The Words of the Navalta Family
Bacolod, Philippines -- More than a thousand married couples assembled Garden Royale in Bacolod for an Interfaith Peace Blessing Festival on August 26, Couples arrived with excitement at the opportunity to jointly renew their wedding vows.
The program opened with videos about previous Interfaith Peace Blessing Festivals in the Philippines and a lecture on pure love presented by Prof. Celestino Jose Navalta, Jr., Secretary General of UPF-Philippines. Couples then recited a pledge of fidelity and shared a cup of holy wine.
Eight representative religious leaders participated in a Water of Harmony Ceremony and and offered prayers for peace: Bishop Roman Tiples of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente Church, Pastor Jimmy Moises of True Life Ministries, Evangelist Atty. Artemio Caña of the Jesus' Name Tabernacle of Faith and Revival Center, Ustadz Abdulmalik Gareza of the Islamic Society of Bacolod, Imam Omar Betita of Dar Al-Dhikr Islamic Center, Mr. Servillano Somera of Baha'I World Faith, Pastor Ricaredo Dela Cruz of Hebron Apostolic Ministries of Pentecost and Bishop Elias Soria of the Unification Church.
A welcome address from the Mayor of Bacolod, Hon. Evelio Leonardia, was read by his representative, Hon. Moises Dela Cruz.
Dr. and Mrs. Chung Sik Yong, Chair of UPF-Asia, officiated during the ceremony, representing UPF Founders Rev. and Mrs. Sun Myung Moon. Vows and prayer were simultaneously translated into the local dialect Ilonggo. After presentations of flowers and three cheers, couples embraced and kissed.
The festival continued with the appointment of four new Ambassadors for Peace, cutting a celebration cake, and an invitation for people to share reflections. An update was given about Rev. Moon, who remains unconscious in intensive care at a hospital in Korea, and prayers were offered for his recovery.