MANILA, Philippines—“An I really making a difference in the lives of other people?”
President Aquino admitted that he had days when he asked himself this question.
During these moments of doubt, “faith in God is indispensable,” the President said.
“It is (this faith) that allows us to stand the tests of the present and believe that the best is yet to come, and that we are capable of making it happen,” said the President, addressing a crowd of about 11,000 composed of various Christian, Catholic and Muslim congregations.
The three-hour prayer assembly coincided with the 55th anniversary of World Vision Philippines.
The President shared that his father, assassinated Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., discovered the potent power of prayer and faith in 1973, when he was imprisoned by the Marcos dictatorship.
“He (The President’s father) said that it was through meditation and through faith that he eventually found his ‘inner peace.’ His faith allowed him to survive a period of great trial; and it was in his fortitude that I learned how faith can allow a person to stand in the name of the difficult right, as opposed to succumbing to the easy wrong,” said the President.
He congratulated World Vision for their child-focused programs.
“Your work has empowered many from different sectors to defeat the culture of negativity, and replace it with a culture of compassion,” he said.
Heralding the advent of the Christmas season, the President called on the nation to prove that Filipino compassion was “not seasonal.”
Joining the morning prayer assembly were World Vision Board chairman Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez, Bishop Leo P. Alconga of the Philippines for Jesus Movement, K4 Philippines Prayer Movement president Bishop Jonel Milan, Bishop Fred Magbanua of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Sheikh Ahmad G. Ampuan of the Ulama League of the Philipppines, and Vision celebrity advocate Gary Valenciano, among others.
Government officials who turned up at the prayer assembly were Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Secretaries Mar Roxas, Emilio Abaya, Ricky Carandang and Herminio Coloma; members of the Senate and the House of Representatives; and former Internal Revenue Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons-Chato.
Sereno, Roxas and Sen. Franklin Drilon separately led prayers in behalf of the three branches of government.