Inspired by recent GPF All-Lights projects in rural Philippine communities, Nueva Ecija Governor Aurelio Umali offered land to be developed as a Korean-sponsored AllLights Village during the fourth Korea-Philippines Global Peace Leadership Exchange held in the municipalities of Llanera and Rizal in Nueva Ecija on April 3-5, 2012.
Llanera Mayor Lorna F. Vero and Rizal Mayor Eugenio Placido Jr. hosted the Leadership Exchange program, which included 38 Korean delegates for the AllLights Village project. Some 64 local leaders and 32 beneficiaries also participated in a brotherhood and sisterhood ceremony. GPF also expanded the number of sponsored AllLights Villages from four to nine, with an additional 200 families provided with solar lanterns.
GPF Korea Chairman Dr. David Yoo briefed Philippine leaders prior to and during the fourth Global Peace Leadership Exchange on the progress and direction of the Alllights Village Project. Cardinal Borbon Rosales, the highest ranking Catholic in the Philippines, said that the Alllights Village is important for the future of the Philippines and urged that the project be promoted in other villages.
The Chairman of the National Assembly, Hon. Jose de Vinecia, a member of GPF’s Global Leadership Council, invited Dr. Yoo to his home, expressed enthusiastic support, and promised to give aid to the Alllights Village Project. Dr. Yoo also met Chinese political and business leaders, who promised active support and who expressed their desire to see the project bring solar lanterns in their own hometowns.
Chairman Yoo emphasized that the participation of religious and political leaders in the committee made the Alllights Project a nation-wide initiative. He said not only GPF Korea but also GPF Japan and the GPF USA will participate in future project development.
A journalist from a prime weekly newspaper in South Korea joined the delegation to report on the firstt AllLights Village in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija. TV 48, a local channel of Nueva Ecija, also reported on the welcome banquet and the Leadership Exchange program.
A local cultural festival, featuring Tinikling dance, a drum and lyre band, and boodle feast (unlimited eating of rice cakes and fruits) was presented to the Korean delegates to strengthen ties of friendship. Mayor Vero included a tree planting ceremony as part of the visit, and Korean guests left a record of their experience by inscribing their names on the tree guard.