From Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Cebu to Metro Manila, Angeles and Antipolo, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided fun, educational, family-oriented activities and community service projects to help celebrate National Family Week.
Church Stake Centers (dioceses) held seminars, fun walks, parades and motorcades, talent shows and games to entertain family members of all ages. Service projects such as Blood Drives, wheelchair donations and clean-up acrtivities were also organized.
In a series of articles, these varying activities will be presented in regions as young and old LDS Church members joined with friends of other faiths, barangay community leaders, and humanitarian partners to celebrate National Family Week 2012.
Beginning in the south with Mindanao, two communities in Davao and Cagayan de Oro stood out from among the many participants. Members of the Church in Davao del Sur joined the celebration's theme of "Ensuring Work-Family Balance" by hosting a day-long activity at their Digos Stake (diocese) center on Saturday, 29 September.
Included in the festivities were a motorcade, a blood drive and a dinner following the culminating activity. 252 members participated in the motorcade. Out of 30 interested members, 19 qualified to donate blood later in the day.
The Church invited speakers at the culminating activity from the community: Provincial Governor Hon. Douglas R. Cagas, Kiblawan Municipal Mayor Atty. Marivic Diamante, Hagonoy Municipal Mayor Retired General Franco M. Calida and Zone 1 Barangay Captain Arnold Zapanta.
Governor Cagas apologized for not arriving because he had to attend a very important family affair; however, he sent his message to the members through the Provincial Welfare Development Officer, Mr. Raul Raut. In his message, he mentioned that Davao del Sur was a recipient of the wheelchairs donated by the Church. He also emphasied that the province is happy to be in partnership with LDS Charities.
Motorcades were also the theme for the activities in Davao City on 24 September as a long line of 26 vehicles from members of the Church joined DSWD, SOS Children's Village, City Social Services District Office and National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in driving from Magsaysay Park to Grand Men Seng Hotel.
Most of the vehicles then went on to the LDS Claveria Chapel for the wheelchair turnover program. Sisteen additional wheelchairs from the almost 100 already distributed in Davao alone since 2011 were turned over to Persons with Disabilities. PAL Foundation sponsored the airlifting from Manila to Davao, and DSWD Region XI coordinated the shipping from the Church's Pasig warehouse to Davao.
Key persons present in the activity were Engr. Darlito Palermo, Chairman, Association of Differently-Abled People (ADAP) Cooperative; representatives of the IT Training Program for PWDs sponsored by the Rotary Club of Matina; Luis Phillip A. Tan, Manager, LDS Employment Resource Services, Davao City. Inspirational messages were given by Redendo Martinez, President, ADAP Federation; Armando Amancio – PWD Sector Representative, National Anti-Poverty Commission and Norman B. Insong who gave the closing remarks.
Last month, Cagayan de Oro Phis. Stake started the Family Home Enrichment Program. Engr. Dometilo C. Acenas, Barangay Captain of Barangay Camaman-an, Cagayan de Oro City, endorsed 5 families who are residents of their barangay to participate in the FHE program, which is currently in progress.
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The Cagayan de Oro Multistake Family Fun Walk in celebration of the National Family Week was one in a syncronized set of fun walks covering Church congregations in Olongapo District as well as in Iloilo and Iloilo North, Davao and Davao Buhangin Stakes and was orchestrated by the Cagayan de Oro Multistake (diocese) Public Affairs Council.
The Fun Walk culminated in the Provincial Capitol grounds where over 600 people participated in an early morning exercise session called "Hataw!" Fun and entertainment were provided by a magician and cartoon characters danced to the delight of children. Cotton candy and other goodies were given to the young and old alike. A Blood Drive was conducted by the Northern Mindanao Regional Training Hospital. Many braved the blood-letting procedure in order to give the gift of life to somebody in need. The day ended on a happy note as families and the community came and celebrated together.