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Resurrecting the family and rising from devastation

DAGUPAN (Agencies) : Despite a heavy downpour, thousands of families and students turned out at the De Venecia Highway in Dagupan City on July 16 for the Run for Life, Family Edition to highlight the valuable role that family life plays in society.

The run was also a reminder of the massive earthquake that shook Central Luzon in 1990, CBCP News reported.

Janice Hebron, the coordinator of the Ministry for Social Action, the organiser of the event, said the Run for Life, Family Edition was also a celebration of the resurrection of Dagupan City, which 25 years on from the earthquake, is more resilient than ever.

The archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan, Archbishop Socrates Villegas, stressed that the event, which began in 2011, “Aims to advocate the promotion and protection of life. The value of Christian families was a major theme for this year.”

At a Mass celebrated at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral, Father Soc, as the archbishop is affectionately known in his own diocese, said others regard Pangasinenses and Ilocanos as kuripot (stingy).

But he insisted, “We are stingy, not because we don’t want to give, but because we hold on to our country. What we remember is the courage of the Pangasinenses, who in the face of the destruction, hold on to Jesus, whatever happens. It is as if Jesus is already being flogged by the soldiers, but he still doesn’t want to let go.”

Archbishop Villegas added, “I am a Pangasinense, I am Catholic, we experienced an earthquake, we experienced flood, we are still standing because we will not let go. What we hold on to is God.”

The run featured horses for courses; with separate groups running one-kilometre, three-
kilometre, five-kilometre and 10-kilometre legs.

People then affixed their thumb marks to canvasses in support of the Filipino family as an agent and training ground for God-fearing, socially-driven and service-oriented Filipino children.

“Believing that the family is the basic unit of society and every Christian family is the basic unit of Church, we must pray and work together for the protection, preservation and flourishing of every human family amidst the moral tribulations that threaten humanity nowadays,” Richmond Dacanay, a youth minister and an advocate of the Filipino family, said in referring to divorce, contraception, capital punishment and same-sex marriage.


‘... we are still standing because we will not let go. What we hold on to is God’