The Light of Peace

  • Monday, June 13, 2016

In its continuing campaign to promote awareness for world peace, the city of Iloilo together with other local and international organizations held its Light of Peace event at Savannah City, Oton, Iloilo last April 12, 2014. Missing last year’s light of Peace event in the University of the Philippines Miag-ao campus when the city was able to set a new Guinness World Record with the release of 15,185 paper lanterns in the sky, I promised myself to see this year’s event.

With the help of friends in Iloilo, I was able to secure an event pass (thanks to Dennis) which comes with a shirt and small crystal ball souvenir and Charm was able to secure a car pass and media pass. This year was another milestone event for the city as it breaks another world record for the largest flaming image in the world using candles with a total number of 56,680 candles simultaneously lighted (it was Pakistan who previously holds the record with 35,478 candles in 2009).

Around 100,000 candles were placed inside bamboo torches to shield them from being blown off by the wind. The rainy weather on the day of the event didn’t stop the delegates from attending. Families, group of friends, students, officemates and everyone coming from different walks of life came very early to the venue wearing their white and blue shirt with a glow-in-the-dark light of Peace logo, all-excited to be a part of this momentous event.

The heavens must have heard the prayers of everybody that an hour prior to the event the rain stopped and people were able to camp on the grounds of Savannah city. At exactly 6 in the evening the program started with a 30-minute meditation led by the monks of Middle Way Meditation Inc. aiming to promote peace to gain inner peace and happiness. A short memorial activity was also offered for the victims of Tyhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

And then it started to happen- the moment everybody was waiting for. With the go signal coming from the host, candles were lighted one by one by the participants. The first candles to be lighted were the big torches with 5 candles in one torch forming the image of the Philippine map inside a rectangle border. Beside the map is the logo of the Middle Way Meditation Inc. of Thailand and the phrase “world peace through inner peace”.

This was the image produced during the simultaneous lighting of candles. This aerial shot courtesy of Helicam Philippines in their Facebook page.

The entire Savannah ground was illuminated when all of the torches were lighted up. The event was covered by the media and monitored by representatives from the Guinness organization who later announced before the crowd that it was exactly 56,680 candles lighted setting a new Guinness World Record for the most number of candles lighted simultaneously.

Everybody almost burst into excitement to hear the good news and they were a part of it! You can see how the crowd goes wild cheering and congratulating one another beside them. A mini concert followed where international singers from different participating countries rendered very inspiring songs. I particularly like the part when a black American singer (Sorry I forgot his name) sang the classic “What a wonderful world” that really set the mood for this magical night and everybody started waving their hands up on air and started singing the song with him. It was indeed a night filled with magic, spirituality, and peace all at the same time.

Thanks for reading! =)

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