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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended September 17, 2000
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Summarized by BYU Hawaii Press Release

A Place of Happiness
Ambassador of the Philippines appreciates unique environment of BYU-Hawaii

LAIE, HAWAII -- BYU-Hawaii hosted the Ambassador of the Philippines, Ernesto Maceda, yesterday. His visit is part of an effort from BYUH to familiarize world leaders with the international mission of the university and the Church.

The Ambassador arrived in Honolulu earlier this week with Philippines President Joseph Estrada's Cabinet, but spent an extra day visiting BYU-Hawaii, the Laie Hawaii Temple Visitor's Center and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

In his remarks during a luncheon, the Ambassador spoke candidly about his feelings toward BYUH. "Prior to my visit I knew very little about BYU-Hawaii, but I am overwhelmed by the atmosphere. This place is heaven on earth," Maceda said. "The hardest thing to find is happiness, but I feel that the BYU-Hawaii campus is oozing with happiness."

Maceda's experiences also prompted him to speak of his feelings toward God in his remarks at the luncheon. "Life is not always a bunch of roses and hard times are sometimes God's way of making sure we remember him," Maceda said. "I have not always been a good Christian, but after my coronary bypass surgery, I promised God I would be better at remembering him." Since then, Maceda has helped to open a medical center in Mindanao.

BYUH President Eric Shumway said, "We were very honored to host Ambassador Maceda. We hold him in very high regard and we are grateful for the opportunity to share the mission of our university with world leaders. I was impressed with his love and sensitivity toward the students."

Maceda congratulated the students from the Philippines studying at BYUH by saying that "In the Philippines, only 40 out of every 100 students that enroll in grade school will go on to high school. Out of those 40 only 15 will go on to college and out of those 15, only 3 will graduate with a degree." Maceda said he admired students who shared a desire to return to their homeland in order to fulfill President David O. McKay's prophecy of having leaders from BYUH whose influence would be felt for good internationally.

Maceda also spoke at a Forum, informing students of the current state of affairs in the Philippines. He shared some cultural and political background of the Philippines as well as projections of the future of the economy. During the forum's question and answer session, Maceda stated the goals of President Estrada's administration and their strategies for the economic crisis.


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