March 5, 2024

I am sharing the beautiful opening message of Mountain Province Social Welfare Officer Miguela Agwani during the launch of the celebration of Children’s Month celebration on Nov. 28.
“Greetings to everyone especially to the children whose day is today and even the whole month of November which is dedicated as the Children’s Month.
Children are the carriers of our dreams for a happier future and our hopes for a better tomorrow. I am wishing every young people a wonderful Children’s Day! Children are called the flowers from heaven and dearest to God. So, let’s take an oath to make this Earth a happy and better place for the kids.
World Children’s Day was first celebrated in November 1954 along with the passing of by the United Nations of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and is celebrated on this day to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide.
Celebrating your child’s achievements shows them you are interested in their life and aware the efforts they make; improves their self-esteem and confidence to try new things and tackle problems in the future; helps to foster a mindset that they should be proud of all their achievements, big or small.
It has been 30 years since the signing of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CRC is an international agreement adopted in 1989 and with 196 signatories, it is the world’s mostly ratified international human rights agreement. World leaders came together to make this historic agreement making a promise to every child that they will do everything they can to protect and fulfill their rights. Still, far too many children, youth and young people are left behind and deprived of basic rights promised to them.
Their rights are threatened and their childhood cut short by poverty, violence and inequity; many children and youth are denied the opportunities to be included, be heard and participate even in the matters that directly affect them. No matter how long and rough the road ahead, today is the time we that we must walk the walk together to support every right of every child.
Children must be able to live in a nurturing environment for them to realize their full potential and to meaningfully participate in society. And this province is committed to be the driving force to fulfill the pledge we all made 30 years ago and stand with children as they are standing to bring positive change and shape a better world, a little big world fit for every child.
Without much ado, I declare this day a wonderful day to everyone, in this venue, children and all the young people and their supporters, we, the stakeholders to have fun and enjoy this day and welcome everyone for coming! Ganaganasen tayo daytoy nga aldaw and matago tago tako am-in!”

On Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent, the first day of Advent, and the new year of the church calendar, I am celebrating my 21st priestly anniversary.
Even as a kid, I was able to know and develop my vocation through my family. My mama Carol was an active church leader and president of the Holy Family Society for many terms.
She inculcated the values of life and faith to the family and she taught her children by witnessing. From the 13 children, four entered the seminary.
Fortunately, God called the two to married life and the other two to priestly life. My brother Benedict was ordained on Dec. 3, 1985 and I, on Dec. 3, 2002.
Manong Gilbert left San Pablo Seminary after graduating Philosophy and manong Hermie left Mary Hurst Seminary after a year to take up another course.
Vocation to the priesthood is not magic. It starts somewhere and it starts from people especially the family. Of course, vocation starts from God because He calls; He chooses; He anoints; and He sends to the mission. I am thankful to my family especially mama Carol for the good soil where the family was instilled about quality life and strong faith.
Greetings also to Frs. Pablo Lumiwan (Nov. 29), Bar Fangkingan (Nov. 30), Jimmy Aydinan (Dec. 1), Brayle Bagyan (Dec. 3), for their priestly anniversary.
Reach me at [email protected].