By Naomi Yakawich
“The Philippines, like many nations in the emerging world, stands at a transition point in its history, where the future direction of the nation will be determined for a long time to come by the character of your leadership and the vision that guides it. The potential here is great.”
–Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon
In the wake of one of the most horrific tropical storms in recorded history with death tolls rising into the thousands, the Filipino people emerged from the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda with resilient hope for the future of their beloved country. This is just one of the many examples of calidad humana, an aspect of the country’s culture that has withstood hundreds of years of influences from around the world. From the Americas to Spain, India, China and many others, the Philippines still retain an indigenous moral code in its respect for family, reverence towards elders and the friendliness that permeates its diverse culture.
Loosely translated, calidad humana means “human compassion,” but it is more than the renowned friendly smile you will receive during your visit. Beneath the amiable expression is a reflection of the spirit of resilience.
Calidad humana goes beyond the feeling of happiness and into the mental space of having a positive and constructive attitude even in the face of challenge and tragedy.
Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, Founder of Global Peace Foundation, addressed the Filipino people following the devastation of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013 at the Global Peace Leadership Conference in Manila. “I am profoundly grieved by the injuries, loss of life and destruction of property that has resulted from this powerful storm.” He continued with encouragement, “Disasters of this magnitude call upon the good will of the entire human family…Such events affirm the common bonds that unite our human family beyond any barriers of race, religion or nationality.”
In their initiative Philippine Smiles for the World, the Calidad Humana Project attempts to keep the spirit of calidad humana alive through photography, capturing the Filipino heart of compassion and kindness to share with the world.
With the conviction that the Philippines is one of the few countries in the world with this kind of calidad humana, the project attempts to address what it calls a “global crisis.”
Ambassador of Chile to the Philippines, Roberto L. Mayorga, described the significance of spreading calidad humana saying, “This crisis is not only financial or economic, but basically cultural and human. Just as other countries can export its natural resources or their industrial and technological products, the Philippines is in a unique position to be able to export its human richness to people. And that is exactly what people of other countries, that have reached an economic wellbeing, need today: human compassion, humanity and Calidad Humana.”
Famous for their welcoming smile to all visitors, the culture of calidad humana in Filipino locals towards their guests is a reflection of their deep love for people as members of the same human family. Although profoundly proud of their heritage, the Filipino people show extraordinary acceptance towards people of diverse backgrounds. Their ability to embrace strangers as brothers and sisters of the same family reflects the national motto, “For the Love of God, People, Nature and Country.”
Those attending Global Peace Foundation’s 2017 Global Peace Convention in the Philippines can look forward to experiencing calidad humana firsthand as an inspiring living expression of One Family under God.
The original post appears on www.hyunjinmoon.com. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon is the founder of Global Peace Foundation.