The Romulo Peace Center is a gathering place for contemplative practices such as yoga and pranayama—and a healing modality called TRE. General Romulo, for whom it was named, was one of the Philippines’ most dinstinguished public servants and international thinkers.
“We offer yoga and other practices that will hopefully get people to ‘wake up,’” says Liana Romulo, “We want to cultivate in people a desire, a need, to think globally—and help others.” The Center opened in January 2015 under the auspices of the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation for Peace and Development.
Modeling her grandfather, who won the United Nations Peace Prize, Liana wishes to do her share in the global shift toward peace. “We wanted to build a center dedicated to activities that protect peace, promote spiritual growth, and hopefully produce nicer people,” she says. “We have to be kind and compassionate individuals first, because to stop killing it’s individuals that have to refuse to kill. To stop cheating and corruption, we have to get people to want to behave with integrity.”
Raised among extended family in her grandfather’s household, Liana grew up thinking of the world as a small place made up of interdependent nations, each one needing to do its share—not just of effort but also of yielding. A longtime practitioner of yoga, she feels the urgent necessity of shifting to more sustainable ways of tenanting the planet, citing climate change and disasters like Yolanda. She promotes a shift toward “world communal living,” a term her grandfather used in 1945, at the founding of the United Nations, in a speech that elicited the only ovation at the nine-week conference.
“Yoga cultivates in us a readiness to yield and to tolerate,” she explains, “to not grasp, to not fight.” In her view, this readiness is a necessary first step towards building a global family and a peaceful world. “As Lolo once said, we have to come together as ‘a human family on a tiny planet circling a minor sun.’ I’m just trying to help make that happen.”