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Hulapalooza celebrates healthy living in Philippines

Talking about health and wholeness is essential. Doing something about it is even more important, United Methodists meeting in Manila, Philippines, learned recently.

Gathering for the Pan-Asian Abundant Health Forum, laity and clergy participated in Hulapalooza (Advance # #3021770), a joyful celebration of healthy living centered on a hula-hoop theme. This event officially launched the Abundant Health initiative in Asia and sought to explore how The United Methodist Church and its partners on this continent can engage in health ministries that transform their communities. After watching a demonstration of the skill, participants had fun hula-hooping and designing their own hoops at a hoop-making station.

Medical practitioners, health workers and clergy and laity focused on current health ministries, health needs and challenges, networking and partnerships.

Promoting abundant health for all, Ige said, is a missional focus. "Abundant health," she said, "is vibrant mental health to live a quality life, bountiful physical and spiritual health. Hulapalooza will get us moving, laughing and coming together, all in line with our emphasis on mind, body, spirit."

Participants are led by Kathleen Griffith and Dr. Glenn Roy Paraso during the opening of the first-ever Abundant health forum held in Manila, Philippines on July 3-4, 2018.PHOTO: GLADYS P. MANGIDUYOS.

Dr. Glenn Roy Paraso, executive director of the Mary Johnston Hospital, said Hulapalooza will be the hospital's communications and dissemination mechanism for its programs.

"It will be either stand-alone or simultaneously in annual conferences and districts in upcoming meetings and special events," he said. "It will launch different health initiatives and be an 'invite' mechanism."

"Wouldn't that be nice," he asked "if all those who are sick, lonely, hopeless, imprisoned, living in the dark will find a life of abundance in Jesus?

"Any place of healing and restoration should be a place of hope and life," he continued. "Jesus is our hope and life. Christians should … reflect the hope and the life that comes from Christ. When we minister to the sick and the dying, are we just able to address their physical ailments without restoring their mental, spiritual health? We provide holistic healing of the mind, body and spirit just like Jesus did."

Nancy Caluya-Nicolas, executive director of the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, expressed confidence in Hulapalooza. "Hula-hoop," she recalled, "(was) a popular children's game during my childhood. It's a matter of reintroducing it at this time of the young people's obsession with gadgets. It can be enjoyed by all, and it is a fun exercise for the family and the church community."

Hearing inspiring stories of health programs from different countries, she said, reinforced her belief that "success can be reached through perseverance and faith in what we do. At KKFI, we work with the poor in communities by providing education, nutrition, traditional healing and spiritual nurture. Through the inputs, I have realized room for improvement in what we are doing today."

Abundant Health is a global initiative of The United Methodist Church through Global Ministries in partnership with United Methodist Communications. Churches are encouraged to use Hulapalooza to celebrate current health programs or to start new ones centered on the passions of the congregation.

Gladys P. Mangidoyos, correspondent for United Methodist News Service.

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