Global Peace Foundation Chairman, Dr. Hyun Jin Moon joined twenty thousand people from 20 colleges and universities in the National Capital Region gathered at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, one of the country’s largest venues for concerts, on September 24, 2011 to celebrate Youth Peace Festival 2011 themed, “Youth Peace-Building Initiatives towards Responsive Community Action.”
In partnership with Philippine Society of NSTP Educators and Implementers Incorporated, Higher Education Institutions’ NSTP Sector, SM Prime Holdings and SM Cares, the massive event was hosted by National University, which involved thousands of NSTP students in various activities and competitions within and outside the campus, contributing to peace awareness among youth and the local communities.
The collegiate gathering, which involved students in region-wide activities such as Dance for Peace, NSTP Got Talent, Poster Making Contest, Essay Writing Contest, Go Astig Pinoy Recycling Contest and Eco Bag Design Contest, aimed to utilize culture and arts, literature, and environmental and social awareness as innovative means of instilling the importance of youth initiatives in peace-building and peace consciousness among young Filipino people.
Students marched hand in hand to form the World’s Largest Human Peace Sign (beating the record formerly set by 12,000 students from Lucena City, also in the Philippines). They also gathered early Christmas contributions to “Bahay-Tuluyan,” a deserving aid organization which provides various social services for children.
Highlights included inspiration from guest speakers. Dr. Hyun Jin Moon, founder of the Global Peace Foundation, a major organizer of the event. He emphasized the need for new interfaith efforts for peace, and called on young people to generate a culture of service and peace in their local communities.
“I just want to say that it is a huge commitment for us to do this for one very simple reason. As there are roughly 100 million people being born every year, it may just be enough to assume that we will never run out of young people whom we will deal with the challenges of education, youth employment and risky behaviors,” said Mr. Teodoro J. Ocampo, President and CEO of National University, YPF 2011’s host institution, who gave the keynote speech in behalf of SM Prime Holding’s President, Mr. Hans Sy. “This is a very important opportunity for those who have gathered today,” he said, “to spread the positive message amidst all social distractions.”
He stressed that peace can be built only through action, not with passivity. He urged everyone to participate, especially the youth. “What we have today hopes to provide a major boost for the initiative of instilling into young minds the importance of peace, as it is essential that we utilize and work with, get the views of, and partner with young people. It also is the most effective way that we can work, to work with young people, to understand young people, and to advance programs and to design them with you,” he added.
Congressman Raymond V. Palatino, Congressional Representative for Kabataan (Youth) Partylist, formally affirmed the sustainability of the peace event.
The event concluded with the releasing of hundreds of blue and white peace balloons and the young crowd joining guests and speakers in writing their commitments for peace-building on a huge canvas.
Global Peace Youth Corps, a key Global Peace Foundation affiliate for youth initiatives, expressed their support as a strategic partner. YPF 2011 partners thanked the Global Peace Foundation for the inspiration of creating “One Family under God,” through hosting Global Peace Festivals in more than 20 countries around the world.
Famous young performers such as Detour, Cercado Sisters and NU Pep Squad entertained and enlivened the crowd with their signature covers and routines. The ABS-CBN News Channel – known as ANC, Philippines’ first 24-hour news channel, had featured the event during a night broadcast in cable television domestically and in satellite television internationally via The Filipino Channel.
*** The Global Peace Festival Foundation (GPFF) was renamed Global Peace Foundation (GPF) in November 2012.