Written by on January 1, 2017


Radio Maria marked the 3rd National Assembly of volunteers held in Nov. 12-13 with unprecedented success. The Board of Trustees, in consultation with the volunteers of our three repeater stations, decided to hold the assembly every two years and the place of assembly would be rotated among the four stations. Next in Line for the venue in 2018 would be our Tuguegarao Repeater Station, then Isabela in 2020 and Zambales in 2022. Tita Carning, the Management Representative of Tuguegarao, was already excited about the event that she already presented her unofficial plans for the occasion before the meeting was adjourned.


For volunteers who were not able to come, let me recapped the whole proceedings for you to get a glimpse of the happenings.


November 11, Friday: The group from Isabela, headed by Sister Edna Cadugdug, arrived at the venue at the Department of Agriculture in Tarlac at 10:30 PM and were met by Mgmt. Coordinator Tito Jun, Administrator Jo dela Cruz, Promoter Crisbert Salvador and volunteer Vicky Salvador and they were immediately secured in their sleeping quarters. Next to arrive at 2:30 AM of Nov. 12 were the group from Tuguegarao headed by Tita Carning Cariaga who were met, on the other hand, by President Allen Galang and immediately tucked them to sleep as they were too groggy from their 10 hour trip.


November 12, Saturday: 07:30: D-Day was started with arrival of the Olongapo group headed by Sister Jamila Guinihin in time for the registration starting at 7:30 AM of all participants including volunteers from Tarlac, Cabanatuan, San Jose, N. Ecija and Mabalacat, Pampanga.


08:30: Right after the registration was the mass celebrated by Most Rev. Bishop Roberto Mallari, Bishop of San Jose, Nueva Ecija. With him as co-celebrants were Most Rev. Florentino Cinense, Bishop Emeritus of Tarlac, Reverend Father Christoper Lozano, Parish Priest of St. Francis of Assisi, and our very own Rev. Father Raymund Cruz, Director of Radio Maria.


09:45: The morning session’s program started with sister Marley Tallada on the propriety of “PRAYER AND READING” and I myself (as the Master of Ceremony) did learn a lot from her Talk and I could see from the reaction of the audience that they never lost interest in listening during the entire session.


10:30: The rest of the morning up to 5:00 pm was the time for the famous Evangelion Foundation, Inc. from Manila invited by Board Secretary Fanny Salon whose topics were centered on Work Core Values. The audience was mesmerized by the affective delivery of the Talk by Bro. Paul characterized as intimate yet brotherly. It was a very fruitful session on various topics punctuated by interlinked activities which were enjoyed immensely by the participants.


06:00 PM: A close door meeting was held at the Board Room of the Dept. of Agriculture by the members of the BOT with the representative of our three repeater transmitters and part of the result was mentioned in the beginning of this write-up.


06:30 PM: And while the BOT meeting was still on-going the Full Worship was started in the open-front lawn of the Department of Agriculture led by the group of youngsters from the Singles for Christ being shephered by Dra. Ann Enriquez, our BOT Vice President.


07:15 PM: Start of the Volunteers’ Night was highlighted by the presentation of TSU Performing Arts of famous folk dances (the group was courtesy of the couple Dr. Rod Sicat and Dra. Lolita Sicat of TSU). Presentation of various groups were shown to the delight of the audience followed by awarding of Recognition Certificates and, thereafter, the launching of the 15th Anniversary of Radio Maria by our Director, Fr. Raymund Cruz. And…. would you believe everybody, underscore everybody (to hecked with arthritis) danced with delight up to the wee hours of the morning!


November 13, Sunday: 08:00 AM: Participants were whisked to Radio Maria station to have their breakfast and after which the Mass was held at the RM chapel at 9:00 AM by Most Rev. Bishop Macaraeg of Tarlac. After the Mass a pandemonium of picture taking with the Bishop ensued.


10:30 AM: Members of the three repeater stations with a few volunteers from Cabanatuan, San Jose, N. Ecija and Tarlac together with Fr. Raymund and RM staff proceeded to Monasterio in Lubigan, San Jose, Tarlac where they took their lunch at the refectory of the Monasterio.


02:30 PM: The group tour had to end in consideration to the Tuguegarao and Isabela groups due to their long travel back home after a fulfilling pilgrimage!


For those who enthusiastically participated in the 2016 NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF VOLUNTEERS…. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!


For those who were not able to come….. SEE YOU IN 2018!!

by: Tito Jun Punsalan

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