March 2, 2024

The family is the strength of everyone, especially when the mother is always the source of love and joy.
The old and basic definition of a family cannot reverse until today: The family is basic unit of the society. St. John Paul II will add, “The family is the seedbed of life and vocation.”
It is therefore a moral and spiritual mandate to take care of the family and that is big contribution in the society. When people build Christian families, surely the community will be good and productive. Put good families together and there will be a good community.
The acronym of the “family” is not an accident. It is indeed the plan of God. F stands for Father, A for the conjunction And, M for Mother, I for the first-person pronoun like “I am the child of Mr. and Mrs.” L for Love and Y for You.
On Sept. 22, mama Carol celebrated her 88th birthday with the Holy Mass presided by Fr. Benedict Castañeda and concelebrated by Fr. Bar Fangkingan and I with the Bontoc congregation sponsored by SVS Elementary School. It was a beautiful celebration of life indeed. Caroline Dale Iguid, mama Carol’s granddaughter, celebrated her birthday on the same day.
The following day was a bigger celebration with her senior citizens circle, relatives, and friends at the provincial multipurpose hall.
As a family, we thank God for mama Carol because she is a living model for values and a living example of quality life.
Mama Carol indeed instilled in us three beautiful practices to keep us united amidst differences: Pray always and pray as a family. God must be the center of the family; The values of humility and respect will solve problems when we gather; and sing our beautiful songs to heal, to enjoy life, and to praise God.
Mama Carol was widowed in 1983. She will always remark, “I survived being a single parent to raise my 13 children because of God’s presence recognized in the family. It is always beautiful to gather as a family amidst the fact that everyone has his and her respective family.”
I will always remember her words when there are conflicting people. “The solution for that is be humble in order to listen to one another. Be humble and you can forgive. Be humble and God will take charge.”
Mama Carol at her age will increase her natural wit and natural humor because number 8 in spirituality means the beginning so with double 8, it means more wit, humor, and energy.
Prayer, Holy Mass, music, and meals wrapped with love make a family happy and inspired. To all those who attended and all those who greeted mama Carol, on her behalf, thank you and God bless you.
Here is another strong woman whom we can learn longevity.
Auntie Adela Moret of Bangaan, Banaue, Ifugao has invited our group to celebrate her diamond life. Seventy-five years is longevity, a blessing from the Lord.
The touching part of the celebration was she invited all the September-born in the barangay to be greeted and be blessed by the people and the priest.
Auntie Adela so far is the oldest to reach Mt. Amuyao at 75. I asked, “Auntie Adela, what is keeping you empowered at 75?” She smiled and smartly answered, “I eat camote and I pray every day.”
Thank you, auntie Adela and family, for the invitation and for welcoming us as your family member too.

Here is something from the Presidential Communications Office. “Palace issues Memorandum Circular 32 for observance of National Family Week. The memorandum suspends work in government offices under the executive branch from 3 p.m. onwards on Monday, Sept. 25, in connection with the observance of Family Week.”
The suspension of work in all branches of government, in independent commissions or bodies, and in the private sector is encouraged, so as to afford all Filipino families the full opportunity to celebrate the 31st National Family Week.
The Palace issuance is pursuant to Proclamation 60, s. 1991, which declared the last week of September of every year as Family Week, and to give government workers and their families time to celebrate the Kainang Pamilya Mahalaga Day pursuant to Proclamation 326, s. 2012.”
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