News Release

National Family Week Celebration in Visayas (Third in Series)

Communities coming together to celebrate the joy of families has been the recurring theme during the National Family Week last September.  Cebu was no exception as it held fun walks, service projects and a family history exhibit in honor of the occasion.  

In fact, so many Stakes (dioceses) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated that it would be impossible to combine their activities into one article representing Visayas. Instead, there will be three different articles featuring the celebrations in Cebu, Bacolod and Iloilo.

Cebuano members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined the rest of the country in celebrating Family Week from September 22-30 by holding various activities designed around the theme, “Ensuring Work-Family Balance.” 

The highlight of the activities was a seminar on disaster preparedness and a family history exhibit, both held in Lapu Lapu City. These activities were done by the Church in coordination with the city government and the local office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

On September 16, the Mormon Helping Hands of Mandaue Stake of the Church (diocese) held a seminar in each of Lapu Lapu City’s 19 barangays on how to prepare a 72-hour kit. These kits are designed to assist families survive disasters for three days when food, water and essential services can become unavailable.

Shine Tapil of Barangay Pajac expressed her gratitude in attending the seminar in the barangay. She said that she had experienced an earthquake before in Mindanao,and not knowing what to do was very paralyzing. She described the seminar as very informative. She is the mother of three young children and this knowledge will help her family be better prepared in the future. 

Pajac Barangay Captain Jimmy Ybañez  expressed appreciation for the seminar.  He said that this is the second time the Church has coordinated with the barangay’s Disaster Risk Management Committee to help his barangay achieve their disaster readiness programs. Barangay Captain Ybañez also said that not only was this helpful to his constituents but also it fulfilled DSWD’s Pantawid Pamilya Program.

The family history and indexing exhibit was held in the Lapu Lapu City Sports Complex from September 17-21, 2012. Over 600 students from the city’s various high schools came and enjoyed the exhibit.

The exhibit opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Mrs. Haide Cañete, president of the Steering Committee of the Family Week Celebration, Romeo Duero, the stake president (diocese leader) of Mandaue Stake and Mrs. Ermilita Degamo, the DSWD officer of Lapu Lapu City. 

The students who visited were divided into groups of ten each as they entered the exhibit. They were shown how indexing works and most of them tried indexing themselves. Indexing simply means copying or transcribing information from an image to make the names searchable online. These images are civil records which the website has obtained permission to collect, preserve and archive for this purpose. These images include birth, death, marriage certificates, censuses, etc.  The information that is extracted from these images is then made available at  This website currently contains over 1 billion names available for family history research.

Alona Grace Satera, 14 years old, a student at Pajo National High School said about the exhibit, “It’s interesting to know who your ancestors are at  It is a very nice experience for me to be here at the exhibit.”

In Cebu City,  the National Family Week included a fun walk around IT Park and a street clean-up in downtown Cebu City.  On September 28, 2012, City Hall At Your Doorstep, a program which provides cluster services for people in the vicinities near them, took place at the Labangon Meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Church). About 3,000 people  from the nearby communities of Punta Prinsesa, Tres de Abril, Labangon and Quiot took advantage of the free cluster services from 8AM – 12 noon. Free services for legal issues, distribution of herbal seedlings orientation: FAITH (food always in the home), mass feeding, job placement and soap making, medical consultation, blood typing, hematocrit, blood sugar testing, cyst operation, registration and vaccination of pets were provided. 

The Cebu Liloan Stake (diocese) sponsored a culminating activity of the Family Week Celebration by holding a “Family Olympics and Open Forum on Family Values. They maintained the theme of “Ensuring Work-Family Balance” and invited their church leaders to be the forum moderators.  Leaders and members from the 12 different congregations in the Stake(diocese) were invited and  they brought many friends and neighbors of other faiths with them to enjoy the events. 



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