Church campaign in Philippines focuses on the family

Amid all the business of the Church’s Philippines Area — where traffic and social media abound — the Area Presidency is sending a message to the community: “Families, it’s about time.”

In a “Homefront” ad campaign launched in September during National Family Week, the Philippines Area released three short videos that aired on national television.

The 60-second videos focus on the major challenges that many Filipino families face today — the use of technology and the growing demands of work and school. For example, heavy traffic often prevents parents from attending school events, children spend hours on social media and extended family are often not prioritized in the business of life.

In one video, titled “Flowers” a father weathers heavy rain, common in the Philippines, and traffic to arrive at his young daughter’s school event.

Dino Antenorcruz, Philippines Area publishing services department manager, said that the video is intended to encourage parents to support their children. “Whatever it takes, ‘Go,’ ” he said. “You can never replace the feeling of the kids saying, ‘Dad, thank you, you made it.’ ”

In another video, called “Brownout,” parents push the power breaker, simulating a brownout and forcing their children to look up from their electronic devices. The family shares a happy moment, eating by candlelight and talking together.

In the final video, a family visits a lonely grandmother, who is pictured longing for attention and love. The video, titled “Lola,” is intended to remind families to remember their extended loved ones.

The videos were produced to cater to a wide range of audiences and are free of dialog, but share one common theme.

“What resonates is the feeling of having time with family,” said Antenorcruz. “Whether you are Christian or Muslim, the encouragement is the same — spend time with the family.”

Antenorcruz said he hopes viewers will also learn something about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they watch the videos. “Mormons have strong family values. We believe in families. We believe in Jesus Christ.”

This is the first time the Church in the Philippines has produced “Homefront” videos locally. And while the videos include local talent and familiar scenes in the Philippines, the messages apply to families across the globe, said Antenorcruz.

Elder Shayne M. Bowen, General Authority Seventy and president of the Philippines Area, said one reason the Church is growing so fast in the Philippines — where there are now more than 100 stakes — is the importance Filipinos place on family.

“They are a gentle, kind people who respect their elders and are always anxious to serve and help others,” he said. “I think as they have seen the blessings and promises of eternal families, that they are naturally drawn to what seems so familiar.”

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