“PEACE BE WITH YOU!”
This was the resounding greeting in the International Day of Peace on September 21 at the Quezon Memorial Circle. More than 200 members of the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines, Inc. (IWCPI), from Districts 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 382 and 383 braved the cool weather and slight rains showers to go to the venue at dawn. District 379 members were even there as early as 4:00AM!
With a welcome message from DC Minnie Elizaga of lead host D383, the program was off to a good start. She enjoined all the District Chairman to witness the lighting of the Peace Candle by National President Donna Jiao. As a symbolic gesture of peace, the National Board of Trustees together with Past National Presidents Lily Yuchongtian (D379), Zeny Farcon (D380), Cecille Ferrer (D382), Edna Ibrado (D382), Baby Golez (D383) and the President of the Inner Wheel Clubs of the Philippines, Foundation, Inc.(IWCPFI) Eden Soller, released white doves . In the program, National President Donna Jiao talked about how peace should be our topmost priority , and how we ought to practice selfless friendship in our life. National Representative Cecille Ferrer discussed the involvement of IWCPI in the United Nations, and she read the warm greetings of the NR of Pakistan. National ECOSOC Chair Bette Pangulayan meanwhile narrated the story behind the peace crane and its significance to the peace celebration. This was followed by the exchange of origami cranes together with sincere peace wishes which showed the love of the members for one another.
The main guest speaker, Bai Norhata Alonto explained why Muslims have been in armed struggle with the government, and how we all Christians and Muslims alike, should work together in promoting peace in our country.
Accompanied by a lively band, the members then proceeded to walk and dance around the Memorial Circle, all the while ringing their bells and happily greeting the watchers they passed by. It was a short walk to the Peace Bell monument, whereupon the National Board led by NP Donna banged on the bell with their gavel and everyone followed suit by waving their bells. DC Minnie asked a few minutes of silence to remember and pray for our sisters who have passed away, and for those who are battling illnesses.
The program was also graced by the Vice Mayor of Quezon City, Joy Belmonte, herself a member of IWC Quezon City, and also by Councilor Gian Sotto. They both greeted the members and vowed support for the peace campaign.
The event ended with a breakfast where everyone enjoyed the generous sharing of food, as well as the fellowship and warm camaraderie of the members.
Congratulations IWCPI! It was indeed a day well spent in commemorating Peace in our lives!
— NE Bette Pangulayan