DAGUPAN City, Pangasinan, July 22, 2015 – Despite a heavy downpour, thousands of families, students, and members of the faithful of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan (ALD) participated in the “Run for Life Family Edition”, an advocacy run for the family on June 16 at the De Venecia Highway, Dagupan City to mark the killer 1990 earthquake that shook Central Luzon.
Organized by the Ministry of Social Action (MISA), headed by its coordinator, Janice Hebron, the “Run for Life Family Edition” also marked how Dagupan City rose again twenty-five years since the earthquake, more resilient than ever.
In his invitation letter, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas stressed that the event, which started in 2011, “aims to advocate the promotion and protection of life.” In this year’s Run for Life, he said “[at the] fore-front in this year’s advocacy run are Christian families.”
The celebration started with a Mass at the St. John the Evangelist Cathedral Parish. In his homily, Fr. Soc, as he is fondly called, said others regard Pangasinenses and Ilocanos as “kuripot” (tightwads) But he gave a different interpretation of the word, saying in Filipino: “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’s as if Jesus is already being flogged by the soldiers but he still doesn’t want to let go.”
“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,” Villegas said also in Filipino.
The “Run for Life” had different groups for different laps: one-kilometer, three-kilometer, five-kilometer, and ten-kilometer groups.
The participants also 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 [threathen] humanity nowadays,” said Richmond Dacanay, a youth minister and an advocate of the Filipino family who specifically referring to divorce, contraception, capital punishment, and same sex marriage.
Interested parties may check out the coverage of the Run for Life at this link: https://www.facebook.com/sabinsstudio (Sher Pauline C. Palola/ALD Social Communications Ministry/CBCPNews)