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FAMILY LIFE | Passing on the Torch




TWO YEARS have gone by so quickly since I met with Amy Cabusao, the chief editor of Mindanao Times, to write for this column. I took over the “Family Matters” column of my dear friend Ging Descallar who went ahead to glory.

In those two years, I have touched on different topics and issues that affect the family in my 109 articles. Much as I want to continue writing for much longer, I cannot keep up with my present workload which has made me busier despite the pandemic.

For over a year now, I have been working on the Parenting Manual called P4S to get it ready for publication and use by facilitators.

Going through the manual several times to layout and edit is not enough, as I continue to see edits to be made here and there even after the initially printed copies. Writing a weekly column is one thing, but writing a book to be published is a very meticulous endeavor. It is not just the English edition but also the Tagalog edition next, and later the Cebuano edition as well.

P4S, which stands for “Pagsasanay sa Pagiging Magulang tungo sa Pinagpalang Pamilya,” was my dissertation product. It is a manual with 14 interactive lessons that require many illustrations and materials to be used for the different learning activities so that parents who attend are actively involved in thinking, discussing, reflecting, writing, reporting, singing, dramatizing, the different topics to help them process their parenting beliefs and practices and have a change of mind and heart. It seeks to reduce or eliminate abusive verbal and physical parenting practices, strengthen family relationships, learn listening skills, manage parental stress, to name a few.

My mission organization, FamilyLife Philippines, Inc. (FLP) has signed a partnership this year with Philippine Children’s Ministries Network (PCMN), a network of about 53 organizations and ministries that reach out to and help children-at-risk, to use the P4S program to strengthen families and address issues children encounter in their families.

We will train them so they can cascade it down to their communities. The Mindanao CMN Coordinator, Ms Leah Genson, who is also the VIce-Chair of the local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC) and Child Hope Mindanao Executive Director, is gearing and hoping to bring the program to the 182 barangays of the city. We had an initial training last May 19-21 for about 10 barangay leaders and representatives. This June, we will start to bring the training for the NCR partners of PCMN. One is scheduled also in Iligan on July 7-9.

Because of these, I have decided to pass on the torch to a dear friend Ruth Morales who has accepted the challenge to continue this Family Life column; she will be assisted with a teammate, Joan Acosta. Ruth is a faculty member in the Department of Languages and Literature at Central Mindanao University in Maramag, Bukidnon, and is also working on her thesis for her Masters in Education majoring in Alternative Learning System.

She has three children and is well-traveled having lived in China, Thailand, and have served in many other countries. Joan is married to a Davaoeno and they have returned to Davao last year. Both have contributed articles in the past. Now the table is turned as I may get to contribute once in a while but they will take the helm.

I am sure you will enjoy the articles and the wisdom from these women. Now I am looking forward to reading their articles regularly.

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