The Words of the Walsh Family
Philippine Speaker of the House Jose De Venecia Welcomes Tour Delegation
December 1, 2005
Secretary General IIFWP/UPF
Dr. and Mrs. Moon arrived in Manila from Taipei. Philippine Speaker of the House Jose De Venecia headed up the welcoming committee. A police escort sped the party to the historic Manila Hotel, General MacArthur’s residence and headquarters during WW II. More than 3000 members and well-wishers lined the roadway leading to the hotel, waving flags and holding banners.
After greetings, UPF Chairman Rev. Kwak and Secretary General Tom Walsh went to lay a wreath at the memorial of the country’s founding father, and national hero, Dr. José Rizal. Rizal's life and works, like those of Mohandas Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore in India, and Sun Yat-sen in China, catalyzed anti-colonial politics in Asia during the latter years of the 19th Century and Rizal is rightly referred to as "the First Filipino."
Father and Mother Moon had lunch with the Speaker deVenecia and many Ambassadors for Peace. Lunch interaction was friendly and light and near the end Father Moon announced that was leaving to meet President Gloria Arroyo at Malacanang Palace, the President’s residence and work place. The Palace is the Philippines’ ‘White House,’ where MacArthur and Eisenhower also once had offices during WWII.).
The meeting with President Arroyo was warm and affectionate. She recalled that her own father former President Diosdado Macapagal had attended a number of Summit Council meetings some years ago. She said she was very aware of the many good works that Father and Mother Moon have initiated and carried out in the Philippines and around the world. She noted in particular the significance of the Washington Times.
Father Moon encouraged the President to have courage, and to consult with the many spiritual leaders in the nation for wisdom and guidance, particularly in times of challenge and difficulty. It’s worth noting that he Father had declined several opportunities to meet heads of state in other countries, but was pleased to meet President Arroyo, the one woman president of an island nation.
The main event was attended by more than 5,000 guests. The preprogram included lively entertainment, a multi-faith invocation, and the Holy Wine ceremony. Then Rev. Kwak spoke, followed by Speaker De Venecia.
Speaker DeVenecia, who attended with Mrs. DeVenecia, spoke passionately about the importance of interreligious harmony as the basis for world peace, referring to so many trouble spots in the world, where the religious discord contributed to conflict. He spoke about President Arroyo’s support for the interreligious council initiative at the United Nations, and about the fact that she had chaired the security council of the United Nations, the most powerful decision-making body in the world, and had convened the interreligious summit at the opening of the 60th General Assembly in September in New York. DeVenecia praised Father Moon and promised support for the launch of Universal Peace Federation.
In his speech Father Moon spoke, as he does each evening during the speech, about "exchange marriage," linking it to a broader concept of exchange. "Exchange marriage is the instrument or tool for bringing about restoration most quickly," he said. "This will bring about the exchange and harmony of people of different races, nationalities, classes, status groups, religions, ethnicities, and even moral/spiritual standards and backgrounds."
There was a large group of almost 1000 members of a Christian group dressed like nuns and priests. The group has roots in the Catholic Church but has broken away, and has a following in the millions. Father Moon announced boldly to them that the era of celibacy was over, and they it was their obligation to marry and have children. They all cheered."
At the close, Father Moon wrote a celebration calligraphy, roughly translated "The Clean Ocean and Clean Mind are the Fragrances of Flowers of the Eternal World." Leadership and Good Governance awards were conferred on Speaker De Venecia and Hon. Alvarez.
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