Early afternoon, on the 25th of April, True Mother arrived in Manila on her world tour. True Mother and her entourage arrived on a private jet, which True Parents can use, when they travel around the world. At a special airport, the Continental Directors Dr. and Mrs. Kim and the national leader received True Mother. They accompanied her to the Manila Hotel and were escorted by a special police motorcade and police cars using their sirens to make way for True Mother in the busy streets of the nine million Mega-city of Manila.
It was the third time for True mother to honor the Philippines with her visit. This time, Manila was True Mother's 63rd speaking event on her world tour covering 80 cities, which began in Washington DC, last March, and which is scheduled to end in Beijing, on the last week of May. At the prestigious Manila Hotel, the 'red carpet', an honor, which is reserved only for heads of state, was prepared for True Mother to many people's surprise. It is really amazing how much now True Parents are respected, as they appear on the world stage. When TM entered the Hotel, she was welcomed with a bouquet of flowers by blessed children and our members who lined the red carpet on this truly historical occasion and by the Vice president of the famous Hotel. TM gave everyone a sweet smile. More than a thousand Filipino members and our leaders had worked very hard for the preparations and many of them had came from far away places to meet True Mother. For many of them it was the first time.
Naturally, security was tight and aided by special units of the Philippine National Police. So True Mother was very secure under the direct protection of 'our' capable Generals Florencio Magsino and Honesto Bumanglag. All the practical details were prepared beforehand, so True Mother did not have to go through any immigration or airline procedure but disembarked directly from the plane to enter the special Mercedes prepared for her. She was treated as a head of state in all respects with the exception that she did not have to walk down a military honor guard. Let us pray and work for it to happen, next time when True Parents are coming! Official visits by our True Parents even more important than head-of-state visits in this country. They truly bring God's fortune with them to its country and they come to us for the sake of all mankind.
On the same evening, the Continental Directors Rev. Dr. Byung Wooh Kim & Mrs. Chung Hae Kim, organized a conference of Asian leaders with many of the NM's from the South East Asia region attending. On the next morning, True Mother led the Hoon Dok Hae at the Mac Arthur Suite. That is the same place where the famous American hero of World War II, General Douglas Mac Arthur conceived the plans to defeat Japan which had invaded the entire Philippines and much of South East Asia during WWII. At this historical place God's revolution of heart was launched by our True Mother to liberate the heart of God and bring mankind to the bosom of God from this part of the world.
True Mother asked Mr. Peter Kim to read from True Father's prayer books. He started in Korean and then then granted us an English translation, after True Mother had emphasized again that we need to hurry to learn the Korean language; in our own interest before the year 2000. The topic True Mother chose was from Book # 6 on 'filial piety.' All were deeply moved by True Mother's attendance to True fathers words. Her eyes were closed in prayer and deep concentration and one could sense how closely True Mother's heart is connected with True Father's. This particular book is being sold now in public bookstores all over Korea and Japan, Rev. Peter Kim reported.
True Mother, while wiping away a tear, reminded us that in the early days of our church in Korea True Father's life was incredibly difficult. If we, as leaders, face some difficulties in our mission countries, they can never compare with what True Father and True Mother had to go through for us. There were many important and serious points that TM expressed to us leaders during that morning. To mention one of them: 'Now is the time to harvest the blood, sweet and tears invested in Christian Churches and the ministers every where and particularly in America. The spiritual world is truly supporting all of us in this, she said. You can see this in the attendance of many clergy and Christian leaders and by the positive media coverage of TM's speaking engagements in America. We were so much familiar with negative media. But now media is truly reporting not just the facts, but amazingly present our purposes and goals in a sympathetic and supportive manner.
During the ensuing breakfast our Continental Directors introduced Filipino leaders, especially Col. Jaime Canatoy, and General Florencio Magsino to True Mother. She encouraged them not to worry as they already had paid a certain prize for going such an extraordinary, historical course ahead of many others, which would follow soon. Often these reprisals and setbacks in the past were caused by the negative images about our movement in the media, coming from America. Then, she asked Peter Kim to present the recent amazing changes in media perception from America, which are so hopeful and exciting. These changes come now, True Mother said, on the foundation of our True Parents forty years of suffering. They have provided us with a new environment, in which we can freely witness to everyone about the coming of True Parents and the the Completed Testament Age, without the impediments of the past. As a result, many influential people will be moved to support the causes of True Parents. There were many news clippings with large beautiful articles and color prints from True Mother and her speaking tour in American daily papers.
The same day became the very fulfillment of True Mothers prediction at the banquet tendered in her honor at the Centennial Hall of the Manila Hotel. The intensive follow-up of those VIPs who had received an official invitation to hear Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon speak was crowned with a rousing success. So great in fact, that many VIPs spontaneously congratulated our convenors, the Continental Directors of Asia Dr. and Mrs. Kim, before leaving the Hotel. Our guests lingered on and waited until they had a chance to take pictures with them. Among them were Under Secretaries, Presidential Advisors, and Commissioners of government ministries, Ambassadors with their spouses, Bishops, Religious Leaders, Generals of the Armed Forces, Justices, and Presidents of Universities, Business and Civic Leaders and, last not least, prominent leaders of Filipino print media. A truly large section of Filipino officialdom had gathered at this extraordinary event, the inauguration of the International and Inter-Religious Federation for World Peace through Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon. All in all 1200 People came, 500 VIPs, and 700 church leaders with selected core members.
Particular mentioned should be the Hon. Justo Ortiz, the presidential adviser for civic affairs, the Hon. Justice Regina Benitez and Dr. Amelou Reyes, Commissioners on the Role of Filipino Women, Mrs. Eva De Leon, presidential adviser on poverty alleviation, all coming from the office of the President. President Estrada, expressed his sincere regrets, being not able to come while on a tour to the south of the country, as well as the First Lady, Dr. Loi Ejercito Estrada, who was visiting Australia. The President sent a most beautiful message to True Mother with the following content:
Greetings of peace to the Inter-Religious and International Federation for World Peace as you give honors to an internationally-acclaimed civic and religious leader, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, on April 26, 1999.
This tribute to a guardian of peace, unity and harmony in society is a celebration as well of the Filipino's recognition of these societal values as the guiding principles to lasting and equitable socio-economic growth.
I admire the movement's investment in education, media, cybernetics, business and industry, health and relief missions and the amazing advances of Dr. and Mrs. Moon themselves in harmonizing religions, sciences, races and cultures that have led to harmonious solutions to world problems. I am inspired by your efforts to achieve unity and peace and influence government and society for positive change.
My most profound and best wishes to your movement as we all help to lead our people to a life of peace, harmony and prosperity in the 21st century.
True Mothers keynote speech, The Path of Life for all Humankind was printed in a high class, glossy brochure 'Unification Movement Philippines' and given to all VIPs at the registration table. It was very moving, seeing them later turning the pages while following True Mother's presentation.
When True Mother was about to enter the hall, her coming was announced by the two emcees and the audience rose in expectation. True Mother's exceptional literally breathtaking, dignified appearance was responded to with a rousing, standing ovation and she captured these high VIPs by her warmth, sincerety and exceptional beauty. The crowd kept clapping enthusiastically for a long time, and True Mother smiled. Then, dinner was served, first at the presidential table, where Mother was seated with special VIPs, then throughout the banquet hall. With an opening Prayer which was delivered by Bishop Pedro Maglaya of the Manila United Church and followed by the Philippine national anthem, the official program began. During dinner, the audience was entertained by a famous duo with classical music and the Choir 'Musica Sacra' who performed the Hallelujah chorus of Handel, a truly fitting musical masterpiece. After Hon.Justino Ortiz the Message had read the message of His Excellency, President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Justice Regina Benitez introduced True Mother in a very warm and personal manner, which was seconded by a beautiful video presentation 'Towards World Peace', about True Mothers biography and accomplishments. All were inspired to see and watch True Mother's life story on large screens placed on both sides of the head table. TV monitors were placed in front of it for the convenience of True Mother's special guests beside her. With this, the atmosphere was well prepared for True Mother's special message.
With confidence, anticipating the positive response from her audience, True Mother calmly and well poised, presented the profound and spiritually uplifting speech. Many VIPs were reading along in their brochures. During the speech the cameras captured True Mother's amazing beautiful and sincere facial expression of her personality, cast on the screen. From time to time, the attentive faces of VIPs from the floor and the head table were captured on screen. Throughout the whole speaking event the screens proved to be invaluable assets of communication, and still for more to come. At the end of the official program, and new unexpected experience was prepared for the audience, which would capture even the hearts of the most critical guest. True Mother presented this profound and timely message with great elegance and composure and elicited spontaneous applause many times. Her speech had started, after most had finished their dinner and everyone was ready to listen. Ten times, so counted one newspaper report, the audience responded with spontaneous applause at high points of the speech. True Mother's message, of true love for young and old, touched everyone present, guests, members, and media people.
After the speech, everyone rose and offered enthusiastic applause. True Mother had virtually touched the hearts of everyone in the whole audience and we have reason to believe, this became a special night for many, which a heart transforming experience.
One famous journalist and writer, known for his critical stance in almost everything he covers, came to stay on throughout the whole night. Many times, he had plagued our movement with his acid and cynical critiques about our movement. He stayed on, even for the informal part of the 'victory celebration', which was attended by 99 % of the guests, almost no one left except for a few diplomats. Usually, VIPs in this country plan to engage in several events during the evening, but this time they were totally captivated by the beauty of this event, that was taking shape at the head table and in the audience itself. The particular writer mentioned, who is the lead columnist of the second largest newspaper, reversed his hostile stance and wrote an amazingly brilliant and appreciative article the next day. Beside that, the biggest newspaper published two very positive articles and many others folowed suit. Only one carried a crititcal head line - maybe to remind us that a lot of work still has to be done.
Here are some phrases, this famous columnist published. He started out with a special quotation, elicited from Jonathan Swift: '"We have just enough Religion to make us hate, but not enough Religion to make us love one another "' The message of 'pure love' of Dr. Moon is as old as the mountains, but what is new is the attempt to unify all creeds and all religions, evoking George Bernhard Shaw's dictum that 'there is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it'. 'and then he characterized the Unification Movement beautifully, by writing: 'Note the distinctive mark of the Unification Church: the wedding of the material and the spiritual, the accumulation and the distribution of wealth for spiritual ends, whose 'new' aim is to sanctify the family as the path to God'. 'It requires family unity and lifetime dedication to enter the Kingdom of God. Live with God every moment ' morning, noon, evening, 24 hours of each day ' feeling His presence working with Him, loving Him, and connecting with Him and the angelic world. This is the Kingdom of Heaven'''He closed his article with: .'Many preachers have said the same things without attracting a world wide mass following. And they are even translated, since Reverend Moon does not speak English. That's the wonder of it.'
Another former detractor of our movement who is also the owner of two Universities and a former member of the Philippine Overseas Workers Association was so inspired that he expressed his desire to invite us to teach the Divine Principle and its moral precepts in one of his universities. A pastor and historian from the Indigenous Filipino Methodist Church expressed about True Mother his deepest respect as a truly charismatic world leader. Another one invited us to give a sermon on family life to his congregation. We come to see, not just believe that history is changing in a dramatic manner. People of stature, position and power with righteous ancestors are drawn to our True Parents as they are seeking a truly ecumenical spirit and find it being alive and at work in our True Parents they become aware of a global mission. Oikumeneis being seen in a new dimension: God's true love for the world beomes manifest in our True Parents, 'True Parents embracing the whole world'. All of this was concluded, and expresed when Bishop Maglaya's declared the inauguration of the Inter-religious and International Foundation for World Peace in the Philippines. Musically this was beautifully underscored by the closing rendition of the Choir, Musica Sacra, performing from Handel's Messiah the Hallelujah Chorus.
After the official event came to its end in rousing applause for True Mother, the MCs took care of a smooth transition of the program into a less formal portion, yet, one that was personally even more inspiring for many. Reverend Peter Kim introduced the live Video-Phone-Hook-up wih True Father in Han Nam Dong (in Seoul, Korea). Over the large screens all could witness that True Father had been watching our program from Seoul, Korea. We could see him cutting a celebration cake in Seoul, while simultaneously here in Manila it was done by True Mother joined by the dignitaries seated at the head table. 'Congratulations to you' was song to the tune of "Happy Birthday To You" by our VIPs joined by the crowd, creating a unique, festive family atmosphere.
As True Mother personally fed the VIPs at the head table, we could feel that even the highest leaders of society are being taken care of in a special manner by our True Parents. This became the start of a unique joint alternating cultural program starting from Seoul, Korea, alternating with presentations from Manila, Philippines and Seoul, Korea. A Korean sister in Seoul offered a classical vocal piece which was responded to by a brilliant presentation of vocals and guitar by Kyle Kim with: 'If I had a dream.' The excitement of the competition over the air kept growing. This family-style entertainment, we are so used to, caught many of our VIPs by surprise, a very pleasant surprise, indeed and after a short time the whole banquet hall was filled with exhilarating celebration centered on our True Parents. It was the first time, that VIPs in such a number joined our family members together with our True Parents. Our VIPs had never had such an experience before, yet, they truly did enjoy this natural family atmosphere created by our True Parents.
The Continental Director Dr. Kim offered to our True Father the Lords Prayer and the Philippine Choir of members offered the chorus: 'Resurrect the Philippines' with everybody joining and waving hands. While True Mother was singing Edelweiss for True Father, our VIPs from the head table joined in with True Mother, a truly beautiful sight. In the end, to crown the event, True Parents themselves sang and with it, many hearts were reborn and connected with our True Parents. We could feel True Father was very pleased about True Mother's victorious banquet-rally and celebration in our country. Many will remember for a long time the tune of the enchanting and beautiful song Ummaya-Nunaya, led by our True Parents with everybody joining. Finally True Mother was escorted to her suite and everybody started slowly to leave. The only regret of the evening was, that it seemed to be so short even though it had lasted for almost five hours. Even, the most beautiful evening has to come to an end. But, I am sure the celebration went on in the spirit world and will be still going on.
Upon special request, True Mother granted to have a public Hoon Dok Hae the next morning at 6:00 am. The Hotel allowed us to use the same beautiful hall that was used for the banquet celebration at the evening before. Two thousand brothers and sisters had arrived as early as four thirty a.m. at the hotel. Some had slept through the night in their vehicles from the provinces at the nearby Rizal Park. Still not everyone of our members could be accommodated.
Again, True Mother spoke to all of us, emphasizing how important it is to seriously study Korean language. Especially, she encouraged everyone to witness to young people in the Philippines for the 400 million couple Blessing. She said: 'When I look at your life of faith I can see that your standard of faith is not as high as True Father expects from you. I know that our movement in the Philippines has gone through difficult circumstanstances. However, these are small in comparison to the difficulties True Father encountered in the early time of his mission. Because of the failure of Christianity, True Father had to go through these extreme difficulties - a period of indemnity and persecution. Yet, True Father kept unwavering faith and continued to proclaim God's Hope for the world. Read this book (VOL.6) on Filial Piety containing Father's prayers from the early life of his ministry. It is impossible to translate Korean exactly into English. If you wait too long to speak Korean it will be too late. You should seriously study Korean. The next time, I will come I will not use for you anymore the help of an interpreter. Also, you have to eliminate your evil desires completely. If there remains evil desire in you sin will remain with you. We need to purify our minds. When we from the earth face Heaven with pure minds, Heaven cannot help but support us here on earth. We are sinners, so we have to we have to be resurrected.
Do you remember last night's message? It means we should bring unity of mind and body by studying Father's words every day, because they contain absolute truth. This message: 'The Path of Humankind' should be spread among all people. Can you do it. Are you willing to do it? Next year, the Philippines should be the first country, to welcome True Parents. Can you do it? She had asked Reverend Peter Kim to read from True Father's book of prayer and then the message she gave the previous night. After finishing with prayer, and cheers of Manse True Mother led us in singing Ummaya-Nunnaya. Then True Mother had to leave in preparation for her departure to Kenya.
At the breakfast True Mother called for Philippine leaders who contributed most to the banquet to come to join her at the breakfast table. What a special grace that was! After breakfast, True Mother generously signed many copies of the brochure we had printed for this occasion of her third visit to the Philippines.
True Mother left earlier than scheduled and was escorted like a head of state by the special police force with a motorcade through the morning traffic of Manila to the airport. There her private jet was waiting. She waved a long time before she left and it remains ingrained in all of our memories. Let us work hard to fulfill God's dreams and our True Parents expectations for this country. May the Philippines become the Blessed Land of Canaan, God , True Parents and mankind have been longing for!