A Glorious Evening in Magandang Gensan


A glorious evening was experienced  in Magandang Gensan as thousands of prayer lanterns were released in celebration of the 8th People’s Congress of FRAME Program on November 16, 2011.

8 Lanterns on stage for the 8 years of FRAME Program in Gensan

My voice is almost gone due to hosting the spectacular event but my energy and passion is burning deep within. I know I have to get some rest but before I go to sleep, I would like to share with you some some photographs from the event as captured through the lens of my good friend Binoy Magtibay.

Here goes…

Let there be light and there were thousands of them!

We had goosebumps all over as we personally witnessed such a spectacular moment.

We offered our prayers as thousands of lanterns were released by the FRAME members and partners.. I will go to sleep grateful to God for the amazing things He is bringing forth in this beautiful city! I am so blessed to be a general!

 

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Re-imagine. Re-invent. Respond.


Designed by Egai Cadiente

The 8th Annual Celebration of People’s Congress of the FRAME Program is happening today, November 16, 2011, at the Oval Plaza, GSC Carlos P. Garcia Park.   The parade will be at 4:00 pm-6:00 pm and the program will be at 6:30-8:30  pm. Tonight, the entire General Santos City community will witness how the FRAME members re-imagine, re-invent and respond to the challenges of the 21st century with dignity.

Leading the celebration are the men and women from the  City Social Welfare and Development Office (under the leadership of Mrs. Rebecca Magante), the Office of the City Mayor  (under the leadership of Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio) and the Local Government Unit of General Santos City, with  Dadiangas Baptist Church and Bread of Life Ministry as partners.

Last year, thousand of torches were lighted. This year, thousands of prayer lanterns will be released.

The People’s Congress is an annual celebration that gathers all the members of the FRAME Program to celebrate and fellowship. It is basically a general assembly of all program participants which has been a major yearly event that showcases the strength and impact of the program in many facets.

Family Resource Allocation Management and Enhancement (FRAME) Program is a community and value-based capability building program aimed at empowering  communities and constituents to socio-economic engagements and self-help livelihood opportunities. It is a special program of the Local Government of General Santos as an anti-poverty strategy.

Generally, FRAME Program is a mass-based savings system where people and community own a project which operates on trust, love, cooperation and mutual help. Likewise, it promotes family values, spirituality, moral recovery and strengthening positive virtues rather than promoting the dole-out and poverty mentality of Filipinos.

FRAME Program has been existing for more than eight years since its inception in year 2003. It evolved from a pilot savings program at the Field Operations Division of the City Social Welfare and Development Office to a mass-based savings system now existing in 26 barangays that mobilized more than forty thousand members to date.

THE THEME

The theme for the 8th People’s Congress is  a statement of conviction commanding the human being to re-imagine possibilities, re-invent approaches and strategies, and respond to the changing time’s challenges.

In today’s unpredictable times and fast-paced evolution, all that the individual can do is prepare for a volatile future. Man is after all born and equipped with innovativeness, ingenuity, virtues and values basic in him. To respond to the demands of contemporary times, man has to harness his basic faculties. Individuals, communities, and families have to adapt to economic, cultural, political, environmental, and sociological landscapes that change its face by the tick of the clock.

There is so much that man can do if he unleashes the human potential he is endowed with. There are no boundaries to what the human spirit can achieve. There is no framing of his capabilities which are God-given.

The theme basically sends a message that empowering one’s self starts from rediscovering his basic human strengths – the goodness and spirit that lies within every soul. These and all, are what this year’s congress aims for the FRAME members to imbibe.

Through time, FRAME is already beyond a social program. It has become a dynamic platform where positive transformation unfolds.

(Source: Event Design crafted by Egai Cadiente of the City Mayor’s Office)

10,000 Sky Lanterns for 8th People’s Congress


Gensan's Sky will be a glorious sight like this on 11-1611! Photo Credits: Jet Siang

It is confirmed: 10,000 sky lanterns will be released on November 16, 2011 at the Oval Plaza, General Santos City in line with the celebration of the 8th People’s Congress.

Thousands of torches during the 7th People's Congress

Last year, thousands of torches were lighted. It was like watching thousands of fireflies converging at the Oval Plaza. It was like a sea of flame engulfing the darkness. It was like blinking Christmas lights spread all over the area! What an enriching experience!

Magandang Gensan will behold an amazing sight like this on 11-16-11! Photo Credits: Jet Siang

This year, we will be releasing thousands of lanterns which will be referred to as prayer lanterns (coined by Rev. Andres Docena, Jr. of Project Management Group) during the big event which will be participated in by 35,000 members of the Family Resource Allocation & Management Enhancement (FRAME). FRAME,  a poverty alleviation program of the city, started with only 23 members in 2003 and have grown by leaps and bounds through the years.

Safety First: a proactive test of lantern release in the presence of officials from Bureau of Fire Protection

The organizers and representatives from the City Mayor’s Office , Project Management Group, City Social Welfare and Development Office, and partner agencies gathered at the venue tonight to test the lanterns and check the safety concerns. Part of being proactive, officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Philippine National Police were there to witness the proceedings. We are hopeful that we will have good weather and clear skies on Wednesday so that the lantern release will be a success.

Jet Siang, my dear Aya, your fellow Generals will get to savor your Thailand experience right in Magandang Gensan on 11-16-11! Whoaaaa!

I am excited to host the event which will be directed by my dearest friend, Egai Cadiente. The big event will be a collaboration of thousands of Generals who are eager to re-imagine, reinvent and respond. My beloved husband has prepared his gears so he can take  photos of the actual event. I will certainly share with you stories about this spectacular event that thousands of FRAME members and Generals will soon experience in Magandang Gensan!

7th People’s Congress: Spreading the Flame


The celebration of the 7th People’s Congress held at the Oval Plaza, General Santos City on November 11, 2010 was mind-blowing and awe-inspiring! This year’s theme is Pagliwanagin ng FRAME ang Pamumuhay sa Gensan.

The Family Resource Allocation & Management Enhancement (FRAME), a poverty alleviation program of the city, started with only 23 members in 2003 and have tremendously grown to 32,000 members (and counting!) in its 7th year.  The 6th People’s Congress in 2009 was held at the Lagao Gym with almost 10,000 in attendance. Last year’s membership has more than tripled in just a matter of months!

As early as 2:00 pm, members from far-flung barangays like San Jose and Batomelong started to gather at the venue. At 3:00 pm, the police enforcers re-routed the traffic to pave the way for the historical event.At 5:oo pm, the members started to take their spots.

Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio

At 5:45 pm, everyone was eager to get the celebration started. At 6:00 pm, Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio started lighting the first torch at the Plaza Heneral Santos.

A few minutes after, the flame started moving simultaneously into two directions: Pres. Roxas Avenue and Pendatun Avenue converging at Oval Plaza.

The torch lighting was a symbolic gesture that declares the city’s commitment to dispel the darkness of apathy, mediocrity and poverty. It was also the physical manifestation of  the power of synergy.

The Hosts: Elvie, Glenn & Joana

The event served as a reunion of sorts for the “Today With The Generals” production team: Direk Egai CadienteGeneral Glenn Gonzalez, General Elvie Eullaran-Albano and I.  Hosting with the two other top-caliber Generals has always been an enriching experience for me. Sharing the same platform with them is a privilege!

While the torch light was being passed to both directions, I joined General Glenn and General Elvie in  mounting the motorbikes of the Traffic Enforcers assigned to transport us from the starting point to the Oval Plaza. We felt like we were filming  another version of our Today With The Generals MTV.

Direk Egai Cadiente and the technical team

When we arrived at the Oval Plaza, we made sure that we passed by the technical booth to inform Egai that we were done with the preliminaries at Plaza Heneral Santos.  He cued the Centerpoint Band to get ready for their part.

Thousands of torch bearers from Pendatun Avenue entering the Oval Plaza

Our childlike demeanor was heightened a few minutes after we mounted the Oval Stage to formally open the celebration. With goosebumps, we savored the sight of about 20,ooo torches being lighted .

Thousands of torch bearers finding their way to their assigned spots at the Oval Plaza

It was like watching thousands of fireflies converging at the Oval Plaza. It was like a sea of flame engulfing the darkness. It was like blinking Christmas lights spread all over the area! What an enriching experience!

"Ang Alab Gagawing Umaga ang Gabi"

As the contingents from the 26 barangays of the city inch their way to the venue, the CENTERPOINT BAND performed their original composition aptly titled Sa Liwanag. The impact of the experience was intensified!

Production Team with Centerpoint Band and RMMC Teatro Ambahanon

The Liberal Arts students of Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Colleges provided the necessary support to the production team. Jai-jai Alonzo readily said yes when invited to be the Stage Manager (SM).   Sir Bing Cariño made sure that the RMMC Teatro Ambahanon will be available to add color to the celebration. As volunteers, the students did not mind the long hours of preparations.

With Masscom Seniors whose minds were stretched and hearts were touched

It is always a joy working with my children from the L.A. Department. My Production Assistant, Gwen Sumabat, was all-out in providing necessary support. She made sure I succeed in my hosting by keeping me hydrated. She even found my NuSkin Lip Tint which I thought got  lost while I was in transit from one stage to another. Marilou Consad, Karla Ocaña, Reggie dela Rosa, Mia Rocacorba, Reinna Pico and Deejay de Vera provided much-needed help. And not to be outdone is Niña Grace Urdaneta who is bent to finish what she has started.

It's always a joy working with Direk Egai, Gen. Glenn and Gen. Elvie!

The students consider it a privilege to be trained by Direk Egai who never fails to bring out the best in everyone he works with. General Glenn, General Elvie and I consider it a joy to partner with him. Thank you, my dear friend, for your passion for excellence! 

Thank you, Pastor Andoy Docena (DBC Senior Pastor) and Ma’am Rebecca V. Magante (CSWD Department Head) for giving us the privilege to work together in this event.

Everyone was bursting with inspiration! Let’s keep the flame burning in our hearts!

All photographs in this post (except this one taken by Binoy) are courtesy of Mosler Paul Lapore.

Thank you, my Piao, for capturing the moments.