The Philippines Chapter came into existence in March thanks to the Vow-power of Amida Buddha, which permeates the three worlds and the ten directions. We have witnessed the circle of Buddhism growing at a dramatic rate in Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and other countries in Southeast Asia. Above all, Buddhism-sharing activities in the Philippines centered on young people are making a quantum leap forward.
Daren Arroyo of Mindanao received the Correct Object of Reverence in the Philipines in April 2014. The circle of Buddhism has been steadily expanding ever since she became the first Shinran Follower in the Philippines. A public lecture took place in the city of Makati, Metro Manila in January this year and attracted an enormous number of participants, filling the venue to capacity. Even after it had finished, people kept asking questions for more than an hour.
Upon hearing about the establishment of the Philippines Chapter, local Shinran Followers erupted with joy. Philip (35, pictured) from Manila is the leader of the chapter. Philip, who is an English teacher, grew disappointed with Christianity and became atheistic.
Daren encouraged him to listen to Buddhism when he was overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness. This encounter became the opportunity for Philip to be reborn as a Shinran Follower last April.
Philip told us his goal. “I am exceedingly happy, because I realized that Amida Buddha sees through my true nature, yet promises to save me. We do not have even a single temple where people in the Philippines can listen to the true teaching of Buddhism. I will make my best effort to convey the existence of the ship of great compassion to those people who are suffering in anguish without knowing the purpose of life just like I was before. I will move toward the light with my Buddhist friends.”
Thanks to YOU WERE BORN FOR A REASON
Executive director Mr. Hideki Shiina, who has been supporting Buddhism-sharing activities in the Philippines since 2014, commented on the sudden progress in the expansion of the circle of Buddhism in Southeast Asia. “We put Shinran Followers’ sole mission into practice. That is all. We did nothing special in this region. We showed people the writings of Master Shinran and explained those words thoroughly and accurately. I need to mention one thing, though, which is that it was the book You Were Born For A Reason that made this dramatic progress possible.”
English is one of the official languages in the Philippines. Therefore, You Were Born For A Reason is widely used in the meetings. “I believe the warm assistance we have been receiving from the translation team in Japan has blossomed into an abundance of flowers of truth in the Philippines, a place distant from Japan. Young people who are completely disillusioned with Christianity and Islam give considerable attention to Buddhism. The world is filled with people like them.”
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #63 | 2016, A New Chapter in The Philippines
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The Buddhist Village Times #63