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The Way to Happiness PHL hopes to aid Marawi recovery with L. Ron Hubbard book

The Way to Happiness Philippines on Thursday hosted "Diyakatra", a charity dinner for Marawi City, aimed at helping the victims of the crisis in the area recover "morally and psychologically."

"Diyakatra" means peace in Maranao.

"It's a celebration of hope for the people of Marawi, for the City of Marawi. This is a night dedicated for the moral recovery of the City of Marawi," national chair of The Way to Happines Philippines Jerry Perez De Tagle said in a report by Mav Gonzales for Unang Balita on Friday.

In order to achieve this recovery, De Tagle contined, there must be a "shift in the heart and the mind of the people."

The Way to Happiness Philippines is the local arm of the international organization based in Glendale, California. The Church of Scientology lists the organization as a non-religious affiliate on their official website.

The organization's name is derived from the book "The Way to Happiness" written by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, which promotes the "21 precepts" that lead to happiness.

The Way to Happiness Philippines said that they plan to hand out 100,000 copies of the book to the people of Marawi.

According to the organization's spokesperson David Pomeranz, himself a Scientologist, their love for the Filipino people pushed them to pursue this project.

"The reason we wanted to bring this to the Filipinos is because we love them and we have so many friends here...we thought they would benefit from this," he said.

He added, "As it (Marawi) recovers, it needs a moral sustainability so it never happens again. So we give this out to all the people of Marawi, so they can keep the peace."

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana served as the keynote speaker at the dinner and he recalled surveying Marawi with President Rodrigo Duterte.

"It hurts my feelings to see a beautiful city devastated like that. As we are in the process of rehabilitating and reconstructing the physical aspects of the wartorn Marawi City, it is even more important to assess the spiritual and moral recovery of the people," Lorenzana said. 

"It is only when the people have morally and psychologically recovered that we can finally say that Marawi has wholly recovered." —Aya Tantiangco/KG, GMA News