The Romulo Peace Center offers classes in breathwork, yoga, and other activities that help people discover the best parts of themselves. The Center is also available to rent for talks, yoga, and other contemplative practices, with all rental proceeds going toward building a more climate-resilient Philippines.
The romulo peace center
The Romulo Peace Center is a gathering place for contemplative practices such as yoga, pranayama, and meditation—and a healing modality called TRE. General Romulo, for whom it was named, was one of the Philippines’ greatest public servants and international thinkers.
“We offer yoga and meditation and other practices that will hopefully get people to ‘wake up,’” says Liana Romulo, “so that they’ll want to think beyond just themselves, just their families, their clan . . . their barangay. 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. In general, 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 prompted the only standing 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, these are preconditions to 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.”
healing, then helping
A few times a year the Center brings together volunteers trained to treat mass trauma resulting from natural calamities like the typhoons Ruby and Yolanda, and the Bohol earthquake. The objective of the gatherings is always two-pronged. First, the volunteers attend to their own needs, their own healing; afterward, they focus on extending help to others.
“You can’t really help others until you take care of yourself,” explains Liana. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to help people heal so that compassion can take root within . . . and grow.”
In addition to simple yoga and breathing exercises, the volunteers practice a body-based technique called TRE, or tension, stress, and trauma releasing exercise. One of the Peace Center’s objectives for 2017 is to train significantly more volunteers in TRE in order to provide substantial psycho-emotional support to areas of the Philippines (e.g., Tacloban) hardest hit by natural calamities.
support climate resiliency
The Peace Center welcomes other like-minded groups to come and visit. If you’d like to rent the Peace Center, which is bright, fresh, spacious, and perfect for yoga events, please text 0921 315 2644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Peace Center donates 100% of its rental fees to the Romulo Foundation, which has undertaken a long-term project dedicated to building a more climate-resilient Philippines.
All pranayama sessions (except Guided Open Classes) are limited to a maximum of 10 participants.
pranayama level 1 (P1,500)
This workshop focuses mainly on watching and savoring the breath, soothing the nervous system, and entering the meditative space with ease. We discuss simple pranayama concepts and concentrate on grounding our energy. Total beginners with minimal (or no) yoga/meditation background feel relaxed and at home in this class. Those with more experience seek its calming, restorative effects.
Please text 0921 315 2644 or send us an email if you'd like more information.
pranayama level 2 (P2,500)
A two-part course in exploring the internal breath, we cover the gross anatomy of respiration, pranayama preparatory techniques, and a few traditional breathing practices. The course is based on the teachings of pranayama master O.P. Tiwari, director of the Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute in India, with a lot of input from Richard Freeman. Those with a regular yoga asana (or meditation) practice can skip Level 1 and come straight into this workshop.
Next workshop begins in August. See this news link for details.
pranayama level 3
Coming in October 2017, this course is for those who’ve had an established (daily) pranayama practice for a minimum of four months. We’ll be learning breath retentions and how to channel prana through bandha and mudra.
GUIDED OPEN CLASSES (P400)*
It’s challenging to establish a daily pranayama / meditation practice, particularly when you’re surrounded by the typical distractions of home. Very often it helps to surround your practice with the support of other practitioners. Guided Open Classes are for those who have already taken the two-part Level 2 intro course, who wish to benefit from a group’s energy, and for those who want to jumpstart a personal practice.
If you are already familiar with the various pranayama techniques, as taught in the Kaivalyadham tradition, please feel free to drop in for any of our Open Classes. Each class begins promptly, and lasts about an hour and ten minutes. Those who wish to practice asana or meditation after class are welcome to do so at no extra charge.
*Not for beginners
relax & restore (P500)
Whether you’re coping with erratic moods, stress at work, or a mind that just won’t quit, this class allows you to let it all go for 75 minutes of relief and restoration. Breathing, finding stillness within, and softening into easy poses combine to restore balance to the system and induce deep relaxation. Those who suffer from chronic or acute stress can really benefit from these profoundly restorative sessions.
Relax & Restore meets from 645 to 8 on Thursday nights. Email or send text if you’d like to come, as reservations are required.
Restorative Ashtanga (P500)
When practiced with laser-sharp attention to the internal forms of breathing, bandhas, and dristi, an Ashtanga-based practice that includes stillness and time to soften into the present moment can penetrate more deeply than one might have ever imagined. This class will include simple pranayama practices that enhance the ability to go deeply into any asana practice.
This class begins in July. Please send us an email if you’re interested in attending.
morning “OPEN” practice (by donation)
We welcome practitioners from all contemplative traditions, and would like meditators and pranayama practitioners to feel they can come and sit alongside asana practitioners. We ask that you put your phones on silent–and that you talk only if necessary. We’re usually open every weekday from 630 to 1030am, but on some days the Peace Center might be booked for a guided class or a private. Please text or email the day before to find out if it’s ok to drop in.