crusade for peace. Losing Rev. Moon was really hard for them. But then again, we all know that Rev. Moon is always watching Mrs. Moon and their children as they continue to contribute their share in fostering a unified and peaceful world through the Universal Peace Federation, which is slowly but steadily gaining ground in various parts of the world.

Thank you very much, and have a good evening.

For more information about the World Summit, click here.