Phl sets world record to light 100,000 candles for peace
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - April 15, 2014 - 12:00am

OTON, Iloilo , Philippines   â€“ In a bid to achieve world peace through inner peace, the Philippines set another Guinness world record here last night after about 100,000 people were able to carry the torch for peace in Savannah City, the master-plan township project of Camella Homes.

Guinness representative Seyda Subasi Gemici announced that the Philippines now holds the record for having the world’s largest flaming image using candles that formed the map of the Philippines and the logo of the Middle Way Meditation Institute, Phrathepyanmahamuni, Archdiocese of Iloilo, the provincial government, and the Departments of Tourism and Education.

The latest feat bested Pakistan’s record of 36,478 candles for peace.

The Philippines broke Pakistan’s record with 56,690 candles for the Guinness feat.

As part of the event, participants were also asked to perform body and mind exercises to bring in “world peace” through “inner peace” to internalize the lighting of the torches for peace.

Participants from all walks of life, including members of social, school and church organizations and a contingent of Philippine National Police, joined the event.

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, Imam Abdulnasset Langco of the Moslem mosque, Baba Karam Singh of Nanak Darbar Indian Temple and Phrarachpawanajan of Buddhist temple offered prayers during the memorial service for over 6,000 victims who died during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda last year.

“After our minds came to standstill, our minds will find inner peace and we shall dedicate all our inner peace and energy to victims of disasters through the candles that we will light tonight,” Phrarachpawanan said in Bangkok, Thailand.

“May they enjoy happiness in their afterlife,” he said before chanting prayers in his local dialect.

Former senator Manuel Villar Jr., chairman of the Villar Group of Companies, said he is happy over the latest Guinness World Record achieved by his team.

“Attaining world peace is a lofty dream. As we are surrounded by conflicts in practically all corners of the globe, by violence inflicted by one human being to another, by suffering brought about by poverty and hunger or by natural calamities, world peace seems a distant reality,” Villar said.

“Tonight, our attempt to light the most number of candles simultaneously is not just an attempt to break the Guinness World record, but to symbolize our collective effort at making our world more peaceful, a better place,” he said.

Participants lighted the torches placed in a 50-hectare part of the 500-hectare Savannah City.

Anant Asavabokhin, chairman of the Middle Way Meditation Institute, lauded Filipinos for their “beautiful hearts and leading the world in changing the world.”

“There is no such happiness that will come from the peace within,” Asavabokhin said.

“May everyone here tonight be instrument of peace,” he added.

Education Secretary Armin Luistro, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. and Sen. Cynthia Villar attended the event, celebrated during the Thailand New Year and the start of the Philippine Holy Week.

Luistro noted how 100,000 lights would be lighted in the hearts of every participant “not just for those who perished in the disasters but also the victims of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that was lost last month.”

Luistro congratulated participants on behalf of President Aquino for the latest feat.

After the main event, organizers also launched the lighting of 30 special lanterns and small torches.

Apart from the participants coming from the province and nearby areas, volunteers from 15 other countries such as Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, Taiwan, United States of America, United Kingdom and Vietnam joined the event.

In 2013, the organizers also bested other countries when the Philippines lit up 15,185 flickering lights and lanterns in Miag-ao, also in Iloilo.

ANANT ASAVABOKHIN ARCHBISHOP ANGEL LAGDAMEO ARCHDIOCESE OF ILOILO BABA KARAM SINGH OF NANAK DARBAR INDIAN TEMPLE AND PHRARACHPAWANAJAN OF BUDDHIST CAMELLA HOMES CYNTHIA VILLAR MIDDLE WAY MEDITATION INSTITUTE PEACE SAVANNAH CITY WORLD
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