The Words of the Kittel Family
Manila, Philippines - Partnering with government and agencies of social change, the Global Peace Festival is helping create a new sense of civic pride in cities around the world -- what it calls a “culture of service.” Even small acts of service will help to create a new ethos of cooperation and civic involvement. In the business world they call it “buzz marketing.”
One of the three main components of the Global Peace Festival is the social impact component. The main objective is to teach young people the value of selfless service. But it is not a concept that can be learned in a book -- it has to be experienced.
At the Manila Bay Coastal Clean-up last Saturday, International GPF Advisor Ms. Akiko Ikeno from New York, inspired students at the inauguration of the project saying, “You are here not only to clean Manila Bay, but you are here as youth leaders to change this nation.”
She went on the explain, “Today you are cleaning Manila Bay, but tomorrow I want you to think of helping clean your neighbor’s backyards.” She challenged the audience to think about this beautification project is other ways too.
“When the pick up garbage, you should think they are removing the ugly barriers that have segregated our societies, nations, and world.” Ikeno then praised the Department of Education for co-hosting this project.
Over the past several days, service projects have been going on quietly throughout the barangays (districts) of Metro Manila. “This kind of mission project seldom happens,” said Barangay Chairman, Danilo Aquino from Barangay 385 Zone 39, in Quiapo.
“A lot of service programs had been held here, still this project is very different,” Aquino noted. As he watched the children actively participated in the project, he continued, “It makes children not only enjoy and feel the spirit of Christmas, it also helps us all realize the true value of having inner peace that will only be attained if it starts first from our home, within our families.”
Service is an essential component to creating “One Family under God,” the GPF motto. Finding the joy in serving others should begin in environment of a loving family. Serving others is the essence of true love and the natural heart of parents towards their children.
There were eight provincial-level Peace Festivals held in the Philippines over the past three months. The international event will be this Saturday, at the Quirino Grandstand.
Senator Joey Lina was the featured speaker at the GPF in Cabanatuan on November 17. Before he sang to the audience of 40,000 he talked about the value of service by starting with two questions. “How can we change this city, or our nation? How do we really change ourselves and others?”
Answering his own questions he said simply, “By the power of love.” Then another question was posed, “What is love?” Lina explained that love was an act; it was not just a feeling. “Love is service to others,” the Senator told the spell-bound audience consisting mainly of young Cabanatuans.
Other impact projects being carried on as a buildup to the Peace Festival grand finale on December 13 include: adopt-a-park, adopt-an-historic-wall, community service as part of the Mister and Miss University Pageant, the medical mission in the Boystown in Marikina City, community immersion and gift-giving in Barangay 385, and a free medical and dental program at TUP.
In fact the biggest project will happen on December 11 and will likely involve millions of elementary and high school students. GPF is working with the Department of Education in Lazon to orchestrate a massive and simultaneous campus clean-up.
“Not only will this event be very large just in terms of numbers, this project will most certainly create a spirit of pride in the students as well as a feeling of campus ownership,” project coordinator Fahly Poblete said in a recent interview.
International GPF advisor Ikeno put it a different way, “If you create the culture of service here in the Philippines, then this can be the most beautiful country in the world -- both in natural beauty and in human relationships, and you can set an example for the rest of the world to follow.”
In the GPF, service begins at the top. Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, founder of the Global Peace Festival, along with Mayor Alfredo Lim are expected to join Muslim and Christian leaders in laying cement covers on sewage drains that run through zone 77 of Barangay 704, Malate, Manila on December 12.