PRESS RELEASE – SSP PHILIPPINES
L ast December 11, 2004, HOME LIFE, The Philippines’ Family
Magazine capped its yearlong celebration of 50 years of
evangelization of the Filipino families with the theme: “Fifty years of
Evangelization for Family Formation.” The program featured the Golden
Jubilee Poetry Contest winners, Home Life’s honorees including Fr.
Andres Arboleda, the Lifetime Achievement Awardee and the HANGAD
choir of the Jesuit Music Ministry.
The well-acclaimed program was done in coordination with the Cultural
Center of the Philippines which shared its expertise and talents as well as
lent its equipment for the said event. Prominent theater artists performed as
poem readers like Monique Wilson who played Kim in world-renowned
Miss Saigon and Bodjie Pascua of the Batibot and Bulilit fame. Other
performers include the Chameleon dancers and a flutist and a violinist
from the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra.
As a pastoral outreach of the Society of St. Paul who came in the
Philippines in 1935, Home Life has successfully brought the Gospel to
Catholic homes and schools for half-a-century.
Credit goes to a visionary, Blessed James Alberione, Founder of the
Pauline Family, who in his visit to the Philippines in 1953, instructed his
missionaries to come up with a local counterpart of Famiglia Christiana
(The Christian Family), a magazine published by the Society of St. Paul in
Italy. The next year, Home Life saw print with Fr. Stefano Cane as its first
editor. The rest is history.
Various Pauline editors have ably guided Home Life in its journey.
Noteworthy are Frs. Romy Hitosis, Gil Alinsangan, Andres Arboleda
(more popularly known as Fr. ARA), Nick Reforeal, Joseph Javillo, Tim
Melliza and Leonardo Zega (who was later appointed as the editor of
Famiglia Christiana and was credited as the architect of the weekly
magazine’s 1 million circulation in Central Europe).
Prominent scribes and members of the clergy have also contributed on its
pages like Eugenia Apostol of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Max and
Preciosa Soliven of The Philippine Star, Ellen Tordesillas of Malaya,
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Sports columnist Lito Cinco, Bishops Ted Bacani and Chito Tagle, Msgr.
Sabino Vengco and Jesuit theologian Catalino Arevalo aside from Home
Life’s current top-caliber pool of writers headed by the Palanca Hall of
Famer Dr. Leo Deriada and multi-awarded entertainment writer Atty. Billy
The magazine’s literary section has been the breeding ground of aspiring
and seasoned poets all over the country. It counts among its winners
Priscilla Supnet-Macansantos, German Garvacio, Rebecca Añonuevo,
Merlie Alunan, Camilo Villanueva, Genevieve Asenjo, Raymund Reyes,
and many others.
At 50, Home Life had its ups and downs. It has seen better days with a
circulation of 60,000 copies in the 1960’s till the early 90s. It is a battle-
scarred veteran in the Philippine print media circle. And it is meant to
stay—say, for another 50 years! Because Home Life is committed to
pursue its crusade for family integrity and unity amid the degradation of
morality. Because Home Life is one of the few remaining forums and
avenues where people can form their choices according to their Christian
belief in the face of growing secularism and crass materialism. Because
Home Life is an integral mission of the Society of St. Paul to promote
God’s word through the media.
Reaching 50 does not mean slowing down. On the contrary, Home Life
will reinvent itself. It will rise up to the challenge and competition, and be
sensitive to the signs of the times.
Ever reliant on God’s grace and protection, Home Life will continue to
strain forward and keep its fire burning.
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