Largest Gathering of Pro-life Leaders in Asia and Oceania Convenes November 24-26 in Philippines

Human Life International Hosts Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life, and Family

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, TC Public Relations, 312.422.1333,

(November 20, 2023 – Front Royal, Virginia) A massive effort is underway to promote and defend life and family throughout Asia and Oceania. Pro-life leaders from across the region are gathering in Cebu City, Philippines, for the Human Life International 23rd Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life, and Family, presented November 24 through 26, 2023, in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Cebu. This assembly of life advocates is the largest of its kind in the Pacific region, encompassing participants from more than 20 countries and drawing authorities from around the globe.

The 2023 Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life, and Family’s Cebu City venue brings the conference back to its original locale, where the event debuted in 1991. Through more than two decades of convening at varied locations in Asia, Oceania, and the sub-continent, the congress has been graced by officials from the Vatican and church leaders at all levels while welcoming prominent international pro-life leaders.

This year, the Archbishop of Cebu, Most Rev. Jose S. Palma, DD, will be the keynote speaker. Palma is a member of the Dicastery for Culture and Education of the Holy See, as well as a Filipino prelate and a professed member of the Dominican Order, who has been serving as the Archbishop of Cebu since October 2010.

Human Life International President Fr. Shenan J. Boquet will speak at the Congress, which he considers to be one of the most impactful assemblies of global life advocates in Asia-Oceania.

“We live in a global culture that is deeply confused and holds many serious errors about the fundamental truths of human life, sexuality, marriage, and the family,” stated Father Boquet. “If we are to authentically cultivate and sustain a Culture of Life, we must influence those who will impact society at every level, providing formation to groups that have the greatest potential to influence the structures of society. To this end, the Asia-Pacific Congress brings together leaders from across the regions of Asia and Oceania to educate participants on bioethical issues, to discuss strategies in how to address these ethical issues, and to unite the pro-life and family community. By asserting Catholic teaching and principles, we heal the wounds that these ethical dilemmas have created and foster authentic renewal within the institutions of marriage and family, which give shape to our global societies and cultures.”

Dr. Ligaya Acosta, Human Life International Regional Director of Asia and Oceania, explained that the Congress serves as a training ground for current and future pro-life leaders. The forum is for those on the frontlines of the culture wars to inspire with their successes and collaborate on the challenges of advocating for life throughout the region and around the world. She shared that the theme for the 2023 event is taken from Biblical scripture: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).

Acosta, a staunch defender of life and family herself, understands well the importance of knowledge. Her own journey to a firm pro-life worldview demonstrates the difference that dedicated education and first-hand testimonies can make. A native Filipino and former employee of the Philippine government’s Department of Health, Acosta moved from being a massive promoter of contraception and sterilization services, to avidly espousing natural family planning on the global stage, as the healthy, life-affirming choice.

“The extensive research I conducted, and the stories told to me by public health midwives, nurses, and doctors, brought me a firm realization that the promotion of contraceptives and population control does great damage to people and society,” confessed Acosta. Her 180-degree turn drove her to become a staunch pro-life advocate.

Father Francesco Giordano, Director of Human Life International’s Rome office, is especially appreciative of the long-time participation by Catholic officials in the Asia-Pacific Congress on Faith, Life, and Family.

“The life issues are at the center of our polarized society,” Giordano observed, “It is paramount that we keep them at the forefront of our teachings in the Church and in our outreach to those not yet in relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Human Life International Director of Education and Research, Dr. Brian Clowes, commented, “The Philippines is one of the most Catholic countries on Earth. For this reason, Filipinos enthusiastically celebrate life and faith. And thus, for three decades this island nation has been under heavy attack by the culture of death, which has pushed every aspect of population control from vast distribution of condoms to saturating Manila with huge posters promoting homosexuality. Human Life International exists to fight these evils and to arm the people to do the same.”

Boquet, Acosta, Giordano, and Clowes will each be among the dozens of key pro-life presenters who will examine a broad variety of life topics, addressing moral, spiritual, societal, health, legal, historical, and anthropological aspects of the issue.


About Human Life International

Human Life International is the only US-based authority on global life issues, including abortion, contraception, and end-of-life concerns. Human Life International is engaged in providing aid, training, and advocacy around the world and is the largest global pro-life organization, active in more than 100 countries on six continents. Human Life International provides resources and education on life issues from a Catholic perspective, while providing assistance around the globe, and prepares those training for and those active in ministry to address these matters in their vocation. For more information, visit