The Bal-iyang family from Gibraltar barangay, the Cordillera’s nominee for the Search for Natatanging Pamilya Award, finished fourth in the national level based on the result released recently.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer III Jeterda Junio said the Bal-iyang family is among the 15 contenders nationwide.
Now both in their 60s, couple Lambert, Sr. and Brenda Bal-iyang are looked up in the community as model parents as they have raised nine children. Eight are now professionals and gainfully employed, with some as overseas workers, except the youngest who is presently in his last year in college.
Lambert, Jr., Jefferson, Jennifer, John Michael, Jessica, Japhet, Jeanette, Jasmin Grace, and Justine were brought up in a disciplined yet loving family atmosphere.
Open communication is practiced, thus conflicts are avoided by honestly voicing out and with acceptance of dissenting opinions. The parents lead by example while the children participate in decision-making and are given responsibilities apt to their age, including household chores.
Among others, rules in the household include an “Education first, no vices, and no illegal activities” policy.
Lambert, Sr. is an active public servant while wife Brenda is a retired public school teacher. In their younger years, and even now as senior citizens, they are fully immersed in community activities, acting as parents and advisers to the younger generation aside from nurturing their own family.
They have actively attended, led, and participated in countless academic, community, church, socio-civic, socio-cultural, sports and scouting activities; as mentors, speakers, judges, and inspirational leaders.
Teacher Brenda’s community service was even extended to Kapangan, Benguet through the “Alis kuko, pukis guapo, and feeding program,” in coordination and with support from a socio-civic group.
In 2012, she was awarded as one of Baguio’s Outstanding Women Leaders for her advocacy in alternative learning system, and is a finalist in Metrobank’s search for outstanding teachers.
She is also recognized as a most outstanding master teacher in the elementary level at Rizal Elementary School.
Lambert, Sr., is most active in community service with unwavering commitment against drugs, and during the pandemic, distance learning for students.
He is a staunch supporter and an active participant for programs which benefit the youth, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities; leads and is an active participant in projects for tourism, sports, health care, spiritual enrichment, technical education, environment and others.
During and after the years of the Covid-19 pandemic, their family supported the community by donating personal protective equipment for health workers and food supplies and other needs.
After the fire at the city public market in March, the Bal-iyang family conducted mass feeding for the victims.
The family is also part of the group “Malasakit iti Kailyan,” which sponsors medical, dental, optical services, feeding and gift-giving. Rice, eggs, groceries and slippers were given to indigents, PWDs and elderlies; and in some occasions, they participated in clean-ups, basic life skills orientation, and forums with other socio-civic groups.
The Bal-iyang family has been residents of Gibraltar since 1985. – Julie G. Fianza