AMERICAN singer-composer and “international ambassador of happiness” David Pomeranz is the first foreign celebrity to openly lend support to a multi-sectoral effort to rehabilitate Marawi City.
The 66-year-old Pomeranz dished out his famous songs “Got to Believe in Magic” and “King and Queen of Hearts” at the Diyakatra Donors Gala Dinner organized by The Way To Happiness Foundation Philippines (TWTHFP), Southeast Asian Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SAICCI), and the Mindanao State University (MSU) at the Manila Hotel on Thursday night.
The event named after the Maranao word for “peace” is an ethics and moral recovery initiative for Marawi with donations to be used in printing “The Way To Happiness” (TWTH) booklets and its distribution to the people of Marawi City to help them recover from trauma and displacement caused by fighting between government troops and Maute rebels.
“Marawi will rise again,” Pomeranz told donors, government officials, reporters and guests at the fundraiser.
TWTH is an international non-religious, non-profit, and non-political, ethics movement inspired by the TWTH booklet first published in 1981. Pomeranz was also inspired by the booklet and became a pioneering proponent of the movement.
Pomeranz said the TWTH booklet, which contains 21 basic principles that guide one to a better quality of life, will also aim to spread happiness among Maranaos of Marawi for the long term and prevent a repeat of the conflict.
Department of National Defense, Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, representing President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, the Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Abdulgani Macatoman, representing Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Paula Alvarez were at the event to show their support for the cause.
The organizers of the fundraiser spoke at the event namely Dr. Jorge Perez de Tagle, chairman of TWTHFP; Amanoding D. Esmail, president of SAICCI; and Atty. Jalamoden Basar, representing MSU president Dr. Habib Macaayong. WJG/CNC