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Report of Reading Session

OOL Philippines conducts a Grand Reading Session
 at the Ateneo de Manila University – 1 December 2012

This Reading Session was the most anticipated session that was ever organized by the staff from OOL Philippines. Family members, friends, and representatives from different schools and organizations, came to witness the Reading Session last December 1, 2012 at room 4 ISO Complex in Ateneo de Manila University Campus.

The staff members from the Philippine chapter were very honoured to have conducted this Reading Session with the special participation of Mr. Yoshihide Nishio, the father of Eika, who was also happy to help the staff prepare this important event. According to the most of the audience, they were deeply touched by the undying support of Eika’s father in this mission to promote the value and meaning of life and to share his daughter’s inspiring stories with them.

Indeed, the Reading Session made an impact to the audience, as reflected on their feedback. For some, it was timely for them to have been given an opportunity to reflect on their lives as they are currently facing personal struggles while many more reported that the Reading Session made them appreciate their family and friends as they were deeply touched and moved by the stories that were read, and most especially, by Eika’s story that was shown through a video presentation.

Because of the success of this Reading Session, OOL Philippines is more than just motivated to continue to expand this movement and to conduct more Reading Sessions in the future, as they begin to gain support from the people who were so moved and touched by Eika’s words: Because it’s Only One Life.

A report of attending a Reading Session in Philippines

Reading Session in Ateneo de Manila University
December 1, 2012

Executive Advisor Yoshihide NISHIO

 The Ateneo de Manila University
The Ateneo de Manila University

 I attended a Reading Session in the Philippines last week. Although we have conducted several Reading Sessions in the Philippines, this Reading Session was prepared by all young people, so I went to help them.

 When I was leaving for the Philippines I felt a little nervous because it's been a long time already since I last traveled abroad. But while on board, I met a Japanese man who was very kind to me and he shared some facts about the Philippines. Moreover, we introduced our organization to each other. I was able to relax through that conversation.

 When I was seeing a sea of clouds from the plane, suddenly, my daughter came to my mind and I could feel my daughter's heart as if she was the one who is going to the Philippines.

 On the day of the Reading Session, I took a picture of the Ateneo de Manila University, where we conducted the Reading Session, from the deck of my friend's condominium. The temperature of that day was 32 degrees but I didn't feel humid and the white clouds were floating in the blue sky.

 Ateneo de Manila University is a Catholic university that is managed by the Society of Jesus which was established in 1959. The university houses around 7,700 students from grade school to graduate school levels. Ateneo de Manila University is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the Philippines and one of the high ranking universities in the global scale. Many Japanese students are studying there.

There was a notice of Reading Session on the board.
There was a notice of Reading Session on the board.

 This was the first time that we have conducted a Reading Session inside a university in the Philippines. This room was filled with attendees from different schools and institutions.

 The participants welcomed me warmly and showed their interest to our program and the messages that were read during the Reading Session. I felt great hope because the audience was deeply touched by the Reading Session and they told me that they will help the movement.

Reading Session in Philippines
Reading Session in Philippines

 In this Reading Session, we read some messages in English and Filipino. When the reader read the message "To my grandmother" in Filipino, I could see that some people were trying to keep their tears from falling from their eyes. So I felt that it is easier for people to feel if the message is read in their own language. After the Reading Session, I saw that the participants' eyes were shining like stars and I remembered their pure heart even after that day. Although English is the official language in the Philippines, people can sense the essence of their soul and culture that came from their ancestors.

 After the Reading Session, one college student asked me: "We are planning to have a Reading Session on January but how long are you going to stay here?" I answered “I’m going back to Japan tomorrow" and she said, “Oh really? You visited the Philippines only for this Reading Session?” I can't forget her amazed and slightly saddened face.

College students(PLMAR)
College students(PLMAR)

 I was also happy because the staff of OOL-PH, who also experienced attending a Reading Session for the first time, were touched by the Reading Session and they have positive ideas about this movement.

 I felt that these three days were very short, but now, after 3 years from the time my daughter passed away, I feel that the words "Because it's only one life..." which was left by my daughter, is spreading not only in Japan but also in different countries. Through this, I can feel that my daughter is with us all the time.

Miguel OOL-PH board member(left behind) Karen OOL-PH board member(right behind)
Miguel OOL-PH board member(left behind)
Karen OOL-PH board member(right behind)

 Before 4 days Eika passed away, she drew a rainbow. I feel this will be a rainbow bridge between the Filipino people and us. Even if my daughter is now in heaven, her soul is spreading with this movement all over the world.

 I swore to myself that I will continue this movement with my daughter forever as my life work. Moreover, I do appreciate those people who support us. Through spending time with the staff of OOL-PH who are almost in the same age with my daughter, I felt as if I met my grown up daughter. I hope that this movement will spread in the Philippines as a young people's movement.

Only One life Philippines staff
Only One life Philippines staff

 It was a historical day that I could attend the Reading Session which was held in a very popular university in the Philippines. Because of the support of the staff in Japan and the Philippines, this Reading Session became successful. The experience I had with the staff and the people who attended the Reading Session and were touched by it, became my souvenir that I brought back to my home.