A forum, a fun walk, and a ‘fameal’ make up the celebration of the 22nd National Family Week hosted by Valenzuela City, September 25 to October 2, 2014.
Despite a week of delay, city officials say the event was a success, participated in by more than 2,000 attendees, mostly local families enrolled at the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), or the government’s conditional cash transfer program.
The fete’s original schedule begins on Sept. 20 with an early-morning fun walk but the onslaught of tropical storm Mario on the date forced organizers National Committee on the Filipino Family (NCFF) and City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) to move it to Sept. 27. This also pushed the other activities down the month.
“One of us even had to bring a basket of fresh eggs to the shrine of St. Claire in Bocaue [Bulacan] for intercession for a fair weather this week,” said CSWDO Officer-in-charge Dorothy Evangelista during the closing ceremonies on October 2, at the Valenzuela City Auditorium.
The new schedule begun on September 25, with a forum at the Valenzuela City Social Hall.
Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) Undersecretary Rommel A. Garcia lectured on the effects of drug abuse on the body and mind, followed by computer forensic Alex Ramos who discussed online child pornography
Bantay Bata 163 social workers Evelyn Valencia and Princess Vagilidad gave an overview of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children.
Dr. Metodio A. Palaypay, chair of the Social Research Development Committee and Green Program of the Community Chest Foundation, tackled disaster management. Ret. Gen. Cesar Ronnie Doyo, Commander of the Southern Luzon Command, oriented families on maintaining peace and order in their respective communities.
On the September 27, the Family Fun Walk began at 4:30 AM, with families parading from the Valenzuela City Hall in Barangay Malinta to the SM Super Center in Barangay Karuhatan and back.
On their return to the city hall grounds, parents danced zumba while children joined a talent search contest. Dog owners, on the other hand, paraded with their pets in a dog show.
On Fameal Day on September 28, businesspeople, members of churches and socio-civic organizations sat down with clients of local government-run halfway houses, Bahay Kalinga (BK) and Bahay Pag-asa (BP), at the Social Hall to a lunch of Filipino fiesta staples
BK caters to street children, abused women and abandoned elderly; while BP shelters children in conflict with the law who are waiting for the court’s decision on their cases.
City Mayor REX Gatchalian called on socio-civic organizations to come up with “mentoring programs” that would prepare BK and BP clients for life outside these halfway houses.
“The material things the city government can already provide these children; what we can’t provide is a one-on-one mentoring,” Mayor REX said.
“Maybe it's time we change our mindset, [start thinking] that help doesn’t always come in a paper bag. What’s more important is the personal time we dedicate to the children in these foster homes of ours,” Mayor REX added.
Proclamation No. 60, Series of 1992 declares the fourth week of September as Family Week, “to focus on the importance of strengthening and promoting unity, solidarity and stability of the Filipino Family as the basic unit of Filipino society and for whose well-being all national development efforts are directed.”
On the other hand, Proclamation No. 326, Series of 2012 designates the fourth Sunday of September as the “Kainang Pamilya, Mahalaga” Day
Next year’s celebrations will be hosted by Muntinlupa City.