A Member of European Royal is in Town...

Inquirer, Tuesday March 20, 2007

…to usher a program that would hook up the country deeper into the global intellectual circuit for the promotion of “a culture of peace and development in a globalized world." Prince Alfred of Liechten­stein, who is chair, CEO and board member of vari­ous companies engaged in engineering, invest­ment, trading, banking and consultancy, also chairs the advisory board of the Vienna-based International Peace Foundation (IPF). Last Friday, he launched in Makati the first Asean-wide event series, called “Bridges-Dialogues Toward a Culture of Peace,” with 50 major events to run continuously across our islands alone from November up to April next year. The guest list was a virtual who’s who in the local education and NGO fields.

Over a 6-month period IPF’s continuing dialogue will bring to Manila Nobel Laureates in the fields of Economics, Peace, Physics, Chemistry and Medicine. It should be a mutually enriching interaction with leading educational institutions across our country as well as the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Science and Technology. IPF has carried out more than 700 programs in education in Europe. Recently it hosted 250 events with 26 Nobel Laureates in Thailand, presided over by Queen Sirikit and Princess Sirindhorn. For the RP program President Macapagal-Arroyo, who received the Prince at the Palace last Saturday, offered to host a dinner for the two laureates in Economics, her field, namely professors Finn Kydland of the Uiversity of California in Sta. Barbara and Robert Mundell of Columbia University, and said perhaps some functions could be held there.

The affable pony tail-sporting royal, who wore to Manila the same blue barong that Heherson and Cecile Alvarez gifted him with when he first came during the Ramos presidency, had pertinent and evocative words for his local audience. He said, with smile, that he dreamed not too long ago that God had called him to His home and asked him what he did with his life. Alfred cited such things as chairing his companies and engaging in stock IPOs, as well as marring the girl he met in Manila. God said, okay, so what else? Racking his brains, Alfred then said that lately he has turned to examining his inner self and paying more attention to his family. God was pleased and said, “Now you’re talking.” Alfred also said he worked for peace in the world and God broke out in smile. That was when he woke up and realized that ultimately, caring for one’s fellowman, being responsive to the things of the spirit and working for peace in the world are what truly matters.