Saturday, March 29, 2014

Malungon Retreat and Training Center Dedicated to God in Colorful Ceremony

The Malungon Retreat and Training Center is now open!

Members of the B’laan community, construction workers, local government representatives, and Sarangani pastors and businessmen joined CCT management and staff in a colorful and heartwarming ceremony dedicating Mindanao’s newest retreat venue to the Lord. 

The retreat center, located about half an hour from General Santos City, is on a 72-hectare piece of property owned and managed by the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries in Sitio Lao, Brgy. Nagpan, Malungon, Sarangani.

Already built are two six-bedroom dormitory buildings and a dining hall.  Architect Cris Celeste of the General Santos and Sarangani Local Advisory Council said that still in the works are more dormitory buildings, camping and team building facilities and a zipline. 

In one of the dedication prayers those attending the ceremony prayed,  "Bless, O Lord, all the ministries and services that will be housed in this place.  Enable the training and retreats conducted here to produce humble hearts, keen minds, and skillful hands.  Cause all those who visit this place to experience Your gentle loving care.  May You inculcate love in the hearts of all those who will serve, use them to bless those whom You will draw to this place.  Make this place display the wonders of your creation.  Cause the plants and the trees to grow, flowers to blossom, fruits and crops to ripen in their seasons.  May those who tend to this place enjoy the works of their hands."

Ruth Callanta, CCT president, acknowledged microfinance community partners, Visions of Hope-sponsored children and other members of the B'laan community who were part of the vision of and prayed for a community center dedicated to the B'laan tribe. She also acknowledged the important role played by the construction team led by Engr. Jun Diaz and Zaldy Lugay, head of Kaibigang Maaasahan Multipurpose Cooperative Construction Services, in making this vision happen. The team is composed of skilled workers who are transformed street dwellers initially ministered to in Manila by the Kaibigan Ministry of CCT, alumni of the Training and Development Institute in Magdalena, Laguna, and laborers from the surrounding B'laan community. 

Lalaine Naquita, community center coordinator, said "We pray that God will make this place a blessing to churches, schools, government organizations and other groups in  General Santos, Sarangani, the rest of the SOCCSKSargen region, and all of Mindanao.”

For more information about MRTC facilities, please get in touch with Lalaine Naquita at 09258846711,, or with Pastora Flor Soler at 09154617250,


Members of the Brigada Bata (Children's Brigade) of Malungon Visions of Hope Christian School carry the
Philippine flag and CCT flags to the stage at the beginning of the dedication service. 
Marifi Sayon sings the introit, Dakilang Katapatan.
The GenSan praise and worship team (above) and
B'laan staff and community partners (below) lead the
guests in worshiping  the Lord through songs and native dance.

Architect Chris Celeste speaks of his joy at seeing a dream for a 
retreat center in Sarangani fulfilled. He said that part
 of the property development plan involves 
sports facilities and a prayer mountain.

B'laan community partners in CCT's micro finance program
and kitchen and housekeeping staff  perform a traditional B'laan dance.. 

Pastor Ed Tuazon preaches a message on Jesus and the miraculous catch of
 fish in John 21. He said,  "Success is not dependent on expertise, experience,
equipment, or imagination but on dependence on God." 

The CCT GenSan Choir sings Your Grace Still Amazes Me

Here and below: construction workers composed of B'laan men, former Manila street dwellers,
and graduates of the CCT Training and Development Institute in Laguna.

CCT President Ruth Callanta speaks of a long-held vision for a 
retreat venue in Malungon  finally coming true in God's right time. 

Daisy Dosado, OIC  regional peer servant,
and Pastor Jun Castillo cut the ribbon
at one of the dormitory buildings.
Dr. Mian Tan (left) and Dr. Russell Gonzales of the VOH health team
cut the ribbon at the kitchen and dining hall. Also in photo are Pastor
Peter Ligaya (2nd from left) and Dr. John Tabije (2nd from left).

Part of the sumptuous lunch served by
Chef Harlequin Boloron and crew.

Photos:  Harold Dacis, Jasmin Servito, Edna Panuncio,
Noelyn Bayno, Anter Sapnu, Myra Gaculais del Rosario

Friday, March 21, 2014

Malungon Retreat and Training Center to Open Soon

The newest retreat and training center in Mindanao is set to open March 29, 2014.  The Malungon Retreat and Training Center will be a 24-bedroom facility when complete.  It currently has two six-bedroom dormitory buildings and a two-story bamboo multi-purpose structure.  Work on a kitchen/dining room is ongoing, and outdoor facilities still to be built include a basketball court and an obstacle course.  

The retreat facilities are built on a 72-hectare property in Sitio Lao, Malungon, Sarangani where the Center for Community Transformation (CCT) Group of Ministries ministers  to B’laan and Tagakaolo people through micro finance, savings, and spiritual development programs, and through a boarding school for children.    

Angelito Gabriel, executive officer of CCT Inc., said the retreat center is a conducive, peaceful venue for activities such as conference, couples' retreats, workshops and will be a blessing to churches, schools, and Christian organizations in Mindanao. 

Even before its official opening, the retreat center was the venue for a six-day refresher course for team servants (branch managers) of the CCT Savings and Credit Cooperative. Edna Panuncio, peer servant for administration and procurement said the center can currently comfortably house 72 persons, six to a room.  

The facilities were built by B'laan and Tagakaolo men and by former street dwellers that CCT also ministers to. 

This multi-purpose building has a worship hall on the second floor with a  seating capacity of 160

Team servants (branch managers) in CCT's microfinance
program were among the first to use the new
dormitory buildings. Each of the dorms has a function

room at ground level.

B'laan men were among the retreat center builders.

Former street dwellers as well as alumni of the
CCT Training and Development Institute's
building maintenance and construction course
formed a major part of the construction team.

Photos: Philip Agot

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Newest Retreat Center in Mindanao is Training Workshop Venue

The CCT Malungon Retreat and Training Center hosted a major event even before its official opening.   

It was the venue for a six-day  refresher course for  team servants from Mindanao in the micro finance program of the Center for Community Transformation Group of Ministries in March. (A team servant is the equivalent of a branch manager in other organizations that offer micro finance.)  It will also be the training venue for another group of  25 team servants from the Visayas and Mindanao in April. 

The retreat center facilities are built on a 72-piece of property in Malungon, Sarangani where CCT has been ministering to B'laan families for more than a decade. Services offered are in children's education, skills training, micro finance, savings, and spiritual development.  

The retreat center, which will officially open on March 29, 2014, will be able to comfortably house 144 guests when finished.  So far, two of its planned four dormitory buildings are complete.  

 CCT also owns the Tagaytay Retreat and Training Center ( in Tagaytay, Cavite.  

Photos: Philip Agot