Philippine Bible Society

Poor Families in Marikina, Rizal receive Ilaw sa Tahanan Bibles

Ilaw sa Tahanan Update
PHILIPPINES – At least 3,200 families in two government relocation sites in Marikina City and Rodriguez, Rizal received the Ilaw sa Tahanan family Bible in a recently-held free Bible distribution activity of the Philippine Bible Society. The distribution event in Marikina was attended by no less than Marikina Mayor Marides Fernando.


Mayor Marides Fernando

“What we are about to give you today is not like the material things we’ve given in the past as part of our relief operations,” Mayor Fernando said addressing more than 100 families who attended the short program in Sitio Camacho, Barangay Nangka in Marikina City. “What we have here will last for a lifetime; it contains the key to a meaningful and prosperous life.”
Marikina City, known as the cleanest city with most disciplined residents in Metro Manila, has recently stepped up efforts to inculcate biblical principles and values not only among government servants but also among residents in Marikina by adopting the Purpose Driven Life program headed by Pastor Cesar Maribojoc. The Bible distribution among poor families in Marikina, supported by Barangay Chair Philip Uruttia, was a further encouragement for the churches, particularly the ministers of the Word.


Pastor Reynaldo Bago

For Pastor Reynaldo Bago of The Lord Jesus Christ, the Bible distribution was also a step for churches, regardless of religious backgrounds, to come together for a common purpose, that is, to encourage people to read and study God’s Word. Nine churches (9) from both Catholic and Protestant sectors came together to organize the distribution in Sitio Camacho.
“This is our first time to work together,” admitted Pastor Bago who has been ministering in the area since 1997. “Through PBS’ program, churches became acquainted with one another. We are aware of the barriers brought about by our doctrinal differences, but we also realized that if we don’t unite and work together, we will not be able to reach all these families for the Lord. One church simply can’t do it alone.”

Church volunteers on their way to distribute copies of the family Bible.

A house-to-house distribution of the family Bibles commenced after the program, with each of the nine participating churches saturating their areas of concern.
Sitio Camacho is home to some 2,000 relocated urban poor families from various parts of Metro Manila. Through the Ilaw sa Tahanan (Light to the Home) program, these families were provided with a copy of the Bible.
PBS also distributed another 1,200 Bibles in Kasiglahan Village 1 in Rodriquez, Rizal a week after the Marikina distribution. This was the third distribution activity done in Rodriguez, Rizal where the two major relocation sites – Kasiglahan and Sub-urban Village (otherwise known as “Erap City”, named after the deposed President Joseph “Erap” Estrada under whose administration the site was built) – are located. Both relocation sites, a total of 85 hectares, is home to about 10,000 families. The latest distribution effort brought the total number of Bibles distributed to 7,799, and more will be distributed in the future as families coming from slum areas in Metro Manila are being added.


The Bible Society has seen encouraging results since the first distribution. Churches work together and people are encouraged to read the Bible. During this year’s National Bible Week celebration on January 24-30, residents marched in the streets of KV1 proclaiming the power of God’s Word in transforming lives of people and communities. Church ministers also spearheaded various activities such as film showing, tracts distribution, and concert. Their participation was a result of the Bible distribution effort in the area.

The Ilaw sa Tahanan program emerged as a response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s first State of the Nation Address in 2002 when poor families were promised 150,000 housing units. In support of the government’s project, PBS committed to provide the families awarded with new homes with a copy of the Bible. The Ilaw sa Tahanan Bible contains the Magandang Balita Biblia (Tagalog Popular Version) text and articles addressing everyday family issues. To date, PBS has already distributed about 30,000 copies of the family Bible.