U.S. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg visited the Blue Mosque in Taguig on July 21 to celebrate the month of Ramadan with the Muslim community in Manila. The day started with a ceremonial “Philippine-American Friendship Tree” planting activity.
The Ambassador helped to plant the tree alongside the administration of the Blue Mosque, Taha Basman Foundation and representatives from the National Commission for Muslim Filipinos (NCMF).
This was followed by a short program which included the reading of the winning essay from a competition held before the event entitled “The Role of Youth in Interfaith Dialogue.” Taguig National High School student Peter June Salvador took home the First Prize.
The morning activity concluded with a gift giving event to the members of the community. The outreach event is part of Zakāt, or the charitable giving by Muslims to ease economic hardship for other Muslims, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The beneficiaries included Muslim and Christian community members from in and around Maharlika Village, Taguig City.
Ambassador Goldberg returned to the Mosque in the evening to join the breaking of the fast and Iftar. Before the reception, he delivered a speech of goodwill to Filipino Muslims and reiterated the U.S. Government’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in Mindanao.
U.S. Embassy Manila’s Public Affairs Section supported the journalism training of 200 students from ten high schools in Zamboanga del Norte held at the Andres Bonifacio College in Dipolog City on July 5-6, 2014. The training was the first in a series that will be held in various locations in the province until August 2014. U.S. Embassy in Manila, in partnership with the Zamboanga del Norte Press Club has been supporting the annual training since 2008.
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
Statement by the President on the Occasion of Ramadan
On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan.
A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling because of economic hardship and inequality. Here in the United States, we are grateful to the many Muslim American organizations, individuals, and businesses that are devoted to creating opportunity for all by working to reduce income inequality and poverty, not only through their charitable efforts, but also through their initiatives to empower students, workers and families with the education, skills and health care they deserve.
Ramadan also reminds us of our shared responsibility to treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves and the basic principles that bind people of different faiths together: a yearning for peace, justice, and equality. At a moment when too many people around the world continue to suffer from senseless conflict and violence, this sacred time reminds us of our common obligations to pursue justice and peace and to uphold the dignity of every human being.
As I’ve done every year as President, I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans from across the United States to the White House for an iftar dinner. It will be another opportunity for me to convey America’s appreciation for the contributions of Muslim Americans to our country and to wish Muslims around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, community, peace and understanding. Ramadan Kareem.
On May 10 through May 13, the Peace Corps Alumni Foundation for Philippine Development (PCAFPD) hosted their first event in Davao. The event was led by the PCAFPD’s Scholars and Alumni Association (PSAA), which dedicates itself to developing sustainable communities and increasing the quality of education available to students. We would like to commend them on their successful organization of the event’s programs: a men’s volleyball tournament, a coastal clean-up, and a feeding program. Your efforts to help communities in Davao are greatly admired and appreciated!
The PCAFPD was established 31 years ago as a way to connect former staff and volunteers through a good cause, which the foundation chose to be human development. Alternately, the PSAA has, to date, helped over 150 scholars attain college degrees and supports up to forty five scholars each year. For those who would like to learn more about the PCAFPD, the PSAA, and their mission, they can be reached at their website: http://www.rpcvphilippines.org/.