The Words of the Braganza Family

The Blessed Families Association, Inc. and Updates on the “Property” Issue

Norlina “Norlie” Braganza
April 8, 2009

On March 18, 2009, Exec. Dir. Dulce Buyayo called Baguio older family members for a meeting to discuss about the issue on buying a property for Church use which was a long standing desire and planned but which has not been materialized up until now. Several of the invited family members had some personal emergencies that they could not attend, so the planned meeting was reset on March 22, 2009.

The second attempt to organize at last could gather two of the old members present at the Manila Hotel meeting in December 2008. It was held at the office of Mr. Leo de la Pena at Ina Mansion Condominium just adjacent to Burnham Park’s children’s playground. Present were Exec. Dir. Dulce Buyayo, Mr. Leo Lagpao, Ms. Norlie Braganza, Mr. Ariel Gascon, Ms. Spring Valdez and of course, Mr. Leo de la Pena himself. In the audience were Ms. Anita Dang-il and Mr. Ferdinand Panelo.

After some pleasantries, Mr. Leo de la Pena volunteered to preside the initial proceedings of the meeting until the President who shall preside officially gets elected, to which all 8 people present agreed. Mr. de la Pena began by reading the emails he printed out from the baguio center alumni forum online which revolved on the issue of buying property for God and True Parents’ use in the City of Baguio. Before he could continue further, Ms. Spring Valdez requested to explain how the matter got into the Baguio alumni forum, which she intended to circulate among Baguio old members only. For transparency and proper implementation, Mr. de la Pena suggested to form an association to formally organize and all the attendees agreed. Thus, the association was formed. Furthermore, the election of officers was done through secret balloting.

The first meeting proved to be a very promising start that very close succeeding meetings were done to continue what was started, that within just a period of eight (8) days, the Association’s foundation is established with sets of officers who were inducted on the 8th day with Mr. and Mrs. Vergara guiding the officer’s oath-taking.

The induction of officers was originally set for April 4th at Baguio Summer Place Hotel with Dr. Michael Zablan eyed as inducting officer. However, in the special dinner meeting sponsored by Mr. Leo de la Pena himself held at Burnham Suites in the evening of March 28 with the FFWPU National President’s couple Mr. and Mrs. Vergara, and Co-National Leader Mrs. Supaporn Zablan, we were informed that Dr. Zablan is too busy to be able to attend on the 4th of April. Thus to take the opportunity that the national leaders were already around, the Association’s elected President, no other than Mr. Leo de la Pena himself, gathered the opinions of the Board both present in that special meeting and those absent (by phone calls and text messaging) to get the consensus that the induction of officers be set on the following day, March 29.

In that special meeting, the elected President officially presented the Association to the National Leaders, by introducing to them the set of officers and reading the Vision, Mission, Objectives and the By-Laws of the association as set and approved by the Board of Directors. The National Leaders expressed their deep appreciation for this significant move done by Baguio ’s older family members, as well as their support. As Baguio Leaders before and in appreciation for this very positive development in Baguio City, the Vergara’s signed the membership forms and paid the membership dues right away.

Following is a summary of the agendas of the five (5) Board of Directors Meetings and the Special Meeting for the information of everyone.

1) Name of the Association

In the previous meetings, the members of the board decided that the name of the association shall be “Baguio Blessed Families Association, Inc. However, as the National Leaders are optimistic about the Association, they commented about not limiting the Association in Baguio members only that the suggestion to adopt the name Blessed Families Association, Inc. was made. The suggested name was also for members outside Baguio to do away with another SEC registrations should they want to follow Baguio ’s pattern, they would just form their own local chapter in such case.

In the 5th Board Meeting on April 4, the “ Baguio ” in the name of the Association was thus voted out, and because the online application for registration made by our President wouldn’t recognize just “Blessed Families Association...”, he had to affix “The” before the name, which was eventually accepted. Thus the name is now “The Blessed Families Association, Inc.”

2) Formulation of the Board of Directors, Election and Induction of Officers

President and CEO -- Aurelio “Leo” de la Pena

Executive Vice President -- Luzviminda “ Spring ” Valdez

Vice President for Internal Affairs -- Leopoldo “Leo” Lagpao

Vice President for External Affairs -- Guillermo “Boy” Tipan

Secretary General -- Norlina “Norlie” Braganza

Treasurer-Ariel Gascon

Auditor -- Donald Guevarra

P.R.O. - Allen “Glenn” Gascon

Board Member -- Dulce Buyayo

The officers elected are to hold their position for a period of one year, and they can either retain their position or be changed in the yearly election.

The Board agreed to have once a month regular meeting scheduled at every 1st Saturday of the month. However, the President may call for a meeting when the need arises. Since the President and the whole Board saw the need to quickly accomplish the foundation of the Association, in a matter of 8 days, we could have 4 Board meetings and be inducted on March 29, in the presence of the National Leaders- the Vergaras and Mrs. Zablan, IW for Northwestern Luzon Mr. Joshua Josol, regional and center leaders of Northwestern Luzon, and the members of the Baguio church, at the FFWPU Center of Baguio at San Luis Village.

In the 5th Board of Directors Meeting, it was amended that the regular Board of Directors Meeting shall be held twice a month, in the 1st and 3rd Saturday of each month to speed up the materialization of the first project.

3) Vision, Mission and Objectives

Vision: To serve as an avenue for members to possess the right outlook of how families should be, thereby creating an expanding community upholding the primary values of services and living for the sake of others.

Mission: The Blessed Families Association, Inc. shall be the model association of families by promoting love, respect, dignity, leadership, ethical and moral practices in order to create an ideal community, society and nation towards one world family.

Objectives: The Board hopes to add more to the following list:

a. To assist the Church in elevating the spiritual standard of Blessed Families.

b. To help find ways for Blessed Members to financially become stable.

c. To implement projects for the betterment of the community

d. To guide members on how to practice professionalism in relation to societal affairs.

e. To assist the church in creating educational programs for Blessed Families and second generation.

f. To foster camaraderie and true brotherhood among its members.

g. To provide a forum and support group that discusses and addresses family and marital issues of its membership.

h. To be pro-active on environmental concerns.

4) Bank Account and Signatories including keeper of Savings Account

The Board agreed to consolidate all existing funds into one account which shall be opened at Metrobank with the following 4 signatories: Aurelio de la Pena, Leopoldo Lagpao, Norlina Braganza and Ariel Gascon. The keeper of the bank book shall be the Treasurer, Mr. Ariel Gascon. All disbursements shall be known and approved by the Board. Financial report shall be religiously done monthly by the Treasurer, audited by the elected auditor, and scrutinized and approved by the Board before its release to the whole membership and donors.

5) Membership and Annual Membership Dues.

Membership is open to all blessed members, local and foreign, who are of good standing and who pay the annual membership due of P1,200. The membership due is for operational expenses of the association because the rule to prohibit the diversion of Project Funds is absolute. The membership was earlier set to P300 to accommodate lesser income members. However, because the Association would need some good fund to operate, the Board amended it to P1200 and agreed to help find ways for prospect members to settle their membership dues.

Monthly Business Meeting is scheduled once a month which is open for the general membership.

6. First Project and Succeeding Ones

To buy property for Church use is the first project of the Association. As earlier mentioned, funds collected for this purpose shall not be touched for any other purpose except for the set project only. And since the Board is considering accomplishing the project this year, the one-a-month Board Meetings are set to the 1st and 3rd week of each month.

Other projects shall be in relation to the fulfillment of the association’s objectives.

7. Other Matters

a. Rights, privileges and duties of members (Please refer to attached By-Laws)

b. Registration of the Association with the S.E.C (Note: The Board is waiting for the approval of the S.E.C Registration as the application has already been made.)

c. Photos

For inquiries and more information, please contact:

Ms. Norlina “Norlie” Braganza
The Blessed Family Association, Inc.

Thank you for your support.

The Blessed Families Association, Inc. 

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