News Release

FamilySearch Connects Families During Dagupan’s Bangus Festival 2019

To join in on the festivities of Dagupan City’s famous Bangus Festival, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pangasinan opened a four-day FamilySearch Interactive Booth for families to learn family history.


With the theme Families Can Be Together Forever, the exhibit showcased the Church’s vast experience on family history work and the resources that can help others start their genealogy.

As thousands of tourists and visitors flocked to one of Pangasinan’s bustling cities to celebrate Dagupan’s rich milkfish or bangus aquaculture industry, hundreds also flocked into the Church’s booth inside the CSI City Mall to discover family ancestors.

The exhibit booth proved to be an eye-opener as not everyone that the volunteers met were familiar with ancestry research. Even Dagupan City Mayor Belen T. Fernandez appreciated the effort of the Church.

“Your church has unique programs which other organizations do not have,” she said during the opening ceremony. “We learn from you and we bring the good things you do to our community.”

Likewise, Josephine Corpuz, head of the City Planning Office in Dagupan, commented, “I never knew that there’s a program like this. It’s very interesting.”

The FamilySearch program is not only for connecting families, both living and the dead, but to also provide resources for record preservation.

When Felvir Ordinario, FamilySearch Area Manager, spoke and shared the significance of doing family history research work and the available resources that can help individuals and families trace their roots and preserve their family records, Froiland Joven F. Fermil, Officer in Charge at the Civil Registrar’s Office, opened up about the challenges their institution is facing currently.

“We have challenges when people come to our office and we could not provide them the records that they need,” he said. “We only have records from 1940 and later years.”

Ordinario explained to him that the Church can help their office by sharing and providing a copy of the records from 1940 and earlier. “That may help solve our problems,” Fermil said with a hopeful expression.

Pastor Benjie B. Benitez of the First United Methodist Church who visited the exhibit also shared, “You have such a great program.”

As the excitement of the festival continued within the city, so was the elation and the exhilaration that many individuals felt during their visits to the FamilySearch Interactive Booth. Individuals and families were able to discover relatives through the time spent in the booth.

Such was the case for Lily Mendez, a family history consultant of the Church, who discovered that the guest she assisted was a second cousin on her father’s side. “I did not expect that of all times and places, it will be in this exhibit that I will personally meet my cousin whom I have never seen since birth,” she said.

Among the guests and visitors to the exhibit were members of the government, media, and interfaith groups. Around 185 individuals were able to start their family history work by downloading the Family Tree App on their mobile phones.

A team of 252 volunteers, comprising of youth and adults, from different cities and towns in Pangasinan including Aguilar, Alaminos, Bayambang, Calasiao, Dagupan, Lingayen, Mangaldan, Rosales, and Urdaneta joined efforts to make the event a success.

The exhibit also featured several displays, personal collections of family histories, works of art depicting family trees, family treasures and memorabilia, and one-on-one instructions for online family history research.

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