The Words of the Rapada Family
Report on the First US-based Filipino Family National Convention
August 12, 2007
New Jersey, USA - The First US-based Filipino Family National Convention was successfully held on August 11, 2007 at the prestigious Crowne Plaza Hotel -- Meadowlands, Secaucus, NJ with the theme: "One Voice, One Family, One World". The event was co-sponsored by the FFWPU of New Jersey, International Cultural and Education Foundation, Asian American Task Force, Clean World, Filipino Community of New Jersey, and Filipino International Couples Association of New York.
It was participated by 175 members from across United Stated and Canada. The convention was aimed to accomplish the following goals: (1) To organize all US-based Filipino Family Members in America including Canada into one distinct body like the Japanese Kodan; (2) To unite and empower Filipino Members in America and Canada to support the Philippine Providence most especially their participation to the Family Festival on November 2008; (3) To support the mission of America as elder son Nation; (4) To showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines; and (5) To support and participate on the 4th National Peace King Cup Martial Arts Open Tournament.
The Convention was divided into three parts. The morning session was the opening program where Dr. Chang Shik Yang, the Continental Director of FFWPU-USA was the Keynote Speaker and who was the source of inspiration in holding the historical event. He stressed the very essence of missionaries and their great role in Godís providence. It was followed by a very meaningful lecture by Rev. Phillip Schanker, Vice-President for Education of FFWPU America on the "Role of Filipino Members in the US and their Relationship to America".
In the afternoon, a plenary session was conducted primarily to discuss and agree on the official name of the organization which is "Bayanihan Filipino International", its vision, mission and the objectives that it shall substantially work on. A Steering Committee was also formed whose members were volunteers from among the participants of the convention. The session was equally momentous for the presence of Dr. Julia Kim, the Continental Director of Asia who graciously shared a special presentation on the providential activities of Asia. After her presentation the Organizing Committee presented a crown to our "Omma" as the Queen of Asia. Later in the afternoon, Dr. Michael G. Zablan, the National Leader of Unification Movement in the Philippines presented the master plan for the Family Festival in the Philippines on November 2008. The goal is to assemble a 2 Million Rally of families and become the first nation to welcome True Parents in the Era of Chung Il Guk.
While the parents and other adult members are attentively listening to lectures and presentations during the plenary sessions. The 80 second generation children were enthusiastically conducting their own activities. The ICEF sponsored an Essay Writing and Drawing Contest. The winner of the Essay writing was Philnam Prangan while the Drawing contest won by Joy Theriot daughter.
The Dinner Banquet was packed with socio-cultural activities. It was opened by the enlivening performance of "The Heritage" -- a New Jersey based rondalla group. A heart-warming message by Dr. Josie Velez, and a very informative and inspiring presentation by Mr. Kyle Kim, the Executive Director of ICEF spiced up the night.
The evening was even more exciting with the presence of Mr. Anthony Castelo, a renowned balladeer of the Philippines who entertained the audience with his undying songs and comedic acts. Along with the melodic songs were folk and ballroom dance numbers by the Music and Arts Group of New Jersey.
During the banquet, (7) Seven Ambassadors For Peace from the different sectors of the community were appointed by Rev. Phillip Schanker. Likewise, the members of the Steering Committee of the Bayanihan Filipino International or simply BAYANIHAN and their spouses were inducted into office by Rev. Schanker representing Dr. Yang. Rev. Bruce Grodner of FFWPU New York, who luckily won the grand prize winner of the special raffle draw, and wrapped up the event with cheers of Eog Mansei to offer the event glorying Heavenly Father, True Parents and our ancestors.
In conclusion, the deepest essence of the convention was both an historic milestone breaking through various challenges and differences between the eastern and western cultures. A substantial expression of the Filipinosí zeal and commitment in cultivating a culture of the heart from different dimensions, levels of mission and responsibility. Building a harmonious voice and a solid family towards one unified world under God.