By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — The recent addition to the wealth of peace ambassadors of the Universal Peace Federation – Office for Asian Affairs are a teacher, home health care manager, and a motivational coach.
Philippine Ambassador to New York Mario de Leon Jr. will swear into office these three Ambassadors for Peace, adding to more than 2000 ambassadors worldwide, on August 28, Friday in a brief ceremony at the Learning Center on 4W 43rd Street in New York City.
Ms. Lumen Castaneda is the founding chair of UNIFFIED, a teacher’s organization in the east coast and she is also the founder of LC Legacy Foundation. Ms. Castaneda, a dynamic leader in the Filipino community in New York is the current president of PACCAL and treasurer of PAFCOM. She established the search for Ulirang Guro (outstanding teacher) when she served president of AFTA for 2006-2008 and 2012-2014.
Ms. Raquel Moran is an assistant administrator of the Gissim Corporation, a home for adults in Brooklyn and runs the LinRa promotions which is a talent promotion agency in New York.
Mr. Richard Hartzog is a peer motivational coach for 16 years in New York and New Jersey for persons with health and lifestyle issues. He is a living example of courage and an inspiration to those who have heard him speak wholeheartedly on change that comes from faith and discipline.
Right after their oath-taking, the Dance for Peace Concert organized by and for the Ambassadors for Peace – OAA will take place from 6-9PM, featuring Mr. Linwood Peel of the Clyde McPhatter’s The Drifters.
The UPF has launched in March this year the Office for Asian Affairs which is a local expression of UPF’s peace effort in the east coast. Its main program is the organizing of Ambassadors for Peace who are key and respected leaders in the community. Rev. Greg Agulan is the OAA’s executive director.
The first batch of Ambassadors for Peace under the OAA are Philippine Ambassador Mario de Leon Jr., Ismael Jampayas, a business man and retired microbiology professor at the Columbia University, and Rene Ballenas, founder of the Team United Maharlika Foundation.
Ambassador de Leon was the Philippine Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to South Africa before his assignment as Consul General in New York. He previously served as Minister and Consul General of the Philippine Embassy in London(March 2000 – December 2006) and as Consul and Member of the Investment Promotions Unit, Philippine Consulate General, New York (June 1993 – January 1997).
The UPF is a global network of individuals and organizations dedicated to building a world of peace where everyone can live in freedom, harmony, cooperation and prosperity, regardless of race, religion, and other social divide.
Founded by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church in 2005, UPF encourages all religions to conduct dialogues and work for peace based on the principle that human dignity is God-given.
UPF is a non-government organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN.