Latter-day Saints All Over Philippines Celebrate the 26th National Family Week 

News Release

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the family is central to God's eternal plan. For this reason, members of the Church support activities and advocacies that strengthen the family, such as participating in the observance of the 26th National Family Week (NFW).

Since its inception in 1992, Latter-day Saints have organized community service projects as well as various fun-filled, educational, family-oriented activities to help celebrate and honor the family. This year, stakes (dioceses) and wards (congregations) from Luzon down to Mindanao organized events unique to their local culture to benefit not only families but also communities. 

Below were the various activities stakes and districts did from 22 to 29 September 2018: 

Luzon                                                 

  Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the NFW celebrations in Luzon

Hundreds of families from the Iba District (small diocese) enjoyed a learning experience thanks to the forum organized by their local Church leaders. They invited three speakers to talk about ways to strengthen the family. The first speaker, Ms. Roselyn Sison who is a public school teacher, talked about the importance of education in the family. The second and third speakers, Inspector Annie Decano and Inspector Mary Mirando, representatives from the Philippines National Police, talked about the Family, Rights of a Child, and Anti-Violence Against Women and Children.

Like the Iba Stake, the Laoag Philippines Stake opened their NFW celebrations with an early-morning fun walk with family and friends. Afterward, members gathered at the stake center for a fun-filled Family Discovery Day. Different families exhibited their family trees, heirlooms, and other memorabilia. Others displayed old photos of their ancestors for everyone to discover. Additionally, the Laoag Stake held several other activities during the week-long celebration, such as a medical mission and a blood-letting drive.

Meanwhile, members of the Santa Cruz Laguna Philippines Stake held a whole-day event filled with activities, starting with a motorcade followed by a Family Discovery Day and an art contest. Children exhibited their creative prowess by expressing their feelings about the family through art.

In Bulacan, the Tabang Ward sponsored a poster-making contest in cooperation with Doña Escolastica Aldaba Punongbayan Elementary School at Kabilang Bakood, Tabang, Guiguinto as part of their NFW celebration.

For the members of the Aguilar and Lingayen Districts, they celebrated the National Family Week in a way Filipinos are known for and that was by throwing a fiesta. Dubbed as "Pistang Pampamilya" [Fiesta for the Family], members spent a day at the Lingayen beachfront and played different traditional Filipino games.

In Bicol, the Legazpi Philippine Stake celebrated NFW with partner agencies in the Regional V Inter-Agency Council, including families from the Department of Social Work and Development, Overseas Workers Welfare Association, Commission on Population, National Economic Development Authority, Seventh-Day Adventists Southern Mission, the Department of Education, and the Department of Interior and Local Government. They kicked it off with a fun walk led by a marching band courtesy of the Philippine National Police followed by a Zumba dance party.

In the southern part of the Greater Manila Area, Church members of the Las Piñas Philippines Stake collected 17,371 names during their Cemetery Documentation Activity at the Muntinlupa Public Cemetery. Two hundred and fifty members devoted a total of 500 man-hours to take pictures of gravestones and upload them to the Billion Graves app for indexing.

The Dagupan Philippines Stake celebrated the National Family Week by kicking it off with families attending Sunday Church service together. In the next six days, members participated in different activities, such as a synchronized family home evening, family history challenge, missionary work, and community service.

Visayas

                                            

Visit our Facebook page for more photos of the NFW celebrations in the Visayas

In Cebu, the Cebu City and Cebu Central Stakes collaborated for a big National Family Week celebration. Families enjoyed the series of activities the stakes organized, particularly the Family Discovery Day. They also showcased the family traditions the Church teaches, such as the Family Home Evening Program, which helped guests from the local government unit and the interfaith community understand why families matter in the Church.

In Kalibo, Aklan, Church members of the Kalibo Philippines Stake participated in a blood-letting drive in partnership with the local government unit. Some local Church units organized different activities for the family, such as the cemetery documentation activity to encourage the youth to take part in family history work.

Meanwhile, hundreds of members of the Bacolod North Stake flocked to the seashore of Sitio Tuburan in the Municipality of E.B. Magalona. Spearheaded by the Ecological Society, the members planted mangrove trees in support of the Green Revolution.

In Bohol, six wards and branches of the Tagbilaran Stake participated in the week-long celebration initiated by the City Government of Tagbilaran. One of the highlights was the musical presentation of the Tagbilaran Stake Choir entitled Love is Spoken Here, which "added spirit to the assembly," according to a staff member of the Tagbilaran City mayor. The members then distributed copies of the Family: A Proclamation to the World.

In Ormoc, members of the Church did not only participate in a blood-letting drive for Red Cross Ormoc City, but they also hosted a special luncheon for all the widows and widowers under the Ormoc Stake, which made them feel that they belong to a bigger family.

Besides doing a fun walk, members of the Sagay Stake participated in an interfaith event, wherein friends of other faiths joined with Church members for a devotional. After which, the stake held a family fashion show where members strutted the runway in their most fashionable modest attire.

Members in Iloilo also celebrated NFW with a bang as the Iloilo Philippines Stake organized a Family Day and a Youth Cultural Event for young people to showcase their talents. 

Mindanao

 
                                                                 

Visit our Facebook Page for more photos of the NFW celebrations in Mindanao

Mindaoanons didn't lag far behind in the celebrations as stakes and districts organized various activities in their local units to promote and strengthen families. In Cagayan de Oro (CDO), for instance, the stakes within CDO City organized a Pistang Pampamilya event for families to bond together with their children and to build friendships with other families.

As mental illness affects many Filipino families, the Cagayan de Oro tri-stake hosted a mental health forum to help families identify, cope and overcome the ill effects of mental illnesses. The forum also aimed to help families improve their mental wellness. Moreover, they conducted a self-reliance forum to help families learn about the different avenues for boosting household income.

In Davao, the Davao Philippines Stake conducted a family forum on social media responsibility to help parents and children understand the importance of prudence when it comes to social media usage. In the Buhangin Stake, the members held a Family Discovery Day to share fun and laughter with their friends and neighbors. 

For the Church members in Balingasag, they conducted an orientation and training on family history indexing for their first cemetery documentation activity. 

About the National Family Week

The observance of National Family Week began after former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos signed Proclamation 60, declaring every last week of September of every year as the week for the family. This led government agencies and non-government organizations to support in the promoting and strengthening of the family. 

Latter-day Saints have always been active participants of the National Family Week. Every year, their activities and events vary, but one thing has never changed and that is their desire to help strengthen family ties, be it in the Church and in their communities.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.