News Release

Church Hosts Let's Talk Family Interfaith Event for National Family Week


To help strengthen family ties, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints together with the Uniharmony Partners Manila, Focolare Movement and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) hosted “Let’s Talk Family”,  an interfaith event in celebration of the 25th National Family Week. The event was held at the Aurora Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 26 September 2017.

Members of the Uniharmony Partners Manila, National Commission on the Filipino Family, Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, DSWD, Focolare Movement, Bukluran ng Pamilyang Pilipino, and members of different religious organizations attended the event. The objective was to gather people to learn, share, and discuss ways to improve the relationships of the Filipino families despite cultural and religious diversities.

In behalf of Pres. Shane M. Bowen, Philippines Area President of the Church, Rev. Fr. Carlos Reyes of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialoguessio gave a brief and powerful welcome remarks to set the tone of the event.

As part of the kickoff celebration of the 25th National Family Week, Aleli B. Bawagan, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, gave a speech to address the need for “Matatag, Maginhawa, Mapanatag” Filipino families. In her talk, she highlighted the concerns that impede families to achieve these three ideals in the home. She then explained how they can be essentially resolved in individual homes.

Citing the existing government programs to aid the Filipino families such as those based on the Solo Parent Welfare and Anti-abuse Act, Assec. Bawagan encouraged everyone to raise a voice when it is needed. To end her speech, she invited everyone to be involved and be united to act in making sure that every Filipino family is leading towards becoming “Matatag, Maginhawa, Mapanatag.”

Mr. and Mrs. Manny and Joria Gacayan of the Focolare Movement then led the Let's Talk Family discussion. The sharing time, as mentioned by most of the attendees afterwards, was one they could not forget. It was an encouraging moment for them to continue in teaching and honing their family's good moral values no matter how hard it seemed to be.

Janet Nolasco, a volunteer from Unbound Organization, said that her biggest takeaway from the event were the things she learned from the stories shared during the discussion. She said the focus-group discussion (FGD) gave her an idea to change the way she handles her family. “Natutunan ko kung paano iha-handle ang family ko nang hindi inuuna ang galit. Pag-iisipan ang bawat sasabihin para hindi ito makasakit sa kanila,” said Janet referring to how she would treat her three children. [I learned how to handle issues with my family without getting angry. I need to think what to say first so I don't hurt them.]

Following the FGD, assigned speakers gave a talk about two principles that will help strengthen family ties. Elder Pagaduan, a member of the Quorum of the Area Seventy, a traveling minister of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assigned in the Philippines, gave a talk about The Golden Rule. Encouraging every family to be more understanding and considerate of the individual circumstance in the homes, he quoted the Golden Rule as taught by Jesus Christ: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

At the end of his talk, Elder Pagaduan shared The Family: A Proclamation To The World, a 1995 statement the Church issued which defined the official position of the church on family and marriage.

Mr. and Mrs. Tantoco from Focolare gave a talk about Love All. They shared techniques on how to love everyone without discrimination or prejudice, especially love for each family member.

At the conclusion of the interfaith event, Director Haidee Ampatuan, MNSA of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos gave the closing remarks, encouraging the attendees to apply the lessons they learned in strengthening their own families.

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